There is a time and a place for everything. Unfortunately that means that something may not hold up even if it was the biggest thing on the planet at one moment. Remember when Guitar Hero and Rock Band were a thing? Yeah, that’s the kind of example I’m talking about. It doesn’t matter if they hold up or not, because they should be celebrated for what they achieved for this industry.
The same can be said for the following eighteen entries. A lot of them are starters for series that blossomed on to create amazing adventures. Because of that they should be thanked, but that doesn’t mean they are fun to play. Again, the world of video games is ever changing. Oh yeah and just for fun I threw in two timeless treasures.
20 Didn’t: Battletoads
People have been clamoring for a Battletoads game ever since Microsoft acquired Rare. When are we getting a sequel? Well, 2019 is finally the year, but I’m not so sure we should all be excited. The original NES game is a classic, but in that era only. Have you tried going back to it? The game is a brutal lesson in patience.
19 Didn’t: Super Mario Kart
Thank you Super Mario Kart for hours upon hours of co-op fun with my family and friends as a kid. Thanks for also starting the go-kart genre and your series. That’s it. I’m going to seal the box and chuck it into the void now because no one should ever play you in the present time.
18 Didn’t: Star Wars Shadows Of The Empire
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire came out at a time when the license was dwindling. There was very little to celebrate the series for other than the movies, but this game was a huge event seemingly kickstarting the jumpstarting again between this game, a tie-in book, and more. Graphically and control wise though, it’s very bad by today’s standards.
17 Didn’t: Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy is my favorite RPG series and maybe even my favorite video game franchise overall. It has had many low points, but a lot of highs for me too. I love what this first game did for RPGs on the NES, but since then it has been upgraded numerous times. Even then, like on GBA, it’s not really worth trying now except for avid fans.
16 Didn’t: Star Fox
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the gameplay, the story, or graphics. Star Fox is one SNES game that does not hold up. It is well regarded for sporting polygonal graphics on the console, but that didn’t really sell me. They looked like bulky triangles back then and they look the same now.
15 Didn’t: GoldenEye 007
GoldenEye 007 broke the curse of bad James Bond and movie tie-in games. It had an amazing story campaign that mirrored missions from the film in order to let you feel like a spy. The multiplayer is probably more revered though. It had a time and a place, but that period is over now. We simply have better shooters on consoles.
14 Didn’t: Mega Man
The first game is such a weird diversion from the rest of the series if you think about it. There were only six bosses compared to the standard of eight the sequel would make sure of. On top of that, there was a score system. It’s also really hard and not in a fun way. Start with Mega Man 2 and forget about this.
13 Didn’t: Earthworm Jim
I don’t know if you heard, but Earthworm Jim is coming back. There are more problems with that announcement besides the weird console exclusively. It’s more that this series has not aged well. It is the embodiment of weird platformers from the 90s that were a dime a dozen. The world has no need for Earthworm Jim again.
12 Didn’t: Super Mario 64
This is not here because I want to complain about the graphics. I can deal with them especially with a smoothed emulation filter. I just don’t think the controls and camera are as good as we remember. Thank you, Mario, for introducing the world to 3D platformers, but step aside because Super Mario Odyssey is king now.
11 Did: Chrono Trigger
I had a hard time picking just two games that hold up in that I have a lot of favorites. If we’re talking about peak Nintendo gold then Chrono Trigger has to be on here. It was like Square’s swan song for them before they jumped to Sony. And my what a song it was.
10 Didn’t: Double Dragon
You can’t think about beat ‘em ups without Double Dragon coming to mind. There were some before, but the first game was really the progenitor of the genre. Man, what a load of garbage today though. That game does not play fair. I don’t know if this, or Battletoads screws you over more.
9 Didn’t: F-Zero
Does the world need a new F-Zero on Switch? You bet it does. Mario Kart 8 is great, but F-Zero is a different kind of racer. Instead of quirky antics, it’s all about speed and flashy visuals. The original just isn’t that interesting any more though so that’s why we need a sequel or reboot.
8 Didn’t: Conker’s Bad Fur Day
If there were ever a game Nintendo should feel embarrassed about in order to force them to yank their collars nervously, it would be this. I applaud them for letting Rare make a dicey game for the N64 in order to make them appear more mature on par with PlayStation. At the time it did just that. Today though, well, it’s just juvenile.
7 Didn’t: Metroid
The original Metroid is about as fun as drawing maps on scratch paper, which is not fun and is literally what you had to do. It was a solid idea, but one that was limited by the NES’ power. The true birth of what we know as the genre formula today happened with Super Metroid.
6 Didn’t: Pokémon Red/Blue
I cannot begin to tell you how engulfing Pokémon was for myself and my school in 1998. The games, cards, and anime were all anyone could talk about. I was dedicated to achieving all 150 and did it! However l, Pokémon games are like Madden in that they are ever evolving making the quality of life aspects better with each sequel. That is to say, the originals are slow and are a GRIND!
5 Didn’t: Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as the name suggests, is the ultimate crossover game with series branching all over the globe. It is an incredible achievement, but it took time. It makes the original look quaint by comparison. Where was the third party support? There’s really no need to go back.
4 Didn’t: Kirby’s Dream Land
For as much as I love the pink puffball, Kirby has certainly come a long way since his Game Boy days. Did you know he didn’t even have the ability to transform? All he could do was inhale and shoot, which was still cool for the time, but less interesting compared to how powerful he can become today.
3 Didn’t: Turok
GoldenEye wasn’t the only exclusive first-person shooter on the N64. Dinosaur mania was at an all-time high in the 90s and Turok cashed in hard. Even at the time, it wasn’t as beloved but still had a decent following. As bad as the original is I will say the remastered editions on Steam make it more tolerable.
2 Didn’t: Animal Crossing
Putting Animal Crossing on here is probably a little unfair because I have never liked any of the entries. That said I would applaud the 3DS game, New Leaf, which just makes sense compared to the console editions. It’s a lot easier to check in on your little town on the go rather than booting up a console. The Switch version will dominate.
1 Did: The Legend Of Zelda Link To The Past
This is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite game of all time. When I think about my childhood I think of A Link to the Past. The number of times I have traveled these plains is insurmountable and yet I find something new to love every time. This is nostalgia at its finest.