NES Classic Edition (Hardware) Review

Now we can all play with power.

The NES was my very first console, which probably explains why I have so much nostalgia for the platform. I still remember heading to the department store with my parents to purchase my very own video game console. I initially had set out to get an Atari, then I was overloaded by this new machine from a company called Nintendo. This was before the internet, so I had never heard of it coming in. Games like Zelda and Mario jumped out at me. We ended up picking up the system, Spy Hunter and The Legend of Zelda, and my life was never the same again.

Now to preface this review, there have been several of these classic consoles released, most packed with plenty of games. The difference is this one is directly from Nintendo, featuring Nintendo’s most prominent games. The first thing I noticed when unboxing it, is the attention to detail. Everything from the box itself, to the included retro poster, feels perfectly crafted. Nostalgia pours out of the box, and everything just feels perfect.

MSRP: $59.99
Price I’d Pay: $59.99

The box includes the system, which is modeled after the original NES, just a lot smaller. I mean nothing prepared me for just how small it actually was. It fits in the palm of my hand. The system can be powered by USB, which is nice as I can plug it directly into my TV’s USB port. There is also a standard power adapter for those that want to use that. It uses HDMI and comes with one controller that feels almost identical to the original NES controller.

The biggest issue is that the cord for the included controller is extremely short, like criminally so. Gamers nowadays are used to wireless game pads, but this thing is ridiculous. I had to drag the system halfway across my office draping the HDMI and power cords across the room, and still sit much closer than I normally do. It is not ideal at all. Thankfully, there are third-party options for cable extensions, and even wireless controllers, either of which I highly suggest.

Now let’s talk about what really matters: the games. There are thirty titles included on the system, and I am not going to list them all out, but instead talk about a few highlights. Bo Jackson is still unstoppable on Tecmo Bowl, Punch Out! is not the same without Mike Tyson, and the Mario Bros. trilogy is still as magical as it once was. There are also some really lengthy games included such as both Zelda games, Final Fantasy, and Star Tropics. Round out the collection with some truly abusive titles like Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Ninja Gaiden, and there is certainly something here for everyone.

The emulation of these games is perfect. There are three filters for visuals including the original aspect ratio, and for some reason another CRT filter. Really, does anyone actually play with this filter on? All the cheat codes and glitches still work in these games, which is a nice touch. The save state system also works really well. I am not thrilled with only having four slots for each game, but I will manage.

The entire presentation really pops. Sorting options for games are nice, and the menu music is perfect. Every game has its box art displayed, and finding the game I wanted to play was a breeze. Nintendo put a lot of care into this device, and it shows.

The NES Classic Edition is a perfect device for those craving nostalgia. The game selection is top-notch, and the construction and presentation are flawless. This would be the perfect gift for any gamer, and it is great playing these titles with the original controller, even if the cord is way too short.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Great selection of games
  • Build quality
  • Ease of use
  • USB power
  • Controller cord length
Written by
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.