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DAR Games: 8 Super Nintendo Classics

By @Peagle05


So we’re at my last Console Retrospective and I’ve saved the best for last. No really, I have. My personal pick for greatest console of all time, the Super Nintendo, or SNES. Released in 1991, the 16-bit console was home to some of the greatest games of all time and really began Nintendo’s run as the greatest software maker ever. Keep in mind, this isn’t a “top ___” list, just some notable games on the console.

*Super Mario World




We’ll start with one of many SNES games considered to be one of the greatest of all time, SMW is either 1 or 2 on many people’s best Mario games of all time switching with Super Mario Bros 3. This game introduced us to Yoshi the dinosaur, one of Nintendo’s unsung heroes (and lowkey the best Mario Kart character). The game also gave us the cape feather that allowed Mario to float for a short period of time. Everything about this game was not just an improvement on previous games but an enhancement. It’s amazing how fun something as simple as running in one direction and jumping can be and Nintendo has been top notch at making that something you want to do for hours at a time.

*Super Metroid 




At a time where the side scrolling platformer was king, Nintendo was continuing their expansion of the genre with this undisputed classic. Building on the unprecedented open structure of the NES original, Super Metroid doubles down on the freedom and open-for-exploration environments. You could go just about anywhere to a certain point and the pickups you obtained along the way only helped open the game up more. With a plethora of hidden items, and a time/completion assisted ending system, the replay value was endless. These mechanics also served to make the game one of the first popular speedrun games. You could do absolutely amazing things with the game just to beat it, as I’ve seen videos of people beating the game with very few pickups, with next to none of the newer weapons and it wasn’t always a glitch. These were legitimate runs. Also... Super Metroid has one of the best soundtracks in gaming history. Seriously, go listen to that soundtrack, it’s amazing. The impact of this game can be felt even in present day as many games such as the previous generation classic, Shadow Complex, borrow heavily from the Metroidvania style, a name given to games that borrow elements from both Super Metroid and the classic 2D Castlevania games. I’ll be honest, I know opinions are just that, but if this game isn’t on your greatest ever list, I can’t respect it.

*Chrono Trigger




My personal pick for best RPG ever, Chrono Trigger took the great character design talents of Dragonball Gawd Akira Toriyama, and married it with one of the most innovative and fun battle systems seen in an RPG. With one of the most memorable cast of characters in an RPG, Chrono Trigger made you care for each and every character you interacted with and fought beside. The events surrounding Crono, the main character, remains one of the best moments in video games. If you haven’t experienced this game, I suggest finding a Nintendo DS for cheap and getting a copy of the DS version because Nintendo didn’t see fit to put this on the SNES Classic.

*Secret of Mana




What did Nintendo put on the SNES Classic? Only the second best RPG on the system. Yet another Square RPG classic, Mana gave us one of my favorite mechanics in the genre, the real time battle system. Look, I get it, the turn based thing is cool and I love the strategic elements of that gameplay type, but to “role play”? Real time just works better. Having control of your character’s actions and still have to manage your party is far more fun and mentally taxing to me than everyone standing in animated poses until it’s their turn. This is a game that would go on to influence many games in the genre including the classic Tales series. Not only is this game found in the SNES Classic compilation but there’s also a remake scheduled to release next year.

*Earthbound




This one is a bit more esoteric in nature. One of Nintendo’s forgotten (by them, not us) classics, Earthbound is one of the more beloved games in the catalog by the hardcore Nintendo heads. It’s also one of the weirdest. The story is strange as hell and the dialogue is surprisingly funny, though some of it gets lost in translation since localization efforts weren’t as good back then as they are now. Most important is that the difficulty is high enough to present a challenge but not so hard that it would turn you off completely. I really can’t say enough about the game as it is easily one of the best and most iconic RPGs on a Nintendo console.

*Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past




This HAD to be here. Yes, we all know about it and yes, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that DOESN’T have this on an all time great games list but it’s just so damn important to the Zelda series that it must be talked about. The only other game in the series that goes toe to toe with Ocarina of Time as best game ever, LTTP introduces us to the concept of the light and dark world, a theme that we would see play out in various ways throughout future Zelda titles. Zelda games in a sense have always been open world to an extent but this game effectively gave us two worlds to play in. Add to that series consistently excellent dungeon and level design and you had the makings of a classic. Honestly, among the different subsections of the gaming community, the most heated debate might be amongst Zelda fans as to whether this game is the best or Ocarina of Time. That’s how good this game is, that it stands up against a future entry in the series and does so without question.

*Super Mario RPG




Square and Nintendo had quite the partnership early on and it resulted in the first attempt at throwing Mario into the RPG space. What we got is another one of Nintendo’s forgotten classics and the clear blueprint for what we would see in the Paper Mario series in the late 90’s. In this particular game, SMRPG took its cues from the Final Fantasy series when it came to combat, but for its movement and action, it borrowed from the Mario games. This makes for an interesting point in Nintendo history especially with the recent release of Ubisoft and Nintendo’s collaboration, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. SMRPG was clearly the first attempt at melding game styles and though Nintendo has a reputation amongst some for “whoring Mario out”, you can’t deny that a majority of the spin-off efforts are of damn good quality. This game even gave Mario and Bowser a reason to come together (and if you’ve played Super Mario Odyssey, then you know it’s not the only time) and it pays off to great effect. This is definitely a game that needs to be experienced.

*Mega Man X




Ask any Mega Man fan what the best game in the series is and 9 times out of 10, you’ll get this answer. A classic of the series and a classic in gaming period, the first installment of the “X” editions in the legendarily challenging series gave us everything we had come to love and expect from the franchise and more. With WAY more mobility options than previous games including a slide and a jump and dash combo, players were encouraged to truly play their way. For the first time in the series, you weren’t forced to rely upon the other weapons that you gained from bosses to get by. Instead you could complete the game with the standard buster. Armor upgrades and other pickups also enhanced the playability and gave gamers more to do and more ways to do it. And of course I can’t forget about the introduction of series favorite, Zero (who for some reason didn’t make it to Smash Bros, but I’ll get over it...eventually).

So what do all but one of these games have in common? With the exception of Chrono Trigger, they can all be found on Nintendo’s recently released SNES Classic. If you can find one, I highly suggest getting your hands on it just to relive gaming’s greatest console with the controller it was meant to be played with. This is without a doubt my favorite console ever and its legendary status can be spoken to simply by looking at the games I didn’t even cover. I’m sure a number of you read this list and asked where certain games were, THAT’S how much greatness was released here. There’s just so much to cover. There are great games and classics on every console, in every era of gaming, but for me? The SNES can’t be topped.


-Peagle

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