Nintendo Nirvana: The Definitive Ranking of the Top 10 Exclusive Games

nintendo

SUMMARY

  • The top ten exclusive Nintendo games perfect for any time of the year.
  • These games span from 1984 to 2020 and have all earned their place on the list.
  • Nintendo has captivated audiences with memorable characters and unforgettable stories.
Show More
Advertisement

In the ever-expanding universe of gaming, one company has consistently stood at the forefront, guiding players on remarkable journeys through magical kingdoms, treacherous dungeons, and the vastness of outer space. Nintendo, a name synonymous with innovation and timeless fun, has brought joy to generations of gamers with its iconic franchises and exclusive titles. As we embark on this pixelated pilgrimage, we delve into the enchanting world of Nintendo to unveil the top 10 exclusive games that have left an indelible mark on both the industry and the hearts of players worldwide.

Featured Video

From plumbing adventures to heroic quests, each title represents a chapter in Nintendo’s storied legacy, a testament to their commitment to crafting experiences that transcend mere entertainment. Join us as we celebrate the magic, the innovation, and the sheer joy that define the top 10 exclusive Nintendo games, inviting you to rediscover the magic that only Nintendo can provide. It’s time to power up and set sail on a nostalgic journey through the very best that Nintendo has to offer.

Advertisement

10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Players take on the role of a character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a package from Tom Nook, a raccoon character who is a staple in the Animal Crossing series. The gameplay revolves around various activities such as fishing, bug catching, fossil hunting, and fossil collecting. Players can also engage in social activities with anthropomorphic animal villagers, who inhabit the island.

Advertisement

The game operates in real-time, with the in-game time mirroring the actual time, and the seasons changing accordingly. This creates a dynamic and immersive experience, as events, holidays, and the overall atmosphere of the island change over time. The game captured the hearts of both longtime fans of the series and new players, becoming a cultural phenomenon, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people sought comfort and connection through gaming.

9. Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

Super Mario Galaxy
Super Mario Galaxy

While Mario is attending the Star Festival, Princess Peach is kidnapped by Bowser, who uses the power of the Grand Stars to create a spaceship called the Comet Observatory. Mario is then joined by a character named Rosalina, the guardian of the cosmos, and together they embark on a quest to rescue Princess Peach and save the universe.

Advertisement

What sets this game apart is its unique gravity-based mechanics. Each celestial body in the game has its own gravitational force, allowing Mario to walk completely around small planets and navigate spherical environments.

Often regarded as one of Wii’s best games due to its innovative gameplay mechanics, creative level design, and overall polish. It received widespread critical acclaim for its fresh take on the Mario franchise, offering a unique and enjoyable experience that appealed to both longtime fans and newcomers.

Advertisement

8. Metroid Prime (2002)

Metroid Prime
Metroid Prime

Taking place between the events of the original Metroid and Metroid II: Return of Samus. Players take on the role of Samus Aran, a bounty hunter equipped with her Power Suit, as she investigates the Space Pirate base on the planet Tallon IV, where the parasitic Phazon substance threatens the galaxy. Metroid Prime marked a departure from the traditional 2D side-scrolling gameplay of previous Metroid games. It introduced a first-person perspective, immersing players in the atmospheric world of Tallon IV.

The gameplay combines exploration, puzzle-solving, and intense combat against various enemies, including Space Pirates and deadly alien creatures. Samus can acquire new abilities and upgrades as she progresses, allowing access to previously unreachable areas. The game’s atmospheric presentation, innovative gameplay mechanics, and compelling storytelling contributed to its critical acclaim and the establishment of the Metroid Prime series as a respected part of the Nintendo catalog.

Advertisement

7. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (2017)

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Originally released in 2013 for the Wii U, it was upgraded into a deluxe edition in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch. As a kart racing game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe retains the classic elements of the series, featuring familiar characters from the Mario universe racing against each other on various tracks. Players can use a variety of power-ups and weapons to gain an advantage or hinder opponents. The game introduces new mechanics such as anti-gravity sections on tracks, allowing players to drive on walls and ceilings.

The game has received consistent post-launch support, including additional characters, karts, and tracks through DLC. This ongoing support has kept the game fresh and engaging for players over time. Its success on the Nintendo Switch, both in terms of critical acclaim and commercial sales, showcases the enduring appeal of the Mario Kart series and its ability to bring people together for lighthearted and competitive fun.

Advertisement

6. Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)

Super Smash Bros. Melee
Super Smash Bros. Melee

A crossover fighting game featuring characters from various Nintendo franchises, along with some third-party characters. The gameplay is centered around characters battling each other on various stages. Unlike traditional fighting games, the objective is to knock opponents off the stage rather than deplete a health bar. The more damage a character takes, the farther they will be launched when hit.

