Great NES games that the NES Classic Edition missed out on

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Without a doubt, Nintendo's decision to release the NES Classic Edition is among one of the most clever moves they've made in the last year. Set for release on November 11th, 2016, the NES Classic Edition will be sold for $59.99 USD ($79.99 CAD) and includes 30 pre-installed games.

While the price and list of games are great already, there are some games that Nintendo overlooked when setting up this beauty for sale. As such, let's take a look at what could have been with this list of NES titles that didn't make the cut!

Author's note: Games listed are in no particular order...

#14 - A Boy and His Blob: Trouble in Blobolonia

A game that hasn't seen the light since its remastered port of the Wii remakeA Boy and His Blob is a game about a boy and his blob. In this NES classic players will find themselves wandering about an underground dungeon in an attempt to find and defeat the evil emperor who has taken over the world of Blobolonia.

A Boy and His Blob is a unique game on the NES in the sense that the blob is actually controlled by an AI. Also, the jellybean-based gameplay ensures that players have to memorize and budget their jellybeans carefully to make it through the game. Overall, it's an interesting game concept that is fairly underappreciated and would have been a welcome addition to the NES Classic Edition.

#13 - Kung Fu

Kung Fu - originally known as Kung Fu Master in arcades - is one of the games that everyone has likely played at one point or another. Whether or not they understood what was going on while they played is another question entirely.

Kung Fu is a fairly simple side-scrolling action game in which the player tries to reach the end of the level without getting beat up by hordes of kung fu fighters, all in an attempt to save their girlfriend from the mysterious Mr. X. The game's difficulty is certainly nothing to laugh at, and it makes for a fun 2-player game if you feel like sharing the pain of losing over and over again.

Fun fact: the game was known as Spartan X in Japan, tying in the game with Jackie Chan's Wheels on Meals film that came out just a few months before Kung Fu Master in arcades.

#12 - Tetris

While Nintendo hasn't held the rights to Tetris since 1989, it would have been great to see the most well-known version of this classic arcade style game make a return on the NES Classic Edition. Unfortunately, because of the weird state of Tetris's copyright, it was nothing more than a pipe dream.

Oh well, at least we're getting Dr. Mario.

#11 - Life Force

Riding on the success of other scrolling shooters, Life Force (originally known as Salamander) is a space shooter game that innovated the genre by providing simplified upgrade systems and two-player gameplay. Sure, we already got Gradius - a game heavily influenced by the innovations Life Force made - but you have to honor the classics too!

#10 - Battletoads

The video game equivalent of getting a giant boot to the face, Battletoads was a game about two toads giving a horde of enemies a giant boot to the face in an attempt to save their kidnapped partner, Pimple. 

Battletoads is both notorious and well-loved by many players who owned an NES back in the day. If anyone remembers how rage-inducing the Ride Chasers from Mega Man X were, chances are you weren't tempered by the speed bike scenes in Battletoads.

A challenging classic NES beat-'em-up title, a team of toads named after skin blemishes, and an over-the-top story... what's not to love?

#9 - Duck Hunt

Who doesn't love Duck Hunt? It's a great NES title that used the Nintendo Zapper accessory to simulate a good day out hunting ducks with your dog. Heck, even PETA doesn't have any problem with Duck Hunt.

Duck Hunt was originally released in Japan on April 21st, 1984, and stands as one of the most well known games of the NES (aside from Super Mario Bros.). The reason for the game's success was due to the game coming on the dual-game Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge that came with all consoles bundled with the Nintendo Zapper.

While the laughing dog has a love-hate relationship going on with most Duck Hunt players, I imagine many players would have loved to see this game make a comeback on the NES Classic Edition. Unfortunately, the plug and play console doesn't support the Zapper, so I guess it's a lost hope.

#8 - Metal Gear

Metal Gear fans know of this title, but most players who started the series with the PlayStation title Metal Gear Solid still don't know that Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear series saw its first console debut back on the Nintendo Family Computer back in in 1987.

The NES title features many of the stealth mechanics that would make the series famous in the games that came after it. The game is also canonical with this title and its sequel fitting in between The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid.

While we can't be certain why this game didn't make the cut, chances are that Konami had some say in what made - and didn't make - the cut to the NES Classic Edition. Considering their poor relationship with Kojima, chances are the game was withheld for legal reasons.

#7 - Batman

Back in the June of 1989, Tim Burton's Batman hit the silver screen. In the December of that same year we saw the licensed game released on the NES. The game featured wall jumping, wall scaling, and good old fist-to-face action expected of a Batman title.

The game also featured several big-name DC Comics villains such as Deadshot, KGBeast, Maxie Zeus, Heat Wave, and culminated with a battle with the Joker himself.

