The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1991 (in North Amercia) and with it came a slew of amazing games, some of which still hold up to this day. Growing up as a kid in the 90’s, I got to experience firsthand many of these masterpieces as they released. Heck, I still own and play many of them! This is a list of the Top 5 SNES games that I had the opportunity to play on the SNES.

 

#5 – Kirby Super Star

Kirby Super Star is probably still my favorite Kirby game ever released (not counting it’s re-release on the Nintendo DS, Kirby Super Star Ultra). As the box art indicates, it featured not one, but eight total Kirby games in one package. It also had a couple of smaller sub-games that you could tinker with. Ranging from easy to fairly challenging, each game was a fully realized adventure with different mechanics and story lines. In Spring Breeze, you guide Kirby through what is essentially a remake of the original Kirby’s Dreamland to stop King Dedede from stealing all the food in Dreamland. In Dynablade, a fearsome bird is rampaging through the countryside, destroying and taking food from farms…causing people to starve. In Milky Way Wishes, it’s up to Kirby to stop the Sun and Moon from fighting. Not every adventure is available to play at the start, but as you clear each one the others become available. Kirby Super Star is a shining example of Kirby done right, and it set a standard for nearly all Kirby games that came afterward. Definitely a game you should have in your SNES library.

 

#4 – Mega Man X2

 

After the success of the original Mega Man series on the NES, it was only natural that the Blue Bomber was brought onto the scene when the SNES came around. A brand-new series set hundreds of years in the future, Mega Man X featured a new version of Mega Man, named X. In this future, a race of robots was created based on X’s design – the Reploids. Reploids that rebelled against society and caused havoc were called Mavericks, and hunted down by an elite group of Reploids called the Maverick Hunters. As part of the Maverick Hunters, it was X’s job to help track down and eliminate Maverick threats before too much harm was caused. Like the previous Mega Man classic games, you get to choose what order to tackle these Mavericks in, and as usual each one has a specific weakness to special weapons. Featuring some really interesting Maverick designs, as well as some great music, Mega Man X2 is my favorite entry in the series on the SNES. Only three entries were released on the SNES, with the others being released on the Playstation and later the Playstation 2.

 

#3 – Earthbound

 

Earthbound started out as an RPG that didn’t fit any mold that other RPG’s at the time did. It was completely different! Instead of sword, axes, and magic, you had baseball bats, frying pans, and psychic powers. Instead of dragons, demons, and other monsters, you battled hippies, cultists, and aliens. Released as Mother 2 in Japan, Earthbound featured a young boy named Ness who, together with three other gifted youngsters, must travel together to defeat the evil alien conqueror of worlds, Giygas. While it was very popular in Japan, it did not sell very well in the west. Many believe this was due to Earthbound’s simple graphics, its satirical marketing campaign (“This game stinks!”), and a general lack of interest in the genre at the time. However its become something of a cult classic, in that it has a large and growing fanbase, and Ness has even been a playable character in one of Nintendo’s now bestselling franchises – Super Smash Bros.

 

#2 – Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

 

Ahhh, what can I say about this amazing game…released near the end of the SNES life span, Super Mario RPG was the first of many RPG’s featuring our favorite mustached plumber…and arguably the best. A giant sword crashes through the Star Road and down into the top of Bowser’s Castle, scattering the pieces of the Star Road across the land. With the Star Road broken, no wishes can be granted. It’s up to Mario and his friends, along with an unlikely ally and a few original ones, to gather the pieces of the Star Road and restore it to its former glory. Featuring a simple to learn battle system, Mario RPG is a full fledged adventure with all the twists and turns fans expect from the RPG genre, while still retaining the classic Mario charm and gameplay feel.

 

Honorable Mentions

  • Secret of Mana
  • Super Mario World
  • Breath of Fire
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

 

#1 – Chrono Trigger

You do not have Marle in this battle, and why is she shooting fire? Her element is ice! This cover is all wrong!!!
Chrono Trigger’s box art.

 

Possibly the best game on the SNES, and possibly my favorite game of all time (and many others!), Chrono Trigger is considered by many to be a masterpiece. The granddaddy of all RPGs, it definitely set the standard for everything that followed, even if it wasn’t an RPG. It introduced New Game+, multiple endings, and it featured a perfect balance between gameplay, story, and overall design. Not too easy, but not too hard, it told the story of Crono and his friends on their journey to stop the mighty Lavos from destroying the world. Utilizing time travel, Crono and friends journey through many different times, including prehistoric times, the far future….even the End of Time! Chrono Trigger has something for everyone, and is at the top of every “Must Play” RPG list.