Twenty years ago, when the video game industry was still reeling from what has been commonly referred to as "The Video Game Crash of 1983", a small console called the Nintendo Entertainment System made a big splash.
It was October 18th, 1985, to be precise, when the NES first came to the United States. After successful trial launches in test markets in late 1985, the NES was available nationwide the following year. The system was an undeniable success, and the lack of direct competition helped to propel it and the video game market back into the limelight in both the Eastern and Western regions.
There was no denying that the NES was a phenomenon. By the 1990's one in every three American homes had an NES and video games had become a billion-dollar industry. Nintendo had taken over Saturday morning cartoons, cereal boxes, and the surface of commercial merchandise the world over. Through several different iterations, from the Japanese-exclusive Famicom Disk System to the 90's released top-loading NES, the NES dominated video game sales for nearly a decade.
Though the NES was eventually discontinued, the system lives on in the hearts and homes of many. Children of the 80's almost universally reference the console fondly, and younger video game players are reliving NES games in re-releases on the GBA, mini-games in Animal Crossing, and eventually emulation on the Nintendo Revolution.
Over the next few pages, we relive the heyday of the Nintendo Entertainment System, speak to representatives from Nintendo, list the Top Ten games, and then the Editors' favorites, as well as give you an opportunity to vote on your own. Enjoy and remember, now you're playing with power!
The Nintendo Entertainment System made a huge impact on the video game industry for over a decade. Reminisce with us in our 20 year anniversary flashback feature.