What's Next for the NES Classic Edition?

What's Next for the NES Classic Edition?

Nintendo's mini-NES seems likely to be a hit... and the first in a long line of inexpensive standalone retro consoles.

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NES Classic Licensed Edition

The NES had plenty of really terrible licensed games... but lots of great ones, too. In fact, if you knew where to look (hint: In the corner of the box, for a "Capcom" or "Konami" label), the NES's licensed material could be every bit as good as its best original material. Such a legacy deserves preservation and celebration — and while the cost of re-licensing these games might raise the price on the box a bit, it would be totally worth the added expense.

Adventures in the Magic Kingdom
This Capcom-developed Disney game wasn't based on a specific cartoon property but rather on Disneyland itself. Honestly, though, the zombies you face here are less frightening than the lines these days for Splash Mountain...

Very, very loosely based on the blockbuster 1989 movie, the moody graphics and intense music found in this platformer would have been just as memorable without the license.

Batman: Return of the Joker
A technical tour de force, Return of the Joker used programming wizardry to create huge, gorgeously animated sprites that made the humble NES feel more like a 16-bit machine.

The Bugs Bunny Crazy Castle
Inspired by early ’80s single-screen puzzle action games, this game actually started out starring a different cartoon rabbit altogether — Roger Rabbit. It's fun either way, though.

Chip ’N Dale: Rescue Rangers
Yeah, it's ridiculously easy, but what do you want? It's a game for kids. Emphasis on kids: With two-player cooperative action, Rescue Rangers was basically Contra Babies, in a very good way.

Darkwing Duck
You could call this "Capcom's answer to Mega Man" if Capcom didn't already make Mega Man. It's good, in other words.

Although the play mechanics take some getting used to and some of the requirements for completion can be maddening, this is an inventive, memorable approach to turning the unlikely Scrooge McDuck into a video game action start.

The Empire Strikes Back
While nowhere near as stunning as its Super NES counterpart, this was a solid effort to adapt the classic movie into an action game.

Felix the Cat
An overlooked gem that only recently has begun to receive its due praise, this great-looking platform feels a lot fresher than its vintage mascot.

Fester's Quest
As featured in a recent Retronauts episode, this odd creation puts a side character from The Addams Family into a punishingly difficult top-down shooter.

Friday the 13th
A little rough around the edges, but this action adventure took a fascinating and clever approach to converting the classic horror films into a game in which you seek to protect young campers from Jason Voorhees's predation.

G.I. Joe
A great-looking platform shooter featuring a variety of stage designs, team-based character-swapping, and great boss battles.

G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor
The lesser-known G.I. Joe sequel features a new cast of characters but the same great-looking action.

Golgo 13
A bold and sometimes risqué multi-modal action game that awkwardly (though admirably) attempts to capture the expansive, hard-boiled, freewheeling spirit of the legendary manga sniper it stars.

The Goonies II
Based on the classic kids' movie, this early exploratory platformer sees young Mikey take on the Fratelli gang in a complex labyrinth as he races to rescue a captive... mermaid? Well, why not.

The Jetsons: Cogwell's Caper
A platform game based on a classic cartoon? Who'da thunk it? But it's by Natsume, so you know it's pretty good.

The Little Mermaid
This under-the-sea adventure may strike traditionalists as one made for little girls (because it stars a girl), but Capcom's admirable lack of 8-bit sexism means it's as good, and as tough, as any 8-bit game for boys!

Krusty's Fun House
There were a lot of Simpson's games for NES, but this weird little offshoot that features Krusty the Clown battling mice is the only one you'd actually want to spend time with today.

Little Nemo
Inspired by an obscure anime based on an ancient newspaper comic, this unconventional platformer is weirdly difficult but bursts with creative ideas.

Monster in My Pocket
Not to be mistaken for Pocket Monsters, this ghoul-centric action platformer features all the exquisite touches you'd expect from Konami.

A curiosity, this uneven action game has its appeal, placing Stallone's veteran warrior in a sprawling simulation of the jungles of Vietnam and incorporating a simple RPG leveling mechanic.

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary
This game didn't exactly go where no man had gone before, but it retread adventure tropes in a fashion that felt classically like Trek.

Star Wars
There were two Star Wars games for NES; while we'd probably get JVC's American release, we really ought to petition for Namco's bizarre game for Japan.

While often regarded as the weakest of Capcom's Disney games, a less-than-spectacular Capcom shoot-em-up still beats 90% of the NES library.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
Despite reducing its cooperative player count from the arcade's four to a mere two, this adaptation of the coin-op beat-em-up was a huge hit — and even added some new stages and bosses to the mix.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project
Designed from the ground-up for NES using TMNTII as its foundation, The Manhattan Project was Konami's finest 8-bit Turtles-related creation.

Yes, Tetris is a license now, which is why it's been delisted from Virtual Console! Nintendo would probably pony up for their own release, but if they really loved us they'd give us the uglier but more advanced Tengen version.

Tiny Toon Adventures
Konami answered Capcom's Disney Afternoon threat by picking up a bunch of contemporary Warner properties. Don't tell the fanboys, but Konami's games (like this one) were actually better and more polished.

Wacky Races
Don't be fooled by the title: There's not really much to do with racing here. But it's arguably the coolest thing ever to come from a Hannah-Barbera license anyway.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
A confusing and difficult game, yet you have to admire Rare's attempt to turn a cartoon murder mystery movie into a graphical adventure murder mystery game.

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