Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is one of the best Super Nintendo games ever made, introducing Nintendo’s plucky plumber to the grand world of the Japanese role-playing game. Nintendo was so pleased with its performance that it has since created two separate branches of spin-offs in Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi that try to emulate that classic feel. Apparently the creative juices aren’t flowing quite as freely at Nintendo as they usually do, as the latest Mario RPG game Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam takes those two spin-offs and simply mashes them back together.
Is the world of Pokémon really all about Pokémon? Certainly to an extent it is, but there’s another aspect of each game that’s arguably as important as the pocket monsters themselves. They’re the gates that test your skill at every major turn in a Pokémon game. They’re the focal point of every city and the checkpoints on the way to becoming a true Pokémon master. It’s not just about raising every available critter you like. It’s about building a balanced team that will meet these challenges head-on. Of course, we’re talking about Pokémon gym leaders. Maybe they’re on this list because they were just too ridiculous to forget. Maybe they’re here because they brought something to the table that the other trainers didn’t. Or maybe they’re here because their ridiculously difficult challenge was the stuff of nightmares. Either way, these gym leaders are the boss battles that have made 20 years of Pokémon a worthwhile series of journeys. These are the 20 Best Pokémon Gym Leaders.
17 years ago, Masahiro Sakurai and his team at HAL Laboratory introduced us to the crossover fighting game that featured Nintendo's most popular characters. In case you've been living under a rock, Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game that features the likes of Mario, Samus, Link, Fox McCloud, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and more. It allowed gamers to settle the schoolyard debates they had in the '90s as to who could win in a fight, Mario or Link. After all those times Donkey Kong kidnapped Princess Toadstool, it was nice to be able to play as Mario and finally punch that ape in the face.
Super Mario Maker’s debut has proven to be so much bigger than anyone could have anticipated, and it’s sparked the creator in all of us. Not only that, but the level of creativity that has emerged outside of just increasingly difficult levels is what keeps the community surrounding this game thriving. Themed levels, gimmick levels, even recreations of other games in Mario Maker all how off the tremendous level of depth the seemingly simple level editor has to offer. Recreations of levels and areas from other games or focusing on one mechanic to create an entirely new experience are just the tip of the iceberg in Mario Maker.
Many first-party Nintendo titles are geared towards general audiences who want to have fun with the game they have without having to worry about all the bells and whistles of online gameplay. While this means that many of Nintendo's games are pretty shallow when it comes to online functionality/multiplayer, they're meant to be enjoyed with a group of friends in the living room.
If Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash were a book, it would have the cover of an epic novel and the pages of a children’s book. What was billed as a fun and engaging Mario sports game is lacking in both, and instead presents a shallow game that takes all of twenty minutes to fully experience. In a year where Nintendo seemed to make massive strides, delivering a major new IP and finally showing some understanding of how DLC can make games better, Mario Tennis Ultra Smash serves as an unwanted reminder of how Nintendo used to work.
Nintendo is no stranger to cooperative multiplayer in its games. Recently, games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Bros. U have integrated four-player co-op in their main story modes. However because those games were designed with only one player in mind, the resulting multiplayer experience was chaotic to say the least. Nintendo has also given us great multiplayer experiences with games like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes falls right in the middle of those two gameplay experiences.
If cute things make you barf, then make sure the trash can is next to you every time you boot up Yoshi's Woolly World. Every single thing in the game could melt even the coldest heart. The enemies are cute even though they're dangerous, the Yoshis are insufferably adorable, and the unlockable costume colors for the Yoshis are just the best thing ever, especially with amiibos. Duck Hunt Yoshi? Ness Yoshi? They and the rest of Yoshi's Woolly World constantly made rainbows spew out of my mouth... but was it any good?
Many of the games listed here on the 10 Best NES RPGs were either advanced ports of or heavily inspired by the CRPGs of the early-to-mid 1980s. Many of these Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom role-playing games would go on to become more popular than the games that inspired them, but this was a pivotal point in time where the gaming scene started to change. Nintendo started to become the dominant hardware developer in terms of home gaming, and the RPG genre started to trickle its way onto the NES. Unfortunately, not every RPG that was made in Japan was able to cross the pond to the United States and vice-versa.
It's time to reminiscence about the company's first game that made us want to pull our hair out, Duck Hunt, and it certainly wouldn't be the last.