The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is a legendary video game console that holds a special place in the hearts of gamers around the world.

Released by Nintendo in 1990 (in Japan) and 1991 (in North America), the SNES followed the success of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and marked a significant advancement in gaming technology at the time. Boasting 16-bit graphics and a diverse library of iconic games, the SNES introduced players to a new level of visual and audio sophistication, captivating them with immersive gameplay experiences.

The console’s innovative controller design, featuring shoulder buttons and a comfortable feel, became a standard for future generations.

With timeless classics like what we’ve featured in this post, the SNES continues to be celebrated as a hallmark of gaming history, leaving an indelible mark on the industry and fostering a sense of nostalgia that endures to this day.

This list is really in no particular order because all of these games are amazing and quite different spanning a variety of different genres so let’s dive in!


Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is easily one of the greatest games of all time so it’s no surprise that it makes the top of this list. The game follows a group of characters from wildly different time periods as they travel through time to save the world from a giant alien parasite. The game takes you from cave man times all the way to a futuristic dystopian world.

The gameplay holds up incredibly well. It’s got the ATB battle system Final Fantasy fans will be familiar with, no random encounters and a unique tech system where different characters can team up with each other to unleash special attacks.

It’s also one of the best looking SNES games out there as well.

Chrono Trigger has been re-leased a few different times and the best way to play it now is the Nintendo DS Version if you can find it. It’s also one of the games on the SNES Classic but this version doesn’t have any of the extra content that was added later. But if you’re a purist who wants to play the original you still can’t go wrong here. The original is still amazing.


Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI is the third Final Fantasy game released on the SNES. In the West it was actually released as Final Fantasy III. FFII and FFIII for the NES were never released outside of Japan. FFIV was renamed to FFII in the West to avoid confusion. FFV was never released outside of Japan so keeping with this weird naming conventions they decided to call FFVI FFIII. But in this case we’re referring to it as FFVI since that’s the correct version. Phew.

The game is phenomenal. Squaresoft took everything they learned making all the previous Final Fantasies, two of which were on the SNES and made one amazing final game for the system.

It’s one of the best looking SNES games again, the story is still amazing to this day. There’s a very interesting plot twist halfway through and it’s definitely got the best villain of any Final Fantasy game.

The gameplay is the best of the Final Fantasy series so far and still holds up to this day.

Final Fantasy VI still rates in my all time top five favorite Final Fantasy games and it’s also available on the SNES Classic.


Super Mario World

Even today, Super Mario World is still probably my all time favorite Mario game. Nintendo took everything they learned making three mainline Mario games for the NES and created an incredible launch title for the SNES. There are tons of levels, tons of secrets and everything in this game is just so well designed and fun to play.

This game also introduced Yoshi to the series for the first time and a ton of other series staples like the Koopa Kids and other various enemies.

Super Mario World is easily one of the best platformers in history and went on to influence pretty much every game that came after it. This game is also available on the SNES Classic.


Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG is a weird but awesome crossover between Squaresoft (the creators of the Final Fantasy series) and Nintendo and it’s awesome. In fact this may be my favorite game of all time.

This is an RPG set in the Mario universe with a turn based battle system and fantastic story. It’s surprising too how well this game has aged. There are no random encounters and there’s a timed hit system that’s not complicated but makes battles super engaging. It’s kind of weird more games don’t use it to be honest.

This was one of the last games to be released on the Super Nintendo and it’s easily one of the most gorgeous looking games on the system with it’s 2.5D almost 3D look. It’s a lot of fun, not too long, full of secrets and a game I come back and replay almost every year.

The easiest way to play this game again is on the SNES Classic.


Donkey Kong Country 2

There were 3 Donkey Kong Country Games released on the SNES. The first one doesn’t quite make this list. It was good but not as good as 2. Donkey Kong Country 2 took everything that was great about the first one and raised the bar considerably.

The game looks amazing with tons of different variety in locations. The level design is excellent, full of secrets and everything about it is just a ton of fun with a pirate theme.

Like Mario RPG this is a game I come back to and replay almost every year.

This game unfortunately isn’t on the SNES Classic so you’ll have to try and find an original cartridge to play it again.


Yoshi’s Island

Yoshi’s Island is the sequel to Super Mario World and it’s actually a very different type of game. It’s still a platformer with excellent level design and lots of secrets but this time you play as a bunch of different Yoshis tasked with delivering Baby Mario back to his parents.

Lots of different enemies try to stop you and keeping Baby Mario safe ends up being a core game mechanic, even if his cries can get a bit annoying.

The game has an adorable story book or pop-up book sort of look, excellent enemy and boss designs and a ton of replay-ability as you try to get perfect scores on each level. This game fortunately is available on the SNES Classic.


The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past

Zelda a Link to the Past is the only Zelda game to be released on the SNES and it’s one of the best in the whole series. It probably my third favorite Zelda game in the entire series actually.

It’s got a top-down perspective like all the old Zelda games and the gameplay is completely solid, even today.

There’s tons of dungeons, two entire worlds to explore, a huge number of weapons and items, lots of secrets and just overall the game is a ton of fun.

The game went on to define a lot of things in the Zelda series and you can feel its influence in all the games that came after it. A Link to the Past is also fortunately available on the SNES Classic.


Super Metroid

Super Metroid is the first major Metroid game to see popular success and along with the Castlevania series it went on to define an entire genre of games.

You play as bounty hunter Samus Aran as she explores a 2D side scrolling alien world where everything is one giant interconnected level. As you unlock new items and abilities different parts of the map open up and you have more to explore.

The atmosphere and gameplay here is absolutely fantastic. Super Metroid is an important part of gaming history and is available on the SNES Classic.


Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana is another SNES RPG from Squaresoft. This time it’s an action RPG featuring 3 characters heading out on an adventure.

The gameplay is great, the visuals are great and the music is great. It’s not a super difficult game but it’s a ton of fun and it went on to define the entire Mana series of games. It’s still one of the best Mana games to this date.

It’s also available on the SNES Classic.



The final game rounding out this list should come as no surprise. Earthbound is a very weird game but weird in a good way. It’s a turn-based RPG based on a Japanese perspective of small town America where a group of kids have to save the world from aliens.

It’s got a very unique and quirky sense of humor that went on to define games such as Undertale or Lisa the Painful.

The original cartridge is very rare and expensive these days so fortunately you can play the game on the SNES Classic.