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Off Topic Blast From the Past

I admit that I haven’t played video games in 10 years, but that doesn’t mean that this picture tweeted by Bryan Graham of Sports Illustrated today was not of interest. Nintendo Power is going out of business after 24 years. The video game magazine was one of my favorite reads as a kid and Graham tweeted this picture of the “Top 30 Games for Nintendo” in the first issue of Nintendo Power in July 1988. I love the picture for the memories and the ratings. Three quick thoughts:

1. Legend of Zelda at #1 is no surprise. When that game came out, I played it for approximately 2 months non-stop. One of the best ever.

2. From the beginning of time, ice hockey games have always been the best of the major sports. The original Ice Hockey was brilliant and they only got better.

3. I had not thought of the word “Rygar” in 20 years. That made me happy.

Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane…

Article written by Matt Jones

58 Comments for Off Topic Blast From the Past

  1. Bringith
    8:48 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Mike Tyson’s Punchout- 007 373 5963
    I’m 35 years old and I still remember this code to Tyson but I can’t remember the address of my last home.

  2. Red Rooster
    8:52 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink


  3. bigbluejon
    8:52 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Mario Bros. @ #4 seems a little low lol

  4. Red Rooster
    8:53 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I was robbed! Good work #1

  5. Jordan
    8:59 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Marble Madness. Where’s Tetris?

  6. paper
    8:59 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Where is PaperBoy!?

  7. Jordan
    9:02 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Contra and Kung Fu are too low. Super Techmo Bowl. Who is this guy?

  8. Potato
    9:02 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink


  9. ukfan
    9:02 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Where’s contra at?

  10. Buckets
    9:02 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Matt, we are the same age and I still play video games. And, yes, I too remember 007 373 5963, yet I can’t remember the zip code of the last place I lived and I just moved away from there three weeks ago…

  11. Bringith
    9:03 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    #4…I appreciate it but not sure it’s something I’m proud of

  12. NeverGetsLaid
    9:07 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Can you remember what cheat code this was for: up, up, down, down, left, right, left , right “B”, “A”. Unlimited lives on Contra! Rock on!!!

  13. Buckets
    9:10 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    12 – 30 lives in Contra

  14. shields eyes
    9:11 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    #22 for Contra…Lane Kiffen must be voting.

  15. Correction
    9:16 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I believe it was
    UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN the rest is correct

  16. ktmiln2
    9:23 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Punchout was ridiculously hard and ridiculously awesome.

  17. Union Farmer
    9:25 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Soda Popinski was one tough S.O.B.

  18. Ken Tucker
    9:30 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    The correct Contra code is up up down down left right left right B A select start… I was raised on the NES. Thanks for the flashback Matt.

  19. giveme96
    9:35 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    No Tecmo Bowl?! Are you f-ing serious?!

  20. Sean
    9:37 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Wish I could go back to those carefree days of playing the NES and reading Nintendo Power. Such wonderful memories. Looking at that picture is bittersweet. Time goes by so fast, miss being a kid!!

  21. ebell55
    9:51 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Double dribble at 10 and Contra at 22 is blasphemy. Lol I’m 37 and I just got mad at my mom for throwing all my nintindo power mags away years ago.

  22. CaliUKfan
    9:51 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Tecmo Super Bowl must be on the list. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a good game too. I’m a big fan of the Super Mario and Mega Man series. Super Mario 3 should be on the list and Mega Man 3 should make it too.

    Other goodies were Blades of Steel, Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers, and Dick Tracy

  23. Yo
    9:56 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball 1998…greatest game of all time

  24. kellibeth
    10:03 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Glad to see excitebike up there, it was always one of my favorites besides, of course, RBI Baseball. Lost several bets playing that game in college…it never gets old!

  25. In cal we trust
    10:25 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    This list is horrible, I can’t believe tecmo bowl could not make the top five. Then blades of steel was hands down better than at Ice hockey @ 7. I am biased toward sports games but the only inticing thing about zelda was the gold tape.

  26. In cal we trust
    10:28 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Has anyone ever beat RC Pro Am? I played that game for a solid hour and had a room full of trophies before I was taken out.

  27. Norm
    10:33 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Ok,…like the list but RBI baseball gotta be on it, right?

