SNES Classic Mini 30 Game Wishlist

Nintendo's 16-bit console was home to some true classics, and it's going to be a hard job for Nintendo to select which ones might go on a potential new retro console.

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The SNES Classic Mini should be on its way, and we say 'should' because it's not officially announced or anything. Given the huge demand for the NES Classic Mini, though, it doesn't take a genius to figure that Nintendo could make even more money if they brought back their 16-bit console too. And who turns down money? Maybe we'll see a SNES Classic Mini in 2018, as Nintendo are fully focused on Switch for the time being.

If our assumption is correct, Nintendo would be faced with the tough job of picking a selection of games to include with the console, as the SNES library is packed full of classics. While several titles for the NES today feel a bit dated, many more SNES titles have remained surprisingly fresh when it comes to playability, graphical style, and overall quality. Furthermore, this was an era when several major franchises were established or found a modern form, so the line up would be more recognisable to today's audience. It's difficult to imagine Final Fantasy without its heritage from the SNES era, not to mention games like Super Mario World and Super Metroid.

Based on the fact that the NES Classic Mini came with 30 games, we've assembled a list of 30 titles we'd like to see come included with the SNES Classic Mini, even if we wouldn't mind if Nintendo were more generous than that. As a disclaimer, perhaps there's a slight over-representation of JRPG titles, but they really were a huge part of the 16-bit generation and many have aged really well.

SNES Classic Mini 30 Game Wishlist
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1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
This should be indisputable. Still considered among the best in the Zelda series, a franchise that's not lacking in terms of quality, A Link to the Past is a comprehensive and detailed adventure game that raised the Zelda series up to the level we expect from it today, and it's still very enjoyable to play.

2. Super Mario World
Another entry that can't be disputed. It's an incredible 2D platformer, even if you consider the very best user-developed levels in Super Mario Maker for Wii U. Exceptional music, tremendous variation, and perfectly balanced when it comes to challenge, Super Mario World also introduced us to Yoshi for the first time as well. And speaking of Yoshi ...

3. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
A charming game with impressive graphics for its time, Yoshi's Island pushes the creature into the spotlight in a platformer that's not as easy as you first might think. The use of the Super FX2 chip in the game did present some of the most impressive 16-bit animations back in the day, effects that still impress when you consider the limited hardware developers had to deal with.

4. Super Metroid
Nintendo hasn't gotten around to creating a game to remedy the damage done by Metroid: Other M, so we might as well entertain ourselves with one of the best games in the series instead. Super Metroid is mysterious, challenging, and fun from start to finish - a timeless classic.

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5. Earthbound
Speaking of timeless classics, Earthbound is an odd game that's still able to impress in terms of charm, design, and its unique feel, and that's why a SNES Classic Mini must have this charmer of a JRPG. Moreover, this was an important project for the deceased Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata, and is part of the legacy that shows how good the man was at programming (Iwata spent one month solving programming problems that the developers had struggled with for four years).

6. Donkey Kong Country
If you owned a Nintendo 64, you most likely have a close relationship with Rare's titles, but their legacy was established well before that with the Donkey Kong Country games. Sporting great music, detailed background animations, and a graphic style you simply weren't used to seeing on Super Nintendo, this game was an instant classic. The gorilla's eternal pursuit of getting his bananas back are always worth another visit.

7. Final Fantasy IV
For fans of Japanese role-playing games, Super Nintendo was a goldmine, as new franchises were established here, and old ones had their formula polished. The Final Fantasy series belongs to the latter category, and Final Fantasy IV is a role-playing game one can enjoy today. The Active Time Battle system was introduced here too, and it would come to characterise the series for years and decades afterwards. As if all that wasn't enough, the game also provided memorable heroes and villains.

8. Final Fantasy VI
If Final Fantasy IV improved the old Final Fantasy formula, Final Fantasy VI perfected it. Here we find one of the series' (and industry's) best soundtracks, a dramatic story, one of the few interactive opera sequences in gaming history and also the best Final Fantasy villain of them all, Kefka Palazzo, sharing unsettling similarities with Heath Ledger's interpretation of the Joker. Sephiroth has nothing on him (not to speak of a certain villain in Final Fantasy XV).

