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Here is a list of my top ten Super Famicom (Super Nintendo, or SNES) games. There are a few reasons why my list is a little odd. Firstly, I didn’t own one right away. As a student I couldn’t afford to keep my Megadrive, PC Engine, a 3rd console, and beer. I haven’t ever played a lot of the really rare titles and even some of the best known classics have eluded me. Maybe a game will be new to you, maybe not 🙂

(1) F-Zero254928-fzero_snes_1
For me, the greatest racer ever made … except its sequel, F-Zero X which of course would not have been possible without the original. At the time, there was nothing to touch its smooth frame rate and exhilarating speed. Because of its smoothness, it had a tendency to make people to lean while playing it. Especially if you put them on a swivel chair 🙂 Still a very rewarding game with a great soundtrack. Much much love, and the game that made me know that, one day, I would own a Super Famicom.

(2) Act Raiser (music by Yuzo Koshiro)actraiser
The music utterly astounded me. We knew the SFC had a great sound chip but we had heard nothing like this before. The game was OK at first, it took a while to realise just how good it was. A curious mix of a sharp & polish platform slasher with, at first, puzzling “build-em up” sections. Great that you could save your progress given the size of the game, as this was not the norm for non RPGs at that time. Still one of my top 3 game soundtracks ever.

(3) Street Fighter IIstreet-fighter-ii-snes
This is where I first learned the subtleties and thrills of Street Fighter II. This conversion is so good that it allowed me to complete the (same version) of the arcade with 20p. I’m sure you all know this game now, but at the time there was nothing else quite like it … I owe the SNES and Capcom a great deal. Actually, now that I own about 20 Capcom Street Fighter variants, I guess I can consider that debt paid! A top ten beat’em up list is here.

(4) Castlevaniacastlevania4-good-palette
If Act Raiser was a sharp hack and slash, then this was the living epitome of a well crafted platform hacker. Just wonderfully well made, always fair, and with each repeated play, you get a little bit better. Exactly the way games should be, and yet so infrequently are. Why isn’t it about Act Raiser then? Well it’s my list, that’s why.

(5) Super Ghouls ‘n’ GhostsSuper Ghouls 'N Ghosts-12
Man, this game is hard. Not always fair, but bloody bloody bloody addictive. Did I mention a debt I owe Capcom? They can sod off. I love this game. Sort of.

(6) Gradius IIIgradius-iii
The SFC has a poorer list of quality SHMUPS than the Megadrive or PC Engine. That said I couldn’t put this little bugger down – even though it features all the usual flaws (death means reset or take 30 deep breaths). Oddly, this version is better than the arcade counterpart – which is just FAR FAR FAR too hard – think Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts, and double it. Oh, top tunes, and helpful slow down! I even did my first 1CC of it last year, so happy 🙂

(7) Super Mario WorldSuper_Mario_World_SNES_ScreenShot4
It a fairly decent platform game. You have to jump and collect coins. There’s a green dinosaur and something about a princess. Come on, your dog knows this game. OK, one thought: the best Mario ever.

(8) Final FightFinal_Fight_SNES_ScreenShot1
Big, massive bold sprites, great tunes (repetitive? Well, the SNES does have a tremendous sound chip), and a great game. May have been a couple of spots higher if it was two player like the sequel or the Mega-CD version, but still, this version is the one I played most. I still love it.

(9) Contra66105-contra-iii-the-alien-wars-snes-screenshot-level-2-overhead
Hard, punishing (hey, is that as common as good music on a SNES game?), two player co-op, and huge amounts of swearing and fun. Konami really rocked the SFC. Some great mode 7 effects, and super end of level guys. Shooting monsters and people has never been so much fun. But really, you’ve got to watch out for them bullets. Unforgiving.

(10) Top Racertop-racer
This is probably the oddest choice in my list. It isn’t the best multi-player game, heck even the music is “stolen” from the Amiga classic Lotus Esprit Turbo – but I do love those tunes in this SNES mix! I enjoyed it back in the day, it was fun, and not too hard early on. But what sold it to me recently was that it kept my two daughters quiet for a good long while, and they actually got fairly good at it. An epic win for those that understand the pain of parenting!

Please feel free to trash my filthy list for not including Final Fantasy (I was all over Phantasy Star, Shining Force, and Ys), Mario Kart (F-Zero), Metroid, and Megaman. I wish I could have included Hagane and Ninja Warriors again, alas, I’m not that rich 😦

One other thing, you may wish to look at another list of fantastic SFC games by a very cool forest based tweeter.