All The SNES Classic Edition Games: Mario, Zelda, Final Fantasy, And More
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Many believed the success of the NES Classic Edition all but guaranteed that other Nintendo systems would get similar treatment. Its discontinuation caused some concerns that Nintendo was more interested in Switch (and re-selling games individually through that system's eShop). But Nintendo has now assuaged any concerns, revealing that the Super Nintendo will receive its own standalone retro system.
The SNES Classic Edition is priced at $80 in the US and is scheduled for release on September 29 in both the US and Europe. It features a downright impressive library of 21 games, spanning classics from the Metroid, Mario, Zelda, Castlevania, Mega Man, and Mother series, among others. Most notable is Star Fox 2, a game that was never actually released.
We've compiled a gallery of all of these games along with some basic ideas to give you some sense of what to expect--provided you're able to get your hands on one. The NES Classic Edition famously faced severe supply shortages, a situation that seems likely to repeat with the SNES Classic Edition given Nintendo's history. The company does, however, say it will offer far more systems this time around. Whatever the case, click through the gallery above for a preview of what awaits future SNES Classic Edition owners.
Contra III: The Alien Wars
The third core entry in the Contra series, The Alien Wars features denser and more involved levels than those in previous games and allows you to have two weapons at once. It's among the high points for the series.
Donkey Kong Country
Rare had already established itself with games like Battletoads, but Donkey Kong Country cemented its status as one of the most reliable game developers for Nintendo platforms. Like so many other classic SNES games, it's a platformer, albeit one featuring at-the-time cutting-edge, pre-rendered 3D graphics. It also includes what remains one of the best video game soundtracks ever.
A potential Mother 3 western release may have acquired the same sort of mythical quality of games like Half-Life 3, but that doesn't prevent Mother 2--released outside Japan as Earthbound--from being one of the classics of the SNES era. This role-playing game takes Ness and his party into dungeons, caves, and villages across its sprawling world. Although it shares a lot with other RPGs to come out around this time, it is notable in part for its unusual oblique perspective, rather than the common top-down or isometric perspectives.
Final Fantasy III
More than 20 years later, we still have to point out that this is actually Final Fantasy VI. It's the story of Terra and a large group of resistance fighters battling an evil empire and its mad clown leader, Kefka. Considered one of the best Final Fantasy games ever made, it was the second game in the series to release on Super Nintendo in the US back in 1994.
In 1990, Nintendo released a racer in F-Zero that would become a fan-favorite franchise for the company. Its fast action, impressive graphics, and future setting not only pleased fans the world over but also helped popularize the futuristic racer sub-genre. It was even (semi-) revived in Mario Kart 8, which received two F-Zero-themed tracks as DLC, though fans are still waiting for a proper sequel--the most recent release is F-Zero Climax, which came out all the way back in 2004. At least now we can play the original in all its 16-bit glory.
Kirby Super Star
Nintendo released Kirby Super Star as featuring "8 games in one," but most of them retain the classic platformer gameplay, where Kirby battles his way across levels by jumping, flying, and inhaling enemies, which he can spit out or swallow to copy their abilities. Levels include Spring Breeze, which copies the gameplay of Kirby's Dream Land, and Gourmet Race, where Kirby must race against King Dedede while eating as much food as possible.
Image credit: Wikia
Kirby's Dream Course
In the years before the Mario Golf series would take their position as Nintendo's dominant mascot-golfing games, Kirby's Dream Course offered a much different Kirby experience: mini-golf. You're tasked with using Kirby as the golf ball, launching him at enemies who, once hit, turn into the hole. Kirby can steal abilities from enemies, which allow him to get through obstacles that he otherwise would be unable to clear. There are 64 single-player and 32 two-player holes.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
After the overwhelming reception to The Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link, Nintendo was under pressure to deliver with its first Zelda title for the SNES. In response, the company delivered what is widely regarded to be one of the greatest video games of all time, and its legacy is well and truly alive today. As well as a GBA re-release and Virtual Console ports on Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, Nintendo released a spiritual successor--A Link Between Worlds--for 3DS in 2013. But it was A Link to the Past that helped cement Zelda as one of the most innovative and downright best franchises in video games.
