What happens when you go from 8-bit to 16-bit? In Nintendo’s case, you go super to fight SEGA’s mega. The Super Nintendo is regarded as one of the greatest consoles ever to grace a living room. It’s also the last time Nintendo were the dominant market leader in the video games industry. We’re going to take a look at the 10 best SNES games that were available for the console.
In this list, a game’s average launch reviews and a dash of opinion will be considered. If your favourite doesn’t make the list there’s a good chance it was considered. The SNES library has another 10 to 15 stand out titles that missed out. Release dates may appear as a range of years due to different release dates across regions.
Here’s part one of our list of the Top 10 SNES games of all time.
Developer – Quintet
Publisher – Enix
Copies Sold – 620,000
Average Review Score – 83.5%
Combining two different gameplay genres into one can be tricky to say the least. An action platformer crossed with a city building/management sim, sounds crazy right? In most cases, yes, yet this time, you get the unique Super Nintendo experience in ActRaiser.
You play as “The Master” a benevolent god, who decides evil must be stopped. In the platforming levels, you inhabit the statue of a warrior to slay monsters.
In the city sim portion, you guide people to build towns. You also take control of an angel to attack monsters that get too close to the villages.
The people will attack monster lairs, stopping them from spawning. The bigger your population, the stronger your character becomes in the platforming levels.
If that wasn’t enough Yuzo Koshiro of Streets of Rage fame composed the soundtrack!
Reviewing the game in June 1991’s CVG Magazine Richard Leadbetter said “the arcade sections in this game easily make it worth the money alone. Add in a Sim City/Populous of a similar quality (and some spine-tinglingly awesome medieval tunes to match the settlement building) and you’ve got a totally unbeatable combination”.
ActRaiser is an early SNES games classic. Its sequel ActRaiser 2 did away with the city sim elements and sticks to action-platforming.
ActRaiser is one of the lowest selling games on this list with around 620,000 copies sold worldwide. It’s a fantastic game that seems to have got lost in the shuffle of time.
9. TMNT IV Turtles In Time
Released – 1992
Developer – Konami
Publisher – Konami
Copies Sold – Not Listed/Disclosed
Average Review Score – 84.6%
Konami used to be amazing in the 80s and 90s, being one of the strongest third-party developers.
Turtles in Time was a beat em up hit in the arcade, the cabinet allowing up to 4 players. So Konami ported the game to Super Nintendo, the main drawback is the game only supports two players. (Multi taps exist Konami!)
That’s the bad point out of the way and the rest makes for the best beat em up on the Super Nintendo. Choose from one of the four Turtles to fight through the Foot Clan on your way to battle the evil Shredder.
The fighting is ‘pick up and play’ with the moves being easy and so satisfying to pull off. Throw your enemies into the floor, back and forth, and even launch them towards the screen. The move is used to throw enemies at Shredder at one point.
Super NES Buyers Guide gave Turtles in Time a 9 out of 10 saying “This is undoubtedly one of the best arcade to home translations this guy has ever seen. The graphics are great and are complemented by excellent play control — with no break-up or slowdown. All the animation is here also. Great job Konami!”
You of course get sent through a time portal and battle Shredder’s goons across history. Bebop and Rocksteady as pirates is a win-win, well, a lose-lose in their case.
The gameplay, music, and battles against Shredder make this one of the must-play games on the SNES.
8 – Mega Man X
Released – 1993/94
Developer – Capcom
Publisher – Capcom/Nintendo (PAL)
Copies Sold – 1.16M
Average Review Score 84.1%
Set roughly 100 years into the future from the classic Mega Man series. Robots called Reploids are commonplace. Reploids who go rogue are Mavericks. A team of elite Reploids who stop them are the Maverick Hunters.
Sigma The Lead Maverick Hunter goes rogue taking more Reploids with him on his quest to conquer the world. You play as the underdog Maverick Hunter called X (Mega Man X) to take Sigma down.
The same formula for selecting the first eight stages in any order returns. The order in which the stages are completed affects the other stages. Some stages freeze over or even have a massive airship crash into them.
Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine (EGM) ranked Mega Man X in their top 10 games of 1994. One reviewer summing up their thoughts in just three words “This is AWESOME!”. EGM had been critical of Mega Man 4, 5, and 6 and X made them think again when it came to the series.
