The Best Super Nintendo Games of All Time

Welcome to the second part of our topic that takes us back in time, during which the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was the “it” gaming console. In the last article, we discussed about the Super NES Classic Edition, which is basically just a miniature version of the SNES, but now has an internal hard drive that stores the 21 games. And also, in the previous article, we listed down 19 of the best SNES games, which we have organized in different categories. The categories included casual, simulation, sports, and fighting games; and for this one, we will be including the RPG, action-adventure, and platform game categories. So without further ado, here are 27 more of the best SNES games ever made.

Role-Playing Game Category

Role-playing games, or shortened to RPG, is a video game genre that involves the players controlling every action of the character and placing more emphasis on the story-telling aspect. Also, in role-playing games, it always involves leveling up of characters that can be done by gaining experience from accomplishing tasks or defeating enemies. While this genre almost always involved battles that were either turn-based or real-time, there have also been RPGs that made the battle system optional allowing you to finish the entire game without battling an enemy. To make your gaming experience even better, it’s never too late to check out some of the best gaming accessories in 2017.

Breath of Fire II

snes games

Breath of Fire II is a role-playing game both developed and published by Capcom, and was released in 1994, 1995, and 1996 in Japan, North America, and Europe, respectively. This game is the second installment to the Breath of Fire video game series and the direct sequel to 1993’s Breath of Fire. The story of the game takes place 500 years after its predecessor and follows a 16-year-old boy named Ryu as he searches for the whereabouts of his family. Like many RPGs, you may be able to form a party by recruiting members along the way.

Soul Blazer

snes games

Years before Enix and Square (also called SquareSoft) merged in 2003 to form the video game developing company now known as Square Enix, they were able to release a game that served as one of the company’s earliest RPG. The game that we are referring to is Soul Blazer, which is an action RPG developed by Quintet Co., Ltd. and was released in 1992, though for PAL regions, the game was released in 1994. Soul Blazer follows the protagonist simply referred to as “The Hero” as he travels to various towns and dungeons to defeat monsters and free the townspeople. A unique mechanic of this game is the ability to reincarnate town occupants when their souls are freed after destroying monster lairs.

Final Fantasy VI

snes games

After talking about Enix’s Soul Blazer, here is a game that was developed by Square, which is the company that has now merged with Enix. Final Fantasy VI is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square, and was released in 1994. Though this game serves as the sixth title to the Final Fantasy video game series, this is also known as Final Fantasy III in North America due to the titles being released there. Just like its predecessors, Final Fantasy VI involves an overworld map, which is the scale-down version of the entire fictional world; the town and dungeon maps; the battle screen; and the menu screen, which is used by the player for making decisions for the character/s, for equipping weapons, and for keeping track of the experience points and levels. This game makes use of the active time battle system, which is similar to the turn-based system, and involves the player having to wait for their character’s action bar to fill up before they can actually do anything.


snes games

Earthbound, otherwise known as Mother 2 in Japan, is a role-playing game co-developed by Ape Inc. and HAL Laboratory, and published by Nintendo. From the game’s Japanese title itself, you can determine that this is actually a sequel to 1989’s Mother for the Famicom, and the second installment to the Mother video game series, which already has three titles under its name. For this game, it takes place several years after Mother, with the player taking control of a young boy named Ness. Like most RPGs, Earthbound features traditional game elements that include controlling a party of characters through villages, caves, and dungeons, and battling enemies to gain experience points that can be used to increase your character’s level.

Chrono Trigger

snes games

Here is another game that was developed and published by Square before it became Square Enix. Chrono Trigger is a role-playing video game that Square released on March 11, 1995, for the SNES. The development team that worked on this game included the creator of the Final Fantasy series, the designer and creator of the Dragon Quest series, and the creator and manga artist for the anime Dragon Ball. Similar to standard role-playing games, Chrono Trigger lets players take control of the silent protagonist of the game named Crono as he, along with his companions, travel through a fictional world consisting of forests, dungeons, and cities. Unlike most Japanese RPGs that involve random battles with enemies encountered along the way, this one makes the enemies openly visible on the field map. And just like Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger features the active time battle system.

