When the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) launched, it was an instant success following some of the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Nintendo sold out of the system of the initial shipment of 300,000 systems within hours, making it one of the most successful console launches in history. Given the time of the system’s release, the SNES gave us a groundbreaking chance to play video games at home relatively inexpensively.
The system offered now-classic games and follow-ups to some of the best NES games with Mortal Kombat, Legend of Zelda, Castlevania, and, of course, some of the best Mario games. The system brings back fond memories for lots of players, but because it was so long ago, some of our favorites have been lost to time. To highlight some of these missing classics, we have compiled a list of some of the best games the SNES had to offer.
If you’re diving into Nintendo history, you should also check out our round-ups of the best games for Game Boy Color, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, Gamecube, Wii and Switch. There are also a lot of great Nintendo titles included in Digital Trends’ ranking of the top 50 best video games of all time.
Few video game series carry the reverence the video game industry holds for The Legend of Zelda games. This franchise has been around for almost 30 years and has introduced generations of gamers to fantastic games. It’s one of the most influential series, on par with titles like Super Mario games. There are points to be made for which Zelda game is the best today — many people would argue for a more recent entry, Breath of the Wild — but for a long time, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was the pinnacle of the series and the best game in the SNES’s stellar library. This installment in the Legend of Zelda franchise is a classic because of the outstanding gameplay. A Link to the Past is an incredibly exciting adventure, and it also introduces concepts that you will recognize from other Zelda games, including the Dark World, or the Sages. The story of A Link to the Past influenced the subsequent games in the franchise. The vast lands of Hyrule and the Dark World are jam-packed with secrets to uncover, making for a thrilling playing experience. The game’s secrets and exploration mechanism are memorable. Finding a cave’s entrance was a wildly exciting adventure, allowing you to imagine all the challenges and hidden treasures awaiting you. The dungeons in A Link to the Past are perfect examples of the ones all The Legend of Zelda games are famous for. A Link to the Past dungeons aren’t easy, but they’re fair. Winning the exclusive treasures and weapons deep within them transforms Link from a green-clothed explorer into a formidable warrior. Other video games encourage players to crush their foes, but A Link to the Past manages to provide entertainment and a challenge without promoting needless violence. To win the game, you have to defeat Ganon and all the other villains – but you’ll spend most of the game solving puzzles and unraveling adventures. A Link to the Past delivers a unique experience by focusing on independent exploration rather than simply hunting and killing. Like other games in the Legend of Zelda series, A Link to the Past instills child-like wonder and curiosity while cultivating a deep appreciation of a plot and the power of character.
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