The Mavericks are all named after animals with a cool word thrown in front. Some examples being Spark Mandrill, Storm Eagle, and Launch Octopus. Defeating a Maverick gives X their weapon as an ability. Each Maverick has a weakness to one of these abilities. Tackling the stages in a certain order to gain the right ability for the next boss makes the game a lot easier. The gameplay was also improved by adding elements such as a wall jump.
A certain Dr has set up pods throughout the levels giving X the chance to gain powerful new abilities. Turning the underdog to higher-powered in no time!
Mega Man X doesn’t reinvent the action platformer but everything in this Capcom classic is near perfection.
7 – Super Castlevania IV
Released – 1991/92
Developer – Konami
Publisher – Konami
Copies Sold – 630,000
Average Review Score – 87.2%
Super Castlevania IV is the first 16-bit edition in the series. Konami games went all out on making this early SNES release a memorable one for all the right reasons. The controls are some of the smoothest and most responsive for a game at that point.
You play once again as Simon Belmont in his quest to take down the evil Count Dracula in this reimagining of the first Castlevania. This time Simon can use the whip to attack in eight different directions, making enemies easier to hit. Also, the whip can allow Simon to swing across large gaps.
Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine gave Super Castlevania IV 9 out of 10 praising the visuals and sound “Really nice backgrounds, sound effects, and music, plus challenging and interesting gameplay make Super Castlevania IV live up to its heritage.
Simon’s theme would feature throughout the series going forwards. Entire orchestras have played it on many occasions. That’s how you know the music is that good.
The Super Nintendo’s graphical scaling and rotation chip (Mode 7) pulled off some impressive visuals for the time. One effect sees a whole room rotate around Simon. Super Castlevania IV is regarded as one of the best of the classic Castlevania games. Castlevania’s future formula changed thanks in part to another game that might feature soon.
6 – Final Fantasy VI (III in the USA)
Released – 1994 (PAL Unreleased)
Developer – Square
Publisher – Square
Copies Sold – 3.42M
Average Review Score – 90.1%
Final Fantasy VI or III in the United States as it was the third Final Fantasy game to make it to North America. Square didn’t always release every Final Fantasy game outside of Japan which explains the messy numbering.
Square in the 1990s perfected the JRPG genre with immersive stories and compelling characters. EGM stated, “Few RPGs can hope to have the emotional draw this one has.”
There’s a whole host of party members in the game, starting as an uprising against an evil empire and the sadistic Kefka. There’s also the question of Terra and who she is due to her amnesia like state.
The Active Time Battle System from Final Fantasy VI returns, making the battles and gameplay faster when compared to traditional turn time battles. The battles range from small to epic. One of your characters can even suplex a whole train, eat your heart out, Brock Lesnar.
The music is an amazing 16-bit soundtrack. One of the standouts being the main theme, its soothing yet haunting tone fits the story perfectly.
It’s sad that Europe had to wait until 2001 before Final Fantasy VI was finally released in the region on the PS1. Clearly, we were deprived of this 16-bit masterpiece for way too long.
And that’s part one of our list of the 10 best SNES games, did we miss any? Do you agree with the order? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below and keep an eye out for part 2.
Read about the worst console launches of all time HERE.
Animal Crossing 2.0 – Review
On November 5th, Animal Crossing 2.0 alongside the DLC Happy Home Paradise was released. It was the last major free update to hit the latest game in the franchise and added a host of new features to the game. After almost a month of playing it, here’s our review and everything new in Animal Crossing 2.0 from Nintendo.
Animal Crossing has been around for 20 years, with its first release on 14th April 2001. Since then it’s released several versions of the game for the DS, Wii, and so on.
The latest version, New Horizons, came to the Nintendo Switch at just the right time; at the very beginning of Quarantine. It was easily the most popular Nintendo game last year. But it had a fatal flaw; rather than including everything upfront, Nintendo would release periodic updates where they would add to the game. The goal was to keep the game feeling fresh, but the result was that New Horizons felt unfinished. The game was bare-bones compared to past versions of Animal Crossing and didn’t have half as much to do. With the release of the last free update, New Horizons finally feels like a complete game. So what’s new? While there were a lot of things added and small things fixed, we’re just going to focus on the major gameplay changes and additions.
