If you are a child of the '80s or '90s or simply love retro gaming, then the NES is one of the consoles you are sure to love. There are many games for it that are now iconic, but there were some really awful ones.
Here are some of the worst NES games of all time. The list is long because there is a massive range of games that were released for the system. There are plenty of classics for this system that you will love playing. However, there are a lot of games out there that are a waste of time.
22. Puss In Boots
You will probably remember this character fondly from the Shrek movies. Or from fairytales if you have read them in your childhood.
However, the NES tale of Puss in Boots is one of the worst NES games out there. It is based on a Japanese cartoon that most of you have never seen. If the show is as bad as the game, then that is probably a good thing.
21. Dr. Chaos
FCI and Marionette made this gamete. Marionette also made one of the Dungeons and Dragons games and Phantom Fighter, which also don't have the best reviews.
You start this game in a side-scrolling level with generic bad guys like rats and bats. Dr. Chaos might have scared you as a child, but now, in your adulthood, it is just a waste of time. It won't take long for you to realize that this is one of the worst NES games.
20. Rollerblade Racer
Rollerblade Racer is one of the worst NES games because of a lousy Paperboy knockoff. In this game, you just go forward as fast as possible and jump over everything in sight.
There are the same enemies which spawn every three seconds as you go, which becomes tiresome quickly. The gameplay is repetitive, and it will not keep you entertained for long.
19. Peter Pan And The Pirates
It is usually easy to tell if a game is awful. If you see the crew credits before the first level, that is usually a good sign.
This game is probably one of the worst NES games because, after the credits, there is nothing much to see except the color brown. Here you play as Peter, and you are gifted with a small pixel knife that does almost nothing.
The story is barely there, and the colors are so unimaginative that you will be sighing in boredom within minutes.
18. NFL Football
In this game, instead of a screen that shows you the plays you can choose from, there is only a picture of an NES controller with no indication of what you're supposed to do.
If you randomly press a button, it will take you to the field. The controls are hard to figure out, it is difficult to choose the target, and there are no arrows or indications for anything. The game is slow with very generic music, and it provides no entertainment. This is truly one of the worst NES games, and it is not worth your time.
17. King Of Kings
It is difficult to know what this game is supposed to be. Edutainment? Introduction to lore and religious teachings? It is hard to tell, which makes it one of the worst NES games out there.
It has three mini-games, and all three are equally bad. They have awful controls and an uninspired level design. Wisdom Tree was an infamously sub-par developer, and this game is a real testament to that.
16. Harlem Globbertrotters
This might have been a fun basketball game if your idea of fun is getting completely owned by enemies over and over. This happens even on the lowest difficulty setting.
It won't take long to get used to the unfairness as enemy players steal the ball from you like candy from a baby. It is okay for games to be challenging, but there is a point when they become unfair.
On top of it all, the action unfolds in a palette with bland purples and even more bland purples. There is nothing to save this game from being one of the worst NES games ever made.
It is enough to say that the action hero of this game goes by the name of Jimbo Baby McGibbits. Yes, you read that correctly. That is what the protagonist in this game is named.
There are two types of missions you can play in this game. One is a helicopter mission, and the other is a spy mission. The controls are difficult, and the game doesn't help with explanations.
You will slowly give up on this game and agree that it is one of the worst NES games.
14. Flying Warriors
Flying Warriors is a game that will rekindle memories of disappointment. It has a flashy cover that is not enough to hide that it is one of the worst NES games.
The game had some good ideas, like the sophisticated fighting system. But the game just abandons this if you play it on standard difficulty. The developers didn't include basic mechanics like a diagonal jump. Instead, you are supposed to jump up and then control your character mid-air, which is not an easy thing to do.
Combined with everything else, this game is truly not worth dedicating your time to when there are much better titles out there.
13. Golf Grand Slam
Golf Grand Slam could be a decent game if there weren't one mechanic that landed it on this list of worst NES games.
Most of the game is your typical golf sim. When playing a golf match, you will be presented with plenty of options you can control and use to make decisions.
