With the Super NES Classic Edition now available, nostalgia for Nintendo’s beloved 16-bit console is at an all-time high. And really, why shouldn’t it be? Despite being over a quarter century old, the Super Nintendo is still widely considered to be one of the greatest gaming systems ever made and is closely associated with what is often referred to as gaming’s “golden age.” Nintendo’s purple and grey box was home to a frankly absurd number of incredible games, with all-time greats like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Final Fantasy VI making their debuts on the SNES.

While gaming has evolved dramatically since the SNES’ early-90s heyday, the console and many of its games have aged surprisingly well. The move from the 8-bit NES to 16-bit afforded developers the tools to truly take a leap forward in visuals and game design. The color palettes became more varied, sound design became beefier, and gameplay in general became more ambitious in the SNES era.

Now that the SNES Classic is out, we thought it would be a good time to revisit the console and take a look back at some of its best titles. All 21 games that appear on the SNES Classic’s library are included on this list, but there are also a ton of other great SNES games that, for whatever reason, didn’t make the cut. Without further ado, here are rankings of the 40 best SNES games of all time. As always, we welcome your feedback and don’t hesitate to sound off in the comments below about what some of your favorite SNES games are and which ones you feel should have made the list that didn’t.

40. Pilotwings

*Didn’t Make The Cut

A flight-sim game, Pilotwings certainly isn’t a game that appeals to everyone, but it’s hard to dispute its influence on the SNES, especially from a graphical standpoint. One of only three games available when the SNES first launched, Pilotwings is often considered to be the ultimate tech demo for Nintendo’s 16-bit console. The game used the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 capability to simulate 3D graphics, which in turn made Pilotwings a pretty convincing flight-sim for its time and offered a nice challenge for would-be pilots. Admittedly, there are many superior SNES games out there — which is probably why it didn’t make the cut for the SNES Classic — but based on historical significance alone, Pilotwings remains an important and influential title in the console’s library .

Via: Nintendo

39. Star Fox

*SNES Classic Title

Star Fox hasn’t aged all that well (really, the only game in the franchise that has is Star Fox 64), but considering how influential it was, it arguably deserves a spot. The Mode 7 graphics were state-of-the-art at the time and it was actually only the second three-dimensional game developed by Nintendo, so there is little doubt that Star Fox was an important release for the company. Besides all that, it’s a fun arcade shooter and was our first introduction to one of Nintendo’s flagship (though often overlooked) franchises.

Source: lukiegames.com

38. Star Fox 2

*SNES Classic Title

Technically never officially released by Nintendo until is inclusion on the SNES Classic, Star Fox 2 is practically a new game for those who never played it through emulators over the years. While the first Star Fox was ambitious from a technological perspective, Star Fox 2 is equally ambitious in terms of its unique real-time mission structure. The sequel sees players fighting off enemies in aerial combat while also defending Fox McCloud’s home planet of Corneria. In this way, the game becomes a bit of a tactical RPG, as you have to decide which enemies to divide your time between as Corneria’s defenses are slowly depleted. Unfortunately, the game’s low-fi polygonal graphics betray its age and even by 1996 standards the game looked dated (which is actually the main reason why Nintendo cancelled it in the first place). Still, now that Star Fox 2 has been made officially available, it arguably deserves to be considered alongside other SNES games in a historical context and if the game had been released as intended, it’s safe to assume that it would have been revered as a great title in the console’s library.

Source: Star Fox Wiki

37. Kirby’s Dream Course

*SNES Classic Title

Kirby has built a reputation for being more prolific than even Mario when it comes to game releases, as it feels like we get at least two new Kirby games every year, but this has been something the little pink hero has been doing from the beginning. There were no less than four different Kirby games released on the Super Nintendo alone (and this number goes up when you factor in Japan-only Super Famicom games) and one of the best of the bunch was Kirby’s Dream Course, a unique take on golf that literally makes Kirby the ball. In spite of its silly-sounding premise, Kirby’s Dream Course was surprisingly deep and difficult to master, and remains one of the better mini-golf video games out there even to this day.

