User Reviews

River City: Where the smiles are free! NES Adzuken (861)
Barf! NES Zovni (10666)
Take Street Fighter, add Final Fantasy, throw in some Super Mario Brothers, what do you get? River City Ransom! NES Jimmy Sherrill (8)
Street fighting never got better than this NES MaiZure (126)
Humorous Fighting is "In" on the Gameboy Advance! Game Boy Advance Stephen Lambert (5)

Our Users Say

Platform Votes Score
Game Boy Advance 18 3.9
NES 56 4.0
Nintendo 3DS Awaiting 5 votes...
Sharp X68000 Awaiting 5 votes...
TurboGrafx CD Awaiting 5 votes...
Wii Awaiting 5 votes...
Wii U Awaiting 5 votes...
Combined User Score 74 4.0

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
While players can travel and progress at their own pace, the game’s structure requires grinding and defeating many enemies to upgrade sufficiently, or else the player will be very overpowered by stronger foes. This balance prolongs the deep experience and makes sure the player is prepared for taking on the next gang/boss that will be waiting in a yet to be conquered area. Nice music, very good graphics, fun sound effects, and the ability for a friend to jump in and play at any time complete an ingenious, marvelous gaming experience.
100 (Mar 22, 2013)
In the twenty-three years since River City Ransom was released, I have yet to play a beat-em-up that is as distinct or ground-breaking. If RCR were put out on current systems as an indie game today, it would be hailed as a tour-de-force of imagination and game design. It’s a shame that the game has never received a direct sequel (and not for lack of trying), but it’s only been in the last fifteen years that River City Ransom has been shown the respect it deserves.It surpasses Double Dragon II as Technos’ best beat-em-up, and sets the standard by which all future brawlers will be judged. No pressure or anything.
NESThunderbolt Games (Jul 29, 2004)
Almost anyone who is even remotely interested in videogames has heard of Double Dragon. For many it is one of the most beloved games on the NES and has been immortalized in numerous comic books, cartoons and even a full-length feature film. Judging by all the attention that Double Dragon has received over the years, it must certainly be the best fighting game on NES, right? Wrong. The title of ‘Best Brawler on the NES’ goes to a lesser-known cult classic by the name of River City Ransom.
NESNetjak (Aug 16, 2002)
I really wish this game would make a comeback on the GBA, or have an updated sequel, a la Super Dodgeball. If you haven't played this one yet, go find yourself a ROM or an old cart so you can experience the joy that is beat beating the tar out of the folks Cross Town High School.
NESPlayer One (Sep, 1992)
Comme vous l'aurez compris, Street Gang n'est pas un jeu banal ! Avec sa conception bizarre (mais réussie), des graphismes très sympas, une jouabilité sans reproche, des notes d'humour permanentes, il offre tout ce qu'il faut pour passer un très, très bon moment... À ne pas rater.
NESNES Times (Jan 29, 2009)
So anyway you look at it, River City Ransom is another NES cart worthy of it's cult status. Its mixture of excellent brawling and RPG customization works like a charm, and its funny and addictive gameplay makes this a fighting title you'll be playing many times over. This is definetly a game worth adding to your collection.
WiiIGN (Apr 21, 2008)
So River City Ransom is a classic, cult-followed, NES brawler that's still as deep and engaging as it was in the 8-bit era, and is made even better today by its arrival on the Virtual Console. There are very few other co-op capable NES titles that are still this accessible and fun after all these years, so you'd be very wise to find a friend and put down 500 Wii Points for a download of this one. (And good luck saving your girlfriend.)
OK, so it's not up to par audiovisually with a game like Streets of Rage 2. Big deal! River City Ransom can take on any 16-bit fighting game and emerge victorious in the long haul. Screw the 16, 32, and 64 bit revolution! Few games for any of these formats exhibit the omni-enticing play that RCR and the NES deliver.
NESGamesCollection (Nov 26, 2007)
In definitiva, credo che abbiate già capito che questo gioco ha stregato subito il sottoscritto dal momento stesso in cui l’ha comprato una decina di anni fa! Io lo uso ancora ogni tanto per ricordare i pomeriggi e le serate trascorse davanti alla televisione con i miei amici ma anche perché no, per sfogarmi un po’ e scaricare le tensioni.
NESGame Informer Magazine (Sep, 2001)
When Game Informer readers paged through the last issue, and noticed that River City Ransom didn't make our Top 100 Games of All Time list, a low, guttural groan could be heard through every corner of this great country. RCR was among the best-loved NES titles out there, and perhaps the system's most popular beat-em-up.