Batman (NES) is one of the few well-known licensed video games that actually played well. As such, it would have been great to see this game make it onto the NES Classic Edition. Maybe we'll see a virtual console release someday instead...

#6 - Adventure Island II

Adventure Island is another well-known NES title, however, Adventure Island II is an even better sequel. The game took the original Adventure Island's gameplay and added new features such as an inventory system that let players bring along animal friends that the player saved or any weapons they found along the way.

Other changes and improvements this game made over the original included: shorter stages with no checkpoints, sound-based indicators of hidden egg locations, underwater stages, and vertical-scrolling stages.

Of course, the original Adventure Island would have been a great addition to the library as well. If we only got to choose one though, I'd vouch for Adventure Island II.

#5 - DuckTales

Okay, so I may or may not have selected the above image to get that old theme playing in your head again. This NES classic action platformer developed through a partnership between CAPCOM and Disney is perhaps one of the best known games in the Western world for the NES. It's only a given that the game was destined for success considering the fact that it was developed in part by the same team that made the Mega Man series.

DuckTales has also seen a remastered version since its original release back in 1989, but nevertheless it would have been great to see this game re-released on the NES Classic Edition. Remasters are always nice, of course. However, nothing beats playing the classic. Considering the fact that the NES Classic Edition uses a digital signal via HDMI it would have been great to play this game in pixel-perfect HD.

#4 - River City Ransom

Another game that surprisingly didn't make the cut, River City Ransom is a game that is likely better remembered for its memes nowadays than it is as a game.

River City Ransom was originally released back in 1989, and was a well-known open world action, role-playing, beat 'em up game for the NES and Famicom. The game featured really silly spritework, as well as captions for every scene in the game. If you beat up a character they'd respond with lines like "Barf!" or "Mamaaa!" while they would taunt you in turn if they hit you.

This NES classic is truly something that has to be played to appreciate. Sadly, it looks like we'll have to stick to playing the game on the Wii U and 3DS virtual console.

#3 - R.C. PRO-AM

R.C. PRO-AM is a cute little kart racer that is deceptively difficult. Sure, it looks like it's a game for kids, but unless you memorize the maps and master the controls you won't make it very far. Oil slicks, water puddles, and various other obstacles await your little R.C. car on the tracks so it'll take everything you got to make it through in one piece. The game also features a vehicle upgrade feature, something we take for granted nowadays but was rare back in the day.

R.C. PRO-AM was the game you played because Super Mario Kart wouldn't be released for another 5 years. The game surprisingly plays just as well as it used to, so seeing this game released on the NES Classic Edition would have been a blessing.

#2 - Dragon Warrior III

Okay, so admittedly I love the spin-off title Dragon Warrior Monsters better than I do the main series. Nevertheless, Dragon Warrior Monsters still has a sizable place in my heart.

Dragon Warrior had its first title released on the NES as well, but Dragon Warrior III was the first in the series to have a party size of four characters. The game also featured multiple character classes such as soldier, fighter, wizard, and more which allowed you to customize your team to your liking - as well as improving the replayability factor. Dragon Warrior III is also one of the few games that can leave you terrified of a silver-colored smiling slime.

Dragon Warrior is no more, and has since been rebranded as Dragon Quest. It's the same game, sure. But nothing will ever replace the cringeworthy awesome title of Dragon Warrior in my mind.

#1 - Mother / Earthbound Beginnings

What can I say about Earthbound Beginnings? Well, for starters the game would have made a perfect addition to the NES Classic Edition seeing as Mother never made it over to the original NES. Furthermore, Earthbound Beginnings would sell the NES Classic Edition like hotcakes considering the still-strong Undertale fandom.

Earthbound Beginnings acts as the predecessor to Earthbound, a game released on the SNES in North America that faced limited success due to its poorly thought out advertising campaign. In it, players take the role of Ninten - not to be confused with the nearly identical looking Ness - as he sets out to find the missing mother of a character known as Ana.

The game is one of the strongest RPGs on the original NES console, and it would have been a dream come true to finally play this game on a recreated NES controller. Thankfully, we can still use the NES Classic Edition's controller to play Earthbound Beginnings on the Wii U's virtual console. It still would have been nice to have it on an NES-looking console though...

This list featured 14 titles that would have been great to see on the NES Classic Edition, but even that combined with the 30 titles already on the console only covers 44 of the 713 licensed games in the NES library!

What games would you like to have seen added to the NES Classic Edition? Leave your suggestions in the comments section below!

Published Jul. 26th 2016

Featured Columnist

Author, GameSkinny columnist, and part-time childhood destroyer. David W. Fisher (otherwise known as RR-sama) is a no B.S. reviewer and journalist who will ensure that you get as close to the facts as humanly possible!


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