5. Aladdin (Genesis)
When it comes to Aladdin, Sega actually did what Nintendidn’t. If you think Sony and Microsoft’s console war is brutal now, boy did you miss out on the bloody battle (mainly discussed during school recess) that was the Genesis vs. SNES. All in all, Nintendo came out victorious, and the consensus seemed to be that any multi-platform game was usually better on the Super Nintendo. Aladdin was a huge exception to that argument. While the SNES version took a more family friendly approach by having you attack enemies by throwing apples at their faces, the Genesis version didn’t bother with that “Disney” bullshit and instead let you use a sword to hack and slash them to death. But that’s just a minor point and a disservice to what made this game superior. What really made the Genesis version stand out was the beautiful sprite animations that, for lack of a better description, looked just like the animated movie. This was possible thanks to Virgin working directly with Disney animators to make the game look as close to the movie as possible. How cool is that?
4. The Little Mermaid (NES)
It may come as a surprise to some that The Little Mermaid was turned into a game for the NES, some will be even more surprised to find that it was created and published by Capcom, making it a better game than one would expect. Throughout the game you help Ariel traverse the open waters of the ocean, collecting seashells and thingamabobs while shooting deadly bubbles at your enemies too stupid to get in your way, in order to free all the fish in the ocean of Ursula’s curse. The gameplay is fairly simple, as is normal for a game directed at a younger audience, but the aquatic environment was a more groundbreaking feature not done effectively until the release of this game. The Little Mermaid is quick, cute, and a great way to continue in the adventures of Ariel the ocean princess.
3. Epic Mickey
Ever heard of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? I’m sure that by now, most of you have. But there was a time that nobody knew the tale of Walt’s first animated creation, and how due to licensing contracts, there was time when Universal had Oswald by the ears. This is how we came to know Mickey Mouse, and how he grew into such the icon we know him as today. Within recent years, Disney has re-acquired Oswald, and on his first adventure back, he starred alongside the famous Mouse in Disney’s Epic Mickey for the Wii.
While the gameplay is a little rugged and the camera puts up a bit of a fight, Epic Mickey is a unique game with a great sense of style. The idea of painting your enemies until they’re “good” again or thinning walls to reveal secret paths is certainly an interesting one, and being able to see Disney in more of a dismal light is definitely kind of…dare I say it, refreshing? To be sure, though, if you’re playing Epic Mickey, it’s for the rich and interesting story it provides you, with a lively take on Mickey’s predecessor and how he’s been doing all these years locked away. The fact that they decided to tell this story in game form ALONE speaks volumes, and definitely earns it a spot so high on this list.
2. DuckTales (NES)
Take a trip back in time with me, and you’ll see a world in which the mere concept of a good video game based off a popular kids cartoon was nothing more than a joke (looking at you, Yogi Bear’s Math Adventures). Enter DuckTales on the NES which not only turned that perception on it’s head, it also led the way for many other quality Disney video games for years to come. You don’t need to keep your nostalgia goggles on to see what made DuckTales so special. If it wasn’t for a certain Squaresoft game 12 years later, Capcom’s NES adaptation of the senile duck who loves money would still hold the illustrious title of the best Disney video game of all time. It may not be as easy to see why 27 years later, but put into perspective everything the game accomplished and innovated at the time, and you’ll get the idea. Hidden paths, colorful worlds to travel, one of the greatest 8-bit soundtracks ever composed, and gameplay that’s more in depth than you might give it credit for, thanks in part to Scrooge McDuck’s bouncy cane. Capcom’s DuckTales may just be the best thing to come out of 1989 (sorry Taylor Swift).