With the Nintendo Switch on the way, I thought it’d be fun to revisit Nintendo’s previous platforms and see which games Negative World thought were the cream of the crop. This isn’t exactly a traditional top 10 list, instead I am going to take the single highest rated game from each Nintendo platform and compare them against each other, because uh... well, it won’t really make a very strong point, but it’ll be fun nonetheless, no?
Rules: 1. I will only select original games (no remakes / re-releases, compilations, etc.) 2. I will only select games that have at least 10 ratings.
The DS is a beloved platform, but it is often said that it doesn’t have that one killer game that defines it. The fact that it ended up in 10th on this list despite coming in 5th in our Nintendo platform survivor polls adds some weight to that view. Still, it’s hard to argue with the power of Pokémon, still cranking out great games many years after it was introduced to the world.
NOTE: White Version was rated highly as well, but not quite as highly as Black Version.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (GB / GBC) - 9.48 (41)
I decided to just combine the Game Boy and Game Boy Color into one entry, in large part because the Game Boy Color was a bit of a stop-gap platform. And although it defeats my “original games only” rule, Link’s Awakening is by far our highest rated game on the GBC as well. And because the Game Boy Color’s next highest rated game wouldn’t have made the top 10 list anyway. Whatever, the point is that Link’s Awakening was an excellent game on whatever platform it was played on.
Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) - 9.5 (42)
I’m going to spoil things a bit here and tell you that Super Mario 3D World is not the highest rated 3D Mario game on this list. It didn’t release to quite the same level of fanfare as another 3D Mario game did. However, it still got a ton of love, and introduced some new things to 3D Mario, most noteable the ability to play through all of the stages in full multiplayer.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) - 9.51 (41)
It was tough to know what to expect from a sequel to Link to the Past after so many years, but A Link Between Worlds won over Nintendo fans pretty quickly, and sits atop our list of the best 3DS games. A nice combination of old and new made it a fan favorite on Negative World.
Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) - 9.53 (107)
A classic game that took the Mario formula and added way more to it than we would have ever expected, Super Mario Bros. 3 is to this day one of the best sequels ever made, and a pretty predictable choice for our best on the NES. To be honest it wasn’t even particularly close. What was close, however, is how much it barely nudged out A Link Between Worlds, and barely missed overtaking our next entry...
Mother 3 (GBA) - 9.54 (18)
A bit of a shocker for a title that was never even released in the West to end up so high on our list, but Mother 3 has such a great reputation with Nintendo fans that importers and emulators found a way to play it nonetheless, and they loved it. Here is hoping that Nintendo will finally bring this gem over in the near future!
Metroid Prime (GC)- 9.59 (115)
Certainly one of my personal favorite games of all-time, and Negative World appears to feel the same way about it. I remember being very skeptical of the ability of this unknown Western developer to make a great 3D Metroid game, but Retro Studios pulled it off, creating a modern masterpiece of gaming.
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - 9.62 (152)
Super Mario Sunshine was a great game but a tad bit disappointing to many after the mind-blowing Super Mario 64, so many of us were unsure whether Nintendo still “had it” when it came to their Mario games. Super Mario Galaxy is the game that came along and showed us that yes, Nintendo definitely still had it. Some found it a bit too linear for their tastes, but most loved the vast amount of creativity and compelling gameplay found here.
Chrono Trigger (SNES) - 9.66 (61)
The only game on the list not developed by Nintendo or one of their subsidiaries, Chrono Trigger was one of the defining RPGs in an era where great RPGs flourished. The Super Nintendo was a pretty spectacular console as a whole, and Chrono Trigger barely nudged out games like Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to make this list, but it’s hard to say that it doesn’t deserve it.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) - 9.67 (134)
While one might say this was a predictable choice to top the list, it beat out Chrono Trigger by a mere 0.01 points. Still, beat out Chrono Trigger it did, and thus it sits on top of a very great list of games. Ocarina of Time is one of those monumental games that single-handedly redefined gaming, and it was a lot of fun to boot. Admittedly it’s not my personal favorite Zelda game, but I get why it is held in such esteem. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is nothing less than a legendary game.
So there you go, the highest rated games from each Nintendo platform put up against each other.
But wait Zero… aren’t you missing a platform? Well, yeah, the ol’ Virtual Boy. The thing is, even if I included it, it doesn’t have a single game with at least 10 ratings. And even if I made an exception for it, it still wouldn’t have made the top 10. With that said, Virtual Boy Wario Land has an 8.77 between 9 ratings here at Negative World, so it’s worth mentioning. There you go Virtual Boy, I didn’t ignore you.
Are there any of our picks that you strongly agree or disagree with?
@Shadowlink No, games getting harder as you progress is a difficulty arc based on skills you learn as progressing, perfect game design.
Games arbitrarily having parts where things are harder when your character is more powered up through optional side quests that they did is bad design, because it breaks the whole purpose of doing optional side quests, which is to trade time and effort for the ability to power up your character and give you an edge.
Well, then Ocarina of Time still has solid design then. Because you can destroy Shadow Link (er, Dark Link?) easily with the Biggoron Sword. Which, of course, is acquired via a set of optional side quests, created for the very intention of powering up your character and trading the player's time and effort to give them an edge in battle.
10.) DS: Disagree: - It was a bit hard for me to choose from my favs, but I'd go with Professor Layton. 9.) Gameboy: Mostly agree - Wow, this one is so hard. Link's Awakening is my favorite Zelda, but I still have a place in my heart for Metroid II. 8.) Wii U: Don't disagree, but I might give the edge to Xenoblade Chronicles X. 7.) 3DS: DISAGREE - Fire Emblem: Awakening is by far my favorite 3ds game. 6.) NES: Don't disagree, but Metal Storm mofos! 5.) GBA: DISAGREE - I'd probably go with Fire Emblem, but since I already have Awakening on my list I'll go with Advance Wars. 4.) GCN: Wow, my first straight up AGREE. 3.) Wii: Another mostly agree. I;d love to represent Zelda: Twilight Princess somewhere, but I don't love the waggle of the Wii version. 2.) SNES: DISAGREE - SUPER METROID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1.) N64: DISAGREE - Super Mario 64 by far. It's still the best game ever made.
10) DS: Pokemon Black -- Never played it. Mine's probably one of the Castlevania trio. Or the Phoenix Wright trio. Or Radiant Historia. Or maybe Mario Kart DS and its glorious snaking. Lots of choices, most of which aren't even first party.
9) Game Boy: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening -- Probably would have picked Pokemon Gold, but I finally played Link's Awakening on the 3DS VC and I think that tops the system for me.
8) Wii U: Super Mario 3D World -- Nothing beats Smash 4. Nothing comes close.
7) 3DS: A Link Between Worlds -- Yeah, probably! Best Zelda game, also probably the best implementation of 3D on 3DS.
6) NES: Super Mario Bros. 3 -- I think so, yeah. Could be Mega Man 2/3 or even SMB Lost Levels. Or Zelda.
5) GBA: Mother 3 -- Never played it. Not really sure what I'd give top GBA game to. I guess I'd go with Metroid Zero Mission, though even that doesn't stoke my passions like most games on this list.
4) GCN: Metroid Prime -- Great game for its time, but nah. I'd probably go with Super Mario Sunshine, despite its many, many, many flaws. Melee is a contender. I'd even say Spider-Man 2 is a dark horse candidate.
3) Wii: Super Mario Galaxy -- So many great games to choose from...seriously, this library was absolutely stacked. There are probably ten candidates for my top overall game. I'd put Galaxy 2 slightly above the original, but my favorite overall would probably be Mario Strikers Charged, with Sin & Punishment 2 in the running as well. Galaxy 2 is in the conversation.
2) SNES: Chrono Trigger -- Close, but no cigar. I'd go with Kirby's Dream Course, Super Mario World, or Kirby Super Star.
1) N64: Zelda: Ocarina of Time -- Not a bad game but not in my top ten on N64. Super Mario 64 is on top, no question.
@TriforceBun Hmm. Gamedadgrant gave it a 10, but then again he gave a bunch of DS games a 10. Next highest score is a 9.8 from "Annchovie" and it is her? highest rated DS game on here, but she? only has 2 posts so I doubt she will comment on this thread. Davoid gave it a 9.5 and it is his highest rated DS game on here but he has barely rated on games so who knows if it is his favorite DS game period. A few other 9.5s but they don't seem to be the highest rated DS games of those users.
10.) DS: DISAGREE: - But largely because Black/White was the one generation of Pokemon I skipped. My favorite DS game was probably Phantom Hourglass. 9.) Gameboy: DISAGREE - I have to give it to Pokemon Gold/Silver. 8.) Wii U DISAGREE - Super Smash Bros for Wii U wins this one for me. 7.) 3DS: AGREE 6.) NES: AGREE 5.) GBA: DISAGREE - Another one I haven't played, but The Minish Cap is my favorite Zelda game, and Zelda is my favorite franchise, so I doubt I'd pick Mother 3 over TMC (especially when I didn't really like Earthbound) 4.) GCN: AGREE 3.) Wii: DISAGREE - But only just. I preferred Super Mario Galaxy 2. 2.) SNES: DISAGREE - I haven't played much of Chrono Trigger, but what I played doesn't come close to topping Donkey Kong Country 2 for me. 1.) N64: DISAGREE - As much as I love OoT, I prefer MM slightly, and I think I prefer Banjo-Kazooie over both.
I mean, yeah. Kinda? I don't know. I mean, it's a GREAT game. At the time (and maybe even now?) it felt really new and fresh. It was an exciting new world and new Pokémon, and it had features for days. I poured a LOT of time into it.
But I always cite Dawn of Sorrow as my favorite DS game, mostly due to the circumstances of my life at the time it released, and my nostalgic memories of playing through it. I can't shake my own personal history loose from that game. Plus, that game is just classic and the music is PHENOMENAL. It'd be a contender even if I didn't see it with rose-tinted glasses.
I dunno, the problem with the DS is that the library is so vast and rich. One could throw a dart at a list of DS games and the chances of hitting a classic or well-executed new idea is pretty likely. It's really hard to pick an objective favorite (best).