SNESApologies to: Donkey Kong Country, Secret of Mana, Actraiser, EVO: The Search for Eden, R-Type III, Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario World 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Killer Instinct

Demon's Crest8. Demon’s Crest
I suspect that this title is probably the least-known of all the games on my list, and probably my strangest selection. This game follows the red demon Firebrand, originally from Ghosts’n Goblins before starring in two titles of his own, Gargoyle’s Quest (GB) and Gargoyle’s Quest 2 (NES). As Firebrand, you are tasked with finding an array of crests that will allow Firebrand to rule the demon realm. Each crest that is found allows you to shift Firebrand into a new form at will, allowing him to use new powers and access new areas. The game features an overhead map with areas you can visit in any order you choose, but you’ll find yourself revisiting each area numerous times as you unlock more of Firebrand’s powers allowing you to access areas you could see before, but not yet enter, similar to a game such as Super Metroid.

Evermore7. Secret of Evermore
First of all, let’s dispel the myth that this game caused Sieken Densetsu 3 (Secret of Mana 2) not to be localized to the west. This game was developed strictly for western audiences and shares many similarities to it’s step-brother, Secret of Mana. It is an action RPG featuring leveling, magic spells (alchemy), and an array of weapons and armor to equip. Speaking of the magic system, I’ve always felt it was very creative. Each spell requires two ingredients which you either buy or find in your travels (your dog can sniff them out). It was an interesting twist on the MP system we normally see in such games. As for the gameplay/story, you control a young boy warped to the land of Evermore, where you’ll travel through the land searching for a way to get you and your dog home. Oddly enough, I prefer this game to Mana. I find that it is a tighter experience with a better story and improved gameplay.

Castlevania IV6. Super Castlevania IV
With three successful outings on the NES, it was obvious that Konami would bring Castlevania to the Super NES. Serving as a remake or sequel (I’ve never been sure which is official), SCIV finds Simon Belmont once again taking on the forces of Dracula. In addition to sharper graphics, this entry featured the ability to whip in multiple directions and allowed you to change directions while jumping, no small thing for those of us that experienced the unforgiving jumping of the NES trio. It also has some excellent platforming levels, including two that offer interesting twists (rotating rooms and the spinning tower level). This entry also sports one of the best soundtracks on the Super NES, including my personal favorite version of bloody tears.

Mega Man X5. Mega Man X
I didn’t have a Super NES right away and, without the internet, wasn’t very aware of new games coming out. It wasn’t until a friend pointed this title out to me in a magazine at school that I even knew it existed. Being an avid Mega Man fan, I knew I had to have it. When I did finally play it, I was not disappointed. While it’s the standard Mega Man set-up, this game gives you wall jumping and dashing abilities, along with a Mega Buster that allows you to charge up special weapons along with your Buster and other enhancements found by locating the four Dr. Light capsules. Featuring fantastic platforming, a futuristic story connected to the original Mega Man series, and an amazing soundtrack, Mega Man X belongs on any top Super NES games list.

SMW4. Super Mario World
As the game that launched with the Super NES, Super Mario World carried much on its shoulders, and I feel it fully delivered. Introducing series mainstay Yoshi, Super Mario World took what Super Mario Brothers 3 had done on the NES and ran with it. Aside from the new power-up (the feather), SMW also introduced secret exits, some devilishly hard to find, along with the Special World that, upon completion, alters the appearance of many in-game enemies as well as the world map. I can’t let any mention of SMW go without acknowledging the level Tubular. Of all the games and levels I’ve played, this is without a doubt the hardest level I’ve ever played and was able to finish. It is brutal.

FFVI3. Final Fantasy VI
This was the first Final Fantasy I ever played, but I don’t think that is what makes me adore it so much. This game still stands up today against newer RPG’s and holds its own easily. It is truly hard for me to find a negative for this game. The story is as in-depth and involved as any game I’ve come across. The soundtrack is great, and includes the classic Final Fantasy victory theme. Also, for a game that features around 16 playable characters, they rotate in and out enough that being underleveled never seems to be a problem. Even on the occasions that you must grind a bit, there is a bonus to doing so on the Veldt where one character can leave with the enemies and come back having learned new special attacks from them. Finally, no mention of this game is complete without acknowledging that Kefka is one of (possibly number one here) the most devious and malevolent video game villains ever created. Oh, and he actually succeeds in his plans. That doesn’t happen often.

