It’s no secret that many of us at Powet are and have always been life-long gamers. I think one of the most interesting things you can ask anyone who is a gamer is “what were your top 5 games growing up”? Depending on generation they grew up in or what system they played, the answers will generally be very different. I grew up with an NES and later graduated to the Genesis, I was also fortunate enough to have a local arcade, so here’s my top 5:

5. Ducktales (NES)

Ducktales Cover

Who knew licensed games could be so good? Back in the day, Capcom made some really good ones (namely their Disney games) and this game was a huge surprise to me and a staple in my library. I was a little thrown off playing the geriatric Scrooge McDuck (I was expecting Huey, Duey and Louie), but after finding out he was a Wilford Brimley level bad-ass with his cane and could use it as the ultimate pogo stick, I was completely taken in. The gameplay here is great, you start out in the amazon, but later get to pick your levels in a Megaman-like fashion. Capcom also knew how to do boss fights and the bosses this game puts you up against are some of the most fun and varied that I can remember on the NES. Oh and the music–classic Capcom chiptunes. If you ever passed this one up or are too young to even know DuckTales, I highy recommend checking this one out. Sadly this one has not come to the Virtual Console on the Wii and due to licensing issues, likely never will. So either tracking down a cart or emulation will be your only options.

4. Golden Axe (Genesis/Arcade)

Golden Axe Boxart

Back in the day, brawlers were pretty bare bones. Double Dragon set the bar pretty high on the NES, but it lacked co-op play. Double Dragon II had it, but Christ if that game wasn’t hard… When I got my Genesis, Golden Axe was one of the first games that I got and holy hell, if it didn’t rock! You pick one of three characters, each with a unique weapon and magical ability and tear through the Death Adder’s baddies. It was a pretty good port of the arcade game and going through the game with a friend was even better! It even had a duel mode, which is a lot like the ever popular horde modes of today. This game is pretty easy to find and has been ported to a huge variety of systems and compilation discs, it’s even available on smartphones and Steam. Now if only Sega would release a port of Golden Axe: Revenge of the Death Adder since it’s never been released outside the arcade…

3. TMNT: The Arcade Game (Arcade)

TMNT Arcade Game Poster

What kid didn’t love TMNT? Seriously. Brawlers were a big deal in the 90’s and aside from great art, charm and a faithfulness to the cartoon, this was a pretty damn good brawler that I remember dropping rolls of quarters into at the arcade. I remember getting excited when I got a loose tooth because it meant I got to play Turtles. It wasn’t rare either to find three other players (if you weren’t waiting in line to play). When the game came to the NES, it was still good, a huge improvement over over the first Turtles game released on the system–it had all the levels from the arcade with two additional levels and no quarters were needed to play it, BUT despite the NES having a multi-tap (which I owned), it was limited to only two players which was a huge disappointment. The graphics and sound also failed to live up to their Arcade counter-part. I got massive enjoyment out of the NES port, but my eyes still light-up to this day when I see the arcade cabinet. The NES version was released on the Wii’s virtual console, there was a release for XBLA (an awesome Aracade port complete with 4-player Live Co-op), however it was taken down due to licensing issues.

2. Mortal Kombat 2 (Arcade/Genesis)

MKII Poseter

Back in the day there was a huge debate on the school yard–which is better Mortal Kombat of Street Fighter. While I played both games, Mortal Kombat was my preference. Mortal Kombat did not age very well, but Mortal Kombat 2 still holds up in art direction and gameplay. It raised the bar that the first game set and while it remained an accessible fighter, it added a ton of secrets and kept you coming back looking for all of the hidden stages, fights and finishers. I loved playing this in the arcade and at home on my Genesis. Today we have the amazing MK sequel/reboot which draws much of its inspiration from MKII as well as ports on both the PSN and XBLA complete with online multiplayer. If you’ve ever been a Mortal Kombat fan, check this one out!

1. Super Mario Bros 3

SMB 3 Boxart

It’s really hard for me to not give credit to the original Super Mario Bros. That was the game that got me into gaming. The gameplay needs no explanation. Super Mario Bros 2 (I’m well aware what we got was not Mario 2, but we weren’t privy to that info back in the day, interwebz), was in its own right a good game, however it deviated from everything that made the first game so amazing. With Super Mario Bros 3, we got everything that made the original great and more… When this game came out, it blew my mind. I can’t tell you how much time I invested in it, replaying it, showing levels off to friends, playing 2-player and just experiencing sheer joy playing it over and over… This one set the bar so high that platformers TODAY are still drawing comparison. There was so much to discover, awesome and varied level design, so many secrets and an AWESOME vs game in 2-player mode–the original Mario Brothers–it’s just hard to top it or the enjoyment I had playing it–and still have playing it. You can get this one on the Wii Virtual Console, the SNES or Wii via Super Mario Allstars or the Allstars partial port on the GBA.

So Poweteers, what were your top five favorite games as a kid? Let us know in the comments or on our message board! Thanks for reading and as always, KEEP PLAYING!