A favorite of retro-gamers, many consider it to be the best system of all time due to it being the strongest 16-bit console (other than the Neo Geo but only the super rich kids had that) and a lot of companies really pushed it to its limits! The library really backs it up there, and it has something for everybody, especially in the RPG category. SNES is recommended over SFC because it's just easier to mod, though the SFC (and PAL SNES) looks better and you could just buy a converter.
In June 26th of 2017, Nintendo announced the Super NES Classic (not to be confused with the New-Style Super NES, which is referred to as the SNES Mini or SNES Jr.), which contains 20 SNES classics and the final build of Star Fox 2 (no, it isn't the same build that you can get your hands on from the internet all those years ago), making it the only legitimate way to get it! It was released on September 29th that same year, selling roughly 4 million units by the end of the year. Shortly thereafter, Starfox 2's rom was leaked onto the internet and the differences between it and the build that was leaked in 2002 are apparent, not to mention that the system was hacks over a week later, allowing users to add games to their liking.
However, emulation on the SNES Classic Mini is rather hit-and-miss, especially with Yoshi's Island on level 1-7 (note the background when Yoshi touches a Fuzzy). With that in mind, this may be a huge turn-off for purists, but, overall, not too shabby as a collector's item.
Before the SNES Classic, there has been a lot of SNES clones throughout the years since sometime after production for the original, but they tend to be pretty shitty in both build quality and compatibility, and the ones like the RetroN 5 for example use open-source emulators to get games running, which, to some GNU-fags and law-abiding
losers gentlemen, is considered a no-no in their book, as selling the emulators within the console violates their licenses.
If you wish to play SNES games on the big screen in your living room and are okay with putting your SNES away, but don't want to resort to getting expensive upscalers like the Framemeister or buy shitty clones nor getting the SNES Classic, then your best bet is the Super Nt. It's kinda pricey (though half as much as the NT Mini ($199 vs $450), but not only does it come with two free games, Super Turrican: Director's Cut and Super Turrican 2, it also has a higher compatibility compared to other clone systems (likely at 100%), accurately emulates the SNES's capabilities with little-to-no latency with it's FPGA motherboard, something PC emulators tend to suffer from, and if you jailbreak it, you can play ROMs from your SD card! The only downside is trying to fiddle with the settings (from display to buffer mode), and even if you jailbreak it, compatibility for SNES is pretty limited to games that don't utilize enhancement chips like the DSP or Super-FX, just to name a few, and its HDMI-only, which is a turn-off for CRT fanboys. NT says its working on a adapter for analogue output. Those connections were kept out to keep costs low, as it drove up the cost of the NT Mini. Also, its UI was designed by Phil Fish if you're, unfortunately, familiar with that hipster douche. Watch this video for more info.
For portable SNES gaming, the New3DS(XL) is your best bet for SNES gaming via Virtual Console, and if you have it modded, you can inject other SNES games or romhacked versions as well, though you cannot play SuperFX games on it. 3DS Compatibility list. But if you don't want to do that, or if you don't have a n3DS and just want to play from retail cartridges, then check out the SupaBoy S or the RetroDuo Portable, though be aware that the build quality for both are kinda shoddy and have crappy sound quality.
For flashcarts, the absolute best recommendation, albeit very pricey, is the SD2SNES, without question. The firmware is
consistently updated on the occasion and has the largest ROM support of any SNES flashcarts, up to the SuperFX and SA-1 chips (99%!!). A secondary recommendation is the Super Everdrive v2, which is more cheaper and less ROM support, but is feasible if you're not looking to play games that utilize chips (other than DSP-1 to 4 if you want to spend a little more for more compatibility) and/or you can't fork over 200-some dollars, with the only downside being that EverDrives usually have 3.3 voltages for 5V consoles, which can be pretty dangerous. Read here for more details
Then there is the Retro-Bit Super UFO Pro 8, but it has less compatibility than the Everdrive and is also harder to manage files and saves. The upside of it is that it can backup your games' ROMs and save data, and can play other SuperFX games, but only if you have a retail copy. Video.
Don't ever get the SNES Powerpak by retroUSB, as it has less compatibility than the Super Everdrive and is more pricier whenever it is available.
Needless to say, don't expect any of them to have 100% compatibility.
Romhacks and translations can be found at romhacking.net under the relevant sections. Although you might luck out and find a pre-patched translated Rom image along with the original versions if you don't know how to correctly patch a rom.
|ActRaiser||Action-Platformer / Simulation||You are God (or "The Master"), off to save humanity from Satan (or "Tanzra") and his army of demons. Liberate human settlements from demons in side-scrolling, platforming sections, then help humans build up their towns in overhead, Civilization-style sim sections. The way these two aspects are interwoven is unique, and neither aspect is too complex or challenging to turn you away. The Japanese version doesn't censor references to religion, but is significantly harder. After beating the game you unlock a "Professional" mode that omits all the sim sections.|
|ActRaiser 2||Action-Platformer||In terms of story the sequel is pretty much a re-do of the first game, but the entire sim aspect has been omitted. Now it's a straightforward action-platformer, and a lot more challenging to the point of frustration. However the art direction and visual quality have greatly improved, and your character has some cool new tricks (like the ability to glide). Not as good as the first game, but worthwhile for action veterans.|
|Aero Fighters||Shoot 'em Up||Fantastic co-op shoot 'em up. Exceptional due to the fact that in spite of the SNES's slow processor, it almost manages to keep up with the arcade version's insanely fast pace. Though the series is known for its wacky pilots and scenarios, you unfortunately won't find much of that here but it's still a solid shooter otherwise. You'll definitely be rockin' to some of the tunes which are far superior to the arcade version.|
|Arcana||RPG / First-Person Dungeon Crawler||An RPG developed by HAL, creators of Kirby and Super Smash Bros. Arcana is a great little JRPG with a lot of heart. Grab some loot in town and head out into whatever dungeon is next on your list. You explore dungeons from a first-person, Phantasy Star-esque perspective, but this game features a VERY helpful map. Battles are standard turn-based fare with random encounters. Even though monsters and characters are displayed on cards, nothing about the game is really card-based. Other characters will come and go in the story, but you always have one space in your party for different elemental beings that travel and fight alongside you. You collect more of these beings as the game progresses. My favorite part of this gem though? THE MUSIC. This game's soundtrack is composed by the guy who scores the Kirby games. Kirby music. In an RPG. This game features a lot of polish and is truly a hidden gem. No Virtual Console release yet, but it's not a hard game to find.|
