As the years pass by, video game consoles keep upping the ante on graphics, gameplay, and user-friendly features and some gimmicks. However, what about those consoles in the past generations?
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES, was one of the most iconic gaming consoles ever. It had a wide array of unique titles that paved the way for others for decades to come. Here are the 100 best SNES games of all time.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
This classic was the fourth in the Ninja Turtles franchise in gaming, and boy is it a barn burner. You take on the role of one of our favorite turtles, (I recommend Leonardo, personally), and go on a quest through time to defeat Shredder himself. It’s one of the best beat ‘em ups ever made, and it’ll take you through the sewers of New York City to prehistoric periods.
A landmark in 3D gameplay and flight sims, Star Fox has you take on the titular role of Star Fox and his fellow pilots: Slippy Toad, Falco Lombardi, and Peppy Hare. The Model 7 chip allowed for normally 2D gameplay into 3D.
Although by today’s standards, the 3D is rough, back in the 1990s it was revolutionary. You’ll fly through the levels, shooting down bogies and eventually face off against a classic foe—Andross.
Donkey Kong Country
We had known about Donkey Kong through his game where he was the villain, but Donkey Kong is given a new side in this game. Alongside DK’s nephew, Diddy, you need to get a golden banana from King K. Rool, the gross king alligator, and main antagonist.
It’s a landmark feat of platforming gameplay, and it’s seriously addictive, even today. Through 40 challenging levels, Donkey Kong Country puts a beautiful art style, creative levels, and the different benefits of both characters on display.
Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania by now has had so many iterations, however, the fourth entry on consoles was the excellent Super Castlevania IV. It’s a difficult romp through Dracula’s Castle, and there’s no guarantee you’ll survive. It added more control to the player, with Simon Belmont being able to control the iconic vampire-slaying whip in all directions.
Super Mario RPG
Released in 1996, Super Mario RPG was the first game in the series to branch out to include RPG aspects. It was a smash-hit, and it eventually led to games like the excellent Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. In it, Mario and his party of characters have to recover pieces of the Star Road. It’s a great blend of RPGs like those from Squaresoft and Super Mario.
Super Mario Kart
I’m calling it now: the original Mario Kart is STILL fun. It still can cause severe competitiveness, lots of trash talk, and red shells. Throughout several racing tracks, the Mode 7 software is again at use here, and it just works. What character do you play as? I’m a Donkey Kong man myself.
Street Fighter II
Can you count how many times Street Fighter II has been released without looking it up? Neither can I, but it’s a ton. But I believe it’s warranted since Street Fighter II is no doubt one of the best fighting games ever made. Ported in 1992 to the SNES, Street Fighter II has all our favorite characters like Ryu, Blanka, Chun-Li.
Final Fantasy IV
Known as Final Fantasy II in North America, Final Fantasy IV features the quest to prevent the evil wizard Golbez from achieving world domination. Character distinction through classes was introduced, and the game has sold over 4 million copies and has been ported to multiple systems.
Super Mario World
Mario’s debut on the SNES is one for the ages. Getting to ride Yoshi was a revolutionary step in gaming. The game looks great and plays so solidly that it became the gold standard for platformers. With this game, Mario knocked all of the competition off of the shelf.
Having some of the best Final Fantasy developers behind it, Chrono Trigger is a beloved turn-based RPG that has been a staple in any RPG lovers game library. You play as Crono, the silent protagonist, and travel through time with him and his companions through a detailed and satisfying story.
It was a smashing success and paved the way for a sequel, as well as fan-made iterations of the game and more.
Although it didn’t exactly make waves amongst critics at the time of its release, Earthbound has become more popular in recent times, becoming a cult classic. It’s the second game in what’s called the Mother series of games. The game follows a group of kids, led by Ness, as they try to defeat the big bad, Giygas.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
This is considered one of the best Zelda games ever, alongside Ocarina of Time and others. Link to the Past would mark a 7-year gap until Nintendo released the next console Zelda game, Ocarina of Time. Dungeon after dungeon, facing off with Ganon, and immersing yourself in the rich story and world was so satisfying.
Shadowrun is a cyberpunk RPG taking heavy influence from stories like Neuromancer by William Gibson and Blade Runner. It’s an adaptation from the tabletop RPG version. You play as a man with amnesia and your quest to find out who tried to have you killed.
