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 OTHER FEATURE

SNES Mini - 30 classic games we'd love to see on it

The usual suspects, plus a few surprises
Product: SNES Mini | Publisher: Nintendo | Format: Other
 
Rumour has it that the NES Mini's official discontinuation has an almighty silver lining in the form of the SNES Mini. According to internet reports, we'll be seeing the 'out of stock' notification for this shrunken all-in-one console some time around Christmas.

As anyone with any sense knows, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was the finest games console ever made. It pretty much super-charged the clunky gaming of the NES era with more colour, more pixels, much better sound, and a hatful of whizzy graphical tricks. Seriously, there's a valid reason they added 'Super' before half of the games.

Some of the finest games ever made found their natural - and often exclusive - home on the SNES. Here, then, are the 30 games we'd love to see on the seemingly inevitable SNES Mini.

Which games would you like to play on the SNES Mini? We've left plenty of stone-cold classics out. Let us know in the comments below.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past



There are other valid contenders for the title of 'best SNES game ever,' but The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the game that's become synonymous with the platform. It remains an impeccable action-RPG with a memorably inventive fantasy world - or should that be worlds?

Chrono Trigger



The SNES has arguably the finest selection of JRPGs of any console ever, and Chrono Trigger sits right at the top. Square Enix's

Donkey Kong Country



Rare's innovative use of 3D sprites mean that Donkey Kong Country hasn't aged as elegantly as Super Mario World, but for many at the time this was the true SNES platforming champion. It still plays a mean game today.

Super Metroid



For many fans of the console, Super Metroid is quite simply the best SNES game of them all. It's an ambitious, creepily atmospheric platform adventure set in a sprawling alien world, which must be steadily unlocked with a growing suite of abilities and weapons.

Super Mario World



The finest Mario platformer ever? Super Mario World has to be right up there, thanks to its water-tight controls and ingenious secret-laden levels.

Super Mario Kart



This is where it all began. It was here that Mario first got into a go-kart, and an entire sub-genre of cute mascot-driven kart racers was born. Going back to it today, you'll be shocked at how pure and tight its brand of OTT racing was compared to today's floatily forgiving, gimmick-fuelled entries.

Secret of Mana



Ever wondered what the maker of Final Fantasy might do with a Zelda-like action RPG? Secret of Mana is the closest you're likely to get with its real-time battles and verdant fantasy world. It also has a cooperative multiplayer mode for up to three players.

EarthBound



EarthBound (or Mother 2 in its native Japan) didn't make it to Europe in the SNES era, but it was one of the most charming and distinctive JRPGs on the platform. It traded generic fantasy for small-town Americana, and po-faced earnestness for self-aware humour.

Final Fantasy VI



Final Fantasy VI sits in between the simple RPGs of the 8-bit era and the epic plots and huge production values of the 32-bit era. Many series fans will tell you it remains the best of the lot.

Contra III



Completely reskinned as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels in Europe, Contra III was a stunning side-scrolling platform-shooter that seemed to through everything at you in a series of breathtakingly imaginative set-pieces.

Super Castlevania IV



There were a number of stunning action-platformers on the SNES, and Super Castlevania IV mixes it with the best of them. Vampire hunter Simon Belmont's Mode 7-assisted travails were a true technical tour de force.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts



Infamously one of the most difficult games of its (or any other) era, Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts was a super-slick - but thoroughly brutal - action platformer

Pilotwings



One of the things the SNES could do that its great rival the Sega Mega Drive (aka the Sega Genesis) couldn't was smooth scaling and rotation, courtesy of its Mode 7 feature. Pilotwings was the launch title that showed this off best, but it was also a brilliant casual flight sim in its own right.

F-Zero



Nintendo's cult future-racer series started right here on the SNES. It was a blisteringly quick yet super-smooth arcade racer that made use of the console's fancy Mode 7 rotation tricks.