|Arkanoid: Doh it Again||Puzzle / Breakout Clone||If you've every played a Brick Breaker game or Breakout clone with power-ups, it was based on Arkanoid. This is the SNES version of the arcade classic. Bounce the ball, hit the bricks, collect power-ups, break more bricks, etc. This version added a story for some reason? It also adds boss battles. Either way, a classic game that is still fun to drop a few hours into. Also supports the Super Nintendo Mouse.|
|Axelay||Horizontal / Vertical Shoot em' Up||Axelay is a fantastic shoot em' up from Konami. Let me just start this off by saying that this game features some of the best graphics and music on the SNES. Period. Mode-7 all over the place. 6 stages in all, half are horizontally scrolling and half are vertically scrolling. You can switch between 3 different weapons on the fly, but if you get hit, you lose whatever weapon you're currently using. Lose all your weapons you lose a life. At the beginning of each stage, you get to choose whatever 3 weapons you want to play with for that stage. All of the weapons have little nuances to discover as you use them. This game is also balls-hard. A must play for sure. Available on the Wii's Virtual Console.|
|Batman Returns||Beat'em up||It's a very solid beat'em up about Batman(duh). Maybe it looks like Final Fight, but sound, background are arcade quality. And levels vary from classic isometric view to flat 2d levels. Features intermissions based on movie. And look at that goddamn Batman! He just lifts up those bad guys by one hand! Badass, total badass.|
|Battletoads in Battlemaniacs||Beat'em up||Battletoads on your SNES, and as hard as ever! Thankfully not as infuriating as the original, but still up there.|
|Biker Mice From Mars||Racing||A top down racing game that plays like Rock 'n Roll Racing (see below).|
The most fun part of this game is the turbo system. My advice: choose Vinnie or Modo and learn every way to perform turbos (there are several ways). The downside of this is that characters are very uneven.
A lot of fun in multiplayer.
|Blackthorne||Adventure / Platformer||A Blizzard game that featured orcs before Warcraft. You are a manly dude wielding a shotgun. Take back your kingdom from a bunch of orcs by shooting them with your shotgun and throwing grenades... Or you can just shoot everyone you come across... Including the humans you're supposed to be saving. Plays a bit like old-school Prince of Persia with guns.|
|Brain Lord||Action / RPG||Most of the game takes place in dungeons, with a heavy emphasis on puzzles. The player takes on the role of a young adventurer who can have up to two jades, creatures that perform tasks such as healing or long range attacks, following you at one time.|
|Brawl Brothers||Beat'em up||Actually the second title in the Rushing Beat series, and a sequel to Rival Turf. A gigantic improvement over it's predecessor, which was just a mediocre Final Fight ripoff, this one has multiple characters to choose, each with their own characteristics, and a change in setting to pseudo-cyberpunk where you fight robot clones. Later followed by Rushing Beat Shura/The Peace Keepers|
|Breath of Fire||RPG||A JRPG by Capcom. Your hometown's destroyed, your sister's kidnapped, and an evil empire is running amok. What next, a dragon? Unlike other RPGs, You ARE the Dragon! As a dragon-man, you can transform into a dragon to kick some evil ass. Later on, certain party members can fuse together. Despite the setup being rather dull, the story fleshes itself out in very unique and touching ways, with a number of unexpected twists. It also has great music. It was ported to the GBA with a few additions, most notably the 'run' button and added EXP. The GBA version is recommended to make the game less tedious.|
|Breath of Fire II||RPG||A JRPG by Capcom. You are still the dragon, but not the same one, as this takes place centuries later. You can now power up party members with elemental shamans you find, and build/run your own town later on. This game features a pretty twisted story as well. It was also ported to the GBA with a few additions, similar to Breath of Fire I (EXP gain and the run button, mostly). The localization for both is horrendous though, and there's a superior translation patch for this (with a run button!). Also has great music like the first. The series continues on Playstation 1 with BoF III.|
|Castlevania: Dracula X (US)|
Akumajou Dracula XX (JP)
Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss (EU)
|Action / Platformer||An underrated Castlevania game. Often considered "Rondo of Blood Lite", this game really only took the gameplay, sprites, and storyline from Rondo and gave it some new content. Has great and smooth gameplay, and some parts are arguably better than Rondo. A very solid old-school CV game. Give it a shot. It's not Rondo, but parts of it are even designed to be harder at parts, most notably that FUCKING LAST BOSS.|
|Chrono Trigger||RPG||A classic time-traveling JRPG by Square. Great visuals, fantastic music, an imaginative story, and gameplay that best utilizes the classic ATB system out of any game that has it. Considered to be one of the best RPGs of all time. Ported to the PlayStation and DS, both features anime cut-scenes but the latter also has bonus extras/no half-assed load times.|
|Congo's Caper||Platformer||A sequel to the original Joe & Mac, though it was so different from a gameplay perspective that it usually is classified as a spin-off or its own game. A colorful, whimsical platformer that feels like a nice mix of "Mario" and "Bonk". You play as a Caveman, Congo. Attack enemies with your club, but if you get hit it's not an insta-kill, as you depower to a smaller 'form' (like Mario), except you... de-evolve into a monkey? If you hold the run button, the game goes SANIC fast, for a challenge. An overlooked Data East classic.|
|Contra III: The Alien Wars||Action / Run and Gun||An extremely difficult run-'n-gun shooter by Konami. Profoundly badass, which is complemented when you have a bro for co-op (dat split screen). Ported to GBA, but that version takes out the overhead stages and replaces them with side-scrolling levels from Contra Hard Corps, a bad move since those levels were designed around you being able to slide. Released in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels with altered sprites|
|Demon's Crest||Platformer||Part of the Ghosts 'n Goblins spin off series, Gargoyle's Quest. This also stars Firebrand/Red Arremer, a demon in an ancient struggle over world dominance. A unique, but extremely difficult and dark platformer, Demon's Crest draws influence from Mega Man (you get new forms and skills after beating bosses) and Metroid (free roaming exploration). One of the best (and hardest) on SNES.|
|Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow (US)|
Donald in Maui Mallard (EU)