NESQuebec Gamers (Apr 12, 2007)
River City Ransom est un sympathique Beat 'em up avec des éléments RPG qui allongent sa durée de vie autrement très courte.
NESThe Video Game Critic (Feb 12, 2008)
The backgrounds offer some simple but attractive scenery including bright city skylines and scenic canals. The bottom of the screen displays colorful dialogue, most notably "BARF!!" when a thug is defeated. Perhaps the game's most innovative feature is how you earn and spend money to restore your life, raise your attributes, and acquire new moves. There are four shopping malls, each with a different set of stores. When using the gym sauna, you see your character's bare ass, which looks hilarious. River City Ransom provides a password save, but this thing is huge! I'm not sure I could write it down without making a mistake. It's also possible to find yourself "stuck" and unsure how to proceed, which happened to me and my friend George. Despite its minor flaws however, River City Ransom is a quality two-player beat-em-up that has withstood the test of time better than most.
NESN-Force (Nov, 1992)
More to offer than your average beat-'em-up and definitely one to keep an eye out for.
80 (UK) (Feb 23, 2008)
It's dinky and cute and oh-so-very addictive, and River City Ransom - sorry, Street Gangs - is one of those classic NES games I was hoping would make an appearance on the Euro VC. It's here. I'm happy.
Game Boy AdvanceGameSpy (Jun 02, 2004)
Fans of River City Ransom on the NES and brawlers as a whole will love this version. The graphics are improved, and much of the gameplay is revamped for the better. In the category of GBA brawlers, I only hold Atlus' other beat-'em-up port, Double Dragon, in higher regard. I could've done without the abstract annoyances, but River City Ransom EX is still a highly satisfying experience, and is definitely better than a sharp stick in the eye. Playing it once will have you hooked.
WiiNintendo Life (Feb 23, 2008)
That's really all there is to say - it's a basic game, but very, very enjoyable. Still, it's bested by several of its sequels and even some other games, so it just falls short of full marks. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be checked out, though!
Game Boy AdvanceAll Game Guide (2004)
If you missed River City Ransom for the NES, and you enjoy arcade-style beat 'em ups such as Streets of Rage, Double Dragon, or Bad Dudes, you owe it to yourself to give River City Ransom EX a try. It's definitely one of the best, and most unique, fighters to be offered on the GBA.
Game Boy AdvanceGame Informer Magazine (Jun, 2004)
Those who didn't grow up with this title may not be quite as charmed with it as old fans, but many of them will still enjoy it. The RPG-infused brawling may seem a little thin today, meaning River City Ransom will probably become a cult classic for the second time.
The Generic Boys giving you trouble? Can't seem to get across the Clark Street Bridge alone? Well my friend, Technos has give you the solution. Just holler for your best NES buddy and the two of you can take'em on at the same time! It's the roughest, toughest, two-fisted, put up your dukes street brawl ever-River City Ransom!
Game Boy AdvanceDigital Press - Classic Video Games (Jun 13, 2004)
The lack of any real 2-player action will most likely be a huge downer for a large group of people. Whether or not you can accept this major change will likely decide on how much enjoyment you'll get out of the cart. If it's not too big of problem, you'll find the same amount of enjoyment here that you did back when you first discovered the game. Very little has been changed in the gameplay area. If by some chance you've never been given the opportunity to play through the original, this is a great way to start.
79 (Mar, 2003)
Overall, the game kicks ass. It is simple, cartoonish, and funny, but still has many functions in the game that are more advanced than the serious games of this time. Clearly, no NES collection is complete without this game. I'd buy it myself, but that's the beauty of long term borrowing -- Sooner or later they forget.
NESSuper Power (Jul, 1992)
Nettement moins beau, les sprites ne sont ni aussi fins, ni aussi soignés que Double Dragon, S.G. ajoute quand même une notable petite touche d'humour. De nombreuses options sont proposées au début du jeu, et vous devrez augmenter vos niveaux d'expérience pour espérer arracher les dents des premiers et derniers boss venus. Quant à la maniabilité, elle est correctement gérée et les personnages répondent bien aux commandes.
NESNES Archives (Feb 10, 2009)
If you heard and believed the hype that this is one of the greatest NES games of all time, you may be disappointed. If you are looking for an entertaining, option-loaded, two-player simultaneous beat ‘em up you are in business.
