The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) or more commonly known as Super Nintendo was an absolute blast in the mid 2000s. The vast number of games supported in the Super Nintendo console was quite amazing. We were first introduced to many well-known game series, like the Zelda series, first in SNES.
Out of many amazing games in Super Nintendo, some made a lasting impact on the gaming industry. In this article, I have discussed the 10 best SNES games that were extremely successful at that time. If you never got to enjoy these games, you can still play them now using SNES emulators.
Also, check out:
Best SNES Games
We all have our favorite Super Nintendo game. This list will obviously show my bias, but I have tried to remain neutral and include many popular top SNES games. I would love to hear about your favorite SNES games, so do mention that in the comment section. Now, let’s check out the 10 SNES best games.
1) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Every Zelda fan will remember the Zelda game that made the franchise ingrained in their soul. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was a perfect adventure game of that time and is arguabely one of the best SNES games. From the start, you are thrown in action against the castle guards to rescue Princess Zelda.
The game starts with you sneaking around to find the path into the castle to rescue Princess Zelda, then obtaining a sword from your uncle, which you will use very effectively to kill enemies. After you have rescued the Princess, you get to know of the evil wizard Agahnim and his source of power. Then a wild journey begins for finding the legendary sword and using it to kill Agahnim.
After killing Agahnim you get sucked in the dark world and have to save the 7 maidens and defeat the evil monster Ganon, who turns out to be Agahnim, and protect the light world from monsters. Every boss in the game, from Lanmolas to Ganon himself, has a dominating presence in the game. They are not your easy-to-defeat-bosses that are no fun.
The last thing that completes this masterpiece of a game, is the amazing soundtrack. The soundtrack plays an important part in making the game much more thrilling and enjoyable.
2) Super Metroid
Super Metroid is one of the greatest SNES games. The game is dubbed as the best 2d game of all time and anyone who has played it will find it hard to argue against it. It is a sci-fi game, that follows the story of Samus’s journey through the planet Zebes.
The storytelling and world-building of the game were far ahead of its time. The graphics and character designs were perfect, and the ominous soundtrack made the world of Zebes come to life.
The game starts with the story depicting how Samus’s found the meteoroid hatchling (in the Metroid 2 game) and took it to the academy for research. Then the gameplay begins as a distress call from the academy comes into Samus’s attention. She returns to the academy to find everyone dead and Ridley (a space pirate and archenemy of Samus) is stealing the hatchling.
Then the real game begins on the planet of Zebes, where you have to find powerups to become stronger and stop the space pirates from using the Metroid as a bioweapon.
Every aspiring game developer should at least check out this SNES best game to learn how to tell a story in the most gripping way possible.
3) Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI is still considered to have one of the best stories in the Final Fantasy franchise. This top SNES game showcased a mature and thoughtful tale that made everyone fall in love with it. The game is truly diverse in terms of characters and storyline.
The game has 14 playable characters, each character has their own backstory and motivations. Every character is relevant, including the diverse cast of side characters. The game has one of the most memorable Final Fantasy villains, Kefka, who is the embodiment of cruelty. Every Final Fantasy fan hates Kefka, which shows how effective a villain she was.
Everyone remembers the iconic opera scene in Final Fantasy VI. This part of the story with incredible music and some key character developments has remained one of the most memorable scenes in Final Fantasy history.
Final Fantasy VI showed an ambition to pull off a story with multiple facets and incredible depth that not many games even try to now. This labeled it as one of the best SNES games.
4) Street Fighter II Turbo
Dubbed as the best fighting game on the Super Nintendo console, Street Fighter II Turbo remains a classic in the fighting genre of games even today. Street Fighter II remained the best arcade game of that time. Every small misunderstanding, arguments, or just showcasing your gaming skills was done on this game in the arcade machines.
Seeing the success of the arcade version of Street Fighter II, Capcom released it on the home consoles. But the home console version of the game lacked charm. So, Capcom released the game again with many changes to the character fighting styles, introduced new movesets and combos, and released it as Street Fighter II Turbo.
The game became an instant hit and every player loved the new combos and movesets. The game was faster than its predecessor, which increased the appeal further. Soon the game was dubbed as one of SNES’s best games.
