With its iconic library of games, the SNES introduced us to legendary characters, groundbreaking gameplay mechanics, and captivating stories that have stood the test of time by delivering unforgettable gaming experiences to millions of players worldwide. In this article, we dive into retro gaming and explore the top 10 best SNES games.
Be sure to also check out our game rankings for Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and Gamecube! Or if Nintendo handhelds are your jam, we have rankings for all of them, including the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS. Whew! That’s a lot of games!
10. Super Castlevania IV
Super Castlevania IV is a gothic action-platformer that follows vampire hunter Simon Belmont as he battles the forces of darkness in Dracula’s castle. Players traverse treacherous levels, utilize Simon’s whip and various sub-weapons, and face off against iconic monsters and bosses. The objective is to defeat Dracula and rid the world of his evil influence.
Super Castlevania IV captivated players with its atmospheric visuals, haunting soundtrack, and tight controls allowing precise whip combat. Its challenging yet fair difficulty, the sense of exploration and discovery, and the timeless appeal of the Castlevania series made it a standout title and a must-play for fans of action platformers.
9. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting is a legendary fighting game that revolutionized the genre and set the stage for future iterations. Players select from a roster of iconic fighters and engage in intense one-on-one battles against computer-controlled opponents or other players. The objective is to deplete the opponent’s health bar within the time limit.
Street Fighter II Turbo captivated players with its responsive controls, diverse cast of characters with unique move sets, and the depth of its gameplay mechanics. Its competitive multiplayer, iconic special moves like Ryu’s Hadouken and Chun-Li’s Spinning Bird Kick, and the heated matches against friends or at the arcade made it a standout fighting game and a pillar of the genre.
8. Super Mario Kart
Super Mario Kart is a kart racing game that brought the beloved Mario characters into the competitive racing world. Players choose from a roster of iconic characters and race across whimsical tracks filled with power-ups, obstacles, and traps. The objective is to outmaneuver opponents, utilize items, and claim victory.
Super Mario Kart captivated players with its addictive multiplayer mode, tight controls, and the thrill of intense races. Its memorable track designs, the introduction of iconic items like the infamous Blue Shell, and the opportunity to compete with friends and family in split-screen multiplayer made it a standout multiplayer experience and a beloved entry in the Mario Kart series.
7. Mega Man X
Mega Man X takes the classic Mega Man formula and injects it with a dose of futuristic flair and adrenaline-fueled action. Players control Mega Man X, an advanced robot, as he battles against powerful Maverick robots led by the villainous Sigma. The objective is to defeat the Mavericks, acquire their powers, and restore peace to the world.
Mega Man X captivated players with its tight controls, challenging platforming segments, and the thrill of battling powerful bosses. Its memorable boss design, the ability to dash and wall jump, and the satisfaction from acquiring new skills and strategizing against different enemies made it a standout action platformer on the SNES.
6. Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI, known as Final Fantasy III in North America, is a sprawling RPG that tells an epic tale of a group of rebels fighting against an oppressive empire. Players control a diverse cast of characters, each with unique abilities and stories, as they navigate a world on the brink of destruction. The objective is to confront the empire’s sinister machinations and save the world from chaos.
Final Fantasy VI captivated players with its deep character development, emotional storytelling, and innovative Active Time Battle system. Its memorable soundtrack, breathtaking moments, and the game’s willingness to tackle mature themes made it a standout entry in the long-running series and a favorite among RPG enthusiasts.
5. Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country is a platformer that pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible on the SNES. Players control Donkey Kong and his sidekick, Diddy Kong, as they journey through challenging levels filled with enemies, obstacles, and hidden secrets. The objective is to reclaim Donkey Kong’s stolen banana hoard from the villainous King K. Rool.
Donkey Kong Country captivated players with its revolutionary pre-rendered graphics, tight controls, and memorable level design. Its catchy soundtrack, the introduction of iconic characters like Cranky Kong and the Kremlings, and the satisfyingly difficult yet rewarding gameplay made it a standout title and a platforming gem.
4. Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is a timeless RPG that follows the adventures of Chrono and his companions through time to save the world from an impending catastrophe. Players embark on a journey of time travel, epic battles, and memorable characters. The objective is to prevent the rise of an ancient evil and alter the course of history.
Chrono Trigger captivated players with its innovative battle system, multiple endings, and rich and intricately woven narrative. Its beautiful visuals, captivating musical score, and the ability to influence the story through player choices made it a standout RPG and a beloved title in the SNES library.
3. Super Metroid
Super Metroid is a genre-defining action-adventure game that immerses players in the atmospheric and sprawling world of the intergalactic bounty hunter Samus Aran. Players explore a labyrinthine planet, acquire new abilities, and battle menacing creatures. The objective is to rescue a kidnapped baby, Metroid, and thwart the plans of the Space Pirates.
Super Metroid captivated players with its non-linear exploration, moody ambiance, and iconic gameplay mechanics. Its haunting soundtrack, sense of isolation, and the thrill of uncovering secrets and backtracking through the game world made it an unforgettable experience and a benchmark for the Metroidvania genre.
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
After an odd diversion with The Adventure of Link, the franchise not only returned to their roots — they perfected the formula. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an action-adventure game that takes players on a grand quest as Link. Players navigate a vast, interconnected world, solving puzzles, battling enemies, and exploring dungeons. The objective is to rescue Princess Zelda and defeat the evil Ganon.
A Link to the Past captivated players with its engaging gameplay, intricate dungeons, and the sense of wonder and discovery that permeates its world. Its memorable characters, beautiful graphics, and timeless exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving formula made it a standout title and a pillar of the Zelda series.
1. Super Mario World
Super Mario World is a platforming masterpiece that introduced us to Mario’s iconic side-scrolling adventures on the SNES. Players guide Mario or Luigi through a vibrant and varied world, collecting power-ups, stomping on enemies, and navigating treacherous obstacles. The objective is to rescue Princess Peach from the clutches of the villainous Bowser.
Super Mario World captivated players with its precise controls, imaginative level design, and secrets to discover. Its charming visuals, catchy soundtrack, and sheer joy of exploration and discovery made it an instant classic and a favorite among gamers of all ages.
But let’s be real. The introduction of the lovable Koopa-eating, egg-laying Yoshi is what it’s really all about, right?