These 16 Classic Nintendo Games Made Us Who We Are

millennials nintendo

By Danny Rubin

Remember video games back in the day? Oh, how I miss the basic “A” and “B” buttons on a Nintendo controller and blowing air into the cartridge to make it play. Somehow, it always worked!

Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same. This holiday season, Nintendo is once again trotting out Mario and Zelda, its most iconic characters, rather than start from scratch with brand new concepts.

Why? Because Mario, Zelda and the other classic NES games are all we ever needed. If we peer between the pixels, we can see how much Nintendo taught us about being a grownup.

These 16 Classic Nintendo Games Made Us Who We Are 

1. Duck Hunt

Sometimes when you screw up, you get mocked — even by a dog lurking in the bushes. The only way to survive is to roll with the punches.

2. Duck Tales

Scrooge McDuck was out there snatching coins and amassing wealth. Oh, to save money in our twenties: an uphill battle (for these 16 reasons) but always worth the struggle.

3. Battletoads

Hardest NES game ever, right? All that struggling back in the day trained us for actual setbacks as adults.

4. Tecmo Super Bowl

A cult classic to this day. Do you have staying power?

People love — and remember — colorful details. Keep that in mind as you tell your own story in cover letters and during interviews. Need help? Read this incredible obituary about Harry Stamps.

5. Super Mario Bros. 3

The epic game allowed us to transport to an entirely new world and then conquer it.

Feels kinda like walking off the stage at graduation. Where to next?

6. Double Dribble

The graphically-challenged basketball game urged us to find our “sweet spot” when taking shots. Many years later, are you searching for your groove? Nine reasons why a side hustle can help you find it.

7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Nothing gets you through a long night of work — or a sewer full of evil villains — like a box of steaming hot pizza.

8. RBI Baseball

In the classic sports game (that I played 100,000 times), we had to quickly decide when to use a pitcher and when to take him out. Shrewd decision making: a must for any leader.

9. Contra

Yea, Contra was all about shooting everything at all times. But when it came to the boss at the end of each level, precision was key.

Do you have attention to detail? This blog post will decide.

10. Mega Man

At the end of each stage, when Mega Man defeated the Robot Master, he gained that Master’s special ability.

Acquired a new skill lately? Remember, life is a master’s degree.

11. Metal Gear

To move through the levels, we’d have to call upon experts for advice. Come to think of it, when’s the last time you took someone to coffee and picked their brain about work stuff? If you do, here are the four steps maximize the conversation.

12. Kirby’s Adventure

Kirby could gulp in air to keep himself afloat. Remarkable what a single deep breath in the midst of chaos can accomplish.

13. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Every twentysomething is Little Mac, the scrappy boxer dodging the jabs and uppercuts of early adulthood. With enough training, we’ll be ready when mean Mike Tyson (AKA a golden opportunity) steps into the ring.

14. Super Mario Bros.

Simplicity of the highest order. Jump on toads, collect coins and slide down flagpoles. Why make life more complicated than it needs to be?

15. Ninja Gaiden

Remember in Ninja Gaiden when we’d lose all of our “lives” in the action game’s final stages? That meant starting all over again.

Life is full of reset buttons. That’s when we dust ourselves off, refine the resume (by making this crucial fix) and head back out there ready to do battle.

16. The Legend of Zelda

May you always remain curious and stay hungry as you wander the game board of life. Never know what you’ll discover.


What’s your favorite Nintendo game of all time?

Share below!




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