INSiGHT | 30 Games We'd Like to See on a SNES Mini

By Az Elias 18.11.2016 9

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With the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System now on the market (read our review here), surely Nintendo can't stop there. The 16-bit successor to the NES, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, produced an unforgettable catalogue of games, some of which seemed years ahead of their time. Doubtless a SNES Mini will eventually hit the shelves in due course, but which games should make the cut on the potential system? The Cubed3 team picks out 30 titles we believe deserve their place the most.


It's not often that a game will alternate between arcade action and simulation. ActRaiser's merit is in how it wields both sides of its gameplay to deliver a compelling experience. In the action stages, where deft sword swings and harrowing jumps are commonplace, the solid controls and tight mechanics prove their worth. Afterwards, players can unwind by guiding the people towards a better future, by using the weather to expand villages, while defending everyone from monsters. This is a good game not just because it offers two types of gameplay, but it also balances them, so that one never takes away from the other.
- Gabriel

Chrono Trigger

A serious candidate for the best game of all time, Chrono Trigger is the culmination of the RPG genre of the 16-bit era; with an exciting battle system, a delightful story involving time travel, well-crafted characters, immersive music and exquisite graphics, this is one of the finest products all of gaming can offer. Delivering 13 different endings, the replay value is guaranteed, and even without them, every single playable character is so awesome and compelling that it's almost impossible to play it just once. A jaw-dropping masterpiece.
- Camilo

Contra III: The Alien Wars

The third Contra is a man's game that is not for the faint of heart. Want to see the final boss and truly beat it? Better buckle-up and get justice immediately, because this game will cause shell-shock since it must be played on the hardest mode. Contra III is the war the world forgot and its intensity serves as a reminder that Bill Rizer is a true American hero. This was an early SNES game that was also an excellent showcase of what the system could do, and shows the splendour and majesty of Mode 7. The bosses featured are pure alien insanity, with many of them taking up vast real estate of the screen and many points of articulation, which really made them feel very lively. This is run-and-gun bullet hell action at its finest—a true high point for the genre and the entire Contra series.
- Albert

Donkey Kong Country

The rebirth of Donkey Kong saw England-based developer Rareware use 3D pre-rendering graphics to create a platformer that visually blew almost anything at that time out of the water. The primate duo of DK and Diddy were as expressive as they were agile, and rolled, swung and rode animals across DK Isles in a bid to defeat the Kremlings and bring back the titular ape's banana hoard. A creative co-op and competitive multiplayer feature added to the consistent fun platforming found throughout.
- Az

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

King K. Rool is at it again, having locked up Donkey Kong, leaving it up to Diddy and Dixie Kong to save him. For many, it was Rare's second instalment in the DK Country series that proved to be the pinnacle, with its beautiful exotic island scenery providing more aesthetic contrast, as well as opportunity for exciting and innovative level design. It featured an even more ambitious and playful soundtrack than the previous one created by David Wise (Rare's composer from 1985 to 2009), and was praised for having even more detailed graphics and smoother animations than its predecessor. The switchable simian pair had more pronounced attributes this time around, with Diddy being faster and more agile, whilst Dixie was capable of jumping a little higher and spinning her hair to float long distances. Diddy's Kong Quest also brought back the famous animals, with a more diverse selection, from Clapper the seal to Squawks the parrot. Another platforming gem for the system.
- Tom B

Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!

