ActRaiser, although short, is one of the finest games available on Nintendo's Virtual Console service.

User Rating: 9.2 | Actraiser SNES
Square Enix's game ActRaiser has you playing God, controlling the lands in a very simple Sim City-like fashion for half of the game, and taking down monsters with your mighty sword in the other half. The sim part of the game allows you to cast lightning, rain, wind, sun, and earthquakes upon the land, depending on what that particular area needs. When the land is hospitable, people will move in and build houses, thus raising the population. When the population hits certain marks, you level up, and your character gets a bigger life bar for when you go into the action part of the game. Although it's very simple, it is very fun.

The action part of the game isn't quite as appealing as the sim portion, yet it's still very well-done. As a God-warrior, you strike down various monsters in order to get to the boss at the end of each level. It's very basic, and you've really seen it all before. What really makes ActRaiser unique is that it combines the two styles of game, so neither ever gets boring. And although the game will probably take you less than 6 hours to complete, it's a steal for $8.