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Greatest SNES games of all time


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We've done a Mega Drive list, so a SNES one is only fair right?

We're planning a top 25 for a future issue of the magazine, so I'd love to know what your favourite SNES games are. As always 10 points for your favourite, down to 1 for your least favourite. As always comments will appear in the mag.

Here are mine

Contra III 10

Super Castlevania IV 9

Axelay 8

Zelda: A Link To The Past 7

Super Metroid 6

Wildguns 5

Super Mario World 4

Actraiser 3

Super Mario Kart 2

F-Zero 1

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10. Zelda: A Link To The Past

9. Super Mario World
8. Final Fantasy VI

7. F-Zero

6. Super Tennis

5. Chrono Trigger

4. Super Metroid

3. Donkey Kong Country 2

2. UN Squadron/Area 88

1. Pilot Wings

So much goodness, yet so much left out. :( I could easily rattle off a top 25.

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10. Link to the Past

9. Secret of Mana

8. Super Mario World

7. Super Mario KArt

6. Super Metroid

5. Donkey Kong Country

4. Unirally

3. Illusion of Time

2. Yoshi's Island

1. International Superstar Soccer Deluxe

So many happy memories... :wub:

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1. Mario World

2. Mario Kart

3. Pilot Wings.

4. Star Fox

5. Streetfighter 2

6. Super Tennis.

7. Sunset Riders

8. Actraiser

9. Contra 3

10. Super Bomberman.

edit: I had to put Mario World at number 1 mainly due to not being able to afford any other games when buying the snes. To get a game that good chucked in with the console was amazing.

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1. Super Mario World

Some people will claim that Super Metroid's single player adventure was so atmospheric it's the best SNES game. Others will claim Super Mario Kart is worthy because of the countless hours it took from their childhood with friends around a TV. If you're like me and weened on 1990's Arcade racing games, F Zero will take the top spot purely on the stunning graphics and terrifying sensation of speed. You would be a fool if you think Zelda A Link to the Past is anything less than one of the best 2D adventure games...

Despite all of those classic games, nothing comes close to Super Mario World. It was the game everyone brought a SNES for and remains one of the finest 2D Platform games ever made. Boundless creativity and invention, pixel perfect level design, fiendish puzzles and power-ups that changed the dynamic of play.

Nintendo were re-writing the rulebook as they went. A genuine classic.

2. F Zero

3. Super Mario Kart

4. Zelda: A Link to the Past

5. Super Metroid

6. Yoshi's Island

7. Super Bomberman

8. Pilot Wings

9. Final Fantasy VI

10. Chrono Trigger

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I liked F1 Exhaust Heat 2. Its was a like F Zero but with race cars.

Also enjoyed Super Punch Out and Castlevania! :)

I think most of you have the right idea on the top 10. Most of these Nintendo games still hold up well when played today so thats a good sign for level and game design, plus the colour pallate on the SNES always brings a smile to a face.

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<p>This is an almost impossible list for me. With the MD I'd played far less games as I didn't own one, but with the SNES, I've been through so many. I've created a list from best to worst. Many of these I truly find difficult to actually place though and there are others that I'd probably want to place in this list as well, like DKC but I don't want the series invading the list so I've kept it to one of them.</p>

<p><br />

<strong>Zelda III</strong></p>

<p>Amazing in so many ways. I remember staying up all night at a friend's house playing it and taking forever to figure out that you needed to light a lamp to open up a door. These days It would probably be a bit more obvious, but I was new to this sort of thing then. When the dark world opened up, I couldn't believe the sheer depth of the game as a whole as I thought it was over after you initially fight in that pyramid thing in the centre of the map the first time. I only played it once though.</p>

<p><br />

<strong>Super Metroid</strong></p>

<p>This had really good design and did so well creating darker atmospheres. One of my favourite moments was entering the sunken ship early on when there was no power then finding the switch to set the machinery and robots moving. I also loved that moment where the brain thing turns an enemy to sand shortly before you get to the end. The music was also genious and so was the gradual increase in power ups. They were effective and unique and often included hidden passageways.</p>

