Nintendo has announced the Super Nintendo Classic, which will be out on September 29 for $80 and come with 21 games including the previously unreleased Star Fox 2. The lineup, which is excellent, also includes Earthbound, Final Fantasy III, Link to the Past, and Secret of Mana. And Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country and we are sure this thing will be too hard to buy at the store, without getting into a fist fight with someone.
The system comes with two controllers and 21 games. Let’s take a look at the games the system is launching with. There’s fewer this time around than with the NES Classic Edition, but these are Super Nintendo games so they’re bigger, better and 16-bit!
Here are all the games in alphabetical order:
Contra III: The Alien Wars – Contra III was the first game in the series to launch with a futuristic setting in the U.S., as alien hordes invade and heroes Jimbo and Sully have to fight them off. It was also the first game in the series to look more like the arcade versions, and featured more complex level design and boss fights. It’s been released a couple times on the Virtual Console already.
Donkey Kong Country – I still consider Donkey Kong Country to be one of the greatest platformers of all time, with one of the most ridiculously catchy soundtracks of all time. It was tough, but not as hard as later entries in the series (which is kind of the opposite of many retro games) and remains one of my favorite SNES titles. Just a charming platformer from start to finish.
EarthBound – Known as Mother 2 in Japan, EarthBound took a while to build steam in the U.S. before becoming something of a cult classic. The game was re-released on the Wii U virtual console not long ago, but it’s still fun to see one of gaming’s classic RPGs make its way to the SNES Classic Edition.
Final Fantasy III – Speaking of classic RPGs, Final Fantasy III remains my most beloved entry in that long-running series from Square. I played many, many hours of this game back in junior high. I remember playing it while my kid brother would sit around and watch. I guess in many ways it was my first experience streaming a game for a live audience. Truly a masterpiece of the JRPG genre.
F-ZERO – Fast, futuristic racing, F-Zero is a classic in the genre, and along with Mario Kart, one of the Super Nintendo’s finest racing games. Quite frankly, Nintendo needs to make a new F-Zero for the Switch, but it’s nice to see it here in the SNES Classic Edition catalog.
Kirby Super Star – Before he died and became Boo, Kirby was Nintendo’s go-to pink floaty platformer hero. I have to admit, I never really got into the Kirby games as a kid, so this will be a good opportunity to go back and check them out. Kirby can float and inhale enemies (he and Yoshi share this ability, though it works differently.) Super Star came with some mini-games as well.
Kirby’s Dream Course – A Kirby-themed mini-golf game that I also never played as a kid. But hey, mini-golf is always good times.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – One of the best games ever made, A Link To The Past ditched the weird side-scrolling of the second Zelda game and went back to the formula that made the original so great, only this time with much better graphics. It’s funny to remember just how much better games appeared going from 8-bit to 16-bit, but back in the day it really was a huge leap forward. It was like having an arcade machine in your house! I haven’t played this game since I was a kid.
Mega Man X – The first of the Mega Man games to land on the SNES, X added a bunch of new movement and combat mechanics to the series, and made it possible to pretty much play through the entire game with just the starting weapon. A classic that’s been remade for mobile devices and had two Virtual Console releases.
Secret of Mana – Yet another classic top-down JRPG, Secret of Mana used action combat mechanics rather than turn-based ones. I haven’t played this game in such a long time, but I have really fond memories of it and its beautiful soundtrack, composed by Hiroki Kikuta.
Star Fox – Still one of my favorite games of all time, I also really hated Star Fox as a kid. It was just too challenging. You’d get so far and then run out of lives and have to start over. That’s just punishing game design using the antiquated pay-as-you-go arcade model. Still, it was such a unique game and learning to shoot and spin and avoid incoming obstacles and time everything just so—I tell you, we had to work a lot harder at our games back in the day, for better or worse.
Star Fox 2 – This is the true star of the show. Star Fox 2 was never released on any system before, having been bizarrely cancelled by Nintendo after the game was completed. Finally, after all these long years, we’ll be able to die frustrating death after frustrating death in the sequel. Many thought this day would never come.
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting – It gets a little confusing trying to keep track of all the different Street Fighter II games which are basically a sub-franchise within the larger Street Fighter series. This one introduced faster play and some new moves and should not be confused with Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers which just came out on the Nintendo Switch.
Super Castlevania IV – I love the original Castlevania games. I played the first three on the NES as a kid and then graduated to IV when I was a bit older. It was in many ways a re-imagining of the original Castlevania, with better graphics, expanded gameplay and lots of other new-and-improved content.
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts – The original Demon’s Souls, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is like that game if, after being hit once by an enemy, your armor all fell off and you were left to face the demon hordes wearing only your underwear. Good grief these games were tough.
Super Mario Kart – Super Mario Kart was such a great game. I’m not sure any other game of the SNES era occupied so much of my time—or at least my gaming time with friends and family. We’ve come along ways since then with the release of Mario Kart 8 (and the Deluxe Switch version) but the original, however limited compared to later releases, still holds a special place in my heart. That’s not just nostalgia, though. The game was truly spectacular and unique.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars – The first Mario RPG got off to a rocky start, launching on the SNES just four months before the release of the Nintendo 64. Still, it’s a classic worth playing. Developed by the same company behind Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana (Square, now Square Enix) it was the first of many Mario RPGs over the years on many different systems.
Super Mario World – As cool as Super Mario Bros. 3 was, Super Mario World was something even more amazing. That’s partly due to the new graphical power of the SNES, but also because it was just such a huge step forward in terms of world design and introduced so many cool things—like Yoshi!—to the mix. One of the greatest SNES games, and truly one of the greatest platformers, ever made.
Super Metroid – Often described as one of the best games ever made, Super Metroid is the third in the Metroid franchise. If you weren’t too intimidated by the first two games, you probably enjoyed just how great and innovative this game was. Along with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the game provides the foundation for a genre of games referred to as “Metroidvania” that feature unique gameplay elements like exploration, power-ups used to unlock gated areas in maps that are often retraced many times and serve as elaborate, unlockable mazes.
Super Punch-Out!! – The fourth game in the Punch-Out series, this is another on the list I never actually played because, quite frankly, while I’ve always enjoyed fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, I simply can’t say the same for boxing games. Still, the game was well-received at the time and I’m sure it’s perfectly fine if that’s your thing.
Yoshi’s Island – Released at the end of the SNES lifecycle, Yoshi’s Island is at once a sequel to Super Mario World and a prequel to the entire Mario franchise. It featured a new hand-drawn artstyle and was the first, and one of the only, games to use Argonaut Games’s Super FX2 microchip which was designed to improve graphics capabilities on the Super Nintendo. Doom was another SuperFX 2 game, as was the never-released Star Fox 2.
And that’s all guys! What games are you excited for? Which ones do you wish were included but didn’t make the cut? Let me know in the comments section below or on social media.