|Platformer / Action||A unique game featuring Donald Duck like you've never seen him before. This time he's a tropical detective who can shoot a gun powered by various ammunition types and later in the game can turn into a ninja, smack enemies with a quarterstaff and become more acrobatic. Great animation, gameplay, and soundtrack. Good stuff, but arguably inferior to the Genesis version in terms of gameplay. Both lose to the PC version's KICKASS redbook audio. The GB port is easily the weakest of them all though... (Un)Fun Fact: A sequel/remastery of this was planned, but canceled due to lack of support.|
|Donkey Kong Country||Platformer||A classic platformer by Rare. It was one of the first games to use rendered sprites. Great music and some amazing graphics just add to the brilliant gameplay. Ported to GBA with slightly weaker graphics and sound, but quite a bit of bonus stuff. It was also ported to the GBC, but there's not much reason to play that version.|
|Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest||Platformer||The sequel to Donkey Kong Country starring Diddy Kong. The music is FUCKING EPIC. Equally amazing visuals. Best in the trilogy. Harder than you'd expect, especially when trying to get the true ending. Ported to GBA with weaker graphics and sound, but more extras!|
|Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble||Platformer||The last of the DKC series. While it feels a bit like a rehash of the last two, it's still quite a bit of fun in its own right. Much easier; however, many side-quests (as well as even bigger levels than before) will make you take your time to get the full 103% completion. The GBA port of this game is the only one in the series that had a re-imagined soundtrack by the original composer (David Wise).|
|Doom Troopers||Action / Run and Gun||Developed by Playmates, this is a very nice-looking, gory, dark and hard game. Not Contra hard, but almost. But be warned, Genesis version is MUCH better.|
|E.V.O. Search for Eden||Action / Platformer||You play the role of a small fish. Work your way up the food chain and evolve into stuff like a motherfuckin' dinosaur and an armor-plated jackalope. Lotsa grinding and very basic platforming, but there's a good handful of secrets to find as well. Has some ridiculously tough bosses.|
Mother 2 (JP)
|RPG||A quirky, humorous, deep and emotional RPG, parodying the JRPG style with western pop culture. Some may love it for its 'deep' story but even if you don't go for that kinda thing you'll still love the fuck outta this! 1st game is on NES but you don't need to know about that to enjoy this. both 1st and this game were bundled together and released on a GBA cart in Japan only. Sequel is Mother 3 on GBA with an excellent fan translation available.|
|Earthworm Jim||Action / Platformer||A humorous and quite challenging platformer by Shiny Entertainment where you control an intelligent earthworm wearing an ultra-powerful space suit. This game involves cows. The Sequel is arguably better, but best played on the |
|F-Zero||Racing||A racing game by Nintendo that takes advantage of Mode 7 to simulate 3D graphics. This faux-3D would later be used in the GBA titles. The N64 and Gamecube titles are in full 3D with 30 racers instead of 4/8. A sequel/remix of this game exists on BS Satellaview.|
|Final Fantasy IV (JP)|
Final Fantasy II (US)
|RPG||A classic JRPG by Square. This was one of the first games to have a more complex storyline, and it introduced the ATB system used in many of its successors. Regarded by some as probably the best intro to the series for beginners. Ported to the PlayStation with a better script and restored difficulty/abilities, Game Boy Advance/PSP with lots of extras, and remade for the DS with different extras and MUCH HARDER difficulty. Has a a sequel on WiiWare/PSP, that you may also like (if you aren't a jerk). Note: FF2us was based on a early version of Final Fantasy IV Easy Type, which removed many abilities, removed all status curing items except Remedies, and toned down enemy difficulty. However, Easy Type does have a more difficult final dungeon and final boss. The script in FF2us was also infamously poorly translated. There is a fan translation patch for the Japanese version, but the script has many mistranslated lines, juvenile humor and outright PLAGIARISM for the original FF2us script. There's also the Namingway Edition, which restores the Japanese maps and content and has a script that's more faithful to later localized versions.|
|Final Fantasy VI (JP)|
Final Fantasy III (US)
|RPG||Another classic JRPG by Square. It has a large and varied cast of characters that can be customized by equipping Magicite on them. Translation is a lot better than FF2us. Great music, widely contested to be the best in the series. The SNES version is noted for having LOADSAEXPLOITS, many of which can be used by the player to become overpowered, especially Vanish+Doom.Ported to the PlayStation with LOADTIMES and Game Boy Advance with extras and a remixed script of new and old.|
|Final Fantasy Mystic Quest||RPG Lite||An "entry level" RPG, BUT just because it's easier and shorter than its older FF cousins doesn't mean you shouldn't play it. For one, it has JUMPING along with various tools and both are utilized in dungeons for exploration and various puzzles. Combat is streamlined, offering only a few options at first, but giving more as you progress. It's a pretty cool story and your party members are pretty memorable pals. The music is the best reason to play. Known as Mystic Quest Legend in Europe, not Mystic Quest (That's Final Fantasy Adventure). If you like this, consider Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light on DS. Both are different, but have similar vibes.|
|Final Fight 2||Beat 'em Up||Fairly good follow-up that brings back 2-player co-op. This game debuts Maki, who plays a bit like Guy, and would later appear in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX. Features a few Street Fighter background cameos as you hop from locales around the world. The first game is not reccommended here because of its missing content compared to the Arcade and Sega CD version.|
|Final Fight 3||Beat 'em Up||Four different styled characters all with their own special moves, also brings back Guy! At many points during the game you'll be able to choose between different paths. Great for co-op, and probably the best Final Fight.|
|Goof Troop||Action||God tier co-op game by Capcom. Goofy and Max set out on an adventure to rescue Pete and PJ, who have been kidnapped by pirates. Solve puzzles and use items to help clear paths by yourself or Goof it up with a bro. Way more fun than it has any right to be, especially since you can troll each other.|
|Gradius III||Shoot 'em Up||A shoot 'em up by Konami (shocker). The third Gradius game and one of the best, |
|Hagane: The Final Conflict||Action / Platformer||A hard as ball's platformer that traces its gameplay roots to games like Ninja Gaiden and Strider. Absolute masterpiece of the late-SNES, this game only got a limited release over here in Blockbuster stores and was largely ignored until later. It's hella expensive now for high demand and low supply, because it's one of the system's best. Every button on the controller does something, and mastering the game's mechanics and combos are required for survival. It pulls no punches, but it's never unfair either.
