The Best Super Nintendo Games To Play, Hidden SNES Gems
What kinds of Super Nintendo games do you like most? Undoubtedly, you already have a few 16-bit game genres in mind.
Of course, there aren’t really many genres to choose from. There are racing, fighting, shooting, puzzle-solving, and adventure games, plus RPGs. That’s pretty much it.
Due to its limited capabilities, the SNES could only handle a small list of game genres, right? Well, actually, a lot of game creators have put that theory to the test, creating some of the best Super Nintendo games, ever made.
We’ve listed some of our favorites in this guide. Read on to learn all about them.
1. Star Fox
Today, hearing that the latest Star Fox game uses 3D polygon graphics is not impressive. But in 1993, it was mind-blowing.
In those days, there were no 3D polygonal console games—not one, ever—until Star Fox cameout. We had played 3D games in the arcade, like Star Wars. But now, we could play 3D games at home.
Naturally, being one-of-a-kind, the gameplay is also unlike anything we were used to at the time. Surprisingly, the gameplay worked very well with the SNES D-pad controller as opposed to an arcade joystick. Not to mention, the game’s engaging, very addictive, and an absolute blast to play.
2. Pac Man 2: The New Adventures
Unlike Star Fox, Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures isn’t just unique for a SNES game. It’s unique, period.
Most notably, it’s nothing like the original maze game we all know and love. Instead, it’s basically a point-and-click adventure.
But rather than pointing and clicking, you’re firing a slingshot at various objects/characters to manipulate the course of events. Advancing in the game requires both puzzle-solving skills and good aim.
Even more bizarre, the game depends heavily on Pac-Man’s actions, despite the fact that you have no direct control of him whatsoever. Instead, Pac-Man wanders around on his own, doing/going whatever he decides to until you intervene.
So, it’s not enough to figure out the puzzles yourself. You must make Pac-Man solve them in order to advance.
Also, Pac-Man is very emotionally reactive. Sometimes, he won’t discover the puzzle’s solution unless he’s happy, mad, sad, etc.
As for whether the game is enjoyable, we’ll say this. Using a slingshot as an emotional cattle prod is just as frustrating/sadistically satisfying as it sounds.
Simply put, Uniracers is a game about sentient unicycles performing stunts while racing through side-scrolling levels. There’s also a rockin’ heavy metal soundtrack.
If that sounds like the most ridiculous game concept you’ve ever heard, you’re totally right. Yet, somehow, it works.
And why shouldn’t it? The company that created Uniracers later became Rock star North, the developers of the extremely successful Grand Theft Auto series.
Frankly, it’s the side-scrolling, stunt-performing, gravity-defying elements that make this game so uniquely entertaining. Due to the side-scrolling view (as opposed to top-down or behind the car), it’s very different from most racing games. Gameplay-wise, it’s like racing Sonic the Hedgehog in a world with no enemies and no stopping.
However, winning the race depends largely on your ability to perform stunts while airborne. Each stunt you perform gives your Uniracer a boost of speed. You’ll need these boosts to outrun your opponent.
4. Jurassic Park
In August 1993, the Sega Genesis released a Jurassic Park game that was exactly what we expected. Namely, it was a bland, forgettable, side-scrolling adventure (with dinosaurs) that took 30 minutes to complete.
Conversely, the SNES version of Jurassic Park is something that no one would expect, ever. It’s an overhead-view adventure/survival horror/first-person shooter game.
To clarify, most of the game takes place in huge, open areas with maze-like pathways. There are no levels, only areas and objectives. You have to do a lot of exploring to advance because the game offers very scant guidance as to what your objectives are.
Additionally, there are buildings you can enter and explore. When you enter a building, the game switches to a very Doom-like first-person shooter mode.
Wherever you go, you must avoid deadly dinosaurs. Some you can kill, others you can only outrun. If you do kill a dinosaur, they stay dead and never respawn.
Obviously, your main objective is to escape the dino-infested island. But, besides this, you must also stop the clever raptors from commandeering a ship to the mainland—seriously.
Altogether, it’s fun and fascinating. If you want to play it, though, be prepared for the long haul. The game takes multiple hours to beat, and there are no continues, passwords, or save features.
5. Kirby Super Star
Frankly, almost every game in the Kirby series pushes the boundaries of originality. The pink puffball himself has been an iconic game mascot from the beginning. And, in each new entry, he gains awesome new abilities.
This game, however, takes what’s best about Kirby and multiplies it by 8. You see, there are a total of 8 games included in Kirby Super Star (plus 1 unlockable bonus game). That offers plenty of challenges to keep you hundred-percenters busy.
Short But Sweet
To be fair, the games are pretty short, especially the multiplayer minigames. For example, a “long” round of “Samurai Kirby” or “Megaton Punch” lasts less than 5 minutes.
On the other hand, these competitive minigames are excellent for retro gaming parties. Besides, the full list of games offers something for every gamer.
There are 4 traditional, side-scrolling platformers, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. Each has a sufficient storyline of its own, expressed in beautiful, action-packed cutscenes. (At least, according to 16-bit standards, the scenes are top-notch.)
These mini-platformers also include plenty of (optional) hidden secrets to find. Even better, they feature one of the best two-player co-op modes we’ve ever seen.
Furthermore, if finding hidden secrets is your favorite part, there's a game for that, too. “The Great Mine Offensive” is a search for 60 hidden treasure chests.
Each treasure is a delight for retro gaming geeks. Most are references to other Nintendo games or Japanese folklore.
Additionally, there’s a one-player side-scrolling race game, “Gourmet Race.” Outrun King Dedede, then compete against your best lap times. The final game is a “Battle Arena” wherein you must defeat every boss in the game with only one life and limited health powerups.
