The Best of the ‘90s: The Top Five Nintendo Games of My Childhood

Being born in the late ’80s gave me the opportunity to witness first-hand how the gaming industry evolved from 8-bit games played on handheld devices to the game consoles featuring HD videos that we know today.

Before the era of HD and motion-sensor consoles, however, my sibs and I used to play on either our GameBoys or our Family Computer. When I look back on those days, one game developer resounds in my head: Nintendo.

If you were born, more or less, during the same decade as I am, then you will probably remember these games that made up my childhood:

1. The Super Mario Bros.

Of course, who can forget the lovable characters of Mario and Luigi? With the help of power-ups and extra lives, these brothers overcome challenge after challenge just to rescue Princess Toadstool from the dragon Bowser.

Since I’m the eldest, I always get to play Mario. During that time, there were no memory cards yet. So my sibs and I literally spend hours playing, so we can get to that flag at the end of each stage with the least amount of time falling prey to the enemies.
Super Mario Bros

2. Tetris

This is the grandmother of all shape-turning games. Tetris provided another avenue of addiction for both children and adults when it first came out. L-shaped, S-shaped, I-shaped, and squared-shaped Tetriminos fall down faster and faster with each stage. Today, we see hundreds of spin-offs of this game.

Do you remember how much you attempted to fit each falling shape within the screen? How about the amount of anticipation you felt for the I-shaped block to be the messiah of your game? I sure do.
Tetris Games

3. Pokemon

This game gave birth to the popular children’s anime featuring Ash and his friends, as he rises up to the challenge of being a Pokemon master. Before the TV series, however, the Pokemon franchise initially created a series of role-playing games (RPG), which allows each player to become a Pokemon trainer and collect the list of Pokemons on the Pokedex.

When this came out, I simply refused to put down my GameBoy. Yes, I got scolded for ‘bout a hundred times each day, but I needed to get back to that world and, well, catch ‘em all. How I wish I could go back to those days when the only hard decision I had to make was choosing who my first Pokemon was.

4. Donkey Kong

Did you know that Mario debuted in the first Donkey Kong (1981) game?  To the young ones reading this, I bet that’s news to you. Provided, of course, that you do know how to play Donkey Kong.

This game is pretty much straightforward, but it did provide harder challenges as the levels go on.

Similar to the gameplay of the Super Mario Bros., Mario has to rescue the princess from the antagonist Donkey Kong. However, that big ape will pound on his big hairy chest and throw down barrel after barrel towards you, so you have to jump and run in perfect timing as you get to the princess on top of each level.

Donkey kong game

5. The Legend of Zelda

This game developed my love for RPGs, to be honest. Providing a perfect combination of fantasy, action, and strategy, users follow the story of Link as he fulfills his quest to rescue Princess Zelda. Hmm, I wonder why Nintendo seems obsessed with the damsel-in-distress plots.

Anyway, since this is for single players only, I remember taking turns with my sibs as we control Link in solving puzzles and defeating enemies within the dungeons he enters. To this day, the Legend of Zelda franchise still releases games for varying platforms.
The Legend of Zelda

Sometimes, it’s good to look back at my gaming history—back when my idea of Nintendo repair was blowing on cartridges and tapping them gently on my palm. Fast forward to today, regardless of how advanced the technology used on gaming consoles are, these games will forever be etched on the memories of ‘90s kids out there.

Jay Manangan is a online marketing strategist for Repair Labs and Fix-iphones, An industry-recognized specialist in computer and gadget repair. He spends most of his time on the internet, reading technology and computer blogs. He’s the axeman of a band called “ManMinusMachine”.

Comments (17)

  • I do not own a Wii, I got the PS3 lately and am enjoying good games on the same. But I should confess that the most used feature i use is the bluray player 🙂

  • You forgot to mention Contra bro. It is super awesome action game and I play it even now on my laptop using nestopia.

  • yeah Naser! I forgot to mention contra, legend of kage, spartan x, ninja gaiden series, poo yang.. hehehe

  • After reading this article i remember my childhood memories. I am also a big fan of all this games, in my childhood i play this games daily for more than hours, it entertain me a lot. Thanks for giving me my childhood memory back. Today, games like Nintendo, angry birds are available with great quality, but above games have special space in every ones life (Game Lover). I like your blog.

  • Mate you really brought back the memories of the good old day haha!
    I used to play super mario every day and will never forget the good old days.
    I even remember on world 4-3 if I am not mistaken you could jump over the flag.
    Today I have a ps3 and its a while different world lol.

  • Hehe Nice one! Tim Anderson. me too, I still have my rusted famicom but still working. Im trying to do a speed run on mario bros and mega man.

  • Mario is best game in School time. I was playing 2-3 hours daily. this is really Nice..

  • @Ravi yeah Mario Bros is an awesome game. I also like Karateka, Best game ever!

    @Tanvi it really brings back the memories hehe.. Im making a new article about the best games on the playstation 1 hehe

  • Excellent list! I always grew up playing those games. In fact, I bought a Nintendo Wii recently just so I could download older Nintendo games. I bought Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers. The next purchase I make will have to be Earth Worm Jim and NBA Jams.

  • @Aj Williams what emulator you’re using? I dont have nintendo wii but I have Nes emulator for PC and I have Famicom. hehe!

  • Me and my wife were talking about this the other day. She was a zelda fan and I was a Mario and Kong fan. Amazing to see how far games have now come but reading this article makes me want to look on Ebay for a SNES ha ha

  • @Craig Im not a zelda fan but that game is awesome..I play that on my nintendo 3ds

  • Awesome Post! This is very wonderful for me. I used to play super mario every day and will never forget the good old days. I bought Donkey Kong and Super Mario Brothers. And i am going to purchase new games.Well thanks for sharing this post.

  • @Neha No problem! Im glad you like my post. Be sure to check out my other post http://www.techtricksworld.com/2012/09/10-ultimate-rpgs-available-for-android.html the post is about “RPG games for android OS!”

  • Haha.. I’m glad you include Donkey Kong in your list. That game is the best 2D game i’ve ever played in my entire life. Really. Recent consoles may have many awesome jaw-dropping 3D games, but Donkey Kong series is simply awesome in many aspects, graphics, gameplay, storyline and great hidden contents inside the game.

    As a matter of fact, at the end of this week, i’m gonna take a quick rest from what i’m doing right now. I think i wanna that game again. No kidding. 😀
    Brian Johnson recently posted…Learning More About Bioshock Infinite Storyline in Simpler WayMy Profile

  • Your favorite retro games happen to be the same with mine. I also love playing Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country series. In fact, I always play Donkey Kong series over and over again because I just can’t get enough of it. It’s a brilliant retro game ever.
    Tim Miller recently posted…Samsung GALAXY S6 and S6 Edge Announced: More Improved Designs and HardwareMy Profile


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