Nintendo Classic Mini: the top 10 games you can play on Nintendo’s remodelled NES console

With a full review of the Nintendo Classic Mini incoming, T3 rounds up 10 of its best, classic NES titles

If you were a child of the 80s or early 90s, the chances are you spend hours sitting in front of the telly stomping on Goombas, collecting stars and battling pixelated enemies on Nintendo's iconic NES console.

Now 30 years on *gulp* from is launch, you can relive those 8-bit memories on a considerably thinner telly, as the makers of Mario have fed their console a mini mushroom to shrink it the size of your palm without the need for games cartridges.

The Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System launches on 11 November for £50 and comes complete with a full-sized classic remote and 30 pre-installed games so you - or your kids - can rediscover the joy of NES games in high definition at 60 Hz. There's even the option to set the graphics so it looks like you're playing on a slightly dodgy CRT telly – ah, the memories.

From Super Mario Bros. to Metroid, we've picked our favourites.

Super Mario Bros

We now accept two plumbers are capable of battling villains and saving a princess, but when Super Mario Bros. launched in 1985, it was revolutionary. The NES title was the first scrolling 2D platform game to feature Mario and was set in the Mushroom Kingdom where Princess Toadstool (re-named Peach) was imprisoned by Bowser – and you know the rest. Using the wonderfully un-ergonomic controller that comes with the console, fans of the franchise can button-bash their way through eight worlds, sliding down pipes and bouncing across platforms, to re-live the original game in all its glory. The console also comes with Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 - because you can never get enough.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda has become increasingly intricate and beautiful with the launch of every new Nintendo console, but the story began in 1987. The action-meets-puzzle game introduced the hero, Link, who players guide on a hazardous quest with only a sword, shield and their wits to collect eight pieces of the Triforce and save Princess Zelda. While the game may look antiquated by Xbox One standards, it set the bar high for future role-playing, non-linear games and was incredibly popular, with some 6.5 million copies sold.

Bubble Bobble

A game centred on two cute dragons may not sound immediately captivating, but Bubble Bobble is one of the most addictive NES titles and one of the first to offer multiple endings. The game, starring Bub and Bob, allows one or multiple players to travel through 100 levels by blowing and bursting bubbles to dodge obstacles, kill enemies and collect candy power-ups that let the duo move faster, as well as umbrellas, which let them skip a level. Most notably, the action game has multiple endings, depending on a player's prowess, so if you did complete it as a kid, you might get a whole new experience this time round with all that extra wisdom you've amassed over the years.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong has spawned dozens of spin-offs, but the original game was a platform offering with puzzles thrown in, bemusingly set on a building site – because where else would you find a gorilla? Players can once again get to grips with throwing barrels as weapons and navigate the perils of the platforms in a charmingly pixelated way. Over the years, the unlikely franchise has sold over 40 million units and intriguingly introduced Mario four years before his brother came on the scene in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Dr Mario

Before Candy Crush began to eat up the hours, there was Dr Mario – a classic colour-matching game on the NES that will probably consume your time once more. There's a catchy soundtrack and the improbable premise that a plumber has turned his had to herbal medicine to get to grips with, but the game itself is simple. The player must manipulate a constantly changing grid to destroy viruses by using coloured capsules that drop down. They can master ever-trickier stages as they help Dr Mario vanquish the viruses in each level.

Final Fantasy

If you have played one of the many Final Fantasy games, including the latest instalment Final Fantasy XIV on the Playstation 4, it's worth going back to see where the epic fantasy franchise began. The game, which launched in 1987, has an elaborate backstory but essentially allows players to be a warrior, martial arts monk, fighting thief or magical white mage, battle monsters and collect weapons, items and spells as they wander through a magical pixelated land. While the original may not have the dreamy graphics or more recent versions, it sets the scene for the expansive franchise and it's easy to see why people fell under its spell.


If Super Mario and Zelda had a lovechild, it might be Metroid. The NES classic combines the platforms of Nintendo's most famous game, with the sense of adventure and open-ended structure of The Legend of Zelda. Although it looks more basic than brooding now-a-days, NES Mini gamers can play as space bounty hunter Samus Aran to protect the galaxy from cosmic pirates, collecting items and exploring the map as they go. There are 11 Metroid games in the series and as of September 2012, it had sold more than 17 million copies.

Kid Icarus

When Kid Icarus launched in Japan in 1986 and came to Europe and the US in 1987 it was a big rule-breaker, mixing up elements from the burgeoning videogame genre. The plot centres around Pit's quest for three sacred treasures that he must collect to save Angel Land and its ruler, Goddess Palutena. Players can fight mythical monsters guarding items all over again using the revamped console. While the game wasn't a huge hit when it launched, it's now considered a cult classic and it's pretty tricky, so it will keep you busy for a while.


Halloween may be over for another year but players who like their games spooky will enjoy Castlevania – a dark fantasy title that captured NES players' hearts when it was first released in 1986. Players take on the role of Simon Belmont who is descended from the Belmont Clan – a formidable family of vampire hunters. Once inside Dracula's castle, dubbed Castlevania, players must fight their way past obstacles to eventually vanquish Dracula himself using Belmont's main weapon – a whip - although boomerang crosses and holy water can also prove handy. Like in Super Mario, it's worth keeping an eye on walls that can be struck to yield extra weapons.

Mega Man 2

Mega Man 2 is considered one of the best 8-bit games out there with great controls, music and levels that have just the right amount of difficulty to them. In the platform game, set sometime in the early 21st century, the evil Dr Wily builds a fortress guarded by robotic henchmen led by eight formidable masters who gamers, playing as Dr Light, must defeat. What more could you want from a futuristic thrilling game?

Need even more nostalgia? Then check out this cool video: