The Games of the SNES Classic Edition

Last year, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, a smaller sized 8-bit NES shaped console with 30 classic games.  It’s been notoriously hard to find, and I’ve been a bit bummed that I haven’t been able to get one.  But I wasn’t TOO upset because most of the games I played on the NES were from Capcom, not Nintendo (Mega Man and Disney games).  But the 16-bit Super Nintendo is my all-time favorite console ever.  It was the gaming console that really cemented my preference for console games, and the system just clicked for me for some reason.  So when Nintendo released the SNES Classic Edition in the same vein this year, I REALLY wanted to get it.  Luckily, my family got it for me for my birthday!  Nintendo DID say they were making more of the SNES Classic Edition, and I don’t know if that’s really true or not, or if we were just more prepared this time.  But not only was I able to get one, but three of my brothers got one, too!  So to celebrate me getting a SNES Classic Edition, here’s a blog about all the games on it!

But first, some pictures.  Here’s a bigger shot of the front of the box.

And here’s the back of the box with the games on the console.

And here’s me holding the console so you can see how small it is.

Before I get started talking about the games, I wanted to say a few things about the console itself.  Unlike the Famicom Classic Edition, which I wrote about a few weeks ago, the SNES one does come with an outlet plug.  So I use it for both my SNES and Famicom Classics.  Also, the controller ports on the front of the SNES Classic aren’t really controller ports.  They’re a cover for the actual ports, which look more like Wii controller outlets.  And speaking of controllers, you get two of them and they are the exact size and shape of a SNES controller and feel SO RIGHT.  The controllers are one of the reasons why the SNES is my favorite console.  I don’t really have a problem with the size of the cords, like everyone else does, but then, my gaming area is pretty small.  One last thing.  The console uses save states but many of the games you can save in the game as well.  But you have to be careful because if you use a save state, it might erase your progress on the actual ‘cartridge.’  So my best advice is to use one or the other (cartridge saves or save states), but not both.  Anyway, let’s take a look at the games!

Super Mario World

There’s not much about Super Mario World that I can say that hasn’t already been said.  It’s easily one of my favorite Mario games and one of the few that I have completed 100 percent.  I love the tight controls and the versatility of the power-ups.  I flop back and forth between saying this or Yoshi’s Island is my favorite 2-D Mario game.  But did you know that Super Mario World was NOT the first game I played on my SNES?  Nope!  I actually got my SNES (also for my birthday) two weeks before it came out in other stores.  A guy was selling them (cheaper) at Canton Trade Days (Texans may know what that is), but before you say he was selling them illegally, keep in mind this was before consoles and games had official release dates.  Anyway, I wasn’t supposed to open the SNES until my actual birthday, but when we saw the local movie rental place already had SNES games out to rent, and nobody was renting them because nobody else had a SNES yet, we rented Gradius 3 so that was the first thing I popped into the SNES, not Mario World.  Strange, huh?

Super Mario Kart

When I first saw preview images of this game in magazines, I knew it would be a big hit.  And I was right!  It practically created a game genre!  Super Mario Kart is actually one of my top five favorite games of all time.  I enjoyed it in high school, revisited it again in college and still enjoyed it, and that’s why it’s one of my favorites.  I was worried that it hasn’t aged as well, but when I fired it up on the SNES Classic, it still holds up very well today!  So it still goes on my top five list.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

When people make ‘best Mario RPG’ lists, they usually put this one at the top.  When I made mine, I put this rather far down on the list because I thought some of the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games were better.  But however, this is still a FANTASTIC game.  I played it to death back in the day and found all the secrets.  And it’s one of the first games I fired up on the SNES Classic.  It’s kind of interesting to play it now because it was one of the last Mario games to come out before Mario 64, so Mario didn’t have a voice yet and Princess Peach was still called Toadstool.  This was also one of the last games Square made for Nintendo for a very long while, before they jumped to Sony and helped change the game industry.

Yoshi’s Island

A 2-D platforming masterpiece.  I like how it’s kind of a rebellious game because 3-D rendered Donkey Kong Country graphics were all the rage, and yet Nintendo was like, “Nope, we’re going to make this game look like a five year old colored it with crayons.”  Gameplay was changed so much that it helped Yoshi be a stand alone character and have his own series of games.  Some of them are great, but nothing beats the first.  Yoshi’s Island is also a special game to me because I enjoyed playing it with my little brothers, and even my college roommate’s girlfriend (now wife) loved this game so much that she bought a TV and SNES for her own dorm room so she could play it.  Even though she was in our dorm room 90 percent of the time (which was fine by me because they were both good friends and I enjoyed having them around).

Super Metroid

Like Super Mario World, there’s not much to be said about this game that hasn’t already been said.  It’s one of, if not the best, Metroid game ever made (although that new 2D one is pretty good in places).  I do have a funny story about the game that involved my little brother Jeff.  I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but I like it so I’m telling it again here.  Like other little boys, when Jeff was very young he loved to play with action figures.  Usually his play scenarios would go like this:  A big plush orange plush Triceratops was threatening the land.  The Power Rangers couldn’t stop it.  Batman couldn’t stop it.  But the Mega Man action figure I gave him would always save the day (I guess I was a big influence on him).  One day around this time I was playing Super Metroid and he was watching.  You know the part of the game where the Baby Metroid saves Samus and then Mother Brain destroys it?  Well I looked over at Jeff after that and he was in tears.  “Is the *sniff* Baby Metroid *sniffle* gonna be okay?” he bawled.  From then on, during his action figure play time, not even Mega Man could defeat the big orange Triceratops.  But a Ty Beanie Baby Jellyfish, which he now dubbed the Baby Metroid, would always save the day.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

My favorite Zelda game may be Link’s Awakening, but Link to the Past is my second favorite.  I played this game to death when it was new.  In fact, the reason why I was able to breeze through A Link Between Worlds so quickly is because aside from the wall walking game mechanic, both games are practically identical.  Many modern Zelda games still use puzzle ideas that first started in Link to the Past, so it’s a very important game for the franchise.

Super Punch Out

I never was a big fan of the Punch Out games.  I saw it in the arcades a lot but could never play it because the bigger kids hogged it.  Most of my friends had Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, but I was never very good at it.  I did rent the SNES Punch Out game once to see what it was like.  Never did mess with the Wii version.  However, my brother Jeff LOVES the Punch Out games.  He’s one of my brothers who got the SNES Classic Edition, too, and he’s been playing Super Punch Out a lot on his.


Another game I was never a fan of, but that doesn’t mean I hate it or anything.  I did rent it and play it at other’s houses.  It’s just kind of hard and somewhat bare bones for a racer.  But I tell you what, back then, those Mode 7 effects were mind blowing!  My favorite characters are the fat samurai guy in the pink car, and in later games, Mrs. Arrow.

Donkey Kong Country

While I think this game is slightly overrated, it’s still a fun 2-D platformer with absolutely amazing graphics and sound.  Just go listen to “Aquatic Ambience” on YouTube and tell me you weren’t surprised that was coming from a SNES!  I do wish the sequels were also on here, though.  DKC3 is a special game to me because it was one of the first games I reviewed at The Dallas Morning News back when I first starting reviewing games over 20 years ago.  Rare really helped carry Nintendo through the late SNES years and N64 times, didn’t they?  I do have a funny story about DKC, too.  When my brother Jeff was very young and could barely talk, I showed him Donkey Kong Country.  He stared at it, and when our mom came into the room, he looked at her, pointed at the TV, and just babbled nonstop!  I think he liked it.  A short while later, one of his very first words was “Donkey Kong” so he could tell me he wanted to play it!

Kirby Super Star

To this day this is one of the best Kirby games out there, and many Kirby games look to Super Star as a template.  It came out late in the SNES lifespan so it’s a technical marvel as well.  I have so many good memories playing this game with my little brothers.  My brother Jeff, who plays all sorts of mature games now like Call of Duty and such, will still pull out this game from time to time.  I’m also glad they used The Great Cave Offensive as a stage in the last Super Smash Bros. game.

Kirby’s Dream Course

Did you know that I wasn’t a Kirby fan right from the start?  For whatever reason, I skipped out on the first few Kirby games.  It was actually this game that got me to be a Kirby fan.  When the SNES first came out, they advertised an upcoming game called Special Tee Shot.  From the screens it looked like a cross between mini golf and Marble Madness, two things I like, so I made a mental note to myself to check it out.  Well that game never came out (actually it did in Japan on the SNES satellite thing they had), but most of the game was reworked into Kirby’s Dream Course.  So I rented it once and was blown away.  Later I did eventually buy it when the price went down (by then I was a poor college student), but after I played this game, I went back and played all the other Kirby games I had missed out on.


You guys are going to hate me for what I’m about to say, but when I first played Earthbound, I really didn’t like it.  In fact, my audition to write game reviews for The Dallas Morning News required me to write two reviews.  One for a game I did like, and one for a game I didn’t like.  Since I was big into RPGs at the time, the review for the game I did like was Final Fantasy 3, and the one for the game I didn’t like…was Earthbound.  But here’s the thing.  The game had a pretty crazy storyline.  Most of the time, I would like that.  But in this game, it was so nonsensical that it was hard to know where to go next.  The game came packed with a strategy guide for a reason, folks. Also, the battles felt a bit dated.  I was so used to all these modern battles in FF3 and whatnot, and Earthbound’s battles felt like they could’ve been done on the NES.  But you know, I’m willing to give this game a second chance, so now that I have it on the SNES Classic Edition, I just might do that one of these days.  There is one good thing I’ll say about Earthbound.  Before it came out, translated RPG text always felt a bit stilted.  No disrespect for the translators at the time, I’m sure they were doing all they could.  But it was games like Earthbound and Super Mario RPG that really paved the way for modern RPG translation.  The text just flows smoother and has more relevant humor.

