9 games we wish were on the SNES Classic Edition

SNES Classic Chrono Trigger
Nintendo didn’t really surprise anyone by announcing the SNES Classic Edition, a 16-bit sequel to the massively successful plug-and-play NES Classic Edition emulator box, would be coming out this fall. The news sure got us excited to revisit some of our childhood favorites, though. The device’s roster of 21 games is loaded with beloved classics, but feels a bit light relative to the nearly 800 games released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System from 1991 to 1998. We’ve highlighted nine more titles for the SNES that we really wish would round it up to an even 30, like its older brother, the NES Classic.

Chrono Trigger

Truly a classic of the 16-bit era, this 1995 Squaresoft RPG sprang from the so-called RPG “dream team” of Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii, and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama. Chrono Trigger tells a thrilling, twisty tale of time travel, unlikely friendships, and saving the world that still feels remarkably fresh. It also introduced a few conventions found in RPGs (and other games) to this day, including a “New Game Plus” feature, letting players loop through the story again after completing it to explore its many alternate endings. This was only really possible because, notably among its JRPG peers, Chrono Trigger doesn’t waste your time at all with tedious grinding. Regardless of platform, many fans still hold it up as one of the greatest games of all time.

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest

Rare’s original Donkey Kong Country will be available on the SNES Classic Edition, but we’d be lying if we said we wouldn’t rather be playing its sequel. Released in November, 1995, just a year after its predecessor, Diddy Kong’s Quest took everything we loved about the first game and made it better. Its backgrounds are livelier and more detailed, its charming, faux 3D character animations are smoother, its levels are longer, and its secrets are more satisfying. Released about six months prior to Nintendo redefining platforming once again with Super Mario 64Donkey Kong Country 2 may have been the pinnacle of 2D platforming at the genre’s heyday.

Mortal Kombat II

While Street Fighter 2, which did make the cut, may be the most influential fighting game ever, Mortal Kombat II‘s cultural footprint can’t be understated. Its rotoscoped animations — made using live actors — and gory “Fatality” finishing moves meant that the Mortal Kombat series had the most realistic and disturbing violence that video games had yet seen — so much so that Senator Joe Lieberman held it up as en example of how dangerous games were becoming for impressionable youths. The resulting controversy led to the creation of the ESRB rating system for games, ultimately (and ironically) securing the medium’s ability to explore mature themes and imagery. Street Fighter 2 is fun, but the system really needs MKII to give a complete sense of mid-90s fighting games.

Seiken Densetsu 3

Like early Final Fantasy games, SquareSoft’s Secret of Mana series’ numbering got a bit thrown off as the series was only partially ported to the west. What English-speaking gamers know as Secret of Mana was actually released as Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan. At the time, many of us didn’t know even about its sequel, Seiken Densetsu 3, which launched two years later in Japan, but never made its way west outside of unofficial fan-translated ROMs. Like its predecessor, Seiken Densetsu 3 is an action RPG that can be played either solo or in 2-player co-op. Players choose three out of six possible playable characters, setting one as the protagonist and the other two as party members to subsequently pick up. Each character had their own story to follow, giving the game a huge amount of replay value. Other systemic improvements over the last game include character classes, and a day/night cycle and calendar system tied to elemental magic. This would have been a great opportunity to introduce a lost classic to a wider, English-speaking audience.

Harvest Moon

Stardew Valley may be one of our favorite games of the last few years, but it couldn’t exist without the innovative gameplay model defined by the original Harvest Moon. Like its many sequels and copycats, Harvest Moon casts you as a young man who has inherited a family farm in disrepair. By cleaning up the land, raising crops and livestock, taking part in local community festivals, and finding a wife, the player lives out a pastoral fantasy that still resonates with a lot of gamers. Developer Natsume is still releasing entries in the series, with a new title coming to PC and Switch in 2018, but they’ve done very little to improve upon the charming original, which makes its absence on the Classic a disappointment.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

From Streets of Rage to Golden Axe, the side-scrolling beat-em-up was a defining genre of the 90s. They were born in arcades, allowing for a great co-op experience, but the release of 16-bit home consoles meant that gamers could take these experiences home as well. In Turtles in Time, Leonardo, Donatello, et al. team up to take down Shredder and associates across various time periods, sending goons hurtling across the screen. Though originally released in arcades, the SNES version became the definitive version for many players thanks to new levels, a time trial, and a versus mode. The arcade version still has one major advantage — four-player co-op. Both the Ninja Turtles and sidescrolling beat-em-ups are particularly iconic of 90s pop culture, so Turtles in Time would have brought some serious retro cache to the Classic Edition’s line-up.

Tetris Attack

Tetris is one of the most iconic games of all time, coming, in some form, to basically every platform since 1984. Tetris Attack (first released as Panel de Pon) has almost nothing to do with that other than being a matching block puzzler. The Tetris Company’s Henk Rogers even said that he regretted allowing the license, since it diluted the Tetris brand. Whatever you want to call it, though, Tetris Attack is an undeniably great game, and one of our favorite competitive titles from the SNES. Like Tetris, rows of colored blocks gradually fill a vertical shaft until it hits the top and the player loses, but this time they join from the bottom. Swapping two blocks horizontally at a time, the player reconfigures the field until lines of three or more matching blocks are cleared. Scoring chains and combos causes garbage blocks to dump down onto your opponent’s screen, keeping the competition spicy and engaged.


Where most early sports games were a bit dry and abstract, NBA Jam showed how to embrace the unreality of sports video games, and it was wildly successful as a result. Published by Midway in 1993, it featured 2-on-2 basketball with real life contemporary players from the 1993-94 NBA season. (Fun fact: It’s also one of the first games include the digitized likenesses of active pro athletes). The gameplay was most notable for its exaggerated style, with tremendous dunks and iconic one-liners that defined sports and games ever since.

Mario Paint

One of the console’s strangest releases, Mario Paint was a creation toolkit that allowed users to create static images, simple animations, and MIDI music, utilizing images and sound effects from Nintendo’s Mario franchise. Well before widespread online content creation tools and connected consoles, Mario Paint was perhaps decades ahead of its time in empowering player creativity before we had the infrastructure to easily share it, and its echoes can be felt in the fantastic Super Mario Maker. We can understand leaving this one out, since it was released alongside the little-used SNES Mouse peripheral, but it’s a real shame that we won’t be able to go back to this classically quirky Nintendo title.


PlayStation Classic hacked in less than a week to play games via USB drive

Hackers have already managed to crack the PlayStation Classic, with programs now available to allow users to play additional original PlayStation games on the system via a USB drive.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Grabbing a Switch for the holidays? Here's what you need to know to play online

If you want to play online multiplayer on Switch, you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Here's what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online, from price to features to the awesome library of NES games.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Xbox One X vs. PS4 Pro: Which console is more powerful?

Far from cooling down, the console wars are only getting more intense. We compare Microsoft's Xbox One X to Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro to help you decide which premium console is right for you.

Find the perfect weapon in 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' multiplayer with our guide

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has several different guns to choose from in its multiplayer mode, and they're split across multiple classes. Here's a guide to all of them and when you should use them.

New ‘Stardew Valley’ content on the way, as game’s maker freezes next project

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone said that he will continue working on new content for the indie farming simulator. The developer previously said that he will devote all his time to his next game, but that has been placed on hold for now.

Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.

Kanye West wants to meet ‘Metal Gear Solid’ creator Hideo Kojima, for some reason

Rapper Kanye West wants to meet video game designer Hideo Kojima in New York. Nobody knows the reason behind the meeting, but fans are speculating that it may have something to do with Death Stranding for the PlayStation 4.

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.