The third and final entry of the Donkey Kong Country SNES trilogy came to a close with Dixie taking the lead, as she brought along her often forgotten cousin, Kiddy Kong, to rescue Donkey and Diddy from the clutches of King K. Rool. This entry had a lot to prove coming off the heels of the superb Diddy's Kong Quest, and while Dixie's game suffers from fatigue at this juncture in the series, it actually managed to surpass the last title in some aspects. The world map, for instance, was a vast improvement over the prequels, since it has some hidden areas to explore, various terrain that requires vehicles, and some areas even having a full range of movement. DKC3 pushed the franchise forward so much it is a huge shame that the later games by Retro Studios failed to incorporate some of its more forward thinking design choices. The collect-a-thon of pick-ups seen in DKC2 was back in a much bigger way, as well as the inclusion of more mini-games, some of which became the basis for some boss fights. The music may not have the same energetic charge as the John Williams-inspired score from Diddy's game, but instead there is a very haunting and almost surreal soundtrack that is frequently overlooked.
- Albert


One of Nintendo's most overlooked and underused franchises, the second entry in the Mother series finally saw a proper worldwide release under its Western name of EarthBound in 2013 on Wii U Virtual Console, following its Japan and North America-only SNES launch almost twenty years prior. It broke the mould of traditional role-playing games, setting itself in a more realistic world, that of one that poked fun at American culture, and parodied the very genre it was part of. Bursting with life, character and some of the quirkiest and downright random moments of any game, EarthBound has become a cult classic.
- Az


A launch game alongside Super Mario World in Japan, F-Zero was the total opposite of the slower-paced Mario platformer, showing off just what this machine was capable of with its breath-taking speed and pseudo-3D graphics. Despite set in the possibly unrealistic year of 2560, F-Zero was the most realistic racer available in living rooms, and an early example of just what potentially wondrous gaming experiences Mode 7 could bring to the table.
- Az

Final Fantasy VI

Thank the mighty Bahamut, because Square's legendary series was anything but "Final," and thus gamers managed to experience Final Fantasy VI, a title that, whilst surely made some improvements on the standard JRPG formula, mostly focused on something that many tend to forget, the storytelling. The result? An epic, engrossing, and highly emotive journey, with a fantastic cast of characters - all paving the way for the equally amazing Final Fantasy VII.
- Ofisil

Harvest Moon

Think farm life can be boring? Think again! Harvest Moon took the day-to-day tasks of an average farmer and turned them into an addictive simulation video game, where players find out what it's really like to raise crops, look after animals, make a living, and get married. There is so much attention to detail in this beautiful little world, with the four seasons and weather forecasts affecting how this young farm boy must go about his daily routines, whether it's bringing his animals inside out of the harm of hurricanes, or ensuring food is picked before the harsh conditions of winter. Even rainy days cause fellow villagers to retreat inside their homes, but many can also be found at the bar having a drink of the old "juice!" Annual festivals add a little extra fun to the regular activities, where mini-games and dancing is always in order.
- Az

Kirby Super Star

What is better than one decidedly tasty Kirby platform adventure? Eight of the little blighters! Well, Kirby's Super Star (Kirby's Fun Pak, as it was known in Europe) technically did not have eight full side-scrolling affairs, but it did include a remake of Kirby's Dream Land, along with various original treats, such as a racing mode, a Metroid-style adventure, an endurance battle challenge, some addictive mini-games, as well as the new, extremely meaty Milky Way Wishes, which not only brought along the trademark platform excellence of the past, but slipped in a touch of shooting action as the icing on an already delicious cake. The only thing bettering this was its 3DS remake, Kirby Super Star Deluxe on Nintendo DS!
- Adam

Mega Man X

Back when making games edgier and darker wasn't immediately met with derision, Capcom updated their classic series for a new era. The enhanced visuals and greater emphasis on storyline are certain to catch eyes, but the real star is the more versatile controls and movement abilities. The dash is the most innovative addition to the franchise. The added mobility allowed level designers the freedom to design more intense and satisfying scenarios. The boss fights also became more dynamic and interesting. Although the X series had its ups and downs, the original will always be thoroughly excellent.
- Gabriel


One of the earliest Super Nintendo releases, Pilotwings is more than a mere tech demo. It's a charming, as well as challenging, game where even the slightest movements can lead to a spectacular landing, or a terrible crash. Patience and learning are the foundations of this game. The controls aren't so difficult as to put off all but the most ardent thrill-seekers, but there is a level of nuance that can't be underestimated. Expect to try, fail, and try again for as long as it takes. There are few things more rewarding than parachuting onto a moving platform, or perfectly landing a biplane.
- Gabriel

