Top 25 Nintendo Games Of All Time: 21-25
If there's one video game company in the industry that knows its audience it would have to be Nintendo. Not only has the Japanese publisher been churning out hit after hit, they have been revolutionizing and leading the industry since 1983 when the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) launched in 1983 in Japan and 1985 in North America. They have moved from console to console and have never even looked back once -- okay, maybe the Virtual Boy was a mistake -- as they continue to push forward with new entries in their popular series while also introducing titles to keep it fresh.
GameZone has gathered our staff to discuss the Top 25 Nintendo published games of all time. Over a month period of time, we deliberated, we debated, we even exchanged a few red turtle shells to knock each other out of the running to nominate our favorite games, but most importantly, we gave tender care to our personal list that we reveal to you today.
25. Punch-Out "Just about every boxing game ever is more realistic than Punch-Out!!, but none of them match up with entertainment value. Moving up the ranks from one absurd stereotype to the next may have demanded a ton of pattern recognition, but it was so well-designed that it never felt unfair or frustrating. The climb to Mike Tyson was something you earned, unless you just used a code to skip to the end." - Joe Donato
"The original Punch-Out!! arcade game wasn't nearly as fun as it could've been, due to its dual-screen gimmickry and installation of a quickie knockout button. But the NES version, with its simpler execution and visual display, was nothing short of a champion. The varieties of enemies you face, from King Hippo to Mike Tyson (in earlier versions of the game), make it worth fighting through over and over again. Check out the Wii version if you get a chance, too." - Robert Workman
"This is the game that made us appreciate video game boxing. Sure, it was loosely based on the sport, but it was fun as hell. We didn't know it at the time, but Punch-Out!! was a hard lesson in pattern recognition and lightning fast reflexes. It schooled us, and very few had the patience, skill and the cojones to beat it." - Jacob Lopez
24. Super Smash Bros. Melee "Nintendo fans dreams came true when they were able to go settle the feud between Link and Mario in Super Smash Bros. The sequel, Super Smash Bros. Melee not only sported superior graphics, but upped the roster to 26 characters, added more character-themed stages and so many unlockables, that fans are still aiming to unlock everything to this day. Its multiplayer gave reason for people to gather in the living room to settle their differences and even spawned major tournaments. It's no wonder that Melee is the Gamecube's best selling game." - Michael Splechta
"The Super Smash Brothers series is a crazy idea that paid off. For the first time people could answer the "who would beat who in a fight" scenarios. As the second game in the series, it improved upon the first game by having a bigger roster and better stages to fight in. I had many sleepless nights I endured due to play just one more round." - Michael Knutson
"Brawl for the Wii is the new kid, but Melee still stands as the most balanced and accessible entry. Melee features a superstar cast of Nintendo gaming, but who doesn't love the chance to laugh at their friends after beating them mercilessly with Jigglypuff?" - Brian Rowe
23. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess "This is one of the defining games for the Nintendo Wii near its release. After the Adult Link was shown, excitement rose as fans of the series finally received a more mature storyline than what was seen in previous games. For the first time players got to step in the shoes of Link with the help of the motion controls, and it made for one fun ride." - Michael Knutson
"After years of the cartoon-like Link introduced in Wind Waker, Twilight Princess was a long-awaited return to form for Zelda. Though introducing new adventure elements into the fold with Link's wolf transformation, Twilight Princess was a new adventure with the classic feel of Ocarina of Time in other words, exactly what Zelda fans were craving only updated to modern gaming standards." - Steve Haske
"In Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, fans were finally treated to a badass young adult Link, who also transformed into a wolf. His quest was to save Hyrule once again from the Twilight Realm, which was consuming the world in darkness. Not only was it a success critically, but fans finally got a worthy successor to Ocarina of Time, that looked stunning." - Michael Splechta
22. Conker's Bad Fur Day "This naughty squirrel is one of the industry's first bad boys. Who doesn't love drunken rodents with a penchant for lewdness? The characters are crazy, wasted, or buxom and lovable in the spirit of naughtiness. The creativity of this game makes it strangely timeless, and just like farts, it will always be funny to those predisposed to immature humor." - Shayna Gibson
"Far from the cuddly platformer it was initially going to be, Conker's Bad Fur Day still stands out as a milestone in gaming history. The South Park-esque humor, sexual innuendo and language went to places games dared not go back then, while still managing to keep Rare's trademark platforming goodness. Not even the censored Xbox remake can touch this raunchy romp." - Steve Haske
"Nintendo is not generally known for vulgar and offensive games. Conker's Bad Fur Day was definitely one of them. Being a game aimed at adults, it featured graphic violence, movie parodies, sexual themes and a lot of toilet humor. All I can say is: 'Nintendo, more of this, please!'" - Michael Splechta
21. Paper Mario "Even with Mario at his thinnest, he provides a deep and engrossing experience. Paper Mario takes you on an interesting adventure with what use to be common enemies, now acting as companions, each with their own personality. Paper Mario has hilarious dialogue and brings an interesting take on turn based attacks with the player having press certain buttons at the right time to deal more damage." - Mike Fischer
"Paper Mario was my first RPG. I played it religiously for weeks and recall spending many late Friday nights just getting enveloped in the game's world. Aside from Ocarina of Time, it was the most I had ever interacted with NPCs. As a result of the digital bonds I formed, a bit of sadness accompanied my triumph the night I finished the game." - David Sanchez
"Super Mario RPG is a great adventure, but Paper Mario somehow managed to top it with an easier battle system (perfect for the all-ages demographic that Nintendo was shooting for) and a nouveau 2-D style visual set-up with characters as thin as a piece of paper. Oddly enough, despite their physical demeanor, these characters are quite memorable, especially the lovable Goombario. They make this journey well worth revisiting, time and time again." - Robert Workman
We will reveal five more titles tomorrow, so make sure to continue reading to find out what has made our list.