30 SNES games for a new collector to begin with

Now for whatever reason you didn’t already have one of, if not *the* greatest video game consoles of all time, well nobody is judging you, here is a list of 30 games to probably get you into collecting. Like my previous lists, I want to avoid too many of the obvious picks, instead focusing on games that really give you a good variety of popular and less known, but not exactly the “hidden gems” everyone talks about.

Like my other lists these are only numbered to keep track, they are not ranked.

1. Super Mario World

If this isn’t the first game you pick up with your new Super Nintendo, what the HELL are you doing collecting SNES for? Seriously it was the most iconic game of the 16-bit era, probably the best of the Super Mario games, at the very least *the* best of the 2D Super Mario games, it’s one of the greatest video games of all time. So yeah, day one pick this up it’s almost mandatory at this point.

2. Mortal Kombat II

Just like how on Genesis you can buy MK1 and skip the rest, do that with SNES but buy MKII and pretend the rest don’t exist. Not only is this the best home version of one of the best 2D arcade fighting games ever made, it’s still a pretty solid game for the SNES library. Also skip Killer Instinct, everyone says that game, we all know it was just a Mortal Kombat cash in clone so let it go.

3. Super Star Wars

I normally don’t pick Star Wars games for general collectors, they tend to be more geared to hard core gamers and die hard Star Wars fans. While this game *IS* hard, even on the easiest setting it will challenge all but the most seasoned gamers, it’s also a very good game, even if it was stripped of the Star Wars license. It has great level design, epic boss battles, makes fantastic use of the Mode 7 psuedo-3D and it just has a great sci-fi/space fantasy vibe that makes for a great action video game.

4. Kendo Rage

Before you say now wait a minute you said no hidden gems. This game is not a “hidden gem” by my definition, in fact I consider it even more obscure than that. How obscure? Well I had the game as a kid, loved it played it to death, and it took me YEARS of combing used video game stores before I stumbled upon another copy and if i hadn’t asked the clerk to help me identify the games I was describing, I might not have recognized it at first, the game is obscure. Also it’s hard. I love it because it has a good weird mix of Castlevania, Ghosts N Goblins, with some Sailor Moon and Kirby Super Star, okay I know that’s a weird combination of games, but trust me that’s the best way to describe this game so yeah do some ebay digging and see if you can get a copy, trust me it’s worth it.

5. Donkey Kong Country

The typical response is grab the trilogy and have at it. Okay look there are over 700 games on the SNES and if you spend all your time going after the super popular Nintendo 1st party titles your going to miss out, so grab the first one, it will hold you over and is a masterpiece in it’s own right, and have fun. Make sure this game is in your first 30 purchases the rest can come later, hell maybe make then 31 and 32 respectively I don’t care but keep them out of the first 30, trust me you won’t regret mixing it up with a little variety.

6. Legend of Zelda- A Link to the Past

Arguably the best Zelda game ever made, easily the best 2-D Zelda and certainly one of the best Super NES games, you have the rest of your days as a collector to go chasing the JRPG’s and the shmups, but you can’t go wrong with getting Zelda early on.

7. Battletoads and Double Dragon

I will get this out of the way, the SNES is flooded with arcade fighting games, shoot em ups and JRPG’s. The Genesis does the first two FAR BETTER so stick to getting those games on Sega, as for the JRPG’s, well there are a ton, they are pretty much all the same in some way or another, no there is a lot of time to chase those too popular, too expensive and over hyped games, grab yourself a grade A 90’s arcade style mash up featuring martial arts bad asses along side some mutant frogs. This is sci-fi arcade beat em up at it’s best. Yeah the game is also on Sega but let’s not get into that now.

8. Bust A Move (Puzzle Bobble)

Everyone is going to tell you get Tetris this or Dr. Mario that, yeah well tell them to shut up those games are best on the Game Boy, the only GOOD puzzle game exclusive (in a way) to the SNES is Bust A Move, the Taito arcade classic semi-sequel to Bubble Bobble on the NES. I say sorta, but let’s not spit hairs this is a great, ultra fun, vibrantly colorful chipper game you can’t pass up for too long. Hidden gem, no, ultra rare probably over priced, maybe, at least rare the price is well worth it this game is AMAZING.