Don't bother buying this one, it's out of your price range. Even the Super Famicom version, which is also expensive due to AMERICANS.
|Harvest Moon||Simulation||Plant crops, raise animals, get married, have a kid. Sim Farm meets Tokimeki Memorial. Despite how boring and absurd the premise sounds, and how terrible the newer entries in the series are, it's a solid, unique, and entertaining game. The challenge lies in how little time you have each day, and unlike later entries, the protagonist doesn't have a rucksack to carry multiple items in.|
|Illusion of Gaia||Action RPG||The second game in Quintet's Heaven and Earth/Soul Blazer series. A young boy with psychic powers named Will beats up monsters with a flute. He also obtains the ability to transform into powerful warriors with their own abilities. This game is noteworthy for having you travel around places that strongly resemble cultural and historical sites in our own reality and also its rather dark, but VERY well done, story and soundtrack.
(Note: the translation is quite lousy, and censors some tricky bits like references to slavery, cannibalism, and religion. There IS a beta ROM floating on the Internet that was made shortly before Enix America closed down, and it is more faithful to the Japanese version.)
|Joe & Mac (series)||Platformer||A prehistory based platformer with gameplay similar to a lighthearted Contra, but with dinosaurs. The game saw two sequels: Congo's Caper and Joe & Mac 2 (A.K.A. Joe & Mac 3 in Japan), the later which includes girl courtship and marriage as some extra features. Joe and Mac 2 is a direct sequel, and features similar gameplay. For Congo's Caper, see above.|
|Judge Dredd||Platformer / Run'n Gun||Cool platformer based on the Stallone movie, full of branching paths and secrets. You can either go trigger happy on the criminals or take your time and arrest them, which grants you items and stuff.|
|King Arthur's World||Platformer / Strategy / Puzzle||A rather unique and long game, where you must deploy troops (including archers, mages and builders) from your camp to kill enemies and traverse hazardous terrains in order to go to the next level. Each area has also a huge boss at the end. The game uses passwords to save the progress. It also has support to the SNES Mouse, but it's not necessary to play the game.|
|Killer Instinct||Fighting||C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER! This game is fun to play if you've had enough Mortal Kombat, though many others prefer it. Made by Rare back when they were god tier so this is safe for sure. Also on the Game Boy but not recommended over this. There is an arcade version which was partly made by MIDWAY so you wont complain. about it being a rip-off of MK. Sequel on N64. Awesome shit as well.|
|Kirby's Avalanche (US)|
Kirby's Ghost Trap (EU)
|Puzzle||Like Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine on the Genesis, it's the Western localization of Puyo Puyo. You match balls of goo into groups of 4; larger groups and chains will send rage-inducing rows of worthless clear goo onto the opponent's field. It might not sound original, but a lot of modern match 3/4 games took their mechanics from Puyo Puyo. It's pretty difficult, but if it's too much for you there's an easy mode (and get out of /v/, casual). The only real downside is that Kirby is kind of a jerk, but since the game has fuck all to do with the main Kirby games it's a minor issue.|
|Kirby's Dream Land 3||Platformer||Another top-notch Kirby title featuring Kirby's pals from KDL2. Features lovely pastel-esque graphics and also has a second player in the form of Gooey, who's more or less second Kirby. Features six animal pals you can combine your powers with for even more effects, and mini-missions in stages to unlock the true final boss.|
|Kirby Super Star||Platformer||A fantastic collection of short Kirby games, each with unique twists to them. With colorful graphics, good music, enemy partners and a wide variety of copy powers, this game has a lot to offer. Released as Kirby's Fun Pak in Europe. Also re-released on DS with more extras.|
|Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals||RPG||This game is a through-and-through traditional JRPG. Still, it pulls it off with GREAT music and writing. It also features Zelda-like puzzle dungeons. Remade as a kickass Action-RPG on DS, with a magic-steampunk world and characters having odd fashion sense , but INCREDIBLE music and more puzzle goodness. And they kept the story pretty true to the original with few minor differences. Note: Though controversial, the creators themselves have stated the DS game to be an alternate retelling and still respect the original, even encouraging players to enjoy both. SO QUIT COMPLAINING.|
|Marvel Super Heroes: War of the Gems||Beat 'em Up||Considered as a spiritual sequel to X-Men Mutant Apocalypse. Actually it's all the same, but now you play as Avengers team and you can actually choose certain character to pass certain levels. Music and sound effects are not as great as in first game, but still it's a solid fighting gem by capcom. Be warned: it's a very hard motherfucker.|
|Mega Man 7||Platformer / Run and Gun||Mega Man 7 marks the debut of the main series in the 16-bit era. The classic gameplay has been preserved and enhanced. Colorful graphics and memorable music. Walk, jump, slide and shoot. You don't need anything else. The original can be hard to find, so note that it's also available on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection on Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox. Fans made a demake of 7 in the vein of the NES MM games that's free and also worth trying.|
|Mega Man X||Platformer / Run and Gun||Pure platforming joy with appealing graphics and rocking awesome music. A brilliant revitalization of a stagnating franchise. All SNES Mega Man X games (and X4-6) are also on Gamecube and PS2 in the Mega Man X Collection.|
|Mega Man X2||Platformer / Run and Gun||This game is almost as fun as the original, with three difficult bosses randomly appearing throughout the game. There's a slightly altered ending you get for obtaining 3 special items by beating them.||160px|
|Mega Man X3||Platformer / Run and Gun||Another Mega Man X title. It's loaded with a bunch of secrets ranging from power-ups to hidden bosses. Also, yes that is fucking Zero in the screenshot. He is playable in some levels too. Also on the PS1/Saturn version as well. Rereleased on Mega Man X Collection for GC/PS2 which had the PS1/Saturn version, which was better, but this is still fun with even a PS1/Saturn.|
|Metal Warriors||Platformer / Shoot 'em Up||Metal Warriors is essentially an unofficial follow-up to Cybernator/Assault Suits Valken by the American LucasArts (both were published in NA and EU by Konami, so it was probably their intent to sneak this one in as the sequel). Not only is it a great game in the same style, it's probably a better follow-up than any of the official sequels, LucasArts showing a lot of love and respect for the game that obviously inspired them; this is a must own if you're a fan of SNES action games or mechs. Some notable differences from ASV include multiple mechs to pilot, the loss of a health meter for visible damage to the mech, and the ability for your character to leave the mech and play on foot, not unlike Blaster Master for NES.|
|Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City||Platformer||Ok, you're probably laughing your ass off right about now. Good, you should be, because the idea of a platformer starring Michael Jordan is fucking hilarious. However, if you want to romp through a well built, fairly long platformer with plenty of cool power-ups, puzzles and enemies (as well as manual dunking!) then go out an grab a copy of this bad boy, I guarantee it will be cheap, and you're getting one of the most overlooked platformers of the SNES generation. Gameplay great as it is, the game itself is still funny (although Michael Jordan beating the shit out of monsters with a flaming basketball is pretty goddamn cool). Good for a good time and some laughs.|
|Might and Magic Book Two: Gates to Another World||RPG||Excellent port of the classic PC RPG, with nicely redone graphics and stuff. It was supposed to be released in America, but it was canceled for whatever reason, though it was released in Europe.|
|Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition||Fighting||A Power Rangers fighting game, choose one of four MegaZords or Lord Zedd's monsters (including Zedd himself) and beat the crap of each other. This one is basically a spiritual predecessor to the Gundam Wing fighter in the Japanese section, since both use the same engine.|
|Mortal Kombat (series)||Fighting||FATALITY. BRUTALITY, ANIMALITY. BABALITY. FRIENDSHIP. These were the early finishing moves that marked the Mortal Kombat series and the childhood of many players (specially the fatality) with a dark voice (the announcer, that is actually a boss character) telling the winner and the finishing move type. The fighting series was pretty balanced on the early iterations, with the only real differences between fights being the special moves, with the exception of some of the special characters. The finishing moves were only used as a stylish way to finish off already won fights, but was not necessary as the person had already won anyway. You could also, in certain stages, do a stage fatality if you can't do a personal or exclusive fatality. As most finishing moves were bloody for the consoles standarts, the game rapidly gained popularity by its violent but comical, surreal and innovative content.
Note: the first MK was horribly censored on the SNES, so go for the Mega Drive version instead (which has a code to unlock the blood). MK II and III, on the other hand, have all the blood and look much better on the SNES.
|Nosferatu||Platformer||The vampire is thirsty and your girl's neck is juicy... will you let it lie? No, of course not. This obscure game is a gorgeous but imperfect gem. It plays like Prince of Persia with fistfights and the challenge cranked up to eleven. The cutscenes are some of the most movie-like moments you'll see on the SNES.|
|Phantom 2040||Platformer / Run and Gun||An obscure game made out of an obscure TV adaptation of a fairly obscure comic strip, Doesn't matter if you don't know about it, the plot is great and has many branches that take you through different levels. You can revisit most levels you've been in at any time. To progress you must search and destroy computers that keep numbered doors closed. Many of these are well hidden, and are only accessible from secret passages linked to other areas, so there is a lot of exploration to be made. There's also a Sega Genesis version, but has inferior music and lacks some minor gameplay quirks. Get the US version. The EU version removed all cutscenes to make room for the translated text.|
|Plok||Platformer||One of the weirder and more obscure mascot-with-attitude platformers that came out in the wake of Sonic's success. Plok is an animated pile of clothes on a quest to save his island made of cloth from the fleas, balloon magicians, and frogs with giant lips that have infested it. He attacks by throwing his own limbs Rayman style, turning into a buzzsaw, dressing up as boxers and cowboys and shooting homing hornets. It's worth playing just for its excellent graphics and soundtrack, though due to the bullshit difficulty and lack of saving/passwords it's best played on an emulator.|
|Pocky & Rocky (series)||Run and Gun||Play as a shrine maiden and a tanooki, get'chur best friend, and shoot the shit out of evil spirits and Japanese demons in this extremely fun and quirky Natsume title that is simply a blast with a friend. (There was a sequel, with more characters, but it introduced some elements that made multiplayer potentially less fun. To be brief, Player 1 could easily make the game less fun for Player 2, due to how bombs work in 2. Still, play P&R2 solo, but not with a pal unless you absolutely promise not to use bombs. The second game was still good anyway)|
|Pop'n TwinBee||Shoot 'em Up (vertical)||You have to wonder why Konami released Parodius when they had a perfectly good colorful shoot 'em up in the form of Twinbee. While the former is a bit more original, this is still a very well-made game, that shoot 'em up fans who need a break from grimdark sci-fi should try. Only released in PAL countries and Japan.|
|Pop'n TwinBee: Rainbow Bell Adventures||Platformer||A TwinBee platformer? Well it takes a lot of concepts from games like Sonic, Rocket Knight, and maybe even Mario and Goemon. Turns out to be most like Tiny Toons but with Rocket Knight jet! The PAL and Japanese versions are really different, the PAL version removes dialogue, some stage exits, and battery saving. Japanese lets you save with either password or battery!|
|Prince of Persia||Platformer||Remix of the original classic by Jordan Mechner. Detested by old fans, this is a successful remake. The levels are much harder, the graphics, the animations, and soundtrack are at top notch with some anime elements (well, 'twas ported by Japan). New levels have been added and old ones revamped. If you loved the classic and want an even harder challenge, this is the best for you. Try to save as much as possible though if you use emulator. The sequel is known as Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame. There was a SNES port. Stay away from it, it's terrible. The other versions aren't as bad though.|
|R-Type III: The Third Lightning||Shoot 'em Up||R-Type has always been about memorizing tough side-scrolling levels, and this is no exception, but now you have three Force Devices to choose from, with unique lasers and special traits. The Wave Cannon is much more badass too, with two different charge-up modes you can switch between. Crazy impressive graphics, it's like they designed each stage around a different set of visual effects.|
|Rock n' Roll Racing||Racing||A ca-ray-zeh fun racing game by... Blizzard?! Yes. Use several types of items and projectiles against your adversaries. Earn money to improve your car. Fun for multiplayer. Rocking music ported by Tim Follin! (Note: Rip will always be in another timezone.) Also on Megadrive (with RADAR LOVE and twice the levels - Divisions A and B differ a lot - but overall far worse sound) and GBA. The game's secret character is from another early Blizzard game (no, it's not from Diablo and neither from Warcraft).|
|Run Saber||Platform||Essentially a clone of Strider, but a very well done one and an SNES exclusive. Rather short and easy with abundant power-ups and extra lives but it has great graphics, sound, music, epic bosses, and best of all two player support.|
