Eurogamer is reporting that Nintendo has a plug-and-play Super Nintendo in the works. Much like the discontinued NES Classic Edition, the supposed mini SNES would hit shelves this holiday and come with several of the console’s games available right on the hardware.
We’d hypothesized that an incoming SNES Classic Edition might be why Nintendo chose to end production on the rare NES Classic Edition, although that reason seemed unlikely. If there is a $60 SNES machine coming to stores later this year, though, we’d be pumped to replay the system’s classic games without switching out cartridges. Of the SNES catalog, these 10 games rank highest on our list of titles we hope come packed in.
Enix published this city-building sim in 1990. It wasn’t the company’s take on fellow Super Nintendo title SimCity, though; ActRaiser is a sidescroller where the player is God (or “The Master” in the English release) fighting against Satan (aka “The Evil One”). The Master animates both a statue and an angel to do his bidding, which involves both progressing civilization and taking on the monsters that threaten his work. It’s one of the strangest, most unique premises in all of gaming. Although it spawned a sequel, ActRaiser has largely fallen off the map, making the SNES Classic Edition a good opportunity to rekindle interest.
Squaresoft churned out so many masterpieces during the Super Nintendo era, but this may be the one fans point to most often as the developer’s best. Combining art from Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama and a plot that literally spans time and space, Chrono Trigger is a role-playing game unlike almost any other. It innovated on its cousin Final Fantasy’s battle systems and other familiar conventions, introduced the concept of New Game Plus to the RPG genre and gave players an unprecedented amount of freedom, due to its many endings. Chrono Trigger is a non-negotiable when it comes to anything SNES-related.
The fate of the Mother series on Western shores is a tragic tale. After skipping the original Mother for NES, Nintendo released its sequel, EarthBound, on SNES. The game had a rhythmic battle system, goofy sense of humor and contemporary setting, much unlike its fellow console RPGs at the time. For those who played it both at launch and the years since, it was an instantly memorable experience. Too bad sales were poor and we never got its fantastic Game Boy Advance sequel, Mother 3. EarthBound on the SNES Classic Edition would be a wonderful way to at least put the adventures of Ness and his friends back into players’ hands.
Final Fantasy 6
Although Final Fantasy 4 (known to stateside Super Nintendo owners back in the day as Final Fantasy 2) is also a fantastic choice, we have to go with Final Fantasy 6 (or Final Fantasy 3, depending on when you first played it). It’s the game that, by most accounts, represents the Squaresoft franchise at its finest. The characters are memorable. The music is unforgettable. Like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6 gave players a different kind of setting and more agency than any Final Fantasy game before it. We haven’t seen a proper re-release of the original Final Fantasy 6 since it came to Game Boy Advance — we don’t talk about that mobile port — so having it on a mini SNES would be a dream.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of the Zelda adventures any fan has to play, and it’s the only one that came to Super Nintendo. It inspired 2013’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on Nintendo 3DS, so newcomers deserve a chance to play the original. There are parallel worlds, the first appearance of the Master Sword and a ton of secrets to explore across a beautiful overworld. This game’s a must.
Super Mario Kart
Go-karting is the most entertaining of Mario’s many side gigs, as the Mario Kart series has proven time and time again. Super Mario Kart is where it all started, so it merits inclusion on that alone. While we have plenty of more advanced Mario Kart options available on every subsequent Nintendo system, the original game still holds up. Here’s hoping Nintendo would also sell Super Nintendo controllers separately alongside an SNES Classic Edition so that we could get our multiplayer racing on.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
This is a fantastic collaboration between Squaresoft, then in its prime, and Nintendo. Super Mario RPG has the sense of humor of games like EarthBound and Final Fantasy 6 with a battle system that went on to inspire that of the Paper Mario games. Mario’s first dip into the RPG genre is brilliant, a lot of fun and an instant classic. (We’re still a little salty that Geno, one of the game’s original characters, has yet to join the Smash Bros. roster.)
Super Mario World
Pivoting from the Super Mario Bros. games, Nintendo released Super Mario World as an SNES launch title. It’s responsible for a lot of the Mario hallmarks, including the birth of Yoshi, the friendly green dinosaur. That alone makes this worth replaying, as Yoshi helped to switch up the classic Mario gameplay in a fresh and fun way. Super Mario World stands among its Mario Bros. predecessors as one of gaming’s most important, evergreen titles.
Nintendo’s dealt Metroid a bad hand in recent years, which is a shame. Nearly all of the series’ games stand among the all-time greats, and Super Metroid is perhaps the best of all of Samus Aran’s adventures. A poor seller in Japan, Super Metroid made waves upon its North American release. Samus explores a maze of areas on her quest to get a baby Metroid back from the space pirate Ridley, a terrifying monster that would scare the pants off anyone else. But not Samus, who maintained her calm through Super Metroid’s terrifying, ominous world. This is an action game not to be missed, especially by burgeoning speedrunners.
Street Fighter 2
There’s a revamp of this classic fighting game headed to Nintendo Switch, but we’d be remiss to exclude the original. Street Fighter 2 came from the arcades to revolutionize console fighting games as we knew them. Capcom refined and perfected the Street Fighter formula more fun, as well as expanding the number of characters available. This game works both in single- and multiplayer modes, making it an easy and ideal choice for a SNES Classic Edition.