My all-time favourite Nintendo exclusives – Reader’s Feature

A reader offers a detailed answer to this week’s Hot Topic, as he judges the greatest games from Nintendo’s long history.

Considering Nintendo’s business model and incontrovertible Grand Master status as one of the world’s finest video game developers it feels like there should be so much to choose from for this week’s Hot Topic. However, I’m afraid I’m just going to sound like a broken record, as I’ve championed my populist choices many times, already.

For my money, both the SNES and the Switch are homes to definitive versions of two of the most enjoyable and enduringly memorable exclusives of all time: The Legend Of Zelda and Mario Kart.

Zelda: A Link To The Past is a 16-bit masterpiece. Everything about it oozes polish and the love its creators poured into its rich and inviting world. It upped the ante for the franchise in every way, from level design to art style and set down a definitive template and world switch mechanic structure for the series that almost every subsequent Zelda has followed, even Ocarina Of Time.

Even the pan and zoom Mode 7 map was a technological treat at the time. Stepping out of the Sanctuary for the first time after escorting Princess Zelda to supposed safety and hearing that first blast of the iconic Zelda theme never stops bringing me joy.

Playing this game on a friend’s SNES one summer convinced me I needed a Nintendo console in my life and I’ve rarely been without one since.

Super Mario Kart followed, with its Mode 7 sprite-scaling effect courses really showing off the host console’s graphical capabilities. At the time I remember thinking that, compared to this and fellow Mode 7 racer F-Zero, Nintendo really showed up every other home format into-the-screen racer I’d ever seen at that point.

Not to mention Nintendo’s uncanny ability to be at their absolute best when applying their own unique spin to existing genres, creating a whole sub-genre of their own in the process and another definitive template for an iconic and enduringly successful franchise into the bargain.

Fast forward to the present day, and once more these two franchises are leading exclusives on a Nintendo format. For my money, with the best 3D era versions of each game. Again, both were primary reasons for me buying the console they appear on. Again, both have provided me with seemingly endless hours of enjoyment and proved well worth the money, and then some.

Breath Of The Wild is a sublime effort, bringing a much needed and refreshingly different take to the series. I love it to bits. No, it’s not perfect. But it’s still my game of the generation so far. With the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Two/Squared/Duo/Stream/Cloud almost upon us, I can’t see that changing either. I can understand why some people don’t get on with it, but for me, it just clicked.

The only things Mario Kart 8 has wrong with it are that it doesn’t include a version of every Mario Kart track ever made and that there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to play it. Even though it’s on a console that’s portable, I never seem to spend enough time travelling anywhere where there’s enough worthwhile time to play.

I suppose the only problem with these choices is that Breath Of The Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe could be argued not to be format exclusives, as both are available on the Wii U as well as the Switch. However, since they’re definitely all Nintendo only, I’d say they count.

By reader yourhomeisatrisk

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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