Nintendo's NES Classic Edition features 30 of the best video games of all-time, but we couldn't help but notice that the list features a few glaring omissions.
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.
4 Metal Gear
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.
For what it's worth, the mini NES does include Super C, which was originally released as a coin-operated arcade game in 1988 before being ported to the NES as the sequel to the original game. Super C retains many of the things gamers liked about the first title, including the ability to be played by two players simultaneously.
But it's pretty hard to justify Contra not making the cut for a console called the NES "Classic." Contra is arguably still the most well-known game in franchise history and is responsible for making the "Konami code," or "Contra code" as it was called at the time, well-known around the world. Maybe Nintendo didn't want to include more than one game from the franchise on its list of 30, but for our money, the Big N clearly picked the wrong one.
2 Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Like Super Mario Bros., Castlevania saw three main games released during the NES's lifetime. And also like Super Mario Bros., most fans would say that the third time was the charm. Nintendo has chosen to include the original Castlevania and its sequel, Simon's Quest on the NES Classic Edition, but curiously has left out one of the best games in the entire series.
Castlevania III got rid of the nonlinear gameplay of Simon's Quest and brought the franchise back to the platforming that made the original game so successful. Not to make excuses for Nintendo, but perhaps the powers that be thought it would be better to include Simon's Quest on the final list because of the unique change in gameplay when compared to the first and third titles.
Rare's Battletoads is one of the most difficult games of all-time, but it's also a great brawler that features some of the highest quality two-player action on the system. This is the title that put Rare on the map, long before the days of Goldeneye or Donkey Kong Country.
Anyone wondering why this game isn't on the NES Classic Edition can be forgiven for forgetting that Nintendo and Rare are no longer two peas in a pod. Microsoft now owns the British developer, and Battletoads is one of the game's featured on the Xbox One's excellent Rare Replay collection.
To be fair, there are plenty of other worthy snubs that could be mentioned here. The original NES is one of the most beloved gaming systems in history and if Nintendo had a difficult time cutting the list to 30 then we suppose that's a pretty good problem to have.
What about you, Ranters? Which game are you most disappointed to find missing from Nintendo's final list? Let us know in the comments!