The best of the NES, a.k.a “TV Games”

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Cartridge blowing, playing the latest Mario “TV Games”, only the D-Pad for movement, Double Dragon – oh, the memories.

Even though the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released way back in 1985, many of us can vividly recall waking up early on Saturday mornings to get in some with our shiny consoles and 200-in-1 cartridge.

But before we take a look back and pay tribute to this extraordinary console, you need to watch this video of modern teens reacting to being given an NES. Not only will it make you feel old, but truly feel despair for the youth of today.

“Is it a projector?” – oh the humanity.

The South African “Golden China”

Here in SA, kids didn’t really know what the NES was, mainly due to the fact we had the non-North American version called the Family Computer (or at least knock-offs that looked like the Famicom).

Some kids may remember the “Golden China”. They made a Nintendo Famicom-compatible machine many of us played on.

Famicon/Golden China "TV Games"

Famicom/Golden China “TV Games”

And this is what the NES looked like.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System

Where it all began

As mentioned earlier, the Nintendo Entertainment System launched in 1985. What was it packing under the hood? A full 2KB of RAM, which was expanded up to 1MB thanks to the game cartridge’s design.

The NES also had a PPU (Picture Processing Unit) on board that operated at 5.37MHz.

Best selling and scoring games

The NES gave us an era where gameplay was what mattered the most. Fancy graphics, DLC, and online multiplayer did not exist – it was a time of innocence.

These are the bestselling games from the NES era.

  1. Super Mario Bros. – 40.24 million copies
  2. Super Mario Bros 3. – 18 million copies
  3. Super Mario Bros 2. – 10 million copies
  4. Tetris – 8 million copies
  5. The Legend of Zelda – 6.51 million copies
  6. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – 4.38 million copies
  7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – 4 million copies
  8. Dragon Warrior III – 3.8 million copies (Japan only)
  9. Dragon Warrior IV – 3.1 million copies (Japan only)
  10. Metroid – 2.73 million copies

Although extremely difficult to get review scores for these games now, these are the best NES games according to and

  1. Super Mario Bros. 3
  2. The Legend of Zelda
  3. Super Mario Bros.
  4. Mega Man 2
  5. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

  1. Super Mario Bros. 3
  2. The Legend of Zelda
  3. Super Mario Bros.
  4. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
  5. Mega Man 2

The NES Mascots

We all know the Mario Bros., Mega Man, and Zelda thanks to the NES. Here are the games that made these, and more, characters famous. Load the 16-bit magnificence.

Duck Tales

Darkwing Duck

Super Mario Bros.

The Legend of Zelda

Mega Man 2

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

Double Dragon

Tell us about your favourite NES memories, in the comments and forum.

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The best of the NES, a.k.a “TV Games”

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