Gamers logo

My Top 5 Underrated NES Classic Games

The NES Games That Deserve so Many Kudos

By Mark Wesley PritchardPublished 5 years ago 5 min read
Beware of Goomba.

In late 2016, I bought an NES Classic and was eager to play on it. For me, playing retro games brings back so many childhood memories. Once you are hooked to them, they pretty much stick with you for life. I'm going to share my top five underrated NES Classic games that deserve praise and recognition.

5. 'Balloon Fight' (1986)

When I first looked at the title of this game, my first thought was a boy throwing water balloons at random people. However, I was wrong. In every stage, you start with two balloons attached to your helmet and play as an unnamed Balloon Fighter. You start the game with three lives. The goal is to pop the balloons of the enemy Balloon Fighters in order to earn points as the fall down and are eaten by the fish. You lose lives if you get struck by lightning, an enemy Balloon Fighter bursts both of your balloons, or falling into the water (resulting in being eaten by the fish). The bonus stages are fun and sometimes challenging. In the bonus stages, your objective is to pop all the balloons. If you burst all the balloons, you'll receive bonus points. My advice to you is to pay attention and not let the enemy Balloon Fighters pop your balloons.

4. 'StarTropics' (1990)

Most people probably never heard of this game, but it was a game that I wanted to try. In StarTropics, you play a young boy named Mike as he travels to visit his uncle, Dr. Steven Jones. When Mike arrives at Dr. Jones' tropical village in Coracola, he discovers that his uncle had disappeared. Mike has to go through seven chapters in order to save Dr. Jones. The farthest I've gone in this game was Chapter 4, which is called Confession. In this chapter, Mike and the submarine gets swallowed by a whale. It's a chapter that I'll get through someday and once I do complete this game, I'll be able to do a review on it. I recommend StarTropics to anyone who wants to experience a little bit of adventure in their lives.

3. 'Donkey Kong' (1981)

I'm not much of a Donkey Kong fan, but Donkey Kong was a game that most of my friends and millions of people have played growing up. I didn't play this game until late January of 2017. The plot of this game is Mario must save Pauline, his girlfriend, from the enemy, which is Donkey Kong. There are four different single-screen stages. My favorite part of this game was destroying barrels and oil drums with the hammer in the first stage. However, taking down Donkey Kong in the final stage and being reunited with Pauline was a great ending. I wish there were more stages, because I love challenges. I still have love for Donkey Kong, but I don't play as many games that are attached to his name.

2. 'Mario Bros.' (1983)

Not to be confused with the 1985 game, Super Mario Bros., Mario Bros. was the kind of game that I wasn't used to playing at first. Out of all the Mario games that I've played over the years, this one was completely different and challenging. As I mentioned in my Mario Bros. review, the phases get easier and then get harder as the game progresses. So destroying enemies quickly and being aware of your surroundings without getting hit is a must. In that review, I gave Mario Bros. an 8/10. Here's why I gave it this rating: I was able to knock out enemies consecutively to earn multiple points. The one thing that I disliked about this game was the time limits of the bonus rounds. You would get 20 seconds to complete a bonus round and then cut down to 14 seconds in later phases. In my opinion, 20 seconds in every bonus round would be more suitable, because if it's just you and have 14 seconds to complete it, there's a 50/50 chance that you won't receive those bonus points. Another thing I have noticed was you only receive one extra life after scoring at least 20,000 points. Most people who play this game wouldn't beat the whole game with just three or four lives. Like I said earlier, the stages get difficult as the game goes on. It would've been nice if more extra lives were rewarded every 10,000 points or so. Mario Bros. really got me interested and entertained. I've beaten the whole game last July and I had a great time playing it. One more note to pass along: there are 99 phases in Mario Bros. If you'rewilling to play and go through all those phases, good luck. This is a fantastic game that needs to be talked about more often.

1. 'Galaga' (1981)

Towards the end of 2016 and well into 2017, I dominated Galaga by achieving high scores and felt like I was unstoppable. My fingers and thumbs did all the talking during the last part of 2016. I would strive to beat my previous high scores. On average, I would score between 200,000 to 300,000 points. From the moment that I got my NES Classic, this was one of many games on my list that I wanted to play. The objective of Galaga is scoring as many points possible by destroying insect-like enemies. I would play this game almost every day after work and on the weekends, aiming to have even more high scores. The highest that I've scored was around 160,000 (160,750 points to be exact). My goal is to score at least 300,000 points and I'll make that happen soon.

That's my list of underrated NES games. It wasn't easy choosing games that I believe don't get enough recognition. Like I said in previous stories, I've been playing retro games for almost 30 years and is more of my vice. Not to say that I have anything against modern gaming or modern games in general. I just don't play them as much and also, it's hard to keep up with which games are popular today. Back in 2014, one game that I enjoyed was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for the XBox 360. I bought that game a week and a half before my birthday and was able to finish the game in a month. In 2001, when I was 13, I played a first-person shooter game called Halo for the XBox, with a friend of mine from school. So Advanced Warfare was not the first ever first-person shooter game I've played. I do play certain games, but it all depends on if that game peaks my interest. Other than that, which five underrated NES Classic games are on your list?


About the Creator

Mark Wesley Pritchard

Award-winning cosplayer, cosplay model, influencer, retro gaming fanatic, and nostalgic freak. Need I say more?

Threads: @thecosplayerfromtexas

Instagram: @thecosplayerfromtexas

TikTok: @thecosplayerfromtexas

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.