Let's talk about the NES. Nintendo's flagship system changed the face of video games in the US, and with that change came a library of over 700 games. Today, the gems of that library can put a hurt on your wallet, and too many of the cheap games are just plain STINKERS. If you want to collect on a budget, the key to the NES is NOT to get caught up in the hype, and NOT to waste money on the crap. All of the games below are $50 worth of fun for less than $10 each. Now we're talking cheap game collecting!
The first game that comes to my mind when people ask about great, cheap NES games is Astyanax. Astyanax is a side-scrolling action platformer in the vein of Golden Axe with a bit more of an RPG spin. This game is unique because of its cool use of cut scenes on the NES, its “power” system for your weapon, and the fact that you can level up your weapon to three different strengths as you play. While a bit less challenging than it's pricier contemporaries, Astyanax provides a unique, genuinely enjoyable experience for under $7.00.
You simply CAN NOT broach the topic of bargain NES games without mentioning Xexyz. I have recommended this gem to many people looking to pick up an awesome game "on the cheap". Xexyz is another great action platformer, but this one is a flavorful combination of Mega Man, Gradius, and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. That may sound insane, but hear me out. The Mega Man comparison is straight forward; simply enough, in the platforming stages the jumping, shooting, and general game play is very reminiscent of Capcom's legendary platformer. The Gradius comparison is based on the fact that some of the stages, rather than being platfoming stages, are side-scrolling shooters in which you fly on a variety of animals. Lastly, the Simon's Quest comparison comes from the little “shops” that you stop in throughout the game to get tips and power ups. Hudson Soft put together a really neat game with Xexyz, and you can pick it up today with a cheap price tag of $8 or less!
Next up is an often overlooked Capcom gem called Gun.Smoke. Gun.Smoke is a top down, scrolling shooter where you play as a cowboy trying to clean up a town in the wild West. With your two pistols, a heavy trigger finger, and sometimes even a trusty horse, you tear through levels of evil bandits searching for Wanted posters to face the bosses. This is a fun little romp that is worth picking up for a price tag of $9 or less.
Next up on my list is Wizards & Warriors. I can't figure out if I love this one because of nostalgia or gameplay, but with a price tag floating around $7, trust me, it's worth the gamble. I remember sitting in my friend's room watching him play this game while his mom chain-smoked cigarettes downstairs. All of the crystals and power ups had my 6-year-old head swirling, and I must have forced my mom to rent the game for me 20 or more times when we got our NES. To this day I get the faint whiff of cigarette smoke every time I watch a playthrough...at any rate, this is a must have for the system, so pick it up!
Ok, ok – so you've figured out I have an affinity towards action platformers. To be fair though, NES just had so many good ones! For those of you who aren't fans of the genre, I picked out a 5th game that caps off the list with a bang. Mach Rider is a commonly overlooked, post-apocalyptic motorcycle driving game that plays as a sort of primitive precursor to Road Rash and Super Mario Kart. No, Mach Rider isn't just a racing game. It has a story line in which you can choose different modes where you you ride around on your motorcycle completing missions. It is a really unique game for the system that is often overlooked, but if you love motorcycles, guns, and glory, you need to check this one out! After all, it clocks in just shy of $6!
So, instead of buying that one $50 game with your next paycheck, put it on your birthday list and pick up these 5 gems for $37 or less! You won't regret it!
Check out game play of all 5 games below:
Wizards and Warriors:
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