Big Lead Sports Bar


Pierogis: Top 10 Nintendo Games of All Time

Now that football is officially over, your Sundays will have plenty of free time available. Sure, you could get actual work done, but what fun is that? If you’re like us, chances are you will be doing a lot more video game playing. We have dedicated this week’s top 10 to that notion. Playing video games may not be an “official sport”, but it’s still pretty darn entertaining. Nintendo came out in 1985, just 3 years after Snack and Diego, and that may be the reason it is so close to our hearts… We grew up playing it. In honor of the first system we ever fried our brains playing this week’s top 10 will be – the Top 10 Nintendo games of all time…

10. RC Pro Am –

This game’s claim to fame was it was the first racing game to incorporate bombs and weapons into the action. You could add powerups to your cars, get roll cages or even just run other racers off the road. Plus, there’s no end to this game. You can literally play forever (although after 24 races the courses start over), and the racing is fast paced and hectic. It was also based on racing remote control cars (hence the RC), which were all the craze back in the 1980’s. Snack can remember going to Century III Mall and entering the “Days of Thunder” (Cruise and Duval’s best work ever) RC Car Race. Of course he lost and his fragile ego never recovered, but it was still fun (and traumatizing).

9. Tetris –

This is one for the dorks – it was too much like actual work for Diego and Snack. We always liked games that involved winning a World Series or shooting a bunch of zombies or something, not building a wall like you’re a damn stone mason. But seeing as this game is possibly the most well known game in the world (PC and cell phone versions have sold millions) we had to include it on the list. So those of you that like it, go build us a wall or something, but don’t complain that we excluded you…

Whoever played this round sucks…

8. Legend of Zelda –

Something about this game always gave Snack the creeps, as it was your job to wander around as a weird little man in a green fuzzy hat who liked to hit things with a sword. Even at a young age, he never bought into the wizards and sorcerers and goblins and whatnot that came along with this game, but nonetheless, it’s a favorite of his dorky friends (i.e. – Diego and pals), so it’s included on the list. If you’re into the whole Final Fantasy/RPG type game, then this is the OG Mac Daddy of them all, but I’m sure you already have about a dozen copies of it so I don’t gotta tell you.

7. Ice Hockey -

This one came out in 1988, and as far as Diego is concerned, it’s the first 5-on-5 hockey game ever for the NES. Who doesn’t love a game where all the teams are exactly the same, with the only difference being the uniform colors. What’s even better is that you get to pick your own players; you’ve got skinny guy(Diego), fat guy(Snack), and in between lil guy (Swineburna). Either way, the main feature in this one is the fighting, brawls break out easily, and that’s a plus in Diego’s book. What better lesson to teach young, impressionable kids then fighting is the way to solve problems?

6. Paperboy -

This was Snack’s favorite game growing up, even though he was far too busy (lazy) to get a paper route of his own. He could sit there for hours throwing those newspapers into mailboxes and at little old ladies who would randomly pop out of houses and chase you with a knifes. There were also tots on Big Wheels bikes and the ever present problem of cars to befuddle any wannabe paperboy. Snack also loves it because it reminds him of a time when newspapers actually mattered - you know, before the blogosphere came to be…

5. RBI Baseball –

This game, much like Tecmo Super Bowl, wasn’t set apart because of its excellent gameplay. It stands out in all of our minds because it was the first to use real ballplayers like Jose “I’ll take another needle please” Canseco and Mark “I’m not here to talk about the past” McGwire. This one came out in 1988 and was an instant favorite for Snack and Diego as that’s right about the time we started playing Little League. Plus, who can forget the great sound effects used for hits and everything…and players running into the wall and missing the ball completely realll made it feel like you were playing Little League with MLB players…

4. Contra –

This game was Rambo before (or maybe while) Sly Stallone was. In this action packed adventure, you run and jump around killing anything that gets in your way. You used a gun that shot not only bullets, but could be equipped to shoot FIREBALLS…it was awesome, it even had Cold War-esque mounted machine guns and lasers shooting at you, not to mention the customary “bosses” to beat at the end of each level. And even these were amazing because you actually had to aim your shots, unlike 99% of the games from the era. You can thank Contra for all of you who like Halo and COD 4, as this was truly the first war game that was worth a crap. And might I add: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