Everything is fine until you move on to the next phase. Here a mini screen will pop up with a rotating golf ball inside a larger golf ball. Y have to press A and time which part of the ball you hit. This is as difficult as it sounds and entirely ruins your play.
12. Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
The book is an impressive title, but sadly, the game is less than playable. This is one of the worst NES games of all time. It was supposed to immerse the player in a video game of the classic horror story that we all know.
Dr. Jekyll separates a man's personality into good and evil by experimenting on himself. Without warning, the good Dr. morphs into his evil alter ego and causes chaos. However, the problem is that the game is difficult actually to play. The game mechanics are difficult, and the controls are not intuitive. You will give up on it within minutes.
11. Cheetahman II
This was a limited edition game for the NES. Maybe it was better this way because only around 1500 cartridges were produced. While rare and expensive, it is undoubtedly one of the worst NES games you can play.
Cheetahman II is a difficult sequel and which is full of glitches. The game is barely playable. It must have been its pre-alpha stage on release.
10. Action 52
This cartridge takes on the concept of placing as many bad games in one place as possible. There are 52 of the worst NES games here, and we advise you to skip each of them.
Everything here is filled with buggy gameplay, inadequate controls, random characters, and busy backgrounds. Try going for something else that will actually entertain you.
9. Conan The Barbarian
Even though the title sounds promising, this is one of the worst NES games of all time. General gameplay and visuals are pretty standard for NES games. However, the controls are very much broken.
For some reason, it was decided that this game needs to mix up everything you ever knew about common-sense controls. For example, to jump, you need to press up. To jump forward, you press down. It is simply not worth it.
8. Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure
While the movie that this game is based on is pretty fun, the game does it no justice. It is an absolute mess.
All the levels are basically the same. The only difference in design is the different colors! The gameplay of the game is barely understandable, and it is not fun at all. All these things combined make this game one of the worst NES games you could play.
7. Little Red Riding Hood
When you keep in mind that this is an unlicensed Taiwanese release for Nintendo 8-bit systems, you won't be surprised that it is pretty bad. This game is definitely worthy of the title of one of the worst NES games.
While it barely follows the classic story, the gameplay isn't something to be excited about. Better spend your time reading the book and skip this one.
There are a lot of games based on this franchise. It is probably the best to skip the NES version. There was quite a good one released for the Commodore 64 if you have one. Play that one instead.
Ghostbusters is one of the worst NES games. It barely follows the theme of the Ghostbusters movie. Currently, it is widely considered by fans to be the worst licensed game ever made.
5. After Burner
The main thing that makes this game one of the worst NES games is the fact that it is barely playable. It seems that it just wasn't meant to be played on an NES.
The controls barely work. Don't even try to play this for longer than a few minutes because the POV is nausea-inducing. Everything on the screen is scarcely discernible. It is just not worth the effort.
4. Stunt Kids
Sadly, there are no stunts in the game that have the word in its title. Unless you consider staying balanced on your bike a stunt?
It is so difficult to keep your characters upright, let alone go through any obstacle course. While this game had potential, it failed miserably. This is why it is one of the worst NES games ever made.
3. Hudson Hawk
Hudson Hawk might have been a hit. Sadly, both the movie and the game were a miss.
This game is on the worst NES games list because the difficulty is so high that it is unplayable. The main character simply cannot jump higher than a few inches off the ground. If this was fixed, then maybe this title wouldn't be on the list at all.
2. Destination Earthstar
This game gives the appearance of depth via messy gameplay. At almost any time, it is impossible to know what's happening on the map. Even when you figure it out, that doesn't make the number of things on the screen any less ridiculous.
A game where you control a space aircraft but still manage to run out of ammo before you say cheese is certainly not worth your time.
1. Top Player's Tennis
This might be the only tennis game on the NES where you don't actually play tennis.
This title seems to have been made with sponsorship in mind only. It had a character creator ahead of its time, but everything falls short when you realize that it is impossible to serve the ball over the net. It stops you from playing right there and then. Why bother with this title at all?