A preview of the 30 Games Coming to the NES Classic Edition (Games 21-30)

Posted August 19, 2016 by Spencer Birch in Video Games

Here we are at last! The final 10 games you will be playing on November 11 when the NES Classic launches (did you get your pre-orders in yet?). As always, alphabetical order, for great justice.

Games 1-10

Games 11-20



Pac-Man is such a legendary game. Wildly popular in arcades, this game helped to usher in the modern era of games as we know it. It stands alongside games such as Space Invaders and Mario Bros as the godfathers of modern videogames.

Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

Punch-Out!! (yes, you have to put the exclamation points in there!!) was released on the NES in 1987 by Nintendo after a very successful stint in arcades. You play as Little Mac as you fight your way up the ranks of the World Video Boxing Association. After confronting several world class boxers you are finally faced up against Mr. Dream (Mike Tyson in the original version). This game is really fun and is still revealing it’s secrets today! In fact just recently, midwesternhousewives on Reddit discovered that there is a very interesting visual cue programmed into the game alerting you of the exact moment to punch Piston Honda for the one-punch KO. Check out his video below!


Star Tropics

Star Tropics was released on the NES in 1990 and is an interesting game in that it was developed by Nintendo’s R&D1 division, but was never released in Japan. It is a 2D top down adventure game divided into chapters. Through each chapter you play as Mike as he searches for his uncle Dr. Steven Jones who was abducted by aliens from his home on the mysterious C-Island. The original release of the game came packed in with a physical letter outlining the plot and also containing a hidden message that the game prompts you to reveal by soaking the letter in water. Later releases found this letter and the code outlined in the manual, with the Virtual Console version showing an animation of the letter being dipped into water in the digital manual.

Super C

Super C (also referred to as Super Contra) is a 1988 sequel to the wildly popular Contra. It retains the familiar run and gun gameplay of Contra though includes some interesting vertical levels as opposed to the strictly horizontal style of its older brother. One interesting fact about this game is that in Europe and Australia it is called Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces. Ha ha ha, silly PAL regions.

Super Mario Bros.

In 1987 Super Mario Bros. became a household name in the states as it launched packed in with the NES (for $99.99, the standard version of the console had no packed in games and was $10 cheaper). Mario mania had begun in earnest and the shape of platforming, and some may argue gaming itself, was changed forever. Do I really need to explain what this game is? As soon as you read the title you probably began humming the theme song instinctively. Koji Kondo wrote that theme and it stands today as one of the most recognizable pieces of music in history, right up there with Ode to Joy and Happy Birthday. My only hope for the NES Classic version of this game is that we will still be able to access the elusive Minus World. Although mostly uneventful, it’s one of gaming’s most well known secrets.

Super Mario Bros. 2

Super Mario Bros. 2 came out stateside in 1988. In Japan this game was originally released as Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic for the Famicom Disk System, though Nintendo of America found it too difficult and the game was improved upon and converted back into Super Mario Bros. 2 for the U.S. Even after these modifications however, Super Mario Bros. 2 stands as one of the more challenging games developed by Nintendo, and certainly the most challenging Mario game, in my opinion.

Super Mario Bros. 3

We have now reached what many would argue is the pinnacle of Mario games, (I personally am a Super Mario World kind of guy but that is a discussion for a much longer article) which would of course make it one of the greatest games of all time. Super Mario Bros. 3 released in 1990, nearly two years after the launch of it’s predecessor. It retains that seminal side-scrolling platforming gameplay but incorporates new power ups like the Super Leaf and Tanooki Suit. Regardless of how you feel about it’s status as the number one Mario game (or not), you cannot deny that it is a fantastic title that still holds up excellently today. Put this game on the top of your “First to Play” list for the NES Classic.

Tecmo Bowl

Let me preface this by saying that I generally don’t really like sports games. I don’t even really like sports that much (unless Rocket League is a sport, in which case I am a huge sport’s buff)! That being said however, Tecmo Bowl is one of the few sports games that I grew up playing and really enjoying. Released in 1989 as an arcade port, this classic NES game supports two players and has three different play modes. I think it is still a great game and could give you and a friend dozens of hours of fun.

The Legend of Zelda

Ooooh boy, do I love me some Legend of Zelda. This is the game that changed it all for me personally. Launching in 1987 it was one of the first games I played that I would truly say is “open world”. Featuring a battery save system, (remember password saves? Actually, let’s try not to…) The Legend of Zelda allowed you to go anywhere you wanted to right from the get go. Sure, some areas were blocked off requiring Link to obtain certain power up items to access, but for the most part it was a grand adventure that you could lose yourself in for days and days. This is also the first game I played that had a sort of New Game+ mechanic in the form of the Second Quest: A remixed overworld with new dungeon layouts for “super players”.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

The sequel to The Legend of Zelda, The Adventure of Link is a pretty divisive game among fans. Featuring side-scrolling dungeons with a larger top down world map, it radically changed the formula of the Zelda series. This game is well known for it’s difficulty and hilariously terrible localization. Many games of this era mixed up their gameplay and style drastically for the sequel, which is something interesting to note regarding the evolution of gaming in the 8-bit era. Nevertheless, this game stands as one of the most Legendary (I’ll leave in just a minute, I’m so sorry) games on the NES. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely worth your time if for no other reason than to experience some Zelda history.

You're a good man Bagu.

You’re a good man Bagu.

About the Author

Spencer Birch

I dislike long walks on the beach actually, sand gets everywhere and the sun makes it hard to see my screen. Follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/spencermbirch