25 Best SNES Games of All Time

It’s been roughly 3 decades given Nintendo debuted a dear 16-bit console, yet we still haven’t mislaid a contributions to a golden age of gaming. It was a home of not customarily a best platformers of a day yet also a console that brought a best RPGs Japan had to offer. The SNES was a hearth of a Metroidvania as good as a initial console to let us kart competition with Mario and friends. 

There are so many classical titles on a SNES that a few have depressed by a wayside over a years. The console boasts one of a biggest catalogs of games ever expelled on a height and it’s time to applaud that. Here are a 25 best SNES games of all time:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

25. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

1992 | Konami

We all remember a classics of a 16-bit era, yet it was also a time when any singular cartoon, movie, and fondle line had a controversial video diversion trustworthy to it. The difference to this order was a TMNT games, that mount as some of a glorious kick ‘em ups ever created. A supplement to a dear and softened known Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, Turtles in Time‘s levels take place via all of history, ensuing in copiousness variety, even if a gameplay hasn’t altered much.

The SNES chronicle also combined a garland of new enemies, bosses, and levels over a arcade version, creation it a elite approach to play Turtles in Time. It even plays softened than a 3D reconstitute expelled on a PS3 and Xbox 360.

Best SNES Games - Harvest Moon

24. Harvest Moon

1997 | Amccus

It’s unquestionably extraordinary that a Harvest Moon array has thrived in North America. Yes, a diversion is great, yet an RPG about tillage isn’t accurately an easy sell. In a mid-‘90s, a video diversion marketplace was still dominated by platformers and movement games. Plus, it came out good after a recover of a Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and a Sega Saturn — a console epoch that introduced 3D graphics to gaming.

Those who stranded with a SNES to check out Harvest Moon found a desirable life simulator about handling crops and stock while creation friends in a new town. It might not be a many sparkling game, yet anyone who has put some time into it can attest that it’s one of a many addictive.

Best SNES Games - Super Mario All-Stars

23. Super Mario All-Stars

1993 | Nintendo

Long before remasters were a unchanging occurrence, Nintendo took a already classical Super Mario Bros. NES titles, re-did a graphics and sound, and expelled them all in one package on a SNES. To tip things off, a package enclosed a then-rare save underline and a super formidable Japanese chronicle of Super Mario Bros. 2, which hadn’t been expelled in North America adult to that point.

The initial 3 Super Mario Bros. games are comprehensive classics that any gamer should experience, and while a strange versions reason adult unquestionably well, Super Mario All-Stars is arguably a best approach to knowledge these titles.

Best SNES Games - F-Zero

22. F-Zero

1991 | Nintendo

The Big N doesn’t get scarcely adequate credit for fundamentally inventing complicated racing games. F-Zero pioneered pseudo-3D racing regulating a SNES’s Mode 7 graphics, that is still a basement for many racing games. F-Zero’s graphics might not be as considerable now, yet it’s still not too tough on a eyes, and a racing still feels fast-paced and challenging, even in a age of Forza.

It’s too bad that Nintendo doesn’t seem meddlesome in creation an HD supplement of a unconventional racer. We haven’t seen a new diversion in a array given 2004.

Best SNES Games - Contra III: The Alien Wars

21. Contra III: The Alien Wars

1992 | Konami

Contra and a supplement Super C were among a best games expelled on a NES, so expectations were high for a SNES follow up. Thankfully, Konami delivered a diversion that upped a ante with even some-more absurd setpieces (like roving a motorcycle and a missile), softened graphics than ever, and a series’ heading tough-but-fair difficulty. There’s a reason given The Alien Wars is mostly called a best diversion in a long-running series.

Best SNES Games - Secret of Mana

20. Secret of Mana

1993 | Square

Square’s take on a movement RPG genre is remembered fondly for a sensuous graphics, noted soundtrack, and three-player commune gameplay. While some contend it surpasses The Legend of Zelda series, a infrequently fussy fight doesn’t utterly reason adult as good as comparison games in a Nintendo series.

If we do wish to knowledge Secret of Mana again, or for a initial time, customarily remember to hang with a SNES version. The pretension has been remade twice now, yet conjunction of those versions has a same attract as a original.