<p> </p>

<p><strong>Super Mario World</strong></p>

<p>One of the earlier SNES games I played was the Allstars cart, and even though I really enjoyed Mario Bros 3 the most, it wasn't until I got to play Mario World not long later that I realised it surpassed my expectations. The world map and hidden levels make it memorable. Yoshi is in it and some of the powerups are really cool. The flying cape for example. So too was the music.</p>

<p><br />

<strong>Secret of Mana</strong></p>

<p>I returned to this more than once as I never quite "got it" at first, and couldn't understand why it got to a point where I could no longer dodge the second plant boss. It wasn't until a friend of mine started it some time later that I realised it was all about fighting to build up. Once I did that section I played it until the very end and loved it. Ironically, I never finishted the final dragon boss<strong>.</strong></p>

<p><br />

<strong>Secret of Evermoore</strong></p>

<p>Technically I prefer my memories of this over Mana, but because Mana was integral in bringing me into a new style of RPG which had me building stats, where as Zelda doesn't really do this, it changed the type of game it was all about. The atmosphere was great and I loved that you travelled with your dog to different worlds, experiencing completely different story arcs. The genious touch was how they changed the design of the dog depending on which world you visited. The final future zone was my favourite as he was designed with the body of a toaster which would flip up toast.</p>

<p><br />

<strong>Donkey Kong Country 1 and 3 (had to mention both)</strong></p>

<p>Rare came along and revolutionised the graphical stance in platforming games, especially on the SNES as I hadn't seen anything like this before. The first game was gorgeously design and I still think it looks great now, especially the snow levels where the snow gets dynamically more intense as you wander. Some of the music was really good, especially the underwater levels. I wanted to put the third one down though because they gave you more of an incentive to collect things and return to levels. I think it goes to 105% but I must have got it to about 103%. I've forgotten what you do exactly to gain the last could of percent but it wasn't down to collecting everything. It felt amazing meeting the bannana bird at the end knowing I'd collected everything. I never did get the chance to play DKC2, so I couldn't really say much about that one.</p>

<p><br />

<strong>Illusion of Time</strong></p>

<p>This was very linear, but I loved it. It felt like a real epic journey and made you realise how valuable health was to come by. This is because you couldn't buy it and merely had to collect quite literally a limited number throughout the game. The way Will could use his flute to attack and move things was cool, but more so was the ability to walk through a doorway into another dimention to change into a powerful warrior with a sword and fight. I was ill once when I went through it properly and stayed off school to play it. </p>

<p><br />

<strong>Super Castlevania IV</strong></p>

<p>The bosses, the atmosphere, the music, the graphics, the controls and the difficulty were all strong points with this game and it was also the first Castlevania game I ever got the chance to play. I loved the music and still have fond memories of many of the track. The graphics were really well done and some unexpected creative changes were added to some later levels to really keep it fresh. I found the last run of bosses at the end of the game hard as balls, like really fucking hard. I must have spent several hours trying to do them, but eventually got through it all. I also loved the control of the whip and how you can hold it in the air and move it in multiple directions.</p>

<p><br />


<p>Another really cool action based RPG that wasn't so much about building up as it was about pure action like zelda or illusion of time was about. Back in the SNES days, I didn't really play much in the sense of random battle RPG's, but loved these sorts of ones. I remember having to restart it twice, as I got stuck but lost the game file due to using my Wildcard's internal ram.</p>

<p><br />

<strong>Yoshi's Island</strong></p>

<p> </p>

<p>It was a few years after having played a mario game that I got the chance to check this out, and it also wasn't supported on my Super Wildcard either (FX Chip games never worked), so fortunately I was able to borrow it from a friend as he had it. The biggest impression this game made was through the totally off the wall graphical change. It was amazingly fresh and unlike anything on the SNES at all. It reminds me more of that sort of thing you get more frequently in this day and age in the indie scene for 2d games, but back then on the SNES it was incredible. The FX chip allowed for some really cool animating boss characters that made them look fluid and huge on screen without being too rigid and pixelated. I was initially disappointed that Mario was a baby, but this wore off when I got playing it. The biggest disappointment though for me was the lack of a big world like in Mario World. I finished all the levels and expected something really cool, but instead all I got were a few stars on the title screen flickering around the rotating island. Great game though.</p>

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In no order...