9. Batman and Robin

There are a million and one Batman games, this is the one to get on the Super Nintendo.

10. Super Ghosts N Goblins

Arcade games are fun. Sequels of arcade games that beat the original are easily twice the fun, oh and this time it’s 16-bit. Yeah these games are short but hard, hey whatever they are still great fun and this is still as good as, if not better than, the Sega game.

11. Sim City

I don’t just put this on here because it actually, literally, is my absolute favorite Super Nintendo game of all time, no seriously I play this game almost as much as I do Minecraft, which I play more than I should care to admit. But it’s still a great game to add early on to your SNES library to show you the depth of the consoles variety while also giving you a fun Nintendo take on the Sim genre. There are a ton of Sim games on the console but the original is a good place to start. It has KING BOWSER KOOPA what more do you want?!

12. Kirby Super Star

Like the Mario and DKC games, you will inevitably buy them all, or at the very least a good lot in due time. Why not start with one of the easiest to pick up and play games in the saga? This game has a ton of variety and is one of the best Kirby games ever made. The other games do what they do better in their own way, but this game gives you a sample of all the things Kirby is known for so it’s a great starting point and the theme song will get stuck in your head. It is already stuck in your head isn’t it? Don’t lie yes it is.

13. Robocop vs. The Terminator

While the SNES is more known for it’s RPG’s and Platformers and Sega for it’s sci-fi themed games, and this game is on Genesis, this is still the better version to get, and it’s a GREAT game with tons of fun and a whole bunch of replay value.

14. Zombies At My Neighbors

This is like Zelda, everyone is going to suggest it and there is no point in putting it off, see a copy pick it up.

15. Super Metroid

Again, I must stress, this list is not RANKED so for the love of all things that is good, if you get a SNES and you get a chance to buy this game, don’t hesitate or wait because it’s not far enough on the list, it very well could be the number 1 reason to get a Super Nintendo for a lot of people. This is the game that really started the “Metroidvania” style of game play that would be very common later on.

16. Super Mario RPG

Again, the console is WELL KNOWN for it’s RPG games, and Earthbound is NOT worth the asking price so you might as well get the Mario/Final Fantasy cross over and do yourself a favor. If you really want to experience the SNES at it’s fullest potential yes you will need some JRPG’s eventually, but damn I can’t stress this enough, they are expensive because EVERYONE wants them, so get this one to hold you over and get you started, it’s fine the game is 5 star, it’s a perfect ten, I mean it’s a great game you won’t regret it.

17. Super Mario All-Stars

Okay, yeah it’s just a collection of the 8-bit games redone with new 16-bit graphics and sounds, and yeah it just adds customizable controls, and oh yeah it also adds save states, but um, why am I having to sell you on this, IT’S a collection of the 3 most iconic games in HISTORY with SAVE STATES and NEW graphics, this is arguably the first true video game “remaster” by some definitions and it’s one hell of a starting off point.

18. Mega Man X

The best 2D Mega Man game ever made? That’s for you to decide. No I lied, the gaming community decided when this game was released and our collective opinion remains unchanged. This. Game. Is. GREAT. ‘Nuff Said. Okay fine not sold, take everything fun from Mega Man games and multiply that by a dozen, beef it up to 16-bit goodness, throw in a super cool hidden SFII reference, throw away all the crap that bogged down the not-so-good Mega Man games and throw it onto the greatest game console that the Big N has ever released and you got your self a game you need in your collection yesterday.

19. NBA Jam

If I didn’t put this on my Sega list, I should have or very well could have. This game is easily one of the best, and hands down the most iconic and recognizable arcade basketball, maybe even sports game, of all time. Throw it into your SNES, plug the Red and White audio cables into your stereo, crank up the bass along with the volume and bust out those dunks that make the announcer scream BOOM SHAKA LAKA all night long.