R-Type III: The Third Lightning

While it wouldn't have taken much to overcome the disappointing Super R-Type, Irem went above and beyond, by putting together one of the finest side-scrollers of the 16-bit age. From the first stage onwards, R-Type III: The Third Lightning uses all of the Super Nintendo's capabilities to deliver unique, thrilling, and thoroughly impressive levels. The option to select from three force pods offers an added dimension to the replay value.
- Gabriel

Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana is an epic action-RPG that used to be the kind of game people dreamt about. A quest that spans a vast and fantastic world that not only looks and plays great, but can be enjoyed with a buddy in simultaneous co-op. It holds its own today thanks to its sprite art, which was a milestone back in its day, and the music by Hiroki Kikuta can still mesmerise any listener. Secret of Mana set the bar very high and shatters expectations to anyone who plays it.
- Albert

Star Fox

Whilst reasonably ugly by today's standards, Star Fox was revolutionary at the time, with an entirely new chip built essentially to craft this game and its 3D polygonal graphics, which was pretty unthinkable for a 16-bit home console in 1993. Argonaut delivered a cracking fast-paced scrolling space shooter to go along with these advanced visuals, designed with the arcade high score mentality in mind, and forced players to learn each level inside and out in order to defeat Andross' forces across the galaxy.
- Az

Street Fighter II Turbo

It's a tough one to pick between this and Super Street Fighter II. It's unlikely most people would really complain at one making it onto the SNES Mini over the other, but that really comes down to a couple of different points. Street Fighter II Turbo was the first update following the original game, and introduced a variable faster gameplay speed that required players to be more precise with their inputs. SSFII removed this, but added a combo tracker and four brand-new characters, including Cammy and Fei Long. It's a shame the next version, SSFII Turbo never made it to SNES, as that would be the obvious pick here, but whether Street Fighter II Turbo or Super Street Fighter II gets the nod, they both deserve their spot as some of the finest fighting games of their time.
- Az

Super Bomberman

One of the most popular instalments of this action-puzzle franchise, Super Bomberman grants easy-to-pick-up gameplay with an interesting campaign mode. However, where it shines the most is in its multiplayer; either cooperative in the aforementioned campaign mode, or competitive in the addictive battle mode, the first of the 16-bit Bomberman games can provide days and days of entertainment. It also marked an important precedent for being one of the first console games to include simultaneous four-man multiplayer (thanks to the bundled multitap), which would become the standard of couch video gaming for years to come.
- Camilo

Super Castlevania IV

A heavily expanded reimagining of the original story, Super Castlevania IV couples its trademark whip-slinging action with a slew of creative and interesting levels. The addition of diagonal whipping allows more freedom when dealing with monsters, while veterans can forego the ability for a little extra challenge. This game's top class mechanics, fantastic soundtrack, and attention to detail make for a highly regarded entry in the Castlevania franchise.
- Gabriel

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts

You think Dark Souls is hard? Test your gamer abilities, confront this absurdly difficult game, and tell us if you change your mind about what "hard" means. The third instalment in this series starring the knight Arthur brought all the classic spooky and horror themes, besides a serious double jump platforming experience. The graphics and music are on point, and beating the game (twice, because it is the only way to get the true ending) is one of the major achievements a gamer can accomplish. Don't get us wrong, though; Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts isn't one of those games that is hard for the sake of being hard. It doesn't throw in cheap obstacles; the challenge comes from good level design and precise controls. A recommended 16-bit gem that reminds of the excellent partnership between Capcom and Nintendo in the good old days.
- Camilo