It’s a great mix of genres and spawned newer games in the form of Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.
Samus Aran makes her first appearance on the SNES in this game, released in 1994. Samus is tasked with hunting down space pirate Ridley and retrieve a Metroid infant. It was responsible for creating the subgenre, (along with Castlevania), Metroidvania.
These games emphasized exploration in a large world which can be backtracked and reached using different learning abilities.
Final Fantasy VI
In my opinion, this installment of Final Fantasy may be one of the best, if not the best. It has a great, dark, and gritty futuristic steampunk setting with tons of deep, multifaceted characters that you’ll easily love or hate.
You can play as 14 different characters and includes one of the most iconic video game villains, the Court Mage Kefka Palazzo, and his chilling laugh.
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
This game is a sequel to the arcade hit Ghosts ‘n Goblins. In it, the Knight Arthur must rescue a princess from the titular ghouls and ghosts. Arthur traverses through haunted environments, slaying horrifying creatures, and wearing his patented boxer shorts.
It has a punishing difficulty and has features that can only be accessed by playing the game a second time through for those masochistic gamers out there. This game would inspire the following games in the series, as well as the two Maximo games on the PS2 in 2001 and 2003.
The racing game F-Zero introduces us to a wild and fast future populated by fast vehicles, colorful characters, and sweet music. This is where Captain Falcon made his debut, along with some other classic racers. It was the first game that used Mode 7 Scrolling, (even before Star Fox), to give environments a 3D, more realistic feel as you’re whizzing by.
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat’s second entry upped the ante in an already insane fighting game. It introduced the hilarious ‘babality’ and ‘friendship’ based off of the fatality system. It extended the game universe as well, adding new characters like Jax, Baraka, and Kitana.
This is the fourth game in the Punch-Out!! Series of boxing/fighting games, starting with Punch-Out!! in 1984. it includes a great roster of colorful characters like Gabby Jay, Masked Muscle, and brothers Nick & Rick Bruiser.
The over-the-shoulder perspective became one of Punch-Out’s biggest asset and creative direction, giving the player a new and differing look at how to play strategically.
Instead of action, is the idea of building your farm and everything that goes with it is more your style? Then Harvest Moon is the game for you.
Before the numerous sequels, the original introduced gamers to the surprisingly complex, yet fun aspect of farming in-game. This opened up new avenues like socializing with other characters, owning a pet, and more.
This game spawned many sequels and spin-offs, as well as inspiring the wonderful Stardew Valley, of which it shares many similar game mechanics.
Final Fight is still a killer romp through the streets of Metro City 1980s. You play as one of the few characters, (Mike, Cody, or Guy), and proceed to move to the right of the screen in a side-scrolling fashion, beating up baddies as you go.
It was originally slated to be a Street Fighter sequel but was changed to its iconic beat ‘em up style. It has sold over 3 million copies since its release in 1989.
Super Star Wars
Who doesn’t love Star Wars? It was only a matter of time until the beloved sci-fi series made the jump from movie screens to the SNES.
Super Star Wars generally takes you through the first film, 1977’s Star Wars. You play as Luke as he turns from farmer boy to skilled Jedi.
The difficulty is punishing, but the gameplay is great fun. Electronic Gaming Monthly gave it the ‘Best Action/Adventure Game of 1992’.
If I described the premise of this game, I’m not sure you would believe it.
A literal earthworm worm, (named Jim), wears a powerful suit of armor, giving him full-body autonomy, battles against his nemeses, Psy-Crow, Evil the Cat, and Major Mucus. This wild game is a side scroller that includes run and gun elements.
Kirby’s Dream Course
Kirby and mini-golf go together as well as…well…Kirby and minigolf. That’s what we’re dealing with here: a Kirby-themed minigolf game, and it’s fun. Instead of a golf ball, you use Kirby, angling and strategically placing your shots. There are 8 courses with 8 holes each.
Kirby is tasked with making it through the levels populated by enemies, culminating with the devious King Dedede.
This was Maxis and Will Wright’s jump to the SNES after creating this wildly popular and trailblazing city simulator. All the assets you know and love are here in one package.
Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Yes, we’re back with more Star Wars. This time, it covers the events of the film Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
In this third installment of the game series, multiple characters are selectable per level, the 3D Model 7 vehicle levels, and great boss battles. Since it adds a little more action than there is in the actual movies, you’ll fight Jabba the Hutt, fight through the Death Star, and more.
