I wanted to flag this entry over at Slop Culture, in which the authors call out Gamespot readers for being idiots. I'll defend Gamespot readers to the extent that "best of" lists based upon a wide sample always seem to elevate mediocrity, but the larger point of the entry is totally valid. Is Duck Hunt a great game, or merely a game that was widely played? Surely it's not a great game. It's barely a good one. To quote Gertrude Stein, there's no there there. As a tech demo for the Zapper, it was pretty sweet. Otherwise, it was nothing more than a neat bonus on the Super Mario Bros. cart.
On the other hand, it was necessary to seek out more rewarding titles back in the day (not that I did, really -- I was playing through Contra and Mega Man 2 eight hundred times each*). If not enough people voted for River City Ransom as the best NES game of all time, then my guess is that it's because not very many people played it. Everybody who got a Nintendo, on the other hand, got Duck Hunt. No wonder a good number of rubes lived to vote it the best game of all time. Does it even compare to the greats? Not hardly.
*This should in no way be construed as criticism of either game. They're both among my favorites. I just meant that I tended to play a few games over and over, rather than play as many games as possible.