Source: Nintendo Wire

36. Harvest Moon

*Didn’t Make The Cut

When it comes to farm simulators, we have Harvest Moon to thank for essentially creating an entire video game genre. Although working the land sounds like a video game snooze-fest, Harvest Moon is surprisingly fun and the first entry in the series still holds up to this day. Planting seeds, harvesting crops, and other farming activities shouldn’t be this addictive, but as more recent farming games like Farmville and Stardew Valley have proven, never underestimate the power of a good agricultural simulation. There are certainly better games in the SNES library, but few can match the blissful relaxation of Harvest Moon, which makes it kind of a shame that it didn’t make the cut for the SNES Classic.

Source: legendsoflocalization.com

35. Sunset Riders

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Video games with Western themes are few and far between, and it’s even rarer to find ones that are any good. Fortunately, Red Dead Redemption isn’t the only good one out there, as Konami’s Sunset Riders for the SNES remains one of the better video game takes on the Old West. Resembling a cross between Contra and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (another classic SNES action game that appears later on this list), Sunset Riders is like a side-scrolling brawler with an emphasis on guns and is even better in two player co-op.

It’s unfortunate that Sunset Riders seems to be better known these days for the controversy surrounding it — Nintendo famously forced Konami to edit some scantily-clad women out and also change the race of some Native American enemies — as it’s a game well worth revisiting and one that arguably belongs on the SNES Classic.

Source: GiantBomb

34. Super Punch-Out!

*SNES Classic Title

Though it loses some points for not really doing a whole lot to differentiate itself from its influential NES predecessor, Super Punch-Out! for the SNES is sto;; arguably the better overall game. You still perform the same hooks, uppercuts and super punches as in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, but thanks to the addition of precision-based action, each match takes on a whole new tactical dynamic, as you’re forced to closely study each opponent you face. This is something you’d want to do too, as each opponent had an instant KO point that could be exploited for huge damage. Like many other NES franchises that made the jump to the Super Nintendo, Super Punch-Out!! took what worked in the original and simply did it better, which is why it’s still considered a standout of the SNES library.

Nintendo

33. Super Bomberman

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Bomberman games really haven’t changed all that much since the 16-bit era, which probably helps explain why Super Bomberman still holds up so well. An absolute blast (pun intended) with four players, Super Bomberman was actually the very first SNES to officially support four players, which helped make it a multiplayer favorite on the console. While later Bomberman titles are certainly more visually dynamic and have added many different modes, Super Bomberman is a pure distillation of what makes the series special, primarily due to its inclusion of Bomberman Battle Mode, which is the definitive mode in the series. Trapping your friends in a corner with a well-placed bomb is a gaming rite of passage and Super Bomberman stands as the SNES party game for that reason.

Via: Nintendo

32. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Still one of the finest co-op beat ’em ups of all time, TMNT IV: Turtles In Time is a blast to play even to this day, especially with a buddy in tow. A port of the popular arcade brawler, Turtles in Time remains one of the most authentic Ninja Turtles games ever made, capturing the spirit of the cartoon perfectly. Featuring simple but responsive brawling gameplay and a time-hopping premise that sees brothers Leonardo, Ralphael, Donnatello, and Michaelangelo visit the dinosaurs, the wild west, and even the distant future, Turtles in Time is simply a fun video game and sometimes, that’s enough.

Source: Nerd Bacon

31. NHL ’94

*Didn’t Make The Cut

One of the finest sports games of its generation with a surprisingly sophistacated gameplay engine to boot, NHL ’94 helped define how sports games looked and played in the 16-bit era. Although getting it to work involved having to purchase the Super Nintendo’s Super Multitap device, four player gameplay was one of the main draws of NHL ’94 and helped make it one of the console’s standout multiplayer titles.

Fun fact: NHL 14 threw in a NHL ’94 mode to celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary. The mode replicates NHL ’94’s audio, visuals, and controls and is a real treat for fans of the original game.