Final Fantasy 3

And speaking of Final Fantasy 3 (or 6), you know that two of my top five favorite games of all time are on this collection.  You already read that Super Mario Kart was one of those on my list.  Well, FF3 is the other one.  Many people put this at the top of their best RPG lists, and for good reason.  The graphics are detailed, the characters are interesting, the story is mind blowing, and the music is video game soundtrack perfection.  I could go on and on about this game.  My favorite FF hero (Terra), and my favorite FF villain (Kefka) come from this game.

Secret of Mana

I was a huge Square junkie during the SNES days and played all their games.  This was a neat action RPG with unique music and pastel graphics.  It was buggy as hell, but it was originally meant to be on the SNES CD add on that never came out.  I can’t wait for the remake that’s coming out next year!

Mega Man X

While I prefer original Mega Man, the first Mega Man X was exactly what the series needed at that time to keep it fresh and interesting.  I played this game so much back then that I could find all the secrets and beat it in record time.  To this day I can play through it and not break a sweat.  It’s just an awesome 16-bit action game.  Oh yeah, you know how my little brother Jeff cried when the Baby Metroid died?  Well he did the same thing here when Zero died at the end of this game.  At any rate, MMX is one of my favorite Mega Man games, right on up there with MM3, MM2, and MM8.

Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting

I never really liked Street Fighter 2 when I was young.  I took one look at those six buttons and thought, “How am I supposed to play this game?  I only have five fingers!”  But all my friends played it so I had to at least watch them.  We would walk to gas stations just to play it (back then, gas stations and even grocery stores had arcade games).  I guess it was a technical feat to cram the arcade game on the SNES.  I remember renting it once just so I could get my friends to come over and play it, and it worked!  I think the version on this collection is the one that let you play as the bosses.  I wish that they would’ve put in the Super version that came after it so I could play as Cammy, my favorite SF character.  But oh well, no big deal.  I think the Super Famicom Classic Edition has that version on it.  But I probably won’t get that one even though I got the Famicom Classic Edition because by that time, games were a bit more text heavy.

Super Ghouls N Ghosts

You know what’s cool is that even the games that I didn’t own on this collection, I at least rented them once.  Such was the case with this game.  I liked the graphics and sounds, but I was never a big fan of the Ghosts N Goblins series.  Never did like the ridiculous difficulty.  Plus this game has already been on several classic collections already.  This would be the first game I would omit if I were in charge of choosing which games would be on this collection.

Contra 3: The Alien Wars

Another game I rented, but never bought.  It’s a neat action game, but also too stupid hard.  I did like how you could hold two weapons and shoot them both like a badass.  Like the Contra games on the NES, I only had fun with this game when I played it with friends.

Super Castlevania IV

Yeah I rented this one, too.  Never was a Castlevania fan, but I did have to check this one out to see what it was like.  The music was neat and I liked how you could flail your whip around everywhere, but I didn’t get very far since I’m not good at Castlevania games.

Star Fox

Originally I wasn’t going to get this game, but my friend called me when it came out and said I had to get it and the intro was really cool.  I trusted my friend a lot, so I did get the game and he was right, the intro was pretty cool.  Even though it was a basic on-rails shooter, it was still fun and looked pretty advanced at the time…for a short while anyway.  While it didn’t hold my attention as much as other SNES games did, it was fun to find all the hidden pathways and weird secrets.

Star Fox 2

This is the big deal on this collection.  Star Fox 2 was never released on the original SNES, even though it was practically finished.  But now you can play it on this mini console!  While it is kind of interesting to see how some ideas originated from this game, like certain missions, Star Wolf, and the walker mode, I didn’t really like this game that much.  The on-rails shooter modes have been replaced by 3-D dogfights, which I don’t like.  And the frantic pace of trying to defend your home planet from missile attacks makes it more stressful than fun to me.  But it is still interesting to finally see this lost Star Fox game in action. I wonder if Nintendo gave some sort of compensation to the folks at Argonaut, who made this game, since from what I’ve read, they kind of screwed them over back then.

And those are all the games!  I do wish they could’ve put other games on here like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 2, but I guess they already had three RPGs on here.  But the SNES was best known for its awesome RPG library.  At any rate, I really, really like this mini console.  If I had no other games to play but this console, I’d be perfectly happy for a very long time.  –Cary

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