NES black box games

The Ultimate Black Box Nes Games Guide

NES black box games

A Picture Of All The Black Box Games Nintendo Made

Nintendo Black box games

Some of you may know what they are and some may not, so we will will go over the history of them and give you a list of all of them. We will also go into more details on each of the games including photos, videos, and even price ranges depending on condition and completeness.

Without any further adieu, let’s get into it 😁.

The Original Test Market Release Nes Games

When it comes to black boxes, the first of the first was the original Nintendo test market release in 1985. Upon the release, customers had a choice of 17 games. Those original 17 games were as follows:

NES Original 17 Black Box Test Market Games

 GameImageRelease DateGenre

1.

10-Yard Fight

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

2.

Baseball

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

3.

Clu Clu Land

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Puzzle/ Action

4.

Duck Hunt

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Zapper

5.

Excitebike

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports/ Action

6.

Golf

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

7.

Gyromite

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Puzzle/ Action

8.

Hogan's Alley

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Zapper

9.

Ice Climber

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

10.

Kung Fu

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

11.

Pinball

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

12.

Soccer

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

13.

Stack-Up

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Puzzle/ Action

14.

Super Mario Bros

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

15.

Tennis

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

16.

Wild Gunman

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Zapper

17.

Wrecking Crew

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

All of these test market games came without cellophane on them and sealed with only a matte finished sticker on the top flap that looked like this:

nintendo Matte sticker seal gyromite

Nintendo Matte Sticker Seal Gyromite

Now it might be hard to see in the picture, but the “Nintendo sticker” has a matte finish to it. It is easier to see in person, but here is a gloss seal to show you the difference:

Nintendo gloss Sticker Seal black box game Tennis

Nintendo Gloss Sticker Seal Black Box Game Tennis

You may be able to see the difference, but my lighting wasn’t the best to begin with. Point is, that the matte is a true first print and the gloss came in the next run of games.

I might mention that if you have any black box games you are looking to sell or any games for that matter, let me know on my Facebook page or just email me at: [email protected], I always offer fair prices and pay fast.

Other Variations In Boxes:

There are multiple variations in black box games that tell a buyer/collector which release the game was. Meaning, was it a first release, second, third, etc. As mentioned above, Matte sticker being first, then gloss sticker, then there are small variations in each, but let’s just show you the main basics that mean the most.

After matte sticker, comes gloss sticker seal, then Circle Seal Hang Tab no code like below:

NES Hang Tab No Code Soccer

NES Hang Tab No Code Soccer

The next in line would be Circle Seal hang tab with code like below (you can see a code in the upper left hand corner of the back of the box):

Nintendo Hang Tab With Code

Nintendo Hang Tab Donkey Kong With Code

Next would be circle seal rev-A no hang tab with code:

Rev A with Code On

Slalom Circle Seal Rev A with Code

Then finally, we have white oval seal non hang tab like below:

Nintendo oval seal Rev-A

Nintendo Super Mario Bros oval seal Rev-A

As you can see in the picture above, the “Official seal of quality” is different from the rest. It is what we call “white oval seal” instead of a circle seal like the others.

Now bear in mind, there are more variations than just these (for more information on variations, see Wata’s Variation Guide here), but they get complicated and don’t hold as much weight value wise. These are just the main variations to look for overall when looking at games and explaining them to others.

So How Many NES Black Box Games Are There?

Even though you get the occasional person who will say that Kid Icarus, Metroid, and Rad Racer are considered part of the black box games, they are kind of the red headed step child to black box games as they didn’t have “Black Boxes”, but yes, they were some of the first games. In my lists, I will be leaving them out which leaves us with 30 blackbox games that Nintendo produced and are at the top of most peoples lists to collect when it comes to Nintendo. These games were produced and released from 1985-1987.

Nintendo Black Box Games

Yes, I Know, The Picture Is Missing Golf and DK JR Math Box

Let’s Look Deeper At All 30 Games 😁

In alphabetical order, let’s go through each game below in detail as well as how to estimate the value of each game and what is some of the history and factors in those values. All my prices for the games are based on Price Charting’s prices which track all sales for the year and averages them for a fairly accurate price as they fluctuate all the time.