Source: Giantbomb

30. Earthworm Jim

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Impressive animation and tight platforming gameplay are just a few of the reasons Earthworm Jim was adored in its day and the most impressive part is that it still holds up really well by today’s standards. While there were certainly better platformers released on the SNES, Earthworm Jim holds a special place in many gamers’ hearts due to its zany premise and off-beat sense of humor. This is a game in which the main villain was named — and this is no joke — Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt. They just don’t make games like this anymore (side note: it’s criminal that we haven’t gotten a new Earthworm Jim game since the ’90s). It’s also hard to find many games that cast you as gun-toting earthworms in powerful space suit armor, so it also has that going for it.

Source: HD Wallpaperia

29. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

*Didn’t Make The Cut

A creative top-down zombie shooter with smart level and weapon design, Zombies Ate My Neighbours is an early LucasArts gem that is infinitely more enjoyable in two player mode. It helps that the game was released long before zombies began dominating pop culture and overstaying their welcome, as Zombies Ate My Neighbors certainly had its own unique style. Presented in a goofy B-movie format, ZAMN not only featured enemy zombies to take down, but also a number of other enemy types reminiscent of those found on the big screen, including a giant baby boss. Plants Vs. Zombies certainly owes a debt to this one!

Source: Giant Bomb

28. SimCity

*Didn’t Make The Cut

The game that not only helped launch the career of legendary game designer Will Wright but essentially popularized the simulation genre, SimCity had already been available on home computers for some time before it made the jump to the SNES. However, recognizing the potential for Wright’s game on their new console, Nintendo developed their own version of the game and released it as a launch title in 1991. While the SNES controller lacked the precision offered by a mouse and keyboard, the core city management gameplay was present and accounted for on Nintendo’s console, with the added benefit of exclusive Nintendo elements such as Bowser appearing as a Godzilla-sized monster to lay waste to your city. The franchise would only get better from here but for its time, it was hard to find a better simulation game on the SNES than SimCity.

Source: Giant Bomb

27. Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Star Wars video games have existed on pretty much every piece of gaming hardware released in the last three decades or so and the Super Nintendo is no different, having been home to a trilogy of film adaptations called Super Star Wars. The Super Star Wars games took the basic outline of each film in George Lucas’ original trilogy and cut them up into a bunch of 2D action-platforming levels.

Like many games of their ilk, Super Star Wars and its sequels based on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are notoriously difficult (as a kid, I couldn’t get past the first few levels in any of the games) but still rewarding in spite of their numerous frustrations. While each of the three games don’t differ all that much from one another, Super Return of the Jedi is the best of the bunch, as it’s arguably the most polished of the three and features the most variety in terms of gameplay.

Lucasarts

26. Mortal Kombat II

*Didn’t Make The Cut

While Street Fighter is the better overall fighting franchise, Mortal Kombat was right up there with it for a time, especially on the SNES. Mortal Kombat II is arguably the best entry on the console, introducing the violent fatalities that made the franchise so popular, while also featuring a ridiculously good stable of fighters. In many ways, you could even call MKII the best game in the entire series, as every facet of its design played to what made Mortal Kombat so viscerally enjoyable to begin with. Mortal Kombat II also managed to destroy its predecessor in terms of overall quality, as it looked and played better, and also didn’t neuter the whole experience by censoring the violence.

Source: fightersgeneration.com

25. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts

*SNES Classic Title

Think the Dark Souls games are challenging? They’ve got nothing on the controller-breaking frustration of Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, which is legendary in gaming circles for its high degree of difficulty. A sequel to the also bone-crushingly difficult NES title Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts retains its predecessor’s steep challenge while improving things quite dramatically in the visual department. While the game’s high degree of difficulty will certainly be a turn off for some gamers, if you can endure the challenge, you’ll find a well-assembled platformer with a charming horror/medieval vibe.

Via: Capcom

24. Contra III: The Alien Wars

*SNES Classic Title

Contra is one of the most beloved retro franchises in the action genre and Konami truly pulled out all of the stops when it came time to release an entry on the SNES. While Contra III: The Alien Wars doesn’t really change up the formula of its predecessors in any significant way, it’s a relentlessly fun action game that never lets up and is also a blast to play in co-op. Featuring ridiculously huge bosses, a synth-heavy rock soundtrack, and pretty much every kind of “extreme” gameplay situation you could imagine, Contra III certainly never takes itself too seriously. As the Alien Wars subtitle suggest, this third entry in the series trades in its references to 80s action staples such as Rambo for sci-fi, with nods to franchises such as Terminator and Star Wars.

