10 Rare And Valuable NES Games From Our Collection

NES Games Wall


As a kid playing the NES, I never imagined these games and even their boxes becoming valuable in the future. But like any collectible, their worth is often only realized much later, as nostalgia and demand increase. Once I started collecting the NES catalog, the rare titles stood out: Nintendo World Championships, Bubble Bath Babes, Myriad 6 in 1—these are the types of games that you’ll see CNN reporting on today, and they can fetch a pretty penny. Anyway, once I really got into collecting NES games, I didn’t expect to get the ones listed below. But after consistent searching on Ebay, I’ve managed to get them all. They went right into protective plastic cases and then onto the shelf with the rest of my collection.


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Little Samson

Little Samson was released in North America in November 1992 as an action game developed by Takeru and published by Taito. Despite being well-known in the retro-collecting community for its rarity and quality, it may not necessarily be worth the high price tag it currently commands. While the game has good controls, graphics, and music, there are many other classic NES games that are considered better options and more affordable. Ultimately, while Little Samson is a fun game, there are plenty of other hidden gems for the NES worth exploring without breaking the bank.


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The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak

Released in August 1994, Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak is a platformer developed and published by Taito. This game was allegedly a Blockbuster exclusive and was never sold in stores, making it a rare find for NES collectors. Players can choose to play as either Fred or Barney, each with their own unique moves that are essential for progressing through the game. However, the controls are clunky and awkward, leading to frustrating gameplay experiences. The plot revolves around Fred and Barney realizing they have neglected their children, Pebbles and Bam Bam, who are playing near an active volcano unsupervised. The game features uninspiring level designs and repetitive gameplay mechanics, making it a lackluster experience for many players. Despite some quirky aspects like disappearing heads and bizarre side games, Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak ultimately falls short of providing an engaging platformer experience and may leave players feeling underwhelmed.


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Panic Restaurant

Panic Restaurant is a platformer game released in North America in October 1992. Developed by EIM and published by Taito, the game follows the story of a character named Ohdove who takes over a restaurant by dropping food on the player’s head. The player navigates through kitchen levels named after the courses of a meal, encountering kitchen-themed enemies and power-ups. The game’s aesthetic is cohesive, with all levels resembling restaurants and all elements being related to the kitchen theme. The enemies in the game are anthropomorphized food items, including walking turkeys, hopping baguettes, and a seductive carrot. Players use a frying pan and other kitchen utensils to defeat enemies and earn coins to play mini-games like “Catch the Fish” and “Take the Egg.” Despite its late release date and appealing visuals, Panic Restaurant may be considered lackluster for those familiar with more challenging platformers like Mega Man or Duck Tales. However, the game offers gameplay diversity and entertainment, making it a memorable experience for players.


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Bonk’s Adventure

In December 1993, Bonk’s Adventure was released in North America as a platformer game developed by Red Company and Atlus, and published by Hudson Soft. The game, originally played on a TurboGrafx-16, received a late port to the NES, which may have resulted in it being overlooked. The graphics and design of the game are bright and well-defined, with quirky animal characters wearing human items like hats and goggles. The gameplay, however, is described as dull, with tedious bonus games and awkward attack mechanics. Despite its drawbacks, one unique feature of the game is the level design, such as navigating a giant beanie-wearing dinosaur’s guts and fighting a dinosaur in its hell anus. Overall, while Bonk’s Adventure may have impressive visuals for an NES game, its gameplay leaves something to be desired.


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Mighty Final Fight

The end of a console’s life is a mix of emotions, with some of the best games in its library releasing in its final years alongside shovelware and low-budget titles. Mighty Final Fight, a game for the NES, stands out as a gem that defies expectations. Despite being a smaller package tailored for the NES, it manages to deliver thrills similar to its arcade counterpart. The game follows a plot with a humorous twist, where the Mad Gear kidnaps Jessica for their leader Belger, who wants to marry her. Mighty Final Fight successfully translates the arcade experience to the NES, with its super deformed art style and better-than-normal animation. The game retains the familiar brawler tropes with three characters – Guy, Cody, and Haggar – each offering a unique playstyle. An unexpected addition is the experience system, rewarding players with increased attack power and life bar as they progress. However, the game’s short length and lack of challenge may disappoint some players, as levels are gained quickly, making special attacks easily spammed. Despite these flaws, Mighty Final Fight is smartly designed and provides an exciting experience reminiscent of its arcade counterpart, making it a standout title for the NES.