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
One of the SNES's most-beloved and acclaimed RPGs, Secret of Mana was released by Square in 1993 as a spinoff of the Final Fantasy series. Unlike Final Fantasy games of the era, Secret of Mana featured real-time battles and an innovative cooperative multiplayer system where second and third players could jump in and out of the game. Its predecessor, called Final Fantasy Adventure in North America, was released on Game Boy in 1991. The third game in the series, Seiken Densetsu 3, has never been released outside of Japan.
Star Fox marked the debut of the series and protagonist Fox McCloud. It sees players fly through a polygonal world in a spaceship, engaging in dogfights and destroying giant enemies while avoiding buildings and other obstacles. The game's cartridge came equipped with a special Super FX chip, which allowed Star Fox to feature visuals and environments that would not have otherwise been possible on the SNES hardware.
Star Fox 2
The long-lost sequel to the original Star Fox is getting its first official release on the SNES Classic. Originally scheduled to debut in 1995, Nintendo infamously canceled Star Fox 2 before it could be released due to the impending launch of the Nintendo 64, and many of its gameplay ideas would be incorporated into Star Fox 64. Despite the fact that it was never released, Star Fox 2 had a profound impact on the series and introduced many new gameplay elements, including a unique real-time map screen and the rival team Star Wolf.
Image credit: Wikipedia
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Originally designed for arcades, this SNES port features the original gameplay of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (in the form of a Normal Mode) and a Turbo Mode, which allows players to increase the speed of the game by up to four settings (six settings, with a cheat code). Champion Edition was the first Street Fighter game to allow you to play as one of the bosses and was the first to allow mirror matches (where you play against the same character in versus). Hyper Fighting's Turbo Mode provided a faster-paced version of the game, making for a more challenging experience.
Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is most frequently cited as the series' high point, but Super Castlevania IV is also among the franchise's best entries. To some degree, it's a remake of the original Castlevania, although it stands as its own game. It features the classic side-scrolling style of other games in the series, but features more of an action focus than the original title.
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Capcom's side-scrolling adventure Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts was the third in the series and is still one of the company's top-selling games of all time. You play as Arthur, a knight tasked with rescuing the princess from the demonic Emperor Sardius. You battle your way across the map, upgrading armor and weapons. And, true to the series, once you reach the final boss, you must go back to the start of the game, gain a special weapon, and play through again to defeat Sardius.
Super Mario Kart
The game that defined a genre, Super Mario Kart is the first entry in Nintendo's long-running series and perhaps the most successful non-platformer Mario game at the time of its release in 1992. It still holds up remarkably well today, offering what now feels like a streamlined take on kart racing, complete with the classic--and still excellent--Battle mode.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Mario's first role-playing adventure took the plumber not only to new corners of the Mushroom Kingdom but into a new genre entirely. Developed by RPG veterans Square, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars traded Mario's trademark hopping and bopping for turn-based battles and stat management. With a touching story that saw the plumber team up with a memorable cast of characters (including, for the first time, his nemesis Bowser), Super Mario RPG remains not only an RPG classic but one of the finest titles released for SNES.
Super Mario World
Arguably the best game in a series full of classic titles, Super Mario World is one of the greatest 2D platformers of all-time. It features the introduction of Yoshi (who enabled all sorts of new gameplay options), new power-ups, and a huge number of secrets. It was bundled with the original release of the Super Nintendo hardware.
Super Metroid is one of the crowning achievements in the SNES's library. The game sees bounty hunter Samus Aran return to planet Zebes after the Space Pirate commander Ridley escaped there with the last Metroid in captivity. Featuring a complex, interconnected world to explore and a myriad of collectibles and secrets to find, Super Metroid is a masterclass in game design and remains arguably the best installment in its series.
The SNES Classic includes Super Mario World, and here's the sequel, Yoshi's Island. Rather than take control of everyone's favorite plumber, you'll be in the dino-shoes of Yoshi, tasked with carrying Baby Mario to safety. As such, it serves as a sort of prequel to other games in the Mario series. It also is the game responsible for introducing many of the skills we've come to associate with Yoshi, such as his unique jump and the ability to produce eggs.