If Nintendo is really thinking about making a SNES Classic like a lot of websites are reporting, this would be the perfect opportunity for the company to create awareness about the Switch, as well as make some money on the side. I never owned a Super Nintendo and my only exposure to the console was through the Virtual Console or emulators. I know I’m not the only one who didn’t own the SNES back in its heyday, so this is Nintendo’s chance to expose a lot of people to some timeless classics. The NES Classic featured 30 games, but for the SNES Classic, I chose ten titles that I believe should be included. Since I focused on just ten games, there are some glaring omissions on this list, so make sure you mention your favorites in the comments below.
Super Mario World
Super Mario World builds upon all the concepts and mechanics introduced in Super Mario Bros. 1,2 and 3 and uses those to create something fresh and unique. As in any classic Mario, you navigate through a two-dimensional world where you run, jump, dodge and defeat enemies. New elements include the spin attack, new suits, dinosaur companion Yoshi and a multiplayer mode.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Although A Link to the Past reuses a lot of ideas introduced in the original Zelda (such as the top-down view,) the game introduces new mechanics and concepts that became staples from the Zelda series since then. There are items like the Master Sword, the hookshot, the Pegasus Boots and techniques like the spin attack, to name a few. Additionally, you can explore two large parallel worlds and this is an unforgettable adventure to be had in A Link to the Past.
There’s a reason why the term Metroid is in “Metroidvania” and this game’s largely responsible for that. Although the first Metroid laid the framework for the franchise, Super Metroid inspired franchises that are relevant to this day, such as Shadow Complex, Axiom Verge or Castlevania. This is a game you can come back to again and again and always discover something new, so if replayability is important to you, Super Metroid offers that and much more.
As in the original Punch-Out, Super Punch-Out!! puts you in the shoes of underdog Little Mac as he boxes his way through a series of opponents and tries to become the World Video Boxing Association champion. As you’d expect the graphics are improved, but the simple gameplay controls are here and they work as well as you’d expect. Some extra modes, like the time attack mode, add replay value to an already terrific game.
Donkey Kong Country
This platformer centers around Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy Kong as they recover bananas who were stolen by King K. Roll. There are 40 side-scrolling levels where you can jump over platforms, explore mines, swim, launch out of barrel cannons or swing from vine to vine. Apart from the single-player, there are some multiplayer modes where you can either compete or cooperate with another player.
Super Mario Kart
The racing game that started it all, Super Mario Kart allow you to play go-kart races with characters from the Mario series, each with their own capabilities and statistics. The game features a single-player mode where you compete in multi-race cups, a trial mode where you race against the clock and a multiplayer mode where you can play cups or single races against friends or Battle Mode where you try to defeat an opponent using offensive power-ups.
Contra III: The Alien Wars
In good Contra fashion, Alien Wars is a game that throws waves of enemies and projectiles at you from every direction, making this a rewarding (and difficult) two-dimensional shooter. Apart from the traditional gameplay where you move from left to right shooting at everything that moves, the game also has top-view stages where the controls change. This is one of the best entries in the Contra series and a terrific run and gun game that has aged well.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Developed by famed developer Square (now Square Enix,) this role-playing game uses the blueprint established by Final Fantasy, but with characters and action-based gameplay from the Super Mario series. The colorful 3D graphics and tongue-in-cheek humor make Super Mario RPG appeal a wide audience and the tried and true role-playing formula make the game fun to play even in this day and age.
Mega Man X
Back in the day, Mega Man X represented a reinvention for the character and the franchise because the game had a bigger world, a more mature story and more gameplay elements came into play. At its core, this is an action-platformer like any other, where you progress through a series of stages and face a boss at the end. But that’s not all, gameplay changes include the ability to dash, climb walls and obtain armor attachments that give you new abilities.
Kirby Super Star
Kirby Super Star features a series of minigames where you play as Kirby, a creature that can swallow enemies and take on their unique abilities. The mini-games include a remake of the original Kirby, an endurance mode where you face a series of bosses, time-based minigames, a Metroidvania-style campaign and a race-type mode, among others.
Here’s a lit of terrific SNES games that were taken into account, but didn’t make it to the final cut for one reason or another: Earthbound, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, F-Zero, Street Fighter II Turbo, Yoshi’s Island, Final Fantasy III, Tetris Attack, Star Fox, Pilotwings, Actraiser and Super Castlevania IV.