Culture

The Actual Top 10 Super Nintendo Games

10. Killer Instinct

What kind of game is it?

Killer Instinct is a 2D Fighting game with rendered 3D sprites with a heavy focus on combos.

What’s so great about it?

At the time Killer Instinct came out, there was nothing like it in most respects. It used pre-rendered graphics, instead of the photo-rendered graphics made popular by Mortal Kombat, giving it a unique look. Combos were a relatively new gameplay feature, but Killer Instinct put them to the forefront, making for fast-paced gameplay. Combined with a varied cast of interesting characters and a strong rock soundtrack, it’s a game that endures to this day– so much so that it was recently revived for the Xbox One consoles as Killer Instinct Classic in its original arcade form.

How can I play it?

Only with a copy of the original cartridge or emulation, but there’s always Killer Instinct Classic on Xbox One.

9. Super Mario All Stars + Super Mario World

What kind of game is it?

A compilation of all the main Mario games ever made up to that point with updated graphics.

What’s so great about it?

Again– it’s all the main Mario games ever made to that point with updated graphics. Everything that was great about the NES trilogy is enhanced, and just as playable as ever. To sweeten the pot, Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels and Super Mario World are also included, allowing for hours of some of the best 2D gaming the console has to offer.

How can I play it?

Only with the original cartridge unfortunately– but you can play the original trilogy and The Lost Levels as part of the Wii port Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition, and Super Mario World is available on the Virtual Console for the Wii and Wii U.

8. Tetris Attack

What kind of game is it?

A puzzle game involving matching up various colored blocks to create chains and combos.

What’s so great about it?

The draw of any puzzle game is its addictive nature, that “Just one more!” feeling once you’ve cleared a stage– Tetris Attack delivers, almost too well. After getting a grasp for the gameplay, the real fun starts once you figure out how to arrange blocks to trigger chain after chain of matches. This skill becomes even more useful if you can find a second player to go against in the versus mode, allowing you to fill your opponent’s screen with junk blocks and limit their ability to make combos. Add in another mode where you have to clear all the blocks in a certain number of moves, and there’s plenty to keep you busy, for better or worse depending on how much self-control you have…

How can I play it?

The game is only available as a physical copy of the original cartridge, unless you emulate.

7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6fj6zvEnqM

What kind of game is it?

A 2D side-scrolling beat-’em-up.

What’s so great about it?

Turtles in Time takes the lessons from the previous TMNT games and refines them into gameplay that is hard to top on the console when it comes to beat-’em-ups. All four turtles are playable and have a varied set of moves between them that give the game a slightly different experience with each play-through. The difficulty is tough, but fair, and the stages and enemies are all compelling, featuring pallet-swaps of the Foot Clan with unique attacks and a boss at the end of each stage based on some of the turtles’ more popular enemies. The game was even expanded from the arcade version, featuring new stages and enemies.

How can I play it?

The game is only playable with the original cartridge or emulation, but the next best thing is Turtles in Time Re-shelled, which updates the graphics, music, and adds in modern game features like achievements and voice-acting.

6. Mega Man X

What kind of game is it?

A 2D platformer with emphasis on shooting enemies and the option to play the initial 8 stages in any order.

What’s so great about it?

Arguably the best game in the series, Mega Man X shines through in its level design, gameplay, and variety of options for taking out enemies once you assimilate the powers of the Mavericks you defeat. All of the stages are intertwined in a subtle way– defeating one enemy may cause changes in the stage of another. For example, if you defeat Storm Eagle, the ship you fight him on will have crashed into Spark Mandrill’s stage. You’ll find it ruined and darkened through more of the stage than normal, this is due to power tubes being shattered. In addition to this, there are the 4 additional armor pieces you can get to make X even stronger in time for one of the most brutal boss fights on the SNES. To top it all off, the soundtrack is classic, with a couple of the final boss stages having real standouts.

How can I play it?

Mega Man X is available on the Wii and Wii U’s Virtual Console, as part of the Mega Man X Collection on PS2 and Gamecube, and of course, the original cartridge for SNES.

