15 Essential Games

Why fifteen? Why not 3, or 25? Or 50? Fifteen is how many games my friends in school tended to have for their respective consoles. I had 15 N64 games, Jerremy had 15 Super NES games, Alex had 15 Mega Drive games, and so on. It's an adequate amount to assuage most forms of boredom without being overwhelming or expensive. I've tried to place less emphasis on series of games and sequels; a sequel has to be really exceptional for it to show up here. Obviously, these are just recommendations—a starting point, if you like—and you should feel free to treat them as fungible.

While most of these games are available in one form or another from a commercial DLC service, some are not. I've indicated availability under each game's release date. When I say "no availability", that just means that, should you want to play that game, emulation will be your only option. Despite what Nintendo wants you to believe, that happens more often than you might think.

Atari Video Computer System (1977-1993)
Nintendo Entertainment System (1985-1995)
Sega Mega Drive / Genesis (1989-1997)
Nintendo Game Boy & Game Boy Color (1989-2001) New!
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1991-1998)
Nintendo 64 (1996-2002)
Game Boy Advance (2001-2008)
Nintendo GameCube (2001-2008)
Nintendo DS (2004-2017)
Nintendo 3DS (2010-2022)

--28 July 2023--