Last week I decided that I was going to start writing a Top 5 list every week. If you missed the list last week,�you can read it here
. Now let's get on to this week's list.
Games of the late 80s/early 90s were much different than it is today. We didn't have to wait for the game to update because we hadn't played it in a while, we didn't have to pay to unlock extra levels, instead we, you know, actually played the game to unlock everything. We also didn't have hundreds of videogame websites and news outlets to research a game before it comes out. I've never played a�Halo
�game, but I can tell you exactly what that entire series is about, because I've had the series shoved down my throat for the past decade. I know everything about a game before it even hits store shelves, and that takes away so much wonder and amazement that makes the gaming medium so fantastic. For the most part, the only thing we had to go off of to determine if a game was worth playing was a small blurb in�Nintendo Power
, or going down to the local rental shop and poring over the wall of box art that stood before us. I have so many memories of just standing in the rental section of our local Marsh Supermarket while my mom went about and got our groceries, carefully grabbing each box, turning it over to see screenshots, and placing it back on the shelf. This was a tough decision, renting a bad game would ruin the entire weekend. I had to choose wisely.
These memories are the reason that I have such a fondness for retro videogame box art. Box art used to be such a huge part of a game's appeal, and let's face it, box art these days usually just consists of 'white guy holding a gun with game title'. It doesn't even matter what kind of game it is. It could be a dating simulator or a puzzle game, and as long as someone from the United States designs the cover art, it's going to have a gun on it somewhere. So I figured this week's top 5 would be my favorite box art from my favorite system, the NES.
Note: I would just like to say this was one of the hardest articles I've ever written. I looked through the box art of every licensed NES game released in North America. When it was all said and done, I had to narrow a list of 50 down to 5. If there's a game with a cover art that you're wondering why it didn't make the list, the answer is that it was probably on the list at some point before getting cut.
Honorable Mentions: Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
This isn't just my favorite NES box art, it's my favorite videogame box art, period. As a kid (and even now), one of my favorite movies was�The Monster Squad
. I've always had this love of the classic horror movie monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, etc. So when I saw this art, with the titular castle there on top of the mountain, looking all foreboding and junk, with Dracula's face looking over you, dripping with blood and laughing at you, I knew I had to play it. Then you see him, Simon Belmont, with the legendary Vampire Killer in his hands, and you knew, you just knew, that you were in for the fight of your life. It also helps that the game is one of the best games on the entire console
So, what do you guys think? What NES box art should have made it on here that I didn't include?
Thanks for reading.
You can follow me on Twitter @TheDustinThomas, and�listen to my podcast here.
--all cover art taken from�The Cover Project
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