The Best SNES Games Of All Time

Believe it or not, the SNES library had over 1,700 games that featured all sorts of content spanning different genres. Even now, some of the physical copies are worth hundreds of dollars online for collectors.

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From such a large selection of games, finding the best one is a task easier said than done. But once you deeply analyze what makes each title unique and innovative, it’s easy to narrow down IPs that went on to define everything that came after. Some titles shaped modern pop culture in significant ways as well, despite getting released on a console that came out back in 1995.

9 Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger gameplay blue portal like structure

With an iconic story and stunning setpieces for the time, Chrono Trigger was a lot of people’s ‘first’ authentic JRPG experience. The sprites were gorgeous, and the cinematic transitions between the world of the present and the past certainly set this gem apart from most of its contemporaries.

Teamwork was a big component of this game’s combat mechanics, and utilizing each of your party member’s strengths was a surefire way to ensure victory over the strongest foes you’d come face-to-face with on your journeys. The game also features artwork by the creator of Dragon Ball Z, Akira Toriyama.

8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time

Cowabunga Collection Turtles In Time

Not only was this one of the best games of the arcade era, but TMNT on the SNES was a well-made gem that deserved a release on a home console, too. The port functioned perfectly and featured almost the same experience you’d get from playing this relic on a fully-fledged machine.

From vibrant character designs to unique levels that depicted the universe fairly well, Turtles in Time was fun to pick up and play despite how difficult it got at specific points. As a traditional beat-em-up, the controls were simple, contributing significantly to the game’s universal appeal.

7 Earthbound

Ness and crew in the city areas of Earthbound.

As far as conventional JRPS go, Earthbound or Mother 2 was a reimagination of the genre that didn’t shy away from paying tribute to the games that came before it. Earthbound features a stellar story that easily immerses you throughout one solid chapter alone. The sound design is immaculate, and the characters are colorful and easy to love.

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The game’s legendary due to how unique and imaginative the universe is and how charming some of the game’s mechanics are. Time travel stories are usually rather hard to pull off, but Earthbound does it flawlessly and even manages to pull out a few laughs along the journey.

The Great Fairy healing Link in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

A game that features time travel might sound gimmicky, but A Link to the Past is one of the most original and unique titles on the platform. The stunning pixel art definitely portrays how much heart and dedication went into bringing the game’s universe to life.

The secrets, the game’s difficulty spikes, and the story that perfectly utilizes your newly attained ability serve to deliver an unforgettable experience that still puts this title at the top of any hardcore gamer’s wishlist even today.

5 Super Castlevania IV

Super Castlevania 4 gameplay of the player fighting a two headed dragon above water.

The Castlevania franchise has never really slacked off when it came to offering you a brutal and unforgiving Metroidvania experience. That’s why it’s stuck around in the hearts of several gamers who put in the blood, tears, and sweat to finally finish off some of the harder titles Konami’s offered over the years.

Super Castlevania IV keeps up with that tradition and is a solid entry to the list as far as the world-building and tight-paced combat and platforming are concerned. The music, the graphics, the dialogue, and the action were top-tier for the time, and the game received tons of positive reviews.

4 Donkey Kong Country

Donkey Kong Country Gangplank Galleon shows Donkey and Diddy Kong fighting King K Rool on a ship

Nothing quite beats the sheer fun and whimsy that DK Country elicited from its unique themes and jungle beats. Despite how dated the graphics and controls sometimes feel, the appeal is still visibly there, and it’s perhaps one of the most fondly remembered games of the fourth-gen console era.

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The game was immensely hard and yet very popular with Western audiences, and it even spawned a couple of sequels on the SNES that did fairly well on their own, too. It has a certain innate charm to it that’s reminiscent of what you’d feel while playing a game like Banjo Kazooie on the N64.

3 Super Metroid

The Box Art for Super Metroid

Metroid was an immensely popular franchise for the Western market at the time, and rightfully so. The game amped up and cohesively tied a bow around everything the prior games tried to build up with the story, the power-ups, and the characters.

The controls were tight, and your movement was exact for the most part. The unique bosses felt both challenging and engaging enough to warrant several retries in order to beat them. It’s still one of the most popular games to speedrun as well.

2 Final Fantasy IV

final fantasy four airships flying

FFIV is one of the best JRPGs of all time and arguably the most iconic one of the franchise since it legitimately started the franchise’s trend towards writing captivating and immersive stories that are more nuanced in comparison to the average good vs. evil narratives that were pretty cliché at the time.

The music was stunning, the pixel art and universe-building were just as exceptional as well, and all of these things contributed heavily to a well-written narrative with a decent amount of twists and turns. The combat mechanics introduced in FFIII also contributed to a more solid experience.

1 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

In-game screenshot of Super Mario World 2 Yoshi’s Island

With a unique art style and a quirky twist to the Mario platforming formula, Yoshi’s Island was a welcome break for the franchise that featured the same charm and whimsy the series is known for. The controls were as solid as they got, and having to rescue baby Mario instead of dying from one hit made the game a bit more lenient, even if you had to repeat large segments if you failed and lost all of your life.

With a coloring book aesthetic, secrets to be found, and puzzles to be solved, this is one of the most popular titles in the SNES catalog.

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