5. Super Mario Kart

What kind of game is it?

A racing game with player versus player combat elements.

What’s so great about it?

All good things have humble beginnings, but the Mario Kart franchise had every right to brag from the start. The combination of some solid racing mechanics with the necessity of having to screw over your fellow players to get first place planted the seeds for a friendship-ruiner of a franchise that justifiably remains beloved to this day.

How can I play it?

Super Mario Kart is available on the Wii and Wii U’s virtual console and as a physical cartridge for the SNES.

4. Kirby Super Star

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qr9AOHJOv9s

What kind of game is it?

A compilation of several short 2D platforming games and mini-games staring Kirby.

What’s so great about it?

Everything there is to love about the Kirby games is here: The best powers, the most interesting and well-designed stages, and the classic enemies given new life through sprite-work on the SNES. Each game plays with the gameplay formula in a different way while recycling many assets, managing to hold your attention without being a blatant repetition of the same game with a different story. The mini-games are simple, yet addictive, Megaton Punch in particular being one that can keep you playing longer than intended as you try to get Planet Popstar split all the way in half. Kirby is at its finest in every way, and the best example of what the series has to offer.

How can I play it?

Kirby Super Star is available on the Virtual Console for the Wii and Wii U, assuming you can’t get a physical copy.

3. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

What kind of game is it?

A 2D top-down action adventure game.

What’s so great about it?

A Link to the Past was the Zelda game that would define the series in 2D for years, and was the inspiration for a much-acclaimed sequel A Link Between Worlds. The true successor to the original Legend of Zelda within its franchise, A Link to the Past improved on the original in every way while maintaining what worked at its core. Vast worlds with several secrets, some that needed some thought into how to navigate the Light and Dark Worlds and with what items. The action was solid, each dungeon introducing an enemy with a quirk that you had to think around. Every 2D game in the series before the DS took its cues from the control scheme established here, and for good reason. Your mileage may vary on if this is the Legend of Zelda series at its best, but it is undeniably a high point.

How can I play it?

A Link to the Past is most readily available on the Wii and Wii U’s Virtual Console, but is also available as a physical copy for the SNES and a port was made for the Game Boy Advance containing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords.

2. Chrono Trigger

What kind of game is it?

A turn-based RPG with multiple endings.

What’s so great about it?

Before Final Fantasy VII, there was Chrono Trigger, a comparison that’s justified for good reason. It’s what Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest aimed to and failed to be, a JRPG that was complex and challenging with just enough story to get us invested in the characters, without drowning itself in gratuitous “systems,” making itself inaccessible to people just trying the genre for the first time.

Couple this with some of the strongest art direction and graphics along with a soundtrack that deserves all the concerts ever, and you’ve got a game that hasn’t had a sequel in so long that deserved to have had 6 by now.

But yeah, it’s pretty great.

How can I play it?

There’s the original SNES cartridge, or more readily available options like the enhanced DS port or the further enhanced iOS and Android ports. There’s also a port for the PlayStation 1, but it’s generally considered inferior due to long load times caused by poor emulation.

1. Super Metroid

What kind of game is it?

A 2D platformer with emphasis on non-linear exploration.

What’s so great about it?

The first half of “Metroid-vania” helped define the term for a reason, and this game is why. The original was like playing a prototype of the genre, but it was only on its 3rd iteration that it fully clicked. It was Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, with it’s equipable items and standard RPG stats that made it complete, but Super Metroid is clearly the foundation laid for them. The use of music for a haunting and alienating atmosphere, the feeling of progress when finding a new item to help us progress further into places we could not reach, epic boss fights: It all started here, in space. Play it as soon as you can.

How can I play it?

Super Metroid is available in its original cartridge form for the SNES, and digital download via the Virtual Console on the Wii and Wii U.

That’s it for this Top 10, and no matter what anyone thinks of what deserves to be on this list or in what order, every one of them is worth a play. And a replay.