|Secret of Evermore||Action RPG||A game by Square of America based on Secret of Mana's engine. You and your dog travel through different eras of time in order to get back to modern day. This game's "magic" system involves the use of ingredients for simple formulas to create various effects, but because they are such common ingredients, you can find them all over the place, doing away with the RPG-standard MP. The weapon system is simplified, but also more effective. Both new systems are much easier to manage. Evermore also has a unique soundtrack with a theatrical feel in its melodies, rhythms, and ambiance. Single-player, but a romhack allows P2 to control the pooch simultaneously.|
|Secret of Mana (US)|
Seiken Densetsu 2 (JP)
|Action RPG||Another widely-loved Action RPG by Square. Up to three people can play simultaneously. It expands on the weapon and magic abilities of Final Fantasy Adventure for Game Boy, the first Mana title. Magic is aligned to various spirits and each has their own sets of spells. This really setup the Mana series and the various mythos, along with elements and characteristics that it is so well known for today: weapon skills, tough bosses, pleasant visuals, great gameplay, and incredible soundtracks.|
|Shadowrun||Action RPG||It's sort of like Fallout for the SNES. You play as Jake Armitage who was nearly killed by a mysterious assassin and you get amnesia and now it's up to you to find out why. Like Fallout you can gain karma from killing people, making choices, hacking terminals, and the whole game acts as a tabletop RPG while still managing real time action. CAN BE TOUGH AS NAILS! Mainly because of assassins coming out of FUCKING NOWHERE and you have to be quick to kill them. An incredible SNES gem that was hugely overlooked due to poor sales. Another version of the game is available on the Sega Genesis, but they are totally different games, so if you've played the Genesis version, this will be a new experience.|
|SimCity||Simulation / Sandbox||A city building simulation game designed by Will Wright. Though released to many consoles and even for computers, the SNES version was one of the most popular. On the first release, scenarios and special buildings were already part of the game, yet it was simple enough to be fast and fun. Was Maxis first product and one considered a classic. It spawned the SimCity series and indirectly The Sims series.|
|Skyblazer||Platformer||An evil demigod has kidnapped a priestess, and as the descendant of the great hero, saving her is up to you. A little-known but very good platformer inspired by Hindu mythology. It has a similar feel to Demon's Crest and Actraiser.|
|Sonic Blast Man II||Beat'em up||Nice hero Beat'em Up by Taito, choose between three crazy heroes and go deal justice with your fists!
The first game is one player only and just have a single characters to play, and while it is also fun it is totally overshadowed by this one.
|Soul Blazer (US)|
Soul Blader (JP)
|Action RPG||The first game in Quintet's Heaven and Earth/Soul Blazer series. In this spiritual successor to Actraiser, God/The Master sends down a hero to save the world from Deathtoll, the big bad that the stupid king struck a deal with. The music is awesome (and strangely groovy for this sort of world it takes place in), and the game itself is a lot of fun, but kinda hard at times. As an early title, it's a little stiff control-wise, but the later games in the series improved this, so fear not.|
|Sparkster||Action / Platformer||Rocket Knight goodness from the Genesis to the SNES. Just as good as the first game, if not better for having better graphics and more streamlined action. Also, it's an opossum wielding a sword that shoots shockwaves and riding a rocket jetpack. If that's not badass, I don't know what is. Notably, Sparkster has that weird Aladdin game syndrome where there are two games on two opposite consoles (Genesis/SNES) with the same exact name and cover art, but are two entirely different games. Also like Aladdin, however, the Genesis game is also an amazing game, so don't fret over picking a version, get both since they're different games and enjoy! New game now on download for PSN/XBLA, but once again changes some stuff up.|
|Star Fox||3D Rail Shooter||A rail shooter by Nintendo. It is one of the first console games to use truly 3D polygon graphics, thanks to a built-in coprocessor that makes it tricky to emulate correctly (higan is recommended). Released in Europe as Starwing.|
|Star Fox 2||3D Rail Shooter / RTS||At last! This is possibly the best game of the Star Fox series, and the most advanced game for the SNES. It was cancelled in 1995 but finally released with the SNES Classic Edition retro-console in 2017. And of course the ROM was extracted almost immediately (although it's not too different from a beta that had been leaked previously). Many of its best bits were harvested for use in Star Fox 64 and even Command (DS). Instead of selecting a straight course like the original, you pick two pilots and get dropped onto a large map, so you have to liberate the Lylat system and defend planet Corneria in real time from approaching missiles, enemy squadrons, battleships, and rival team Star Wolf, all of which adds an element of strategy to the game. Also, during ground and indoors missions, you can turn your Arwing into a mech, which is pretty badass.|
|Sunset Riders||Run and Gun||YEEEEEEHAW! A fantastic and challenging R'n'G by the folks at Konami, straight from the arcade, Sunset Riders is a multiplayer must-have. Fantastic visuals, gameplay, soundtrack, and fun, you truly haven't hit puberty 'til you've played this manly-manfest of a game. Also on Genesis, but the SNES version has four characters to choose from, whereas Genesis only has two. Cormano duel wields shotguns! Inferior to the arcade version, but this is just as fun.|
|Super Adventure Island 2||Platformer / Adventure||A wild departure from the traditional Adventure Island, SAI2 plays more like Zelda 2, or a Metroid game. You're thrown into a huge island-based world, and Higgins has to chase after his smoking hot wife who's been abducted by some goddamn wizard. Massive levels, big explorable world map, fantastic music, and tons of hidden items, heart containers and gear. Oh, and the bosses are hard.|
|Super Bomberman (series)||Puzzle / Multiplayer||It's Bomberman! Five games to pick from, IV and V are Japan only but you don't need to know Japanese and they are fun and have vehicles (kangaroo-like critter called Rooeys!) The first was the first game to support 4 player multitap, and every game after followed the suit. Bomb your friends and get them stuck in corners until they ragequit.|
|Super Castlevania IV||Action / Platformer||Konami's Castlevania offering to the SNES. A retelling of the original Castlevania. Features much more difficult stages, but the best controls of any game in the series (Fuck yeah for 8-way whipping).|
|Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts||Action / Platformer||An infamously difficult platformer by Capcom. Despite what you may believe, this is not a remake of Ghosts 'n' Goblins OR Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, it is the second sequel (a common mistake of this series is believing they are all remakes). Improves the armor system by adding two levels of upgrades, tons of newer weapons, and more levels of difficulty. Still, many of the same elements persist, such as beating the game twice to see the true ending.|
|Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World||Platformer||A package containing Super Mario Bros. 1 through 3, as well as Super Mario World and the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, here titled The Lost Levels. The graphics are upgraded to take advantage of the SNES's capabilities, but are otherwise unchanged.