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Zombie Nation

The game Zombie Nation was released in North America in January 1991. Developed by KAZe / Live Planning and published by Meldac, it falls under the shooter genre. Known for its weird, Japanese, and disturbing gameplay, Zombie Nation is considered incredibly difficult. It is surprising that the game was released in the US, as such challenging and unique games are typically only available in Japan. The developers and publishers are relatively unknown, with Zombie Nation being their only US release. Due to limited promotion, the game has become a rare find among collectors.


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Kid Klown in Night Mayor World

Kid Klown in Night Mayor World is a platformer game released for the NES in 1993 by Kemco. It serves as the first installment in the Kid Klown series, originally conceived as a revamped version of the Japan-only “Mickey Mouse III: Yume Fuusen” starring Mickey Mouse. The game follows the story of Kid Klown, who must rescue his kidnapped family from the evil magician Night Mayor by navigating through seven themed stages using balloons for various abilities. Players will face challenges from bosses like vultures, giants, and Night Mayor himself. The game’s plot draws parallels to Mickey Mouse’s quest to save Minnie from a nightmare, leading to a successful franchise with more entries and spin-offs following its release.


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Cowboy Kid

Cowboy Kid, also known as Western Kids in Japan, is a NES game released in 1991. Developed by Pixel and published by Visco in Japan and Romstar in America, it is essentially a revamped version of the Japanese Ganbare Goemon 2 set in the Wild West. Players control cowboy Sam and Little Chief as they take on the roles of sheriffs hunting down six different criminals. The gameplay is non-linear, featuring exploration, treasure chests, and various mechanics similar to beat-em-up games. The game also includes RPG elements such as entering houses, purchasing items, and playing minigames. Despite similarities to Ganbare Goemon 2, Cowboy Kid differentiates itself with persistent weaponry and unique level designs. While the game received a limited release in North America, it is considered a decent action game and remains a sought-after title for NES collectors.


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Sword Master

Sword Master is an action game released for the NES in 1992 by Activision and developed by Athena. The gameplay style is reminiscent of Zelda 2, focusing on combat using a sword and shield. Each enemy encounter is like a mini-boss fight, requiring different tactics to defeat. The game features a unique experience-building system where your life meter permanently increases with each enemy defeated. However, this can also lead to challenges in facing the final boss if not managed correctly.

Despite the challenging boss battles, Sword Master also includes platforming elements in certain levels, adding variety to the gameplay. The game’s graphics and music are commendable for the NES, with impressive parallax scrolling and energetic music adding to the experience. However, Sword Master is not without flaws, including glitches that can hinder gameplay, such as falling through solid floors and potential game-breaking situations.

Overall, Sword Master offers a unique take on the platform genre with its focus on strategic combat and platforming challenges. While it may not be groundbreaking, the game’s simple yet fun gameplay mechanics make it worth trying out for fans of action games.


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Dragon Fighter

Dragon Fighter on the NES isn’t widely remembered, yet it’s ripe for a contemporary remake. Players embody a sword-bearing hero with the power to morph into a dragon, spewing fire at foes. It arrived late in the NES era, demonstrating a solid grasp of the system but was eclipsed by the rise of the Super Famicom and SNES. The game’s plot is straightforward fantasy: battle the malevolent sorcerer Zabbaong across six levels with basic platforming and heavy fighting. You engage as a warrior until a special meter lets you become a dragon, introducing aerial scrolling and ranged attacks for a twist in play style. To boost the dragon’s prowess, you collect power-ups shaped like colored capsules, diversifying your approach to combat. The game emphasizes dragon action at the expense of varied level designs and detailed backdrops. Still, with an ambitious scale and a complex soundtrack reminiscent of classics like Castlevania and Mega Man, Dragon Fighter has its unique charm. The levels could be more polished, but the distinctive dragon feature makes it stand out in the NES catalogue. It’s a tough and brief adventure but is noteworthy for its inventive playstyle and impressive use of NES technology.


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RetroNews.com NES Games


This collection of rare NES games lets us peek at gaming history, where memories and collecting meet. Games like Little Samson, Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak, and Panic Restaurant stand out in the world of retro gaming. While opinions differ on their quality and value next to other hits, their uniqueness and the tales they carry are what draw people. Titles like Bonk’s Adventure and Bubble Bobble Part 2 reflect the era’s creativity despite their faults. For collectors, each game is a piece of gaming past, giving a special experience that cannot be replaced. Owning these games honors the NES’s role in shaping gaming’s future. Whether for playing or showing, they enchant gamers and collectors alike, highlighting the immeasurable worth of nostalgia.

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