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…the NES is dead. Nintendo finally closed the curtain on its 8-Bit system with the release of Wario's Woods, just in time for Christmas 1994. By then, the Super Nintendo had already been out for three years, and it wasn't easy for the NES to live in the shadows of a better-looking and more powerful sibling. 16-Bit consoles, 3D graphics, CD-ROMs and anticipation for the Saturn and PlayStation were fast reducing any market the once dominant NES could hope for. What this meant for late generation Nintendo-produced titles like StarTropics and NES Play Action Football was that they had to compete (and ultimately make way) for legions of flashier 16-Bit titles on the shelves. 

Wario's Woods 

NES Play Action Football

Like all things that have passed, the NES lives on through its fans. As we revisited the back catalogue of NES classics for this feature, we were (pleasantly) reminded of why the system is still relevant in this new millennium. It's pretty simple, actually. The NES is chock full of awesome games. Stuff like graphics and sounds will always fall to the ravages of time -- what separates the good from the mediocre is the element of fun. Call it soul, if you will. This timeless essence is what keeps gamers coming back to the NES time and again. Apply this concept to your favorite PlayStation or Dreamcast titles today and you'll discover the common lineage of fun. 

So what are the really special games on the NES, you ask? In the next section, we've come up with a list of categories (stuff like best graphics, best RPG, etc.) and took a staff vote on our favorite games for the NES. 

If you haven't already experienced the NES, well… you know what to do. As a console gamer, you owe it to yourself to know your roots. And if you're already down with NES, don't forget to pay that 8-Bit friend a special visit. 

Happy 15th anniversary, NES -- and thanks for all the great memories.

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Did You Know?
The last NES game released in the US was Sunday Funday, an unlicensed title by Wisdom Tree, in 1995. The last in Japan? Hudson's Adventure Island IV, released in the summer of '94. 

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