The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) has one of the greatest catalogues of all time. To say that we are excited for the release of the SNES Classic would be an understatement. In honor of this momentous occasion, the Nintendeal staff discussed debated our favorite games on this console and came to a consensus. Below you’ll find Nintendeal’s Official Top 10 SNES Games of All Time, plus a few shout-out titles. Scroll down to the bottom to watch the recording of our staff meeting!
1. Super Mario World + All Stars
The Super Nintendo is one of the most iconic consoles of all time. And Nintendo’s most iconic franchise—Mario—takes our top spot. Super Mario World is still one of the greatest Mario platformers of all time. Accessible to casual gamers, hardcore completionists, and speed runners alike, Super Mario World has a little something for everyone. Also, Yoshi. If that wasn’t enough, Nintendo also released a cart with Super Mario All Stars. One cartridge got you Super Mario World and remastered classics from the original Nintendo Entertainment System. No collection would be complete without Super Mario World.
2. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda makes an appearance on every Nintendo platform, but the SNES boasts one of the best Zelda games, like, ever (sorry Ocarina of Time and Breath of the Wild fans). A compelling story, great mechanics, and 16-bit graphics created one of the best adventure games that has inspired gamers and game developers for years. If you get your hands on a SNES Classic, this is sure to provide you countless hours of fun.
3. Super Metroid
Metroid is another franchise that is making its return on current consoles, but there isn’t much of a debate about which is the best Metroid game—Super Metroid. The level design, music, and art created one of the most gripping experiences for gamers in the 1990s. This sequel gave players more of what they loved from Metroid while offering an entirely fresh and unique experience. This game deserves a top spot on any top SNES game list; it’s a defining title for the Super Nintendo, and we’re all excited to sink some more time into it again when the SNES Classic releases.
4. Chrono Trigger
JRPGs (Japanese role-playing games) were a very popular genre on the SNES, and you can’t talk about SNES JRPGs without mentioning Chrono Trigger. Often revered as the best JRPG of all time (not just for the SNES), Chrono Trigger is an incredibly deep game. The characters, story, and gameplay are captivating, yet accessible. We could go on and on about this game, but we wouldn’t want to spoil the amazing adventure this game presents. It’s a shame that it won’t appear on the SNES Classic, but we encourage you to get it on iOS, Android, or Nintendo DS if you’ve never played it.
5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Aren’t sold on the JRPG genre yet? Then let me introduce you to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. This Mario game was developed by Square Enix, the same studio behind Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy Franchise. This game is 100% JRPG and 100% Mario. You’ll explore the Mushroom Kingdom with a familiar cast of heroes and enemies, and a few memorable characters you’ll only find in this title (GENO!!!). This is a must-play on the SNES Classic. You can also pick it up for $7.99 on the Wii U Virtual Console.
6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
You can’t talk SNES platformers without mentioning the Donkey Kong Country franchise. The graphics—jaw-dropping. The music—iconic. The gameplay—unique and a barrel of fun! The original Donkey Kong Country took the world by storm, but it was the second installment of the trilogy that we consider to be the best of the series. Sadly, only the first game will be on the SNES Classic. The good news is you can pick up Diddy’s Kong Quest on the 3DS and Wii U eShop for $7.99.
7. Super Mario Kart
Nintendo experimented with their franchises on the SNES, placing Mario—who starred in a traditional platformer and a JRPG—in a kart racer. Nintendo defined this genre in 1992 and has been king of kart racing ever since. Pick your favorite Mario character and take to the streets! Race across iconic tracks, use powerful items to get ahead, or duke it out in battle mode. Super Mario Kart will be on the SNES Classic and is sure to test the strength of your friendships, since “sorry for what I said when we were playing Mario Kart” will be uttered a lot once the SNES Classic is released.
If you’ve played EarthBound, or Mother 2 as it was called in Japan, you’re happy to see it on this list, but you’re probably disappointed it only came in 8th place. The game has a quirky style which wasn’t originally received well in North America. But, if you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, then you definitely shouldn’t judge this game by its initial appearance. EarthBound continues to be one of the most charming SNES games, and we’re excited to have it on the SNES Classic and in our Top 10.
9. TMNT: Turtles in Time
Shellshocked! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Turtles in Time is one of the best beat ’em up games in the arcade and THE best beat ’em up game on the SNES. If you had this game, you didn’t need friends. Actually, you needed just one friend—but you got dibs on your favorite turtle. If you weren’t sinking your life savings into the arcade or going blind playing this 6 inches away from your TV, you were arguing with your friend over which turtle is the best. Spoiler: It’s Raphael.
10. Star Fox
Flight simulators usually feel awkward on consoles, even with dual analog sticks. Nintendo worked their magic and created an incredibly fun flight simulator with just a d-pad—and it feels great! Zip around a polygonal universe as Fox McCloud, do a barrel roll, and blast Slippy into oblivion. Wait, what? I’m not supposed to shoot Slippy? He isn’t the villain? Huh. Anyway, both Star Fox and the never-before-released Star Fox 2 are available on the SNES Classic.
Not gonna lie, narrowing down our favorite SNES games to a list of 10 was hard. There were a lot of games our staff wanted in the Top 10 that didn’t make the final cut. Here are the runner-ups in no particular order.
Never heard of Jungle Strike? It’s the sequel to Desert Strike. Still not ringing any bells? Don’t worry, most of the staff wasn’t familiar with it. But it was an incredibly important and memorable game for Andrew.
Final Fantasy IV/VI
Or is it Final Fantasy II and III? The Final Fantasy series had two great games on the SNES. Square Enix nearly had 4 JRPGs in the Top 10! We love these games, but felt that Chrono Trigger and Super Mario RPG deserved the higher ranks on the Official Top 10 List.
Kirby’s Super Star
Kirby had a number of great titles on the SNES, but Kirby’s Super Star put smiles on the face of a lot of staff. This title included 8 games (mostly platformers and mini games) where you got to play as everybody’s favorite pink puffball, Kirby (Kirby > Jigglypuff. Sorry).
The Megaman series had a number of hits on the SNES, and our staff’s favorite is Megaman X. This was on the Top 10 list for much of the discussion, before getting edged out at the end. While it didn’t make the official list, it’ll live on in our hearts as one of the best SNES games.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Super Street Fighter II Turbo is arguably the most iconic fighting game in gaming history. Whether you were a tactical fighter or a button masher, our staff all had fond memories of this game. And it’s out on the SNES Classic!
One of our staffers, Brian, LOVES this game. He spent hundreds of hours playing Tetris Attack with his friends and family. The rest of us never had played it. We like to think of this as Brian’s Jungle Strike. You know, the sequel to Brian’s Desert Strike.
Earthworm Jim 2
This game is absolutely nuts. Ever whip somebody with your face? Didn’t think so. But after playing this game, you are sure to give it try. Actually, don’t try to whip people with your face. Good things have never come from whipping others with your face. Fight ridiculous enemies with ridiculous weapons and an amazing soundtrack. Anybody named Jim born after 1995 was conceived to this music.
Captain Falconof Smash Bros. fame was first introduced in this SNES racer. This fast-paced racing game kept gamers on their toes. Speed is the name of the game. It’s fast, it’s fun, and it’s coming at you on the SNES Classic!
Secret of Mana
Another classic SNES game with a huge following is Secret of Mana. This action RPG was also developed by Square Enix and is very much worth your time and attention. Secret of Mana is also on the SNES Classic. Apparently somebody named Randy is very excited by this. We are too, Randy. We are too.
You can see how we created this list by watching the debate below:
So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with the list? What would you change? Leave a comment here or join the debate on Twitter.