(also known as "NES" and as "Famicom" in Japan)
The Famicom console was released in Japan in 1983 and in America in 1985/86 as the Nintendo Entertainment System or simply NES. It is by far the most successful game console ever, and Nintendo was a synonym to the word console for Americans. The NES although vastly better than the older consoles, was technically inferior to the Master System, but it had so many good games that it dominated the market (mainly in US and Japan) and sold over 62 million units and 500 million cartridges until 1995, making it the most popular console ever.
There are over 40(!) NES emulators around. The great number of mappers NES uses doesn't make it easy to emulate. Here are the best :
- NESticle : This is probably the best NES emulator with complete sound emulation, excellent speed (playable even on 486), good compatibility and game genie. It comes in DOS and Win9x versions and features a nice GUI.
- fwNES : This is the most complete emulator, supporting the most mappers and even the Famicom Disk System. There is only a DOS version with GUI, and the emulator is slower than NESticle.
- loopyNES : This one also supports FDS, it has good sound, zapper, game genie. It is for DOS.
- Nofrendo : Is a good emulator that supports NESticle' s saves. DOS version only.
Also try these :
REW, JNES, RockNES, FCE Ultra, Famtasia, Ultee, swNES
If you are looking for NES roms try these sites:
Jose Q's emuviews : Many NES (and not only) roms on this excellent site.
Toudy's Emulation : French Site with many NES roms.
Innocent Emulation : A listing of all NES US roms. Be careful, do not use getright or gozilla if you can't download the roms.
ArchNacho & Tortilla-Godzilla's Quality ROMs : Not that many, but with an "alternative" description.
TOP 10 Games :
(Rated by me)
***Download the ROMS here. I own all of the cartridges below so I can keep a backup on my page. Be careful if you decide to download them, as you might be violating copyright laws.
Mike Tyson's Punch Out (1987)
What can I say about this game? I still consider it the best boxing game ever. It is not realistic, your boxer is tiny compared to his giant opponents and he cannot move around the ring. Then, what can you enjoy in this game? Well, the answer is not simple. Perhaps the excellent and easy controls, the quick pace, the ridiculous enemies and their various moves all add up to a highly addictive game that can stand up to many newer games. I can still enjoy my all time favorite NES game and you have to try it if you can stand the horrible - by today's standards - graphics of the console. My only regret is that I was never able to beat Mike Tyson (and now, I can only get to 2 fighters before Mike - I' m a little rusty)...
& Castlevania II - Simon's quest (1988)
I still remember back in 1988 when I visited my cousin in the States. Whoa... the Castlevania game was the coolest damn thing I had ever seen. After a couple of years I got my own NES and the sequel to Castlevania : Simon' s Quest which was significantly different (and non-linear), while retaining most positive aspects of the original game. Both games may not appeal today since the graphics are... NES, but they were very addictive at their time and I, like many others, can still pick up that joystick and go against the Dracula. There is another sequel : Castlevania 3 that is closer to the original, but with better graphics.
Super Mario Bros 3 (1990)
Well, this is perhaps the most popular NES game ever. This was the reference game for the NES console for many years. The gameplay is superb, the graphics and sound are about as much as NES could go. It is an excellent platform game even for today's standards.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III : The Manhattan Project
Ever wonder what could really excite a NES player back in the NES days? I recall that watching the TMNT III intro sequence for the first time really awed me. It was the mature years of the NES and this game features nice graphics (kind of...) and sound (hm...) and an excellent and entertaining two player gameplay. I would play the game to the end over and over along with my friends.
NES Open Tournament Golf (1991)
If there is a game that can really live up to today's competition, then it is NES Open. NES Open is a complete golf game, featuring Mario and has good graphics and sound. Two players can compete against each other in 3 different courses. There is a nice single player option, as the game keeps the player ratings, scores and winnings (NES cartridge battery).
River City Ransom (1989)
I you have seen this game you might wonder what is it doing in my top-10. The truth is that this game with those short Japanese-style characters looks quite silly. Nevertheless, it is quite addictive and fun to play. What you do in this game is to beat up gang members and gang leaders (all very silly looking) to collect money, so as to buy food and items that will provide you with extra abilities. There are some nice moves (like dragon feet), some ridiculous moves (acro circus), and some useless moves (javelin man).
& Super Contra (1990)
Contra is a platform fighting game. You are in control of a "Rambo"-like character that is up against hundreds of tough enemies. The easy controls and simple objective consist to an excellent gameplay. Also, the cool special weapons and two player action add extra value to this title. The only regret is that Contra is very easy. On the other hand, the sequel (Super Contra) is tougher and has better graphics.
OK, the graphics and sound suck by today's standards (the game is 20 years old)... On the other hand the gameplay simply rocks!!! This is Motocross Madness of the 80's. If you can ignore the primitive aspects of the game you will appreciate the excellent maniability of the bike and the fun gameplay. I was lucky enough to play this game a couple of decades ago (1988) when even the graphics seemed nice. The weak point of the game is the small variety of obstacles, so even with the course constructor the game can loose its enjoyment over time.
Kickle Cubicle (1990)
Kickle Cubicle is an excellent puzzle game. Actually it was my favorite puzzle game for a long time. I first played the arcade version of the game which cost me a significant amount of coins. The NES version is a good adaptation. The game also has some action elements and consists of many levels of increasing difficulty.
Kirby Adventure (1993)
Kirby Adventure is on my top-10 to show you about how far the NES went. This is one of the last games for the console, it is a classic platform game with easy gameplay. It is quite easy and has graphics as good as the NES can deliver. The same goes for the sound.