Action-Adventure Category

The action-adventure game genre is a hybrid between the two genres indicated on the title. This includes the core elements from both the action and adventure genre. To put it simply, the action-adventure genre are almost as similar to the common action genre, but also offers other features including a storyline, lots of dialogue, and an inventory system. And unlike the RPG genre, the action-adventure games of the past were mostly linear, though this genre has already adapted the open-world feature over the recent years. For mobile action-adventure games, you may want to check out our list of Amazon Fire TV games.

Jungle Strike

snes games

Jungle Strike is a shoot-’em-up action-adventure video game both developed and published by Electronic Arts. This game is the second installment in the Strike video game series and the direct sequel to Desert Strike. Aside from simply having both action and adventure elements, this game also involves elements of strategy. For this game, the player takes control of a Comanche helicopter, though in some levels, they may also be allowed to control other vehicles including a motorbike, an F-117, and a hovercraft.

Star Fox

snes games

Star Fox, also known as Starwing in Europe, is an action-adventure rail shooter developed by Argonaut Software and published by Nintendo. This game is notable for being the first one to use the Super FX graphics acceleration coprocessor to be able to achieve polygonal graphics. This game can be played in either first- or third-person perspective, and lets players take control of the Arwing, which is the spacecraft of the game’s protagonist, Fox McCloud. This game was released in 1993 exclusively for the Super NES.

Gradius III

snes games

Gradius III is a side-scrolling action-adventure shooter developed and published by Konami, and was originally released for the arcades in 1989. The game was then released as a port for the Super NES in 1990 and 1991 in Japan and North America, respectively. Though this is the first title ever released for the SNES console, it is actually the third installment in the Gradius video game series. Like the previous two games in the series, players take control of the Vic Viper starfighter as they try to put an end to the Bacterion Empire.

Super Star Wars

snes games

Super Star Wars is a run-and-gun action adventure game based on the 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The game was developed by LucasArts and published by Nintendo, and was released for the Super NES in 1992. There are multiple characters that the player can control, each with their own unique abilities. Aside from simply being a run-and-gun game, it also features levels that allows players to control a landspeeder or even an X-wing. The plot of the game follows closely to that of the movie, though some changes have to be made in order to make the game suitable to an action game. Two follow-up games were developed and released, both based on the two movie sequels, Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Clock Tower

snes games

Clock Tower is a 1995 survival-horror adventure game by Human Entertainment that serves as the first entry to the Clock Tower series. Unlike most games in the genre, Clock Tower utilizes a point-and-click control system, which lets players control their character’s movement and actions through the use of a mouse cursor. The game follows an orphan named Jennifer Simpson, who has just been adopted by the Barrows family along with other orphaned girls. Soon after they reach the Barrows mansion, she discovers that a serial killer wielding a giant pair of scissors is among the residents, and it is up to the player to find a way out of the house while also uncovering secrets behind the Barrows family.

Sunset Riders

snes games

Sunset Riders is a side-scrolling action-adventure shooting game developed and published by Konami primarily for the JAMMA arcade platform. The game was initially released in 1991, though it eventually found its way to home consoles in 1992 (Sega Genesis) and 1993 (Super NES). The game is set in the American Old West and follows four bounty hunters named Steve, Billy, Bob, and Cormano as they travel to different places to eliminate the most wanted outlaws and collect rewards. For the arcade version of the game, it can be played up to four players, but the console versions can only be played up to two players because of the system’s limitations.

Super Double Dragon

snes games

Super Double Dragon, otherwise known in Japan as Return of the Double Dragon, is a side-scrolling beat-’em-up action-adventure game developed by Technos Japan and published by the same company for the Japanese release and Tradewest for the North American release. This game is the fourth installment in the Double Dragon series, following Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones that was released for the NES in 1991. Like its predecessors, the player/s take/s control of the brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee as they make their way through seven stages to defeat the Shadow Warriors gang. This game was released exclusively for the Super NES in 1992.

