10 Best 16 Bit Games That You Should Know Update 04/2024

Best 16 Bit Games

The players of today live in a time when game companies and developers are always trying to make their graphics and visuals more real and innovative. Even though that is a nice goal for the industry, there is something to be said for the old-fashioned look.

Some of the best games ever made were made for the SNES and the Genesis, which were part of the fourth generation of game consoles. Even a lot of new, fan-favorite games have gone back to using graphics that look like they came from the past. No matter how you look at it, the beauty of sprites and pixels will never go out of style.

Dragon Quest XI (2D Mode) (2017)

Dragon Quest XI (2D Mode) (2017)

Most traditional RPGs, especially JRPGs, know that their 16-bit era was their best time. Even though the Dragon Quest series has had many updates and jumped through many of the same hoops as its competitors, Dragon Quest XI’s 2D mode brought the series back to its roots.

The standard version is, without a doubt, a breathtakingly beautiful vision of a traditional swords-and-sorcery fantasy, but the 2D mode shows that the classic series will always be around. When a gamer hears the term “JRPG,” this is what they should think of.

Donkey Kong Country (1994)

Even though it looks a bit old by today’s standards, Rare was way ahead of the game when they made Donkey Kong Country and its sequels. Even though the designs and character models for the game are just a little bit pixelated, they look more three-dimensional than their bit-sprite cousins.

Still, it’s very unlikely that most modern developers will go back to this style choice any time soon. But at least it showed what can be done with 16-bit.

CrossCode (2015)

CrossCode (2015)

Retro-inspired games are everywhere in the independent gaming scene, but CrossCode has to be one of the most beautiful games that really gets what the era was all about. The game combines the top-down adventure style of Zelda games with the futuristic sci-fi style of games like Phantasy Star to make a hybrid that is both new and familiar.

It’s a beautiful quest that looks like it would fit right in with the best games on the SNES, but it uses modern gameplay. To put it simply, Radical Fish Games knew what to do.

Yoshi’s Island (1995)

Yoshi’s Island on the SNES has a part that doesn’t get enough attention. Even though the game looks like it was made for kids, behind all the Shy Guys, fluffy clouds, and colours that look like crayons is a very clever and fun platforming game.

After Super Mario World, this game takes a different approach to the typical Mario formula by making Yoshi the main character and making the levels bigger and more complicated. It’s full of personality and fun, and it should get more praise for that.

Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (1991)

Legend Of Zelda A Link To The Past (1991)

Since Link first showed up on consoles in the 1980s, the Zelda games have been popular, but A Link to the Past has had a big impact on a lot of games that came after it. Even though it used the same top-down view as the first game, it was one of the first games to really show how the kingdom of Hyrule looked.

Even though the purple hair was a strange design choice, the formula, puzzles, and bosses all worked well together to make a 16-bit fantasy quest. Link’s call to adventure has been answered by games like Blossom Tales and Hyper Light Drifter.

Sonic Mania (2017)

Those who grew up with Sonic the Hedgehog know that when he and his Mobian friends moved into 3D games, his career took a strange turn. Sega and Sonic fans both know that Sonic is at his best in fast-paced platform games. This is how Sonic Mania came to be.

The game is basically a collection of Sonic’s best games from the past. From “Green Hill Zone” to “Metallic Madness,” fans of the Blue Blur who have been around for a while will find a lot to like.

Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night (1997)

Castlevania Symphony Of The Night (1997)

Symphony of the Night was a very ambitious game in the Castlevania series. It not only changed the way the series was played, but it also helped make Metroidvania games what they are today. At the time, it had one of the biggest worlds in a platform game, especially since the second half turned Dracula’s castle completely upside down.

It goes without saying that the game has a good name. It has become the standard for Metroidvanias because of its gothic setting, solid combat, and huge amount of exploration.

Chrono Trigger (1995)

Chrono Trigger is thought by many to be one of the best RPGs ever made. It really pushed the limits of what RPGs could do. The game is one of the most unique on the SNES because it has so many different themes and ideas, like science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, and historical fiction.

With so many different kinds of epicness, multiple endings, and different ways to find adventure, it’s not hard to see why the game has gotten such a good name. And they all have the classic look of many of Square’s other RPG hits.

Mortal Kombat II (GEN, SNES)

Mortal Kombat II (GEN, SNES)

Claim to Fame: Mortal Kombat II added even more blood to the fighting game genre, and it also loosened Nintendo’s censorship, letting the Super Nintendo’s gore flow freely.

In 1993, Mortal Kombat had something that its competitors didn’t have, and that was blood. It had rivers full of bones, blood, and body parts. When the console version of this sequel to the hit fighting game came out, the buckets and barrels full of flesh, guts, and other meaty parts of the human body were still there. The Genesis version had a few more Easter eggs, and the SNES version had better graphics, but the ultra-violent action looked just as deadly on either console.

Sonic & Knuckles (GEN)

Claim to Fame: Not only was Sonic & Knuckles a groundbreaking game with its own dock-and-lock technology, but it also showed people what an actual echidna looks like.

In the last few years of the Sega Genesis, Sega made a game where Sonic the Hedgehog finally faced off against a new character who was just as fast and had just as much attitude. Even better, Sonic & Knuckles added a level of replayability to previous Sonic games that had never been seen before. This was made possible by the cartridge’s lock-in dock, which let players play old Sonic games with Knuckles. Many gamers thought that was space technology, and they loved being able to float and glide through Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 with this new, even edgier Sega character. At least, he was edgy before he was made one of Sonic’s 60 sidekicks.