Best 10 SNES Games of All Time

Even though Nintendo’s cherished 16-bit system was introduced nearly thirty years ago, its contributions to the heyday of gaming haven’t faded. It was the birthplace of the greatest platform games of the era as well as a system that included the greatest role-playing games released in Japan. The SNES was the first console to allow us to race karts with Mario and company, and it also gave rise to the Metroidvania genre.

The SNES boasts so many legendary games that over time, some have been forgotten. It’s time to commemorate the console’s one of the best game libraries ever published on a platform. The top ten SNES games of all time are as follows:

10. Final Fantasy II

1991 | Square

Since the second and third games weren’t released in the United States until years later, the game that we now refer to as Final Fantasy IV was initially known by a different name. Even without playing previous games, Final Fantasy II was a huge improvement over the first one. It introduced the Active Time Battle system, which dominated the series for over ten years, and it also had the first truly cinematic narrative in the series.

Even though Final Fantasy II on the SNES has held up quite well, the greatest way to appreciate this treasure is through later ports that enhanced the graphics and music, and most crucially, polished the translation.

9. Super Mario RPG

1996 | Square

In the 1990s, Square was producing retro role-playing games at such an absurd pace that Nintendo leaped at the opportunity to collaborate with the firm. The two firms sped up the process so that it was completed in just over a year, but in that time Square managed to create one of the most visually stunning and humorous SNES games. Among the best Mario games ever made, Super Mario RPG stands out as one of the best.

Although it had a long history and garnered positive reviews, Square and Nintendo have never collaborated on another Mario RPG. Square had no involvement in the development of the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series games that finally emerged from the partnership; instead, Nintendo and its close associates developed them all.

8. Mega Man X

1993 | Capcom

By the early 1990s, the original Mega Man series was becoming a little repetitive after a whopping six games were released on the NES. With a more mature protagonist and faster gameplay that let him climb and dash, Mega Man X breathed new energy into the series. Nevertheless, Mega Man X didn’t deviate too much from its core thanks to the fundamental fighting and the option to select which robot master to take on next.

Even though X2 and X3 on the SNES are terrific games, there’s a strong case to be made that Capcom hasn’t topped the original Mega Man X as the best game in the entire franchise. An absurd amount of sequels have followed in the X series (and several other Mega Man subseries).

7. EarthBound

1995 | Nintendo

When EarthBound was released in the 1990s, most players weren’t prepared for it because console role-playing games at the time meant exploring a mediaeval fantasy setting. Ness’ sci-fi tale is remarkably witty, intelligent, weird, and self-referential. It combines the themes of saving the world and viewing western culture from an outsider’s point of view, which is still uncommon in video games.

The Wii U, New 3DS, and SNES Classic have made it possible to finally play this beloved game, even though it was a terrible sales success when it was first released in the United States and later became a sought-after collector’s item. Perhaps someday Nintendo will give in and release a version of Mother 3, the sequel that is still exclusive to Japan.

6. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

1995 | Nintendo

Yoshi’s Island is a great illustration of Nintendo’s policy of only producing sequels when it can justify them with new ideas. The same gameplay in new locations would have made a Super Mario World sequel a commercial success, but instead, Nintendo went above and beyond to create a game that focused on Yoshi, Mario’s dinosaur companion, and included more puzzles and emphasis on Yoshi’s ability to consume objects and spit them out. It was also distinguished from Super Mario World (and the remainder of the SNES library) by the fresh hand-drawn graphics. Yoshi’s Island might perhaps be the most visually appealing SNES game.

Although Yoshi’s Island was created and promoted as a Super Mario World sequel, it went on to inspire a number of platformers with the popular dinosaurs, albeit none of them are as well-known as the original.

5. Final Fantasy III

1994 | Square

Saying that Final Fantasy III (or VI, as it’s currently called) revolutionised role-playing games is not hyperbole. The late 19th-century steampunk setting proved to players that fantastic role-playing games didn’t always have to take place in typical high fantasy settings. The plot, which ends with the villain achieving his objective, subverted genre assumptions held by fans and altered subsequent  Final Fantasy games. However, the way the narrative is recounted is what makes it so remarkable. The game feels more cinematic than many contemporary releases with long videos, even with 16-bit sprites.

4. Super Mario World

1991 | Nintendo

Every new Mario game that came out in the 1980s and 1990s was supposed to revolutionise how we thought about video games. Even though we had all played the NES Super Mario Bros. games, which were incredibly popular, nothing could have prepared us for the vast, linked geography and hidden treasures of World. Yoshi’s arrival brought in a plethora of new tactics for playing Mario games, even though the cape power-up wasn’t as groundbreaking as Mario’s raccoon costume. Furthermore, the graphics and music were incredibly impressive when compared to anything on the NES.

One might argue persuasively that Nintendo hasn’t produced a superior Mario game since Super Mario World. This iconic platformer hasn’t even been surpassed by the New Super Mario Bros. games’ improved graphics and four-player cooperative gameplay.

3. Chrono Trigger

1995 | Square

Square produced blockbuster after hit during the 1990s, but those titles were merely preludes to the best RPG ever made for the 16-bit period. More than a dozen endings, seven distinct time eras to explore, and a complex battle system that combines your characters’ attacks are all included in Chrono Trigger.

Although many of these elements have since been included in other games, none have been executed quite as successfully or looked as nice as the  Akira Toriyama-designed world for Chrono Trigger. Though Square went on to create a number of cherished RPGs for the PlayStation, it’s possible that the company reached its zenith with its final game on the SNES.

Naturally, Nintendo responded to the instant classic reception of the first Legend of Zelda game on the NES with a strange 2D platformer that still baffles fans. Fortunately, the third game in the series returned to the beloved top-down view and dungeon crawling when it came out on the SNES.

The overworld of A Link to the Past is captivating enough on its own, but the second Dark World map—which you utilise to unlock several puzzles—is what’s really contributed to the game’s immense popularity. Despite the fact that Zelda games have expanded much since A Link to the Past, it’s still simple to lose yourself in their universe for several hours.

1. Super Metroid

1994 | Nintendo

Super Metroid is almost flawless. The mood, which was unequalled for its time and skillfully reinforced by its ominous soundtrack, was inspired by science fiction films such as Aliens. Samus’s exploration of the planet Zebes to acquire ever-more power-ups is skillfully timed, setting an example that would influence many subsequent Metroidvania games. The graphics and character designs remain among the best in gaming.

Super Metroid is still a game that is highly recommended for all kinds of gamers, despite the series’ ups and downs. It is also such a remarkable accomplishment in the medium that it ought to be a prerequisite for any aspiring developer.

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