ALttP2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
It’s Zelda. What else can I possibly say at this point? This is my personal favorite Zelda. At the time, there was no formula for Zelda games, so everything was very new. It has all the staples we’ve now come to expect of a Zelda title: solid gameplay, tough puzzles, and new, helpful items found in dungeons. I will say that the surprise I received upon being transported to the Dark World and finding that I had seven more dungeons to visit was one of the best surprises I’ve ever gotten in a game. I fully believed that I was nearing the end (though I didn’t understand why I had so many empty slots in my inventory) and was ecstatic upon seeing that I was only about one third of the way there.

Super Metroid1. Super Metroid
Not only is this my favorite Super NES game, it is also my favorite game, period. In my opinion, this game is perfection. The design is perfect, the music is fitting for each section of Zebes you explore, the atmosphere is amazing, and though there is little direct story given to you as the player, there are many visual cues that let you know exactly what is happening or what has happened (I’m still intrigued about the story of the space marine outside Kraid’s room). Also, few games reward you for sequence breaking the way Super Metroid does. It even includes special abilities not spoken of in the booklet that allow you to do so if mastered (wall-jump, bomb jumping, etc…). Combine all of this with one of the most exciting boss climaxes you can find, and you have a game that is simply amazing.

  1. Awesome post! I definately agree with your choices for the top 5!

    • javgbadmin says:

      Thanks for giving it a read. What would you change in 6-8 just out of curiosity?

      • definately would have had Donkey Kong Country up there (although you did give it honorable mention), final fantasy mystic quest… just an unusual take on the ff series and a game that sticks out to me, and the other choice would be mario kart no other reason than its just as rage inducing as its successor.

  2. Kaven says:

    excellent! i didn’t play the first 3 but i can totally agree with the rest.Super Metroid is another game that’s just about flawless to’s almost my favorite too(of all time).FF VI is unique and the biggest out there.i too can’t find anything wrong with it and i enjoy all of its music!

    • javgbadmin says:

      Thanks! FFVI is definitely huge. I was beyond shocked when Kefka actually succeeded and I found myself in the World of Ruin. It was similar to arriving in the Dark World in A Link to the Past, only on a more epic scale.

      • Kaven says:

        yeah definitely.the dark world theme is a favorite of mine.i know for sure i’d have Lufia 2 in my top 10.i’m into rpgs big time so not filling my top 10 with rpgs would be hard 😛

    • javgbadmin says:

      Lufia is a game I’m destined to never get to play. Used copies are too expensive and there are no re-releases in sight. I read rumors a few years ago that the two SNES games were coming to the Virtual Console, but that’s never materialized.

      • Kaven says:

        i doubt it will come to the virtual console.Earthbound is super popular and it took years to get it on the Wii.i’m getting my copy either way.

  3. brandonmc87 says:

    Super Metroid is the reason why I play video games. When I was a young kid I hated falling of the edge in Mario, but there was no falling-to-your-death in Metroid. Instead you got an arsenal full of cool weapons and abilities (name something more fun than the Space Jump–you can’t) and a brilliantly designed labyrinthine world. Even though I kind of hate Maridia, the rest of Zebes is a blast.

    Scary reality: it’s been 10 years since the last 2D Metroid.

    • javgbadmin says:

      Geez, it really has. The performance of Other M worries me because I wonder if it’s put Nintendo off of doing another one for a while. I don’t want Metroid to become Starfox or F-Zero.

      Ditto on the Super Metroid thoughts. Simply amazing.

      • brandonmc87 says:

        I’m hoping Retro Studios works on a 2D Metroid once they’re done with the new DKC for Wii U.

        Metroid was always an awkward series for Nintendo since it never sold well in Japan. That’s always been my theory on why they abandon it from time to time.

        And while we’re on the subject of abandoned Nintendo franchises, I’d kill for a successor to F-Zero GX.

      • javgbadmin says:

        I’d bite on an F-Zero GX re-release for the WiiU with online racing. That was one of the best racing games I’ve ever played.

  4. brandonmc87 says:

    I also should mention that I played Demon’s Crest for about 20 minutes on an emulator and didn’t like it. Someone told me it was a lot like Super Metroid, and my expectations were too high going into it.

    • javgbadmin says:

      In hindsight, I should have compared it more to Mega Man X than Super Metroid. It’s not a game for everyone, and can be rather short if you don’t strive to find pretty much everything. I overlook the faults b/c the positives are very appealing to me, but Super Metroid it certainly isn’t.

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