One of the best parts about retro gaming is finding classic games in the wild and a discounted price. But not all games you run into will have such a low price tag, especially in the new world of online resellers.

Most people can’t afford the hundreds of dollars needed to build an impressive collection or even get just some games worth playing. Luckily, you can still find cheap games for your NES if you know where to look. and if you are new to retro collecting, you may be wondering how to get the best bang for your buck.

When I first created the list, it was meant to cover cheap and fun NES  games costing $10 or less. Of course, we are talking about loose carts, as boxed NES games carry a hefty price tag no matter what. But thanks to the worldwide “events” that forced people to stay home for the past few years, the rise in popularity of retro games was inevitable. Unfortunately so was the price rise.

None of these great NES games are under $10 anymore, they are still some of the best deals you can get.  These are the

Cheapest NES Games That Are Still Fun To Play Today

Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet

Duck Hunt will require an NES zapper which isn’t that expensive, but it will also require you to have a traditional CRT TV, which most people do not have floating around anymore.

World Class Track Meet requires the Power Pad to play.

Mario Duck Hunt Track Meet Combo

So why am I recommending this one with so many limitations? Well in general, this multi-cart sells for cheaper than a standalone Super Mario or Mario/Duck Hunt cart.

So even if you can’t play the other games on here, you are getting Super Mario Bros. for cheap. And every NES owner needs the iconic 2D platformer in their collection.

Dr. Mario

Everybody loves to play Tetris now and then, but most new NES owners forget that Mario had his own puzzle game that can be just as addicting.

Dr. Mario Nintendo Entertainment System

Mario throws pills into a bottle and you have to match 3 halves of the same color capsule on a virus of the same color to get rid of that virus (It is simpler to play than I just made it sound).

Every level adds four more viruses to the total and this game offers a two-player mode. Two players can play at the same time and each player can choose their level if one is more skilled than the other. Two players then play against one another in a best-of-three series.


Many people dismiss this game unless they played it when they were young. It has often gotten the moniker of being a “Zelda clone”. However, the legend of Zelda was a great game, so if anything, this should perk your curiosity about Startropics.

Star Tropics is a cheap game

There are puzzles you have to solve and you can jump but your main attack is using a yo-yo. The difficulty gets harder as you go through the game but if you die in a dungeon, you start at the beginning like Zelda.

The worst part of Star Tropics is you must talk to everybody to advance through the game but the story is enjoyable so it’s not that much of a bummer.


It’s amazing how addictive this game can be. You race dirtbikes on a sidescrolling track with hazards in the way and you try to complete the track faster than the time that received third place. As simple as this game is, it’s also fun.

Excitebike for NES

You can choose to race on a track by yourself or with other racers. When you pass by another racer, more racers will appear near your position. But don’t worry about that, beating the other racers is not the objective. The objective is to get the best time possible.

There is also a mode where you can create your track. You place which hazards are where and when the track ends. You can also save a track to race on with your friends at a later time.

R.C. Pro-Am

This is another racing game that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. In fact, it is one of the best racing games on the NES.

RC Pro Am

R.C. stands for “radio controlled”, so what you are actually racing in this game are model toy cars, but they definitely don’t handle as such. It would have been nice if the developers play on this theme with some of the tracks. Racing small-sized model cars should have opened a world of creative track design.

With speed boosts and options to upgrade your car between races, there are plenty of rewarding reasons to press on and try to win. A very entertaining racing game at an affordable price.

Double Dragon

At the time, Double Dragon was the best beat ’em-up franchise around, and the games still hold up to this day. Unfortunately, the NES version had one big flaw. On the Nintendo, two players couldn’t work together as they did in the arcade version.

Double Dragon

Billy would learn new moves as you played through the game which was a  fun feature that didn’t happen in the arcade version.

While co-op was left out, 2-player was not, as there is a battle mode where you and a friend can play against one another. Although both players have to pick the same character.

It is a classic game that everyone knows at a price that makes it a no-brainer. If you are a big fan, Double Dragon II and III can be found for cheap as well.


Strider is an interesting game where each version of it was different depending on which console you played it on. What’s even more noteworthy is that each and every version of the game was a banger!

The Nintendo version of Strider

In the NES release, you would collect files that would unlock more parts of the game. As you progress, you gain abilities that will help you discover even more areas to explore.

There are a couple of tiny flaws here like enemies respawn which can make things difficult,  and to complete areas you have to make it back to where you started.

While the Arcade and the Genesis version are considered superior, The NES version is no slouch and is still worth checking out.


Gauntlet is another game where you will get a different experience depending on the console you play it on, but the idea is mostly the same.


You pick from one of four character classes and try to make it out of dungeons while looking for gold and fighting off enemies. You also had to find keys so you could leave the level.

Two players could work together in this game which would make the game a little easier. (and more fun). This game has 100 levels to get through and secrets to find within the levels. 

Gauntlet is the grand-daddy of action RPG adventure games and another must-have for any NES collection.

Marble Madness

Like other puzzle games, this one may seem simple at first but the fun isn’t sacrificed by the simplicity. There are only six levels and you are trying to move your marble from the starting line to the endpoint. It is truly easier than it sounds, and there will be obstacles in your way.

Marble Madness

If your marble comes into contact with enemies or falls off the board, you don’t lose a life, you lose time. You want to finish the levels as soon as possible because the quicker you finish a level, the more time you get on the next one. 

Two players could also play competitively when trying to get through the levels. With the ability to knock each other off or into enemies this game is one of the original friend-enders.


Mario wasn’t the only character from the franchise to have a puzzle game like Tetris. Yoshi would also get his own, but this one had its twist and involved more than lining up specific icons.

Yoshi game for the NES

You would have four columns where you could place items. Some items would be half of an egg (bottom or top). The goal is to capture similar items within an egg while trying to avoid getting to the top. Like my description of Dr. Mario, this is way more fun than I am making it sound.

It may not be as popular as some of the other puzzle games on the console, but for this price, it deserves a try.

Pro Wrestling

Wrestling games of the time were hit and miss (most were misses), but Pro Wrestling for the NES was one exception that was fun to play.

Pro Wrestling

You pick from a few different characters and have matches but what you could do in the game wasn’t as limited as the WWF titles of the era.

You could even wrestle outside the ring and you would see a cameraman and an announcer calling all the action.

The moves were more than punching and kicking which is what you saw in WWF Wrestlemania, you had actual wrestling moves, bouncing off ropes, dives, and more.

This game was one of the few good wrestling games on the Nintendo, or anywhere else at the time.

Rolling Thunder

There were several popular run and gun shooters like Contra but the good one cost a lot for people who were on a budget. The arcade game Rolling Thunder had an NES port made by Tengen which was fun but also hard.

Rolling Thunder

A classic side-scrolling shooting with tight gameplay, a wide variety of areas to explore, and hidden powerups, Rolling Thunder is a title that gets so little love, it’s almost a hidden gem.

One thing that is common between Rolling Thunder and Contra was the difficulty. You would die if you got hit twice but if you take your time and stay alert you will be rewarded.

Rolling Thunder is a great game on the Nintendo that isn’t as well known as games like Contra, and it carries a more reasonable price.

These are my top picks of fun NES games to play on the cheap and surprisingly it includes some of the best NES games in the library. So if you have a Nintendo or a console that plays 8-Bit NES cartridges, and want an instant collection you can start with a few of these great titles.