Best SNES Games - Super Mario Kart

19. Super Mario Kart

1992 | Nintendo

Fun fact: Super Mario Kart started off as customarily a deceptive thought to emanate a two-player racing diversion to element F-Zero, that was single-player only. It was customarily good into growth that Nintendo motionless Mario and a squad would fit a game, and so Nintendo stumbled onto one of a biggest franchises.

While a racing and conflict modes are still flattering fun, Super Mario Kart is best gifted as a square of nostalgia as against to your go-to racer. But a original’s bequest is undeniable, as it paved a approach for all of a even softened successors.

Best SNES Games - ActRaiser

18. ActRaiser

1991 | Quintet

At a core, ActRaiser is a sincerely customary platformer, and a city-building gameplay is officious simplistic. Yet by mixing those things with a singular take on Judeo-Christian mythology, a outcome is one of a best and many underrated games of a 16-bit era.

While ActRaiser is mostly cited as one of a best games of a time by hardcore gamers and developers, there’s been small seductiveness in revisiting a ideas. Games like Dark Cloud and Dragon Quest Builders have offering identical experiences, yet even those miss a hint that done ActRaiser so beloved. ActRaiser itself has been asleep given an also-excellent SNES sequel.

Best SNES Games - Street Fighter II Turbo

17. Street Fighter II Turbo

1993 | Capcom

The ‘90s were a heyday of fighting games, yet with a few exceptions, many of those titles have been prolonged forgotten. Then there’s a classic Street Fighter II. Capcom stumbled onto something large with this sequel’s combo system, permitting players to strategize like never before and eke out victories when softened seemed all yet certain. Add in a expel of now iconic characters from around a creation and a pumped-up soundtrack, and we have a recipe for one of a best fighters ever made.

There have been a ton of Street Fighter games given this one, including copiousness of updated versions of a second game, yet Street Fighter II Turbo on a SNES is a ultimate chronicle of a game. It’s also a diversion that introduced the crafty Akuma to a fighting world, so points for that, too.

Best SNES Games - Super Castlevania IV

16. Super Castlevania IV

1991 | Konami

Castlevania had already done a name for itself as one of gaming’s premier franchises on a NES. When a array done a burst to 16-bit, a Metroidvania genre that we all know and adore currently hadn’t nonetheless been established, so Konami opted for a bigger, softened chronicle of a NES games. This was a Castlevania that was super in any fathomable way, with minute graphics, a vivid soundtrack, and many smoother controls than a somewhat clunky NES entries.

While Castlevania IV has been surpassed by many of a sequels that have opted for some-more scrutiny and RPG mechanics, there’s still an evidence to be done that it’s a unquestionably best of a strange sidescrolling titles.

Best SNES Games - Donkey Kong Country

15. Donkey Kong Country

1994 | Rare

Donkey Kong was a strange face of Nintendo during a early arcade days, yet by a time a SNES had rolled around, a large ape had been overshadowed by a certain Italian plumber. Meanwhile, a large ape hadn’t starred in a diversion in years, and Donkey Kong Jr., a strange baddie’s son, customarily had a ancillary purpose in Super Mario Kart.

Fortunately, Donkey Kong Country used then-revolutionary 3D sprites to move new life to a character. At a time, no other diversion had a same turn of detail. In fact, there still aren’t many games that demeanour like it. Admittedly, a gameplay isn’t utterly as well-spoken as many of a other contemporary Nintendo titles. At times, a diversion can be officious frustrating, yet DKC is still value a occasional playthrough, as are a many sequels.

Best SNES Games - NBA Jam

14. NBA Jam

1994 | Midway

There was a time when sports games didn’t try so tough to copy a genuine thing while squeezing any final penny out of players by microtransactions. You used to customarily collect an NBA star (or maybe a Mortal Kombat impression or a U.S. president), conduct to a court, and ensue to regularly burst 50 feet in a atmosphere to asperse on your opponents while environment a round on fire. It was a easier time.

NBA Jam is basketball in customarily a loosest clarity of a word, yet by throwing out many of a rulebook and focusing on movement and pristine fun, it morphed into a classical diversion that even players who caring small for sports can enjoy.

Best SNES Games - Tetris Attack

13. Tetris Attack

1995 | Nintendo

Don’t be fooled by a Tetris name, that was customarily for branding. This is a code new nonplus diversion where we contingency compare colored blocks in groups of 3 or some-more as they solemnly arise from a bottom of a screen. While a singular actor mode is flattering good and includes a garland of characters from Yoshi’s Island, a genuine prominence is a two-player mode. Tetris Attack is one of a best rival puzzlers around.

