Twenty years ago, Nintendo released its Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America. Better known simply as SNES (pronounced S-N-E-S), some of the best video games in history saw their own release on the 16-bit gaming console.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the console's North American release, news10.net's Game Guys have ranked the system's 20 top games.
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the console's North American release, news10.net's Game Guys have ranked the system's 20 top games.
20. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (Nintendo - 1995) Have
you ever wondered how Mario and Yoshi became friends? Well, it
happened a long time ago... Okay, so it happened AFTER the original Super Mario World came out, but aren't prequels all the rage? Save for the ultra-annoying crying of Baby Mario, Yoshi's Island had fun platforming gameplay along with some very creative puzzle solving.
19. Earthworm Jim (Playmates Interactive - 1994) Kudos to Doug TenNapel for coming up with the outlandish idea to turn an anthromorphic earthworm into a sci-fi super hero. Earthworm Jim,with all its quirky humor and fun platforming, became an instant
fan-favorite. The game spawned not only numerous ports, but also three
sequels and a cartoon series.
18. Contra III: The Alien Wars (Konami - 1993) Howdoes a game publisher improve upon one of the best games on the original
NES? Give it positive gameplay tweaks and upgrade the graphics and
audio to 16 bit! Contra III did all that without losing the run-and-gun appeal of the original games.
17. Kirby's Dream Course (Nintendo - 1995) Who knew
that golfing with Nintendo's inflatable cream puff would be so much
fun? I mean literally golfing WITH the little guy. Kirby takes the
roll of a Nintendo-fied golf ball across a Dream Land- themed miniature
golf course. A quality video game Scandia? Yes, please.
16. Mega Man X (Capcom - 1994) Mega Man games have always been loved for their charm, theming, and challenging difficulty. X turned
down the difficulty a bit (while still keeping it challenging) while
adding a touch of bad-assness. Let's just say that this is the game
where everybody's favorite blue-suited robot boy finally
15. F-Zero (Nintendo - 1991) When it comes to racing games, taking top-three is usually considered a challenge. When it comes to F-Zero,
completing the race is the challenge. With speeds so fast even blue
hedgehogs would have trouble keeping up (they'd probably smack into one
of the many nonsensical obsticals anyway), F-Zero punishes players then leaves them begging for more. Only a special kind of game can get away with that.
14. Mortal Kombat II (Midway - 1993) Anybody who was alive and consious in the mid-1990's probably remembers all of the controversy the gory original Mortal Kombat game created. Well, Mortal Kombat II had all that, more characters, and refined gameplay. It also sold like hotcakes.
13. Street Fighter II Turbo (Capcom - 1992) The fighting craze was going full-tilt in the early-to-mid 1990's both in the arcades and (finally) on home consoles. While kids and teens alike were forming lines at the 7-Eleven to pump quarter after quarter into the arcade machine, SFII Turbo let players bit the pixelated you-know-what out of each other with no coinage necessary.
12. Super Metroid (Nintendo - 1994) Super Metroid has
the unique gift to be the old-school 2D side-scrolling
action/platformer that can knock the spacesuit off of all of its
more-modern sequels. The game's soundtrack is among the best of its
time and the game is absolutely huge in terms of level design and
overall sandbox feel in a time where sandbox games were very uncommon.
Just when you thought it was safe to venture into the heart of
11. Earthbound (Nintendo - 1995) Technically, Earthbound is the second game in a trilogy that never made it to the States (it's called Mother 2 in Japan). Regardless, Earthbound
is a game that took a long, hard look at all of the conventional rules
for a successful RPG (and a video game in general) and disregarded them
all. The end result? Success - plain and simple.
10. Star Fox (Nintendo - 1993) Finally a game both furries and non-furries alike can agree on. While not the first third-person sci-fi shooter, Star Fox
was definatly the best of its time. It also was the first to fully
utilize the SNES' FX Chip technology, which explains its then-unique
graphical style. And after all, had Star Fox not wowed gamers like it did, there would never have been a reason to introduce Krystal two consoles later.
09. Secret of Mana (Squaresoft - 1993) Let's add Squaresoft's RPG success, mix in a bit of hack-and-slash combat, and...oh yeah add a friend, and BOOM! You have Secret of Mana,
a JRPG that's not. The game supplied its players with a then-advanced
tactics system, a beautiful art style, and streamlined radial menus --
all of which had varying levels of rarity back then.
08. Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo/Rare - 1994) Once upon a time, Rare made games for Nintendo. Simply put, they were good. Conker's Bad Fur Day and GoldenEye 007 were great, but if it weren't for the success of Donkey Kong Country, Rare might never have had the chance to even develop those other titles. DKC took Nintendo's barrel-throwing, kart-driving ape and gave him the video game version of a soul.
07. Final Fantasy II (Squaresoft - 1991) Okay, so technically this is Final Fantasy IV, but the North American Final Fantasy II
pretty much set the mold for many of the JRPGs to follow in terms of
storyline and mechanics. It also wasn't shy on killing off main
characters, which was bold for the time.
06. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Nintendo - 1992) There are two Zelda games that are in the discussion of best Zelda game ever. Ocarina of Time is one. This is the other. Honestly, you could argue that Link to the Past is better simply because had it not existed, Ocarina never would have become a reality. That's due to the fact that Link to the Past introduced much of what's considered to be a Zelda staple in terms of modern gameplay.
05. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (Nintendo/Squaresoft - 1996) This is one that might start a few fights, seeing as there are some people that not only believe Super Mario RPG to
be the best RPG of its time, but also the best SNES game ever. Well,
top five isn't bad. Part of the reason this game was so good is
Squaresoft's involvement. The other reason had to do with Mario, but
not simply because he was there -- it's because of what he and his
friends were able to do. And what they did looked great, because SMRPG's graphics were well ahead of its time.
04. Final Fantasy III (Squaresoft - 1994) Like Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy III wasn't actually III -- it was VI.
Confusing? Well, back then the Japanese weren't too sure the American
audience would buy video game RPGs. It's a good thing they decided to
export this one to the States, because it might very well be the best Final Fantasy title of all time (Nihilistic clowns are much more terrifying than one-winged angels any day.).
03. Super Mario Kart (Nintendo - 1992) Super Mario Kart is
similar to the movie 'Wayne's World'. How? Because of 'Wayne's World
2', that's why. That stated, it's hard to tell whether SMK or SMK64 is the better game. Lucky for the original, 64 wasn't released onto the SNES. Either way, Mario Kart is just as addictivly fun today as it was 19 years ago.
02. Super Mario World (Nintendo - 1991) For most original SNES owners, Super Mario World is
the game they've had from the very beginning. After all, it came
included in the box (back when an actual video game would come with the
console -- a concept that's making a comeback). Good thing it was such a darn good game!
01. Chrono Trigger (Squaresoft - 1995) When you have a
game that's still regarded as one of the best (if not THE best) video
games of all time, how can it NOT be number one on this list? Chrono Trigger
takes a great storyline with interesting characters, time travel,
amazing (for its time) anime-style visuals, and gameplay works so well
that there are few games that feel this right to play. Writing from
experience, Chrono Trigger is simply one of those games that
you don't stop playing -- not because it doesn't end (because it does),
but because you can't help but play it again.
We rummage through our archives for 25 must-have PlayStation games. No Bubsy 3D, we promise
Sony’s PlayStation was the poster console for video game systems that used the optical disc format—a success story that bumped cartridge-based consoles out of vogue and into gaming past. It also has some of the most fondly remembered games in its library. This week on GameZone, we’ll run down the list of our favorites and must-haves, arranged into sensible groups for your convenience.
25) Ape Escape
Ape Escape didn’t monkey around; it meant business. The game was an important landmark: the first PS game to actually require a special DualShock analog controller for play. Its commercial success reserved it a spot in Sony’s “Greatest Hits” collection, and with a premise this original, it’s no wonder. Not every game equips players with a net and quirky gadget to chase after rebellious primates, but Ape Escape had us hooked—and cursing—every time the simians won.
24) Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Namco’s side-scrolling platformer Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was an odd trinket for its time: a game that existed in essentially two and a half dimensions, otherwise referred to as a 2D game with polygons. The type, stuck halfway between ordinary 2D platforming and 3D world exploration, wasn’t very popular, but Namco gave Klonoa the oomph of 3D while keeping it rooted in 2D, allowing levels a longer creative leash and a little more slack. If you ever get your hands on this gem (starring an animal character with Pac-Man on his hat), consider yourself lucky—it’s a rare find.
23) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Symphony of the Night is also quite the collector’s item. When 3D gaming was all the rage, werewolves and vampires were still biting in retro 2D. The game was a critical entry in the series, opening up the prior level-by-level gameplay and sprinkling in some RPG elements. As the demon-killing hero Alucard, players could backtrack and investigate previously unlocked areas once they had more impressive powers under their belts. SotN later joined the Greatest Hits set of best-selling games on the PlayStation.