1) 10-Yard Fight

Nintendo made a lot of  sports games in the early years. In fact, most video game companies did. These games were not all the greatest. 10-yard fight is one of those games. Now even though it was a step above football for Atari, it still lacked in the exciting and fun department. This game really felt like they gave it bare-minimum effort into the making and design of it. It had re-used music, generic graphics, and not a lot of options to choose from. Very simple gameplay. 10-Yard Fight is one of the least entertaining titles in the black box sports series. Maybe if it was faster and had more strategy?. Don’t worry, the games get better from here. Either way, you still have to play it once to make your own judgment, maybe you will like it 😜.

NES 10-yard fight cover artGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$5
  • Complete In Box: $10-$40
  • Still Sealed: $400-$1,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Nintendo 10-Yard Fight


2) Balloon Fight

Balloon Fight might immediately remind you of another game you may have known or played as a kid called “Joust“. Joust was very popular in early arcades and pizza parlors. Although I prefer the joust version, Balloon Fight is actually pretty fun to play and the music is entertaining. It did add different features such as Balloon Trip mode, which is an endlessly scrolling obstacle course which can be a very addictive challenge. Overall this is a pretty great game and one you should try if you never have.

NES Balloon Fight box artGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $30-$100
  • Still Sealed: $600-$2,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Nintendo Balloon Fight CIB


3) Baseball

When it comes to baseball for NES, this is far from the best, but it was the first. The pitching and batting is just ok, but that might be the highlight of the game. You really have no control over your fielders, so it is just automatic and the game’s AI is terrible and unfair as the computers fielders catch the ball way more often than yours do. As for the sound, you can start to see that they re-used sound bites for many of the early games over and over again. Mind you, this was a little better than other market baseball games at the time (1985) like Atari, but in the later years, Nintendo released much better baseball games like Bases Loaded, Bad News Baseball, and one of my all time favorites Baseball Stars. Still, for its time, this was an ok game.

Baseball box artGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$5
  • Complete In Box: $10-$50
  • Still Sealed: $400-$1,000

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

NES Baseball


4) Clu Clu Land

Clu Clu Land is a sleeper in my mind. If you have never played it, you should try it. It is one of Nintendo’s most overlooked titles, probably because not a lot of people bought it and it isn’t the most common game to find. It’s a great game! Your character is a red fish named Bubbles that’s constantly swimming forward. The only way to redirect yourself is spin around the pegs by grabbing them as you are going by them. The idea is to uncover the hidden gold coins or bar on each level which will reveal some sort of shape or design. One you have unlocked the design, you move on to the next level. Clu Clu Land may have been an attempt by Nintendo to make a game like Pac-Man, but I honestly like this better than just a clone of another game.

Clu Clu Land Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Puzzle Game
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 5
  • Rarity (1-10): 5

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$25
  • Complete In Box: $50-$240
  • Still Sealed: $600-$2,500

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Clu Clu Land CIB


5) Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is the breakthrough game that was the first appearance of Mario and the huge success that made Nintendo what it is today. With its memorable music that is noticeable anywhere in the world, to great story line game play of trying to save the princess. It is an addictive game that is not as easy as it looks. There was a movie about it and there are yearly tournaments for it to this day on the arcade version. The NES port of the game is missing a few things that are in the arcade, like one of the 4 levels and some of the scenes, but even with that, it is still a really fun game.

Donkey Kong Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 7
  • Rarity (1-10): 4

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $10-$25
  • Complete In Box: $40-$160
  • Still Sealed: $600-$2,500

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Donkey Kong CIB


6) Donkey Kong 3

Kind of like in movie trilogies, it is a difficult task to make the 3rd better than the first 2. I suppose this wasn’t Shigeru Miyamoto’s best work. For whatever reason, he decided the 3rd game in his Donkey Kong series needed to happen in a greenhouse. Not to mention that Mario would be replaced with Stanley who runs around shooting bug spray. Donkey Kong 3 throws the platforming of the original Donkey Kong series out the window in place of simple, not very challenging levels and action. Don’t get me wrong, Donkey Kong 3 is fun, but the change is lacking compared to the others and this specific game almost ended the series. It wasn’t until a decade later with Donkey Kong Country did the series mount a comeback. So if you are looking for a game that feels like the original, this is not it. With that said, if you have no expectations, this is still a fun game.

donkey kong 3 Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 3
  • Rarity (1-10): 4

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $30-$100
  • Still Sealed: $400-$1,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Donkey Kong 3 CIB


7) Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong Jr. is an underrated game in my opinion. It really has a lot of the same feel as Donkey Kong, but with upgraded graphics and music as well (thank you for not continuing to re-use music Nintendo!).  Instead of platform jumping like in DK, there is a lot of vine-climbing mechanics in DK Jr. It’s honestly a lot of fun, it just might take a little getting used to at first. Also you are seeing the tables turned as Mario is portrayed as an animal-beating monster and baby Kong is coming to save DK from Mario. The other cool part (unlike DK) the NES version of DK Jr. doesn’t cut out any levels. Thank you for bringing the arcade version straight to home gaming consoles! This is a really fun game and one of the more fun back box games in the list.