  28. KyKiller
    10:56 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    First, #18 No it wasnt select start. The UNIVERSAL konami code which worked on 11 Konami Games like Contra, Rush n Attack, Lifeforce, ETC was Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start, the select wasn’t needed however it did work that way on some games.
    Plus The key to getting a full KO instead of a TKO on Tyson was to ALWAYS punch him on the same side he threw from and of course DO NOT GET HIT WITH THOSE MEAN ASS UPPERCUTS LOL!!
    Also that wasn’t the first issue of Nintendo Power!!
    The First Episode of Nintendo Power was called ” The Nintendo Fun Club” Here is a link to the ORIGINAL first issue
    Sorry Im just a REALLY SUPER GEEK!!! LOL
    My dream is a KSR Sponsor College BBall or Foozball League/tourny gaming heck even a video baseball league would be awesome among some big blue fans!!! We could even use OLD video games so even Matt and his Epic failure of catlike reflexes could win or most likely he would get PWND!! You can play the older games on EMULATORS and download the games (roms) and play over the web. I have emulators for nearly all of the consoles ever made. The key is finding the roms, which isnt hard. Imagine a Baseball Stars leauge of rabid cat fans with all if their favorite cats in the lineup or a classic Coach K game with #32 Jared Prickett Shooting 23/28 from behind the arc!!! (dont know how but he always would shoot light out lol). Could be fun….set it up matt!

  29. Owen
    10:56 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Just FIY, it was announced today that Nintendo Power will no longer be published. Just more evidence of the death of print media, right?

  30. DrewFranklinBetsPennies
    11:10 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Please tell me #28 is Brad Smothermon

  31. Buck Goodman
    11:13 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Spent many hours playing Ikari Warriors….Looking at the list of games brings back many memories….

  32. Block Party
    11:34 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    #28 – . . . Select, Start took you to 2 players. Just Start was for 1 player.

    Kung Fu, Excitebike, & Contra all underrated, and omission of Tecmo Bowl is unforgivable.

  33. KyKiller
    11:35 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I cannot Believe that I found this!!!!!! I remember getting this after mailing in the reg card from my original NES that I ordered through the Sear Christmas Catalog in 1986!!!! It was the ORIGINAL version that ONLY came with Super Mario Bros,2 controller pads and that was it. It didnt yet have the SMB/Duckhunt and Light gun set. You had to buy the Light gun separate! So for my Birthday that year as soon as that catalog came out, between my granny, mom and dad, and my uncle, I got the base system with mario bros, The Light Pistol (that came with NO GAME), The Robot and Gyromite (which sucked) and separate games which was Kung fu, Hoagans alley (for the light gun), Baseball, Duck Hunt, 10 yard fight, Popeye, and donkey Kong. BEST 29938 hours straight of gaming I ever had till EVE Online was created (which is so in-depth of a sci fi game that it is UNREAL) Its a pay to play MMORPG LIKE WOW but its all spacecraft based and very very deep and has a lot of real and correct science about itcheck out vid on you tube or go to eve online to play a 3 week free trial!! sorry didnt mean to plug a game lol! damn i really am a geek!!

  34. Cousins Fake Tooth
    11:35 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    I run and have alot of these for sale if you guys are interested. Thanks!

  35. KyKiller
    11:36 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    #32 your right 🙂

  36. THE MAN
    11:43 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    How is the Duck Hunt game no where on the list.

  37. Cousins Fake Tooth
    11:44 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink Use code KSR for additional 5% off! FREE Shipping over $25 to US/Canada!

  38. KyKiller
    11:47 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    #34 Hey can you find a ORIGINAL TOP loading NES system? I let mine go on ebay a number of years ago and the hacked no name remakes are crap!!

  39. Horrible!!
    11:49 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    Excite Bike at 18th??? Zelda bias at it’s finest.

  40. Cousins Fake Tooth
    11:56 pm August 21, 2012 Permalink

    38) I have one in my collection, but none for sale atm sorry =(

  41. Yesterdays
    12:34 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Super Tecmo Bowl- the one with 8 plays, is a Top ten game. That game is still probably one of the best footbally games of all-time- Jerry Rice, Bo Jackson, Okoye, QB Eagles, LT, David Fulcher, Derrick Thomas. Pure Awesomeness.