You can buy Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in the PSOne Classics section of the PlayStation Store.
22) Spyro the Dragon
Spyro and his dragonfly guardian, Sparx, sniffed out gems and freed imprisoned dragons in the first and very iconic Spyro the Dragon game, a platformer that involved burning sheep, headbutting rams, and gliding off cliff tops. Its musical score was one of the best of the era, with Stewart Copeland (once drummer for the band The Police) composing. Of course, the feisty dragon added an invaluable layer of personality to the game, which wouldn’t have been as remarkable without it.
Glide over to the PS Store for the game.
Close Second: We can’t forget Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (also available in the Store). The game had us riding polar bears and surfing on mine-infested waters, and it wasn’t uncommon to see Crash and Spyro back-to-back on game covers and manuals in their day, promoting each other’s work. Stay tuned for more Crash later this week, when we put the spotlight on another notable PS1 game.
Like Ape Escape, Tomba! (from the noggin’ of Tokuro Fujiwara, who made Ghosts ’n Goblins and Mega Man) took early advantage of the capabilities of the DualShock controller. On a fleck of islands, the pink-haired Tomba set out to trap seven evil Koma pigs and reclaim his grandfather’s bracelet. The game appeared on PlayStation demo discs but never sold well, and its notoriously poor circulation has earned it an elite status with collectors, who are willing to pay $300 for a mint copy. As with Klonoa, if you see it, grab it.
20) Street Fighter Alpha 3
Though it debuted on another console, Capcom’s game sold a million copies on the original PlayStation. Thanks to a little special attention, the port wasn’t plagued with long loading times or botched character animations, making fighting a breeze. A favorite among fans, the game features 34 characters, including four new ones: Karin Kanzuki, Rainbow Mika, Juli, and Juni.
Close Second: Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is Capcom’s way of poking fun at their own extravagant titles, especially those in the Street Fighter series. It’s also a balanced and deep puzzle game well worth your time. Don’t let the name fool you—there’s only one of these babies, and it’s on the PSN (just add “HD Remix” to the end). ( OMG I got this for my birthday :D :D ....forgot which year it was though lol but I was in middle school )
19) Twisted Metal 2
This Greatest Hits game gained a reputation as the insane vehicular series’ most successful entry. Twisted Metal is a winner-takes-all demolition derby with high stakes and plentiful projectiles, and practicing in these arenas is an excellent way to prepare for the revival, coming in October for PS3 with as many clowns and as much road rage as you remember. The series remains the longest-running PlayStation-exclusive franchise to date, with sixteen years of skid marks on the console.
You can find Twisted Metal 2 in the PS Store.
18) Bushido Blade
In Bushido Blade, players duel like a samurai in modern Japan. Fighting honorably will get you far, but dirty tricks will get you a game over. Unlike other fighting games of the era, players can choose their weapon as well as their character, and no health gauge or time limit is present. Opponents instead wound to kill, and it only takes a few good hits to do so. Characters can do more than move backward, forward, and around their foe: they can run, jump, and climb the 3D environments, which are more expansive than the average fighting stage or arena.
17) Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2
One of the most influential extreme sports games caught air first on the PlayStation. When it landed, it gained more than speed—it hit pay dirt, with tremendous commercial and critical success. While the first Tony Hawk game removed skater games from hush-hush obscurity and into conversation, Pro Skater 2 gave it more detail and finesse—especially with its create-a-character system and the Manual, which became a bible for hardcore players.
16) Tekken 3
Tekken 3 was a stellar achievement for the series: with great moves, great graphics, and a great score. Its tight controls might seem dated by today’s standards (nowadays characters keep pace with button inputs), but the game is perhaps the best 3D fighter for the system, and one that isn’t easily forgotten. It currently stands as number eight on GameRanking’s “All-Time Best” list, right above The Orange Box.
15) Resident Evil 2
The first Resident Evil was priceless: zombies lurk in the hallways of a creepy mansion, which locks secrets behind strange doors and unfolds into a much more unpleasant base of experimental operations. The second Resident Evil sent us running. Immediately, we were on our feet, fleeing from zombies in the middle of an overrun Raccoon City, dangerously tucked beneath the Arklay Mountains and the forest where the sinister mansion was built. RE2 expanded on the basic principles of its predecessor, giving us fouler enemies and more creative situations.
