Tons of people play video games now, but did you know people played video games in the 1990s, too? It’s true! From the Super NES to the Nintendo 64, people from all walks of life got their game on to the bleeps and bloops of what we’d now consider classic consoles. But which games from that awesome era reign supreme as gamers’ favorites? Thanks to the pollsters at MuchGames and the 2,000 people they surveyed (don’t ask where they came from), we now have definitive, scientific answers to those burning questions. In a shocking turn of events, seven out of the top 10 places were won by classic Nintendo games, with Super Mario World finishing in first place and Super Mario 64 and The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time rounding out the top three. Only three non-Nintendo games made the cut, and you’ll never guess which! Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, and… Battletoads.
Also included in the results were these poll-takers’ most loved and hated levels. Every one of them came from one of the games that finished in the overall top 10. The beloved included Super Mario World’s “Donut Plains 1,” which we have shared our love for in the past, and “Yoshi’s Island 1,” represented in the poll’s infographic results by a screenshot from the wrong Mario game; Mario 64’s “Whomps Fortress” and “Tall, Tall Mountain”; and good old “Green Hill Zone,” which was the lone non-Nintendo option. As for the most hated levels, Ocarina Of Time’s maligned “Water Temple” makes the cut but only at number five. No, most of these random 2,000 people couldn’t stand the “Sunken Ghost Ship” from Super Mario World. And despite the bewildering appearance of Battletoads elsewhere in these results, its notorious “Turbo Tunnel” is nowhere to be seen.
It goes without saying that, as with any online survey, these results act more as an indicator of who the heck is actually visiting this MuchGames website than anything else. It turns out its audience—or the part of it willing to sit through this survey, at least—is probably made up of people old enough to have played Super NES games when they were a kid, but for whom the original NES was a dusty relic. As for Battletoads, which is a legitimately bizarre inclusion on this list, one has to assume the meme-friendly game’s placement on the top 10 is thanks to a troll vote perpetrated by those internet-savvy “information services and data processing” professionals the survey claims love it so much. Really, how the hell else do you explain that?