Crystalis

 

With the popularity of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest today, it’s easy to forget that there were other high quality RPGs on the NES. While SNK’s Crystalis was stuck in the shadows of more mainstream franchises, it was nonetheless a very good effort from a studio known primarily for arcade games.

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Nintendo - NES

Contra

 

Konami’s blockbuster arcade run-and-gun came to consoles in 1988 and immediately sparked a co-operative gaming revolution. Contra was one of the few NES games of its time to offer two-player simultaneous play. There’s something special about marching with a friend through a jungle and spraying bullets at everything that moves.

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Nintendo - NES

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

 

After two back-to-back Castlevania games, Konami learned what does and doesn’t work for their seminal horror series. The first Castlevania featured great game design, but treated the plot too flippantly, whereas Castlevania II pivoted too heavily on the storytelling and was brought down by sloppy execution.

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Nintendo - NES

Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers

 

Based on the Disney cartoon series, Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers stars two chipmunks on a mission to rescue their partner Gadget from crime boss Fat Cat. Just as the Rescue Rangers work together as a team, you’ll have the opportunity to enlist a friend in your quest to foil Fat Cat’s evil scheme: the game features two-player co-operative gameplay where player one controls the straitlaced Chip and player two controls easygoing Dale.

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Nintendo - NES

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

 

Dracula is dead, but an evil curse hangs over Transylvania and Simon Belmont must retrace his steps and resurrect the count to seal it. Complicating matters is the fact that Dracula’s body parts are scattered across the land, so Simon’s mission is actually more of an adventure: he must speak with townspeople, barter with merchants, and uncover clues to seal Dracula’s curse and bring an end to the nightmare.

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Nintendo - NES