And in true Contra fashion, The Alien Wars is absurdly difficult but oh so rewarding if you can manage to even get past the first level.

Konami

23. Tetris Attack

*Didn’t Make The Cut

One of the best puzzle games ever released, Tetris Attack is actually a re-skinned version of a game known as Panel de Pon in Japan. When Nintendo brought it to North America, they used assets and characters from another popular SNES title, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. In fact, the game doesn’t actually have much to do with Tetris at all, to the point where Henk Rogers of The Tetris Company has actually expressed regret over allowing Nintendo use the license. Despite not being a true Tetris game, Tetris Attack is still every bit an addictive and enjoyable puzzle game, especially if you’re playing in two-player mode. Featuring a clever dual panel-switching mechanic, Tetris Attack has some of the most heated competition of any puzzle game and it’s frankly absurd that Nintendo decided not to include this game with the SNES Classic.

Fun Fact: Tetris Attack was remade as Pokemon Puzzle League for the Nintendo 64. Fittingly, it’s also an incredibly addictive and fun puzzle game.

Via: Nintendo

22. Mega Man X2

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Following Mega Man X — a game that brought the Mega Man series to the 16-bit era in spectacular fashion — could not have been an enviable position to be in, but Capcom delivered a sequel every bit as engaging and creative as its predecessor with Mega Man X2. The main difference between the two games is that X2 gives the Blue Bomber a new batch of animal cyborg foes to face off against, including memorable boss encounters with Wheel Gator and Overdrive Ostrich. The best part is that X2 brings back Mega Man’s ultra cool ally Zero, who sacrificed himself at the end of the first X game. Overall, we’re still partial to the original Mega Man X because of the leap forward it represented for the franchise as a whole but regardless, Mega Man X2 remains one of the best entries in this long-running series.

Source: Techno Buffalo

21. NBA Jam

*Didn’t Make The Cut

BoomShakaLaka! NBA Jam is not an authentic recreation of professional basketball and yet, it’s still one of the most entertaining basketball games ever made. NBA Jam is all about style and sports heroics, which means that it regularly turns into a contest between super-powered basketball players. Which, for the record, is awesome.  2-on-2 arcade basketball has never been better. It’s NBA Jam, son!


20. ActRaiser

*Didn’t Make The Cut

A wholly unique game that feels like a mash-up of two very different genres — action platforming and city-building — ActRaiser doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the SNES’s most original titles and deserves a chance to be discovered (or rediscovered) by a whole new generation of gamers. Published by Enix and developed by Quintet, ActRaiser still stands as a blueprint for how to successfully marry two seemingly disparate game genres (and has some great boss fights to boot) and is a cult hit that deserved to reach a wider audience. As such, Nintendo’s decision to not include ActRaiser as part of the SNES Classic’s library is perplexing to say the least, but at least it doesn’t change the game’s status as one of the console’s very best hidden gems.

Source: Giantbomb

19. Super Mario All-Stars

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Perhaps it’s cheating a bit to include a compilation on this list, but when said compilation includes three of the greatest games ever made, it’s arguably okay to bend the rules a bit. Originally released in 1993, Super Mario All-Stars was one of the best purchases you could make as a Super Nintendo owner, as the cartridge included includes enhanced versions of Super Mario Bros.Super Mario Bros. 2Super Mario Bros. 3, and Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels.

There was an even better version released the following year that included all of those games, plus Super Mario World, which was subsequently re=released for the Wii as part of Mario’s 25th anniversary celebration back in 2010. Still, no matter which version of Super Mario All-Stars you got your hands on, it stands as one of the best titles available on the SNES, especially if you somehow missed the Super Mario Bros. trilogy on the NES.

