April 24, 2024

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30 Games That Should Be On the SNES Classic

With the discontinuation of the NES Classic Mini, Nintendo has reportedly started production for the inevitable 16-bit follow up, the SNES Classic Mini.  There has been no new information released reporting a release date or price, but it is speculated this holiday season $59.99 USD, much like its NES predecessor, seems like a reasonable prediction.  The NES Classic Mini launched with 30 available titles, so it’s safe to assume that the SNES Classic should do the same.  The Super Nintendo is my favorite console of all time, and although it may be difficult to choose only 30 titles, below are a list of 30 games I think are a MUST for the SNES Classic Mini.

1)Super Mario World

How do you top one of the greatest platformers of all time on the NES, Super Mario Bros. 3? By releasing it’s sequel on one of the greatest consoles of all time!  Mario and Luigi would make their debut on the SNES in all of it’s 16-bit goodness.  The fourth installment of the world popular Super Mario franchise would feature Mario and Luigi once again traversing the world map, hopping from level to level, and  putting an end to the reign of Bowser and the Koopa Kids, but this time they would have help as their prehistoric steed Yoshi would make his way onto the scene for the first time in franchise history.

2)Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

The proper sequel to the only SNES featured Mario game would actually be a prequel.  Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island takes us back to when Mario and Yoshi first met, as Yoshi is a victim of circumstance, and is tasked with the mission of escorting baby Mario to reunite with his brother Luigi, who has been kidnapped by Baby Bowser’s minions! The hand-drawn aesthetics made this a true graphical gem on the Super Nintendo, and would prove that Mario’s companion was useful for more than just dumping into a canyon when you needed an extra boost to jump across chasms.

3)The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Argued among fans as the best in the series, The Hero of Time would make his debut on the Super Nintendo to once again save Hyrule from the perils of Ganon.  Hidden secrets, unforgettable boss battles, and that addicting background music that plays while you are trotting through Hyrule field makes this game a timeless classic and a must play for any adventure (and especially Zelda) fan.

4)Super Metroid

“The last Metroid is in captivity.  The galaxy is at peace”.

The third installment in the Metroid series, and arguably the best entry in the series.  Some fans have even stated that his may perhaps be one of the greatest games of all time!  The Godfather to term Metroid-vania, this game would help shape 2D platformers games for the years to come.  Samus gets a distress signal from a space colony housing what appears to be the last remaining Metroid.  Upon arriving, she quickly discovers that she is too late, as the ship has been hijacked by the infamous space pirate, Ridley, and it’s now up to her to hunt him down on the nearby and familiar planet, Zebes.  Massive map design?  Check.  Tons of unlockables and secrets?  Check.  In-depth inventory system?  Double check.  Incredible experience for fans of sci-fi action games?  Triple check!  This is an obvious choice for Nintendo’s selection to the roster for the SNES classic.  If not, you must find a way to play this game!

5)Chrono Trigger

Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama walk into a bar….

Ok, maybe not, but they did come together to form what Square would dub the “Dream Team” to create one of the greatest RPG’s of all time.  You control Crono and his friends as you travel through time to prevent a catastrophic end of the world brought on by a prehistoric monster known as Lavos.  Highly-detailed graphics, beautiful awe inspired music composed by Final Fantasy’s own Nobuo Uematsu, and a unique battle system accompany your voyage as you venture to change history and acquire one of the games 13 endings!  Not a fan of turn-based RPGs?  This game is sure to change your mind.

6)Super Mario Kart

Where it all began!  The green and red turtle shells.  The banana-peels.  The ruined friendships.  Mario and company take a break from jumping on each other’s heads to driving go-karts through Ghost Valley, Bowser’s Castle, and more.

7)Super Castlevania IV

What could essentially be labeled as a remake to the original Castlevania, Simon Belmont returns to once again put an end to Dracula and his evil army.  Much controversy surrounds this particular entry to the franchise, due to the questionable usefulness of the sub-items in the game.  If you weren’t using the popular cross item, most of the items were considered null and void for Simon could sling his whip (chain) in any direction making him a much more versatile vampire hunter this go around.  Perhaps one of the more lengthier titles in it’s traditional linear roots, Super Castlevania IV sets the tone of what makes a great Castlevania game with its dark atmosphere, eerie music,  and terrifying boss-battles.

