The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of the greatest consoles of all time. It had one of the best library of games that have only increased in value. So many games could have made this list and choosing 10 was a difficult task. We were up for the task! Join us in celebrating our top 10 games of the SNES era.
10. Star Fox
Star Fox was the first game to introduce 3D graphics to the SNES. With its onboard Super FX chip, it was the first game to use polygonal graphics. A promising introduction to the future of gaming. In Star Fox, Fox McCloud and Co. take on the evil Andross as he wages war on the Lylat System. Even though Star Fox is a lesser-known franchise on Nintendo it garnered a huge following and went on to release multiple titles. Last year with the launch of the SNES Mini, Nintendo released Star Fox 2 and an unreleased sequel of the SNES era.
9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV Turtles In Time
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were huge in the ’90s and their arcade games were just as big. Turtles in Time was the epitome of having the feel of the arcade in your living room. In Turtles in Time, you team up with friends to take on Krang as he steals the Statue of Liberty. Upon reaching the Technodrome, Shredder sends the turtles through a time warp. The turtles end up fighting their way through the past and future to get back to the present day. Turtles in Time features amazing beat em’ up mechanics and memorable music that still holds up to this day.
8. Mega Man X
The Blue Bomber made his triumphant return to Nintendo in 16-bit glory. This time with his successor X. Mega Man X took everything that Mega Man did for NES and turned it up to 11. With fantastic gameplay that introduced mechanics that became series staples and a soundtrack that is easily the best EVER. Mega Man X has top tier game design. X introduced us to Reploids, robots designed to think, feel, and make their own decisions. After Sigma is infected with the Maverick virus and turns against humanity, X and Zero set off on a mission to stop him. Mega Man X went on to have 8 entries in the X series and is considered a gaming icon.
7. Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country blew us away when it hit the Super NES. Its 3D rendered graphical style, like Star Fox, gave us a glimpse of the possibilities of 3D graphics in gaming. The result was the rebirth of the Donkey Kong franchise. In Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong set out to recover their stolen banana hoard from King K. Rool. The epic multiplayer sidescroller featured some of the best graphics of its time as well some of the best music! I can still hear Aquatic Ambience playing in my head.
6. Super Mario World
Super Mario World was a lot of people’s first introduction to the SNES. Following up the almost perfect game that was Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World introduced us to new features and gave us a giant world to explore riddled with secrets. It even introduced the adorable and lovable Yoshi. ‘Til this day you can see the influences of Super Mario World’s design elements in most new Mario titles.
5. Super Mario Kart
If you’ve ever lost friends over gaming it was probably during a heated session of Super Mario Kart. Super Mario Kart took Mario and co. to the race track as only it could. The unforgettable Mushroom Kingdom,power ups, and combat style racing were game changers. This addictive multiplayer had us playing into the wee hours of the night. Or until our parents told us to turn it off. There’s no doubt that Super Mario Kart changed the racing game genre.
4. Super Metroid
The return of Samus Aran in Super Metroid resulted in a masterpiece game. A beautifully crafted example of the 2D action/adventure platform genre. Its horror styled introductory title screen had us hooked from the start. Samus returns to the planet Zebes and once again it’s riddled with dozens of hidden secrets to explore. Zebes is a giant labyrinth filled with incredible biodomes accompanied by unforgettable themes. A game that is near perfect in every single aspect. If you’ve not played Super Metroid you owe it to yourself to play this game!
3. Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI is among JRPG’s finest, possibly the greatest RPG of the 16-bit era and, depending on who you ask, the greatest JRPG of all time. Featuring a storyline about revenge, rebellion, and the end of the world. Its fantastic cast of memorable characters and rich storyline featured moments that have gone down in gaming history. Final Fantasy VI is everything you could want from a JRPG. Another 16-bit masterpiece that deserves to be experienced!
2. Chrono Trigger
Standing amongst the greatest JRPG’s ever, right next to Final Fantasy VI, is Chrono Trigger. Chrono Trigger is quite possibly Square’s greatest body of work. To this day, it holds up against any JRPG ever released. In Chrono Trigger you set off on a journey that spans throughout time. The resulting story is influenced by your decisions throughout your journey and can end in one of thirteen different ways. Square released a sequel titled Chrono Chross for the Sony PlayStation with loose ties to the original but was unable to capture that lightning in a bottle of the first. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that Chrono Trigger is arguably the greatest RPG of all time. Yet another masterpiece of the SNES era that is worth the journey!
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
There are few franchises in gaming that are consistently successful and influential. The Zelda series is just that. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past did just that for the action / adventure genre. It is the game that defines perfection on the SNES and the game that defined its era. The world of Hyrule is vast and feels alive, the dungeons are challenging, and its soundtrack is full of nostalgia. After being awakened by a telepathic message from Princess Zelda and finding his uncle mortally wounded in Hyrule Castle, Link sets off on an unforgettable adventure to stop the dark wizard, Ganon. Not only is The Legend of Zelda may be the best SNES game ever and it’s arguably the greatest game of all time. An easy number one choice for the top 10 games of the SNES era.