The... TOP 10!

Hey there, y'all. This is my personal top 10 fav's and why in ascending order... enjoy!

10. Pirates!
Well, here's number 10. How many people have actually heard of this game anyway? I was first introduced to this game in 1996, and I liked what I saw. The graphics aren't bad, but that's not why I like it. This game is extremely original, and interesting. An excellent mix of adventure and battle with a nice level of strategy. The only complaint I have is that  the Easy setting is far too easy and  with the Medium setting it becomes too irritating to control your boat.

9. Paperboy
I know what you're saying to yourself... "Hey... Paperboy? That game is lame!" I beg to differ. Paperboy is a good game. Everyone has heard of Paperboy. You bike down your paper route avoiding the standard obstacles... tornadoes... construction workers... break-dancers... old women with knives... death himself.... all the while only trying to do your job. Deliver papers. I really like this game, and there isn't really a valid explanation. I just love to play it. I'll go back for it time after time. Maybe it's that arcade feeling it has? Could it be the Rampagesque repetitiveness? Frankly, I don't know.

8. Rockin' Kats
If there is one thing that stands out about this game it's the graphics. As I always say, graphics don't make the game. This is no exception. I especially like games when the action becomes more intense, and the challenge increases as you play. Rockin' Kats not only accomplishes that, but it always packs some new surprises in around every corner! If this game was any more complete, it might as well be Darkwing Duck...

7. Darkwing Duck
Ahhh... Darkwing Duck. I've always liked this game. Capcom always seems to make the best games. Good control, nice graphics... they cut all the nonsense. Darkwing Duck is very similar to Rockin' Kats, in my opinion, except Darkwing Duck has more levels... and Darkwing actually has projectile weapons. One thing is for sure about this game, though. It wouldn't be this high up the charts if I didn't love the cartoon. That does, in fact, have an impact on my reasoning.

6. Maniac Mansion
Okay, okay. For years and years I despised this game. It seemed to slow and impossible to me. One day in 1997 I picked it up and started playing it again, though and was hooked. It's a delightful little puzzle game if you ask me. Very soon after entering the mansion you can pretty much go wherever you want to, which is good. And, who you pick for the adventure really impacts the story line, which I like.

5. Contra
Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start. Who doesn't know that classic code for this classic game? This is an excellent game. No impossible to use gadgets. No difficult controller combinations. No puzzles. Just run, jump, shoot. I believe this is what "Suitable for 2 players" was invented for. Who hasn't spent hours playing this game with their best friend? If you haven't... do so immediately. Contra the most action you can cram into 8 bits.

4. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Before The Champ was a rapist, before Mr. Dream was the guy to beat, and before the sequel "Mike Tyson's Break-Out!!" was in the works there was a great game. I think that this was the first game that had a professional athlete's name attached to it. It was also the first that had it removed. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! is a superb game with one of the most original setups possible. It is the only game of its kind for the NES, in fact. Why am I so picky as to call it Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! and not just Punch-Out!!? Because in Mike Tyson's version, you get to beat up on an actual heavyweight champion. It's that simple.

3. Skate or Die!
Okay, that's 3 games on the top 10 with exclamation marks in the name. The punctuation, however, is not my reason for selecting the games. Skate or Die! is a very good game with several events to compete in. Unlike California Games, Skate or Die! isn't tedious and it presents some single player fun. Of course, if you've got some compadres either game will do, but who has their friends over all the time? Skate or Die also has phenomenal replay value, for me. I play this game at least once a day. I challenge anyone to beat my high scores! "Semper fi" or die!!

2. Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy... the game that started it all. I dare any FFVII buff to go back and play through Final Fantasy, if you haven't already. In my opinion this is the greatest role playing game that there ever was. You can select your own party to balance it to your own tastes, unlike FFII, where you have to have that set of five at the end. Some characters can learn Magic, and some can't, unlike FF3, where anyone can learn any spell. The game can be incredibly easy, or incredibly difficult, depending on your choices during the game and what party you choose. Although I don't play this game as much as I play Skate or Die!! I still consider this a superior game. Oh, and if you need anything for this game... information, hits, tips, Game Genie codes... I have it all. Just ask.

1. Gargoyle's Quest II
And the number one game is... Gargoyle's Quest II. Once again, Capcom has given us a gem. Although I don't play this game as much as Final Fantasy or Skate or Die!! I do think of it as the best game ever for the NES. It's highly original and supremely fun. You get all sorts of nifty breathable weapons including the claw (which looks more like a bubble... huh) and Demon Fire. Flying in this game may be awkward at first, but it isn't too hard to handle. The game never looses it's challenge right to the bitter end. The only complaint I have about this game is that they could have drawn the fire better... which sounds rather knit-picky. But, the main reason that this game is number one is Firebrand. The coolest video game anti-hero ever cooked up.

Closing notes:

You may have noticed that no Zelda or Mario games showed up on this list. Although fun to play, I don't consider them to be in my top 10 favorite. So, I don't want any letters saying "you forgot Zelda!" I didn't forget. He just didn't make it. (And Paperboy did, so there.)