Originally released back in 1991, the original Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was the best gift many of us have ever received, and a huge upgrade for gamers everywhere. This was back in the days where being able to save your game was rare and people had to rely on passwords to track progress. Now we have the headers of every “Top 25 SNES Games” list on the Internet all gathered conveniently in one limited edition collector’s item. I’ll do my best to address them considering all generations of gamers. So you can see the gravity of the time gap I speak of let me showcase the original SNES trailer featuring Ant Man’s Paul Rudd.
*SNES Classic Release Date: September 29, 2017
Contra 3: The Alien Wars *2 Players
This plays almost exactly like the NES version of Contra. You and a friend have a variety of weapons to choose from that will assist you in engaging an invading alien menace. This is a platform shooter, a genre that was highly successful with the SNES as you’ll see in the rest of this list. As you swing, climb and madly spin shoot your way to your goal, you can hold onto to two different weapons obtained from winged power-ups labeled with letters;
C = Crusher Missile: A missile with a small area of effect damage
S = Spreader: This gun sprays bullets. Think 2D Shotgun spreads
L = Laser: A continuous stream of slaughter (It’s just a laser)
F = Flamethrower: Short-reach but high damage weapon
H = Homing Missile: It homes in on enemies
You can score a temporary shield by scooping up the “B” for Barrier power-up. This is something you are definitely going to need especially during a Hard-Mode run. A lot of this game is geared towards memorizing the levels in a very basic sense, and knowing what weapon you can use for which situation. This game has no way of saving your progress so you will need to take advantage of the SNES’s save state feature for intermittent sessions.
Donkey Kong Country
While this is not the “birth of Donkey Kong” as a game character, for many of us it was our first introduction to him! This is a platform game where a gorilla and his monkey pal journey to take back their stolen bananas from. Extra lives come in the form of a red party balloon. Lastly, your main modes of transportation are Barrel, Rhino, Swordfish, and Ostrich to name a few.
During the journey, you will see some collectible items that would surely result in your death. Well there is actually a way to get to those items, and you’’ find it in the manual but it’s 2017 and no one reads them anymore so here we go! The game included a technique I feel worth mentioning, that I probably inappropriately named. I like to call it cliff jumping. All you have to do is roll/cartwheel yourself straight of the cliff. As you fall you inexplicably have the ability to jump up again right out of thin air.
Full Video walkthrough by the late SaikyoMog (Rest In Peace)
Many of you recognize this game IMMEDIATELY. For those that don’t, it would probably be better known as Ness’s (Smash Bros Franchise) home game. The gameplay is pretty standard to the RPG genre. You and your party journey from town to town while saving people from the world traversing darkness. You level up your characters and consequently their stats and magically ability of course. Finally, you must keep your equipment updated throughout so you can keep up with your enemies.
The game truly shines in its quirky quests and out of hand antics the characters must go through. You will save a town from an impending zombie infestation with one of the old world’s most popular products! You will have to venture deep into the Monkey Caves to obtain the amazing Yogurt Dispenser! So many hilarious objectives to fulfill on your way to saving the world from an alien menace that has caused all kinds of turmoil on the planet. The art style also is unique in that the world map uses something called oblique perception to give it the unique perspective you see as you navigate the caves, deserts, and inner sanctum space vortexes.
Get started on your campaign here:
Final Fantasy 3
I should not have to elaborate on this gem. You and your team are tasked to discover what came of the new resurgence of magic after eons of its absence and how the evil empire is harnessing in the first place. You have your standard elemental spells and party management systems found in just about every Final Fantasy. Summons or Espers, a fan favorite chunk of the franchise, is highlighted quite brightly in the game. I easily can name 15 without going through all the ones available just through the story. Visit this one for the fantastic story and the plethora of Espers waiting for you to catch ‘em- err- collect all of them.
*Multiplayer is only available during the random battles of the game.
You can assign a controller to party members and have a friend assist or, torture you in battle if they’re a pain in the ass. With that said, check out some of the Espers in action below!
Racers from different background come together to race at Mach Speed. There is a huge debate as to which color vehicle is the most viable in gameplay with many saying it would be Fire Stingray while others claim it was Captain Falcon’s well-rounded stats. Regardless of your choice, this racing game is still hard as hell and as exhilarating as it was when I was younger. A simple game with boosts, and high-speed thrills. I feel most people love it for the soundtrack, and it’s grueling difficulty.