Nintendo hasn’t attempted to co-opt the Tetris name again for a series, yet has expelled a integrate of follow-ups: Planet Puzzle League for a DS and a equally dear Pokemon Puzzle League for a Nintendo 64.

Best SNES Games - Super Punch-Out

12. Super Punch-Out!!

1994 | Nintendo

The strange Punch-Out!! is still deliberate one of a biggest games of all time, and Nintendo didn’t change many for a sequel. This is still fighting churned with veteran wrestling featuring big, absurd characters, solely they demeanour softened than ever, interjection to a energy of a SNES.

Maybe it’s a finish miss of Mike Tyson or a somewhat defective music, yet Super Punch-Out!! isn’t remembered utterly as fondly as a NES original. The pattern-based matches have hold adult good though, and you’d be tough pulpy to find a softened arcade fighting game.

Best SNES Games - Kirby Super Star

11. Kirby Super Star

1996 | Nintendo

While a Kirby authorization is still unquestionably popular, a many unchanging critique of these games is customarily that they’re too brief and light on content. Kirby Super Star is a singular difference to that rule, braggadocio 7 singular gameplay segments, and dual shorter minigames that underline multiplayer. The outcome is one of a many opposite and low games in a Kirby series, if not a SNES’s whole library.

Oddly enough, notwithstanding being so fondly remembered and mostly lauded as a best in a series, zero of a sequels have attempted to transcribe a same gameplay impression as Super Star.

Best SNES Games - Final Fantasy II

10. Final Fantasy II

1991 | Square

We now call it Final Fantasy IV, yet creatively it went by a opposite name given a second and third games weren’t expelled in a U.S. until years later. Without experiencing those games, Final Fantasy II was light years brazen of a original, featuring a entrance of a Active Time Battle complement that tangible a array for some-more than a decade, as good as a initial genuine cinematic storytelling in a series.

While Final Fantasy II on a SNES has aged customarily fine, after ports that softened a sound and graphics, and many importantly, spotless adult a translation, are unquestionably a best approach to knowledge this gem.

Best SNES Games - Super Mario RPG

9. Super Mario RPG

1996 | Square

Square was pumping out classical RPGs during such a absurd rate in a ‘90s that even Nintendo jumped during a possibility to work with a company. The dual companies expedited a process, with growth customarily durability a small over a year, yet somehow in that time, Square came adult with one of a funniest and best-looking games on a SNES. Super Mario RPG stands out as one of a glorious RPGs and Mario games of all time.

Despite a extraction and crafty reception, Square and Nintendo have never worked together on another Mario RPG. The Paper Mario and Mario Luigi array games that eventually sprung out of a partnership have all been grown by Nintendo and a tighten affiliates yet any impasse from Square.

Best SNES Games - Mega Man X

8. Mega Man X

1993 | Capcom

With a whopping 6 games expelled on a NES, a strange Mega Man array was removing a bit seared by a early ‘90s. Mega Man X injected new life into a array with a some-more mature protagonist and faster gameplay that authorised him to lurch and climb. Still, a simple fight and ability to select that drudge master to face subsequent ensured that Mega Man X didn’t wandering too distant from a roots.

A absurd array of sequels have followed in a X array (and mixed other Mega Man subseries), and while X2 and X3 on a SNES are also glorious games, there’s a unquestionably good evidence to be done that Capcom still hasn’t surpassed a strange Mega Man X as a best diversion in a whole franchise.

Best SNES Games - EarthBound

7. EarthBound

1995 | Nintendo

Released during a time when console RPGs meant questing by a Gothic anticipation world, many gamers customarily weren’t prepared for EarthBound in a ‘90s. Unusually funny, clever, surreal, and self-referential, Ness’ sci-fi-tinged story is both about saving a universe and exploring western enlightenment from an outsider’s viewpoint — something that’s still frequency seen in video games.

While a diversion sole abysmally in a States on release, afterwards became a sought-after collector’s item, it’s now finally easy to knowledge this classic, interjection to a Wii U, New 3DS, and SNES Classic. Maybe one day Nintendo will finally cavern and give us some chronicle of a still Japan-only sequel, Mother 3.