5) Chrono Trigger
One of the best SNES games, developed by a joint venture of Enix and Squaresoft, became the most popular Japanese RPG game of that time. The characters look to be straight out of Dragon Ball, as they were designed by Akira Toriyama.
The story explores time travel and actually uses it as a play mechanic of the games, which not many games dare to do. Chrono Trigger very intricately shows the consequences of time travel and how it can affect the past and the future.
The battles are turn-based, which were very common in games of those times. A vast number of magic spells, equipment, and many other items make the battle mechanic much interesting. The game consists of a big map from different timelines, which never allows the game to turn boring.
Chrono Trigger is a top SNES game, which is still enjoyable to play in the current time.
6) Super Mario World
Super Mario World was deemed for failure project before it was even released. With the all-time favorite Super Mario Bros of NES as the predecessor, Super Mario World had a near-impossible barrier to breakthrough. No one even considered that Super Mario World can be better or as good as Super Mario Bros.
But Nintendo, amazingly, pulled off the near-impossible feat of developing a Mario game as good (some even consider it better) the Super Mario Bros. It was not a genre-breaking Mario game, but rather it continued everything from the Super Mario Bros perfectly and still made it all look fresh.
Super Mario World introduced a massive interconnected map that had numerous secrets. It introduced new ideas like Yoshis and expanded the cast of characters. The game has some amazing visuals and a soundtrack that has ingrained itself in the players’ minds. Super Mario World, deemed to become a failure, became this one of the best SNES games that remains unmatched in the Mario franchise.
EarthBound is a light-hearted game that focuses on a fun and witty gameplay. Most of the games in that time were hardcore medieval fantasy RPG games that mainly focused on a serious storyline of the hero saving the world. That’s why EarthBound became an instant success on its release as everyone was looking for something different. The game is considered one of the best SNES games by critics and players.
The JRPG EarthBound stood apart from the other RPG games of that time because of its satirical story of managing your fears while growing up. The game is hilarious at times and can make you very emotional at other times. It is a skillfully written story that has stayed with everyone who played this game.
In a crowd of RPGs, EarthBound was a breath of fresh air. If you have never played the game, I will recommend you try it at least once.
8) Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country is one of the best SNES games simply because of its graphics. In a time where most games used tilted sprites, Donkey Kong Country used 3D models. The 3D models in Donkey Kong Country were digitized into 2D assets. Because of this, the game got a unique visual style that made it a top SNES game.
The gameplay of Donkey Kong Country is quite fun, with very interesting mechanics that set it apart from other 2D scrolling games. Some levels of the game can be very difficult to play, and this has been the appeal for most Donkey Kong games over the years.
9) Contra III: The Alien Wars
Contra games are known to pack action from start to finish and Contra III: The Alien Wars does that exceptionally well. The game is a continuous barrage of bullets and enemies from all sides, with only a little moment of respite during the change of levels.
Alien wars are a personal favorite and I have enjoyed playing it uncountable times in the past. The simple objective of the game is to find powerups, kill enemies, and move to the next level. That’s what Contra offers and Contra III: The Alien Wars did it better than any other Contra game.
As an action shooter, the game is easily one of the greatest SNES games. This game doesn’t age and is enjoyable to play to even now. In my opinion, Contra III: The Alien Wars deserves to be crowned as one of the best SNES games.
10) Tetris Attack
One of the classic Tetris game, Tetris Attack is one of the earliest puzzle games. Tetris Attack uses Mario’s Yoshi theme as a background storyline. The game is very different from the normal Tetris games. Tetris is generally associated with falling blocks, but Tetris Attack did not follow that style of gameplay, but rather a puzzle tile-matching style gameplay was used.
This was received very warmly by Super NES players and game critics. Everyone liked the new change in the game style and the game became a hit. For many players, Tetris Attack remains the greatest SNES game.
So, there you have it. This is the list of 10 best SNES games, and you can even enjoy them in the current time. These old classics remain uncontested as some of the best games of all time (link) for many users. If you never played a Super NES game, then you now know which games you must try at least once. Don’t forget to mention your list of top SNES games in the comment section below.