Game Boy AdvanceGame Informer Magazine (Jun, 2004)
All nostalgia aside, this is a fun, if fairly repetitive beat 'em up that will likely seem a bit dated to younger fans.
Game Boy AdvanceGame Shark (Jul 20, 2004)
However, prospective buyers should be forewarned that the absence of the original’s co-op mode is a significant blow against the replay-ability of this title, and the relative shortness of the overall game. Still, good classic fun, and a decent booster shot to the old gamers who pine for the games of yesteryear.
NESJoystick (French) (Nov, 1992)
Les graphismes sont plus qu'honnêtes, j'irai même jusqu"à dire : bien ! Pour une fois que les teintes ne sont pas d'un orange verdâtre ! Selon AHL, Double Dragon II s'en tire beaucoup mieux. Je vous laisse juger. Quant à Double Dragon III, il est bien inférieur à Street Gangs. Pour un jeu de baston, qui se joue à deux simultanément qui plus est, Street Gangs ne s'en tire pas mal du tout.
NESVideo Chums (Oct 13, 2015)
River City Ransom is definitely worth playing for any retro enthusiast. It does have its problems and is very short, but the amount of memorable fun that you'll have will make you happy for taking the time to visit River City.
Game Boy AdvanceGameSpot (May 27, 2004)
Your personal take on River City Ransom EX depends largely on your feelings about the original game. The updates made to the game don't really enhance the game very much at all, and, in some cases, they get in the way of the action. The lack of two-player gameplay takes a lot of wind out of this remake's sails, too. If you can get around all of this stuff, EX is essentially the same game that came out in 1989, but at this point, if you aren't someone who feels incredibly strongly about the original game, picking up and playing River City Ransom EX might just leave you wondering what all the fuss was about in the first place.
NESVideo Games (Nov, 1992)
Streetgangs bietet ein unkompliziertes Prügelspiel, dess großes Plus im 2-Spieler-Modus liegt. Grafisch spektakulär ist's nicht, tummeln sich mehrere Raufbolde auf dem Schirm, beginnt zudem das große Flackern. Dann sind die Sprites kaum noch zu erkennen. Die (englischen) Dialoge sind ganz nett und zumindest durch die Wonderboyartigen Extras bietet Streetgangs Abwechslung. Die richtige Verpflegung und das Erlernen neuer Kampftechniken bringen ein taktisches Element ins Spiel, das Streetgangs einen Kick abwechslungsreicher macht.
Game Boy AdvanceUOL Jogos (Jul 14, 2004)
Apesar dos pesares, o potencial do jogo ainda é enorme. Ele oferece MUITA diversão para quem ignorar seus terríveis problemas técnicos e uma certa dificuldade de compreender sua profundidade nos primeiros minutos. A aventura dura cerca de duas horas, mas o jogo pode ser repetido centenas de vezes sem perder a graça, exatamente como o original. "River City Ransom EX" é uma boa aposta para saudosistas, mas, sem os olhos de quem já conhece as qualidades da série, a diversão pode acabar em desapontando.
NESVideoGame (Apr, 1991)
Há apenas uma fase, na qual todos os inimigos devem ser enfrentados para se chegar na porta que dará acesso à luta final. Mas, para abrir a porta, será necessário antes comprar um livro na biblioteca, que lhe ensinará o segredo.
Game Boy AdvanceDiehard GameFan (Jun 07, 2004)
I have been salivating over this game for a year and waiting with anticipation for it to bring me back to the goodness of the original. Instead I’m left feeling hollow, bitter and betrayed. But in the end, it’s not a bad game we are left with, but a fair one. However compared to the classic original game, I can’t help but feel cold to this remake and want to go blow in my old NES and stick in the cart, even if it does involve having to use a password.
Game Boy AdvanceGamerDad (Jun 30, 2004)
The small references to gangs and the light violence are all I can see that is not kid friendly. Everything else in this game is so cartoony. Even the violence is silly, and there's no blood. However, the GBA River City Ransom looks like it was made strictly for fans of the original NES game, which would be before any of today's kids were born. The nostalgia factor would be lost on them. Kids may like the wacky yet repetitive gameplay, and older gamers may appreciate the RPG elements. But expect arguments when their save files get all mixed up. And don't forget, "BARF!"
NESTotal! (Germany) (Jul, 1993)
Selbst wenn Capcom ein Final Fight auf dem NES plant. rechtfertigt das lange nicht den Kauf dieser Krücke