While the NES Classic Edition came with 30 games, the just-announced SNES Classic Edition comes with “just” 21 games to choose from. Despite a wide selection of classic games — a steal at just $80, no matter how you slice it — both the staff at Polygon as well as the rest of the planet have opinions on what’s “missing” from this offering.
So, in what can only be described as a futile exercise designed to wring regret out of what is otherwise a seemingly excellent product, we’ve catalogued the nine games we’d most like to see on the SNES Classic Edition. In doing so, we imagine an alternate timeline, what might have been had Nintendo saw fit to match the number of games in its previous mini console. (Also, in this timeline, the NES Classic is still available. There’s so many of them here!)
Before we get started, here’s a list of all the games that are coming to the SNES Classic Edition, to refresh your memory. Look at all these great games!
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy III
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox 2
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
While I have my personal pick for the game I’d love to see even though it’s totally unrealistic (Secret of Evermore!), and I’m sure you have your own unloved classic, here are the nine games whose absence legitimately impacts the value and authenticity of the Super Nintendo experience. Let’s go in alphabetical order, starting with:
This side-scrolling action game slash city-building simulation is remembered as much for that unique genre mashup as it is for its legendary score by Yuzo Koshiro, whose talents would later be showcased in the Streets of Rage series. While ActRaiser is hardly a household name, it remains a quintessential Super Nintendo title, and one of the titles you told us was most absent on Nintendo’s new mini console.
Far and away, the name we heard most often — a chorus of voices, united in their appeal — is Chrono Trigger. The 1995 Squaresoft classic has been released on the PlayStation (under the banner of Final Fantasy Chronicles), on the Nintendo DS and yet it’s still not enough to sate the demands for its inclusion on every possible platform possible. Chrono Trigger is often remembered as the pinnacle of Square’s 16-bit RPG efforts ... while Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, which is included with the SNES Classic Edition, is simply remembered as a very good RPG with Mario characters in it. Can we trade?
Final Fantasy II
With Final Fantasy 3 (ie: Final Fantasy 6, in Japan) making an appearance on the SNES Classic, and the first Final Fantasy game appearing on last year’s NES Classic Edition, it’s double disappointing to not get the opportunity to complete that (U.S.) experience on the SNES Classic with Final Fantasy 2 (ie: Final Fantasy 4 in Japan). Final Fantasy 2 shared the Chronicles release with Chrono Trigger, above. It also enjoyed a 3D remake on Nintendo DS called, simply, Final Fantasy IV. And while it’s not nearly as beloved as Final Fantasy 3, it nevertheless deserves a spot here.
Yes, we know, Mario Paint came with a special mouse so how could they possibly include it in the SNES Classic Edition? Short of offering a standalone mouse for this mini console — hardly a viable solution — it does suggest that a USB port for the controllers would’ve solved another issue. Alas, the magic of making your own animations and music and recording them to a VHS cassette remains lost to time.
This is honestly a bit of a surprise. One of the Super Nintendo’s original launch titles, Pilotwings wowed audiences upon its release, showing off the console’s 3D-ish Mode 7 graphics. Its sequel, Pilotwings 64, was one of only two launch titles for the Nintendo 64. Alas, it won’t be a launch title for the SNES Classic Edition, no matter how much you say you want it.
This port — actually developed and published by Nintendo itself — of the hugely popular computer game remains one of the Super Nintendo’s most iconic games, despite being a port. Maybe it was the Nintendo-specific touches, like the Mario statue or Bowser attacking your city, or maybe it was the literally billions of hours we spent playing this as kids. Sorry, homework.
Sure, the SNES Classic Edition won’t support the Multitap and its 4-player Battle Mode ... but 2-player Battle Mode would work just fine. Super Bomberman remains one of the Super Nintendo’s best multiplayer efforts, and with two controllers standard in the box, it’s a shame this classic isn’t making an appearance.
There are a lot of sports games y’all want to see on the SNES Classic. Unfortunately, licensing is a bear so the clear winner on this front — Super Tecmo Bowl — is out, thanks to the inclusion of official NFL teams. While there are plenty of capable, license-free sports titles to choose from (Samit’s vote is for Super Baseball 2020!), Super Tennis is an easy to play tennis simulator that, notably, is a great two-player game.
A Tetris game in name only, Tetris Attack is actually the first game in the Puzzle League series. It’s also an excellent puzzle game and — noticing a pattern, yet? — an amazing two-player game. Head-to-head puzzle game shenanigans is what Tetris Attack was all about, and we’ll miss having the opportunity to relive the “fun” and friendly violence of this Super Nintendo classic.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Technically, this would be a tenth addition to the list ... except, we’re proposing Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest in lieu of the included Donkey Kong Country. An even trade! While the original DKC was a revelation upon its release — wow, 3D-modeled graphics! — its sequel improved upon that foundation in almost every way. While it lacked the novelty of the original, it improved upon its technological conceit with more detailed models, better animation and a more colorful palette.
And those are our picks for nine extra games. What are your nine? (Please feel free to include Secret of Evermore in your picks).