Top Ten 80s-90s NON SPORTS Video Games

old school nintendo glove

The All Mighty Power Glove

A.B. If you even think the name Zelda please stop reading this.

I have nightmares about the maze level (if that even really exists) just remembering getting stuck and confused and not knowing who to fight and where to run. In fact, I’m pretty sure I had my first anxiety attack during a game of Zelda in ‘92.

The golden cartridge was cool, the subsequent years of self medicating & self loathing – not so much.

So without further adieu, The Awesome Boston Presents:

The Top Ten 80s-90s NON SPORTS Video Games of All Time…

#10 If you didn’t like Castlevania, I get it. Simon Belmont (yes, that was really the dudes name) was dressed in a skimpy leather suit, wielding a whip, hunting blood suckers. Kind of gay if you ask me – and while that’s cool – being gay doesn’t usually make me think of a murderous freak-hunter in the Eastern Bloc.

But how can you hate on the actual game play and creepy as hell music as you fight your way through the booby-trapped castle? Sounds like Indiana Jones’ wet dream and as a kid this was my #1 backup option when Tecmo Super Bowl wouldn’t work (yes, I tried blowing in the cartridge).

#9 Duck Hunt seems like one of those games that was ahead of its time. Basically the Duck Hunt gun was an early version of the wiimote if you think about it. It had the same point at the screen & click mechanism… just about 20 years earlier.

Plus holding a gun while playing a video game is like every young boys dream come true.

#8 Contra.

I’m just going to quote wikipedia here, “In Contra, the player controls one of two armed military commandos named Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer and Lance “Scorpion” Bean, who are sent on a mission to neutralize a terrorist group called the Red Falcon Organization that is planning to take over the Earth. Details of the game’s setting varies between supplementary materials: the Japanese versions sets the game in a fictional Galuga archipelago near New Zealand in the futuristic year of 2633, whereas the manual for the American NES version sets the game during the present in an unnamed South American island.”

In other words… solid gold.

#7 I’ll probably catch some heat for putting Street Fighter towards the bottom of the pack but so be it. I’ll probably also catch some heat for saying that Blanka was my favorite character. But give me a a green dude with orange troll hair whose name in Spanish means white and shoots bolts of electricity and I’m good to go. Sound weird to you?

Get over it, it was the 90’s.

#6 Who doesn’t like Sonic? Its basically un-American to talk smack about him or Tails. Their mission in life was simple: Get money, kill everyone & everything in your way and then run as fast as you can to do it again. If that ain’t Pimpin 101 & The American Dream – I don’t know what is.

Plus one level is set in Vegas and everyone knows that a hedgehog pimp loves to play the slots.

A+ for accuracy there Sega.

#5 Standard #5 pick here. Who doesn’t love The Mario Brothers Franchise? I grew up on the Nintendo version, my nephew is growing up on the Wii version & my kids will grow up on the [Insert Newest Gaming System in 2015 here] version. Mario teaches kids everything they need to know about life; Friendship (Luigi), Love (Princess Peach) & Confrontation (Bowser).

Too bad the creators couldn’t find a way to incorporate lessons about the debt ceiling and tax codes into the lava levels though…

#4 Wildcard pick here: California Games.

And no it doesn’t count as a sports game – when is the last time you saw hackysacking in the Olympics or The National Frisbee League at Fenway Park? This game had skateboarding, surfing & BMX (sorry, still not giving into the sport argument) before the days of Tony Hawk, & Shaun White.

Plus how ridiculous is it that hackey sack was the main draw? The only thing lazier than playing actual hackey sack is playing hackey sack on a video game…

#3 Goldeneye changed my life.

Out of my 6 closest friends I probably finished last or second to last every single game. I didn’t care one bit. Multi-screen, first person shooting, trash talking at its finest. One good kill on your buddy made up for a score of  -20. Plus there was always going to be that kid who dominated because he owned the only N64 and he was a tool anyway.

As a sidenote, I’m pretty sure that N64 would have failed if it wasn’t for Mario Kart & Goldeneye. Every other game just sucked.

#2 What 80’s kid didn’t get their swagger from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Sure you can claim Bart Simpson was your biggest inspiration but if you were really pulling Bart-type-stunts in the first grade you are probably working as the night manager at a Motel 6 right now wearing an XXXL Taz shirt and eating a Big Mac.

But if you followed the righteous path of the turtles then you are definitely at least a concierge at the Hyatt.  But seriously I learned everything I know from those mutant freaks.

Oh, and the game rocked too. Arcade, Nintendo & all other versions included.

#1 Mortal Kombat taught me about violence. And while you could argue that is a bad thing, I see it as a positive. I can say that at least part of the reason I am still here today is because Scorpion taught me that if you mess with the wrong dude, there is like a 50/50 chance of you getting a fishing spear through the chest. I can’t even tell you how many times I have been out at a bar and seen some kid running his mouth only to then get cryogenically frozen and uppercut-ed to the jaw.

Not me though. Mortal Kombat taught me better.

Instead, whenever I feel angry I turn on my Sega and live vicariously through Raiden and his lightning bolts of fury. Best Game Ever.


Honorable Mentions: Road Rash (sneaky good) & Grand Turismo.

Final Fantasy, Donkey Kong & Doom all sucked. Especially Final Fantasy.

Go out in the sun nerds.

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