Donkey Kong Jr Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 5
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $25-$95
  • Still Sealed: $300-$900

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Donkey Kong JR CIB


8) Donkey Kong Jr. Math

Donkey Kong Jr. Math is an attempt at teaching kids math. Did it succeed? Let’s just say, this was never on my list growing up to buy or play….ever. Because of this there were never that many copies sold so it was faded out quickly. In this game you are in a race against the computer to solve a math problem using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I have not played this much, so I can’t tell you how hard later levels get, but this game is a novelty.

Donkey Kong Jr Math box artGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Education
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 6

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $25-$70
  • Complete In Box: $400-$1,300
  • Still Sealed: $2,000-$6,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts and the baggie:

Donkey Kong Jr. Math CIB


9) Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt is probably the most popular and widely-played shooter of all time. If you know anything about NES, you have either heard of, or played Duck Hunt. It is as simple as they come yet one of the most fun, even just watching people play is entertaining. All you have to do is point the zapper at the screen (of an old tube television, modern TV’s won’t work) and try to shoot the ducks or clay pigeons. If you miss, a dog will pop up and laugh at you. It is fun, entertaining, and enjoyable to play more than once. You can honestly play this for hours especially if you have a group of people and everyone is competing for the best score. One of the all time best games and one of the most iconic games for Nintendo. If you have never played it, you need to. Just a little fun Wiki fact, Duck Hunt is the second best-selling game on the NES, having sold more than 28 million copies worldwide. Wowza!

NES Duck Hunt Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Zapper
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Zapper
  • Popularity (1-10): 9
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$5
  • Complete In Box: $10-$80
  • Still Sealed: $300-$3,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Duck Hunt CIB


10) Excitebike

One of the other most popular early NES games was definitely Excitebike! You may look at it now and say “I don’t get the hype Matt?!” but back in 1985 when it came out, we would sit in a 6-8 person line at a friends house and wait to take our turn at playing this. It was not easy either! But the excitement of taking big jumps and knocking people off their bikes in a race was awesome. Then if you had time you could design your own course which was also fun. Unfortunately they didn’t put a battery memory save on this so you track design would be gone as soon as you shut it off. It also would save your best scores and lap times which would have made this game even more all time! The memorable sounds falling off your bike and screaming as he slowly ran back to the bike were bitter sweet. One of my personal favorites in the early series. A must play if you never have.

NES Excitebike Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Action / Sports
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 7
  • Rarity (1-10): 2

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$10
  • Complete In Box: $10-$70
  • Still Sealed: $300-$1,200

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Excitebike CIB


11) Golf


As I said earlier, when it comes to early NES sports games, arcadey is usually better. The exception is Golf, which is actually pretty fun despite being more simulation-based. There’s a pretty solid amount of depth here, as you can pick your club, adjust your swing and have to take factors like wind into account. The game’s physics sometimes feel a little off, and Mario is sporting some impressive dad bod, but otherwise there isn’t much wrong with Golf, aside from the fact that it’s, y’know, a golf game.

NES Golf Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 4
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$5
  • Complete In Box: $10-$40
  • Still Sealed: $300-$600

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts and the baggie:

NES Golf CIB


12) Gumshoe

A Little About Gumshoe:

Never heard of Gumshoe? Many haven’t. Until I started collecting I  hadn’t heard of it at all. In fact, I think I’ve only played it once before. That is how great it is, or isn’t. Now keep in mind, this game is used with the zapper. As you can see in the video, you are a guy endlessly moving forward and to jump you have to shoot with the zapper…talk about annoying. You also have to shoot things that are flying at you. Just talking about the concept makes me not want to play it ever again. Also keep in mind you need to play on old CR TV’s so the zapper will work as well.