Most importantly, you can pilot the Millennium Falcon. Enough said.
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble
The third installment of the great Donkey Kong Country games has Dixie and Kiddy Kong on the trail of the kidnapped Donkey and Diddy Kong. It is a direct sequel to Diddy’s Kong Quest, including many of the same great platforming features as the first two games. There’s the classic mix of platforming, on-rails, and underwater levels spanning 48 solid levels.
Illusion of Gaia
This action role-playing game takes place on a lightly fictionalized Earth, where our protagonist, Will, is informed that he has to save the world from an oncoming comet. Alongside Will, the player can have control of two other characters, Freedan, and Shadow, each with their unique abilities that move the story along.
It was praised for its puzzles and role-playing elements.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors
This is a total funfest. Straight out of the campy late 1980s and early 1990s, Zombies Ate My Neighbors follows Zeke and Julie as they attempt to rescue their neighbors from movie monsters. It’s a run and gun through suburbs, malls, and more as you attempt to save the day.
It has become somewhat of a cult classic, as it didn’t exactly garner critical praise at the time of its release. However, the humor and great gameplay make it worth checking out.
Earthworm Jim 2
Earthworm Jim is back in this great sequel. His enemies are back as well, and he needs to rescue Princess What’s-Her-Name. This time, many different levels are emphasizing different gameplay elements, building a cohesive, unique complete product which, like its predecessor, made a mark on gaming.
Mega Man X
Not only was Mega Man X the first foray onto the SNES for our favorite blue bomber, but the first in the long-spanning Mega Man X series.
Those familiar with past Mega Man games will experience a lot to love here. The storyline is newer, darker, and more mature. You play as Mega Man X, a team member of the Maverick Hunters. You have great new features like the dash and scaling walls, as well as brand new weapons.
This is a fun title. It allows for your creative juices to flow within the confines of a fun, familiar world of Mario. You can create pictures, songs, and more using the tools of the Super Mario Bros. universe. There are a bunch of different stamps to add new pixels and sprites to your creation.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
We’re back with the DK crew once again in the second entry in the Donkey Kong Country games. In it, Dixie and Diddy are on the trail of King K. Rool after he kidnaps Donkey Kong. All the platforming goodness is here.
For 52 levels, you’ll quickly understand why this is considered the high watermark for many action/adventure platformers.
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
This platforming game puts us in the role of Yoshi and Baby Mario as he journeys to reunite the baby versions of Mario and Luigi from the baddies. The hand-drawn aesthetic separated it from the other games by penning its unique style for a more unique Mario game.
All the staples from Mario games are here, and you get to control different Yoshi’s through over 50 levels of platforming.
This is a seriously fun title. Fans of sports games as well as casual gamers will be more than satisfied with NBA Jam. It’s a wild, exaggerated take on basketball: wild slam dunks, huge jumps, and wild basketball. This was a hugely popular comic take on the sport, and it has remained a favorite for gamers everywhere.
Contra 3: The Alien Wars
Contra is a punishingly hard action side scroller putting you in the role of an active soldier, vanquishing encroaching aliens using crazy guns and a lot of bullets.
The third entry in the series, the graphics are great, as the SNES allowed for the developers to build upon the existing graphics from the series. Riding motorcycles, top-down views, and riding on missiles are just some awesome things the player can experience.
Make sure your adrenaline is running, because you’ll need it.
Secret of Mana
Along with Final Fantasy, Square made this gem, Secret of Mana. Unlike Final Fantasy, this game’s combat is in real-time instead of it being turn-based.
The game’s story revolves around ‘mana’ i.e. a powerful force in the world. After an ancient sword is found, our heroes are tasked with venturing to the 8 different Mana temples to energize the sword.
It has beautiful graphics and addictive gameplay, and it’s now available for many different consoles.
Now, this is unique. Actraiser combines both platforming and city building in this simulator. This is a battle of good versus evil here, with The Master and Tanzra facing off for world domination. You alternate between civilization building and side-scrolling in a unique, fun platforming game.
This is where the super popular Bomberman franchise began. Aside from the terrible Bomberman Act Zero, this was the premier title in the series. In it, you move either horizontally or vertically, trying to bomb opponents strategically. This is an extremely popular game for cooperative gameplay.