8)Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Before there was Paper Mario, there was the game that introduced the Italian Plumber in to the world of Role Playing.  Bowser’s Castle has been occupied by a gang of miscreants lead by a giant sword being known as Smithy.  Star Road is in disarray as the new villains are stealing the stars and preventing the wishes of the citizens of Mushroom Kingdom from coming true.  Mario joins newcomers Mallow and Geno, and even familiar faces such as Princess Toadstool and Bowser… yes, even Bowser is a playable character in this game!   A fun and addicting twist to turn-based role playing would have players timing their button presses with attacks for added damage and more immersion during combat.

9)Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers

The greatest 2D fighter of all time makes this list with the third entry on the Super Nintendo.  Everything we loved about Street Fighter’s addicting gameplay but loaded with more game modes, faster gameplay, and new characters featuring Cammy, Fei-Long, Dee Jay, and T.Hawk.

10)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time

Perhaps one of the greatest side-scrolling beat-em ups ever made, you play as the heroes in a half-shell Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michealangelo as you battle your way through time defeating Shredder and his henchmen.  The best part?  It’s two players!

11)Contra III: Alien Wars

During the golden age of Konami, there wasn’t another IP as popular as Contra.  In an era where the macho 80s/90s action stars were still delivering testosterone induced Full Metal Jackets into armies of cronies on the big-screen, Bill Rizer and Lance Bean were fighting aliens with their Spread Shots and Laser Beams.


Mother, as it’s named in Japan, is the only one in the series to be released in English.  Undoubtedly one of the more creative RPG’s on the console, EarthBound  has players taking control of Ness and his party of four, as you travel the world to collect melodies en route to defeat the evil alien force Giygas.  Considered a cult classic to most RPG enthusiasts, this game would quickly gain popularity years after release and years after the SNES’ lifespan.

13)Secret of Mana

Released in North America as Final Fantasy Adventure and in Europe as Mystic Quest, the game is set in a high fantasy universe, and follows three heroes as they attempt an evil empire conquering the world with the power of an ancient flying fortress.  The combat system was unique in this particular title, for instead of using the traditional turn-based battle system, it featured a real-time battle system with a “power bar” mechanic, and a ring menu which allows players to pause combat and swap items and spells on the fly.

14)Final Fantasy VI

So wait…  Final Fantasy II was Final Fantasy IV in America, and Final Fantasy III was Final Fantasy VI in America or…  Whatever.

Of all the great RPG’s on the Super Nintendo, no list would be complete with Final Fantasy VI.

Easily rivaling Final Fantasy VII for best in the series, Final Fantasy VI is a master-class in storytelling and traditional turn-based elements.  The story focuses on a group of rebels as they seek to overthrow an empirical dictatorship.

15)Donkey Kong Country

Rare brings Donkey Kong back in a big way by rendering realistic 3D sprites with classic 2D platforming to create one of the most memorable games on the Super Nintendo.  Play solo or with a partner as you take control of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong to reclaim your hoards of bananas from the scheming King K. Rool and his Kremlings.

16)Donkey Kong Country 2

In my personal opinion, the best in the Donkey Kong Country Trilogy and one of the more overlooked platformers on the console. Donkey Kong has been captured and it’s up to Diddy Kong and his cousin Dixie to save him. The difficulty would spike to 11 in this entry, as it no longer allowed players to freely save when they wished, but instead were forced to spend in-game currency to save during their adventure.







Years before the merge of Square Soft and Enix, Enix developed a gem on the SNES known as ActRaiser.  You play as a God who travels across the land helping your people by defeating monsters in nearby dungeons then performing tasks to help the townspeople rebuild their civilization.  Combining action platforming with City-building simulation.

18)Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts

When fans hear the words “Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts” they think of one word:  DIFFICULT!  Ok, maybe two words:  Difficult AND fun.  Play as Knight Arthur traveling from level to level facing impossible odds, battling unstoppable foes, and relentless bosses.  Before there was Dark Souls, there was this game, and it was a kick in the dick!  Those fortunate or skilled enough to reach the end was faced with the harsh reality that they must now play through the game a second time to get the true ending!  The catch?  The game is even harder this time.  Kill me now.