Best SNES Games - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

6. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

1995 | Nintendo

Yoshi’s Island is an glorious instance of how Nintendo prefers to customarily make sequels when it has uninformed ideas to clear them. A supplement to Super Mario World that customarily featured a same gameplay in new worlds would have sole millions, yet Nintendo motionless to put in a additional work to qualification a diversion centered on Mario’s dinosaur pal, Yoshi, with some-more puzzles and a concentration on Yoshi’s ability to swallow equipment and separate them out. The new hand-drawn graphics also distant it from Super Mario World (and a rest of a SNES catalog). In fact, Yoshi’s Island might unquestionably good be a best looking diversion on a SNES.

While grown and marketed as a supplement to Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island went on to parent a possess array of platformers featuring a dear dinosaurs, nonetheless zero are as good regarded as a original.

Best SNES Games - Final Fantasy III

5. Final Fantasy III

1994 | Square

It’s not many of a widen to contend that Final Fantasy III (or VI as it’s called now) perpetually altered RPGs. The setting, a steampunk universe desirous by a late 19th century, showed gamers that good RPGs didn’t have to be set in a common high anticipation worlds. The story, that sees a bad man grasp his goal, played with fan expectations of a genre and changed Final Fantasy games going forward. What’s unquestionably extraordinary about a story is how a story is told, though. Even with 16-bit sprites, a diversion feels some-more cinematic than a lot of complicated releases full of extensive videos.

Best SNES Games - Super Mario World

4. Super Mario World

1991 | Nintendo

Back in a ’80s and ’90s, a entrance of any new Mario diversion was meant to totally change a perceptions of video games. We had all played a NES Super Mario Bros. games during this point, and as dear as they were, zero could ready us for World’s large companion map and a countless secrets. While a garment power-up wasn’t as insubordinate as Mario’s raccoon costume, a further of Yoshi combined tons of new strategies for personification a Mario game. And it can’t be farfetched how mind-blowing a graphics and sound were compared to anything on a NES.

There’s a unquestionably good evidence to be done that Nintendo still hasn’t done a softened Mario diversion given Super Mario World. Even a softened graphics and four-player commune of a New Super Mario Bros. games haven’t surfaced this mythological platformer.

Best SNES Games - Chrono Trigger

3. Chrono Trigger

1995 | Square

Square had no difficulty pumping out a hits in a ‘90s, yet all those games were customarily appetizers for what stands adult as a biggest RPG of a 16-bit generation. Chrono Trigger features 7 opposite time durations to explore, some-more than a dozen endings, and a low fight complement focused on mixing a attacks of your characters.

All of these facilities have shown adult in games since, yet zero have managed to govern them utterly as well, and zero demeanour as good as Chrono Trigger‘s Akira Toriyama-designed world. Square went on to make many dear RPGs on a PlayStation, yet looking back, a swansong on a SNES might unquestionably good be where a developer peaked. 

Best SNES Games - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to a Past

2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to a Past

The initial Legend of Zelda diversion on a NES was heralded as an present classic, so of course, Nintendo followed it adult with a weird 2D platformer that confuses fans to this day. Thankfully, a third diversion in a series, that arrived on a SNES, went behind to a top-down perspective and cave crawling that we all know and love.

A Link to a Past’s overworld is fascinating adequate on a own, yet what has unquestionably done a diversion so dear is a second Dark World map, that we use to solve many of a game’s puzzles. Even yet Zelda games have grown many incomparable in range given A Link to a Past, it’s still easy to get mislaid in a universe for dozens of hours.

Best SNES Games - Super Metroid

1. Super Metroid

1994 | Nintendo

Super Metroid is scarcely perfect. The atmosphere, shabby by sci-fi cinema like Aliens and expertly extended by a foresight soundtrack, was unmatched for a time. The graphics and impression designs are still among a best in gaming, and Samus’s tour by a world Zebes to find ever some-more power-ups is expertly paced — an instance that would change many Metroidvania games that came after.

Though a array has seen a ups and downs, Super Metroid stays a diversion that can be unquestionably endorsed to all forms of gamers, and such an implausible feat in a middle that personification by it should be a requirement for any determined developer.

Chris Freiberg is a freelance contributor. Read some-more of his work here.

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