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The 10 best SNES games of all time

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Donkey Kong Country, easily one of the best SNES games ever made

Gaming has come a long way since the 90s, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without those pioneering years. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System played a huge part in that, helping lay the foundations for modern-day games and capturing the hearts of millions.

The SNES was the second console released by Nintendo and hit stores on November 21, 1990. It featured updated graphics, a new controller and better sound options than its predecessor, the Nintendo Entertainment System.

With 784 games, the SNES continues to live long in the minds of a generation of gamers who grew up in the 90s. Here are our pics of the ten best SNES games of all time. Prepare for a walk down memory lane…

1 Super Mario World

Super Mario World

Super Mario World is considered the quintessential title in the SNES library. It lured us into an immense world full of bonus levels and with Mario’s new green friend, Yoshi, gave players a completely new way to transverse the iconic landscapes.

Instead of the limited moves of Mario, players could now spit fire and even eat enemies. Yoshi allowed us to experience a whole new feel to the world of Mario and helped make this the best-selling SNES game – by far – with more than 20million copies sold.

2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past offered an endless adventure spread across two immense worlds, with twenty to thirty hours of gameplay. It is one of the few SNES games that could be played over and over again without ever seeming to get old.

The third instalment in the Legend of Zelda series, A Link to the Past introduced the master sword, Zelda’s pink attire, and Link’s spin attack. Fans of the Zelda consider this to be one of the best in the series, ushering in gameplay elements that have extended to all future titles.

3 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

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Super Mario RPG caused a frenzy among fans who were thrilled to see Mario and Bowser, bitter enemies, fighting as one.

The gameplay of Super Mario RPG took the traditional Mario moves and jumps and added a new dimension. Though the title changed all of the major aspects of a traditional role-playing game, all of the dynamics of Super Mario RPG worked perfectly together to create an experience that is still considered one of the best offered by the SNES.

4 Donkey Kong Country

donkey-kong-country

Donkey Kong Country has always been considered one of developer Rare’s greatest creations. Who wouldn’t love an ape who wears a tie and rides on a rhino?

This is one of the first games of the SNES that truly pushed its boundaries by using the latest 3D technology of the time.

The game also single-handedly saved Nintendo from losing its popularity when the console wars were first beginning between Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation. It was trumped only by Super Mario Worlds in the all-times SNES sales charts.

5 Chrono Trigger

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Chrono Trigger is a game that forever changed the RPG genre, offering time travel and combo fighting moves with turn-based battle gameplay. A story of a boy’s adventures in traveling through history, it also offered thirteen different endings and is still considered one of the most epic RPGs of all time.

6 Super Metroid

super-metroid

Super Metroid was the third release in the Metroid series. It continues with the latest mission of Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter, as she weeds her way through the endless maze that is planet Zebes.

Though the third instalment, players reported it felt like a completely new Metroid since it pulled the series together and polished it so that it would continue for years to come.

7 Super Mario Kart

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Super Mario Kart was the third best-selling SNES game of all time, behind Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country. A zany racing game, it allowed players to play as one of eight different racers with a myriad of capabilities to offer.

There was also the option of single player mode, where they go against the computer, or multiplayer where they can race their friends.

Super Mario Kart offered three different levels of difficulty for trophy winnings, and helped the Mario Kart and Super Mario series endure for a long time to come.

8 Secret of Mana

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Secret of Mana is an action RPG that was released as a sequel to Seiken Densetsu. This adventure follows the plight of three would-be heroes who seek to prevent a warship from being used to conquer the world.

Unlike other RPG titles that use turn-based gameplay, Secret of Mana incorporated real-time battle sequences, and allowed players to pause a battle and make decisions that would affect its outcome.

Though considered a part of the Final Fantasy series, this was one title that was intended to stand away from the others as its own title.

9 Super Mario: All-Stars

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Super Mario: All-Stars is a collection of four different Mario Bros. games, containing enriched versions of Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, andSuper Mario Bros: The Lost Levels.

It allowed Mario fans to enjoy the best of all the game titles available, for fun that never ran out of steam. The compilation remains a fan favorite and had updated graphics and music for increased excitement.

Payers could play any of the four games and save their progress so they could stop and resume anytime they liked.

10 Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior

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Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior was originally released as an arcade title. The second game in the Street Fighter series, it uses command-based moves along with combination moves that require the player to memorize six button configurations.

It was considered a breakthrough in the fighting game genre, leading to a myriad of titles being produced throughout the 1990s. The game did so well for Nintendo that several updated versions were released to continue to improve on what is now considered a classic.

With so many games to choose from on the SNES console, it can be difficult to pick a handful of favorites. These ten titles have received glowing reviews from game critics and fans alike.

If you were not lucky enough to be born in the SNES era, consider purchasing some of these games through an eclectic gaming retailer who specializes in older systems. You are sure to love each of these masterpieces, whether you are new to the console or an old fan.

Julian is the editor of Monsters & Critics. He has worked as a journalist for more than ten years, previously as an editor at the... read more
Julian Cheatle

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