Super Mario World is the definitive Mario game for the SNES. Has fewer stages than Super Mario Bros 3 but a boatload of alternate exits and secret levels for a ton of replay value.
An earlier version of the game doesn't contain Super Mario World. Recommended buying this version rather than separately because Luigi has his own sprite in this version and has other improvements to Super Mario World.
Got a re-release on the Wii with a soundtrack CD and history booklet for Super Mario Bros. 25th anniversary. Super Mario World is NOT included.
Note: This version of SMB1 suffers from an issue where, if you hit a brick, you don't rebound properly compared to the original version. There is a romhack that fixes this issue, as well as some minor ones: Redux patch
|Super Mario Kart||Kart Racing||A racing game by Nintendo for the SNES. It is more relaxed than F-Zero. It also has different items to turn the tide of races. First of the 'Kart' series, and some say the best. Come for the racing, stay for the battle mode (it's a blast).|
|Super Mario RPG||Adventure RPG||Timed hits, saving the princess, Geno, Mallow, and one of the most fun RPGs made by Square. Has an awesome soundtrack. As well as incredible characters and bosses with many colorful and awesome environments. Dear god, play this now. Has a spiritual successor in the Paper Mario series, which has a spiritual successor in the Mario and Luigi series.|
|Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island||Platformer||The sequel to Super Mario World. You control Yoshi with Baby Mario on your back. Instead of strictly jumping and attacking, Yoshi makes and throws eggs and uses his long tongue to reach and grab certain items. He can also transform into different vehicles. It has some of the nicest visuals on the SNES. Also has fantastic music that you might have not noticed because SHUT THE FUCK UP BABY MARIO!! Luckily, a romhack exists to remedy that: Yoshi's Island - No Crying, Improved SFX and Red Coins|
|Super Metroid||Platformer / Adventure||The third installment in the Metroid series, and widely considered the best in the series by most fans, and, depending on who you ask, the last good one in the series. Often voted in the top 10 games ever made, for good reason.|
|Super Morph||Puzzle||Getting stuck in Dr. Krankenpot's teleporter, you're split into four parts: liquid, gas, steel ball and a rubber ball. You need to guide your character through the level which is littered with traps and machines that morph you into another material, such as liquid turns into gas when you fly past an oven. The game features progressively harder levels and is up there with Fire and Ice (NES) in the difficulty/fun ratio.|
|Super Nova / Darius Force||Shoot 'em Up||A vastly underrated SNES shooter and a huge improvement over Darius Twin. Has 3 different Silver Hawks to play around with, two of which loosely represent how the previous arcade Darius games played, and the third being an experimental one not seen anywhere else. The only thing missing is a 2-player mode, but that would break the excellent atmosphere it has going anyway.|
|Super Punch-Out||Boxing||Punch-Out on SNES just delivers more of the same and delivers it good! Little Mac should again become champion by climing through the ranks with new opponents, new attack patterns, renewed fighting mechanics - it's all there. Video and sound presentation are great and learning curve isn't so steep now.|
|Super Smash TV||Shooter||It is 1999, and in this dystopic future, the most popular TV game show is a fight to death for cash, toasters, and VCRs! Given Nintendo's penchant to censor everything, it's incredible that such an absurdly violent arcade was ported to the SNES essentially intact. A very intense, challenging, and fun game.|
|Super Street Fighter II||Fighting||The definitive version of Street Fighter II for the SNES, featuring the most characters.|
|Super Widget||Platformer||A Fatlus game based on a pro-environmental cartoon you've never heard of. There's an NES game called Widget, and it has a bad reputation, for good reason. Don't worry, this isn't the same. In this game, the music is catchy, the graphics are great, and it controls well (albeit being a little slower than average). Like some other games, Widget (your main character) has the ability to use different transformations, he gets these via different coins with letters on them (for example, an 'M' coin is aquatic creatures). He can stack up to two coins, for a level one transformation, then a level two. If he receives a third coin of the same type, it gives hm a shield. The challenge on this game is fairly low, so it's good for those who want some solid, casual SNES platforming.|
|Tecmo Super Bowl||Sports||Before EA was pumping out endless Madden Sequels every year, there was Tecmo Bowl. Easy to pick up and play, real NFL Rosters from the 1990's, Varying Weather conditions, and fluid gameplay makes this a classic NFL game for the ages. TOUCHDOWN THURMAN THOMAS|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time||Beat 'em Up||An arcade port done right. Not only is the action just as good, but there are also new additional segments and bosses. Had a remix on modern consoles with the subtitle: Re-Shelled, but is a bit different, mostly in terms of minor gameplay alterations and new voice actors.|
|Terranigma||Action RPG||The third game in Quintet's Heaven and Earth/Soul Blazer series. Ark, a boy from the underworld village of Crysta, is tasked with the creation and resurrection of the overworld. Considered by some as the best non-Ninendo release of the SNES due to its awesome soundtrack and gameplay, complex storyline and mind blowing graphics. Just be ready for the legendary boss fight with Bloody Mary, famous for being stupid hard or stupid easy, due to certain factors.Released in Japan and Europe (English) with a NTSC 60FPS patch available here.|
|Tetris Attack||Puzzle||A re-spriting of the Japanese puzzle game Panel De Pon, this version replaces all the loli/moe spirit fairy things with various Mario enemies and your main player as Yoshi. Funky tunes, and some sweet puzzle action. Either version is acceptable. Was updated on the N64 as Pokemon Puzzle League.|
|The Adventures of Batman & Robin||Action / Platformer||Based on the animated series and completely different from the Sega Megadrive iteration, this game has a lot of variety in stages and some differ in the way they are played, for example the first mission features an awesome fight against the Joker on top of a rollercoaster, another one features the Batmobile and so on, made by Konami so you can expect good quality.|
|The Firemen||Action||If you loved Burning Rangers on the Saturn then you might enjoy this gem of a game. The whole game takes place inside of a chemical company building. Use all your crawling, axing, and spraying abilities to fight a variety of fire and fire-based enemies under a time-limit. The cutscenes in the game give it a more cinematic feel throughout the whole game. Unfortunately, was only released in the PAL and JP regions. Has a sequel on the Playstation, but that one sucks the big one.|
|The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey and Minnie||Platformer||A sequel to The Magical Quest, this time play as both Mickey and Minnie to stop Pete from being an asshole, like usual. Same essential gameplay, but now features new costumes and co-op (though there is no difference between Mickey and Minnie, aesthetics aside). Also released on Genesis (though it's a bit inferior), and ported to the GBA, but same deal as last time (save feature, slightly downgraded graphics and music).|
|The Jetsons: Invasion of the Planet Pirates||Platformer||An interesting platformer with a cool gimmick based on the Hannah-Barbera cartoon from the 60's. You have a vacuum-like device you can use to suction yourself to walls and ceilings, or suck up blocks and enemies and launch them back out. It's not perfect, and the game falls to some of the platformer tropes of the time (seperation between regular gameplay and bosses make them slightly unfair, as an example), but it's otherwise a neat little title.
