Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: The best Nintendo exclusives

GameCentral readers try to decide what is the best exclusive game to appear on a Nintendo console, from Advance Wars to The Legend Of Zelda.

Following similar topics for the best PlayStation and Xbox exclusives, this weekend’s Inbox turns its attention to Nintendo and their storied selection of classics. Although any game was eligible as long as it had at some point been exclusive to a Nintendo console.

There certainly wasn’t any shortage of different suggestions, although it was interesting – and a healthy sign for Nintendo themselves – that more recent games such as Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Galaxy 2 dominated, with Zelda: A Link To The Past the most popular retro pick.


Genius Galaxy

It’s got to be Super Mario Galaxy 2 for me. I think it’s not only the best Nintendo exclusive but it’s the best game ever made, even after playing Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.

That game just blew me away, it made me smile and just sit in front of my TV in absolute awe of how was this game created. It was a mesmerising experience, the graphics, the controls, music, art design, all came together to create a magical experience.

It had so many ideas that were only used for one level and then scrapped it boggled my mind, it was like a team of geniuses was fighting to get their idea into the game and who knows what was left out!

Yes, other games may have superior graphics and stories but as for actually playing and interacting, pressing a button to get a response, moving, controlling and navigating it is an experience that has to be yet to beaten in my eyes. I’d love for a HD remaster and if they did it in VR it would become the bestest thing in the world.


First amongst equals

Without meaning any disrespect to Sony or Microsoft, I think this Hot Topic is far more interesting since Nintendo rely on their (usually first party) exclusives to survive as a company, at least since the GameCube days.

My favourite is Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. It was just an incredible experience. A close contender is Super Mario Galaxy 2. Possibly the more interesting question is my favourite third party, exclusive which is Bayonetta 2.


Favourite Legend

Where do you even start with this Hot Topic?

Just on personal preference, I would give honourable mentions to Tetris, Super Mario Land, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart Wii, Mario Kart Super Circuit, Super Smash Bros. Melee, F-Zero GX, Tales Of Symphonia, Baten Kaitos, Final Fantasy VI, The Legend Of Zelda: The Minish Cap, The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, GoldenEye 007, Advance Wars, and Resident Evil 4.

I know that’s a ridiculously long list but I really wouldn’t have wanted to leave any of them out. They all are or at least were 8.5-10/10 games in my opinion and I’m glad I played every one of them.

My runner-up would be Super Monkey Ball 2 as that is my ‘we still get together and play it’ game with my oldest friends, and it’s held up so well – good controls never age.

I think Zelda: Breath Of The Wild might win this but I didn’t think it was great. For me even amongst all those amazing titles there’s one that clearly stands out, which is The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. I really couldn’t honestly say whether it’s the best Nintendo exclusive or not on merit because I’m so biased by my own happy memories of spending hours lost in the game, so it was always going to be my fault. For me it’s still a joy to play and I hope Nintendo have one more great traditional 3D Zelda title up their sleeve going forward.


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Future classic

I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s well worth mentioning again, the Resident Evil remake is the best Nintendo exclusive I can think of.

When I first saw the game’s screenshots, Resident Evil for the GameCube looked stunning. I almost didn’t believe that the screenshots were actual in-game footage.

As I already owned a PlayStation 2, I didn’t buy a GameCube straight away but when I did finally get my hands on the Resident Evil remake it played as well as it looked.

Resident Evil was one of those rare games that looked like it had been teleported in from the future, nothing else offered by the sixth generation came close to echoing its macabre beauty.
msv858 (Twitter)


Solid choices

The best Nintendo exclusives ever for me have to be three specific games. These are as follows:

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GameCube)

This is one of the reasons I bought a GameCube and has not made me regret doing so. At the time there was Metal Gear Solid 2 for the PlayStation 2 but the one thing that stood out about this game was it was a next generation reboot for Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation. This also had features from Metal Gear Solid 2 that the Metal Gear Solid game on the PlayStation did not have. This wasn’t available on any other system, which was another reason I bought a GameCube.

GoldenEye 007 (N64)

This being a James Bond game and being on a Nintendo system was well made for its time and considering a friend had this game for this system he is responsible for getting me into it. After playing this it showed me how it is one of Nintendo’s best exclusives, with its offer of incredible gameplay and endless fun playing repeatedly and enjoying the challenges each time.

Super Mario Land (Game Boy)

This game is the first Mario game that got me into Super Mario, apart from trying Super Mario Bros. on the NES. Mario Land appealed to me a lot more and I enjoyed having the Game Boy hooked up to the hi-fi while playing through the levels, and each time you would go into the pipes that awesome catchy music would play.
gaz be rotten (gamertag)


Best and favourite

The best Nintendo exclusive is obviously Metroid Prime.

Or is it Super Mario Galaxy 2? Or is it The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild? Maybe GoldenEye? Chibi-Robo!? Pikmin 2? Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones? F-Zero GX? Resident Evil 4?
No it’s definitely Metroid Prime… or is it?!

Such an impossible Hot Topic to answer.

My ‘favourite’ game ever is Super Mario Maker, so I’m going to say the sequel will be my personal best Nintendo exclusive ever. From what I have seen in the previews I already know it’s going to surpass all expectations and take over any gaming time I have over the next year or so. Let’s a go!
Fatys Henrys


Long list

Best ever Nintendo game? Come on, not even a fair question.

But if I really had to, and trust me I have a list of at least 10 to choose from, I would have to say Super Mario World on the SNES. This game has everything, and more. I might’ve gone for Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES but battery back-up, getting to all 96 stages, and the need to keep playing was too much.

Plus, how many games checked themselves after this? Too many to mention.
Stone Cold Steve Austin


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Top two

There are two contenders for best Nintendo exclusive for me. Zelda: Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Galaxy. Before Breath Of The Wild I was only a casual Zelda fan, having only played The Wind Waker HD and Phantom Hourglass, both games that I loved but they were more 8 or 9 out of 10 games for me, rather than 10s. Therefore, I was willing to wait for Breath Of The Wild, but when I saw the reviews (including GC’s) of which some were claiming it was a contender for the best game ever made, I immediately went out and bought the Wii U version.

Exploring the environment was an absolute joy and it just made me feel happy to play it. The innovation in gameplay and invention was wonderful, it was almost like an immersive sim game with how you could approach combat situations, navigate the environment and solve puzzles.

Then there was Super Mario Galaxy which I would probably give the award to if I had to choose. I didn’t play many Wii games, but I would have bought the console just for this game. Being a PlayStation gamer growing up, the Wii was my first Nintendo home console after my mum and sister wanted one for Wii Sports and Wii Fit. I had never played a Mario platformer before and the closest I got to Mario was Double Dash!! on my friend’s GameCube.

3D platformers to me, before Galaxy, were the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon games, which I thought were pretty good, but even after just my first hour on Galaxy I knew I was playing something on a different scale of quality to those games. I was astonished at the precise movement and the endless invention in the game.

Pretty much every level would introduce something new like a new suit or mechanic and then bin it off. Some games would be based around just one of these mechanics. An incredible game that hasn’t been surpassed by any other 3D platformer game since, including Super Mario Odyssey.
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Yakuza Zero (PS4) and Iconoclasts (PS Vita)


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