Final Fight

snes games

Final Fight is a side-scrolling beat-’em-up action game both developed and published by Capcom. It was originally released in 1989 for the arcade platform, then was ported to home consoles in 1990 and 1991 in Japan and North America, respectively. The game is set in Metro City and follows the protagonists, Mike Haggar, Cody, and Guy, as they try to clean up the city from crimes brought about by the Mad Gear gang. The game can be played by up to two players, choosing from among the three protagonists mentioned earlier. Each of the playable characters has their own fighting style and set of attributes.

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse

snes games

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse is a side-scrolling action game developed by Capcom and co-published by the same company along with Marvel Comics. This game was released exclusively for the Super NES in 1994 and was based on the X-Men comic books. The plot of the game takes place in Genosha island, where Professor X has sent five of his X-Men to free the mutants in captivity, and players can choose from among the five X-Men: Beast, Cyclops, Gambit, Wolverine, and Psylocke. According to one game reviewing website, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse is “by far, the best X-Men video game to date.”

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

snes games

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a 1993 run-and-gun action adventure game developed by LucasArts and published by Konami for the Super NES, though it was also released in 2009 for the Wii’s Virtual Console, and this version was published by LucasArts. The game is set in an average, normal city that has been overrun by hordes of monsters that include vampires, werewolves, aliens, and zombies. It is up for either Zeke and Julie to travel through the neighborhood, to offices, shopping malls, and other areas to destroy these monsters and save their neighbors. Though not really a commercial success during its release, it has since become a cult classic especially among retro gamers.

Wild Guns

snes games

Wild Guns is a behind-the-back action-adventure shooter developed and published by Natsume, and was released in 1994, 1995, and 1996 in Japan, North America, and Europe, respectively. Unlike most shooters, Wild Guns combines mechanics from both light gun and third-person shooting games, which the developers gained influence from arcade games including Cabal and G.I. Joe. Players can choose between the protagonists, Clint and Annie, as they seek revenge for the death of Annie’s family. Though the game is set in the Wild West, elements of sci-fi are added to the plot.

Contra 3: The Alien Wars

snes games

Contra III: The Alien Wars, also known as Contra Spirits in Japan, is a side-scrolling run-and-gun action shooter developed and published by Konami. Though the game is actually the fourth one released in the series, this one is the third main entry especially for consoles, following the events of the original Contra and Super C. Like its predecessors, Contra III: The Alien Wars follows Bill and Lance as they save the planet by putting an end to the Red Falcon and its army of aliens. Most of the gameplay mechanics from previous games were retained, though the ability to keep and choose between weapons, as well as the devastating smart bomb were added. For the levels, most of them are in the traditional side perspective, though new styles were added including the rotating overhead perspective, and the motorcycle chases.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

snes games

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time is a beat-’em-up action adventure game based on the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle animate series. This game was developed and published by Konami, and was released initially for the arcade in 1991, though it eventually found its way to consoles in 1992. The game serves as the sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game that was released in 1989. For this game, players can choose between Leo, Raph, Mikey, and Donnie, each with their own weapons, skills, strengths, and weaknesses. As the title suggests, time traveling is involved in this game and the levels take place in both the past and the future.

Super Metroid

snes games

Super Metroid is a side-scrolling action-adventure shooter developed and published by Nintendo, and was released exclusively for the Super NES in 1994. This game is the third installment in the Metroid game series, following the events of the original Metroid (1986) and Metroid II: Return of Samus (1991). The game once again follows the protagonist, Samus Aran, as she travels to the planet Zebes to recover a stolen infant Metroid.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

snes games

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is a 1991 action-adventure video game both developed and published by Nintendo for their Super NES console. It is the third main entry to the entire Legend of Zelda series, following the original Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link, both of which were released for the NES/Famicom. Just like the previous two games, this one follows the adventures of the protagonist, Link, as he travels to defeat the evil Ganon and save the kingdom of Hyrule. This game was both critically and commercially successful during its release, and has since been considered as one of he greatest video games of all time. For the latest Zelda game and more, check out our list of the best games on the Nintendo Switch.

