My all-time favorite system, and considered by many to be the greatest video game console of all time. I have too many good memories of it to even list, but I’ll try.
I first played it at a Wal-Mart, they had a demo unit setup with Super Mario World. This was maybe a couple months before we actually got it (Christmas ’91). Along with Super Mario World as a pack-in, my Uncle bought us U.N. Squadron. A game that is hard as hell, and when I tried playing it again last year.
There were so many amazing games on the SNES, it was the system that got me into SimCity. A game that I still own and play even today. It was because I had the SNES version that the first game I bought when I got my PC was SimCity 2000.
But before that, me and my brother spent weeks playing the hell out of Super Mario World. Back then I could get through the Special World levels. Now? Not even close lol.
One of the game sthat really blew me away when I first played it, was A Link To The Past. Which before owning it I had rented it several times. Walking out of Link’s house into the rain was pretty awesome back then. The rest of the game is damn good too. As Dan Ryckert likes to point out, the sound bosses make when you kill them it great. And every time I play that game I HAVE to do a spin attack just as I’m collecting the pendant or the crystals. I liked the first game, but LTTP is what truly made me a Zelda fan for life.
Another game that I’ve always loved is Actraiser. The combination of the action sequences and the simulation town building is something I’ve always wanted to see again. Then they broke my heart when they made the sequel and it had none of the town building, and was insanely hard. And the music, the MUSIC in that game is so insanely good. Quite frankly it’s STILL one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever made. Yuzo Koshiro is a genius.
Of course no article about the Super Nintendo would be complete without talking about Street Fighter 2. I don’t play fighting games much anymore (because I suck), but in 1992 having that game at home was incredible. It was Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat (well the second game anyway) and NBA Jam that were regularly played whenever friends would come over. As well as Mario Kart of course, when we were able to rent it.
Now on to what the SNES is really known for, RPGs.
Final Fantasy 2 and 3, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, even Soul Blazer and Illusion of Gaia. This system had Square in their prime, Enix when Quintet was alive and well, making incredible games. Even Square USA got in on the action, with Secret of Evermore. Which despite what some people still seem to believe, has nothing to do with the Mana games. And also, wasn’t the reason Seiken Densetsu 3 (the next game in the Mana series, SoM was SD2) never got released in the west.
Those are just some of the games that were released in the US, Japan got WAY more including Final Fantasy 5 which wasn’t released officially in the west until the PS1 version. Europe even got Terranigma, which was the third game in the Quintet trilogy as some call it. That game is incredible, and even though I own a reproduction cart of it I’d still buy it on the virtual console if Nintendo and SE could make it happen.
Other RPGs included Capcom’s Breath of Fire games, the Lufia series, Super Mario RPG made by Square. The Super Nintendo had tons of great RPGs. There were also games like Ogre Battle which was fantastic,
Moving on from RPGs, the SNES had a ton of other games that showed off what it could do.
The Donkey Kong Country games showed that the SNES still had life against the Playstation. Rock ‘n Roll Racing has an awesome soundtrack, and great voice work. Mega Man X was a fantastic evolution of the series, with great music and graphics.
Mortal Kombat II had Nintendo finally giving in on its ridiculous anti-violence stance, and gave us the best version of the game on 16-bit systems. Mario Paint proved I wasn’t an artist in any capacity, but that’s a whole other problem.
Contra III had it all, graphics, music, and it was hard.
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs was just hard.
The Super Nintendo continued what the NES started for me, getting me more and more into RPGs and making me a Zelda fanatic for life. It had so many great games, and so many more that never got released in the west. If you don’t have one, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
I hope Nintendo continues their “Classic Edition” idea, and makes an SNES Classic Edition.
I also hope they’d make more of them for launch, so punk scalpers can’t screw us over by selling them for 3-4x regular price.
Last year was the 25th anniversary of the system’s launch in the US, I even streamed on my Twitch channel every day in August to celebrate. It was rough, but worth it. Even the 12 hour cast I did to end it was fun.
There aren’t many systems I would put that kind of effort into celebrating.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of them.