3. Tecmo Super Bowl –

What made this game so great was it was the first game to ever have the consent of the NFLPA, so they had actual teams and players in the game, which opened everything up for the Maddens of today. The plays were obviously rather limited, but this game totally reinvented the sports game…Plus, I don’t think there was a game that both sides didn’t score 50, which always adds to the fun…And I mean honestly, can you imagine playing NHL 08 and not being able to use Sid the Kid? Didn’t think so…

2. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out –

It’s funny how the only thing getting punched now is Tyson, seeing as he’s spent more time in prison then Snack did at college (imagine Bluto from Animal House and you have Snack in college), but his video game is definitely an all-time great. We can remember fighting against contenders such as “Glass” Joe, Von Kaiser, King Hippo, Don Flamenco, Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man, all on the way to the champ, “Iron” Mike Tyson himself. This was one of the first games Snack ever owned, and he took the game seriously – i.e. he called his brother Don Flamenco and kicked the crap out of him. Ah, to be five again…

1. Super Mario Bros 3 -

Bar none the best Nintendo game ever. I mean honestly, how can a game about two Italian brothers chasing Bowser and his posse not be the best? We both spent our younger years chasing people around, shouting “Mama mia” and trying to hit them on the head with a hammer. But it was the 80’s, and we do live in Greenfield, so I guess that’s not all that uncommon. And who could forget the Princess? As the dreamboat you tried to save, she taught young men everywhere that to get the girl, you gotta be the biggest, baddest kid on the block. What an inspiration to children everywhere!

Since we're going off-topic for a post, let's do it up right as I add my Mondesi two cents...

Please, as many of you who can, rent a new DVD called King of Kong. I'll go with the Wikipedia description as not to spoil it for you:

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is a documentary that follows Steve Wiebe as he tries to take the world high score for the arcade game Donkey Kong from reigning champion Billy Mitchell.

You'll laugh, you'll be freaked out, you'll get angry, you'll feel sorry, you'll wonder if you could get back the last 79 minutes of your life. Has anyone else out there watched it?"

And here's a few NES-related links:

The 20 most valuable video games ever

Don't invest in video games

Wikipedia on Video Game Collecting

Top 10 Hardest NES games

5 Nes games of shame

11 NES games you never played

The 100 Best NES Games Ever


Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Blades of Steel was better than Ice Hockey.

Snuke said...

I dunno about that...

Blades of Steel was sweet, but Ice Hockey was the one we had and played the most. Plus, it was nice for fat kids like me because I could actually play as a fat guy...

We actually did have a debate on that one though, so we probably should have put it as Ice Hockey/Blades of Steel...

Another one I wanted to put on there was Double Dragon or Ninja Gaiden, but honestly, there are so many great Nintendo games that it was tough to narrow it down to 10.

There were plenty of others that could have made the list too...

Oh yeah, quick mention -
Looks l ike Diego and I predicted the Super Bowl right...hahahaha the Patriots suck!

Unknown said...

I second the recommendation for King of Kong. I want to punch that one guy right in his head.

Snuke said...

I still gotta check that one out, but I really can't see myself digging a movie about someone trying to break a Donkey Kong record...

But if Mondesi reccomends it, I'll give it a shot...

Sean said...

Yes, I'm a dork, but I think the secret code for Contra was actually
"Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start."

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

The fat guy option for Ice Hockey was nice, no doubt.

BUT I think the fights in Blades of Steel completely trump that option.

And I admit, I actually paid to download Blades of Steel from the Virtual Wii store... and I play it at least two or three times per week.

Also, Double Dribble. When you'd slame dunk and it'd go into that little animation that was the closest thing to real looking ever seen on a video game in the 80s was a magical experience for a little kid to have. We'd just sit there and try to do nothing but dunk so we could see it.

