The Best Around: The Greatest Super Nintendo Games

How do you follow up the game console that literally saved the video game industry?

That was the question Nintendo had to address when making their 16-bit successor to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It didn’t help matters that console rival Sega had a good two-year head start on this new era of gaming with the Sega Genesis. Released in the early 90s, Nintendo’s answer was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), a supercharged NES that could pump out the best graphics and sound of any game console at the time.

In its lifetime, the SNES would go on to beat the Sega Genesis as the best-selling console of the era. Now nearly 30 years later, the SNES is remembered as one of the greatest consoles ever made. This everlasting legacy can’t be credited to its stellar graphics card or sound chip, but to the SNES’s library of timeless classics.

20. F-Zero

Publisher & Developer: Nintendo

Year: 1991


Birthed as a technical showcase for the SNES’s graphical power, F-Zero did much more than simply wow gamers with its graphics — it created an entire subgenre.

As the first futuristic racing game, F-Zero had gamers zipping through intricate tracks across three cups. The tight controls gave this racer more depth than any other racing game before it. Rather than constantly holding down the acceleration, players had to know when to speed up and slow down in order to properly navigate all the tight turns and avoid elimination.

While F-Zero may not get any love from Nintendo nowadays, there is still lots to love in the SNES original.

Image via GiantBomb

19. Earthworm Jim

Publisher: Playmates Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Shiny Entertainment

Year: 1994

Not everyone will remember Earthworm Jim, but those who do have nothing but fond memories and indescribable recollections of its world. Jim was just a mindless earthworm until a sentient spacesuit fell from the sky and took him on a spacefaring adventure to defeat the nefarious Psy-Crow.

Each stage draws gamers through a plethora of cartoonishly scenic settings, like a booger canyon and Buttville, and each has its own unique gameplay gimmick to keep things fresh. This truly original experience was defined by its wacky humor, absurd characters, and surreal level design.

Earthworm Jim manages to deliver on its crazy aesthetic with crisp sound design, engaging gameplay, and impressive visuals. Each level features multiple clearly defined backdrops and various new challenges and enemies that fit each level’s aesthetic; all without sacrificing playability.

18. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

Publisher & Developer: Konami

Year: 1992

In the late 80s, early 90s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were at the peak of their popularity. There were comics, TV shows, live-action movies, and toys all dawning the visage of the Heroes in a Half-Shell.

When it came to the world of video games, the best TMNT games were found in the arcade. These beat ‘em ups had up to four players controlling one of the four titular Turtles as they fought through waves of the Foot Clan. While many tried to port these games to console, it wasn’t until Konami’s Turtles in Time when somebody succeeded.

Compared to the arcade original, the SNES version is a downgrade in the graphics department. Outside of that one failing, Turtles in Time stacks up in the controls and sound departments, and even outperforms the arcade version when it comes to content.

Image via Lukie Games

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