Old games can get expensive.

Underrated NES games are pure gold for the casual retro collector. Super Nintendo rarities like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound notwithstanding, even well-circulated, classic NES games tend to run collectors around $35 US, higher than most new major indie releases. Some Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania and Mega Man titles are guilty of this, despite having produced millions upon millions of copies. Presumably, collectors are hoarding these games, thereby driving costs.

For casual collectors, it can be a crap shoot purchasing cheaper games to beef up NES libraries. As the Ghetto Gamer, I’m on the hunt week after week to show my YouTube viewers affordable games to help build their retro gaming collections without breaking the bank. I’ve listed here a few of my favorite, budget-friendly and underrated NES games in no particular order.

5 Favorite Underrated NES Games

TMNT

Love it or hate it, Ninja Turtles on the NES was one of the highest-grossing games of its time! I find, however, that most players love it and hate it concurrently. The first stages are fun and relatively easy. But after the notorious water stage, difficulty ramps up considerably.

Merciless waves of enemies that respawn continuously, notoriously difficult jumps and limited continues make this game one that I’ll probably never finish, even on an emulator, even with save states. Yep. It’s a hard one.

For the purpose of this list, I’m considering this among underrated NES games strictly based on its price tag. As I said, this was one of the highest grossing games of its time, and was certainly overrated upon release. Since then, excitement has died and the price is extremely reasonable.

Kabuki Quantum Fighter

Here’s an oddball. A military guy is inserted into the global defense computer. His digitized psyche must determine what is threatening the world and eliminate it. Huh.

Taking cues from Batman (NES) and Ninja Gaiden, Kabuki Quantum Fighter features excellent platforming, great graphics and passable music. Perhaps the only reason it didn’t enjoy wide commercial success is due to its sheer weirdness. Players take the role of a Kabuki actor that attacks ninja frogs with his hair. Still, I think this video will show it’s a very good game. And truly one of the most underrated NES games!

RoboWarrior

RoboWarrior is the sort-of, kind-of sequel/spinoff of Bomberman. However, the game plays quite differently from its predecessor.

In the future, humankind has moved to an artificial world to escape impending doom. However, aliens invade the new world, forcing humans underground. A bombing robot is sent to clear the surface and destroy the alien menace.

I love the music in this game. Top notch! Controls are good and despite some cryptic puzzles and some truly irritating looping levels, this is an excellent game. You’ll want a walkthrough of some sort to avoid the inevitable heartbreak of some of the puzzles, but otherwise this is a fine piece of programming!

Batman

Released concurrently with Tim Burton’s Batman, this game has very little to do with that. Except the cut scenes. Play as the Dark Knight, punching, wall-jumping and Bat-a-ranging your way through this very tough—but very satisfying—platformer.

Most people that remember this game, remember it fondly. I sure do. And it’s a good one.

StarTropics

Probably the most underrated of all these underrated NES games, StarTropics is a Zelda-inspired adventure of a different sort. Instead of mythical monsters, swords and spells, hero Mike Jones sets out to rescue his uncle (Dr. Jones) from aliens, birds and starfish. His weapon of choice is his trusty Yo-Yo but he also employs baseball bats, baseballs and all sorts of other Americana.

This game was never released in Japan. It was tailor-made for Americans. Keep an eye out for pop culture and historical references throughout the game.

Sometimes accused of borrowing too heavily from the Zelda franchise, this is actually a unique game, as I’ll make a little too clear in my review video.

Stay tuned

As my journey to the past continues, be sure to subscribe to my channel. I’m still bringing new videos every week, and I’m loving every moment of it. And while you’re at it, be sure to join IndieWatch as we expand our scope and continue binging you awesomeness.

Till next time, keep it ghetto!