I have done this twice before, once in July '09 before the massive influx of users, and then once again in March '10, after we gained a whole bunch of new people. As you probably should know, if you are a member (and if you are not, why not join up?) we host a games database where all users can add and rate games on Nintendo consoles. And we also average out all of the ratings, to get a (semi-)official list of the top rated games based on the tastes of the Negative World users.
First, a couple of rules. For the sake of this list, I am only counting games that have at least 10 ratings, and I have a new rule as well: I am only counting games that were unique upon release, no collections of previously released games. Of course Metroid Prime Trilogy is going to be very highly rated, it is 3 of the best games ever in one place! But I am more interested in seeing how the individual games fare, and not clogging up the top 10 with collections.
Another small point... although we round to the nearest hundredth for the scores we display, in the calculations no rounding has taken place. So when it appears that games have "tied" in reality one has slightly edged out the other, and I am displaying them in the order they have placed before being rounded.
I have to admit, I kind of missed the boat on Super Mario World first time around, but apparently it is one of the most beloved of the Mario games on the Negative World.
Final Fantasy III (SNES) - 9.6/10 (20 ratings)
Previous ranking: #9 (0)
One of only two non-Nintendo developed games to make our top 10 (both Squaresoft RPGs), Final Fantasy 3 (aka VI in Japan) deserves all of the praise it gets.
Metroid Prime (GCN) - 9.64/10 (60 ratings)
Previous ranking: #8 (0)
If it were up to me, Metroid Prime would be near the top of the list! #8 isn't bad though. Just goes to show how many awesome games have appeared on Nintendo consoles over the years.
Chrono Trigger (SNES) - 9.65/10 (32 ratings)
Previous ranking: #7 (0)
Not much shifting in positions so far... actually, none at all. Chrono Trigger sits neatly in 7th place, as the highest rated 3rd party game on a Nintendo platform ever, according to the Negative Worlders.
Super Metroid (SNES) - 9.74/10 (49 ratings)
Previous ranking: #1 (-5)
Damn! Super Metroid drops hard, losing its #1 spot and falling 5 places. I'm actually kind of curious as to how this happened. Not that there is much room between #6 and #1 on our list, a mere few hundredths out of 10.
Super Mario Brothers 3 (NES) - 9.75/10 (52 ratings)
Previous ranking: #4 (-1)
It may have dropped a spot, but Super Mario Brothers 3 remains the Negative World's favorite 2D Mario platformer. Hey, remember the power wings? SO DO I!!!
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) - 9.75/10 (52 ratings)
Previous ranking: #5 (+1)
It looks like Link to the Past managed to nudge down Super Mario Brothers 3 and steal its spot. Could it slowly be working its way to the top? COULD IT?
Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - 9.76/10 (65 ratings)
Previous ranking: #2 (-1)
Super Mario Galaxy loses a spot, but that should come as no surprise. A certain new game may very well have made its way into the top of our ratings this time around.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64) - 9.76/10 (62 ratings)
Previous ranking: #3 (+1)
Yet again, a Zelda game knocks out a Mario game to gain a spot. I wonder why this would be. Is the Zelda Wii hype getting to people?
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - 9.78/10 (31 ratings)
Previous ranking: N/A (N/A)
And a newcomer bursts straight up to the top of our ratings, knocking everyone down and taking the top spot. Is it new game hype or does Super Mario Galaxy 2 have the legs to remain at the top? Only time will tell.
Once again, only the smallest margin separated our top games, with only a .04 difference between #1 and #6. You know what this means, right? It means that if you haven't rated these games yet, you have the power to make a difference! So get rating! And while you're at it, drop some scores on the games that didn't make our top 10 as well. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is only .01 from making it into the top 10... wouldn't that be interesting if it made the list next time?
Resident Evil 4 has a pretty high median here I think, but a few erm... vocal dislikers... have pulled down the score a bit. I don't even know if it is in the top 20 using the rules I set up (Wii edition is, but would I count the port? Hmm...)
Link to the Past is pretty much the best game ever made. That or Super Metroid.
My only comment is to express immense sadness over the lack of an EarthBound presence here among the Negative Worlders insofar as this top 10 games on a Nintendo platform ranking is concerned. I suppose, though, that this is more Nintendo's fault for cruelly keeping the game from the masses. Yet still... EarthBound easily eclipses the vast majority of games on this list - even though this listing is made of pure gaming gold (save for one).
@Simbabbad The combat in Super Metroid isn't anywhere near bad. It's just that it's far from the focus. Enemies are typically more minor, troublesome obstacles than major barriers preventing your progress. Since the game focuses so strongly on exploration and upgrading Samus to really learn the environment and its secrets, having a convoluted battle system would only slow down the quality aspects of the game. The enemies respawn room by room, and refighting complex monsters with tons of health would get extremely old, extremely fast. It'd be the 2-D equivalent of those tedious Chozo Ghost rooms in Prime 1. And really, the only difference in the combat between Super Metroid and Metroid II is that Super Metroid's is easier due to Samus's larger arsenal. Considering Metroid II didn't require nearly as much learning the world as Super Metroid, that's perfectly fine.
As for the level design, I've always found it brilliant. It's not Super Mario Bros.-style but it doesn't have to be. What works is that the areas are all integrated in a very organic way that makes what could've been a tedious maze-like environment (complete with repeating rooms like the first two games) into a memorable representation of Zebes. There's a healthy balance of dank, creature-filled hallways and more open, branching rooms, and even the series infamous vertical shafts provide variety in traversing them (compare Brinstar's to Norfair's to the Wrecked Ship's, for instance).
The platforming, meanwhile, is terrific in that there're numerous ways to get around. Metroid 1's bomb jump was the start of this, but not anywhere near the level that wall-jumping, shinesparking, and mockballing will get you. There are so many cool areas that wrap around to shortcut to other areas, and so many ways to do things that SM is the most popular speedrunning game of all time. Plenty of sequences in the game mix platforming with action, such as using the Grapple Beam over spikes while light-providing bugs should stay alive, or outrunning a rising tide of acid while blasting a bunch of airborne Norfair Violas, or making your way across a series of platforms that rise and fall into the water to get to an E-Tank.
Return of Samus is a lot simpler by comparison. I got it when it came out and while I enjoyed it, the repeating room design (really, that one large "open" cavern template with the Choob Leech was repeated about 5 times in the game), maze-like qualities of some of the vertical hatches, and pseudo-linear progression just make for a Metroid that's a little too sloppy and simplistic to me.
Super Metroid's design is immensely respected and beloved by, like, everyone in the game industry. I'm puzzled why you'd think it was bad...I mean, I've played through the game probably 15 times (no exaggeration), and every time is incredibly fun due to the clever layout, nonlinear creativity, memorable locations, and the pursuit of the ever-elusive perfect speedrun.
I just rated a bunch of games and realized that none of the Sonic games are even on the damn list, except Secret Rings and Unleashed. Ew. No wonder.
I demand all the actually-decent Sonic games be added to the list immediately:
Sonic 1 (VC) Sonic 2 (VC) Sonic 3 (VC) Sonic & Knuckles (VC) Sonic 3 & Knuckles (VC, lock on) Sonic Mega Collection (GC) Sonic Gems Collection (GC) Sonic Adventure DX (GC) Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GC) Sonic Riders (GC) Sonic Riders Zero Gravity (Wii) Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (Wii) Sonic Advance (DS) Sonic Advance 3 (DS) Sonic Rush (DS) Sonic Rush Adventure (DS) Sonic Chronicles (DS) Sonic Classic Collection (DS)