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Posted on Mar 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under SNES, games, zelda, mario, nintendo, rpg


The Super Nintendo had an array of great titles, many of which are considered some of the best across all platforms. So when it came to figuring out the best games for the system, it's no surprise that it was a little top heavy. In fact out of 11 lists submitted, there were a whopping 5 games that were absent from only two lists or less. Compare that with the NES list, where with less lists, only SMB3 could stake the claim.

Comments accompany games whenever possible, reflecting the thoughts of those who submitted them. A big thank you to everyone who participated and left thoughts:

EZ Racer
singlebanana
Crabmaster2000
bickman2k
Misto
shaggy
Focusricerocket
EngineerMike
Mr_Stubbes
Normatron
Disposed Hero

Don't forget to check the submissions page for all the great SNES titles that didn't quite make the cut- http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19263.0



Heck of a launch lineup. 4 out of the 5 received significant attention for this list

The Super NES launched with five games in 1991, and continued releasing games until 1998, giving it a licensed library of more than 700 games. Many are still beloved classics, and this was obvious from looking at the lists submitted, as several RFGen members stated how hard it was to narrow down their list to 20.

One final thought, if you like RPG's...

Honorable Mentions

27. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
3 votes (#20, #16, #9)

"Some of the best non-linear platforming still to this day! The amazing visuals of this game still look amazing and the charm just emanated off the screen. Nothing feels worse that listening to that screaming baby Mario though so try your best not to get hit."

26. Star Fox
3 votes (#19, #15, #9)

"Star Fox. Introduced us all to the beloved animal Arwing pilots, we all know and love. Who knew at the time that we needed this quirky...on rails, shooter?"

25. Rock N Roll Racing
2 votes (#10, #7)

"Black Sabbath, Space Aliens, High Speed Hovercrafts, Missiles and crazy tracks covered with cash, weapons and traps make this maybe the best isometric racer of all time."

24. Street Fighter II Turbo
3 votes (#16, #15, #9)

"Decades later it's still a top tier fighting game. This is my favorite version on the SNES and one of the best couch multiplayer games ever made."

"The best way to play Street Fighter on the SNES."

23. Street Fighter II
2 votes (#8, #6)

"When I got to play this game at a friends house, it blew my mind that you could now play Street Fighter II at home!!! Many great memories associated with this games, so many tournaments after school at friends houses."

(Together, the Street Fighters would have come in at #13)

22. Kirby's Dream Course
3 votes (#13, #13, #8)

"Mini golf, but with super powers, dynamic stages and the cuteness of Kirby really endear this game to me. It's also got a fantastic competitive multiplayer mode."

"Golf {plus} Kirby = FUN!"

21. Super Mario Kart
3 votes (#15, #12, #7)

"It was the beginning of something good, that would become much better."

"I had a friend growing up who had to move out of state. So, with no internet and before cell phones, we'd call long distance, set up GP's, have our TV's turned way up so we could hear them through the phone, and play our races simultaneously so we could in essence 'race' each other. To this day, the first Mario Kart is a worthwhile multiplayer experience."



So what did make the top 20?

As with the NES list, some basic publishing info is provided. Also, it was amazing to see how the top of the list unfolded, with the top 6 being on nearly every list, and all rankings for those games being 12th or higher.


20. Kirby Super Star (63 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1996)
Genre- Platformer
3 lists (#15, #10, #8)



19. Illusion of Gaia (68 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo/Enix (1994)
Genre- Action RPG
3 lists (#12, #9, #8)



18. F-Zero (70 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1991)
Genre- Racing
2 lists (#5, #2)

"Probably still my favorite racing game of all time. Though it doesn't playout in the game, the story via the character descriptions and comic cells located in the manual help stir your imagination as you race against the other characters. Great Mode 7 back drops, and this game has one of the best soundtracks of all time."

"The first time I played this, I was in awe of how fun and addicting it was. Nearly 30 years later, it's still one of my favorites. Fantastic speed and controls, with just enough track variation to keep things fresh."



17. Sim City (83 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1991)
Genre- Simulation
5 lists (#15, #14, #13, #13, #12)

"Probably not the most exciting pick, but man, I spent so many hours playing and perfecting this sim. From natural disasters, to those not so natural, the game really kept me on my toes. Nothing pisses me off more than gridlock!"

"This was the launch game I picked out when I got my SNES. The strangeness of its concept, and creativity of its gameplay, drew me in right away.  I still have never beat all six scenarios."

"An excellent port of the PC classic with the extra Nintendo polish and charm. Watch out for Bowser!"