Game Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Zapper
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Zapper
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$10
  • Complete In Box: $20-$70
  • Still Sealed: $500-$1,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Gumshoe CIB


13) Gyromite

If you bought an original test release set, you got Duck Hunt & Gyromite. So it is possible, that this is one of the first games a lot of people ever played on Nintendo. It looked so fun especially in the commercials and because you have to use R.O.B. to spin a little top that he puts on either a blue or red pedestal that activates a lever and it pushes the A or B button on the second controller you have to set up. This then lowers or raises the red and blue barriers in the game so your character can get through. Did you get all of that? Of course, you can just skip it all and just push the A and B buttons yourself on the second controller but where is the fun in that? The R.O.B. concept really wasn’t used much, but it remains an icon that so many people know and want for displays. The game itself is actually kind of fun, but it can be a pain setting it all up and getting everything to work as over time R.O.B. parts get lost, broken, or just stop working. If you have never played it, I would say you at least need to try it once.

NES Gyromite Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$50
  • Complete In Box: $40-$450
  • Still Sealed: $900-$4,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Gyromite CIB


14) Hogan’s Alley

One of the few zapper games that Nintendo rolled out is Hogan’s Alley. It is basically a cops ‘n’ robbers-themed game. It is a pretty straight forward game. In A mode, there are 3 bad guy targets and 3 good guy targets. The screen will flash 3 targets at a time and be sure to only shoot the bad guys as fast as you can. You will have a second or two to shoot the bad guys (not the good guys) and if you get too many misses or shoot too many good guys it will be game over.

In B mode, things get a little more fun as you side scroll through town and targets flash in windows and come from behind walls. Same theory, shoot the bad and not the good as fast as you can. I prefer this over A mode.

In the final C mode, you get to shoot flying cans to make them fly and flip so they land on different point platforms. This can get challenging and fun as it speeds up and you get more cans flying.

It is ok for a NES zapper game and worth a try if you have never played it.

NES Hogan's Alley Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Zapper
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Zapper
  • Popularity (1-10): 3
  • Rarity (1-10): 2

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $3-$10
  • Complete In Box: $15-$60
  • Still Sealed: $300-$900

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Below is a CIB copy that is complete and in great shape:

Hogan's Alley CIB


15) Ice Climber

Ice Climber is an over simplistic game that honestly I had never played. It feels like an early version of bubble bobble in ways but not quite the same and not as fun. The goal is basically to climb through platforms inside a mountain and when you get to the top you need to collect what look like eggplants. You have to do all this in a limited amount of time. There are a few “villains” in each level that you have to look out for. The jumping in this game is a little weird and harder to time. I wouldn’t put this at the top of any list, but still a fun enough game to play a few times to see what the early games were like.

NES Ice Climber box artGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 4

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $35-$200
  • Still Sealed: $500-$1,200

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Ice Climber CIB


16) Kung Fu

You may have known Kung Fu by Kung-Fu Master if you played arcade games. It was then ported to the NES by Nintendo themselves and we all loved them for doing so. This was a game I personally bought growing up and had lots of fun playing and eventually beating after days of memorizing all the traps and villains. The music was great and the game was challenging enough. The goal is to punch, kick, and jump your way through this tower of traps and enemies to reach the final boss who is holding your love captive. Beat him and win the girl (the basis of many games really). Start off in mode A, if you can beat that, move on to mode B where it becomes significantly more difficult. For an early game this was a lot of fun and entertaining. Challenging enough to make you want to come back and try to get a little further than before. I do recommend getting and trying this game if you haven’t.

NES Kung Fu Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 5
  • Rarity (1-10): 2

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$10
  • Complete In Box: $15-$45
  • Still Sealed: $300-$600

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Kung Fu CIB


17) Mach Rider

If you have never played Mach Rider, get ready for a challenge. To start, you get to choose between fighting course, endurance, or Solo. There is even a course design option (which I have never tried). It doesn’t matter which you chose, but most go for the fighting course. Mach Rider also has a very memorable soundtrack to it as you can hear in the video above. Based on the fighting course, this is not an easy game by any means as enemies, obstacles, and disasters fly at you at a very fast past. You are able to shoot disasters or enemies out of your way if need be, but you have a limited amount of shots and health so don’t hit too many things or it’s game over. The courses get crazy and hard to beat as the game goes on. It is still a lot of fun and if it wasn’t hard, it would be boring. I personally preferred Road Rash for Sega, but maybe that is because I never owned this? Either way, this is another fun game you just have to play to judge for yourself.

