10 Best & Cheapest NES Action Games

Posted by Steven Collier on Mar. 11th, 2016

The Nintendo was home to some of the greatest action games of all time! And you might be surprised how affordable most of them are. Here are my top 10 NES action games you can pick up for under $20!

10. The Adventures of Bayou Billy

Buy The Adventures of Bayou Billy - For the NES
Bayou Billy's one of those games that is a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Are there better fighting games? Yes. Are there better racing games? Yes. Are there better light gun games? Yes. Was there a better game to ever include all three? Absolutely not! The Adventures of Bayou Billy may be a flawed gem, but that hardly means it's not worth your time. Konami's endlessly ambitious, Cajun-Seasoned, thrill ride offers a ton of bang for its buck. Heck, the soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission. 8-bit tunes don't get anymore deliciously funkadelic. 

9. Demon Sword

Buy Demon Sword - For the NES 
Don't let the Fabio lookalike fool you, this is a high-octane ninja adventure. Unfortunate box art aside, Demon Sword is a quality title. The Ninja you control handles like something out of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, jumping 60 feet without any effort, climbing up any surface in sight, chopping through hundreds of foes without breaking a sweat. If you feel Ninja Gaiden was too unforgivingly hard, Demon Sword will offer you a similar action experience with a lot less stress.


Buy Rygar - For the NES 
Rygar is often compared to the legendary Metroid, and with good reason. Both games are about exploring an expansive world to grow in strength and abilities, so that you can face ever more dangerous threats. However, while Metroid was set in a Science Fiction setting, Rygar is pure Fantasy. This is as close as the NES came to offering an authentic Conan the Barbarian style quest. It's a tough game; but if you truly hunger for adventure, it's a challenge you'll gladly meet!  

7. Blaster Master

Buy Blaster Master - For the NES 
Okay, so in Blaster Master you play a kid, whose pet frog jumps into a barrel of toxic waste and becomes a giant, monster frog, which digs a hole to the center of the Earth, where the kid finds a high-tech all terrain tank lying around, and...you know what? The plot doesn't matter. Blaster Master is unapologetically intense, insane, and incredible. You'll explore dangerous caverns on foot as well as inside the before-mentioned tank. Mutants, monsters, and mazes stand between you and victory: NES awesomeness at its best.

6. Clash at Demonhead

Buy Clash at Demonhead - For the NES
Clash is a cult classic for good reason. On the surface it's a fairly typical platform adventure, but it's one that implemented truly revolutionary ideas. Like what?  Take the RPG elements of River City Ransom, slap on Mario 3-style world map with levels that can be navigated in any order you like, and throw in anime inspired cutscenes and plot twists that could hold there own with Ninja Gaiden and you've got yourself something truly special. If you like fun, you owe it to yourself to give Clash at Demonhead a try.

5. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Buy Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - For the NES 
Simon's Quest may not have the reputation of its legendary predecessor, but that doesn't mean it's a bad by any means. Castlevania II marked one of the most radical departures from the typical Castlevania formula. It took the first game's rock-solid action gameplay and married it to an adventure-focused narrative. Exploring the ruins of Dracula's obliterated castle as well as the surrounding countryside, still blighted by the Count's lingering presence makes for a genuinely creepy experience that is guaranteed to leave an impression on you. 

4. Batman

Buy Batman - For the NES 
Why is this a great action game? Well, for one thing, you play as Batman. I could probaly stop there, but there's a lot more to this incredible sunsoft title. Tons of Bat-Gadgets to play with, awesome wall-climbing mechanics, and the constant threat of the nefarious Joker all work to make you feel like you are the Dark Knight. A great action game, and easily the best super-hero game for the NES.

3. Ninja Gaiden

Buy Ninja Gaiden - For the NES

Ninja Gaiden's development team set out with one goal: create the hardest game ever made. And you know what? They freaking succeeded! However, this isn't a list of games that make you want to snap your controller in half. No, Ninja Gaiden is here because it rewards players who endure its relentless difficulty with some of the most incredible action, gameplay, and music to ever grace the NES. But, it's the game's narrative that puts this one over the top. With over thirty minutes of cinematic cutscenes, Ninja Gaiden will make you feel like you're starring in the greatest martial arts film ever made.

2. Metal Gear

Buy Metal Gear - For the NES

It's hard to be more awesome than a game designed to be a loving tribute to every action film of the 80s. The NES port of the MSX classic offers endless tactical espionage action. Infiltrate the most dangerous armed group on Earth, thwart their doomsday plan, and experience one of the finest twist-endings in gaming history. By making stealth more important to your survival than combat, Metal gear is a test of your wits as well as reflexes, and an experience every gamer should try.

1. Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Buy Double Dragon II: The Revenge - For the NES

Why is this #1? One sinple reason: two-payer mode. Take on ninjas, psychotic gangs, and Apache attack helicopters, with nothing but your fists and a friend. This game is a nonstop free-for-brawl from start to finish, and some of the most fun you'll ever have on your NES. A must play, if ever there was one.

What do you think of my list? Are there any honorary mentions you'd like to add? Or do you think I'm giving any of these titles too much praise? I'd love to hear all your input in the comments below!

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