The top 5 SNES games
The Super Nintendo was the first console I ever owned, and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the world of gaming.
These are my favourite 5 of the all the SNES games I experienced – not necessarily the best SNES games of all time – but those closest to my heart:
5. Super Bomberman 2
This is probably the only controversial choice on my list, but I didn’t have a better multiplayer experience on the console than Super Bomberman 2. Going up against a friend and 2 AI opponents was as addictive as it was fiercely competitive – with ingenious powerups like bouncing bombs and remote detonators causing all kinds of hilarious carnage.
Unlike a lot of critics I also really enjoyed the single player – in particular the bosses, who each have their own distinct charm and character. The later levels become a real challenge, testing your bomb placement tactics and dexterity in a satisfying way.
4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
My very first Zelda game is one that still holds up extremely well – unsurprising as it is arguably the most influential in terms of structure and design. Like a lot of Nintendo’s SNES efforts, its beautiful to look at; The 16-bit sprites and bold colours oozing a timeless charm, building a wonderful tapestry of Hyrule. The combat can be tricky to get used to and the dungeons perhaps aren’t as memorable as the fantastic overworld, but these minor quibbles are dwarfed by the quality of the gameplay, the length of the game, and the lovely atmosphere.
It took me a second crack at ALttP to really appreciate its quality, and I’d urge anyone who has enjoyed any Zelda game but not tried this to do so.
You can pick up ALttP here for the 3DS on Amazon.
3. Donkey Kong Country
My very first game, period. Everything about Donkey kong Country had me hooked – the wonderful charm of the 3D sprites, the music (oh God, the music) and the tight platforming. This game cemented platformers as my favourite genre, and was an excellent introduction to simple running and jumping mechanics, getting pretty difficult towards the later levels.
The game’s musical score remains one of my favourites, from the upbeat bongo-beat of the first jungle levels to the soothing melodies of the underwater caverns, it augments the atmosphere very well. The tag-team gameplay between Donkey and Diddy is also fun, and the game keeps things fresh with the mine cart levels and animal companions, ensuring things never get old. I’ve played through Donkey Kong Country and it’s sequels many times, and it remains a firm favourite.
The Virtual Console is easily your best option when it comes to playing this classic, with original SNES cartridges very hard to find.
2. Super Mario Kart
Still the best iteration of Mario Kart, the driving lacks the floatyness and over-reliance on drifting prominent in the later games in the series. The charm of the graphics has also yet to be surpassed, with the simpler sprites achieving more character than the pixel-heavy polygons we see today.
There is beauty in Super Mario Kart’s simplicity – each character has a different weight and top speed/acceleration balance, but they all drive the same type of kart – none of the gimmicky vehicles from the later games, which allows the player to concentrate on the pure driving. SMK can no doubt be frustrating, with the unique powers of the rival racers and the rubber-banding often a thorn in the player’s side; but it just makes it all the more satisfying when you win.
The battle mode also remains the best in the series along with MK64, again by keeping things simple it succeeds in maintaining what makes Mario Kart one of the funnest games there is.
You can pick up Super Mario Kart on the Wii’s virtual console, or grab an original from Amazon here.
1. Super Mario World
Super Mario World is one of those rare games that feels perfectly complete – like no addition could make it any better than it already is. The way the seven areas have their own flavour, with every enemy oozing charm and feeling unique make finding all 96 exits a pleasure that never diminishes with subsequent playthroughs. Simply one of the most replayable and enjoyable games ever made. And the music is exceptional.
Your best bet in playing Super Mario World is via the Virtual Console on the Wii, Wii U or 3Ds, with digital copies available from Amazon here.