Look for it in the PS Store, and remember to reload your weapon often.
14) Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is the most famous treasure-raiding heroine in video games, so in proper archeological tradition, head back to the place where it all began: the first Tomb Raider. You’ll go toe-to-toe with hungry wolves, gun down a T-rex, wrestle with crocodiles, and splatter mummy parts all over Egyptian walls. Save the world from the detestable Jacqueline Natla of Natla Technologies and then return home for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
Lara’s first adventure is on the PSN.
Close Second: Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver plays similarly to Tomb Raider—or at least that was the aim of developer Crystal Dynamics, who now, ironically, handles the brunette adventurer’s series. They’re also siblings in Sony’s Greatest Hits line-up. Grab it off the PSN today.
13) Silent Hill
Depending on how you like your survival horror, you’ll either be shooting everything that approaches or running at every hint of static on your radio. Silent Hill has been one of the most successful series in the genre, but with many believing it’s gone horribly off track (as is so easily done in the eerie town), it’s better to replay the old excursions, starting with Harry Mason’s search for his missing daughter. His tour of the town will reveal infamous locations classic to the series, such as the elementary school, church, hospital, and amusement park.
The game is available in the PS Store—if you think you can survive.
12) Parasite Eve
Some prefer Parasite Eve 2 more, but the first game set a peculiar mood that’s not easy to overlook—partly due to its hot opera scene, so good that nearly everyone in the audience spontaneously combusted. This horror RPG threatens players with unsightly mutations of rats, monkeys, and even dinosaurs (we’re looking at you, Tomb Raider). Protagonist Aya Brea herself suffers with mitochondria impatient to evolve, as the game’s villain observes early on.
Parasite Eve can be purchased on the PSN, but if you’re desperate for more, hunt down the titular Japanese sci-fi novel it was based on.
Close Second: Dino Crisis also stars a short-haired beauty, but think of this one as Parasite Eve meets Tomb Raider meets Resident Evil (especially Resident Evil)—a game that runs high on suspense and focuses on shooting feral dinosaurs (the beasts are fairly common in video games, if you think about it), with some puzzle-solving on the side. You can get it on the PSN.
Einhander is the standout inclusion of this batch. It’s not survival horror or adventure, but a scrolling space shooter, so we’ll have to amend our category title and call this one a “Shoot ’Em and Fly.” At the time of its release, it had no comparison on the PlayStation. Its solidarity got it attention, as did its quality gameplay. The only drawbacks are its one-hour completion time and a suspiciously absent two-player mode, but it makes a good bang for your buck, and it’s one of Square’s most curious and successful endeavors outside of RPGs.
10) Vagrant Story
From Square came Vagrant Story, now a Greatest Hits game and an RPG relic on the PSN. The dungeon crawler boasts some of the most impressive graphics on the system, with comic book speech balloons and detailed facial expressions that put Vagrant Story a cut above its RPG brethren. Regarding its battle system, comparisons have been made to Square’s other game, Parasite Eve, which predated it by only two years.
You can download Vagrant Story off the PSN.
9) Legend of Legaia
The PlayStation had dozens of amazing RPGs, but chances are that if you haven’t played them, you’ve certainly heard of them. Legend of Legaia didn’t enjoy the huge fame that some of the other PS1 RPGs did, and it didn’t score quite as well, but it’s a long-held favorite to many. The JRPG was created by Contrail, a developer that made only a few games before closing down, but its captivating storyline and grueling boss battles, all functioning on a combo-based combat system (yes, like a fighting game), make it memorable.
The producer of the game’s spiritual predecessor, Wild Arms, headed the development team, but if you haven’t heard of that one either, it’s a no-brainer as to why: the world was too eager for Final Fantasy VII to notice. (I've always wanted to play this :( )
8) Threads of Fate
In the action-RPG Threads of Fate (developed by Square), players choose between the spunky, spoiled princess Mint, who wields magic and hates pumpkins, and Rue, the quiet and considerate shape-shifter, out to save a loved one from the dead. Either way you play it, Threads of Fate is one of the shorter (compared to the many 40-plus-hour RPGs on the market) and more lighthearted of its genre, with gorgeously colored environments, charming characters, and hilarious moments all throughout the game—especially when Mint’s involved.
It was recently added to the PSOne Classics section, so download away.
