How to Play the Original Donkey Kong on an NES

Wanting a bit of nostalgia when it comes to gaming? Sure, it’s a lot of fun to have the latest greatest tech in the gaming industry, but in all honesty, sometimes we want to kick back and play some Donkey Kong.

If you have a dusty old Nintendo in the attic, I’d love to tell you to pull it out and play away. Sadly, you’ll need a lot more than that to make it work. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get those old gaming consoles to work with your current TV and where to find those games we all loved so much back in the day!

If you actually have an old NES in your attic or basement, it’s your lucky day! Trying to source an original one for under $200 is impossible today. However, if you have the money and really want the console, you can buy it on eBay or DKOldies. Once you’ve got your hands on that sweet nostalgia, it’s time to hook it up.

You have a few options. The original system uses an RF port or an AV/RCA port. Many new televisions still have these ports on the back. Check your TV to see if you can plug that console in and get started. Sadly, the RF cables are probably giving you a less than stellar picture due to cable erosion over time (it’s been over thirty years!). If not, you’re good to go! The alternative, the AV/RCA cables, aren’t quite as old and tend to work pretty well, so long as you’re putting them in the right spot. That’s red to red and yellow to yellow. Ignore that extra port! Another alternative for TVs that have completely ditched these old-school methods is an HDMI converter adaptor ($35 on Amazon, and it also works with an N64, so totally worth the price).

Once it’s plugged in and ready to go, if you’ve come this far without spending a dime, your luck is about to run out. Unless you left your Donkey Kong cartridge in pristine condition (and let’s be honest, it got way too much use to be mint), you’re going to need to find a cartridge that still works. Again, we can be super thankful for consumers because there are legitimate original cartridges available for under $30. DKOldies has several ready-to-buy, and their shipping is pretty fast. Amazon also has a handful available for $35.

Now that you know it’s possible, it’s time to hook that game up and play away. Don’t forget, the holidays are right around the corner, and this is a great gift for that special someone in your life who misses the simplicity of the 80s. Just don’t get too competitive. I can still remember the scuffles my brother, and I got into over video games. We’re adults now, but that wouldn’t change a thing when we decide to throw down!