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North American box art.

Excitebike is a ratchet scrolling dirt bike racing game made by Nintendo and released for the NES on 1984-11-30. It also saw a PlayChoice-10 release and was ported to Japanese 8-bit home computers. The game is the first in the Excitebike series. A 2-player split-screen version was made for the Famicom Disk System which included the ability to save your custom tracks and times.


I think the very first time I played it was at my babysitter's house in Pontiac (around 1985). I didn't own this game growing up, but several of my friends had the game, and I always enjoyed playing it. What interested me most was the ability to create your own tracks, though I always wished there was a way to save them.

I own this game for the NES, and have come in first place on each track in Mode A.


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4 4 4 3 6

Best Version: Famicom Disk System

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • For a short while at least, the game is a quite fun.
  • Being able to design your own tracks is a fantastic addition that more games should have had at the time.
  • The Vs. version for the FDS basically makes the game complete. It allows two player competitive split screen, lets you to save your tracks, logs your best times, has more pre-made tracks, and adds more music and cut-scenes.
  • Requiring the player to not only keep their bike oriented properly, but also manage their heat, speed, and lane, was a good way to make the game more involved.
  • I like how the game changes the palette for each new track.


  • The graphics and music are pretty dull.
  • The color palette of stage 5 makes it difficult to see the track. It's also a shame that you can't choose from a selection of palettes in the track designer.
  • I wish the game actually implemented an AI for the other bikers rather than just throwing them randomly on the screen.


  • The game is too short. Five stages isn't nearly enough to keep players occupied.
  • The game really needs to be a two player game. I understand that a split screen just wasn't feasible on the hardware at the time, but they could have made it single screen and just punished players who fell behind with added time.
  • The save and load options which worked in Japan, but not in the USA, should have been removed. They were just such a tease! You actually can get them to work with the Famicom Keyboard and a tape recorder, but they were never released in the USA.


Box Art





NES Works, review.
NES Works Gaiden, review.
How the save and load features would have worked.


The original game doesn't have credits, but NES Virtual Console, official sound tracks, and Vs. high score lists help identify several of the developers.

Role Staff
Executive Producer Hiroshi Yamauchi
Director Shigeru Miyamoto
Producer Shigeru Miyamoto
Programmer Toshihiko Nakago
Graphic Designers Minoru Maeda, Takashi Tezuka
Music Composer Akito Nakatsuka
Audio Programmer Yukio Kaneoka


Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Excitebike
Japanese エキサイトバイク Ekisaitobaiku Excitebike


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