Created by Game Arts, the first in the Grandia series was produced by many of the same staff responsible for the Lunar series, one of the company’s best-known works. Grandia was sometimes praised to be as worthwhile as the then-immaculate Final Fantasy VII. The story follows an aspiring adventurer named Justin, who departs for new shores alongside his best friend Sue. Together with Feena and Sue’s sidekick Puffy, they explore such eye-opening locales as ruins, forests, and ghost ships. ( YAY BEST RPG EVER IMO!! )
Sadly, Takeshi Miyaji, the creator of Grandia, recently passed away at the age of 45. ( RIP ;__; )
Close Second: Unlike the fantasy setting of Grandia, Xenogears is largely a sci-fi RPG. The Greatest Hits title is another product of Square, which ruled the RPG landscape in the PS1 era.
6) Chrono Cross
Chrono Cross (again, by Square) was the unexpected sequel to Chrono Trigger and later received a Greatest Hits re-release. Its production began after Xenogears arrived on shelves in 1998, and the end result puzzled fans who had been hoping for a game more in line with the beloved Chrono Trigger. A drastic departure was Square’s intention, and however much a shock at the time, the game is considered a near masterpiece for its complex plot, inventive battle system, and success in breaking away from its predecessor. It’s no surprise considering the all-star team: Yuji Hori (Dragon Quest), producer Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), and character designer Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball Z).
5) Achievement in music: Parappa the Rapper
The idea of a rhythm game seems completely reasonable to us today, but back in the 1990s, it wasn’t a common thing. Parappa the Rapper was one of the first and most successful rhythm games, leading to the spin-off UmJammer Lammy, which some people consider the better of the two. The rapping dog and the songs of his teachers and friends were catchy, as every good beat should be, but Parappa’s claim to fame was no small accomplishment. Parappa the Rapper’s contribution to video games was substantial, paving the way for an acceptance of music games and earning it awards in sound and interactive design.
4) Achievement in simulation: Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Simulation is a niche genre; some people love it, and some people wave it off as a triviality. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature ascended high above the criticism—cows, chickens, and all. It was the only Harvest Moon game produced for the PlayStation and the first one to grace a console other than Nintendo’s. The farm/life/social sim, or any sim for that matter, wasn’t as easy to pull off then as it is today, in an internet age populated with Farmville addicts, but Harvest Moon did it with charm and nostalgia. Considering how many hardcore gamers are protesting the social/mobile movement of “quickie” games with little substance, Harvest Moon is an example of a sim that does it right.
3) Achievement in racing: Crash Team Racing
Few games can rival the golden boy Mario and his kart racing pals, but Crash Team Racing put their tires in a spin. The game belongs to the Greatest Hits collection and was the last in the Crash Bandicoot series to be developed by Naughty Dog. To fans of the games, Crash and his friends (and enemies) were as iconic as Mario and the inhabitants of Mushroom Kingdom—perhaps because of their cartoonish looks and perhaps because both series had enough time to establish themselves with gamers. Mario may be the undisputed king of the road and of Nintendo, but there was a time when Crash was Sony’s lovable mascot, too.
2) Achievement in RPGs: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy IX and Tactics could easily hold this spot, but no Final Fantasy game has had quite the resonance that FFVII has. Fans today are still begging for a remake, but while FFVII is far from flawless, it did drop jaws and fascinate gamers in a powerful way. The Greatest Hits game was the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics and was the fastest-selling title on the PSN. It also has one of the most effective death scenes, some of the most interesting characters, and one of the most imaginative opening set pieces, beautiful in its grime and corruption. The game has been credited with making the PlayStation a hot commodity. Even if you think FFVII is sorely overrated, chances are there’s something about it you love.
1) Achievement in action/stealth: Metal Gear Solid
It’s impossible to ignore one of the most important games in the medium, not only because it launched a highly successful series, but also because it made the stealth genre popular. Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation (also a Greatest Hits wonder) wasn’t actually the first game in the series—Hideo Kojima released two before it, but decided against naming the installment “Metal Gear 3” because he feared the other games weren’t recognizable enough to gamers. He replaced the number three with “Solid,” which also drew attention to the 3D graphics. Whatever the logic, it worked.
Upon release, critics showered the game with praise, insisting it was as close to perfection as any PlayStation title in its genre was going to get. Others think it’s the best PlayStation game out there. Given the grandeur of its fanbase and the number of amazing sequels that have followed, we’re guessing they’re not far off.
ONTD Midnight Society are you all awake? It's a slow news day mods plllzzzzzzzzz :)EDIT: What is wrong with LJ? Half of my post disappeared :/