Y’know, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of two video game systems that just feels like it lasted far beyond anyone’s expectations and had a library of games that to this day still rank among some of the best of all time and are great nostalgic favourites, the other system being the Sony PlayStation 2. Even the systems that came out next to replace them could hardly compete with them, and while I don’t have the exact figures, I don’t believe that the N64 or the PS3 outlasted their predecessors. And yeah, I’m here mostly to talk about the SNES as it’s quite possibly my favourite system of all time, but I felt it only fair to bring up the PS2 as well, since it runs an interesting parallel to the SNES.
But yeah, the SNES. SO many great games, there was just no way to limit this to 5. So, I’ve opted instead to talk about my 10 favourite SNES games, and I’m gonna TRY to keep this list varied, but ultimately, my favourites are my favourites. Also, if you wanna know more about each game, click on the image posted to go to their Wikipedia page. And, as always, this list is not ordered, this isn’t a Top 10, just my 10 favourite SNES games in no particular order. So, let’s start off with a game I’ve been thinking of a lot of lately, what with a certain movie coming out…
#1- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time
Before anyone asks, I was a Mikey guy. lol But yeah, me and my brother Aaron would play Turtles In Time a lot as kids, and it was a ton of fun. Heck, in almost every conceivable way, it’s an improvement to the version in the arcade. My one complaint about this game is that it’s not 4-Player co-op, like in the arcade, and considering it has more levels and bosses, that woulda been very much appreciated, especially since whenever I can see all four Turtles kicking shell at once, it’s all good. And yeah, I know about Re-Shelled, and if it ever gets released on the Wii U, I’ll probably get it, but for now, this is Turtles In Time for me.
#2 – Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals
Yes, I know the story is kind of dated and clichéd. I don’t care. I still love this game. And honestly, somedays, it’s nice to just look back on a simpler time in video game stories, when we didn’t NEED overly complicated stories. Just a simple battle of good vs evil with very little in the way of plot holes. And again, I know that there’s an Action RPG remake on the Nintendo DS. I never did find it, though, and honestly, I’m not sure that I’d like it. Not because I dislike Action RPGs, mind you, I like plenty of Action RPGs, like Kingdom Hearts and Seiken Densetsu 3. I just don’t like some of the things they did with the characters, like making Maxim a teenager or giving Dekar pink hair.
#3 – Super Mario All-Stars
Besides the obvious reason to love this game, that being a 4-in-1 remake of the classic NES Super Mario Bros. game, including the Japanese only released Super Mario Bros. 2 (the REAL one, now referred to as The Lost Levels), why do I love this game? Two words: Saved games. Anyone that didn’t play the original batch of Super Mario Bros. games on the NES might not know what I’m talking about, so I shall explain: You know how in today’s day and age, while playing New Super Mario Bros. or the like, when you beat a world or reach a halfway point, the game saves so you can turn it off to do whatever (eat, sleep, rest your fingers/eyes, go to school/work, let your family know you’re alive, all that fun stuff) and then pick up right where you last left off, or if you died and had no lives left, you could go back to where you last saved? You couldn’t do that in the old Super Mario Bros. games, until All-Stars remakes. Thank GOD for that! Seriously, gamers of this generation, I implore you: NEVER take saved games for granted, because you have no idea how easy you have it.
#4 – Donkey Kong Country
I don’t even need to talk about why this game rocks. If you played it, you already know. Instead, I wanna tell a story about this one. Donkey Kong Country is the game that earned me the nickname ‘The Flukemaster’ from my family. Why? Okay, there’s a stage where, as you’re going through it, the lights go out at random. And there’s tons of pits and enemies, so you have no idea where yer going. And I seem to recall Aaron, who of course played as DK most of the time as I recall, was having a bit of trouble navigating us through that stage. So what did I do? I just charged right in. And somehow, through sheer luck, fortune, whatever you wanna call it, I managed to get us to the end. In fact, I seem to recall doing it more than once. And I will be the first to admit, that should not have happened, and if you asked me to replicate this feat today, I’d probably fail to do so. But yeah, just a funny little story about a great game.
#5 – NHL Stanley Cup
…Okay, another story. lol There was one time me and Aaron were playing against each other, which was rare because I usually insisted we play on the same team (because he usually whipped my ass, and we both usually wanted to be the Montreal Canadiens), and I don’t know HOW I did this, and again, I probably could never do this again, I actually checked him from the players box all the way to the penalty box. Afterward, I seem to recall the person I was playing as spending a fairly decent amount of time at the penalty box himself. 😄 So yeah, was a lot of fun to play, it may not stack well against NHL games nowadays, if at all, but it was tons of fun, and the Mode 7 worked really well here.
