Nintendo gets physical with Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition

You are the champion, my friend!

Written by Jason Venter
Published May. 08, 2024

Nintendo has officially announced Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition, and it's going bigger with the release than some fans might have expected. Scheduled to arrive on July 18, the title will be available in both digital and physical forms, with MSRPs of $29.99 USD and $59.99 USD, respectively.

Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition is a clear reference to Nintendo World Championship Gold, a ludicrously expensive NES cartridge that was made available as part of an event Nintendo hosted in 1990. At the time, a gold cartridge was given away as a contest prize for lucky Nintendo Power subscribers, and those carts can now fetch upwards of $100,000 USD in rare instances where they become available to purchase through online auctions.

Screenshot: Nintendo

The Switch version of the classic title collects 13 first-party Nintendo titles, including:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Donkey Kong
  • Excitebike
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Metroid
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Players can participate in speedrun challenges drawn from those games, although the complete titles are not included as part of the collection. A similar approach was previously used with the NES Remix games, but those featured special reworked challenges drawn from the classics. Here, the emphasis is definitely on speedrunning.

In my opinion, the coolest part of the physical collection is the replica gold cartridge, which closely resembles the NES original and even comes with a stand for display purposes. It's a bit of a bummer that the cart isn't playable if you happen to have an NES; it's for looking only. That makes sense, as the game itself is greatly enhanced with modern menus and such, but I wouldn't have been sad at all if the cart had included a ROM of the original cartridge. It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity to me.

Limitations aside, Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition is an immediate curiosity that I want to own, and the rare example of a physical collectible I'll probably spend the money to acquire. It's now available for pre-order at Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and elsewhere, so make sure to get your order in early!

Jason Venter
Jason Venter (Managing Editor)

Jason Venter has been writing about games since he discovered the medium as a small child, but people didn't start paying him until around 2002. He began by writing online at HonestGamers, the site he founded, and spent a few years writing for Hardcore Gamer Magazine. Since then, he has freelanced for leading outlets such as IGN, GameSpot, Polygon, and numerous others. When he's not playing and writing about video games, he spends what little time is left writing and publishing fantasy novels.

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