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?
Well since Mop it up is so kindly aggregating the data… I gotta chime in.
10. DS - Nope! Pokemon HeartGold was better than Black IMO. My favorite DS game is Animal Crossing: Wild World (but Picross DS is pretty much even).
9. GB/GBC - Agree! Link's Awakening is the best game IMO.
8. Wii U - Nope! Splatoon is king. Super Mario 3D World is really good though. Surprisingly we didn't discuss it in our epic Wii U retrospective coming soon to a podcast near you, but we talked about so many other stellar games for the Wii U. It is and will be a great system.
7. 3DS - Agree! A Link Between Worlds was a stellar experience.
6. NES - Agree! Super Mario Bros. 3 is excellent but I almost disagreed in favor of Mega Man 2.
5. GBA - Nope! I'm surprised but I think Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town is the best. Golden Sun is really good too.
4. GCN - Agree! No question. Not a one. Metroid Prime is the game that sparked my love of the franchise. God bless it.
3. Wii - Agree! I pretty much feel Super Mario Galaxy is equal with Super Mario Galaxy 2 but since I voted the original slightly higher in the Game Database, I am fine with that being my pick.
2. SNES - Nope! Chrono Trigger is so good. Maybe even my favorite RPG, BUT… Super Mario World is the better game (or equal, because come on, this is impossible to compare).
1. N64 - Nope! Banjo-Kazooie is king. Super Mario 64 was my favorite until Rare showed up.