Top 10 SNES Games

There are many masterpieces among modern games, but numerous projects were created for money to please casual gamers. The old games were developed under a completely different scheme, and the developers were not afraid to make these games difficult and to challenge the player without losing their charm and soulfulness. The SNES games we’ll tell you about are prime examples of this.

10th place: ActRaiser

The protagonist of the story is the god-like Master, and all the events in this game are described on his behalf. One day, the Master was forced to confront Tanzra, the evil demon, and his six lieutenants. But the Master was defeated and retreated to the sky palace, where he fell into a deep sleep because of his wounds. Meanwhile, the despotic Tanzra has divided the earth into six regions and set his six henchmen to rule them. Evil has begun to spread among humanity, and monsters have inhabited the entire world. After hundreds of years, the Master finally awoke without his former mighty power, as faith among the people waned. Now he and his angelic assistant will have to recreate civilization from scratch.

The player, playing the role of the god-like Master, is engaged in the development of human civilization in a world filled with monsters. The gameplay takes place in two different modes: strategic and arcade. The first mode is a classic game simulator: the screen displays a map of an unpopulated area, and you need to grow a large, prosperous city from the first two people. The Master himself is out of sight, and navigating the map and controlling the situation is done by an angelic assistant: he flies around, fights emerging monsters, points out places where construction should begin, etc.

9th place: Star Fox

The game is set in Lylat, a planetary system in the fictional Star Fox universe, populated by anthropomorphic animals, such as foxes, rabbits, frogs, and others. There are five planets in this system:

  • Corneria, a quiet farming community without a developed defense system but surrounded by an asteroid belt, forming a natural defense;
  • Titania, an uninhabited planet covered with dense fog and full of natural resources;
  • Macbeth, a desert ravaged by geological cataclysms;
  • Fortuna, called the Planet of Dinosaurs, is inhabited by a multitude of wild creatures;
  • Venom: once a thriving and verdant world has become the base for the foundation of Andross’s army. 

The Star Fox team is a unit of elite mercenary pilots consisting of four members. Fox McCloud is the fox and leader of the group. Falco Lombardi, the falconer, is an exceptional pilot. Peppy Hare is the hare, a veteran of the team. Slippy Toad is the frog, the mechanic, and the youngest group member, who often gets into difficult situations.

The game is a Shoot them up in a 3D perspective. The player controls the Arwing ship through space while various enemies attack it. Different boosters are located throughout the level to assist the player. The player receives points at the end of each level based on how many enemies were destroyed. There is a boss the player must kill to complete the level and get to the next level.

8th place: Super Castlevania 4

The plot is similar to the first part of the game in the series. Armed with a generic whip called Vampire Killer, Simon Belmont must come to Count Dracula’s castle and kill the vampire lord. Although Super Castlevania IV is the remake of the first part, the game is quite different from the original. The capabilities of SNES allowed it to improve the quality of graphics and sound. The gameplay has also changed. Simon can now whip not only in front of himself but also up, down (only when jumping), and diagonally, as well as rotate the whip (you have to hold down the strike button and use the directional buttons) to repel enemy attacks. In addition, it’s now possible to hook the whip and swing to go over large chasms. You can also squat.

7th place: Secret of Mana

The game takes place in a fictional world after the end of a long war between human civilization and god-like creatures who used mana to control the Mana Fortress, a giant aerial combat ship. During the war, the legendary hero used the Sword of Mana to destroy the fortress and subdue the angry gods, resulting in peace and prosperity everywhere. In the present day, three young men, breaking the ban of the village elder, set out on a treasure hunt to a cave beneath a waterfall, where one of them falls into a lake and finds an old and rusty sword. Guided by a mysterious voice, he frees the stone and rescues the village from a sudden monster attack. The villagers, however, consider this event a lousy omen and decide to banish the young man. The hero embarks on a journey and meets an old knight who recognizes the Sword of Mana from the legends.

The secret of Mana is very similar to the Final Fantasy games but differs from the significantly changed combat system: the battles are not step-by-step but in real-time, like in The Legend of Zelda. An important innovation is the unique ring-shaped interface menu, stopping the process and allowing you to select options without switching between screens. The camera displays what is happening in the top view, and the player controls a group of characters, fights monsters, and performs various tasks.