Nintendo

18. F-ZERO

*SNES Classic Title

Ridiculously fast and insanely difficult, F-Zero is old school gaming through and through. Featuring the first appearance of Captain Falcon — who, for the record, is both a futuristic race car driver and bounty hunter because of course he is — F-Zero was in some ways a racer too ambitious for the hardware it was on, as the game’s blistering speed pushed the Super Nintendo’s Mode 7 capabilities to their limits. All-in-all, F-Zero is a nice alternative to the much more forgiving racing found in something like Super Mario Kart and still offers a true test for player reflexes and endurance.

Source: Giantbomb

17. Super Castlevania IV

*SNES Classic Title

While it’s certainly not the greatest Castlevania game ever made, Super Castlevania IV is still a fine entry in the series all the same. A re-imagining of sorts of the original Castlevania for the NES, Super Castlevania IV follows returning protagonist Simon Belmont and his trusty whip, aptly named The Vampire Killer, as he takes on Dracula and the forces of darkness. Featuring excellent platforming action and a killer soundtrack, this title represents the pinnacle of Castlevania on the SNES.

Plus, that expanded whip cracking mechanic was ridiculously satisfying.

Via: Konami

16. Final Fantasy IV

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Final Fantasy IV (or Final Fantasy II as it was known in North America) represented a bold step forward for the seminal JRPG series in more ways than one. As the first Final Fantasy game released for the SNES, FFIV benefited from the increased graphical capabilities offered by Nintendo’s console, thus making the previous three Final Fantasy games look dated by comparison. More importantly though, Final Fantasy IV pushed the series forward with its engrossing story and well-rounded cast of characters. Whereas most RPGs at the time offered players black canvas characters with which to project their own stories onto, FFIV ditched that model in favor of three-dimensional characters, all with their own backstories and motivations. Factor in an engaging active time battle system and a more streamlined progression system that decreased the importance of monotonous grinding, and it’s easy to see why Final Fantasy IV has been able to stand the test of time as one of the finest RPGs to come out of the 16-bit era.

Square

15. Kirby Super Star

*SNES Classic Title

From a value proposition alone, Kirby Super Star might be the best bang-for-your-buck game to ever grace the SNES, collecting together nine Kirby games onto one cartridge. Nintendo probably could have gotten away with just releasing Spring Breeze — a 16-bit remake of Kirby’s Dream Land — as a singular product, but Kirby Super Star is bursting at the seams with creativity. Highlights include Gourmet Race, a racing/platformer hybrid that sees King Dedede face off against Kirby in a food-eating contest and The Great Cave Offensive, an adventure title featuring the Triforce from The Legend of Zelda. As with most Kirby games, Kirby Super Star is a bit on the easy side but considering the challenge level offered by most SNES games, we consider that to be a blessing more than anything.

Nintendo

14. Donkey Kong Country

*SNES Classic Title

Sure, Donkey Kong Country doesn’t pack the visual punch it once did, but it’s still one of the finest looking games in the SNES library and an exceptionally well-made platformer to boot. Recasting Donkey Kong as the hero this time, Rare’s platformer is often credited with helping save the Super Nintendo. Released right around the time that Sony’s PlayStation came along and introduced gamers to a new era of 3D visuals, DKC’s eye-popping visuals proved that the SNES still had some life left in it. Additionally, DKC features one of the best retro soundtracks in gaming and a surprising amount of gameplay variety for being Rare’s first installment in the series. Future Donkey Kong Country games would iterate on the formula established here and arguably deliver even better experiences, but the first game still holds up remarkably well and is the only SNES-era Country game that actually lets you play as DK.

Source: Rarefandabase.com

13. Secret of Mana

*SNES Classic Title

A RPG that often gets overlooked, Secret of Mana is now widely regarded as one of the SNES’s finest games. A sequel to Final Fanasy Adventure for the Game Boy, Secret of Mana made a name for itself among RPG heavyweights primarily due to its deep and addictive battle system, which combined real-time action with timed attacks. Tactical, beautiful, and featuring co-op play for up to three players, this is one role-playing game that stood out from its contemporaries and is well worth seeking out even to this day.