19)Mega Man X

It is the year 20XX.  Evil robots are still trying to take over the world, and Mega Man has to save the day!  This time, his enemies don’t all have the word “Man” in their title.  Great soundtrack, awesome level design, and memorable bosses.  It has everything that any Mega Man fan will appreciate, but so much more! Not to mention it introduced Sigma; one of the coolest final bosses ever!

20)Tetris Attack

Before there was Candy Crush there was Tetris Attack.  This fun and addicting block stacking game had players finding matching blocks in stacks of three or more either horizontal or vertical.  The more blocks you comboed together, the more points you earn.

21)Kirby Super Star

Although this is technically cheating since it’s 8 games in 1, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a list of “Best SNES Games” without seeing Kirby Super Star somewhere on the list.  Featuring full length games such as an updated version of Kirby’s Adventure, and Revenge of the Meta-Knight, and mini-games such as a reflex based game that has Kirby dueling other NPC’s in classic Samurai fashion, as well as a mini-game that challenges your timing as you compete to see who is the strongest as you break bricks with your bare hands.  Does Kirby have hands?

22)Super Punch-Out

Little Mac makes his triumphant return on the Super Nintendo as he takes on some familiar baddies, as well as some new challengers in this classic, over the shoulder, smash mouth boxing game.

23)Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Lions, Tigers, and….zombies?  Partner up or go solo and save the neighborhood from the zombie hoard!  Oh, and beware of the giant babies and psychopaths with chainsaws and Jason masks.

24)Darius Twins

Proco and Tiat realized just how far Belser had reached into space and hurried back to Orga in hopes of warning the populace. The time they were gone was just enough time for Belser’s allies to regroup and spread beyond Darius and begin their invasion of Orga. Once again, Proco and Tiat are quick to throw themselves into battle.  One of my personal favorite space shooters on the 16-bit console.

25)NBA Jam

He’s on Fire!

Midway’s arcade basketball game will forever be the highlight of any conversation for those who played it with some great quotables and ballin’ gameplay!

26)Final Fight

Before Cody and Haggar were kicking ass in Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Capcom, they were saving Metro City from the Mad Gear Gang to rescue Mayor Haggar’s daughter who has been kidnapped.  Although the original Final Fight would not see the ability to play with a partner, Final Fight belongs on a list full of great beat-em ups during the golden age where they belonged.

27)Star Fox

Do a barrel roll! Fox McCloud and the rest of the Star Fox team defend their home planet of Corneria from the attacking forces of Andross.  This would be the first game to feature 3D polygonal graphics on the console, and utilized the Super FX chip to do so.

28)King of Dragons

Another Capcom beat-em up jewel.  Use a Fighter, Elf, Dwarf, Cleric, or Wizard in cooperative or solo play and traverse the land in search of the Dragon that plagues the land. Sure to resonate well with D&D fans.

29)Illusion of Gaia

Simple and fun RPG elements. If there was any RPG that slipped past many RPG enthusiast radar, it was this one.  When the game begins, Will stumbles into a “Dark Space” where he meets a strange being called Gaia. Gaia tells Will that he must leave his home and save the world from a coming evil. A comet is approaching, and it will bring ill fortune to the world. As he travels, Will gains the ability to change into other forms, each with special powers: Freedan, a dark knight, and Shadow, a solid form of energy.

It is later revealed that the comet is in fact an ancient weapon used during the last Blazer War, and has the power to change the shape of the world. In the ruin of Angkor Wat, it is discovered that the comet’s repeated approach and effect on the Earth has prevented the world and mankind from evolving into a more modern state.

30)Super Smash TV

Perhaps the harbinger of the twin-stick shooters.  Fly solo or cooperatively in a futuristic game show that has contestants playing for money, prizes, and a chance to live!  Put your reflexes to the test and see if you can play to win!  “Big money! Big Prizes! I love it!”

Agree with this list?  What games do you think should make an appearance on Nintendo’s next novelty console?
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