Friday, 24 May 2024

Ups and Downs: A Reflection on Nintendo’s History

Nintendo, a beloved brand in the gaming industry, has a rich history filled with both highs and lows. As enthusiasts of the Big N, the staff here at has had our fair share of memorable experiences with Nintendo’s games and consoles. In this article, we will share some of our personal stories, highlighting the best and worst moments we’ve had with Nintendo.

Unforgettable Highs

Dan Ryckert

High: Super Nintendo, Super Memories

Super Nintendo

As a young child, nothing captured my imagination quite like Mario. From endlessly playing the first three Super Mario Bros. games on NES to eagerly anticipating the release of Super Mario World, I was enthralled by the plumber and his adventures. When I received the Super Nintendo, it was a game-changer. With Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, I was introduced to two of my all-time favorite games on that memorable day.

Andy McNamara

High: Super Mario World and the Super Nintendo Love Affair

Super Mario World

In 1990, I was a broke college dropout working at Funcoland, where my obsession with video games began. I convinced my boss to bring in a Japanese Famicom with Super Mario World before its US release. Playing that game with its mind-blowing graphics and the new controller with so many buttons was a revelation. This marked the beginning of my enduring love for the Super Nintendo, which remains my favorite console of all time.

Tim Turi

High: The Joy of Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros.

One day, I stumbled upon Super Smash Bros. at a video rental store. The concept sounded too good to be true – battling it out as Nintendo characters like Link, Kirby, and Mario with my friends. After renting the game and being thoroughly impressed, my friends and I pooled our money to buy it. I was blown away not only by the gameplay but also by Nintendo’s willingness to let these iconic characters duke it out.

Matt Helgeson

High: Super Mario Bros. and Kung Fu Fun

Super Mario Bros.

In 1986, the NES made its way into U.S markets, and I had the chance to play it during a sleepover. Kung Fu, a seemingly simple game, captured our imagination that night. Everything about the NES, from the new controller to the graphics, floored me. The next morning, I was determined to convince my parents to buy me one.

Jeff Marchiafava

High: The Super Nintendo Era

Super Nintendo

When my brother and I finally got our hands on a Super Nintendo, it was a game-changer. Nintendo’s impressive 16-bit library, including Super Metroid, Super Mario World, and A Link to the Past, didn’t disappoint. To this day, the SNES remains my favorite console, and these games are still my all-time favorites from Nintendo.

Kimberly Wallace

High: Falling in Love with RPGs


For me, the Super Nintendo defined my love for RPGs. Games like Earthbound, Secret of Mana, and Chrono Trigger shaped my gaming passion. The experiences I had with these games during my childhood convinced me that RPGs were something special.

Ben Hanson

High: The Phenomenon of Pokémon


When Pokémon Red and Blue were released, it swept through the cultural landscape, and I didn’t want to miss out. The game’s structure, the need to memorize the original 151 monsters – it was a phenomenon, and it marked my entry into the world of evolving games.

Regrettable Lows

Dan Ryckert

Low: The Frustration of Four Swords Adventures

Four Swords Adventures

As much as I loved the 3D Zeldas, I yearned to revisit the style of A Link to the Past. When Four Swords Adventures was announced, it seemed to bring back that beloved style while offering the chance to play with friends. However, assembling friends with Game Boy Advances and connectivity cables proved to be a challenge. To this day, it remains one of the few Zelda games I haven’t completed.

Andy McNamara

Low: The Disappointing Wii

Nintendo Wii

While the Wii was a commercial success, it was a low point for me. As a dedicated Nintendo fan, I felt that the console abandoned its hardcore audience with its focus on cheap gimmicks. Although there were some classic games, the overall experience left me feeling disappointed.

Tim Turi

Low: Game Boy Advance’s Dark Screen

Game Boy Advance

Receiving a Game Boy Advance was exciting, especially since I loved Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. However, the lack of a backlit screen proved to be a considerable drawback, particularly for the dark game, Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. The release of the backlit SP improved the experience, but the initial disappointment lingered.

Matt Helgeson

Low: The Unfortunate Virtual Boy

Virtual Boy

As an intern at Game Informer, I was eager to try out the rare Nintendo Virtual Boy 3D console. However, the experience turned out to be a headache, both literally and metaphorically. The red-tinged graphics and uncomfortable gameplay made it one of the worst game systems I’ve ever encountered.

Jeff Marchiafava

Low: Declining Interest in Nintendo’s Home Consoles

Nintendo Wii U

While I loved the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64, my interest in Nintendo’s home consoles declined afterward. The GameCube did nothing for me, and although initially intrigued by the Wii, the focus on cheap gimmicks and lackluster software library left me unimpressed. Nintendo’s handhelds have held my interest more in recent years.

Kimberly Wallace

Low: Regretting the Sale of Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis

Confession time. I sold my beloved Sega Genesis and all its games to fund a Nintendo 64. Though I enjoyed Super Mario 64, not many other games captured my interest on the console. To this day, I regret parting ways with my Sega Genesis and the great games I had. Since then, I’m always cautious about buying consoles with few must-have launch titles.

Ben Hanson

Low: Missing Out on Nintendo’s Classic Games

Super Mario Bros.

As someone who missed out on the glory of the NES and SNES, I have felt disconnected from the nostalgia that surrounds these classic games. Hearing others talk about their cherished memories while not sharing the same sentiment has made me feel like I’ve missed out on a significant part of gaming history.


  • Q: What are the best-selling Nintendo consoles of all time?
    • A: The top-selling Nintendo consoles include the Nintendo DS, Game Boy, and Wii.


Nintendo’s journey in the gaming industry has been filled with incredible highs and occasional lows. Through their innovative consoles and iconic games, they have made a lasting impact on generations of gamers. While there have been missteps along the way, the love and loyalty for the brand remain strong. As we look forward to the future of Nintendo, we eagerly anticipate the next unforgettable experiences they have in store for us.