No one does gaming quite like Nintendo. They’ve been in the business longer than any of their competitors, and they know how to sell hardware and software alike. Sure, they’ve had some slip-ups over the years, but is that really surprising for a company that’s been around since the 1800s? A few mistakes here and there is nothing more than a blip on the radar. Nintendo is still responsible for some of the greatest games ever made, all of which any self-respecting gamer should play during their lifetime.
Super Mario 64
It wasn’t the game that started it all, but it’s still the one that most people remember from the Mario series. Super Mario 64 is credited as revolutionizing 3D gaming back in the ‘90s, and the release still stands up today. Sure, the graphics aren’t even close to being 4K, and the controls can be janky at the best of times, but this game is a piece of history. If you’ve never played a Mario title before, this is precisely where you need to start.
Shooters have become the genre that gamers can’t get enough of. Usually, these take the form of dark action games where the goal is racking up as big a body count as possible. Nintendo being Nintendo, though, did things differently when they introduced the world to Splatoon. A shooter where the purpose is to ink turf and splat your enemies, the game and its superior sequel provide a more family-friendly experience that is just as addictive as anything Microsoft or Sony can make.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
When it comes to the cute and cuddly games, Nintendo is the company to look to. These kind of titles are their specialty, but there’s no franchise more heartwarming than Animal Crossing. Proven to help people struggling with depression and anxiety, the latest game – New Leaf – definitely feels therapeutic as you take control of an animal-filled town. Catch fish, plant flowers and build various public works projects as you escape from the terrors of the world for a few hours a day.
Pokémon Red and Blue
Gotta catch ‘em all, but where do you start? At the beginning, of course. Pokémon may have celebrated over 20 years of success, but the original games are still the best. With only 151 creatures to worry about, filling up your Pokedex isn’t quite as stressful as it is in the later releases. Plus, nothing beats the original line-up of Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur, who will help you in your quest to become the very best (like no-one ever was).
Breath of the Wild
Nintendo tends to leave the open-world adventure titles to its competitors, so when they brought out Breath of the Wild, the gaming industry knew it was something special. An immersive entry in the Legend of Zelda franchise, it takes everything that was already great about the series and makes it even better. You can dedicate hundreds of hours to this game and still not be done with it, so you’d best start playing now.
Never played any of these games before? What are you doing with your life? Get out there and boot up these iconic releases while you can – you won’t regret it.