6th place: Final Fantasy 3

The plot revolves around a group of young men sucked into a crystal of light. It gives them supernatural abilities and orders them to restore the world’s balance. Visually, Final Fantasy III is similar to the series’ previous games. At the same time, Final Fantasy III greatly expands the gameplay by introducing Jobs that can be changed during the game process. Another significant change in Final Fantasy III is the automatic target changing system. We should also mention that the background color of all game menus and windows has been changed from black to blue. Final Fantasy III also introduced unique character combat abilities like Summon, Throw, and Jump.

5th place: Earthbound

EarthBound is set in the ’90s. The protagonist of the game is a boy named Ness. The game begins when Ness wakes up from the rumble of a meteorite falling near his house. With his neighbor, he gets to where the meteorite fell and finds a tiny, intelligent insect called Buzz-Buzz. Buzz-Buzz is a traveler from the future, and he warns the heroes that the world is in danger as Giygas, the alien destroyer, threaten it. Buzz-Buzz senses that Ness has the right skills to defeat Giygas and tells him to embark on a journey to find eight sacred places and record the melody of each of these places on a magic artifact, the Sound Stone, and later play them as one tune.

The gameplay in EarthBound is similar to the Japanese traditional role-playing games: the player controls the squad of heroes traveling through a game world with cities, forests, caves, abandoned factories, and other unexplored places, interacting with non-playable characters and completing tasks. During the journey, the heroes have to fight various opponents and get experience points for defeating them.

4th place: Super Mario World

What chart would be complete without the living legend Mario, so beloved by gamers worldwide? In Super Mario World, the player controls a character (Mario or Luigi) in the third person. The game process is done by navigating through two screens: the world map and the game-level map. The world map shows the approximate parameters of the current game location, and there are several ways of its passing, leading from the beginning of the map to the final goal — the castle. The map’s routes are connected by illuminated icons, such as fortresses, the so-called Ghost house, etc. They allow the player to choose different ways of passing the level. The character gets access to the game level by moving to an icon or a location. 

Most of the game takes place in levels filled with obstacles and enemies, and the player is free to pass them in different ways. At the end of each world, there is a battle with a boss, one of the Koopalings. In the final game, the player must defeat the main antagonist, Bowser. Turtles, armadillos, and crocodiles are enemies along the way.

3rd place: Super Metroid

Super Metroid is an action-platformer set on the fictional planet Zebes, a large open world with areas connected by doors and elevators. The player controls Samus Aran, searching for a larval Metroid stolen by Space Pirates leader Ridley. Along the way, the player collects enhancements increasing Samus’ armor and weaponry and providing her with unique abilities. For example, Space Jump allows her to jump an unlimited number of times to cover great distances. These abilities help Samus access areas inaccessible before. 

The game introduces several new concepts. Among them is the ability to turn weapons and skills on and off in your inventory and the Moon Walk, named after the popular dance move of the same name, allowing Samus to stagger while firing or changing a weapon. The game also allows you to combine Samus’ weapon beams. In addition, Super Metroid has brought back the save system from Metroid II: Return of Samus, allowing the player to save and restart the game in any of the control points scattered around the map. The player can also save the game in Samus’ Gunship, fully replenishing her health and ammo.

2nd place: Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger gameplay is traditional for JRPGs, except for some innovations. The player controls a squad of heroes, exploring the game’s two-dimensional fictional world of various locations, such as forests, cities, and caves, where they interact with multiple characters, receive or give away different items, solve puzzles, and engage in battles with enemies. The player’s primary task, necessary for passing the game, is to perform a chain of related quests. Unlike most Western computer role-playing games, the player is limited with plot frames in exploring the world until the end of the game. The number of quests unconnected to the plot is limited. The story is told through dialogues and short scenes on the game engine.

1st place: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The protagonist of the game is the boy named Link, who is living with his uncle in a house south of Hyrule Castle at the beginning of the story. One evening Link receives a telepathic message from Princess Zelda, who asks for his help. Princess Zelda is imprisoned in the castle by Agahnim, an evil wizard who executed her father, King Hyrule, and seized control of the land. Agahnim plans to break the seal imposed centuries ago by the Seven Sages and free Ganon, Prince of Darkness. The wizard is aided by the king’s soldiers, controlled through magic.

The game introduced new elements that later became part of the recognizable style of The Legend of Zelda: multi-level dungeons and new types of equipment, such as the Hookshot or the Pegasus Boots. Moreover, a scalable map was introduced, allowing the player to navigate the world around them and making it easier to find critical characters and items. You have to search labyrinth maps by yourself, just like in the first games of the series, as well as the magic compasses indicating the location of the main items hidden in the dungeon.