Source: alphacoders.com

12. Super Mario Kart

*SNES Classic Title

Super Mario Kart may be the first entry in the long-running Mario spin-off series, but many gamers still consider it to be the best. In retrospect, putting Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom pals (and enemies!) behind the wheel of a bunch of go-karts was a stroke of genius, resulting in one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises. While it would have been easy to write off Super Mario Kart in its day as a shameless cash-grab piggybacking off the popularity of the Mario name, the truth is that it’s actually one of the more influential racing games out there, introducing concepts like power-ups and also helping popularize arcade racers. Granted, SMK hasn’t aged quite as gracefully as the Super Nintendo’s very best games, but it’s still very playable and remains a classic by any measure.

Source: Mario kart Wiki

11. Super Street Fighter II: Turbo

*SNES Classic Title

The fact that Capcom’s Super Street Fighter II is still regarded as one of the greatest fighting games ever made is a testament to the game’s timeless mechanics, which somehow remain addictive and intricate more than a quarter century later.  It’s hard to remember now, but good console fighting games were hard to come by back in the early 90s and the fact that Street Fighter II was able to deliver an arcade quality experience at home was a true feat of technical wizardry. Okay, so it wasn’t quite on par with the arcade version, but it was about as close as you could get at the time. Setting all that aside, you’re left with one of the tightest, balanced fighting games around and one with a perfect roster of fighters. Hadoken!

Capcom

10. Mega Man X

*SNES Classic Title

Mega Man X took everything that worked in earlier Mega Man titles on the NES and brought the whole thing to bear on the more powerful SNES. While not as difficult as previous titles, Mega Man X introduced a ton of gameplay improvements that would become series hallmarks, including dashing, wall-jumping, and special weapon charging. Offering a blueprint on how to make a great 16-bit action-platformer, Mega Man X is in many ways the best Mega Man game ever made and that more than earns it a spot in the top 10 SNES games ever.

Source: Game Grumps Wiki

9. Chrono Trigger

*Didn’t Make The Cut

The SNES was a bastion for fantastic JRPGs and Chrono Trigger remains one of the greatest ever made. Many games from the 16-bit era do not stand the test of time, but Chrono Trigger has aged like a fine wine and rightfully deserves to be called a masterpiece. The game itself is RPG nirvana, delivering an excellent battle system and interesting time-hopping narrative that has no less than 13(!) endings, an incredibly ambitious feat for a game released in 1995. In some ways, Chrono Trigger represents the end of a JRPG golden age, as it was not only released near the end of the SNES’s life cycle, but also counted a number of legendary game designers among its development team, including Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Yuji Hori (Dragon Quest) and Akiria Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball. When it comes to notable omissions on the SNES Classic, Chrono Trigger is easily the most egregious.

Source: Venturebeat.com

8. EarthBound

*SNES Classic Title

Totally underappreciated in its day, EarthBound now has an enthusiastic cult following and is recognized as one of the finest RPGs on the SNES. The only game in the Mother series to see a North American release, EarthBound puts players in the shoes of Ness — who is much more well-known now thanks to his many appearances in the Smash Bros. franchise — as he sets out on an adventure that features psychedelia, riffs on American culture, and even a prophetic alien named Buzz Buzz. EarthBound’s inclusion in the SNES Classic’s library means that a whole bunch of potential new players will be able to experience one of the finest games of the 16-bit era.

Source: technobuffalo.com

7. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

*SNES Classic Title

A beautiful game that truly shows off the Super Nintendo’s capabilities, Yoshi’s Island still stands as one of the greatest 2D platformers ever made. Giving players full control of Mario’s trusty steed/dinosaur Yoshi, this sequel to Super Mario World helped define many of Yoshi’s moves and traits, such as the flutter kick and egg throw. While Baby Mario’s crying was admittedly grating, Yoshi’s Island made up for this design quirk by featuring impeccable level and puzzle design, and remains one of the most beautiful games in the Super Nintendo’s library.