1. Metroid 3

2. Secret of Mana

3. Mortal Kombat 2

4. Castlevania 4

5. R-Type 3

6. Street Fighter 2 turbo

7. Killer instinct

8. Legend of Zelda

9. Parodious

10. Super Aleste

Got to mention that there were a load of games I missed out on back in the day which I hope to play through that would likely have been on this...

Final Fantasy III

Illusion of Gaia

Illusion of time

Secret of Evermore

Chrono Trigger


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Pretty hard to pick out just ten, the SNES has maybe the greatest game library of any console ever.

Super Metroid and Zelda ALTTP are my two favorite games of all time, both total masterpieces. Mario World, Starwing, Mario Kart, Super Aleste (or Space Megaforce if you had the NTSC version :) ) Secret of Mana, Donkey Kong Country 2... the list goes on and on :)

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1. Street Fighter II Turbo

2. Super Mario World

3. Donkey Kong Country

4. Donkey Kong Country 2

5. Chrono Trigger

6. Super Bomberman

7. Super Mario Kart

8. NBA Jam

9. Killer Instinct

10. ISS Deluxe

Great times with that machine, even though we only ever owned 3 games for our original machine (DKC 2, Mario All Stars and, embarassingly, Rise of the Robots), but we were constantly in the rental stores playing tons of others. Street Fighter tops the list though - the reason we got the machine in the first place, and renting it every weekend must have cost my parents a fortune.

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10. Zelda A Link to the Past

9. Super Mario World

8. Super Metroid

7. Zombies Ate my Neighbours

6. Super Mario Kart

5. Pilotwings

4. Streetfighter 2 Turbo

3. Stunt Race FX

2. Striker

1. Donkey Kong Country

The only game on that list that I play now and think "this is shocking" is Stunt Race FX. At the time however, it was 60fps of butter-smooth voodoo. Well, that's how I remember it anyway!

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Link to the past 10.

Mario world 9

Axelay 8

Cybernator 7

Super tennis 6

F zero 5

Probotector/contra III 4

SF2 Turbo 3

Star wing 2

Tiny toons buster busts loose 1

Special mentions to super pop n twinbee, disneys Aladdin and pretty much all the rest of Konami's output 1992 to 1996

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I just bought the Super Nintendo Classic Controller for the Wii, you know the one that was given away with Club Nintendo for a ridiculous number of points. Paid 35 quid for it..

It's fantastic playing the SNES emulator on the Wii with it, Street Fighter II feels just right - even though it's not the best controller for it.

Yoshi's Island has to be the best platformer for it, I think it doesn't always end up as high as it should as most people were playing DKC. At the time it looked absolutely stunning. And the intro music with the music box... followed by the main theme... brilliant

And with the recent Killer Instinct announcement, I thought I'd go back to the SNES and N64 versions. Shite. Both of them.

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My List:

10. Zelda: A Link to the Past

9. Super Mario World

8. F-Zero

7. Pilotwings

6. Actraiser

5. Super Mario Kart

4. Donkey Kong Country

A Link to the Past is always my top game, There is just so much to love, the map, the music, the quests... It marks the first time I recall loosing hours to a game, put it on at 10pm for a quick go, looked at the clock and it was 3am. Lost in Hyrule but utterly enthralled.

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I just bought the Super Nintendo Classic Controller for the Wii, you know the one that was given away with Club Nintendo for a ridiculous number of points. Paid 35 quid for it..

It's fantastic playing the SNES emulator on the Wii with it, Street Fighter II feels just right - even though it's not the best controller for it.

