Top 5 SNES games you can play through Nintendo Switch Online today

With 37 titles now available on the Nintendo Switch Online SNES library, which are the best of the bunch?

By LG18, Posted 17 Nov 2020

After the success of the NES library which released in 2018 for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, Nintendo followed up with a SNES library which was brought to the platform last year. The Super Nintendo was the company's answer to the 4th generation of console gaming, rivalled by SEGA's Genesis/Mega drive system in what was the biggest 'console war' ever to exist.
With 37 titles from the system's heyday now available on Switch, which stand out the most?

In no particular order here are the top 5 Super Nintendo games you can, and should play today on Switch, along with a couple of honourable mentions.

 

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

As the sequel to the original Donkey Kong Country (which you can also play on the platform), Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest did everything the original did but bigger and better!

DK Country 2 is a masterfully designed platformer that feels like it shouldn’t even be able to run on the SNES. Using what were, for the time, cutting edge 3D rendered models that are still charming today, sublime use of Mode 7 graphics (an advanced scaling technique developed by Nintendo to give the illusion of 3D) and a beautiful soundtrack that kicks every other 16-bit musical rendition out the water; the game is superb example of what talented developers could do with the console.
The gameplay is addictive, rhythmic fun, whether you're rattling down a minecart track at high speed or swimming through the ocean on a giant sword fish. Levels are expansive, varied and colourful and there’s a ton to do and collect, making this title one that holds up great in 2020 and a must play for any platformer-lover.


             diddy kong jumping


Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

While there aren’t many bundle games that match Super Mario All-Stars, or as many launch titles as great as Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island is by far the most unique of the 2d platformer's in the Mario series.
The first thing you'll notice about the game are the painstakingly hand-drawn graphics. The game is gorgeous; there’s nothing else that looks quite like it. Similarly to DK Country 2, Mode 7 graphics enable objects and enemies to scale and move organically, making for a title that looks as good today as it did in 1995.

The game puts a twist on the classic platformer formula, focusing on the protection of baby Mario and the ability to collect, eat and fire eggs to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Yoshi also has a distinct, floaty feel to his movement, distinguishing him from the way Mario handles, and the game conjures this whimsical feel that makes it stand out completely from other games on the system.
As a title released late in the 16-bit era, Yoshi's island honed everything the company had learned into one stunning package, and it's most certainly worth your time.


             yoshi mario hill


Mario’s Super Picross

Among the most recent games to grace the library is Mario’s Super Picross, one of the only puzzle games of the 37 currently available.
To play Picross, the player must work against the clock to decipher an image by picking out squares with a chisel and hammer. The gameplay is similar to sudoku, requiring you to locate which square to pick by puzzling with a row of vertical and horizontal numbers.

It’s really satisfying to figure a puzzle out and unveil the image underneath a panel, and the game gets progressively more difficult at a well-balanced pace. You can play the game as Wario, too, which presents each challenge again but differently, and with an extra challenge. The game suits the switch perfectly, and is a great pic up and play title if you only have a few minutes.

            picross board

 

The legend of Zelda: A link to the past

A link to the past is arguably one of the best Zelda game ever made. A refinement of the almost perfect top down fighting and puzzle mechanics of the original game, the series’ foray into 16-bit gaming brought a superb rendition of Hyrule, masterfully designed puzzles and dungeons, and an exquisite soundtrack to boot.

With a high level of detail and polish and the inclusion of some great side quests alongside the main story, this roughly 8-hour game hooks you and never let’s go. It’s a shining example of classic Nintendo ingenuity that no one should miss, and there’s a reason that there’s so much debate surrounding whether this game or Ocarina of Time should claim the spot of best old school Zelda game. If you’re looking for a reasonably short, yet impactful, challenging action adventure game, this is it.

             link in the rain


Super Metroid

Super Metroid defined a genre when it released in 1994, and along with the 16-bit Castlevania games it inspired a dizzying array of recent 2D action-adventure games, such as Hollow Knight, Axiom Verge and Dead Cells.
There’s a lot to love about the game; the eerie and oppressive atmosphere, the intricate, interconnected labyrinth of a game world and its novel powerups and boss designs make for a gripping adventure from start to finish. For Nintendo, this is a surprisingly mature game, too, and represents a stark difference to anything else the company had made in their traditional first party line-up.
Being ahead of its time in the way it evoked enviromental storytelling so effectively, and merged it with compelling, strategic gameplay, there's nothing that feels quite like Super Metroid on the console. It's a true pioneer of 16-bit gaming.

              samus in blue cave

 

 

Honorable mentions


Super Ghouls and Ghosts

A notoriously punishing game, Super Ghouls and Ghosts is great when you only have a few minutes. The platforming and combat is some of the most difficult ever concived, and while you'll die a lot, it's always a fun one to keep coming back to.

            forest zombies


Super Mario World

Super Mario World is the fourth game in the series and refines everything the first three titles accomplished. It's a great platformer. Colourful, varied and ubiquitious with the tight controls and charm of the Super Mario series, it's one every mario fan should have played.

           mario and purple dino enemy

 

There are plenty of other great games that didn’t quite make the list. Let us know your top SNES titles both currently on the Switch, and what you hope they bring in the future!

 

Linden Garcia,
Editor, NoobFeed

 

 

 

 

 

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