50 NES Games That Ought to Come to Virtual Console
January 24, 2015

Below, I'm posting a list of the top 50 NES games that I would like to see come to Virtual Console during the next 50 weeks or thereabouts.

With any list of this size, drawn from a list as large as the NES library, there are going to be some exclusions. You might notice a title missing and wonder why it's not here. There are a few possible reasons:

1) The game is already available on Virtual Console (this is the case more often than you might suppose, despite how many great titles are also still missing).
2) The game was developed by Rare, which is owned by Microsoft now, and it doesn't seem realistic to suppose that Microsoft will allow those retro titles to arrive on its competitor's platform.
3) The game is based on a license, which means that licensing fees would probably prove prohibitive (typically, the license holder is Disney, but a number of others I might otherwise have included were related to comics obscure and otherwise).

Even with the above exclusions, there are a number of titles I would have included on a longer list. Still, the 50 games below--listed in approximate alphabetic order and not any personal order of preference--are terrific candidates and in a perfect world would arrive on Virtual Console within the next year. Here's hoping that plenty of them do...

1943: The Battle of Midway
A Boy and His Blob
Adventure Island II
Adventure Island III
Astyanax
The Battle of Olympus
Bionic Commando
Blaster Master
Bubble Bobble
Bubble Bobble 2
Bump 'N Jump
Deja Vu: A Nightmare Comes True
Dragon Warrior
Dragon Warrior II
Dragon Warrior III
Dragon Warrior IV
Faxanadu
Final Fantasy
Ikari III: The Rescue
Kabuki: Quantum Fighter
Kick Master
Kickle Cubicle
Kiwi Kraze
Kung Fu
Legendary Wings
Little Samson
The Magic of Scheherazade
Marble Madness
Metal Gear
Milon's Secret Castle
Ninja Gaiden 2
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Paperboy
Paperboy 2
Pinball Quest
Princess Tomato in Salad Kingdom
Rainbow Islands
Rygar
Shadowgate
Shatterhand
Snake's Revenge
StarTropics
Super Sprint
Swords & Serpents
Ultima: Quest of the Avatar
Vice: Project Doom
Wall Street Kid
Whomp 'Em
Xexyz
Zoda's Revenge: Star Tropics 2

Are there some terrific titles above that I haven't included but which you definitely would? I'm interested in hearing what you would pick, especially if it also isn't ruled out by one of the three exclusions I referenced at the start of this post.

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overdrive overdrive - January 24, 2015 (03:27 AM)
I think I'd hate to use Virtual Console as my "memory lane" since I think half the missing games you listed are all ones I used to or still own. No Dragon Warriors both shocks and disturbs me, although it does seem that Squenix is being a complete asshole about that series coming to America recently.

Personally, I'd pay Nintendo to keep Milon's Secret Castle OFF Virtual Console, though, but to each their own.
overdrive overdrive - January 24, 2015 (03:29 AM)
Oh and I just noticed, but it seems that on the box where it showcases a random review, I thought the review was supposed to be linked (or at least was in the past), but it seems that only the writer's name is linked (to their old HG Chatter review page instead of the new blog review page).
pickhut pickhut - January 24, 2015 (03:57 AM)
NES Contra has yet to appear on any Virtual Console, which has blown my mind. The closest Konami got is, for some reason, the MSX version for the Wii and Wii U for Japanese audiences. They also need to release Contra: Hard Corps.
honestgamer honestgamer - January 24, 2015 (04:02 AM)
overdrive, the image to the left of the blurb was and is a link, but I've updated it so that the title in the blurb is also a link. I think it was always that way, but I forgot to add the link in when I reactivated the feature.

pickhut, it doesn't look like there are any plans to support Genesis titles on Virtual Console anymore, not on Wii U. I liked that the Wii version had Genesis and TurboGrafx stuff, but apparently it didn't do well enough to justify the expense... or something. Now that you mention it, I do find it rather odd that Contra hasn't appeared, though, being a classic. Super Contra is available, but it's the only one of the three NES titles to have made an appearance. I hope Konami isn't done adding titles, both under the Konami name and the old Hudson stuff (some of which I mentioned). I wouldn't mind seeing Jackal, either...
pickhut pickhut - January 24, 2015 (06:20 AM)
Oh, wow, I was totally unaware that Wii U's VC doesn't have Genesis games. That's depressing...
jerec jerec - January 24, 2015 (07:58 PM)
I really didn't like the fact that the transition from Wii to Wii U Virtual Console was "starting over" so we have to sit through the same releases we've already had - fairly slowly. We're getting GBA games which is different, and the Wii games, which is a surprise. But where's the N64? The Sega/Turbo stuff?
zippdementia zippdementia - January 24, 2015 (08:08 PM)
Yeah, the old virtual console had some of these gems! Like startropics and I'm pretty sure blaster master (which is a far better product in the era of save states). I, too, am baffled by the decision to "start over" when they went WiiU. Of course, you can still download games to your virtual Wii console on the WiiU and play from there, I think... but we lost some incredible titles, like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. Baffled....
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - January 24, 2015 (10:13 PM)
I'd rather have MSX Metal Gear or no Metal Gear at all.

I'm surprised Earthbound/Mother isn't on this list. Nintendo has been sitting on a releasable localization for two decades.
Genj Genj - January 24, 2015 (10:57 PM)
Not an NES game but personally I'm most annoyed that Metroid Zero Mission isn't on US VC yet while it's been in Japan since last summer. Nintendo is not great at digital yet. The whole transition from Wii VC to Wii U was/is awful. They're only now just starting the cross-buy concept, and the fact you have to pay a fee to transition your Wii VC games to Wii U is terrible.
jerec jerec - January 25, 2015 (10:11 PM)
Yeah. You really should be able to buy a NES game on the VC and have it playable on the Wii U and 3DS.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - January 26, 2015 (07:59 AM)
I would be in heaven if even half of those games were on Virtual Console for Wii U or 3DS.

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