This Sunday, four Nintendo Enthusiast editors will host a panel in Toronto at EGLX 2018. The three-day event runs Oct. 26-28. Our panel will focus on figuring out which games make up the 10 best exclusives ever released on a Nintendo platform. It will be a mighty challenge. After an hour of fighting, however, we are confident we will emerge with a respectable, yet controversial, list.
In preparation, each panelist is publishing a list of their own top 10 best Nintendo games. These games will provide a roadmap as we craft our website’s definitive list. Following our panel on Sunday, we will publish the list on Nintendo Enthusiast for all our readers to see. Please note, we are allowing exclusives in our top-10 list.
10. Kirby’s Adventure
Kirby’s Adventure is everything a Kirby game should be. It’s colorful, action-packed, and doesn’t let the player off the hook. Kirby games have never been tough, but Adventure provides a decent challenge, more-so than the recent series installments. Kirby’s Adventure is my number ten because it’s the best title in one of Nintendo’s marquee franchises. Adventure introduced many of my favorite power-ups, those which have been a part of the series since. The pink puff often gets sidelined to names like Zelda, Super Mario, and Pokemon, and I won’t stand for it.
9. Pokemon Emerald
Pokemon Emerald is a gem, boasting not only some of the coolest Pokemon to date but also, arguably, the most cinematic Pokemon experience to date. Now, it can’t compare with the visuals of something like Pokemon: Let’s Go or even Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire, but at the time it really turned things up a notch. The war between Magma and Aqua felt genuine, as did the relationship between the player and their rival.
Splatoon is one of Nintendo’s wackiest titles ever, pairing flawless shooting mechanics with a rad, unique art style. The game was quite the risk, but oh did it pay off. Even on Wii U, the game sold well and managed to garner an active player base for years. Regardless of what you feel about the system, there’s no denying the greatness of Splatoon.
7. Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3 is platforming perfection. It takes the skeleton of the original Super Mario Bros. and adds so much to it, including a plethora of new gameplay elements and a few iconic power-ups. Super Mario Bros. 3 does virtually no wrong and can be truly enjoyed by everybody.
6. Mario Kart Double-Dash!!
Mario Kart’s a great series, but Double-Dash!! easily races its way to the top. The obvious difference between Double-Dash!! and other franchises titles is the allowance of two players, but it goes beyond that. Double-Dash!! boasts the tightest, most fluid controls, along with a great cast of characters. I can’t count the hours I’ve put into this one.
5. Super Mario Odyssey
Super Mario Odyssey combines the best elements of Super Mario into a tightly polished, incredibly deep experience. There’s just so much to see in Odyssey. From water levels that don’t frustrate you to a wide variety of weird power-ups, Odyssey delivers in every way. Mario’s first adventure on the Switch is his greatest yet.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild is quite the spectacle. The vast, open world is something never done before in the Zelda universe, but done for the first time so spectacularly well. Breath of the Wild isn’t perfect, by any means, but it’s exactly what an open world experience should be. The way I see it, Breath of the Wild is what the original, 1985 The Legend of Zelda was shooting for. You’re dropped in the world with virtually no explanation and pushed to pave your own path. This allows for the utmost freedom. Paired with the incredibly detailed areas, wonderful side quests, and a plethora of dishes to cook, Breath of the Wild is a game for the not-so-typical Zelda audience.
3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Like I said in my previous pick, Breath of the Wild gives players freedom. This is a change within Zelda I appreciated. At its core, though, Wind Waker HD is precisely what Zelda should be. It’s beautiful, controls well, and has a sea of explorable islands, not to mention its stellar cast of characters. It’s just pure fun, and the story captured my interest like no other. The cell-shaded art style was a gamble for Nintendo, though one that’s paid off immensely in the long run.
2. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is, definitively, the best in the series. Its cast of characters, stages, and smooth, quick gameplay create an environment that lends itself to competitive play, whilst not excluding the casual audience. Nintendo went all-out in Smash Bros. for Wii U, and it’s evident. There’s just so many detailed fighters and stages to choose from, all paired with fittingly epic tunes.
1. Pokemon HeartGold/Pokemon SoulSilver
It may be an off-the-wall choice to some, but I have such a fondness for these titles. They’re simply a joy from beginning to end, and pack-in so much to do along the way.
Pokemon is the greatest franchise ever, and HeartGold/SoulSilver are perfect reflections of that. The games deliver on difficulty, exploration, post-game content, and so much more. To top it all off, the battle with Red to conclude your long journey is as grand as you’d expect. Ultimately, HeartGold and SoulSilver do no wrong.
What do you think of my choices? What’s your list? Be sure to let me know down in the comments. If you’re headed to EGLX this weekend, be sure to check out our panel on Sunday. It’s in room 713B from 3:00 to 4:00. Come if you’re a fan of debating, Nintendo, or debating about Nintendo!
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