20. Spider-Man/Venom Maximum Carnage

While the Sega fans got the better stand alone Spidey game, the SNES got this game, okay it was on Sega also but this is not the Sega list it’s my Super Nintendo list. Damn why were the 16-bit console wars so damn great? Anyways this is probably the best brawler/beat-em-up on the console, aside from a certain turtle game I won’t mention. The SNES doesn’t do one-on-one fighting  games nearly as good as the Genesis, it does the side scrolling brawlers at least as good, if not better, so this is a very good comic book themed game to really sink your teeth into. Also you get to play as VENOM, I mean dude how is that not a thing in more Spider-Man games?

21. F-Zero

Might as well. It’s fast paced, futuristic sci-fi racing what could go wrong? This was one of the earliest games to show off the systems “mode 7” capability and it was all we gamers needed to know this machine was the real deal. Since Nintendo doesn’t seem to care to make any new games in the series any time soon, why not go back to the one that started it all?

22. Final Fantasy 3

If you count this game higher than 3, go back to Japan. This is the one we all played, for many of us, myself included, this was *THE* entry point into the JRPG genre and for most it was also the template we measured all future JRPG games against. This and Super Mario are probably the easiest to get into and the best place for an entry point for someone that doesn’t want to get overwhelmed with these text heavy games too early on. There are plenty of RPG’s on the console and you have the rest of your life to seek them out, this needs to be in your collection before pretty much all the rest of them, aside from Mario that is. This game defined the genre for a generation and it wasn’t surpassed until it’s direct (but incorrectly numbered, stupid Japanese) sequel.

23. Super Bomberman

If you don’t get yourself a Super Multi-Tap for some sweet 5-player Super Bomberman pretty much as soon as you can then you are cheating yourself out of a fantastic experience. There might not be that many games that use the multi tap that are worth owning, but this game is worth the price of admission all by itself. Pretty much any console that has a Bomberman game that supports 4 or more players is going to be high on any wish list. Treat yourself and your gaming friends (and even your non-gaming friends its casual friendly) to a night of blasting bombs at one another.

24. Knights of the Round

Sticking to the theme of playing to the systems strengths, here is another worth while side-scrolling arcade brawler that is sure to keep you entertained for several hours. The game is set in a fantasy world, and I honestly confused this for Golden Axe when I was a kid, so you can bet my surprise when I plugged Golden Axe into my Genesis and I was so furious. I played this game at a Pizza Hut long ago and dropped so many quarters into it every time I got the chance. The gameplay holds up today, the music and characters are still very well done and the level design is what you want in an arcade beat-em-up from the 90’s.

25. Super Castlevania 4

There is a never ending debate on the internet, which 16-bit console was better Super NES or Sega Genesis. A similar debate is which Castlevania game was better, this one or Symphony of the Night, (I throw my lot in with SOTN but to each their own) still this very game is at the heart of that debate and one of the reasons a die-hard self-proclaimed Sega fanboy like myself still freely admits the Super NES is probably the greatest game console of all time. Sure Bloodlines on Genesis is a good enough Castlevania game, but why settle for good enough when you can get the real deal, and this game is the real deal. Think of it like this, this games is the Empire Strikes Back of the Castlevania series, it’s that good. If I wasn’t such a Sega fan I would say this game and a handful of others would be all you need as a gamer. Needless to say, this was one of the games that, almost, made me switch sides from being Pro-Sega anti-Nintendo to very much a Nintendo loyalist. Even the prospect of just a port of this gaming coming to a new Nintendo console is usually enough to get my attention.