Kirby Super Star
I’m a huge fan of Kirby’s games on Gameboy, and the SNES version of our favorite, marshmallow type vacuum cleaner is a win. Platforming is the name of the game, and it just works. Those familiar with the Gameboy games will be right at home with the great, colorful visuals and more.
Several games modes make up the game: Dyna Blade, Spring Breeze, Revenge of the Meta Knight, Gourmet Race, Milky Way Wishes, The Great Cave Offensive, and the Arena.
The first installment of the infamously violent fighting series, Mortal Kombat introduced gamers to characters like Johnny Cage and Scorpion. This game caused so much controversy that the game rating system was invented because of it.
Mega Man X2
The dark and more mature storyline of Mega Man X is back in this sequel. In it, X, the Maverick Hunter, is being himself hunted by a trio called the X Hunters who are intent on destroying X.
The solid gameplay from Mega Man X is here, and with another more adult storyline for the Mega Man universe.
Some reviewers didn’t like how the game was too similar to the first one in terms of gameplay, however, I believe that great gameplay should be praised! Why fix something that isn’t broken?
So this one is a bit of a misnomer. Although it has the Tetris license, it doesn’t resemble Tetris. Sure, it’s a puzzle game, and it’s a ton of fun, but it’s not a game of blocks like we all are familiar with. Instead, it’s populated with Nintendo characters, taking place on Yoshi’s Island. You play against enemies, and eventually, face off against Bowser himself.
Tecmo Super Bowl
Before the Madden games, this was the very first football game to allow the use of the NFL trademarks, meaning that the teams in the game were the actual teams and players in the NFL. This is the sequel to 1989’s Tecmo Bowl. This title expands greatly on it, improving playbooks, the player stats and more.
Aladdin was the first movie I saw in theatres, so of course, I had to have the video game adaptation when I got older. It is a seriously solid game with great platforming mechanics that would be great on their own but coupled with great graphics and audio makes it an instant classic.
In this flight simulator, the Mode 7 chip does all the heavy lifting, and it rules. In it, you’re attempting to get your pilot’s license, going through different trials and different means of flying through the sky. By 1996, it had sold over 2 million copies.
The PC first-person shooting classic made its way to home consoles, specifically the SNES, in 1995, allowing people without PCs to experience the carnage that going to Mars entails. It was a direct port of the original game, so everything those who have played it before will know what to do.
This was a great introduction to the famous FPS for people who exclusively had consoles.
Secrets of Evermore
This is an action-role-playing game from the masters of the RPG, Square. This is a classic tale of a boy and his dog…that are transported to a fantastical realm where the player will play as both the boy and his shapeshifting dog.
The Lion King
Another Disney release on the SNES, The Lion King is an adaptation from the family film of the same name. You play through different parts of the film, (with some liberties taken to extend gameplay), and see all of your favorite characters. The game is hard but extremely satisfying; defeating Scar, for example, is a serious accomplishment.
I consider the SNES the master of side-scrolling when it comes to console supremacy, and Demon’s Crest furthers my point. In it, you need to collect the different crests through platforming, side-scrolling and role-playing. Firebrand is pitted against the evil Phalanx and his obsession with the different crests. Unique abilities will propel the player through different stages.
Mega Man X3
We’re back in the cyborg boots of X in the third installment of the SNES‘s Mega Man games. Like the two previous games, the interesting storyline of rogue androids called Mavericks is on the loose causing trouble. As X and Zero, the player will collect power-ups and traverse 8 levels filled with power-ups and great platforming combat.
Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
We’re back in the Super Star Wars Universe, coinciding with the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Something revolutionary that this installment included was the hallowed double jump, making gameplay flow better than it had before.
Much is the same from the first game, but it just works. Luke gets force powers and can deflect blaster fire with his lightsaber now.
Castlevania: Dracula X
Players of Symphony of the Night will recall the scene in which Richter confronts Dracula. This is the last level of Dracula X, AKA Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. In this title, Richter Belmont is tasked with defeating Dracula, duh! Along with this, Richter is out to save his love, Annette, as well as defeat a cast of interesting monsters and henchmen.
This twisted fighting game takes an interesting concept of the fighters being made of clay. The roster of fighters has creative and colorful characters like Boogerman, Bad Mr Frosty, Ickybod Clay, and the Zappa Yow Yow Boyz. It parodies its contemporary fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter.