Speaking of hockey games, there was one I rented for Playstation 1 back in the day that I don't know a single person besides me talk about. It was called "Rock the Rink". It was NHL licensed, and when you fought you could actually do finishing moves and stuff. It was kind of like the NHL's version of Blitz (the old one that licensed by the NFL). I think they came out with another Blitz-like hockey game for PS2 called "Hitz", but it sucked compared to "Rock the Rink". If you have PS3 I think you can still play old Playstation 1 games on it, and I bet you could get a copy of this thing for like 50 cents.

Brian said...

Man, this used to be my favorite sports blog. I understand that Raul wanted some help to deal with a growing audience, but still . . . gotta push my way through tons of much to get to the good stuff.

Brian said...

*tons of muck, should say. Nothing wrong with Nintendo, of course.

Anonymous said...

I one hundred percent agree with the number one pick of Mario Bros. 3- being a girl, I was never into any of the games that actually required having control over a whole team of players, so Mario 3 was absolutely my favorite game of all time.
I'm glad to see someone else agrees with me- my boyfriend argues that the best of the Mario series was 2, since you could choose your player, however, I disagree- everyone knows the Princess was the best because she could float, duh.

Koz said...

This list is alright, but it's really missing anything obscure.

Has anyone ever played Dusty Diamond All-Star Softball? It's a weird game, but it had so many features before its time.

Basically you pick your team from an assortment of players (like you might on the playground) so the team combinations are virtually infinite. Also, each player has different skills, and some even have unique talents (ability to hover, or bowl over the catcher, etc).

Anyway, the graphics are basic as all get-out, but the gameplay is amazing and you can play fast pitch or slow pitch.

Check it out if you have an emulator. The cartridge is pretty rare and relatively expensive on E-Bay (compared to dime a dozen NES games).

Unknown said...

How did Baseball Stars not make the cut? Being able to create your own team and refine your players' skills was groundbreaking at the time.

Snuke said...

Like I said before, there were tons of games that could have made the final cut.

Double Dribble was also a favorite of ours, and Baseball Stars was great too. But obviously Duck Hunter and Hogan's Alley could have been there for using actual guns, Track and Field for it's variety of games, and Mega Man for it's variety of bosses.

Just tons of games to choose from, but we apppreciate all the add-ins you guys are throwing our way...

And don't worry, all you guys and girls looking for sports - we'll have a sports-themed one next week, we just felt like with all eyes on the Super Bowl, the timing was right for something a little different from the status quo.

Feel free to email us any ideas you guys may have for a Top 10 - afterall, it is yinz that are gonna read it...

Rege said...

No Metal Gear? Double Dragon 2? Baseball Stars? Skate or Die?

Just some suggestions. Overall sweet list. Keep up the good work

V said...

I hated Bubby Brister so much that I used to put in Rick Strom #11 in Super Bowl Tecmo Bowl.

The lowest point of my life came when my little brother (6 at the time - using the 49ers) beat me (using the Bills) 56-3 in our first Super Bowl Tecmo Bowl game ever. Our relationship hasn't been the same since...

I would like to nominate Maniac Mansion for a top 10 slot. Great, great game.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I prefered Super Mario 2 also.

Except Luigi's stupid legs would keep running in mid-air and aim you right off a cliff most times.

The Princess was the obvious choice for her aforementioned floating ability.

tha friendly stranger said...

Kendalls spittoon....
I agree with you 100% on maniac mansion... I haven't thought about that game in at least 10 years but it was definately a classic. I also think excitebike is up there as well as little league baseball... any1 else remember that game? Chinese tapei was the truth in that 1!

V said...

check it out! maniac mansion beat in 9 minutes!

Anonymous said...

Super Mario 3 as the best NES game of all time?

You obviously never went on a date (to the movies or Century III Mall in Middle School).

You got #'s 2 and 3 right, but you left off the best video game of all time.....

The ORIGINAL Tecmo Bowl, which was the first game to be officially licensed through the NFLPA, though it only had 12 teams.

BTW, I am best person in the world at this game and will play as the 49ers and destroy anyone reading this.

Unknown said...

Ocarina of Time must be included on this list!!!!

Andy Williams | Biz Dev
GameJobHunter, Inc.

Get a video game job at

Anonymous said...