Mach rider box artGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Football
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$10
  • Complete In Box: $25-$80
  • Still Sealed: $400-$1,000

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing an insert:

Mach Rider CIB


18) Mario Bros.

Everyone knows Super Mario Bros., but before that, was the original Mario Bros. game that you could find in the arcade. Most people who grew up in the 80’s have either played this at an arcade, truck stop, or pizza parlor. The very memorable 1 or 2 player game where the screen never moves and you run around knocking turtle shells, crabs, and flying things to beat the level. If a friend joins it can have even more fun doing it together or just annoying them by jumping on their head. The game gets faster and harder as it goes. It is so simplistic, yet so fun and easy for anyone to understand and enjoy. This was a great port from arcade to Nintendo. Also a great game to get the parents to play with you as anyone can learn fast. One of the simplest and greatest games Nintendo ever made. This is a must play if you never have.

mario bros Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 8
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$18
  • Complete In Box: $35-$140
  • Still Sealed: $500-$1,200

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Mario Bros CIB


19) Pinball

Pinball is just what you would expect. A very basic, well-designed game of pinball. It’s singe table is a bit basic looking, but it is designed well, and plays just like a pinball should. there are no movements or reactions that don’t make sense. There is also a the little bonus challenge you can get where Mario runs around with a girder on his head. Completely random but funny. The challenge of this game is to see how high of score you can get and honestly how long you can play. If you max the score, it will flip and start over. How many times can you flip it? It is still fun to play and I suggest you try it if you haven’t already. Great family game.

NES Pinball Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 3
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $2-$7
  • Complete In Box: $10-$40
  • Still Sealed: $200-$500

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Pinball CIB

 


20) Popeye

Originally, Donkey Kong was originally supposed to be a Popeye game. Unfortunately Nintendo couldn’t seem to make the licensing deal work at the time. Miyamoto wasn’t going to let his Popeye dreams die that easily though. As soon as Donkey Kong made Nintendo a hit, Miyamoto got his chance to make his Popeye game. Now this is yet another arcade port converted to the NES. This wasn’t quite as elegantly designed as the DK games, but very similar in style. The controls and game play are very easy to understand and fun to play. Olive Oyl will drop hearts, musical notes, and letters randomly that Popeye needs to run around and collect. In doing so he will need to avoid Brutus and other obstacles. If anything Olive Oyl drops hits the water and sits for too long, you lose a life. The game rotates over and over again through 3 levels (much like Donkey Kong) and gets progressively harder as you move along. Simple, fun and enjoyable. Another great game in my opinion considering it’s time.

Popeye Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 6
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $35-$120
  • Still Sealed: $500-$900

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Popeye CIB


21) Pro Wrestling

Pro Wrestling was a much more complex game than many of the other black box sports games. This game had much more detailed, unique characters that are clearly based on some of the real-life wrestlers at the time. You got to choose from characters like, Fighter Hayabusa, to Star man, to Giant Panter (maybe Hulk Hogan), and of course, The Amazon amongst others. The game offered dozens of wrestling moves, that included two specialty moves for each character in the game. The controls are as simple and as good as the wrestling games in gaming today. Pro Wrestling was very addictive and very challenging especially in 2 player mode if you both knew what you were doing. Even if you beat the game, you can try and do it again with a different character. This isa great early NES game that was and still is very popular with most people of any age.

pro wrestling box artGame Details:

  • Release Date: March 1st 1987
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 5
  • Rarity (1-10): 2

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $30-$60
  • Still Sealed: $300-$700

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Pro Wrestling CIB


22) Slalom

Even though it is not last on our list, Slalom was the last black box game Nintendo made in March of 1987. Slalom is pretty impressive and fun for an early Nintendo game. It improved on downfalls that games like Mach Rider had where you can actually see things coming around corners rather than be half blind to them and have little time to react. the game is simple enough, you can chose one of three levels of difficulty, then you work your way down the mountain jumping sledders, dodging trees, skiers, and snowmen. Also, making it through gates while trying to do it all in the limited time per course. It is fairy fun and forgiving. Slalom was also made by an outside company called “Rare”, making it the only black box game not made specifically by Nintendo themselves.