SNES Classic Mini 30 Game Wishlist

9. Chrono Trigger
Perhaps the only RPG from the Super Nintendo era that can exceed Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger was the result of a collaboration between studios Squaresoft and Enix, which today is one and the same company (Square Enix). With an iconic design, a well-balanced and incredibly varied combat system, and an exceptional soundtrack, this is perhaps the best time travelling game ever made. We never got a Super Nintendo release of the game in Europe, so that mistake needs to be undone.

10. Super Castlevania IV
Since Super Metroid is on the list, we must also add the second game that really established Metroidvania as a genre. Super Castlevania IV may seem a bit slow at times, but the music and the vast areas to explore are a good enough reason to fight Dracula once again. Moreover, we'll need something to play with until we get Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night in 2018.

11. Mega Man X
The blue bomber Mega Man was one of Capcom's most iconic heroes on NES, but it was with Mega Man X that the action game series really became cool (at least in the 90s standard for what was cool). With a far more serious expression, harsher design, and a darker story set 100 years after the first Mega Man games, Mega Man X is a juicy combo of elegant level design, cool style and badass music that only a 16-bit game can deliver, making it a must for this sort of collection. Forget Beck and Mighty No. 9, the coolest robot is called X.

12. Mega Man X2
The game is perhaps a bit forgettable compared to the other two in the series on the Super Nintendo, but don't be fooled - it's still a quality game. In it we get a deeper insight into the setting and get the chance to play through some very cool levels. Additionally, one can never get enough of Mega Man X games from this era, so more of the same is always a good thing.

13. Mega Man X3
Yes, we're slightly obsessed with Mega Man X, but it's with good reason, as they're some of the best action games going on the SNES. The opening sequence for X3 in particular is one of the coolest we ever saw on the Super Nintendo, and for the first time we got to play as Zero. Enough said.

14. Star Fox
Star Fox Zero wasn't quite what we had hoped for, but it could certainly be fun to relive the game that Nintendo has tried to recreate again and again in ever new creations. Star Fox might not be the game that looks the best in terms of visuals any more, but if nothing else the game should be included because of its heritage and the technical feat the game represents. Moreover, it stills entertains, if you can see past its primitive graphics.

15. F-Zero
Fans have waited and waited, but a new game in F-Zero series remains a dream, this despite the fact that Nintendo only made the longing bigger with two courses based on the series in Mario Kart 8. To understand what the fuss is all about, F-Zero is a very good place to start. Taking part in futuristic races with hovering vehicles accompanied by cool music while dressed in a costume that showcases the full might of Mode 7 makes this is a true classic.

SNES Classic Mini 30 Game Wishlist

16. Pilotwings
Since we're talking about the Mode 7 chip that made it possible to simulate the depth and distance in an entirely new way on Super Nintendo, we simply cannot overlook Pilotwings, as here's the game for anyone who loves the sky and things that populate it. Not the deepest of games perhaps, but relaxing and fun for sure.

17. Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Licensed games have developed a poor reputation over the years, as we've been disappointed too many times. Super Star Wars games for Super Nintendo, however, are among the exceptions. Here you get good Star Wars action that throws you right into the plot of the films, giving you the chance to swing your lightsaber and test your mettle with the same difficulty of its predecessor, Super Star Wars. Moreover, it once again demonstrates what the Mode 7 chip offers in terms of graphical features.

18. Aladdin
Speaking of licensed games, Disney had some rather brilliant games to their name during this era, whether we're talking about Castle of Illusion or Aladdin. People still argue over whether the Mega Drive or Super Nintendo version was the best, but this is undeniably a game that lots of gamers have fond memories of, especially if they were young and watched the film at the same time.

19. Super Mario Kart
We don't really have to argue our case here do we? The first game in the series obviously doesn't hold up in terms of visuals today, but it started the mighty Mario Kart franchise, and is a game that's still very enjoyable. It's come a long way as a series, and for that reason we salute Super Mario Kart.

20. Street Fighter II
As we write this we're listening to the soundtrack of Street Fighter II for inspiration, and it immediately brings a smile to our faces. Rarely has a game company hit the mark as well as Capcom did with Street Fighter II, and today the Street Fighter name lives on as a fighting game of the highest quality and technical finesse. You never get too old for a new round of hadōken, shōryūken and tatsumaki senpū kyaku.

21. Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
Perhaps the most controversial choice on our list is Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, but let's keep in mind that Nintendo's long running series is hotter today than ever before (just during the current calendar year we're getting three new Fire Emblem games). We believe, therefore, that there should be room for a little turn-based strategy on this retro console, and that it should be what is perhaps the best game in the series from the era. The game was admittedly never released outside of Japan in its time, but wouldn't it be great if they finally brought it out here?

SNES Classic Mini 30 Game Wishlist

22. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Even as far back as the 16-bit era Mario saw no reason to simply stick with platforming. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is a perfect example of his early efforts to move outside of his comfort zone. Here Mario and the gang are thrown into a role-playing game for the very first time, and the results are both memorable and entertaining. Super Nintendo was home to many great role-playing games, and this is one of the best.

23. Mortal Kombat II
Perhaps the most intriguing legacy Mortal Kombat brought with it in 1992 was that the game almost single-handedly introduced the age rating of games in the US. The sequel, however, was far more refined when it came to controls, details, and selection of fighters. If Street Fighter II feels a bit safe and dull, then perhaps Mortal Kombat II is more to your tastes, as you'll be able to pull off some gory fatalities, a staple of the series today.

24. Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie
To limit yourself to only one Squaresoft developed RPG would be a disservice, considering Enix also served up several top titles at this time. The Dragon Quest games weren't released over here in the West until Dragon Quest VIII on PS2, but considering its current popularity and the inherent quality in its SNES offerings, this title should be included. As this RPG was released late in the console's life cycle, Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Reverie showed all of what Enix was able to get out of the machine. Which was plenty, by the way.

25. Secret of Mana
A colourful and beautiful JRPG from Square (once more), Secret of Mana wasn't only a great single player game in its own right, but it also allowed other players to jump in during the adventure and partake in battles, and as we know, everything's better with a friend. The game is also a great reminder that there was more to Squaresoft than just Final Fantasy at the time.

26. Tales of Phantasia
The Tales of series has grown to become one of the more established and prolific Japanese RPG franchises, but it had its humble beginnings on Nintendo's 16-bit console. Step into Tales of Phantasia where it all began, and see how different the series was at that time. Or was it? Some things certainly remain the same.

27. Contra III: The Alien Wars (aka Super Probotector: Alien Rebels)
Although this game was released under the name Super Probotector: Alien Rebels over here, most of us know this as a game in the extremely challenging Contra series. Here's a game that takes the legacy of eighties action films with Arnie and Sylvester Stallone seriously, and serves up relentless one-man-army action that's guaranteed to cause both cursing and thrown controllers.

28. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
One can't talk about the 90s without mentioning the phenomenon that was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and unlike the NES game this one was actually possible to beat, further proof that licensed games aren't necessarily trash. This adventure with the heroes in half shells is a truly entertaining beat 'em up game that lets you team up with a buddy. Cowabunga!

29. Kirby Super Star (aka Kirby's Fun Pack)
Kirby's breakthrough was arguably the first two platform games for the Game Boy, and it's easy to forget that the little pink charmer actually appeared on the Super Nintendo as well. It's not something you should overlook, too, as Kirby Super Star is a fun pack filled with many smaller games. It has something for all tastes, and both the variety and the quality are far better than you'd expect from this sort of compilation (did someone say Nintendo Land?)

30. Final Fight
Did you think we'd forgotten about this bad boy? Think again! This was the golden era of walk and brawl experiences, and few games for Super Nintendo could deliver a better and more entertaining street brawl than Final Fight (especially considering that the Streets of Rage series stayed put on Mega Drive). Capcom had a great run on Super Nintendo, with games like Street Fighter II and Mega Man X, but this game certainly also deserves a mention.

Did you miss any of your favourite games in the list? Perhaps Terranigma, Final Fantasy V, Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3, Super Star Wars, and Super Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, the Romancing SaGa series, Front Mission, SimCity, Harvest Moon, Lion King or Breath of Fire II? It's impossible to fit all the great games on Super Nintendo into a list of just 30, but please let us know what games you'd like to see on the seemingly inevitable SNES Classic Mini.

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