SNES best games

Gaming Insurrection’s list of the best games for multiple genres available for the Super Nintendo. These are the must-own definitive versions if you own a Super Nintendo.

fighting

Mortal Kombat II

Release: Midway, 1994

This port of the sequel to Mortal Kombat is the best port of the game for systems available at the time. Coming off the disastrous port of Mortal Kombat for SNES, which was bested by the Sega Genesis version, the SNES version of the arcade smash hit has all of the fighters, moves and finishing moves expected from the arcade version. It also features the blood and gore intact alongside a fairly accurate graphical and soundtrack conversion.

Super Street Fighter II: The new Challengers

Release: Capcom, 1994

Killer Instinct

Release: Rare, 1995

Racing

Super Mario Kart

Release: Nintendo, 1992

Super Mario Kart was the defining moment of Mario’s racing career. He’d been everything else and at this point, there was no stopping the plumber from Brooklyn from conquering the race track with his friends and foes from the Mushroom Kingdom. Featuring 15 locales and eight racers to choose from, Super Mario Kart made its mark on the gaming landscape and is still ruling the charts, having sold 8.76 million copies since 1992.

 

f-zero

Release: Nintendo, 1992

puzzle

Bust-A-Move

Release: Taito, 1995

Bust-A-Move is the first in a long series of games about busting bubbles. Bob and Bub, dinosaurs from the Bubble Bobble series, are tasked with saving their friends from captivity. To do this, they break different colored bubbles with like colors in groups of three or more. Calculated bubble pops sometimes means the difference between moving on and game over, making Bust-A-Move a satisfying battle of puzzle wits and know-how.

 

Tetris attack

Release: Nintendo, 1995

 

Wordtris

Release: Spectrum Holobyte, 1992

 

tetris & dr. mario

Release: Nintendo, 1992

 

Sports

NBA Jam

Release: Midway, 1994

NBA Jam is so well-known in the pop culture sphere that it doesn’t need an introduction at this point. “He’s on fire!” “He’s heating up!” “Boomshakalaka!” All of it came from the rim-shaking NBA Jam, an ode to arcade basketball featuring the likenesses of 1993-94 NBA players in two-on-two basketball. It’s a fun and fast romp that doesn’t take itself seriously but has the flair and the panache of a top-tier series that holds up well after 25 years.

 

Ken griffey jr.'s winning run

Release: Rare, 1996

Capitalizing off Hall of Fame baseball god Ken Griffey Jr.’s winning run in the 1995 American League Division Series, Winning Run is a fantastic baseball game that is easy to pick up and play with a great soundtrack. Though it doesn’t feature the MLB license, it’s still fun, great to look at and easy to use to learn the rules of baseball. It also probably helps that Griffey Jr. is our favorite baseball player of all time.

action-adventure

aladdin

Release: Capcom, 1993

One of the best platforming experiences based on a movie ever created, Aladdin is a diamond in a sometimes rough sea of platforming contenders. While the Genesis version is OK, the SNES really shines in its faithfulness to the much-loved Disney film. With a great soundtrack and beautiful graphics, Capcom outdid themselves when it came to making a playable version of Aladdin’s tale.

 

the legend of zelda: A link to the past

Release: Nintendo, 1992

This is the version of Zelda to own. The story doesn’t get too bogged down, it’s easy to play and the soundtrack is great. While some will laud Ocarina of Time as the pinnacle of Zelda design, Link to the Past came first and quite arguably did it better.

 

super mario world

Release: Nintendo, 1991

Nintendo knew it had to make a splash for Mario’s leap to the 16-bit generation and it achieved it with Super Mario World. While it isn’t the best Mario created (that’s Super Mario Bros. 3 for those of you keeping score at home), Super Mario World is bigger and more spectacle than SMB3 and it knows it. By this point, Mario had platforming perfected and all others were just following his lead and taking notes.

 

super mario world 2: yoshi's island

Release: Nintendo, 1995

teenage mutant ninja turtles IV: turtles in time

super mario all-stars

Release: Nintendo, 1993

Release: Konami, 1992

Super Castlevania iv

Release: Konami, 1991

super metroid

Release: Nintendo, 1994

The third Metroid game ranks extremely high on our list of best games of all time. You can go ahead and guess where, but if you guess outside of the top three, you will be wrong. Super Metroid is the standard bearer when it comes to exploration and platforming. While Mario is about precision jumping, Super Metroid is about that and everything else: knowing how to search for secrets, finding the right timing and tricks to beating bosses and efficient exploration. Super Metroid is the master class on game design that every gamer should play at least once all the way through to experience perfection.

 

donkey kong country

Release: Rare, 1994

rpg

final fantasy v

Release: Square Enix, 1992

Every gamer worth their salt has either played or heard of Final Fantasy, and most have a favorite version of the long-running series. Gaming Insurrection’s favorite Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy V, is unique for several reasons but our favorite unique thing about it is the Job System. This is where the veteran concept is revamped into its modern form and where it works best. Everything else works well in the game, too, like the great soundtrack and beautiful 16-bit graphics, but it’s the fun of using the Job System to level up the wonderful characters that stands out the most. And though it’s been ported to other consoles, the SNES Japanese-only version is the best of all.

 

super mario rpg

Release: Square Enix, 1996

chrono trigger

Release: Square Enix, 1995