Slalom Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: March 1st 1987
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 2

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $3-$10
  • Complete In Box: $25-$65
  • Still Sealed: $400-$800

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Slalom CIB


23) Soccer

Soccer is one of those black box sports games that not a lot of people played or bought. It is a simple version of the game, but it is still fairly fun and entertaining. Soccer unfortunately has AI issues like a lot of the other early sports games. Unlike Volleyball and Baseball being too hard, the problem with soccer is that it is too easy. I’d personally prefer a challenge rather than to be able to beat a game in a few hours. That just feels like a waste of $40-$50 dollars back then (which was a lot!). Needless to say, this may have been why not a lot of people purchased the game and it just sat on shelves.

NES Soccer Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $3-$10
  • Complete In Box: $30-$70
  • Still Sealed: $600-$2000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Soccer CIB


24) Stack-Up

Stack-Up was second and only other game developed for R.O.B. on the NES. Gyromite (being the first) was actually fun. Stack-up on the other hand, is not fun at all and feels like it was a rushed game. Rather than try and explain how the game works, be sure to watch the video on it above. It is great that they tried to use R.O.B. for more than one game and I wish they would have made another, but this was a fail in most collectors eyes. Even when you try and play the game, there are time where R.O.B. will knock over the discs and then you are pretty much done at that point. Even if you want to try this game now, just the Cart alone is selling anywhere from $50-$90. That doesn’t even get you the pieces to attach to R.O.B. to play the game properly. This is a game needed for collectors to complete a set and that is about it.

NES Stack-UpGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Puzzel
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 1
  • Rarity (1-10): 5

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $50-$90
  • Complete In Box: $400-$600
  • Still Sealed: $1,000-$2,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Stack-UP CIB


25) Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. is the face of Nintendo and has always been on a whole other level of game play and sophistication compared to any of the other early NES games. Every single level in the 32 worlds are a master piece in design and game play. This game transformed gaming not just for Nintendo, but other systems as well. Sales alone will tell the story having sold more than 48,000,000 copies world wide. If you were a kid in the 80’s, you knew about Super Mario Bros. I was lucky enough to have gotten a system as a kid and used to have kids from our block all pile over every day and want to play. More than that, it has stood the test of time and is still a fun game to play today! With secrets hidden throughout the game and many different ways to get to the same ending, this game had it all! The controls were great and it had a great mix of being difficult enough but not so difficult that people would not like it. To top it all off, it had unique sound effects that you will never get out of your brain. very catchy and enjoyable to listen to for hours.

This is one of the best games hands down of all time and to think it came out back in 1985. This game defined a pop culture movement for millions of kids and adults alike.

NES Super Mario Bros. Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 10
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$10
  • Complete In Box: $30-$90
  • Still Sealed: $700-$2,000

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Super Mario Bros CIB


26) Tennis

Tennis is actually a great sports game when it comes to the black box series. It is responsive and fast and a lot of fun to play with a friend. It is pretty straight forward and worth checking out if you haven’t before. Not to mention, you can get a copy fairly inexpensively if you want to try it out.

NES Tennis Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 1

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $1-$5
  • Complete In Box: $20-$50
  • Still Sealed: $600-$1,200

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Tennis CIB


27) Urban Champion

Urban Champion is Nintendo’s first fighting game ever made. It is no where near as advanced as todays fighting games so it would be unfair to compare it to anything as there was nothing else at the time really. Your character is a blue-haired street brawler or a green-haired brawler (2 player mode), and the whole goal is to hit your opponent backwards through multiple screens until he finally falls into a manhole. You have two options when it comes to attacking, a light punch and a heavy punch, and then you also able to block. That is the game in a nutshell. Most matches take about a minute to play and I know I have gotten to round 40, but I am not sure if there is ever an end? It is fun enough to play a few times if you never have so you can say that you did.

Urban Champion Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: June 6th, 1986
  • Genre: Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 3
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $40-$110
  • Still Sealed: $500-$1,200

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Urban Champion CIB


28) Volleyball

Volleyball was one of the last black box sports games to be released in 1987. It is very basic and to the point. The players move quickly and some believe that the computer AI is unfair and a little too difficult much like in baseball. The volleyball games did continue to get better as time went on for Nintendo, but this was a first and even though it had it’s flaws, it really wasn’t that bad for its time. Getting an complete copy today gets a little more expensive, but you can still get just the cart for a reasonable price to at least try it out and add to your collection.