Yoshi's Island has to be the best platformer for it, I think it doesn't always end up as high as it should as most people were playing DKC. At the time it looked absolutely stunning. And the intro music with the music box... followed by the main theme... brilliant

And with the recent Killer Instinct announcement, I thought I'd go back to the SNES and N64 versions. Shite. Both of them.

Aww. Come on now-- the N64 version really is pretty good. The control is good and the game has some of the most memorable music of any fighting game outside of Street Fighter 2, the soundtrack fucking rocks--you Brits should be proud. I will probably get lynched for saying this, but I MUCH preferred/prefer it over the Tekken games, which controls like shite IMO. Its no Street Fighter 2, but to me its the best 2D fighter outside the Capcom games..

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10 - Super Mario Kart

9 - F-Zero

8 - Super Castlevania IV

7 - Super Metroid

6 - Secret of Mana

5 - Zelda: A Link To the Past

4 - Jaki Crush

3 - International Superstar Soccer Deluxe

2 - NBA Jam TE

1 - Rock 'N Roll Racing

I'll start by saying that every game on this list (except maybe ISSD and NBA Jam, though they both have a couple of great tracks too) has an absolutely amazing soundtrack that I will happily listen to outside of the game. I still play SMK most times I meet up with my mates and it's still brilliant. Timeless soundtrack too. F-Zero was the first SNES game I ever played (on a demo pod in Debenhams) and I still play it every time the SNES is out. Brilliant music and graphics. The first half of Castlevania IV is sublime, even now. It gets a bit of a slog towards the end but it's still great. Another brilliant soundtrack too. Super Metroid would have been above CV if I had played it more recently, but I only have very fond memories of it. Secret of Mana I adored as boy, but I didn't really get into on a recent replay. Zelda is a brilliant game but I only really enjoy the light world. Jaki Crush is one of my favourite Pinball games and something I regularly go back to. The music is absolutely amazing. ISSD was one of my most played games in my youth. It's actually still quite fun to play too. NBA Jam was a great 2 player game back in the day and is also still fun. Rock 'N Roll Racing was another multiplayer favourite from my youth. As you can tell, I'm not big into platform games, as good as SMW and Yoshi's Island both are.

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10 - Final Fantasy VI

As a boy, when I played Final Fantasy VI for the first time, it really felt like computer games could offer something that books could not. That this was the natural evolution of story-telling. That books had been suddenly made obsolete. I was wrong, of course, but I was so enamoured by FFVI's tale, that I really thought it was a new kind of experience. Like a good book, I'll pick it up every other year or so, revisiting scenes I would never have imagined in a computer game, like the Opera House and the imperial banquet. Successfully invoking a whole range of emotions, the story and its cast are the main reason why I feel this is not only one of the best games on the SNES, but one of the best of all time.

9 - Super Metroid

8 - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

7 - Yoshi's Island

6 - Secret of Mana

5 - Chrono Trigger

4 - Super Mario World

3 - Super Mario Kart

2 - Kirby's Fun Pak

1 - Donkey Kong Country

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These are the 10 games that i loved the most:

Super Mario World

Final Fantasy 3

Final Fantasy 2

Street Fighter 2

Mario Kart

Smash Tv


Final Fight

Super Tennis

Sim City

I would have included lttp, f-zero, super soccer, top racer, contra 3, actraiser, axelay, castlevania IV, starfox and mystical ninja if given another 10! oh and smash tv :)

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I very rarely venture into the retro folder, but I had just turned 13 when the SNES came out. Didn't own one during it's pomp (I had a Megadrive) but most of my schoolmates had one and I lost countless hours to the machine. Anyway:

01] Super Mario Kart

02] Street Fighter II

03] Unirally

04] Zombies ate my neighbours

05] Micro Machines 2

06] Super Bomberman

07] Super Mario World

08] Sim City

09] Smash TV

10] Desert Strike

My list is definitely skewed towards multiplayer and pass the controller type games because of the way I played games back then. Didn't really have the opportunity to play epic single player campaigns until much later on.