Super Mario Kart

In 1992, the kart-racing genre was born with Super Mario Kart. The game makes use of the SNES' Mode 7 technology, which allowed for the scaling and rotation of a background layer to give the player a faux 3D perspective from behind their chosen kart driver. Players could race as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Koopa Troopa, Donkey Kong Jr. and Bowser. It featured four cups and twenty tracks in total, from classics like Donut Plains to memorable standouts like Rainbow Road. Perhaps its best element was the legendary two-player battle mode, which saw players pit against each other trying to burst their opponent's three balloons, whilst protecting their own. Without a doubt, the original Super Mario Kart is an all-time video gaming classic, which still holds up today considering its various re-releases in Virtual Console and eShop form.
- Tom B

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Squaresoft had such legendary status amongst the gaming community thanks to its stream of high quality role-playing games, especially those in the Final Fantasy line, and many had been hoping that the company would work with Nintendo. Eventually, dreams came true around the world and Super Mario RPG came to fruition, and its sheer quality still stands the test of time today, with its core format being re-used time and time again for future spin-offs in both the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi titles. The attractiveness of Nintendo's world and characters tied together with the RPG expertise of Square made for an enthralling adventure that will never be forgotten.
- Adam

Super Mario World

The day one pack-in for Nintendo's 16-bit machine, no SNES Mini would be complete without the best-selling game on the system. Super Mario World was a remarkable leap from its predecessor in terms of the abilities at Mario's disposal, introduced so successfully through items like the cape and prominent dino sidekick Yoshi, both of which lent themselves perfectly to the more explorative type of platform game that this was.
- Az

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island

The origin story of the two plumber brothers may have simultaneously given birth to that unforgettable incessant crying sound of Baby Mario, but with the bad comes the good, and good Yoshi's Island most certainly was. With advanced special effects and one of the most gorgeous hand drawn visual art styles in a 2D side-scroller, this was a real looker, and took the exploration side of Super Mario World further by adding tons of collectibles, hidden areas, and all kinds of mazy and clever level designs that made use of Yoshi's transformative abilities. Even bosses, previously lacklustre in Mario games, filled the screen and added a tougher challenge than before. Yoshi established his greatness with Yoshi's Island, and it is arguably still yet to be bettered by any later Yoshi or 2D Mario title.
- Az

Super Metroid

A lesson in video game making, as well as a perfect example of how creative design always wins over hardware horsepower, Super Metroid looks and sounds awesome to this day, and will probably keep on doing so till the end of time. Extremely atmospheric, and thus immersive, with an OST that sometimes sounds alien-like, while other times has an insanely epic feel. Gameplay-wise things are even better: a non-linear underground world that begs thorough exploration, an immense variety of game-changing upgrades for our skilled protagonist to find, and an overall structure that manages to be perfect whether you like taking your time, or speedrunning towards the end.
- Ofisil

Super Punch-Out!!

Back in the early nineties, the NES just wasn't capable of reproducing the graphics seen in Punch-Out arcade games. This changed with the arrival of the SNES, which Genyo Takeda felt was capable of producing a like-for-like experience with the arcade. Hence Super Punch-Out!! was born. Little Mac works his way through four boxing circuits, requiring reactions and guile to outsmart his opponents, each with their own attack patterns to learn and exploit. One exciting addition that made this instalment so particularly great was the introduction of the super punch mechanic. Once the power meter was filled, Little Mac could temporarily deal out high damage attacks, as long he didn't get hit back. This added an intriguing risk vs. reward element to the gameplay. Also new to this version was the Time Attack mode, which previously had only been seen in arcade iterations. While the NES's Punch-Out cultivated a larger audience, Super Punch-Out!! is still a must-have for any and all SNES fans.
- Tom B

Tetris Attack

A refined puzzle game, with an addictive panel-switching mechanic (that might remind many of a little game called Pokémon Puzzle League, but, hey, Tetris Attack did it first!), with an impressive variety of features, including a fast-paced endless mode, a surprisingly good campaign, and a thought-provoking puzzle mode. Tetris Attack gives hours and hours of brain amusement that expands even more with a friend on your couch thanks to its versus mode, with all of the above wrapped in a charming Yoshi's Island-themed look. One of the best puzzlers in all of the SNES's library.
- Camilo

