5 Amazing NES Games That Won’t Break The Bank

Let’s go shopping!


We are approximately one week away from Hyperkin’s release of the RetroN HD, a new NES clone console that outputs a 720p signal via HDMI, and some retro fans are anxious to see how well the budget system performs. The RetroN HD can be purchased for a measly $40, which is significantly less than what most HD NES clone consoles are currently being listed at. Being a retro game collector myself, I can’t help but be excited about any console that inspires to promote the hobby.

So, while perusing the comments section on several articles that featured the RetroN HD, I noticed a lot of people claiming that NES games were too expensive nowadays, and it’s better to just run roms through an emulator. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of (look left and right) emulation, but there is something special about playing a game on an actual cart. I feel like I get more of an experience playing something I can physically insert into a console, rather than download off a website.

Let’s face it, the NES is becoming the most expensive console to collect for with some games doubling, and even tripling in price within the last two years alone, but there are still some amazing games out there to be acquired without breaking the bank. Here is a list of 5 classic NES titles that are easy on the wallet. At the time of this feature, these games can all be purchased for less than $15 on eBay.


Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (avg. $10)

Currently averaging an extremely surprising price of $9 on eBay, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos does everything the original Ninja Gaiden set out to do, but better. Taking place exactly one year after the events of the first game, an evil emperor who goes by the name Ashtar plans to rule the world by using a weapon called the Dark Sword of Chaos. If you thought the cutscenes in the original Ninja Gaiden were awesome, you’ll be blown away by the magic Tecmo was able to pull off in 1990.


The player once again takes control of Ryu Hayabusa, who retains all the cool abilities he had in the original game, but is now able to climb up and down walls and ladders while using his power boosting items. One element that didn’t change much from the first game to its sequel is the difficulty. Don’t think that this is going to be a cakewalk – it’s nothing of the sort!  With an average review score above 8/10, it’s hard to believe the Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos can be purchased for less than $10.


Batman (avg. $10)

I’ve written several retro features for Hey Poor Player and I’m confident in saying that Batman for the NES gets mentioned in most of them.  The game is flat out iconic! Most young gamers at the time were used to bright and colorful worlds, but Sunsoft made sure to stick with the source material and keep the whole experience dark. It felt like a mature title at the time, even featuring the Dark Knight tossing the Joker off the side of a building at the end of the game. Yup, Batman murders the Joker.

As with Ninja Gaiden II, Batman for the NES is a game that had many young gamers smashing controllers in anger. This game is H-A-R-D! If you’re able to defeat the Joker consider yourself to be the new Wizard (yes, I referenced the Fred Savage movie). Hey Poor Player ranked the Joker boss battle the 2nd hardest in NES history, and I personally have never been able to defeat him. If you’re up for the challenge, you can find Batman for less than $10 on eBay.


Double Dragon II: The Revenge (avg. $10)

Being the first 2-player game on this list, Double Dragon II: The Revenge is widely considered to be one of the best co-op experiences on the NES. You and a friend take control of Billy and Jimmy in their quest to avenge the death of their (shared?) girlfriend Marian. Punch dudes in their faces in environments that range from a city street to a helicopter with a faulty door, while searching for Willy, the leader of the Black Warriors. If both you and your friend manage to defeat Willy, be prepared to face your own clone in a battle that confused almost every kid that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s.


Keeping with an unplanned theme here, Double Dragon II can be considered a difficult game, especially if you decide to select “2 Play B”, which allows you to do damage to your partner. The game controls well enough, but becomes extremely frustrating when some platforming gets thrown into the mix. Don’t let that put you off though, because Double Dragon II can be a fun experience, even if you don’t make it to the end. There is a whole lot to love here, especially for under $10!

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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