Street Fighter II Turbo



You might argue that Super Street Fighter II: The World Warriors and Street Fighter Alpha II were richer, more fully-featured brawlers. But Street Fighter II Turbo was the game that came to define the 16-bit era's obsession with one-on-one beat-'em-ups, and the version that felt most at home on the SNES.

NBA Jam: Tournament Edition



One of the seminal arcade sports games of its time, NBA Jam took basketball and injected a large dose of exaggerated physics and pyrotechnics. As a result, a whole generation of gamers still shouts "From down town!" whenever they attempt an ambitious long-range effort in any sport. Or is that just me?

Star Fox



It was called Starwing in Europe, but we've all come to refer to Nintendo's ace arcade shooter as Star Fox. At the time, the game's 3D graphics (aided by the first use of the bespoke Super FX chip) were truly stunning.

Super Bomberman 3



As some of the finest local multiplayer games ever made, Super Bomberman and its sequels justified the purchase of a controller port-increasing 'multitap' peripheral. Super Bomberman 3 had way more options and modes than the first two, but they're all great.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island



Forget the 'Super Mario World 2' bit - Yoshi's Island is its own distinct animal that bears only a passing resemblance to classic Mario. For one thing you're controlling Yoshi, not Mario, which brings a delightful new egg-throwing mechanic into play. The game's hand-drawn visuals still look stunning more than 20 years on.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars



One of the most frustrating results of Nintendo's peculiar regional attitude in the '90s was that Super Mario RPG didn't come out in Europe until 2008. We were deprived of a brilliant team-up between Square and Nintendo, which blazed a trail for the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series to marry Mario's universe with turn-based battles.

Super Punch-Out!!



If you thought ARMS for the Switch came out of the blue, allow us to direct your attention to Super Punch-Out. It's a brilliant over-the-shoulder beat-'em-up starring a cast of outlandish combatants with idiosyncratic appearances and fighting styles. Sound familiar?

Smash Tennis



It was a toss up (ha!) between this and Super Tennis for this list. Both are great SNES tennis games, but Super Tennis suffered from a terrible password save system and only supported two players. And we're really hoping for four controller ports on the SNES Mini.

Unirally



Also known as Uniracers in the US, Unirally was a sadly overlooked gem of an arcade racer that had you tearing around ludicrously twisty 2D tracks as an anthropomorphised unicycle. Besides a crazy sensation of speed. Unirally also worked in a surprisingly sophisticated stunt system.

Kirby Super Star



Would Nintendo include a multi-game compendium into its multi-game compendium? We don't know, but when the results are as good as Kirby Super Star (Kirby's Fun Pak in Europe), we hope so. Its eight games included several fine platformers that could have stood on their own two feet earlier in the SNES's life.

Mega Man X



Mega Man X revamped the classic series for a 16-bit audience, with more depth and customisation options added to its unique brand of action-platforming.

International Superstar Soccer Deluxe



The footy game series that would eventually spawn Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) started out life here on the SNES. There was an unprecedented level of realism and attention to detail here that made ISS the best football game of the 16-bit era.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time



Beyond the recent Turtles brand resurgence, Turtles in Time's inclusion makes perfect sense because it's a really good scrolling beat-'em-up. Konami's arcade port was big, brash, and imaginative.

Hebereke's Popoon



Puyo Puyo got many of the blob-matching plaudits at the time, but for me Hebereke's Popoon deserves revisiting. In two-player mode there's a manic J-Pop-infused beat-'em-up feel to the game - all crazy characters and devastating special moves - that I haven't fully experienced since.

Shadowrun



Something of a cult classic, Shadowrun was an isometric action-RPG that was way ahead of its time. The game's fantasy-noir universe was pretty distinctive in the mid-'90s console scene, while its murky story was geared toward a nascent 'mature' audience.

NHL '96



The Mega Drive was widely considered to be the best place to play EA's massive-selling sports games, but NHL '96 was still a great multiplayer experience on the SNES. Even if you don't care a jot for ice hockey, the NHL games of this period were brilliant arcadey fun.
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 20 April 2017
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