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In a rough order, best first:

Super Mario World

Super Mario Kart

Street Fighter II/ SFII Turbo

Secret Of Mana


Mario All Stars

Sim City

Zelda III

Super Probotector

Mortal Kombat II

Super Star Wars just misses out on that list. I would have loved to include some other top games, like Super Metroid or Castlevania IV, but although I always wanted them I never played them.

Oh, and the reason Zelda III is so low down is that I got up to the last couple of dungeons, then stupidly stuck the cart in the back of my convertor as a key cart.

Never do this with a battery backed game.

My save file got wiped, and I never played the game again. And that was 20 years ago.

I've spent the last few weeks rocking my SNES, and appear to have completely abandoned my Xbox 360 and PS3. Rather telling, methinks.

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So many excellent games built specifically for the SFC/SNES, I had to choose from those.

10] R-Type 3

Possibly my favourite hori shooter series on balance, and this probably my third choice (*if you care and fancy a diversion, see my spoiler for my list of favourite R-Type games in order!)

Uses the system’s capabilities perfectly to produce an unusual but highly entertaining entry into the canon.

09] Contra III [super Probotector]

There are better run ‘n’ gun games out there, perhaps, but the list is short. The SFC game is probably the best in the Contra series and, I reckon, indisputably the best in two-player mode. Perfectly balanced for you and a pal.

08] Super Tennis

Simply an incredibly fun game of Tennis, with charming little sprites and a real sense of variety and feel to the surfaces. The Sensi Soccer of Tennis.

07] Cybernator [Assault Suits Valken]

Stompy robots on the small screen! A great feeling of weight and gravity in this one; non-stop mech(a) action all the way.

06] Pilotwings

Totally unique and an amazing use of mode 7. It straddles the line between sim and arcade in a way few aeronautical titles manage to this day, and for that reason I even prefer it to the N64 sequel.

05] UN Squadron

One of the rare console releases that supersedes the arcade original, this is more evenly balanced than the coin-gobbler and sports a neat upgrade system that that’s rarely attempted in hori shooters (you can buy not just upgraded weapons, but upgraded ships).

04] Castlevania IV

Simply the best ‘traditional’ (i.e. not ‘Metroidvania’) CV game available - I personally think the quality of Rondo of Blood was inflated in the collective mind, as it was comparatively unavailable for years. This is yet another SFC game with a beautiful use of Mode 7. Atmospheric, wonderfully scored and the action’s on a par with almost any action platformer you can mention. Except, of course...

03] Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts

...which is, for my money, the greatest action platformer of all time. Again, re-engineered to exploit the SFC’s capabilities it’s incredibly tough but well-balanced, and is as gorgeous to look at it is exciting to play. Arthur resplendent in green and gold is one of most cherished gaming memories.

02] Super Mario World

There’s little more that can be said about this game. Everything about it is sheer platforming perfection.

01] Yoshi’s Island

It’s difficult to say why I chose this as my #1 over SMW. It may be that I’ve played the former too many times; it may be that the sprites and backdrops to SMW are so familiar after 20 years of sequels; it may be that it was such a successful template that Nintendo have tried chasing it too closely ever since (with the exception of this little beauty, of course). Whatever the reason, this was Ninty refusing to sit on their laurels and pushing their own boundaries in new and exciting ways. The colouring-book visuals, sprite design and sheer loveliness of the world completely compliments the quirky gameplay (which is like a mashup between Mario and a run ‘n’ gun game, almost). A game that, to this day, everyone deserves to try for themselves, and fall in love with.

Favourite R-Type games!

10] R-Type Tactics [PSP]

09] R-Type [Master System]

08] R-Type [PC Engine]

07] R-Type II [Arcade]

06] R-Type Final [PS2]

05] R-Types [PSOne]

04] R-Type Leo [Arcade]

03] R-Type III: The Third Lightning [sFC]

02] R-Type [Arcade]

01] R-Type Delta [PSOne]

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