26. Primal Rage

Again, fighting games are almost always better on the Sega Genesis, that’s pretty much a given unless you live in a weird bubble where the 6-button pads never existed, if you bring up the crappy 3-button pads in a debate I walk away, seriously nobody games with those everyone has 6-button pads and all things being equal, the 6-button pad is better, the Genesis is faster, look fighting games are best on Genesis, RPG’s are best on Super NES, let’s just agree to that. Still, Primal Rage is one of those rare fighting games that is still great even on the Super NES. (I can hear the fanboys screaming at their monitors right now, you picked this over SFII!) No I didn’t but hell, SF II is played out at this point, It’s available on so many consoles, in so many varieties, seriously at this point if you are getting into SNES collecting STAY FAR AWAY from SFII games, period. They were good, damn good, at the time, they suck by today’s standards, and I don’t mean because the arcade port is available. Look let’s focus on this game, probably the LAST arcade game Atari ever had their hands in that was worth a damn and let it be that, the Atari swan song that it is and still a FANTASTIC fighting game, actually good on the Super Nintendo. If you are serious about playing SFII, play it on any console BUT the Super NES, and ignore the fanboys who never experienced SFII the way it was meant to be played. Or at the very least, get this game first and find yourself having fun appreciating one of the rare fighting games that was good on the console and pick up those thousand SFII clones at a later time.

27. Sunset Riders

Another one of those side scrolling arcade action games the system is well known for. I know there are people who can’t look beyond the JRPG’s, but if you aren’t a fan of those don’t get so down on the Super NES just yet, I know the fanboys make it sound like those are the best games on the system, thankfully you and I aren’t fanboys, at least not Nintendo fanboys. Okay, so infighting and trolling aside, yes this is a very good game. It does have it roots in the arcade and yes there is a Sega port of this game, this one is nearly identical in most ways but as I understand it very good and you don’t want to just turn your SNES into a JRP hub up front now do you? If you like arcade games this is a great port, for what it is.

28. T2: The Arcade Game

This is another arcade game, its also a shooting game and fortunately it does support various peripherals so you can sample the different play styles. The arcade game is still better in every way but this is a good game to pluck into your SNES console and get a few minutes of great fun before you get too bored, and it’s good to come back to from time to time.

29. Super Smash TV

Notice my lists are heavy on arcade games, well there is a reason for that, they are quick and easy to pick up and play, they are often fun even today, and they really try to demonstrate what their respective console was going for. This isn’t the best version of the game ever, but it is playable, and if you get yourself a Super NES Advantage stick, or two, your good to go. This game was not just a staple of 90’s arcades, it was one of those games that got ports across the spectrum of home consoles and was well worth playing, depending on your willingness to adapt.

30. Street Fighter II Turbo

Ignore everything I just said, this is *THE* 16-bit SFII game to get. Ha, had you fanboys going for a second didn’t it. Okay, so most of what I said above is mostly true, this is still the best version of this game available on the Super NES and it’s one of the few good fighting games on the system. Super is better on Genesis, and frankly, just about any system it’s on but Super, and the original is garbage, it is just accept it and move on. But this version is still damn good, for what it is. I had a Genesis and I played SFII SCE and Super SFII all the damn time. When I did get a Super NES I fell for the lies the fanboys told me and bought these games, one by one, trying to recapture the magic of the Sega versions, to no luck. There are different opinions and if you live in a vacuum where you will never own a Sega Genesis, and play only on the Super Nintendo, I guess your 12 years old and it’s 1994 all over again, anyways, then yeah get some SFII games and have fun, but I strongly recommend getting them on anything newer and if you have to play them on a 16-bit console get the Genesis versions, with proper 6-button controls and flip the fanboys a middle finger.

There is my list, sorry if this got heated I just deal with a world that distorted the facts to a twisted reality where Sega always sucked and Super NES was always just assumed to be the best ever. Despite being an honest to god Sega fanboy, again my online handle is segagamer12, and the Genesis was my first home console I ever owned, I do freely admit the Super NES is better, but only by a very slight margin and only because of a couple of games that push it over the top. However, when it comes to fighting games, Genesis is better in almost every instance. You just have to GROW UP and stop talking about the stupid 3-button pad like here in 2017 it’s still the only joystick available for the console.

 

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