Here are the two things people love to do when it comes to old video games: 1) Play them, and 2) argue about them. That’s right, the old “Which console is best” argument has existed essentially since the initial battle between the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis. But with over 30 years of video games behind us, we can argue about which is the best OF ALL TIME! This week, I make the case for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
The SNES came out at the perfect time, when kids who would grow nostalgic attachment for the system could grow up to write about it on the internet. The SNES either had an overwhelmingly profound effect on them and their gaming tastes, OR it was such a good system that it encouraged many of them to actually write about video games more seriously than people had before. Either way, that makes it a pretty important home console.
Lots Of Hidden Gems, Still
A lot of foreign SNES games were seen as guaranteed money losers, so they were never localized for western shores. That means that, even with though the system hasn’t had a new game made in well over a decade, there are still plenty of undiscovered games that you may potentially love (*cough*Terranigma*cough*.)
The Family Machine
In the days of the SNES, Nintendo was still in its phase of keeping “Mature” content out of their games (Conker’s Bad Fur Day was a big deal, if for no other reason than it finally had dirty jokes and swearing and stuff). So the Super Nintendo was the console you could play with your parents (not that the Sega Genesis was some perverted sex console, but its Mortal Kombat had blood in it). This was huge, as it allowed kids to mock their parents’ total lack of gaming skills.
That scrolling background stuff was a big deal at the time, and then on top of that, Nintendo started pumping out games like Star Fox that used POLYGONS (genuinely incredible, at the time) and Donkey Kong Country, one of the all-time best looking console platforming games.
No Major Missteps
The Super Scope wasn’t very popular, so I guess that could maybe be chalked up as a blunder? But honestly, nothing the SNES did ever really failed — sure, they had some bad games, but its six button controller and multi-tap became standard issue in later consoles (with some additional tweaks, as well).
The Finest Crop of JRPGs
Oooh baby, big nerd Will Weldon loves him some JRPGs! Some people might insist that, no no, the Playstation has the best batch of role-playing games from Japan, but the SNES has most of the best installments of the best franchises that were only solid on the Playstation.
Games from Nintendo’s Most Iconic Franchises
And they are GOOD games from Nintendo’s most iconic franchises — Super Mario World (and its sequel[?], Yoshi’s Island), The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, the initial entries in the Star Fox and Mario Kart franchises — that’s a real murderer’s row of games, many of which regularly show up on lists of gaming’s all-time greats. It’s also got a bunch of very good Mega Man games, the Donkey Kong Country series, Super Punch-Out, and– actually, if we don’t stop now, we could be here all day naming great SNES games, y’know?
I’m going to be covering all of the major systems, so get excited because you’ll all have the chance to tell me I’m wrong and stupid on Twitter @Smosh!