Based on the movie of the same name, this game is better than the film it was based on. It’s a fighting side scroller that includes platforming elements. Its dark style is pretty cool, and you have a bunch of enemies to beat up as the caped crusader.
Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen
This is an RPG game released in 1995.
In it, you and your party are in a medieval world, questing to successfully rebel against a tyrannical empire. You’ll journey through the empire, recruiting different classes of rebels to take the fight to the evil empress. You’ll go stage by stage, eventually defeating a boss in combat, completing the mission.
It combines real-time gameplay and tactical aspects to create a unique RPG title.
Final Fight 2
Yes, the king of beat ‘em ups is back, and this time with the possibility of cooperative gameplay. This was a big step forward, as the first game on the SNES didn’t allow for friends to play alongside each other like it was in the arcade. You play as either Mike, Carlos, or Maki.
Final Fight 3
Third time’s the charm here, as Final Fight 3 is the definitive Final Fight experience.
Cooperative gameplay, branching story paths, and more fighting combos are all here. All the drama of the two previous games is here: gang violence, a dramatic story, and familiar faces. You can play as Mike, Guy, Lucia, and Dean.
Along with cooperative gameplay, the player can choose to play alongside an AI bot.
Knights of the Round
I love this game. It’s a beat ‘em up, but MEDIEVAL. If you’re familiar with the roundtable, it was the table in which King Arthur and his knight buddies would gather around. This game is filled with great action and addictive fighting. Think of it as the medieval Final Fight.
Star Ocean tells the tale of a group of friends trying to cure a disease. While in the act of doing so, they stumble upon an intergalactic war between the two superpowers. The story has all the great staples of RPG sci-fi games: future technologies, great characters, and a rich and vast world to play in.
Star Fox 2
We all knew that Star Fox would spawn a sequel. It was just too popular with its 3D models and great flight combat simulation gameplay.
In the second game, the Star Fox team is back: Fox, Peppy, Falco, and Slippy all make a return in an improved game while looking to defeat the evil Andross once again.
The only caveat here is that it was famously cancelled. That’s right, someone CANCELLED a Star Fox game.
What happened? The game was completed, but Nintendo wanted to wait for a Star Fox release on the N64 which would eventually become Star Fox 64. It is playable, however, on the classic SNES classic system, so it still belongs on the list!
Breath of Fire
The Breath of Fire series is now a storied and celebrated RPG series. In the first game, in which Capcom calls the first traditional RPG video game, you play as Ryu who must find his lost sister. The catch is that Ryu is the last of a dying breed: a race of people who can transform into dragons.
Of course, you’ll meet other characters and travel together to get to the goal of the game.
Breath of Fire II
After the success of the first game, there was no surprise that Breath of Fire II was on the horizon. This is the only game in the series that is a direct sequel to a prior game. It takes place hundreds of years after the first game.
Ryu is a boy accused of a crime and must clear his name through questing in a creatively built world alongside fun and memorable characters.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
In my opinion, this is the pinnacle of the Mortal Kombat games on home systems. Believe it or not, but this game has a new, edgy attitude. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it isn’t afraid to get extremely dark in tone.
This balance of humor and darkness, along with some truly great character choices out of a stacked roster, makes this live up to its namesake of ‘Ultimate’.
Hagane: The Final Conflict
This is an action-platforming game with a ninja as the main character. Need I say more? You play as a ninja cyborg, (nice!), named Hagane. Hagane is out for revenge in a classic, great story filled with action and futuristic weapons and characters. It has great controls and design, giving it a unique feel.
The iconic world-building game from the future Fable creator Peter Molyneux, Populous put you in the role of an omnipotent god, able to change the landscape of the world. This tradition would be further built upon in Molyneux’s game Black & White.
Joe & Mac
I have some pretty fond memories of this title. Joe & Mac follow two cavemen as they make their way through prehistory to save a group of women. All the good platforming stuff is here: different weapons, unique enemies, and challenging obstacles. Two-player mode is extremely fun and adds a great dynamic for some of the harder levels and bosses.
Made by the same team at Midway behind the popular NBA Jam series, NBA Hangtime follows in the same vein as the previous titles. The only reason that it has a different name is that a different company acquired NBA Jam. You get to make your player through its great create-a-player mode, leading to it becoming the norm in many sports games.