  42. ChairmanRowe
    1:26 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    #12 – The nerd in me finds it necessary to point out that the Konami code actually first appeared in Gradius, and that it also works on several Konami games.

  43. Ummm
    2:13 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    How bout some Kid Icarus?

  44. Kildee
    8:21 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone remember Pro Wrestling… A winner is you? Also, I played Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out so much I could beat it with my eyes closed. I wonder if Tecmo Bowl had been released yet when this was published. If it was, then it was certainly an oversight. My buddies and I would have Tecmo Bowl tournaments and one of my friends had an unstoppable Montana to Rice play. We finally had to install a rule that if he wanted to be the 49ers, he could not run that play. Good times and great memories!

  45. DavenderCatTheSequel
    8:37 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    You can download jnes & play alot of the old nintendo games. I can still hear the song from RBI Baseball in my head. MegaMan 2, Metroid, T&C Surf & Skate, Ninja Gaiden, etc. But the best for me was Castlevania.

  46. TAXman
    9:26 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Megaman series is fantastic. Still play it on my Wii to this day. Zelda is by far NOT OVERRATED. That game was epic. I mean, if you were lucky you got the Nintendo Power Zelda map and didn’t have to DRAW IT YOURSELF! I was not lucky!

    California Games was pretty awesome. Track and Field on the mat was sweet. There are some awesome memories involved with all of this. Thanks!

  47. Head Bussa
    10:12 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    There is something to be said about the simplicity of the concepts that these games were based on. Today’s games are, for the most part, way too complicated and are not for the guy who plays to relax or the little kid who plays. They are made for guys and adolescents who spend hours upon hours playing and “learning” everything. I own the XBOX360 and play with my 4, almost 5-year-old son and it seems that all the games on that system are war-type games vs. army’s, aliens, or monsters. There are very little games that I find that are just cartoonish and fun.

    I will say that the guy who ranked this has no idea what he’s doing if he leaves out Tecmo Super Bowl (or heck, even Tecmo Bowl) as those guys were freakin’ awesome. RC Pro Am is an all-time great, no doubt. I always hated Zelda though. Super Mario Bros. was pretty sick. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out was just a flat-out awesome game. Why can’t they make a new Punch-Out like that? It was just the best. I agree it was a little hard for a while, but eventually it got easier as you figured it out. I remember playing Mike Tyson for the first time. It was seriously like the most exhilirating moment as a little kid when you first fought him.

  48. UK Alum 97-02
    10:29 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    FYI – the “Konami Code” is for many games, not just Contra…

  49. DJ
    10:43 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, California Games. Forgot about that one. I love surfing and beach volleyball.

  50. TrinityPills
    10:45 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Baseball Stars 2 likely wasn’t around when that list was made……but if goes on any top 50 NES game list now.

  51. DavenderCatTheSequel
    10:46 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t think that’s an all-time list. I think that was the list in 1988.

  52. TrinityPills
    10:48 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    45 – I think they made a new punch out for the Wii.

  53. DavenderCatTheSequel
    10:51 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    How about this? Do you all remember blowing on the catridge when the screen went blank? Let’s keep it PG-13.

  54. HugoCabrera
    11:15 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    I’d put Track and Field with the power pad #1 all day every day. Point. Blank. Period.

    Contra, Excitebike and Kung Fu are way underrated on this list.

  55. RUPPS_rhetoric
    11:40 am August 22, 2012 Permalink

    I like the people blasting the rankings as if it’s an all-time ranking. They did this poll in every issue and it ranked the games CURRENT AT THE TIME. Calm down people and read a little bit before you blast. Remember the slow-mo dunk sequence on Double Dribble? And how they couldn’t use NBA names. What was it, the Chicago Oxen?

  56. Toby
    12:26 pm August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone remember the power glove? it sucked…… or what about Double Dragon, Rambo, Mario 3…

    I remember when Mario 3 came out…we played it from Friday evening until Sunday night when we had to get to bed for school on Monday…the WHOLE weekend nonstop!

  57. lexslamman
    12:40 pm August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Three words: River City Ransom

  58. The Big Toe
    1:58 pm August 22, 2012 Permalink

    Four more words: Who Framed Roger Rabbit.