Nintendo just announced the SNES Classic, a $79.99 box offering 21 classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System games. Unfortunately, this is down from the 30 games offered by the NES Classic, which Nintendo released last year.
While Nintendo got the lion’s share of classic SNES games on the SNES Classic, it still feels naked without these 12 classic SNES games that we would’ve loved to play on the system.
1. Chrono Trigger
Look at any list of the top SNES games and you’ll almost always see Chrono Trigger in the top 5 if not the top 3. That’s because it’s one of the most influential JRPGs of all time. With its innovative time-travelling mechanics, brilliant combat system employing a mix of action and strategy, and beautiful story and characters that are remembered to this day, Chrono Trigger is a true classic. It’s shocking that Nintendo didn’t add this classic to the lineup of games on the SNES Classic, especially with them including Final Fantasy III and Super Mario RPG.
2 & 3. Donkey Kong Country 2 & 3
Nintendo is including Donkey Kong Country on the SNES Classic, which is well deserved as that’s undoubtedly an instant classic. But it’s surprising that the other two games in the trilogy aren’t included, especially since those two games are even more fondly remembered and arguably better than the original. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest added two-player modes as well as brand new platforming mechanics that only built upon the already near-perfect Donkey Kong Country. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble innovated even further adding an overworld and even more radical gameplay mechanics. The only thing wrong about the two sequels is that they don’t feature the titular Kong as a playable character. I know the first game sold the most so it would make sense to prioritize that over the others, but why deprive people of another chance to play two games that could be even better?
4 & 5. Mega Man X 2 & 3
By that same token, it’s surprising that the two sequels to Mega Man X weren’t included in the SNES Classic while the original was. While the original is the most beloved out of the entire Mega Man X series and practically wrote the book on how to make platformers fantastic, the two subsequent sequels did a great job of continuing on from that success. While they weren’t radically different, they presented the astounding gameplay of the original in a fresh new coat of paint.
6. Kirby’s Dream Land 3
One of the more underrated games in the Kirby series, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is a solid entry. While it didn’t quite redefine the series like Kirby Super Star did (which by the way is included on the SNES Classic), it still provided the same light, fun gameplay the series has always provided. The levels are well designed and the animal buddies can provide new ways to move through levels and even changed your copy abilities. While it doesn’t particularly stand out in the series, it still deserves to be played by more people. Also, a physical cartridge on eBay goes for about the same price of the SNES Classic, meaning that the system would have been an even greater deal had it included the game.
7. Zombies Ate My Neighbors
A fantastic game from LucasArts, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is one of the essential co-op games for the SNES. With its b-movie charm and challenging gameplay, the game has become a cult classic among SNES fans. LucasArts would go on to create bigger and better things before its demise, but this game will always be remembered by those who played it with friends during late Saturday nights.
8. Mario Paint
Mario Paint was leaps and bounds ahead of the drawing tools for kids available at the time. Not only could you draw pictures, but you could compose your own music and create short animations. And it was all presented with the Nintendo charm that you’ve come to expect. I know that it’s not very practical of Nintendo to bundle an SNES Classic mouse with the SNES Classic so that people could play this one game, but if they’re going to require people to plug in their headsets into a dongle attached to a cell phone and the Nintendo Switch for voice chat on the system, then adding a mouse on the SNES Classic wouldn’t be much weirder.
9. Sunset Riders
Sure, Sunset Riders was also released on the SEGA Genesis as well, but that shouldn’t have stopped Nintendo from putting it on the SNES Classic. Before Publisher and Developer Konami was the worst at everything, they were making the best beat-em-ups and shooters on the market. Sunset Riders combines both genres as a run and gun shooter in the wild west. It’s a match made in heaven from a company that, at the time, could do no wrong.
10. Final Fight
Final Fight is often uttered under the same breath as Street Fighter. Only instead of being a Capcom-developed game that redefined the fighting game genre, Final Fight was a Capcom-developed game that redefined the beat-em-up genre. It combined a gritty urban brawling setting with the combos and throws that would later go on to the revolutionary Street Fighter II. However, the series hasn’t been given a whole lot of love in recent years, so an appearance on the SNES Classic would have been the least that could have been done.
SimCity would be perfect for the SNES Classic. No, not the disaster of a game in 2013, the original SimCity on the SNES. The game is a beautiful adaptation of the PC original with many regarding it as the best one. It captures all the addictive fun of caring for a city you built from the ground up before annihilating it with a tornado or even Bowser. It’s right up there with the other SNES classics, and it’s a shame that it wasn’t included.
12. Super Mario All-Stars
Putting Super Mario All-Stars on this list is almost like cheating as it’s essentially four games in one. It takes the first three classic games of the Super Mario Bros. series on the NES, adds the Japan-exclusive and infamously difficult Super Mario Bros. 2 (aka Super Mario Bros. Lost Levels), and gives everything a shiny new coat of paint thanks to the graphical upgrade of the SNES. Porting any of these games from the NES to the SNES would have been a sweet deal, but packaging them all together on one cartridge makes it a dream game. While the first three Super Mario games on the NES appeared on the NES Classic, it’s baffling that Nintendo didn’t include this cornucopia of legendary games on the SNES Classic.