Source: Giant Bomb

6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

*Didn’t Make The Cut

Nintendo made the right call in making Rare’s Donkey Kong Country one of the SNES Classic’s 21 included games, but I really wish they had found room to include that game’s sequel as well, as it’s arguably the superior game. Originally released in 1995, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest swaps out DK for Diddy’s girlfriend Dixie Kong, whose unique move set opened up all sorts of new gameplay possibilities. Dixie could fly (or at least glide) around the environment by spinning her hair, which was more interesting than Donkey Kong’s basic-looking move set.

The level design is arguably stronger too, with more richly detailed and varied environments (the amusement park sections have always been a personal favorite of mine). As already mentioned, it’s great that Nintendo at the very least got Donkey Kong Country on the SNES Classic, but it would have been great to jump right into its superior sequel after playing through it again.

Nintendo

5. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

*SNES Classic Title

Super Mario in a RPG co-developed by Square and Nintendo — this is one of those games that shouldn’t have worked out but somehow, it totally did; plus, it has Mario and Bowser working together for the first time. Much like ActRaiserSuper Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars combined two genres that should have had no business working so well together, as Square and Nintendo’s collaboration married Mario platforming with RPG elements. While it seems ridiculous to refer to any Mario title as a “cult” game, Super Mario RPG arguably qualifies, especially since it introduced two lesser known but beloved characters in Mallow and Geno. This is the stuff video game history is made of, folks.

source: Mario Wiki

4. Super Metroid

*SNES Classic Title

Enough good things can’t be said about Super Metroid. A near-flawless masterpiece dripping in atmosphere, this is easily Samus Aran’s finest 2D adventure and one of the most influential games of all time. ‘Metroidvania’ has become an increasingly popular subgenre of 2D action/adventure games in recent years and pretty much all of these games owe an immense debt to what Nintendo accomplished with Super Metroid. Highly replayable and still one of the SNES’s finest games, Super Metroid is truly a landmark achievement that long ago cemented itself as one of gaming’s masterworks. Plus, is there any other game that has as many memorable, terrifying boss battles?

Source: Metro UK2

3. Super Mario World

*SNES Classic Title

The fact that Super Mario World was packed in with the original SNES release makes its inclusion here obvious, but it’s also important to remember that it is simply an incredible game that has become synonymous with the SNES. The fact that Nintendo was able to release a follow-up to the incredible Super Mario Bros. 3 that actually lives up to that game’s legacy may be the most impressive feat at all. With its colorful expansion of the Mushroom Kingdom, not to mention the introduction of Yoshi, Super Mario World was many gamer’s introduction to the SNES and signaled that Nintendo’s new console was truly the next step in video games. How can you not love this game?

Source: Mario.wikia.com

2. Final Fantasy VI

*SNES Classic Title

Final Fantasy III (technically Final Fantasy VI — Square’s numbering was super confusing with its early North American releases) is the best entry in the series to hit the Super Nintendo and is widely considered to be one of the greatest RPGs ever made. Featuring an engrossing story, well-written characters, and some of the most memorable music of any video game ever, Final Fantasy VI is the definition of a must-play title. In fact, the quality of FFVI’s characters and story were so ahead of their time that they still rival those of many modern video games, which proves that fancy cinematics and graphics will only get you so far. In the end, its the quality of the writing that truly matters and this is something that FFVI had in spades.

Source: dorkshelf.com

1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

*SNES Classic Title

Whether or not Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game is up for debate but no matter which side of the fence you fall on, it’s hard to deny that A Link to the Past is still one of the all-time greats. Building upon the design of the original Legend of Zelda for NES and refining and improving it in every way, A Link to the Past is not only a perfect sequel but in many ways is a perfect game.

Everything from the controls to the dungeon design to the music are impeccable and even though the Zelda series has long since moved onto 3D visuals, many fans still consider this to be the definitive Zelda experience, even in a world that also includes Ocarina of Time and the aforementioned Breath of the Wild. Arguably the greatest Super Nintendo game there is and one of the most influential games of all time, A Link to the Past is a timeless experience that deserves to be played and enjoyed by every generation of video game fan.

Source: Nintendo