#6 – The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
As I recall, this was one of the first games I played on the SNES, having rented it from a shop (I miss video game rental shops, btw), and I was almost immediately in awe of it. Most people nowadays talk about the best Zelda game of all time being Ocarina of Time. While I won’t necessarily dispute that point, I will say that it’s not my personal favourite. This and Twilight Princess are probably my favourite of the Zelda games. Also, if you ever watch me playing a Zelda game and you wonder why I name Link ‘Foomy’, it’s because the save file where me and Aaron FINALLY managed to beat this game was one named Foomy, after one of the capsule monsters from Lufia II…and yes, I’m aware of how much later after this game Lufia II came out, please don’t rub it in my face how long it took me. It’s mostly because I didn’t actually BUY this game until a few years later. Otherwise, we just rented it, and there was kind of a stretch of time where we moved a lot, so the already unlikely odds of renting the same copy of the game and finding our save file on it were made impossible. lol
#7 – Earthbound
What the fuck took Nintendo so long to finally re-release this game?! 18 years it took to finally get this game re-released! But whatever, I don’t wanna complain anymore, because it’s out, we got what we wanted, it’s all good. Yeah, it’d be sweet if Mother and Mother 3 got their official releases in English, but honestly, this one was my favourite anyway, so I’d be satisfied if this is the only one. I owe so much of who I am nowadays to this game. Heck, my name, Jyger, was first used in a playthrough of this game. I forget how I came up with it, and it wasn’t until YEARS later that I finally decided to look up what it meant (the closest I could get was that it’s supposed to be some kind of jaguar/tiger hybrid), but it just kinda stuck with me over the years. So yeah, for historical purposes, the birth of Jyger all began HERE, with Earthbound.
#8 – Street Fighter II (Turbo pictured)
How could I not bring this up, honestly? And for those wonder, I have the cover for Turbo shown because it’s the one I remember playing the most. But really, I played just about every version of Street Fighter II on the SNES, and I don’t think I had any ill will toward any of them. I should totally get it for Wii U Virtual Console, just to relive the old days of Street Fighter excellence. Not really much in the way of stories to tell with this game, but I will say that probably the fighter I used most was Ryu, because I tend to like characters in fighting games that are easy to get the hang of but can still kick plenty of ass.
#9 – Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
As I’ve said before, this was my introduction to turn-based RPGs, and I still maintain my opinion that, for North Americans, this is the way to get into it, because the familiar setting of the Mushroom Kingdom and a likable guy like Mario as the protagonist make it easy to get into what’s going on. And again, I still wish they would do a follow-up game someday, where we see what Mallow and Geno and Booster are up to. Would be so awesome to see these guys in a game again.
#10 – Super Mario Kart
Ahh, the introduction to the Mario Kart series, where it all began. I don’t think it’s the greatest of the series, and I’m sure more people nowadays, while trying to recapture the old days, go to Mario Kart 64, but this is still a great game on its own. As I recall, my favourite characters to play as were Mario and…I wanna say Koopa Troopa? I think? But yeah, was a great game, and a lot of times, me and Aaron would actually say to heck with the racing and just explore the stages, just for the hell of it. It’s actually something we did for Mario Kart 64 too, especially when it came to being able to explore the area around Peach’s Castle. So yeah, maybe it isn’t the best Mario Kart game, but it’s still good, and if nothing else deserves credit for being the start of something AWESOME.
…And I suppose I should go ahead and name a few honourable mentions. Kirby Super Star was awesome, although I personally think the remake for the DS is a little better. Seiken Densetsu 3 is a great Action RPG, but I’m more or less going by nostalgic favourites, and this was never released in North America during the SNES’ run. Aladdin is really good, and also fun to play if your mom is watching, is afraid of heights, and will freak out whenever you bounce off the sheets in the game. 😄 Super Mario World is awesome, of course, I don’t even need to give explanation why. And finally, Tetris Attack and Kirby’s Dream Course are both really great and unique (at the time, anyway, in terms of Tetris Attack) games that require some sharp instincts and thinking.
So, agree with my list? Have some favourite SNES games of your own? Leave your own lists in the comment section below, and hey, when yer done, if you’ve got a Virtual Console or an SNES that you haven’t dusted off in a while, go and replay these awesome games that helped pave the way for the gaming scene that we know and love today. Ja né!