Today, video games offer enormous playable areas to explore. Some that are as big as real-life cities. They also have super-realistic graphics, orchestrated soundtracks, and convincing performances by talented actors.
And yet, millions of people still play 30-year-old Super Nintendo, games. Which offer none of these things. Why?
If there’s one system that proves retro gaming can be better than modern gaming, it’s the Super Nintendo. In the early 1990s, it impressed gamers the same way that modern games do today.
SNES games had better graphics, motion effects, and sound quality. Then any home console system before it. Because of this, game programmers had the freedom to create new types of games.
Many of these games list below are some of the best Super Nintendo games, ever made. The Super Nintendo, selling tens of millions of copies in the system’s 13-year lifespan. You’ll find 5 of these classic gaming gems listed below. Read on to learn more.
6. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
From its title alone, you can tell that Super Mario RPG is a unique treat for all. For example, Super Mario fans get to enjoy this beloved franchise as an RPG. And it has all the humor and heart you’d expect from any game in the series.
At the same time, RPG fans get to enjoy their favorite genre as part of the Super Mario universe.This game is also a good entry-level RPG for those who aren’t accustomed to the genre. The turn-based battle system, and other RPG elements. Are entertaining enough without being overly complicated.
Old Favorites, New Innovations
The main plot of the game is the familiar trope of Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach. From there, we’re introduced to a new villain and loads of other unique characters.
Another interesting quirk is the diagonal perspective through which we view the characters. Which gives the illusion of 3-dimensional graphics. Which sets the game apart from previous Mario games. The verdict: the game is as cool as it sounds.
7. Earthworm Jim
It’s not uncommon for video games to have a sense of humor. But, in all video game history, very few of them are laugh-out-loud funny. Earthworm Jim breaks through this glass ceiling. Delivering legendary comedy that’ll keep you chuckling for, well, decades.
Every minute detail included in this game is funny. The game is chock-full of random humor, running gags, and tongue-in-cheek references.
You play as Jim, a mutated earthworm in a humanoid, mechanized super-suit. The bosses you fight include goldfish, boogers, and a professor who has a monkey for a head.
The artwork is cartoony to the point where it resembles hand-drawn sketches. The animations are really smooth.
The difficulty and the levels are well-designed. Though, you’ll be enjoying yourself too much to care about such mundane details. Even better, the second Earthworm Jim game is twice as awesome as the first in every way.
8. Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Another hilarious SNES classic is Zombies Ate My Neighbors. It’s a on-point parody for fans of classic horror movies.
You get to arm your characters with makeshift anti-zombie gear. Like weed whackers and holy water squirt guns. Aside from zombies, there are aliens, and masked killers. That have chainsaws, and dozens of other cliche horror references.
Though, these campy villains aren’t downgraded to the wimpy enemies you’d find in most games. The difficulty level in this game is very high—which is appropriate, when you think about it. Keeping your character alive is more like surviving a horror movie than playing a game.
But survival isn’t your only problem. (Remember the title of the game?) You also need to save your helpless neighbors. From being gruesomely slaughtered by monsters.
Twice as Nice
In summary, it’s gruesome, campy, quirky, nostalgic, very hard, and absolutely excellent. But we left out the best part.
You can invite a friend over for two, two, two times the fun! (That is, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a two-player game.)
8. Top Gear 3000
Many classic gamers remember Top Gear as a series of so-so racing games. Which was featured on many gaming platforms. There’s one awesome exception that stands high above all other Top Gear games: Top Gear 3000.
While the other Top Gear games take place on present-day Earth. This one spans several alien galaxies in the distant future. While the level backgrounds aren’t super-detailed. It’s still fun to race through 47 unique, alien landscapes.
A password feature allows you to save your progress. It’s a good thing, too, because this game is actually quite long.
An Epic, Interplanetary Race
After each race, your car gets beamed aboard the mothership. Which then blasts off out of the atmosphere. You can skip this if you want, but it’s cool to watch.
The soundtrack is excellent and sets the tone for a futuristic space race. It’s certain to strike a nostalgic chord each time you revisit the game.
Your vehicle has a fuel meter and an armor/damage meter. Both the fuel & armor can get replenished when you drive over the red (fuel) or blue (armor) strips.
If you run out of gas, you can still coast for a while. But you’ll slow almost to a stop if you hit anything. Also, if your car takes heavy damage. Your armor can get depleted, which will hinder your acceleration.
How It Compares to Other 16-Bit Racers.
Top Gear 3000 combines the best features from the most popular racing games of the era. Then, it improves upon them.
For instance, the “futuristic space race” concept and the damage meter, are both borrowed from 1990’s F-Zero. By comparison, though, Top Gear 3000. Has better-sounding music (higher sound quality, at least)
It also features () better graphics, including hills and valleys. As opposed to the completely flat world of F-Zero. F-Zero is a single-player game, whereas Top Gear 3000 allows split-screen racing for up to 4 players.
Next, the game’s fuel gauge, speed boosts, and other useable items. Are reminiscent of earlier Top GearRoad Blasters. But instead of collecting power ups on the road, you collect money. You also earn money by winning races and obtaining “Secret Bonuses.”
After each race, you can spend your winnings. To upgrade your engine, gearbox, tires, speed boost, or armor. You can also get the optional Jump or Warp items.
Upgrading is by far the best feature of the game. You actually have to be very strategic with your purchases or else you’ll start losing races.
Then, you won’t be able to afford the upgrades you need to match the other vehicles. If you fall too far behind, you’ll have to start over from the beginning, or from an earlier password, at least.
Get These Unique SNES Games
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the best SNES games. But, more than that, we hope you get the chance to enjoy the games themselves. Make sure to browse our of store for more SNES goodness.