The year 1986 is often regarded as one of the most incredible years for the gaming industry, according to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai. This year marked the birth of several major franchises, the introduction of the NES in Europe, and the creation of the iconic Konami code.

Series like The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest, Metroid, Castlevania, and Kid Icarus all originated in 1986, laying the foundation for some of gaming’s most beloved and enduring franchises. These games, as noted by Sakurai, have made their way into the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, showcasing their lasting impact on the industry.

During this period, games began to expand and evolve rapidly with the introduction of new technologies. Both hardware and software underwent significant advancements, providing a major boost in capacity and paving the way for more complex and immersive gaming experiences. The era also marked the dawn of computer-generated entertainment with the release of the Pixar short “Luxo Jr.”

The list of notable games from 1986 is extensive and includes titles like The Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest, Castlevania, and Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels, among many others. These games have left a lasting impact on the gaming industry and continue to be celebrated by players and developers alike.

If reminiscing about the golden age of gaming has sparked your interest in retro titles, Nintendo’s Switch Online service offers a vast collection of classic NES and Famicom games. Whether you’re a fan of platformers, RPGs, or action-adventure games, there’s something for everyone to enjoy from the iconic games of 1986.

The year 1986 was truly a game-changing period for the gaming industry, with the birth of iconic franchises, technological advancements, and an expansion of the gaming landscape. As we look back on the games that defined this era, it’s clear that the impact of 1986 continues to be felt in the industry today.


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