It was a long time coming, but the Virtual Console service has begun rolling out on the Wii U with ten classics available for purchase including Super Mario World, Ice Climber and Punch-Out!! among others. Several more will be making their debut over the next few months, including various favorites for Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64. Maybe we'll get digital GameCube games someday too.
To top off that news, Nintendo has listened to its fans and confirmed that the classic SNES role-playing adventure Earthbound will be coming to the service sometime later this year.
Why stop there? Why not go all out and release a few classics that haven't seen the light of day in digital form as of yet? There are a bunch that could use a re-release, if only to see how the games used to be and introduce them to a new generation. Here now are ten Nintendo classics that we'd like to see back on the Virtual Console service, GamePad accessible and all…
StarFox 64 has gotten plenty of love as both a digital download on Wii and a revamped 3D title on the Nintendo 3DS, but why not go back to where the series began in the first place? The original StarFox, which utilized the SuperFX chip on the SNES, was a marvel to behold at the time. It was a fun flying space romp with (at the time) revolutionary polygonal graphics, fun gameplay, and muttering teammates that kept you amused at every turn. This one deserves a chance to shine again.
Pro Wrestling (NES)
Before WWE became a household name in video game wrestling, Nintendo had its own grappler in tow with Pro Wrestling. The game is a pretty good wrestling title with plenty of interesting characters and an arsenal of moves that make you feel like a body-slamming champion. It may be primitive compared to today's standards, but it'll wash over you with a wave of nostalgia. It also has the perfect championship moniker: "A winner is you!"
R.C. Pro Am (NES)
Back before Nintendo established the Mario Kart series as its go-to racing brand, it had remote controlled cars. With R.C. Pro Am, Nintendo worked side by side with the team at Rare to produce an exciting racing game, where every turn gave you the opportunity to push towards the lead. With 32 tracks in all and plenty of heated competition with other AI racers, R.C. Pro Am couldn't be beat. The Rare sequel R.C. Pro Am II should be considered as well…
Mischief Makers (Nintendo 64)
Any classic Treasure game is worth its weight in gold (aside from the "too weird" Strange Panic) and Mischief Makers is just as good as anything it produced back in the 90's. In the game, you play as the robotic maid Marina who sets out to rescue her boss while throwing random objects, taking on bosses and working her way through tricky platforming worlds. With a great soundtrack, challenging gameplay and a number of fun little secrets, this Mischief is well worth getting into again.
Before Tony Hawk became a household name with its speed and tricks, Nintendo's Uniracers picked up the slack. Uniracers featured self-running unicycles running through wild obstacle courses while performing stunts and outrunning the competition. The game featured split-screen action and you could also pick your custom unicycle of choice and name it whatever you wanted (not "Sonic" or "Sega" because they weren't considered "cool enough" at the time - true story). This one deserves a fresh coat of paint so we can hit the track with it again.
Blast Corps (Nintendo 64)
Long before it decided to tag-team with Microsoft, Rare produced a number of classics with Nintendo including this under-appreciated game of destruction. In Blast Corps, you guide a team of specialty vehicles to clear the path for a nuclear-armed train, destroying buildings and other obstacles to avoid a fatal collision. The game does ramp up in difficulty quite quickly but the pure destructive level it delivers makes it a real delight. We're not sure who owns the rights to this one, but we'd love to see it again.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)
While the original Super Mario World got some love on the Virtual Console this week, one game that's been due for a re-release for what seems like ages is Yoshi's Island. Wonderfully designed and built around an entirely new gameplay mechanic involving dinosaur buddy Yoshi (and Baby Mario), the game turned out to be a fine challenge and a real treat for those seeking a genuine Mario experience... even if he wasn't there. With a new Yoshi's Island heading to the 3DS next year, this game needs to find its way to Virtual Console.
Ridge Racer 64 (Nintendo 64)
Ridge Racer is a Namco Bandai franchise and it's since moved on to more contemporary games like Unbounded, but Nintendo originally published Ridge Racer 64 when it first came out. With awesome four-player split-screen, superb track design, ideal controls (like the others, it's all about the drift) and solid presentation, it was easily one of the best games in the Ridge Racer saga. Nintendo should push for a re-release for this game.
Mario Paint (SNES)
If you want to talk about a game that makes perfect sense on the Wii U, it has to be Mario Paint. When this game originally came out for the SNES back in 1992, it was a great drawing program with hundreds of options available. The GamePad doesn't exactly support a mouse plug-in, but with a touch-screen that can easily double for its functionality. If Nintendo could even find a way to add "sharing" options with fellow Wii U users, it would be even better.
Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64)
Even though Activision's recently released Goldeneye Reloaded was a decent fill-in with its multiplayer options and newly adapted story, nothing can beat the original Nintendo 64 game from Rare. Now that the license is up for grabs, Nintendo could negotiate something with the folks at MGM to bring Goldeneye back as a Virtual Console release. With split-screen multiplayer, a great single player story, and tons of special abilities (we still love the laser watch) this is a classic we'd love to play again – especially with friends.
What Nintendo classics would you like to see return?