Tough call. The NES had a lot of great game that I used to play. In fact, it even had some random, obscure, and at times, odd, games that I would happen to play, just to play. Whether they be single player or multiplayer games. I don't know if I can pick just one. I might be able to narrow it down to a few, which might help. So, let's see what I can name off hand that I loved, and felt were great, and go from there. Tho, I'm going to leave off games that I feel were good, but not quite my favorite.. but let's see... I'm sure there are some obvious ones, so lets go with them first.
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda 2: The Adventures Link
Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros 3
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out
Mega Man 3 (I like 3 better than 2. Part 2 is good, but 3 is better)
Double Dragon 2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game
Super Dodge Ball
Skate or Die
River City Ransom
Ghosts 'n Goblins
Little Nemo: The Dream Master
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Major League Baseball (I still have that theme song in my head)
Star Tropics 2: Zoda's Revenge
....etc.etc.etc.. I could keep going.
Well, that was no help, was it.
Hmm. Let's try to narrow just these down to 10, and see what happens.
The Legend of Zelda
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Mega Man 3
Double Dragon 2
Well, that's 11 right there. See, already failed at a Top Ten list. I could add more to this list, however, I'll keep these "Top Eleven" and say that these were some of the defining games of the NES. These are listed in no particular order. But, again, they pretty much defined the NES. Were there other great games. Absolutely. Were there other games that I liked, even tho they weren't great. Again, absolutely. However, I think if I were to introduce somebody new to the NES, I would most likely start with these 11, and go from there.
Picking an absolute favorite is almost impossible. There is such variety and diversity, and so many great games, that it's truly difficult to pick just one. So, for now, I'll leave it at the Top Eleven for you. Enjoy.
I'll one-up Lawnachaun and narrow it down to 2 games: Legend of Zelda and Metroid. Both were completely immersive experiences way ahead of their time.
Of course, that's not to downplay many other very special games, like Dragon Warrior, Super Mario Bros, Castlevania, Mega Man, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, Mother, the list goes on. The NES had an absolutely magical library.
When I bought the NES, I got Metroid and Super Mario Bros 1 in the package.
Those were my favorite games on the NES, and they still are.
Only addition was Battle of Olympus - even though not a fun game, it was the first game I ever played that had an awesome story.
I wish someone would do a remake of Battle of Olympus, it would be great to see that game with new-age graphics and gameplay.
EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention Blades of Steel I think I spent thousands of hours playing it!
Which package included Metroid and Super Mario? You're lucky, those are two of the best I got the Mario and Duck Hunt package, but I didn't play Duck Hunt very often. It didn't appeal to me; however, I went to the range a lot with my dad.
The NES was my first console; it holds a special place in my heart and I spent a fair portion of my childhood enjoying its 8-bit wonders! (A fairly typical attitude for someone my age.) (However, my love for the NES is eclipsed by my love for the SNES!)
My all-time favourite NES game is... *drum-roll* Crystalis! I consider it to be by far the greatest RPG of the system! (Although the two The Legend of Zelda games are, of course, also fantastic! That's right, both of them!)
Some of my other favourite NES games are: the Megaman series (especially 2 & 3), Castlevania, Batman, Blaster Master, Metroid, Super Mario Bros 1-3, Bubble Bobble, Dragon Warrior, Journey to Silius, Star Tropics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Spy vs Spy.
My all-time favourite NES game is... *drum-roll* Crystalis! (Though I prefer the boldness of the original Japanese version's name, which literally translates as GodSlayer!) I consider it to be by far the greatest real-time RPG of the system! (Although both similar The Legend of Zelda games are, of course, also fantastic!)
Some of my other favourite NES games were/are: the six Megaman games (especially 2-&-3), Castlevania, Batman, Blaster Master, Metroid, Super Mario Bros 1-3, Bubble Bobble, Dragon Warrior, Journey to Silius, Star Tropics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Spy vs Spy.
Hard to pick just 1, I liked both Legend of Zelda games, All the Super Mario Brothers games, Uninvited, Shadowgate, Deja Vu, all the Dragon Warrior games, Goonies 2, Punchout, Faxanadu, Hogan's Alley, Tetris, all the Mega Man games, all the Castlevania games, the NES had a lot of great games. It's too bad that as Nintendo developed new systems their game library shrunk more and more.