The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

While the Goemon franchise was never very popular in the West, a lot of gamers have fond memories of this classic. After playing for a while, it's easy to see why. Not only is this game a fantastic action-platformer, but it goes above and beyond with its mind-boggling Mode 7 effects, an ingenious cooperative mode, and a massive array of mini-games. The pacing does hit a slight snag when the heroes are forced to raise money to progress, but it's difficult to get annoyed with such an endearing game.
- Gabriel

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Returning to the top-down format of the original series entry, A Link to the Past took the same core ideas that made The Legend of Zelda so popular, and refined aspects even further. Not only is the third Zelda title iconic for the mainstay items and elements it introduced to the fold, including the Master Sword, but Nintendo went well out of its way to mix up what players already knew about puzzling action-adventure games. From the unique dungeon designs that spanned multiple floors, to the sneaky disguised boss of the Thieves' Town, to the plentiful mini-games that rewarded in the staple heart pieces, A Link to the Past marked the beginning of something incredible for this franchise.
- Az

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

LucasArts delivered several hits on the SNES that were based on the Star Wars and Indiana Jones licenses, but there was one instance when they delivered a golden cult classic. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a madcap and cartoony frantic race to save survivors amidst an uprising of so many classic horror icons. Turns out zombies are merely the low tier enemies, as Zeke and Julie go toe to toe with chainsaw maniacs, Draculas, many of Frankenstein's monsters, aliens, wolfmen, and even a gigantic baby. The signature cartoony style that LucasArts was known for, as seen in other classics like Day of the Tentacle or Monkey Island had been faithfully represented on the SNES, and it still looks amazing. It's a perfect game to boot up on Halloween with a friend for some co-op.
- Albert

Which of our 30 picks do you think should be included on a possible SNES Mini system? Did we miss any greats that deserve their place more than any of the above? Share your hopes for the SNES Mini below.

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I think I'd love this FAR more than the NES... I'm struggling to get into some of the games, despite vaguely remembering enjoying them when I was a young lad Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

only reason i got a mini nes was for the two castlevanias, super c and ninja gaiden.

Only reason I got a NES Mini was to get them to do a SNES Mini lol.

Some great stuff on there, but I was brought up on the SNES mainly. If the SNES Mini list was anywhere close to our picks, it would be an incredible package.

How about yoshi's safari with a tiny super scope? Smilie <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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Darkflame said:
How about yoshi's safari with a tiny super scope? Smilie

They should re-release it on Wii U/NX and let you use the Wiimote. They did it with Duck Hunt, didn't they?

Take a look at this story! The innards of the NES Mini are more powerful than a Wii or 3DS, meaning that the same hardware can be used for a future SNES Mini AND an N64 Mini without issue. All Nintendo would have to do is change the casing and controller.


Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Games I'd personally like to see also are:

U.N. Squadron,
Super Tennis,
Doom (Not the best version, but still great) &
Streetfighter Alpha 2.

There are so many good games to choose from. 

Defo Unirally and Super Tennis. Quality games.

( Edited 21.11.2016 21:26 by Azuardo )

I'd get a SNES Mini, that was my first proper console and had games that interest me more. Was never really into NES games.

That list has most of the games I would want, though unfortunately Zombies probably wouldn't happen, due to Disney now owning Lucas Arts. Only games I could add are Batman Returns, which is a really fun beat em up style game (like Street of Rage) and... maybe Turtles: Tournament Fighters. I'm not into fighting games anymore, but when I was younger, I loved that game and thought it was better than Street Fighter II Turbo. Though again, licensing issues would effect those games, so doubt they would make it.

I'd most like a N64 Mini though. That was when I really started getting into gaming more and there's a lot of games I loved on that system.

( Edited 21.11.2016 21:50 by Marzy )

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