The 1990s, especially after the release of Mortal Kombat, was the golden age of fighting games. With Primal Rage, fighters take on the role of prehistoric beasts, (even though it technically takes place in the distant future). You can play as dinosaurs as well as terrifying primates, engaging in brutal combat. It even includes bloody finishers.
Shin Megami Tensei
This is where it all began. Before the sweeping saga of all of these games, it all started with the original apocalyptic RPG title.
In it, you must traverse future Tokyo, (19XX), and partake in RPG elements to face off against a race of demons 30 years into the future to prevent world catastrophe. The player can make serious choices that will influence the progress of the game by siding with different factions.
Super Mario All-Stars
We’re reunited with the varied and lovable cast of Mario characters for this great game.
It’s a compilation of platforming games, specifically remakes of the Nintendo classics Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3. New physics were added, as well as glitch fixes from the original games.
As of 2015, over 10.5 million copies have been sold.
This is a super interesting fighting game with some great characters. With a unique and dark art style, this game was a great alternative to different fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Primal Rage. My favorite character is Sabrewulf.
NBA Jam Tournament Edition
The popularity of the wild NBA Jam led to a great spin-off, tournament edition. And it’s exactly that, the tournament aspect is heavily emphasized. It reminds me a lot of a precursor to a game like NFL Blitz, where the over the top aspects of the sports are blown out of proportion.
Also known as Tenchi Sōzō, Terranigma is an action role-playing game where the player engages in RPG elements through the story from a top-down perspective and real-time combat. In it, you play as Ark, a young boy who must resurrect Earth from the cataclysmic effects of a fateful battle between the devil and god.
The Lost Vikings
Lost Vikings is a somewhat comical puzzle-based platformer developed by Blizzard. The player takes control of 3 Vikings, (Erik the Swift, Baleog the Fierce, and Olaf the Stout), who each have different abilities to make their way through the level. The player uses the different abilities to ‘crack the code’ of the level and progress.
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
This is a great adventure game that is now part of the Goemon series. The player can play as two different characters with different abilities. You can also learn judo abilities as well, fleshing out the combat. Levels are separated into exploration and battle phases. Explore the town, then take part in platforming and combat.
This is a great racing game for the SNES. You get full control of the cars. You control automatic or manual transmissions, controller layouts, and different cars. Although there are only 4 different cars, the Model 7 chip brings them to life through 3D processing, making the lack of options something trivial.
This is a shooter game that was released in 1991. It’s a really difficult game, and a lot of patience and practice are needed to give it a serious attempt.
You pilot your spaceship through space, destroying alien enemies as you go while upgrading your weapons. You can get weapons like the rebound laser, counter laser, and spread laser, each with their special abilities.
Rock n’ Roll Racing
Fans of demolition derbies will love this title. It’s a vehicular combat game developed by Silicon & Synapse, AKA Blizzard Entertainment.
4 racers face off in heated vehicular combat in a cartoonish world of aliens and other comic-inspired creatures. It’s a racing game, but combat is the name of the game here. Blowing up, harming, and damaging your opponent is the ‘real’ goal here.
Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!
Based on the then-popular cartoon series spin-off of Looney Toons, Tiny Toons follows the adventures of the younger toons, namely Buster. Buster takes part in platforming and side-scrolling, completing different objectives depending on one of the 6 different levels.
The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse
This game has received some recent praise. In it, you play as Mickey Mouse in a platforming game. Fun Disney antics ramp up as Mickey goes on a ‘magical quest’ to save his friends who have been kidnapped by evil forces.
Tales of Phantasia
Developed by Wolf Team, Tales of Phantasia is a role-playing game. That broke ground with great voice acting and more. The story involves typical yet effective plot points of traveling with a party of loveable characters through time to defeat an evil demon king, Dhoas.
Final Fantasy V
Before Final Fantasy VI that would diverge away from the familiar setting, Final Fantasy V brings players into a medieval-fantasy world. In typical Final Fantasy form, the four crystals that hold the Earth’s elements in check are in danger. The main characters, Bartz, Faris, Lenna, and Galuf must quest to stop whatever it is threatening the existence of their world.
Based on the great 1993 film, Jurassic Park allows you to explore the dangerous park from the movie. It’s pretty scary navigating your way around the jungle with super powerful dinosaurs lurking around. You can even play as a raptor.
