Top 5 NES Classic Edition Games to Introduce to Kids

4. Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream


The cool thing about introducing kids to Punch-Out!! Is how excited they get when they realize that Little Mac is a character in Super Smash Bros. Wii U. I can’t believe how many kids play Smash and use characters that they’ve never even knew had games of their own. Sometimes I feel like I should have a rocking chair and a handful of kids around me so I can explain why the NES is important and how they should be subjected to playing it before moving onto modern games. OK, maybe I’m a bit crazy, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.


I found that most kids who play Punch-Out!! jump right in without issue since Glass Joe is the first boxer they must face. The designers who worked on this game deserve all the accolades they can get because Punch-Out!! has taught me and millions of other gamers around the world about pattern recognition. A good amount of NES games, and classic arcade games for that matter, are all about learning the patterns to get better. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, & Q-Bert were all about patterns and Punch-Out!! is a game that can proudly stand alongside of these classics. If your child can push through the first few fights and recognize a few patterns, they’ll feel confident enough to play most games that are on the NES Classic. Punch-Out!! will make them feel like they’ve accomplished a lot by just winning the first fight. The most fun I’ve ever had gaming was with my dad as we passed the controller back and forth to see who could take down King Hippo. I took great pride figuring out that punching him in the mouth would make his pants fall down as that was the first thing I remember “teaching” my dad. My, how the tables have turned!

If you would like to embarrass yourself in front of your kid or laugh at their inability to get one punch in on Mr. Dream, just enter in the following code to get right to him:

007 373 5963


3. Kirby’s Adventure


Another character that your child will recognize immediately is Kirby. Kirby’s Adventure is the second game in the series, and in my opinion the best. This game just screams fun. Kirby’s Adventure is a good game to introduce to kids because controlling the pink puffball is extremely easy. Kids will also get enjoyment knowing that they can steal any enemy’s powers by simply sucking them up and pressing down on the d-pad. Another nice feature is that Kirby’s Adventure includes very little text so younger gamers who haven’t learned to read can join in the fun. The team who worked on Kirby’s Adventure’s graphics were able to push the NES to its limits since this was a later release. At this point in time programmers knew their way around the hardware, so if your child is looking for a game that’s pleasing on the eyes, this is it.


When I played this game with my daughter she wasn’t able to defeat the bosses so I would take over. Other than those moments, she was able to get through most levels without any issue and sometimes wouldn’t even take any damage. Kirby’s Adventure is a pretty short game, so if you’re interested in completing a game in one sitting, this is probably going to be the best game for that.

If your child is also having issues defeating bosses here is a tip to increase the damage that Kirby dishes out when fighting them:

Before going to any of the end bosses get Crash Power. Wait until the boss’s meter is full, then use Crash Power. This will drain half of the boss’s energy meter instantly!


2. Excite Bike



Another game that kid’s may recognize (see what Nintendo’s doing here?) is Excite Bike. If your child has played Mario Kart 8 and downloaded one of the DLC packs, an Excite Bike track can be found in all its retro glory. My child didn’t actually recognize the track but it was the music that she instantly noticed seeing that it starts playing as soon as you press the NES’s power button.

Excite Bike is a great game to let kid’s cut their teeth on since it’s extremely easy to control. Starting young gamers off on a qualifying track by themselves will let them get used to the bike. There is no time limit on the qualifying track so your child can take their time to fully understand the mechanics. It might take a few ramps for them to grasp the fact that they must press left on the d-pad to raise the front wheel up before a landing, but once they do it the first time, it becomes 2nd nature.


An awesome inclusion for creative players is the design feature that is super easy to use. I’ve wasted away hours of my childhood creating the ultimate track design to have my dad test out. Sadly, powering off the NES would erase all my hard work, but with the NES Classic’s save state mode those track designs can be saved forever!

Tip: When you crash your biker will have to run back to his bike to continue the race. Repeatedly pressing “B” will make him/her run faster!

Mike Vito has been a slave to gaming ever since playing his grandfather's Atari 2600. A collector of all things retro, his main focus is obtaining a full NES collection. Being a father has rekindled his spirit for Nintendo and he now spends most of his time teaching his daughter about the games of yesteryear. Check out his other work in Pat Contri’s Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the SNES Library. Follow him @veryevilash on Twitter Current favorite games: Air Zonk, NHL Hitz 2003, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, & Super Dodgeball.

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