This game was rebranded and re-released in Japan, starring a ghost-hunting anime girl, with different graphics and audio. The level design and gameplay are almost exactly the same, so if you're into that sort of thing, go for that version instead. More info here.
|The Legend of the Mystical Ninja||Adventure / Platformer||Technically a Goemon game, this is a fun little platforming game where you play as |
|The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past||Action RPG||This is the game that laid out the formula emulated by all of its successors - adding more expansive dungeons, more interesting puzzles, a detailed story, and introducing quintessential items like the hookshot and bottles. Many consider it one of the best 2D Zeldas, and that ain't just nostalgia talkin'. Rereleased on GBA with some small changes.|
|The Lost Vikings||Platformer||Here you control three vikings taking turns. Each has his own abilities, which you must use at the right times to get through the stages. Also on Megadrive, GBA and possible others. Blizzard's best game after Rock'n Roll Racing. The Mega Drive/Genesis version contains five stages not present in any other version of the game.|
|The Lost Vikings II||Platformer||More from the first game, except now we have laser sword and elastic chain arm thingies. Also on PS1.|
|The Magical Quest starring Mickey Mouse||Platformer||If there was ever a game that was proof that Capcom did beautiful things with the Disney license, then this is it. Play as Mickey Mouse on an awesome quest to save Pluto from the evil Emperor Pete. While the core gameplay is Super Mario Bros. 2-ish, you get suits with different abilities akin to Mega Man. Very awesome. There is a Game Boy Advance port with an included save feature (the original has no saves, though later games had passwords), but it's not really necessary, plus, the amazing graphics and music take a slight hit.|
|The Ninja Warriors||Beat 'em Up||A rather overlooked but really fun beat 'em up. 3 characters, all with their own moves. Very straightforward. No co-op, which is a shame for a beat 'em up.|
|Top Gear (Series)||Racing||Super classic racing game series. While the first is a more regular racer, the sequels add some futuristic stuff, as well as a shop between races to customize your car. 3000 is especially neat. It has only 4 songs but they all kick ass, the basic racing is still good but now with futuristic tech like jumping, warping, infrared vision and a quantum attractor, NOT TO MENTION NUCLEAR ENGINES MOTHERFUCKER.
The first game is actually a japanese port of the Amiga's Lotus Challenge series, and even the songs are remixes of those games.
|U.N. Squadron (US)|
Area 88 (JP)
|Shoot 'em Up||Based on the Area 88 anime/manga series. A tad more accessible than most shumps, with playable jets based on real military aircraft, lots of weapons to blast stuff with, and catchy-as-hell music. Adaptation of the arcade game, which had fewer features overall.|
|Uncharted Waters: New Horizons||RPG||Known as Daikoukai Jidai II in Japan. A game about nautical adventures with an awesome soundtrack and good plot. You can choose role of merchant, adventurer, combater by choosing different characters as protagonist.|
|Uniracers||Racing||Quirky and fast-paced, fun with another player.
Race riderless unicycles around a 2D track. Heavy emphasis is placed on performing stunts. Can be difficult to find because Pixar are fascist pricks and sued DMA to death. 300,000 copies exist; if you see it, get it.
|Wild Guns||Shoot 'em Up / Run and Gun||A sci-fi western game that uses character movement and gun aiming co-operatively. Features tons of hidden targets and bonuses throughout stages, so shoot everything. That huge mecha on the box? He's the first boss. That said, you know things will get crazier from then out.
This game got a nice HD re-release on the PS4, with 4 player support and widescreen!
|X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse||Beat 'em Up||Fighting game by capcom. What can go wrong? That's right - absolutely nothing. Features 5 mutants and specific missions for each of them. Really good animation and vivid colours are breathtaking. Sometimes may be hard.|
|Yoshi's Safari||Rail Shooter||Mario + Gun. Dust off the Super Scope for this one. Fun to blast goombas flying at you in first person. Just don't shoot the back of Yoshi's head or you'll upset the beast!|
|Zombies Ate My Neighbors||Horror / Run and Gun||You shoot a lot of zombies with water pistols. Very fun in co-op. ("Zombies" is the censored European / Australian version, the Genesis also has this uncensored version). Features Day of the Tentacle level! Has a shitty sequel called Ghoul Patrol.|
|Consoles||Philips CD-i - Commodore CDTV - Pioneer LaserActive - Sega Mega Drive - SNK Neo Geo - Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Funtech Super A'Can - NEC TurboGrafx-16|
|Handhelds||Bit Corporation Gamate - Nintendo Game Boy - Sega Game Gear - Hartung Game Master - Atari Lynx - Welback Mega Duck - Watara Supervision|
|Computers||Commodore Amiga - Atari ST - BeOS - Fujitsu FM Towns - Sharp X68000|