Best Cheap NES Games That You Can Buy Today!
Finding inexpensive NES games is getting more difficult to come by as the years pass. But what are the best NES games that you can still find on the cheap? Can you still find any of the top NES games within your budget?
With advancements of emulation such as Retro Arch, playing your favorite NES games can be found anywhere. There are still many retro game collectors that would like to find Nintendo games out in the wild or online.
The pricing of each of these games will be limited to loose cartridge only. Finding boxed NES games is a bit of a rarity at this point and finding something of quality might not be possible.
We will be looking at keeping each NES game under $30 which is very cheap in our eyes. Who said retro game collecting is getting too unaffordable and there's no way to start a retro game collection without shelling out thousands of dollars?
Table of Contents
The Absolute Cheapest Classic NES Games
Super Mario Bros / Duck Hunt Average Price $5
The original Super Mario Bros was a groundbreaking experience. It inspired countless platformers like Castlevania, Mega Man or Ninja Gaiden to come later to the NES. As a pack in title, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros as well as Duck Hunt featuring the NES Zapper light gun technology Nintendo perfected years prior. The result is a fantastic NES combo game. Luckily you can find a copy for less than a trip to your favorite fast food restaurant.
Dr. Mario Average Price $10
The pill providing doctor disguised as a plumber is offering a fantastic puzzle experience. Based off the success of other puzzle games such as Tetris, Dr Mario offers a similar experience. Battle it off in a 2 player mode and take on one puzzle gaming's finest gaming experiences.
Super Mario Bros 3 Average Price $18
After the oddly rebranded Super Mario Bros 2 experience was over, fans of the series were given the 2d platforming greatness they deserved in Super Mario Bros 3. Back with more items, powerups and greater graphics, Super Mario Bros 3 is often regarded as the best NES game of all time. Luckily it's also on the cheaper side, coming in at only $18.
Punch Out Average Price $20
Punch Out is a rhythm game disguised as a boxing game. Originally former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson was licensed out as the last boss of the game. Making for one of the hardest experiences on the NES. Luckily it's still within the realm of being considered a cheap NES game coming in at our limit of $20.
Star Tropics Average Price $10
A more underappreciated NES game, Star Tropics is a top notch title for the console. How many games let you rotate in any direction and attack mid-jump? The biggest challenge with Star Tropics is the difficulty curve leading up to the last level. Considering there was already another hard NES game in Punch Out listed, we think you'll be fine and have no trouble finding a cheap copy of Star Tropics.
Tetris Average Price $8
Tetris features no character design, boss fights or cutscenes. Just you and your quest to compete against yourself in order to get better. Drop down the blocks to make a line of four and yell Tetris!
Third Party NES Cheap Games
Blaster Master Average Price $10
Blaster Master has stranded the test of time and has become a cult classic on the NES. This hybrid 2d action game offers platforming as well as overhead Zelda style exploration. Blaster Master is a bit on the more difficult side but you'll want to come back to it from time to time.
Batman Average Price $14
Another Sunsoft classic featuring the dark knight himself, Batman is a fantastic platformer on the NES. Sure none of the bosses other than the final boss Joker reference any of the Batman characters, Batman is one of the best in the entire NES library. Coupled with a killer soundtrack, make sure to pick up Batman on the cheap while you still can.
Ninja Gaiden Average Price $15
Coupled as one of the hardest NES games is also one of the cheapest. Ninja Gaiden featured a killer soundtrack, excellent platforming gameplay and can be found for a reasonable price. You'll be thanking us when you pick up a copy for less than $20.
Adventure Island Average Price $13
If you're a fan of platforming games, Adventure Island will be right up your alley. Sure it might be the absolute least polished game in the franchise (being the first usually does that) but under the hood it's a solid platformer and a top pick for being so cheap!
Double Dragon II Average Price $12
Double Dragon II takes everything that made the original game great and expanded upon it. It feels like less of a cheap game and more of a robust beat em up. Sure, it's a tad bit easy and doesn't take much to pick up and play but you'll have a fantastic experience considering how affordable this game is.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Average Price $9
Dubbed as one of the harder NES games in the library, TMNT is a single player action game that has you switching between turtles in order to preserve their life meter. Famous bosses such as Shredder, Technodrome and Rocksteady are all here to face off against. TMNT may be one of the harder NES games but is a legitimate title and luckily can still be found for as little as $9.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II Average Price $15
TMNT II is our personal choice for favorite beat em up on the NES. It was the first in the series to switch genres and allowing for a two player couch coop mode. The level design, product placements and great gameplay make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II a great pickup for someone who is starting off a game collection or is looking for something cheap to pick up.
Ghosts ‘n Goblins Average Price $13
Did we say that these were going to be easy games? Ghosts 'n Goblins is notoriously hard. Most that have played the original GNG will be reminded of the sheer brutal difficulty each stage brings. To couple that, the curveball of having to play through the game twice to get the real ending gives us the chills just writing about it. If you're into hard games you can pick up a copy of Ghosts 'n Goblins for incredibly cheap at only $13.