16. Super Castlevania IV (95 pts)



Publisher- Konami (1991)
Genre- Action Platformer
6 lists (#18, #14, #14, #13, #13, #13)

"A fun installment in the Castlevania series. Great boss battles and possibly the first to add a grapling feature to the whip.  The ability to transition from the foreground to the background of certain areas is a nice touch. Did I mention the bosses were cool?  #limpwhipFTW"



15. Super Punch-Out!! (97 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1994)
Genre- Sports
5 lists (#18, #17, #16, #8, #5)

"Taking the concept of the first game, and improving on it."

"Boxing perfection! What a great silly cast of characters, being able to tackle each circuit separably makes the game feel a lot more manageable than the first, but the later matches still have the hard as nails challenge to them."

"Though I'm a bigger fan of Puchout!! on the NES, I have to say that did an incredible job with this follow-up. The quirky, silly characters with their differing abilities are once again features of this game and learning to defend all of their attacks is quite a challenge. While sports titles may not be your thing, this series was and is endearing to even the most finicky non-sportsball gamer. Quite easier than the original, but in my opinion, the last of the great Punchout!! games. Bickman2K sucks at this game!"

"Little Mac is back with a straight out of the 90s haircut. Plenty of characters from both arcade games, the NES title, and a few newcomers take out a bit of the rhythm from the first console version and make you have to adapt a bit more."


(Note- After giving it consideration, comments were left as is with how they were turned in. Have a feeling there may be a rebuttal coming)



14. ActRaiser (100 pts)



Publisher- Enix (1991)
Genre- Hybrid of Action Platformer, Simulation
4 lists (#16, #9, #7, #4)

"An amazing combination of action platforming and city building that have you playing the role of a god that not only saves the town from evil, you then direct the people on how they should rebuild.

"This game is a great blend of Action and Simulation that has never been done before and has never been done again.  A total hidden gem for the Super Nintendo."

"This one is a little higher on my list, and it might be due to rose-tinted nostalgia. Nostalgia aside, Actraiser still holds up as an innovative hybrid Action/RPG/Sim game. The music is also an example of the SNES best."




13. Final Fantasy II (106 pts)



Publisher- Square (1991) -first released in NA regions as Final Fantasy II, it was the 4th game of the series in Japan
Genre- RPG
4 lists (#18, #9, #4, #3)

"I got this one for Christmas, around the time of its release. It was amazing as a NA gamer, loving the first FF, then having this as the next offering.

"While this is an unpopular opinion, I believe FF2 is the better JRPG than FF3. The story felt more cohesive and the characters were more fleshed out. Other than that, its about what you'd expect from a Final Fantasy game of the era."




12. Secret of Evermore (111 pts)



Publisher- Square (1995)
Genre- Action RPG
4 lists (#19, #7, #4, #2)

"I enjoy the fun feel to the game and the fun fake movie references. I think it's a very underrated game."

"I first played this title during our playthrough a few years ago. I really love the action adventure elements as opposed to standard turn-based RPGs. Only having one character to control is great, and a canine companion who can be as aggressive as you want him to be in battle is a nice touch. Better than Secret of Mana in my opinion, but I know I am in the minority here."




11. Secret of Mana (115 pts)



Publisher- Square (1993)
Genre- Action RPG
5 lists (#13, #12, #10, #7, #6)

"One of the most beautiful, colorful, and lush RPGs on the system.  I enjoyed this game from beginning to end and though it's not my favorite RPG on the system, it still ranks in my Top 10 overall games on th SNES."

"This game would have probably moved up 4 or 5 spots had I not recently just replayed it on the Switch. It is frustratingly hard. I dont remember it being this difficult, I must have died close to 100 times and I am only at the 4th boss. Have I become that bad at games, or...."




10. Earthbound (122 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1995)
Genre- RPG
4 lists (#14, #8, #1, #1)

"One of my favorite JRPG of all time.  It was just so different (and still is) compared to all the others.  The setting, humor, and characters were all very enjoyable.  On top of that, the game is balanced incredibly well for the time, cutting down on time spend grinding.  One of the few rpgs I've played multiple times, it always feels fresh when playing."

"An RPG where the battle system is reminiscent of the classics like Dragon Warrior/Quest, the environment is contemporary, and the characters are fairly normal (at first). The dialog that spans the entire game across so many NPCs that have nothing to do with the game ranges from helpful to hilarious. There are many instances where the game not only breaks the fourth wall, but flat out destroys it. The soundtrack is one I can and do listen to outside of the game. Its easily my favorite game of all time on my favorite system ever."




9. Donkey Kong Country (123 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1994)
Genre- Platformer
6 lists (#18, #15, #11, #11, #8, #6)

"A fun platformer with lots of secrets to explore. The graphics still look good, especially for a cart with no extra hardware like the Super FX chip."

"It's really hard to top Mario in the pure platforming department, but this game comes the closest for me. Every stage layout is just great, minecarts are the best, tagging off with a buddy, cool animal friends, and one of the most enduring soundtracks in gaming."




