The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Turns 30

OK, I’m old. You’re probably feeling old. Let’s get that out of the way. Done.

The NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) turns 30 today, as it was officially launched in North American on October 18th, 1985 to a limited portion of the US. I mean, where do we start on how amazing the NES was, and still is? I’ve got one in my closet complete with the Duck Hunt gun.


The most memorable game is Super Mario Bros. It changed everything. I used to have friends over and we’d play for hours trying to beat it. We weren’t competing, we were in it together. It wasn’t about the graphics or the people who made the game, it was all about the gameplay. It was as immersive an experience as I’ve ever had, even to this day. Forget VR, forget AR, the original Nintendo’s gameplay just…grabbed you:

I can beat the first level with my eyes closed, that’s how many times I’ve played it. At this point, it’s embedded in my brain and I can pull it off like a well-choreographed ballet.

Double_Dragon_NES_ScreenshotI used to stand in line at my local Erol’s (which turned into Blockbuster) to rent Double Dragon. I’m not sure why we didn’t just buy it, because I rented it so much I could have gotten 10 copies instead. It didn’t matter, though. The excitement of grabbing it and literally running home to play it is a memory that I’ll never forget.

Also, when I think about the NES, the unique, but kinda the same, opening screens stuck with me. I can remember so many of them, but here’s one that might give you the feels:

Plus, all of the quirks that came along with the aging system didn’t matter. I didn’t care how many times I had to slam the top of the NES, blow in the game cartridge or quick-flicker it on and off to actually work.



The NES was, and is, ours as a generation. Happy Birthday, NES…I can’t wait to show you off to my kids. Even Xbox superfan Major Nelson loves you dearly:

I’m sure you have plenty of your own NES memories, so fire them at us on Twitter or Facebook.