The beloved pigeon, Brewster, has been in Animal Crossing since 2005. He runs a cosy coffee shop, The Roost, usually located in the Museum. But he has been missing from New Horizons. A fan favourite, his absence has definitely been felt. Brewster is one of the most demanded additions to New Horizons. With the update, you can find him gyroid hunting on one of Kapp’n’s Islands and invite him to your island, where he will set up the Roost once more. You will also find some of your residents and NPCs there and can invite current and past Animal Crossing characters to the Roost via Amiibo card.
Speaking of Kapp’n, the turtle is back. In past versions of the game, Kapp’n is usually the one taking you to your new village at the start of every game. Whether it be by taxi, bus, or train, Animal Crossing typically kicks off with the retired seafarer. But New Horizons didn’t feature Kapp’n at all; until now. Now you can have him take you on island tours via his little boat off your dock. Some of these islands are extremely rare and feature exclusive items. He also sings you a little song while you make the journey..
Gyroids have, once again, been a part of every Animal Crossing game until New Horizons. They are little singing things that can be placed like furniture. In New Horizons, you can find a fragment on Kapp’n’s islands, bury it, water it, and a gyroid will grow the next day. Or some may be buried on your island after a rainy day. While past versions of gyroids have been annoying, the New Horizon’s gyroids are adorable and delightful. In New Horizons, Brewster is an avid collector. You’ll even get a Brewster gyroid after drinking enough coffee.
Cooking / Farming
Cooking has also been added to the game, something entirely unique to New Horizons. You can purchase crop starts from Leif, start a farm, and then cook the produce you grow. This opens up a whole host of fun recipes, and you can gift your creations to your residents. Eating a meal will make your villager stronger for longer, the same effect eating fruit previously had.
You can also host a group stretching event in the plaza. Random villagers and NPCs will join you. You can use your controllers to actually stretch with them, or use the joysticks if you’re stuck with a Lite or don’t feel like standing up.
Harv’s Island was previously… pretty useless. There was really nothing to do there aside from taking pictures, which is fun once. Now you can help him build an open-air Farmers Market/Commune. For 100,000 bells each, you can invite NPCs to set up a permanent shop. Among these are Leif, Redd, Kicks, Saharah, Reese, and Cyrus, who have all been seen in New Horizons. But it also introduces the return of Tortimer, the mayor from past games. (Who some fans theorized was dead until now). Harriet, a hairdresser who introduces a ton of new hairstyles to the game. And the fortune-teller Katrina. This expansion to Harv’s island is a huge resource.
You no longer have to wait for these NPCs to come to your island to purchase goods from them. It also opens up more customization for previously uncustomisable items. And it’s another goal to work towards after you pay off your home loans.
You can now issue Ordinances through Isabelle in the town hall. These include things like adding a Bell Boom so that you find more bells and goods are worth more, but things also cost more. Or the Beautiful Island ordinance, which will have your villagers pick up weeds and trash and will cause your flowers to grow faster. You can also issue that your villagers wake up earlier or go to bed later.
Happy Home Paradise
In addition to 2.0, a DLC was added to the Nintendo Store. Happy Home Paradise allows you to “get a job” building vacation homes. You report to your boss Lottie for work, alongside your coworkers Niko and Wardell. From there, you choose a character and build a home for them. They will give you a theme and some items they want to see in their home. You can also design facilities, like a cafe or school and assign characters to work in them. Using an amiibo card, you can also design homes for NPCs like Isabelle or Tom Nook, where you will have free reign over the design.
Happy Home Paradise also introduces partition walls which allow for more design options in your house. It also includes a lot of new furniture. When you’ve designed enough vacation homes, you are able to then redesign the houses on your island.
HHP adds a lot to the game. Animal Crossing’s flaw has always been that it gets too repetitive. HHP adds some flavour and a lot more to do. So even long after you’ve paid off your home loan and made your island pretty, you can still really engage with the game. It adds to and boosts life on the island, but also extends the world a bit. You can interact with more characters beyond just your residents and have more interaction with NPCs beyond purchasing goods from them.
All in all, the 2.0 update and Happy Home Paradise have elevated New Horizons. It makes the game feel new and adds what many fans have been asking for. While they are both great, it’s hard to shake the feeling that this all should have been included from the get-go like past versions of the game. After playing a skeleton of a game for a year, we now truly have a new Animal Crossing game.
Do you like Animal Crossing 2.0? Do you agree with our Animal Crossing review? Let us know in the comments below.
We compare Animal Crossing with Stardew Valley HERE.
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