The NES Classic Edition is clearly one of the most coveted gifts this holiday season, with the mini console selling out across the country and commanding a hefty premium on resale sites like eBay. It was clear Nintendo had a success story on its hands when it first revealed the mini NES back in July, featuring a list of 30 classic titles including fan favorites like Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid and The Legend of Zelda.
But while the NES Classic Edition is jam-packed with nostalgia and some of the greatest video games of all-time, it’s not perfect either. Many fans are wishing that the cord for the wired controller was longer, and then there’s the fact that the system can’t download any additional games in the future. In fact, while the 30 included games are all pretty solid choices, we couldn’t help but notice some of the bigger titles from the NES era that didn’t make the cut. After conducting a survey of the Game Rant staff, we’ve come up with a list of the 5 greatest games that aren’t on the NES Classic Edition.
Nintendo and Mario. Mario and Nintendo. The company and the famous Italian plumber are pretty much interchangeable terms for each other at this point, so it’s understandable that the mini NES includes five different titles featuring his name. At first glance, there’s nothing wrong with Dr. Mario making the cut, but after scanning the full list of games, a glaring omission becomes clear. Dr. Mario is the system’s lone entry in the puzzle genre while Tetris, arguably the most famous puzzle game of all-time, is nowhere to be found.
The only logical explanation here is that perhaps Nintendo thought that Tetris was more closely associated with the original Game Boy than its home console. It’s also not an original Nintendo title, first developed by Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov before being imported to the U.S., with initial release on the Commodore 64 and IBM PC.
No one will ever accuse the original Metal Gear of being the best game in the franchise, but as far as pure classics go, it doesn’t get much better than this. Metal Gear arguably launched the stealth-action genre, even if we didn’t know it at the time.
Our first thought upon noticing it didn’t make the cut was perhaps Konami was refusing to play ball, but the presence of Gradius and Castlevania among the chosen 30 seems to put that theory to rest. Then again, this was the first game ever developed by Hideo Kojima, and we all know what Kojima and Konami think of each other today.