For the last of this week’s celebration of SNES’s 20th year of existence, I have resorted to best and laziest of ideas: a best games list. Since this is the 20th anniversary, I am picking my 20 favorite Super Nintendo games. As this is a list spun entirely from my own mind, I’m sure you disagree with some parts of it. To preemptively reply to any such complaints I say “neener neener neener.” Also “maybe you should go make your own list, with blackjack and hookers.”
Let us begin.
In what will be a theme for these early entries, I haven’t played Actraiser quite enough, so it might either deserve to be higher or not on the list at all. Based on its reputation and limited time playing it, I say it is the systems 20th best game.
19) Donkey Kong Country
Though DKC is one of the most successful games of the generation, I have barely played it. I liked it, but I have since played its reputedly better sequel and found it perfectly frustrating. I’ll give DKC the benefit of the doubt of being the better game and therefore being worthy of this list.
18) Super Street Fighter 2
I don’t know which version of Street Fighter 2 for the SNES is the best, I’ll leave that to the Street Fighter scientists. I do know that any discussion of 16-bit gaming must include talk of Street Fighter 2. Super Street Fighter 2 is the game I played as a kid, so that is the version I chose.
17) The Lost Vikings
This is a great little puzzle platformer from those who would be Blizzard. It is on par with the quality of their later games. I never beat this game, but I had a lot of fun.
16) Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Another game I have not played near enough. The graphics alone make it worthy of this slot, though.
15) Super Mario RPG
I hate jumping in this game. Other than that, it is great. The mix of Mario and Square works better than Disney and Square.
The original futuristic racer is no longer the best (F-Zero 64 is better) but this is part one of the proof of mode 7 in action.
13) U.N. Squadron
There are tons of shooters on the SNES, but I say U.N. Squadron is the best. Keep your R-Types, Axelayes and Gradiuses, I’ll take U.N. Squadron. Actually, I’ll take those others, too. But U.N. Squadron first.
12) Secret of Mana
I may not be this games biggest fan, but it looks nice and sounds terrific. I get annoyed with the gameplay at times, but even I won’t say it’s anything but great.
11) Super Mario Kart
The other proof for mode 7. This is the original ingenious use of the Mario franchise, and it is still one of the best. Really, do you need me to tell you that Mario Kart is fuck awesome?
10) Super Castlevania 4
I bow before this games mastery of a gameplay style that I don’t really like that much. Super Castlevania 4 does just about everything right. Despite its intentionally stiff controls, it is loads of fun.
9) Final Fantasy 2
The immortal adventures of Cecil, Rosa and Kain. Like some other games in this series, FF2 is one of the most influential games in the genre. The story may revel in the melodramatic, but it is still riveting.
8) Kirby Super Star
The best Kirby game? I think so. This not quite mini-game collection was a near perfect platformer.
7) Mega Man X
The Mega Man series needed a shot in the arm after 6 quick NES installments, and Mega Man X was it. Too bad its energy did not quite carry on to its sequels.
Quirky, weird and under appreciated, except but its consistently rabid fans, Earthbound is a tragically unique game. I wish there were more like it.
5) Super Mario World
Mario, still the best after all these years. Every single mainline entry in this series has been wonderful. Super Mario World may be the most wonderful.
4) Super Metroid
This is a constant atop best ever lists. Many believe it to be the perfect game. I don’t necessarily disagree, but I like the games above it slightly more.
3) Final Fantasy 3
The cast is arguably too large, the style change at the halfway point may be too great, but all of this game’s parts fit together perfectly. All the best Final Fantasies are multiples of 3.
2) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
This is not my favorite Zelda game. But even my least favorite Zelda game is still among my favorite games. Not that is my least favorite either. More than even the original, A Link to the Past established what a Zelda game should be.
1) Chrono Trigger
My personal favorite game ever. I love every part of Chrono Trigger. There is nothing this game does that isn’t great. The closest thing I have to a complaint about it is that for a long time I had an irrational hatred for Lucca. No reason, just screw that bitch. She ain’t so smart.