Platform Games

Platform games, often shortened to platformers, are those types of games that involve suspended platforms on multiple levels. Along with obstacles that players will constantly encounter, if they are able to successfully guide their characters through these platforms, then they will also be able to make progress through the game. Many of the retro games were platformers simply because they were easy to develop by the game developers (not to mention the limited capacity of retro gaming consoles). And when we speak of platform games, we can always associate it with side-scrollers. Platformers are also present in mobile games, go ahead and check out our list of more Amazon Fire TV games that include Shovel Knight and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Castlevania: Dracula X

snes games

Castlevania: Dracula X is an adventure platformer developed and published by Konami, and was released in 1995. This game is actually a remake of Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which was released for the PC in 1993, and while the graphics and the entire plot are the same, this version features a different art style, new level designs, and new gameplay elements.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

snes games

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is a side-scrolling platform game developed and published by Capcom, and was originally released in 1991. The game is the third main entry to the Ghouls ‘n Goblins series, not including the spin-off Gargoyle’s Quest titles. The player takes control of the protagonist, Sir Arthur, who must fight his way to the evil Emperor Sardius’ castle to defeat him and to rescue the princess who has been kidnapped.

Mega Man X3

snes games

Mega Man X3, or Rockman X3 in Japan, is a side-scrolling action platformer developed by Minakuchi Engineering and co-published by Capcom and Laguna Video Games for the Super NES console. This game is the third installment in the Mega Man X series and follows the titular character X as he, along with another Maverick Hunter named Zero, tries to stop the Maverick leader named Sigma from exterminating humanity. For the first time in the series, players can choose between the two protagonists, each with their own unique skills. This game was released in 1995.

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!

snes games

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! is an adventure platformer video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo, and was released for the Super NES in 1996. It is the third entry in the Donkey Kong Country video game series and features new playable characters such as Dixie Kong and Kiddy Kong as they attempt to rescue Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong from King K. Rool. Just like its predecessors, this game utilizes pre-rendered 3D imagery, which were praised by critics.

Earthworm Jim 2

snes games

Earthworm Jim 2, the sequel to the well-received Earthworm Jim, is a run-and-gun platform game developed by Shiny Entertainment and published by Playmates Interactive Entertainment in North America, and by Virgin Interactive Entertainment in Europe. Once again, the game follows Jim, who is an earthworm in a robotic suit, as he fights enemies, including the game series’ antagonist, Psy-Crow, in order to save Princess What’s-Her-Name.

Super Mario All-Stars

snes games

If you’re not contented to just one Mario game, then here’s Super Mario All-Stars, which features all four Super Mario platform games released by Nintendo for consoles. This compilation includes Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (the original Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2, which was never released outside Japan). This game was re-released as a port for the Nintendo Wii console in 2010 and was known as Super Mario All-Stars 25th Anniversary Edition in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of the first Super Mario Bros. For mobile gamers, you may want to check out our list of the best mobile games of 2017, which includes Super Mario Run.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

snes games

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island is a platform video game both developed and published by Nintendo, and was released in 1995 for the Super NES. It serves as a prequel to the entire Mario franchise and features Yoshi as the protagonist and Mario as a supporting character. This game also features a new art style that is inspired by hand-drawn aesthetics, as opposed to the pre-rendered graphics used in the Donkey Kong Country series. The plot of the game follows Yoshi as he escorts Baby Mario through nearly 50 levels in order to reunite him with Baby Luigi, who had been kidnapped by the Baby Bowser’s henchmen. Also, you may want to check out our list of the some more Nintendo Switch games, which includes Super Mario Odyssey, the latest installment to the Super Mario series.

Related Posts