Add in a fantastic, stomping soundtrack, an awesome array of different weapons and some groovy overhead levels and you have a run-‘n’-gun title that would be essential on any format. Super Metroid is a game that works on a variety of levels. While some marvelled at its motherly themes, stunningly created environments and remarkable attention to detail, others were simply impressed with the sheer amount of crap you could blow up in it. Little wonder then that it took Nintendo eight years to come up with a sequel that could do it justice. Chrono Trigger was and still is a crown jewel for Square Enix.
Think Bionic Commando but with some decent rope physics thrown into the mix and you have a good idea of what to expect from this enchanting game. Konami released some outstanding titles for Nintendo’s 16-bit wonder, but this cracking effort from 1992 is arguably one of its best efforts. Each level is a rollercoaster ride of destruction and featured the SNES hardware on fine form. Sprites are full of detail, the game’s many bosses a joy to behold, and there’s a ridiculous amount of Mode 7 trickery going on.
The SNES version also added a bunch of new enemies, bosses, and levels over the arcade version, making it the preferred way to play Turtles in Time. It even plays better than the 3D remake released on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s been almost three decades since Nintendo debuted its beloved 16-bit console, but we still haven’t forgotten its contributions to the golden age of gaming.
It was the home of not only the best platformers of the day but also a console that brought the best RPGs Japan had to offer. The SNES was the birthplace of the Metroidvania as well as the first console to let us kart race with Mario and friends. It seems only fair to put at least one quirky Japanese title in the top ten, so our vote goes to the delightful Umihara Kawase. Taking control of an adorably cute little girl, the aim of each stage is simple – avoid the bizarre fishy enemies and reach the door on each exit. Of course, said exit is often out of reach, and with your little tyke not being that great a jumper she has to rely on a handy elastic rope to get her around.
You rode Tauntauns across the frozen wastes of Hoth, flipped and dashed your way through the bogs of Dagobah and tried not to lose your footing and fall to your death from the precipitous heights of Cloud City. There’s a very good argument to be made that Nintendo still hasn’t made a better Mario game since Super Mario World. Even the better graphics and four-player co-op of the New Super Mario Bros.games haven’t topped this legendary platformer.
While developed and marketed as a sequel to Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island went on to spawn its own series of platformers featuring the beloved dinosaurs, although none are as well regarded as the original. Maybe it’s the complete lack of ColecoVision Mike Tyson or the slightly inferior music, but Super Punch-Out!! The pattern-based matches have held up well though, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better arcade boxing game.
If you do want to experience Secret of Mana again, or for the first time, just remember to stick with the SNES version. The title has been remade twice now, but neither of those versions has the same charm as the original.