Kirby Super Star
This is a fantastic game-collection title much like Super Mario All-Stars that features nine smaller games that make up the whole. Several of them have multiplayer capabilities by simply absorbing a power, and then pressing the “X” button on your controller. Your current power becomes your second player! While all of the games are worth playing, the most notable ones to play are the following;
Kirby’s Dream Land revived into color with a multiplayer twist. It is a quick beat-in-one sitting game culminating in a ring match against King Dedede.
The Great Cave Offensive
This is my own personal favorite to play with friends. It is a widespread exploration game where your main purpose is collecting treasures. There are a bunch of Easter eggs to collect in this treasure collection with the Tri-Force just being one of them. Some of the puzzle solutions will require you two have a human controlled second player.
Revenge of Meta Knight
This is a larger story involving Kirby trying to crash his way onto MetaKnight’s ship to take over Dream Land. Apparently, everyone is just too damn lazy for him to stand it. After each attempted Kirby is knocked into a stage that he will need to complete in order to hop on a warp star and try again and again. This game will be unlocked after beating Dyna Blade the game, another game where you simple beat stages in order to heal Dyna Blade the bird back to former glory after ignorantly beating her as she tries to feed her chicks.
Milky Way Wishes
In this game, Kirby is on a mission in to stop the Sun and Moon from fighting with the help of a fantastic machine called NOVA. This may well be the longest game in the collection but I haven’t measure full play times personally. Some may be shocked that Kirby will not be sucking and copying. Instead, you will have to collect the abilities like the Ice or Fighter ones and then select them at your leisure.
*Some Lols from the nineties.
Kirby’s Dream Course
This translates to Kirby Minigolf. All of the stages are different and involve are all the Kirby goods. There are enemies, warp stars, and cop abilities. The idea is to eliminate the enemies in the level one by one until you reach the final one. Once you kill the last one, a hole opens up and Kirby plops in. The difficulty range is going to increase as you go especially when they throw in the copy ability mechanics. Some levels require you to use the UFO abilities free movement to place yourself perfectly for the next shot. I played this endlessly when I was tinier. Check out the first course;
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Zelda game that every SNES knows and loves. It makes me blush to say that the SNES classic run was actually my first time with this game. This run with Link made me feel like this was the blood of the series. This was the first game that featured the ever-recurring Mcguffin, the Master Sword. We also see the birth of the spin attack too! Besides that, this is your basic, grade A Zelda game. I guess if any game could be the most familiar to this one, it would Ocarina of Time.
Mega Man X
I grew up with a violent hatred for this game. My little hand could not fathom the controls. Once I did limp through the first intro level, I got lost at the level selection screen. Where the hell would I even start!? I remember trying just about every level before giving up entirely on the franchise until the DS games released. I never did experience that power given to you for the defeat of each boss. Welp, after playing on the classic I realize I was just being an idiot. Well, here is a tip for anyone’s first foray up in here. Once you are able to select the boss you want to challenge, start with the Chill Penguin stage. Don’t want to spoiler it for the newbies, but you will find this to be integral do get through the rest of the levels much faster.
Secret of Mana
My husband and I love to play this game together. Together we guide three adventures through the world of mana. This is an action RPG where you generally control a party of three with up to two characters being controllable. You’ll power up eight completely different weapons with unique attributes through nine levels. Each evolution has the weapon come with a graphical change to which is nice. It may be a bit frustrating at first but once you have all your members and a little bit on your bones, you will be streaming through the game’s pretty pixel palaces.
This game will have you flying passed polygonal pilots and aiming to get yourself boosted up as you navigate the many stages of Star Fox. One thing I found neat among the standard coordinated enemy attacks and fun bosses was their choice of implementing a pretty cool method of choosing your difficulty while also shoving tons of reply value into the game. Maybe not tons but, what they do is have you select among three different “tracks” to get to the final planet. Each one will have different stages for you to explore with their own challenges to conquer. While you zip in the sky, you will not be alone. Peppy, Flippy, and Falco will join you as you fight among the stars.
Star Fox 2
The actual controls of this game are similar to that of Star Fox except it mixes in defending planet Corneria from an onslaught of fighter squadrons and missiles. You navigate a galaxy map while simultaneous defending Corneria against the incoming obstacles. Don’t be surprised if you need to leave a missile to defends Corneria from a more imminent threat. Prepare to manage your time wisely.
Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting
This fighting game is still popular and one of the first games I discovered in e-sports. I am no good at it but, to watch the professional matches has always been a thrill. In this installation of Street Fighter 2, there is an increased game speed as well as some new superpowers added for most of the characters. A popular example would be the addition of Chun Li’s fabulous Kikoken fireball. This game also, in my opinion, introduced esports as a legit competitive concept to any gamers. Check these players out!;
Super Castlevania 4
Castlevania, along with the Metroid games, brought about a term some of you may have heard about; Metroidvania. This is a genre in which the gamer community describes a platformer you jump an shoot your way through while beefing up your characters. The Beef-ee in this game would be Simon Belmont. Use your whip and arsenal of medieval weaponry to scale through the game’s 11 stages. Your goal is to defeat Dracula for the sake of Transylvania. The bosses in this game should be your main motivator for trudging through.
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
Take control of a valorous night named Arthur. (Yes, from Marvel VS Capcom) You fight your way through various stages to get to the villain Firebrand’s (Also Marvel VS Capcom) evil lair. Why? Arthur’s wife was snatched up during a lovely ceremony and is now a prisoner. As you defeat enemies you will get different drops like weapons and bonus points. I’ve tried more than one hundred times to play through the game myself before I hopped onto YouTube and viewed a speed run. Do you have any videos of you beating the game?
Oh, Arthur… Arthur, Arthur. Though I have heard of stages beyond the 1st level, I am starting to think it is just a myth. My playthrough was much like this one;
Super Mario Kart
I can’t help but wonder if this is the most popular racing franchise in the video game universe. Mario and his friends gather for…I am not sure how this racing came about in the Mushroom Kingdom but who cares!? Race or battle against a friend using the classic Mario Kart arsenal to make them rip their hair out right before the finish line.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
This game lies really close to my heart. The story is enthralling; the creators really took the time to flesh out the other characters’ wishes and goals and how they coincide with Mario’s mission. The battle system is a basic version of the timed system you see in the current Paper Mario/ Mario & Luigi RPG games. This was my first ever role-playing game. This sparked the imagination that burns brightly until this day. I can confidently say this was one of the reasons I wanted to become a writer. The story isn’t complex by any means but I found it to be so simple and so sweet. The original characters for the game are some of my favorites in the franchise.
Super Mario World
Mario and Luigi navigate a large overworld map conquering sparkling caves and seaside ghost villas on your way to Bowser’s Castle. Aside from having the classic run and jump mechanics, this iteration of Mario was a whole lot more. Now, we had a spin jump, storing items, even unlockables to enjoy. While you stomp throughout the stages keep your eye out for keys and their respective keyholes. More often then not, they will lead you to a warp start with its own level. After completing the star levels 100%, something Tubular is going to happen. Let me help you get started on that;
The other half of the term I mentioned earlier in Castlevania. If you have never played a Metroid game, you play as the fabulous heroine Samus in her quality space suit You start with a regular old bullet shot, and eventually, you unlock missiles, a charge shot, and bomb pooping via different upgrade modules. You will have to make sure to explore thoroughly as to not miss anything. There are some doors you can only unlock with the missile upgrade for example. Learning to engage the wilds of the hostile planet with the right weapon will be key to your survival.
This is another game that clashes with the way my brain works. You push Little Mac through a variety of fights in the World Video Boxing Association (WVBA). The gameplay is highly based around timing your button presses according to the opponent’s movements. Check out an example of a PERFECT playthrough below.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Yoshi finally takes the lead role after being rode around on like a damn donkey in Super Mario World. Yoshi’s Island tells the origins of the Mario Bros when they were tiny babies, fresh off of the stork’s beak. A nearly perfect platform game that has you flutter kicking through eight worlds. I love that they brought Kamek into the forefront as a “Merlin,” to Bowser Jr. With Kamek’s voodoo thrown into Bowser Jr’s various boss henchmen, the boss battles become pretty epic and only become more challenging as the creature grow and mutate to gain the upper hand against you. Each stage gives you the opportunity to collect five flowers and a certain amount of coins to eventually unlock a bonus level for the stage, and also more chances for the bonus roulette at the end of every level. I just wonder where exactly this falls in the timeline for Mario’s story of a lifetime.
So, the SNES Classic is perfect but…
My final take on the SNES classic is that the list of games given to us where highly researched and lovingly chosen. We were given the best of the best agreed upon by most of the internet, perhaps the world. Go and scout all the “Top SNES games” lists out there to confirm. That said, I feel compelled to name a few SNES games that I feel barely missed the cut.
– Chrono Trigger
– Joe & Mac
– Super Mario All-Stars
-Donkey Kong Country 2 & 3
What do you feel could have been on the SNES classic? The price tag is just about $80.00 if you find it in one of the big online stores. I’ll include purchase links for you to lurk on at the bottom of the page. If you are especially desperate you may want to look towards eBay to see what offers are popping up. Just brace yourself for that.