TMNT Nes Dam level

GG’s Top 5 NES Games for Under 10 Bucks

Top 5 NES Games Under $10, as previously posted on YouTube.

It’s been almost two years since I made my video about the top 5 NES games for under ten bucks. The idea behind that video sums up the whole premise of The Ghetto Gamer: How to get started retro gaming and expand your collection without wasting money! The video was also a great excuse to share a few of my favorite retro games that may have been overlooked. Otherwise, why would they be so cheap?

Two years later, the prices—and my opinions—still hold. These are five great games every retrogaming collection needs. And they’re so cheap, with such great play value, you get the biggest bang for your retrogaming collection without wasting a bunch of money!  

They were all red.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

At one point (in EU regions only, I believe), the Ninja Turtles NES (or “Hero Turtles”) game was a pack-in. That means if you bought that edition of the NES, you got a TMNT cartridge instead of Super Mario/Duck Hunt. That console, complete-in-box, would be incredible to have in your collection. But if you can’t swing that, just the TMNT NES game should be plenty.

TMNT NES edition
In EU, they were Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles.

Besides being one of the most iconic games, this is also a notoriously difficult game for the NES. I’ve never beaten it. Not even with emulator save states. It’s just too tough at the later levels.

However, the first few stages are entirely winnable. And fun, too. And besides that, the Turtles were so popular during this time,  most mature gamers today remember this era. And we all had a bodacious time.

RoboWarrior NES cover art
I’m a big fan of this retro robot artwork.


This is probably the most under-recognized game on this list. Which is a shame. Robo Warrior is a simple and fun title for your retrogaming collection.

Originally billed as a spin-off to Bomberman, RoboWarrior never got a sequel. But it follows a similar path to Bomberman. Your robot dude blasts his way through each level by placing up to 2 bombs at a time, then running off.

As you progress from left to right, the game forces you to choose routes, as there’s no backtracking. If you miss an important item, you’re outta luck.

RoboWarrior NES gameplay
Place the bomb, then run away from the blast.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons this game never took off is the cryptic puzzles. Some of the stages require the RoboWarrior to find a special chalice that will allow the level to end. If you don’t find it, the level will continue looping infinitely until you do.

Still, this is a fun game with one of my all-time favorite 8-bit soundtracks!


Originally part of the Macventure series that included Deja Vu and The Uninvited, Shadowgate feels more like a computer adventure. Because it was.

I’m a fan.

Really, all of the games in the Macventure series are great and worth a play. But Shadowgate is the only one currently under $10. Deja Vu isn’t too far off, around the 12-13 dollar range. You should check that out, too.

The other thing Shadowgate really has going for it is the bomb-diggity soundtrack. It stays stuck in my head to this very day.  

When you’re a boss monster, all you need is legs and a mouth.

Blaster Master

You’re probably familiar with this one. It was one of my favorites as a kid. But there are some frustratingly cryptic steps you have to take to progress the game. And it’s truly tough in the later levels. But overall, Blaster Master is a great game.

There are two different modes in Blaster Master. In the overworld, the protagonist, Jason, can use his tank to shoot enemies and jump around. But Jason can also ditch his tank and continue on foot, entering indoor areas where you play in a top-down view, blasting enemies.

Blaster Master NES gameplay
Just chillin’ by my grasshopper tank.

The overhead segments of this game feel a bit like Fester’s Quest (not my favorite). But you may also recognize some elements from Gremlins 2: The New Batch (definitely a favorite). If you ask me, Blaster Master is quintessential Sunsoft and a true classic.


This is a game I bring up often. It’s one of my top picks for games that need a modern remake. (Also Zelda II. Please, Nintendo? Please?)

There was a sequel to StarTropics called “Zoda’s Revenge.” But it didn’t sell very well Perhaps because it wasn’t released until the very end of the NES’s life span. By then, the Super NES was imminent and fans were moving forward, into the 16-bit era. StarTropics 2 got little love, and no more sequels.

It’s ROB!

StarTropics is great! More of those great tunes, interesting characters, an epic RPG adventure (suspiciously Zelda-like at times), great gameplay, and good graphics make this a really fun play. Personally, I find it bizarre that this game isn’t much more expensive. It’s a total classic and every NES fan likes it!

But Nintendo works in mysterious ways.

The featured image for this post was taken from the NES Atlas on YouTube. You should really watch the whole incredible video.


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