A total of 1,757 titles were officially published for the Super Nintendo. Less than half (717 games) arrived to the United States and in PAL territories it didn’t go much better (521 games); being the Super Famicom from Japan and its 1.448 licensed titles the maximum beneficiary.
Logically, many of the games from USA and Europe never arrived to the country of the rising sun. And, on the other hand, there is a huge amount of titles whose genre, license theme or localization cost made it difficult to go beyond Japan. Especially if they were based on a series or brand that was very much Made in Japan. And yet there were systems and adapters that made it easier for very specific titles to reach the global market.
As a curiosity, 231 games were published in Japan for the Satellaview peripheral, which – like the Mega Drive SEGA Channel – allowed games and content to be downloaded directly to the Beast’s Brain. Therefore, making a selection of the 30 most outstanding titles (one for each year of the 16-bit nintendera) is a challenge that will leave too many games in the inkwell.
Between all we can expand the list through the comments. And although not all of them are here, here are 30 games that cemented the legacy of the SNES.
Developer: Quintet, Square Enix
Quintet successfully merged experiences as different as platform action, city builders and deities simulation, achieving one of the first surprises of the SNES.
Capcom’s version of the Disney animated classic may not have looked as good as its Mega Drive counterpart, but that doesn’t detract from its status as a true game.
Squaresoft gathered a real Dream Team (including Akira Toriyama himself) to shape one of the most loved and acclaimed JRPGS in history.
After numerous exploits fighting as Sir Arthur, Capcom took the superb spin-off saga Gargoyle’s Quest to the next level on the Nintendo desktop.
Donkey Kong Country
Rare had the opportunity to use one of Nintendo’s top icons and he took advantage of it masterfully: the three deliveries of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy for SNES are among the best platform games of the decade.
Developer: Nintendo, HAL Laboratory
Earthbound is one of the greatest jewels of the Super Nintendo: released in Japan as Mother 2: Giygas Strikes Back, this RPG may seem humble visually, but time has consolidated it as one of the most influential games ever released in the 16-bit.
Nintendo made the most of its mode 7 to shape a sensational futuristic racing game. A saga that deserves a return in style.
Final Fantasy VI
Published in the United States as Final Fantasy III, given the intermittent launch streak of Squaresoft’s JRPGs in the west, Terra Branford’s adventure was a farewell to the series for Nintendo systems. One of the best deliveries of the whole saga.
Using the same prerendered image technique as Donkey Kong Country, Rare pulled one of the wildest, most intense and fascinating fighting games ever released for the SNES out of his hat.
Kirby’s Dream Land 3
Developer: HAL Laboratory
The latest officially released Nintendo game for the Beast Brain is a simply exquisite platform. As much in the visual thing as in the playable thing, the third delivery of Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is of ten.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
For some, the best Super Nintendo game. For others, the best game of the whole generation: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was a return to the origins of the saga. And, at the same time, the foundation on which will sustain in the future this cult saga.
Mortal Kombat II
Developer: Midway Games, Acclaim
Although Mortal Kombat II is positioned among the best deliveries of the saga, the SNES version was a redemption against the original in every aspect.
Super Mario All-Stars
Nintendo relaunched the four installments of the Super Mario Bros. s saga (including the exclusive titles from the West and Japan) with a completely renewed look through a simply irresistible compilation.
Super Mario Kart
Riding the top stars of the Big N in go-karts and making them go through colorful levels seemed crazy in 1992. Today, that fun spin-off has established itself as one of the most successful series of Nintendo itself.
Starwing (Star Fox)
Developer: Nintendo, Argonaut Games
Shigeru Miyamoto was convinced that the SNES could play polygonal games, and Starwing was the fruit of that challenge. With ingenuity, good ideas and a SuperFX chip anything was possible in the Beast’s Brain.
Street Fighter II
Capcom’s version of their arcade super-success blew us all away: the World Warriors looked like a scandal and moved like arcade furniture. One of the top SNES console sellers.
TMNT IV: Turtles in Time
There was a time when Konami’s beat’em ups caused a furore in the arcades. And the one he made to measure for the Beast’s Brain (using its mode 7 for certain phases) based on the archaic Ninja Turtles was a dream come true.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Developer: Nintendo, Squaresoft
A winning combination: the reference in question of JRPGs dared to reimagine the universe of Super Mario Bros. making the maximum stars of Nintendo take part in turn-based battles. The result? Genius.
One of the best games in history. Nintendo knew to take advantage of all the technical potential of the SNES to finish giving to Super Metroid a degree of excellence to the height of its designs of levels and its legendary jugabilidad.
Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Developer: Sculptured Software, LucasArts
The Super Star Wars trilogy was much more than a free adaptation of the Star Wars movies: it was a videogame expansion of each and every one of the iconic scenes for the Super Nintendo.