Volleyball Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: March 1st 1987
  • Genre: Sports
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $30-$80
  • Still Sealed: $500-$1,300

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Volleyball CIB


29) Wild Gunman

Wild Gunman is a hidden gem for zapper based games in my mind. Similar to Hogan’s Alley as you are trying to shoot bad guys, but instead it is more of a quick draw shootout! A character slowly walks onto the screen and then you try and shoot him before he shoots you. This game is packed with fun and personality. Simple, and very easy if you are one of those people that holds the gun right up on the screen. This game is memorable because of the characters, which are really well animated and huge for a NES game (Which makes sense because Wild Gunman was made by the same team who developed Punch-Out). If you like zapper games and have never played this before, be sure check it out.

NES Wild Gunman Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Zapper
  • Player Count: 1
  • Platform: Zapper
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$20
  • Complete In Box: $40-$110
  • Still Sealed: $800-$1,500

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Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Wild Gunman CIB


30) Wrecking Crew

The final game on the list is Wrecking Crew. This is one of the more thoughtfully made black box games and a fun little puzzle/action game. The game never gained much traction because I think people saw Mario in it and expected fast-paced jumping action, which this game is not. If you play this without any expectations, you may be pleasantly surprised. Rather than explain how the game works, be sure to watch the video above.

NES Wrecking Crew Box ArtGame Details:

  • Release Date: October 18th, 1985
  • Genre: Puzzel / Action
  • Player Count: 2
  • Platform: Controller
  • Popularity (1-10): 2
  • Rarity (1-10): 3

Price Details:

  • Game Only: $5-$15
  • Complete In Box: $40-$130
  • Still Sealed: $600-$1,500

Check Amazon Prices  Check eBay Prices

Below is a CIB copy that is almost complete but it is missing a few inserts:

Wrecking Crew CIB


List Recap All 30 Games In Alphabetical Order:

All 30 NES Original Black Box Games

 GameImageRelease DateGenre

1.

10-Yard Fight

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

2.

Balloon Fight

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

3.

Baseball

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

4.

Clu Clu Land

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Puzzle/ Action

5.

Donkey Kong

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

6.

Donkey Kong 3

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

7.

Donkey Kong JR.

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

8.

Donkey Kong Jr. Math

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Education

9.

Duck Hunt

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Zapper

10.

Excitebike

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports/ Action

11.

Golf

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

12.

Gumshoe

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Zapper

13.

Gyromite

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Puzzle/ Action

14.

Hogan's Alley

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Zapper

15.

Ice Climber

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

16.

Kung Fu

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

17.

Mach Rider

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Sports

18.

Mario Bros.

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

19.

Pinball

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

20.

Popeye

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

21.

Pro Wrestling

a picture of an original NES rob release set

March 1st 1987

Sports

22.

Slalom

a picture of an original NES rob release set

March 1st 1987

Sports

23.

Soccer

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

24.

Stack-Up

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Puzzle/ Action

25.

Super Mario Bros

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

26.

Tennis

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Sports

27.

Urban Champion

a picture of an original NES rob release set

June 6th, 1986

Action

28.

Volleyball

a picture of an original NES rob release set

March 1st 1987

Sports

29.

Wild Gunman

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Zapper

30.

Wrecking Crew

a picture of an original NES rob release set

Oct. 18th, 1985

Action

Pricing Variables:

As you can see the prices range quite a bit on all the games. The variables that make the prices so different are as follows:

  • Completeness of the game.
  • Condition of the game, box, instructions, and inserts.
  • Whether it is still new/ sealed or not.
  • Release/ variation of the game.

The most common thing I see is the exact same game that sells for hugely different prices. People just see the highest price and think “Well mine is worth that”. This is typically not the case. When a game is dead perfect, it will fetch so much more than one that is almost perfect but has one little flaw. It really means that much to collectors (who are typically the buyers). Especially if you are looking at getting the game graded. Every little detail matters and effects the value.

Want To Sell Your Games Or Just Get Prices On What You Have?

First and foremost with full transparency, I am a collector myself and I am always buying games to fill gaps and variations in my collection. I am up front and offer fair prices as well as pay quickly ( If you want to sell, please have PayPal or be able to meet in person). I am also happy to just help you figure out the value of what you have. Whether you are looking to sell or just want another opinion, be sure to reach out to me on my Facebook page or just email me at: [email protected], I’m always happy to help 😁Many people reach out to me daily and everyone has been super great and friendly to work with.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article. I spent a good amount of time and years of information into this article. If you have any further thoughts or questions, please feel free to leave them below in the comments.

Also, be sure to check out my article on original NES systems and their values.

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