Advertisement

Melee is known for its fast-paced and highly technical gameplay. Skilled players can perform advanced techniques such as wave dashing and L-canceling, adding a layer of depth that has contributed to the game’s competitive scene. Melee has a robust competitive scene that has persisted for years since its release. The game’s depth, skill ceiling, and balance have contributed to its popularity in competitive gaming circles, with tournaments held around the world.

5. Super Metroid (1994)

Super Metroid
Super Metroid

Picking up where Metroid II: Return of Samus left off, with the bounty hunter Samus Aran delivering a baby Metroid to the Galactic Research Station. When the station is attacked by Space Pirates led by the villainous Ridley, they steal the Metroid, prompting Samus to embark on a mission to the planet Zebes to rescue the Metroid and eradicate the Space Pirates. Super Metroid is known for its non-linear exploration and atmospheric gameplay. Players control Samus Aran as she navigates through the caverns and corridors of Zebes.

Advertisement

The game features a large interconnected world with various areas that can be explored in any order. Samus gains new abilities and power-ups as she progresses, allowing access to previously inaccessible areas. The combination of tight gameplay, atmospheric design, and emotional storytelling has contributed to its enduring legacy and its recognition as a classic in the gaming industry.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

After a century-long slumber, Link awakens devoid of any recollection from the past century. Soon thereafter, the spirit of the King of Hyrule imparts to Link the events that transpired during his extended sleep. Now armed with this newfound knowledge, Link is tasked with venturing to the lands of the four Champions and the colossal Divine Beasts they once commanded. These great Titans, hulking mechanical creatures, served as powerful tools under the Champions’ control. Link’s mission unfolds as he seeks to liberate these regions and their respective Titans from the malevolent forces that have taken hold.

Advertisement

Breath of the Wild transcends the notion of an experiment within the Zelda series; rather, it embodies the culmination of the franchise’s aspirations. Positioned confidently alongside the finest open-world games of its generation, it serves as a remarkable introduction to a new gaming system. Regardless of whether you’re a devoted Zelda enthusiast or not, this is an unmissable experience.

3. Super Mario 64 (1996)

Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64

Upon receiving Princess Peach’s invitation to the castle for a freshly baked cake, Mario eagerly makes his way, only to discover a sinister plot. Bowser, the malevolent foe, has ensnared the Princess within the castle’s walls and absconded with the crucial 120 Power Stars essential for the liberation of the Mushroom Kingdom. To rescue Princess Peach and restore harmony, Mario embarks on a perilous journey through 15 distinct worlds, overcoming challenges and adversaries in a relentless pursuit to thwart Bowser’s nefarious plans and reunite with the kidnapped princess.

Advertisement

As one of the pioneering titles for the Nintendo 64, Super Mario 64 served as a visual testament to the strides the gaming industry was taking in graphics during that era. Even today, the game remains a timeless classic and stands among the best gaming experiences one can have.

Departing from the conventional two-dimensional format of typical Mario games, Super Mario 64 introduced a revolutionary three-dimensional dimensionality, accompanied by a richer plot and expanded gameplay options. Embracing this new perspective, the game carved its own niche, showcasing the unique qualities of three-dimensional gaming alongside the cherished charm of its two-dimensional predecessors.

Advertisement

2. Super Mario Bros. (1984)

Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.

Mario and Luigi embark on a daring adventure, navigating treacherous waters, leaping between precarious trees with a warning not to glance below, and meticulously traversing dark and ominous castles fraught with fireballs and perilous lava pits. Armed with their magical abilities, the brothers must strategically wield their powers to overcome the challenges presented by the nefarious King Koopa and save Princess Peach.

Advertisement

Widely regarded as one of the greatest video games in history, Super Mario Bros. earns acclaim for its impeccable controls and enduring gameplay. Its legacy endures through numerous re-releases across various Nintendo platforms. Remarkably, this iconic game has achieved monumental success, standing as one of the bestselling titles of all time, boasting a staggering 58 million copies sold worldwide. Its enduring popularity attests to its timeless appeal and the indelible mark it has left on the gaming landscape.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The fairy Navi rouses Link from a haunting nightmare, depicting a sinister figure in black armor chasing a young girl on horseback. Guided by Navi, Link is led to the ailing Great Deku Tree, afflicted by a curse that threatens his life. In a dire revelation, the Deku Tree discloses that a malevolent individual from the desert is the source of his affliction, and Link is entrusted with the formidable task of thwarting this villain’s plans to conquer the world.

Advertisement

Beyond critical acclaim, Ocarina of Time also achieved remarkable commercial success, with over seven million copies sold worldwide. In the United States, the game’s anticipation was palpable, evident in the fact that it received more than three times the number of pre-orders compared to any other game at that time. This enduring combination of critical acclaim and commercial triumph solidifies Ocarina of Time’s place as a legendary and influential title in the realm of video games.

Follow us for more entertainment coverage on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

Advertisement

Avatar

Written by David Moya

A lot of appreciation for Marvel. Big love for DC Comics!