Last week’s episode of Versus has had me thinking about all the SNES games I loved as a child. Despite owning an Atari, Amiga and NES before it, I will never forget the day I came downstairs on a cold Christmas morning and saw this sitting underneath the tree...
So for the hell of it I decided I’ll list off my personal top 10 SNES games (aka the games that “I” played the most as a child). Please note; as I was merely 1 of 4 kids, my parents would only ever buy us multiplayer games. Therefore I didn't get the chance to play the likes of Chrono Trigger, A Link To The Past and Super Metroid until much later. Although I recognize that all of those games are great, they just don’t hold the same place in my heart that the rest of the games on this list occupy.
So without further ado, here is my top 10 favourite SNES games....
10. NBA Jam
15 years ago, If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up my answer would have been “basketball player”. Basketball and Gaming were my two main hobbies back then so naturally NBA Jam was like a dream come true for me. Even today many gamers consider it to be the greatest b-ball game ever made and I’d find it hard to argue otherwise.
09. Killer Instinct
Rare's Killer Instinct was released on black cartridge! A BLACK CARTRIDGE!! I just had to get it!!! In an era where Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were the only fighting franchises worth talking about, KI burst on to the scene with Ultra Combos, phenomenal music and a man made entirely out of flames! This was the coolest game around back in 1995.
08. Mortal Kombat 3
Having played MK 3 recently, I honest don’t know why I liked this game so much... but as a child MK was the shit! While the MK II vs MK 3 debate still rages on amongst fans, in my humble opinion I think Mortal Kombat 3 was the better game. The introduction of Kombos, Animalities and one button Fatalities blew my pre-pubescent mind! It’s just a shame it hasn’t aged all that well.
07. Rock 'N Roll Racing
Before Blizzard made World Of Warcraft, they made games that were actually good... I kid! But on a serious note, Rock 'N Roll Racing was damn awesome! 16-bit rock-n-roll tunes, great weapons and vehicles, mid-race commentary and a career mode were all things that made RnRR so special. I would ask for a sequel but....
06. Contra III
There were many “walk to the right, kill everything in sight” games on the SNES but Contra III (or Super Probotector as it was known in the UK) was my favourite of them all. Me and big sister would play this game with military precision in an attempt to finally beat the game on Hard... we never did. Fuck that Level 5 boss!!
05. Super Mario All-Stars
I almost didn’t put this game on the list as I generally associate Mario Bros. 1 – 3 with the NES not the SNES but there’s one key thing that makes the SNES versions vastly superior... save slots! Trying to complete Super Mario Bros. 3 in was sitting was a pain on the NES but in Super Mario All-Stars that wasn’t an issue. The ‘save anywhere’ feature changed my life and the updated visuals almost made each game feel brand new again. This has to be the greatest game compilation of all time.
04. Super Mario Kart
Of all the games on this list, Super Mario Kart was probably the one I played the most. This game kick-started my obsession with the Mario Kart series, an obsession that is still present 20 years and 7 games later. Super Mario Kart was just a joy to play. I had so much fun speeding around corners and blasting fools with well-timed green shells. Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment you receive when that big fish blimp-thing drops a gold cup on your head while you pop champagne or throw up gang signs with your homies. Yea, Super Mario Kart was a hell of a game! And don’t even get me started on the Battle mode...
03. Donkey Kong Country 2
I honestly can’t say enough good things about the Donkey Kong Country series. All three games (the Wii one doesn’t count) were phenomenal and excelled in almost every department. The gameplay was fantastic, the graphics looked years beyond anything I had ever seen before and the music – oh my god the music was incredible! Just listen to this or this... or THIS! I’m almost in tears right now.
Overall DKC 2 was my favourite game in the trilogy. It had the best levels and characters (sorry Donkey and Kiddy) and I spent more time with it than the two other games combined. Damn, I need to play this game right now!
As I implied earlier, Street Fighter II was the first game I got with my SNES and I believe it’s the reason why I love videogames as much as I do right now. Of the three Street Fighter II games that were released on the SNES (World Warrior, Turbo and New Challengers), Turbo was the closest one to perfection. World Warrior was extremely slow compared to the other games and New Challengers was ruined by inclusion of T-Hawk and DeeJay, fuck those guys! While the video above may make you want to kill yourself, I can assure you that Street Fighter II Turbo was actually a masterpiece.
Who wouldn’t want to... no, sorry, I can’t even pretend...
Dear Super Mario World, A winner is you!