8. TMNT IV: Turtles in Time (145 pts)



Publisher- Konami (1992)
Genre- Beat-em Up
7 lists (#19, #16, #11, #10, #9, #8, #7)

"An excellent port of the arcade game. The lack of 4 player is traded off with the Mode 7 effects such as throwing enemies at the screen, new bosses, and other unique features to this version."

"It's a TMNT and co-op beat-em-up lovers dream come true"

"There's a reason so many beat-em ups get compared to this. Good level variety with a fun premise, and just enough difference with the characters that you really did feel like you were playing with your favorite turtle."




7. Mega Man X (168 pts)



Publisher- Capcom (1993)
Genre- Action Platformer
6 lists (#16, #12, #7, #4, #4, #1)

"A NEW Megaman on a new console! Yes... please!"

"The new Blue Bomber is ready! Stage design where it can matter when you play a level. The ability to search out upgrades in many places to the point of having to just save up lives so you can get the final one is Down Right Fierce..."

"Might still be the pinnacle of 2D action games. Great progression, inspired level design, one of the greatest soundtracks in gaming, and great rewards for exploring each stage."




6. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (248 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1996)
Genre- RPG
9 lists (#12, #11, #10, #6, #6, #5, #5, #5, #5)

"This was a gateway RPG for me. Not in that it simplified RPGs, because it's just as deep, but because it showed me that you could tell an engaging story with a video game even with source material as thin as Super Mario. It got me to appreciate a genre I had previously shunned and a far deeper appreciation of already well-loved characters."

"Mario in his first RPG adventure teams Nintendo with Square for a fun romp through the Mushroom Kingdom. Plenty of classic characters, lots of cameos, and a new twist where Save the Princess is only getting you started."

"Its Mario and it's Square. 'Nuff Said."

"The Super Mario frachise broke new ground with this game and in my opinion, helped expand their longevity by entering the RPG genre.  With the usual cast of characters and enemies that we have grown to love over the years, it was a perfect transition to a genre that the SNES dominated during its time."




5. Final Fantasy III (274 pts)



Publisher- Square (1994) -first released in NA regions as Final Fantasy III, it was the 6th game of the series in Japan
Genre- RPG
8 lists (#11, #5, #4, #4, #3, #2, #1, #1)

"An even bigger and better jump, from FFII."

"A HUGE RPG world awaits in this classic Square title. So much to explore. Tons of characters to join your party. Amazing soundtrack!"

"I'm sure this will be high on the list and others with explain its appeal far better than I can. The story, the villain and the main cast are what stand out most to me and to this day are still among the strongest in gaming. That battle theme too!"

"For me, this is one of the greatest RPG's ever. After giving it some thought, I think what draws me most to it is how it draws you in emotionally. While it overdoes this from time to time, Kefka was the first villian I really wanted to stop. It wasn't just: 'stop him because the game says to,' it was: 'THIS GUY'S ABSOLUTELY INSANE AND NEEDS TO BE TAKEN DOWN!' Some of the characters have backstories and development that truly tug at your heart, and overall there are lots of characters with a wide variety of abilities, and a simple, but well fleshed out magic system. A must-play classic."




4. Chrono Trigger (306 pts)



Publisher- Square (1995)
Genre- RPG
9 lists (#10, #8, #6, #3, #3, #2, #2, #1, #1)

"Much like FFIII there isn't much new to say about Chrono Trigger. Amazing story told over countless lifetimes in an engaging way. New Game (plus) pioneer with multiple endings/reasons to replay. Also has some of the best pacing in RPGs."

"Square really brings it to this title. Outstanding soundtrack. Time travel that somewhat has cause/effect without too much in the paradox way. Lots of unique characters in the game and plenty of side quests."

"I got this game a bit later, probably in my mid teens when a friend spoke so highly of it. This is the game that started my RPG obsession, and I believe the first RPG I ever played. After I beat this game I would search lists of other RPGs I could get for the SNES and try to play as many as possible. Before this game I was always into games, but played a bit more casual, never playing for more than an hour here or there. This game was my first all nighter video game session. This game is the reason so many other rpgs appear on this list, if it wasnt for Chrono Trigger I am not sure I would have fell in love with the genre the way I did."

"This game cost me an arm and a leg when it was released, but it was worth the cost. Time-hopping RPG, with a doomsday villian that made it worth the effort to try and stop. I got a lot of replay out of this as a kid, and can still jump in every few years, for a playthrough."

"The SNES is an RPG machine and is home to some of my all time favorite RPGs with Chrono Trigger topping that list. The story is compeling, the artwork and design still holds up today, and the music scores are absolutely perfect."

"I played this game when it came out and still feel like it is the best RPG on the system.  The characters are memorable and the spell cast animations were the best I had ever seen at the time.  Top notch story and top notch game all around."

