Super Nintendo games are finally on the Switch, and the initial library is fantastic.
Nintendo put 20 SNES games on the Switch’s online service yesterday.. This already includes many of the 16-bit console’s heaviest hitters like Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid. It also has some lesser-known but great games like Demon’s Crest and Joe & Mac 2.
Along with the racing game duo of Super Mario Kart and F-Zero, SNES on Switch is off to a great start. So what Super Nintendo games should come next?
It’s an intriguing question. Let’s assume that licensed games are out of the question, since Nintendo never released any of them as part of NES library on Switch. Sadly, this means no Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose.
There are also a bunch of great SNES games that are on the Switch through other compilations, including Mega Man X, Secret of Mana, Contra 3: The Alien Wars, and Super Castlevania IV. I’m going to guess that those publishers won’t be thrilled about having those games also on Nintendo Switch Online.
So, with all of those qualifies out of the way, here are five games that should be added to the Switch’s SNES library as soon as possible.
The Super Nintendo had one of the greatest line ups of role-playing games ever, and Chrono Trigger may be the best of them. This masterpiece is a collaboration between Final Fantasy studio Square and Dragon Quest creator Enix before they merged. It would be like if Platinum and From Software teamed up to make an action game today.
A lot of hype comes from such a super-powered partnership, and Chrono Trigger doesn’t disappoint. It has the best pixel art of any 16-bit RPG, one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, and a fun battle system that lets party members team up for powerful and awesome attacks.
Kirby Super Star
Kirby already got some good love with Kirby’s Dream Land 3 and Kirby’s Dream Course being a part of the first 20 SNES games, but the Switch is still missing the best Super Nintendo Kirby game.
Kirby Super Star remains the series’ best game. It features several mini-campaigns, each with a different focus on twist on the traditional Kirby formula. One might focus on exploration instead of linear levels, while another is more cinematic than usual. Super Star also features a two-player cooperative system that the series has never managed to surpass.
Donkey Kong Country
Rare’s SNES masterpiece, Donkey Kong Country turned the famous character from sometimes Mario protagonist into a star in his own right. This sidescroller set a standard for Donkey Kong that the franchise is still following to this day with games like Tropical Freeze.
And the original still holds up. Sure, those computer-generated sprites may not be as impressive as they once were, but the 2D platforming is as satisfying as anything else you’ll find on the SNES. Oh, and this is another Super Nintendo game with an all-time great soundtrack.
Super Mario RPG
Ahh, the RPG that got me into RPGs. Super Mario RPG may be easier than, say, Final Fantasy VI or Chrono Trigger, but it’s hardly a game for babies. It still offers a satisfying and even occasionally challenging experience.
It’s also full of charm. This was the game that introduced humor into the Mario universe, and it’s still one of the funnier entries in the franchise.
I have to admit, I’m conflicted about including Earthbound on here. For one thing, this makes three RPGs on the list. That’s a lot, even for such an RPG-heavy system like the SNES.
Earthbound is also a personal point of shame. I’ve never beaten it, despite starting it every time it comes out on a new platform. I always make an effort, thinking that this is the time I’ll finally get through this much-loved game. I never do.
That’s why I want to see it on the Switch so badly. Maybe this will be the time I can finally beat Earthbound. And besides, I’d feel guilty if I didn’t include it on the list. Earthbound has a giant following thanks to its quirky world and humor. With all of those RPGs focusing on fantasy worlds, Earthbound still stands out with its suburbia adventure.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.