Even though the Big N has made five more consoles since the Super Nintendo, many Nintendo fans would say that the SNES is still the best console the House of Mario has ever made.
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Of course, the games are a big part of why the console is so popular. From 1990 to 1996, third-party games and Nintendo’s own series showed that the platform was the best in the business, even though the Sega Genesis was a strong competitor, and we all know who won that console arms race in the end. It’s easy to see why: Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past are the best games in their series. And that doesn’t even include games made by companies like Capcom and Konami.
The SNES library has a lot more games than just Mario, Samus, and Link, and even after more than 20 years, many of these games are still criminally ignored. Here are the 25 SNES games that don’t get enough attention:
Saturday Night Slam Masters
In the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, wrestling games were very hit or miss. You could say that the WWE, which is the only big name in professional wrestling in the U.S., didn’t make a single great game until the N64 era. That’s fine, though, because it gave other companies the chance to come up with much more creative titles that focused on the over-the-top nature of sports entertainment.
Saturday Night Slam Masters was one of these games. It was less like a wrestling game and more like a traditional fighter where you pin your opponent. The art, which was made by Fist of the North Star artist Tetsuo Hara, almost made the game feel like a Street Fighter II wrestling game, which is not a bad thing at all.
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Ogre Battle might be the best unfinished game story ever. The first game in the series came out on the SNES. It started with a tarot reading that told you if you were ready to lead a revolution against an evil empire. And what a revolution it is! You can spend dozens of hours building an army of soldiers, witches, and even gryphons in a strategy game that still feels very deep more than 20 years later.
The SNES version is one of the less common games for that system, but it is now available again on the Wii Virtual Console. There is also a good port for the PlayStation, which is a bit cheaper but is still one of the more expensive games for that system. No matter which version you play, all strategy and RPG fans should try this game at least once.
Nintendo seems happy to re-release a version of Dr. Mario that hasn’t changed much in a few years, but it has completely forgotten about its best puzzle game from the 1990s. Don’t be fooled by the word “Tetris” in the title. This is a brand-new puzzle game in which you try to stop coloured blocks from reaching the top of the screen by matching them as they rise from the bottom.
It’s all tied together by a story about Yoshi and Bowser, which is fine, but the two-player mode is the real star here. It’s a shame that Nintendo hasn’t yet made an online multiplayer HD version of this game.
Because Mario and Sonic were such huge hits in the ’90s, almost every other publisher thought they needed a mascot to get their name out there. This led to the creation of some…interesting things, most of which have thankfully been forgotten.
Boogerman is one of those characters who might be better off staying in the ’90s. A Kickstarter in 2013 to bring the franchise back to life was a huge failure, but the game he was in was pretty cool. It had some of the best graphics and music of any platformer from that time, and even though being able to burp and fart on your enemies is very childish, I still enjoy it almost as much as I did when I was 10.
Goof Troop, a Disney cartoon with Mickey Mouse’s talking dog friend, was not a very memorable show, but it did give us a surprisingly good Super Nintendo game. During this time, Capcom could do no wrong, so they put Shinji Mikami in charge of Goof Troop. Mikami went on to direct a lot of the Resident Evil games.
There are no zombies or blood, which is a shame, but the survival elements are surprisingly strong. For example, you have to beat enemies with objects in the level instead of facing them head-on. This is the game to play if you’ve ever wondered where some very early ideas for Resident Evil came from.
The best example of a game that was ahead of its time is Weaponlord. In the mid-1990s, easy-to-play fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were the most popular. However, the team at Visual Concepts wanted to make a very deep fighting game that was all about weapon combat, countering, and parrying. Even though there were only a few characters in Weaponlord, each of them had a tonne of special moves and “death combos” that were better than many of Mortal Kombat’s. And the ending changed based on which characters you killed during the story mode.
Even though it had these new ideas, most reviews were negative when it came out. Still, the game’s reputation has gotten a lot better over the past few years. Many of Weaponlord’s ideas were even used in the games Soul Edge and Soulcalibur, which were made by Namco.
Phalanx’s box art might be the worst on the SNES. Even though it’s a 2D shooter, the cover has an old man with a beard playing a banjo for some reason. There is also a space ship, but the story is mostly about the old man. Maybe the art department made a mistake and didn’t have time to fix it. Not much is known about what happened.
Anyway, those who got past the box found a shooter that was a lot of fun. You could control how fast your ship went, store more than one weapon at once, and even give up weapons to make smart bombs. It’s not the most in-depth SNES game, but it’s one of the most fun to play for short bursts.
The Lawnmower Man (1993)
The 1993 movie version of The Lawnmower Man was heavily marketed as the “first virtual reality movie.” It was based on a little-known Stephen King story that had so little to do with the film that King sued to have his name taken off the credits.
It had some of the most advanced CGI animation at the time, but critics didn’t like it. It did well at the box office, but there wasn’t much interest in a video game adaptation.
Even though the main run-and-shoot stages of the SNES game look boring and have boring enemies, the game is still a bit of a hidden gem. The side scrolling may look boring, but it plays really well and has a clever scoring system based on multipliers.
Not only that, but the different types of stages you’ll go through are really impressive in how different they are from each other.
As soon as you step into a computer terminal, you are in the first person and hurtling through a very smooth and fast virtual world.
Sometimes you’ll be armed when you go into one of these stages, and you’ll have to kill digital enemies quickly before moving quickly through the stage again.
There are also third-person flying and shooting sections that are powered by Mode 7 and have some levels that are so fast and have such a cool style. Some in-game terminals also have logic puzzle minigames that give you bonuses. However, the best part of the game is its amazing soundtrack, which I still think is some of the best game music ever made.
The Lawnmower Man deserves to be on the list of the 10 Most Underrated SNES Games, even though it’s been hurt by being linked to a bad movie.