"The gameplay, story, music, graphics, everything about this game is incredible. It is my favorite game of all time!"




3. Super Metroid (318 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1994)
Genre- Action Adventure
9 lists (#8, #5, #5, #3, #3, #2, #2, #1, #1)

"Metroid was the first NES game I ever owned as a kid and this follow-up took the experience to another level. Much less frustrating than the original, incredible items and abilities, and some epic boss fights put this game at the top for me!"

"Favorite in the franchise. Nothing else with the "Metroid" name, comes close to this, for me."

"Basically invented the "Metroidvania" genre. While it did borrow from some games before it, this is the one that seems to put everything together in a very fun package.  Exploring the environments was so satisfying, trying to track down all the upgrades and the next boss.  This one also gets rid of a lot of the tedium of the NES Metroid, making is a far more pleasant experience."

"A huge world to explore. Solidified what would become the Metroidvania genre. The original was good, but there were so many great improvements made here that it is simply amazing."

"I feel like I have to nitpick to finds flaws in this game. Really, playing it can be summed up into 4 words- Best Game Ever, Period."




2. Super Mario World (322 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1991)
Genre- Platformer
10 lists (#9, #7, #7, #6, #5, #4, #3, #3, #3, #2)

"I'm sure this is higher on most people's list, but alas, there are several games that I enjoy playing more. This is hands down the best Mario game ever made and that says a lot. This is probably the first game that I remember that had hidden areas and a completion percentage and I aboslutely had to 100% it...Star Road be damned."

"Best Mario game in the franchise IMO, followed by Odyssey."

"The best Mario game hands down. The classic platforming, combined with all the secrets and challenge made this game something special.  I still feel no other mario game has since captured the magic of this one."

"Huge levels, a single map that covers every level, secrets galore! Beat the game with as many or as few levels beaten as you want! New power ups, lots of new enemies and level types, and Yoshi!"

"Nintendo taking that tried and true Mario formula and just polishing it further. I appreciate them pulling back on the vast amount of power ups from 3 and keeping a smaller, but refined group to assist you. Yoshi is a true boon to the Mario universe. Secrets seem like a silly thing to be excited about in a game, but Super Mario World does secrets just so dang good, though!"



For how strong the top 6 were, it wasn't close for #1, as this game appeared on EVERY list with a low rank of #7.



1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (380 pts)



Publisher- Nintendo (1992)
Genre- Adventure
11 lists (#7, #6, #6, #5, #4, #3, #3, #2, #2, #2, #1)

It was hard to not put this title at #1 and I used to consider this my favorite Zelda game until I played Link's Awakening a few years ago. Ranking it #2 is still very high praise as this is a classic, must-own title."

"For me this is where they perfected the Zelda formula. Amazing puzzles, dungeons, items, music, exploration and story make the world of Hyrule feel just perfect."

"The best game on the console, IMO and my favourite Zelda game to date, with BotW in a close second. This was also the first game that had me pull an all-nighter."

"I consider this game to be perfect, and another top 3 video game of all time for me."

"A masterpiece. Took the world of the first game and greatly expounded on it. The world was relatively open to explore, even as you have an objective lined out in the story. Even as you would explore, you might come across an area where you say to yourself I cant do that now, but Ill have to come back. You WANT to explore and backtrack to be able to see every inch of the world in case you miss something. A large variety of bosses, puzzles that require not just a single room, and the environment that can and does change as you progress."





A few final thoughts:

Have to say, I was really excited going into this, because for me the Super NES has several of my all-time favorites. Wasn't disappointed, as the whole month it was fascinating to watch the top 6 bounce around based on the ranks coming in. Personally, it was extremely difficult to narrow my own list down to 20, as I started with about 45 and widdled it down from there.

I strongly recommend checking the submissions thread, as there are plenty of classics and lesser-known gems that don't show up here, but got plenty of love.

Also, hope you'll join us in March as we look at the Super NES's main competitor in the 16 bit era, the Sega Genesis. The more participants the better- http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19279.0

Thanks again to everyone who participated!


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Comments
 
Awesome job once again EZ Racer!  This has been such a fun project for the site. I wonder who could have made that nasty statment about bickman2k??
 
So great to see all the comments everyone put the time into adding! So much love for RPGs this time which is great of course. Why isn't Adam better at Super Punch-Out!!?

Thanks for putting this together EZ!
 
This was fun to browse through, and read the comments, and it's making me look forward to the Sega Genesis list, to see how much different that will be that this one. Lots of great stuff here, and definitely a great addition to the site. Looking forward to more of these!
 
Great job compiling everything EZ!

I also really enjoyed not only seeing the comments that everyone wrote, but also the wide range of rankings that a lot of the titles got.

One day, I'll get better at Super Punch-Out!!...
 
Glad to see FF3 make the list (and so high!) with the correct title!

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