Top Gear 2
Top Gear racing is back and better than ever. This installment includes weather systems, affecting racing conditions. It also includes more dynamic damage systems for those among us who aren’t exactly great drivers.
Cars can be upgraded in this game.
Along with these interesting features, the opponents are much tougher to beat, giving you an adrenaline rush while playing.
Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball
Baseball fans got their wish of a solid baseball title on the SNES, and a great poster child in the form of baseball great, Ken Griffey Jr. Real teams are included, but there aren’t any real players due to licensing.
Emphasis was placed on creating vibrant and unique stadiums for each team in the game. The gameplay was great and pitching, in particular, was simple yet effective.
Lufia and the Fortress of Doom
This is the first installment of a role-playing series called Lufia. You control the characters, 2D sprites, as you take part in dungeon crawls and epic traveling across the landscape. Random battles litter the world, and Maxim, Selan, Artea, and Guy are tasked with stopping the Sinistrals.
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
The second game in the Lufia series of role-playing games acts as a prequel, taking place right before Lufia and the Fortress of Doom. The fight against the god-like Sinistrals begins (or continues, depending on how you view the story), and you’re tasked with stopping them.
Filled with puzzles and combat, the second Lufia game is a solid RPG romp through a fleshed-out fantasy world.
As the 1990s progressed, we were graced with some seriously great sports games, and the NHL games were excellent. The gameplay emulates the fast-paced style of real hockey, including real players, real teams, and realistic rules.
Released in 1991, Super Tennis ushered in a great period of sports titles for the SNES for years to come. Like many great games on the SNES, it utilized the Mode 7 chip for 3D aspects of gameplay. In it, you play tennis in either singles, doubles, or world circuit mode. The players are based on famous players at the time.
I think that NHL 96 was the pinnacle of the 1990s NHL games. It combined everything that worked from before and built on it with better graphics and better skills. Each player is different, and more importantly, a real person. Fast-paced gameplay is once again at the forefront.
Long before World of WarCraft, Blizzard released the cinematic platformer, Blackthorne. You play as Kyle ‘Blackthorne’ Vlaros as he seeks revenge against the evil Sarlac. The main aspect of combat is gunplay along with making your way through maze-like levels.
Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures
The Indiana Jones movies are some of the best action films of the latter half of the 20th century. The game tries to emulate that same energy and it achieves it. You control Indy in a platform sidescroller, taking the fight to the Nazis in levels based around the wildly popular films.
We once again join Yoshi on some colorful, wacky adventures. Instead of platforming, the emphasis is on puzzles in this Nintendo title. It’s a tile-matching game where the player has to clear the board of tiles, naturally. It has been called ‘simple, yet addictive’.
Also known as Flashback: The Quest for Identity, this is a seriously cool platforming game with a sci-fi and cinematic twist. It is similar to the Prince of Persia in terms of physics: it looks like it has real people as the characters. It works well, alongside a cool story full of intrigue and cool sci-fi elements.
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs
An installment of the infamous Battletoads, this game has our amphibious heroes involved in a beat ‘em up within a virtual world controlled by an evil being, Silas Volkmire. You play as Rash or Pimple and take the fight to the many different enemies populating the virtual landscape. It was praised for its great music and awesome boss fights.
Krusty’s Fun House
The sleazy, yet lovable Simpson’s character Krusty the Clown is the driving force behind this licensed game. The player controls Krusty as he makes his way through his insane funhouse, completing mazes, and exterminating enemies. All the familiar faces from Springfield are here, including Homer, Bart, and Sideshow Mel.
Fatal Fury Special
This is a fighting game by SNK, released in 1993. It is an updated version of the second game in the series, Fatal Fury 2. It builds on the second game’s graphics, combo system, and speed of gameplay. You have classic characters like Terry Bogard, Joe Higashi, and Billy Kane populating the roster.
The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare
Simpson’s fans had it good when it came to console games. Reeling from the disaster that was Bart vs. the Space Aliens, Bart’s Nightmare is a big improvement. It’s a wild adventure that is right at home in the town of Springfield. Bart falls asleep and the player is transported into his surrealist dream world.
Simply put, this is a solid platforming and action/adventure game based on Pixar’s beloved franchise of movies about toys that come to life when their owner is away. Fly through the air with Buzz, raid Pizza Planet, and escape from the devious Sid’s room, and more.