Little Nemo The Dream Master Average Price $14
Little Nemo is a timeless 2d platformer that belongs in anyone's NES collection. The unique level design, fantastic soundtrack and the endless charm it brings by running through the dream world levels seeking out the different abilities makes it all worthwhile. It won't last long as a cheap NES game as it's steadily increased in price over the years.
Metal Gear Average Price $10
The NES Metal Gear has always been suspect to negative reviews online. Yes the translations weren't at the greatest quality during certain sections of the game. The infamous "I feel asleep!" line comes to mind when reading about this NES game. If you can put that aside and are into espionage type games that can be found for cheap, Metal Gear is up your alley.
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Average Price $13
Don't you love it when game developers take a winning formula and well, throw it down the drain and start again with something incredibly ambitious? That's exactly what Simon's Quest brings to the table. You still are able to move around from left to right whipping the whip to kill off horror themed enemies. This time around it's a full fledged adventure game that doesn't exactly hit a home run with the cryptic messages and never providing a clear understanding of what to do next. Luckily it's still somewhat fun and can be had for cheap compared to its other two releases in the series.
Cheap NES Hidden Gems
Astyanax Average Price $6
Astayanax may seem like a generic fantasy platformer on the NES. Under the hood, you get fantastic graphics, good music and a magic meter that lets you use the various spells. Check out our review of Astyanax and thank us later.
Dragon Spirit Average Price $10
The world of shmups can get very prices. Often meeting prices of over $100 a game not meeting our requirements of being a cheap NES game. Luckily there are still more affordable games such as Dragon Spirit. Sure it's not the most polished NES game on the console but does offer a fantastic theme and setting.
Legendary Wings Average Price $12
It's your typical shooter, move around vertically killing enemies and collecting powerups. It's a ton of fun and is a great prospect for under $15. Sure it has it's slowdown challenges and the controls are suspect at times but overall Legendary Wings is a good experience for NES collectors looking for something to add to their collection on the cheap.
The Guardian Legend Average Price $15
I was shocked to see that The Guardian Legend is still under the threshold of being considered a cheap NES game. What do you get when you mix a copy of Gradius along with Zelda? Well you get one of the better unknown NES games in it's entire library. Some of these hybrid style games were a little too ambitious for the time. The Guardian Legend is a fantastic game with great music, controls and level design. It is to not be missed out on and we cannot recommend it enough to any NES collector.
RoboWarrior Average Price $8
RoboWarrior's gameplay is incredibly unique for an 8-bit title. The controls are tight, blowing up stuff with your bombs seems to never get old. We had a lot of fun with RoboWarrior even though finding the keys takes a ton of patience. At under $10 you'll be glad to pick up a loose copy of RoboWarrior for a cheap price.
Best NES Games Under $30
Initially we didn't want to include a list of $30 and under titles to keep things to a bare minimum budget friendly collection but there are so many great NES games that you can have for relatively cheap considering most are barely over $20.
Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers Average Price $21
You'll notice a lot of titles featured here are Disney based ones and for good reason. The NES and Capcom released a ton of great NES platformers that will hold up for years to come. Featuring a coop mode, great level designs, catchy chip tune music Chip and Dale is a fantastic platformer and one of the best games on the NES that you can still find for relatively cheap.
Duck Tales Average Price $26
If you're looking to scratch that nostalgia itch, Duck Tales is the game for you. The iconic moon theme is still playing in the background at the time of this article writing. The pogo stick mechanic is incredibly unique and can be seen in newer indie releases such as Shovel Knight. Duck Tales is one of those games that's steadily climbed in price. Luckily you can still pick it up for cheap at under $30.
Metroid Average Price $21
The game that started the metroidvania experience. Metroid was a rather complex game focusing on backtracking and finding powerups in order to reach new sections of the game. Unfortunately the lack of a map is the only real downside but did lead to rather creative approaches like drawing your own maps in order to find out where to go next.
Crystalis Average Price $21
Crystalis is a top down action RPG in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda. Unfortunately it's also always compared to the iconic franchise. It's definetely a hidden gem and can be considered a mix of Zelda and Secret of Mana. If you're into action based adventure role playing games definitely check out Crystalis if you can find it for cheap.
The Legend of Zelda Average Price $25
The Legend of Zelda is by no means a cheap game. Coming in at our second highest title in this list. The quality of this game is unmatched and deserves to be in every game collector's library. Thanks to it's unique features and fantastic world setting, it's paved the way for adventure games for years to come.
Finding quality NES games although is becoming increasingly more difficult to find for cheap, it is still somewhat possible. Keep your eyes out for any deals on games that you can have for cheap as often sellers will consider reducing prices upon purchasing bundles of games. There's also flea markets, online marketplaces or our personal favorite choice for finding games for cheap, the mighty garage sale. Make sure to arrive early as the good old saying goes, the early bird gets the worm when it comes to inexpensive NES games.