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10 SNES Games That Aren’t As Good As You Remember

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The video game industry continues to evolve in revolutionary ways and each gaming generation brings forward new surprises and accomplishments. Nintendo is a pivotal player who’s always helped the industry evolve, but through their own unique perspective on what gaming should look like.


RELATED: 10 Underrated SNES Games Everyone Should Play

An early console contribution from Nintendo’s legacy, The Super Nintendo helped define the 1990s and gave Sega’s 16-bit Genesis serious competition. Some of Nintendo’s biggest franchises found their footing on the SNES, but not all of these retro titles aged gracefully. In fact, certain classic Super Nintendo games proved to be quite flawed when they were viewed in a modern light.

10/10 Super Mario Kart Runs Out Of Gas

Released: 1992

A race begins in Super Mario Kart

Mario Kart has become Nintendo’s evergreen racing series, and it’s amassed more than a dozen entries across various consoles and handhelds. Super Mario Kart on the SNES is the franchise’s debut, and the game wasn’t even initially designed as a Super Mario spin-off.

It’s impressive how the framework for modern Mario Kartis present in the Super Nintendo original and how closely the games have stuck to their roots. However, the SNES classic is incredibly basic, and it’s hard to experience the same excitement that’s possible in the four-player mayhem Mario Kart 64 brings.

9/10 Impressive Controls Aren’t Enough To Elevate Pilotwings

Released: 1990

A biplane explores the airport in Pilotwings

Pilotwings is a franchise that often gets overlooked by even the most devoted of Nintendo fans. The creative flight simulator franchise received sequels on the Nintendo 64 and Nintendo 3DS, but it’s the Super Nintendo original that caused the biggest stir upon its release.

There’s really not much to the Pilotwings series, especially in the first game, which allows players to complete simple tasks through a variety of planes and aviation vehicles. Commercial flight simulators were few and far between on home consoles, which immediately helped Pilotwings stand out. Those that return to it today will be left wondering what all the fuss was about.

8/10 Nintendo’s Beloved Platformer Series Phones It In With Kirby’s Dream Land 3

Released: 1997

Kirby uses his Parasol Ability in Kirby's Dream Land 3

Nintendo’s Kirby has celebrated over 30 years as a video game icon. Kirby continues to innovate on the Switch, but the original trilogy of Kirby’s Dream Land games helped the franchise initially find an audience. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is the first of the titles to appear on the Super Nintendo, but it feels slightly lackluster compared to its Game Boy predecessors.

RELATED: 10 Older Nintendo Games That Are Still Massively Popular

Kirby’s Dream Land 3 features a stylized visual aesthetic, but it’s a short game, especially by Super Nintendo standards. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 increasingly embraces the previous title’s use of animal mounts, but it’s not the best the platformer franchise has to offer.

7/10 Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts’ Punishing Difficulty Ruins An Exciting Adventure

Released: 1991

Sir Arthur fights monsters in the graveyard in Super Ghoul 'N Ghosts

Capcom’s Ghouls ‘n Ghosts sidescrolling action series has been frustrating gamers with its punishing difficulty for over three decades. The Super Nintendo’s Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is the third entry in this gauntlet against supernatural creatures and it doesn’t give the Super Nintendo crowd a reprieve.

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts looks great, and plenty of fans appreciate its intense difficulty. However, it’s possible to find a balance between these extremes so that more people can appreciate the title.

6/10 Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Feels Like A Simplistic Step Backwards

Released: 1992

Benjamin fights a boss in Final Fantasy Mystic Quest

Square’s Final Fantasy series completely dominated the RPG genre during the 1990s and its success led to the spin-off, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Audiences were excited for more Final Fantasy in any capacity, but many see this stripped-down experience as a “beginner’s Final Fantasy” that helps introduce gamers to the genre.

Hero Benjamin’s journey to collect crystals and save the world sticks to the RPG format. However, this warrior embarks on his journey without the standard RPG party. Other signature staples, like random encounters, are also absent from Final Fantasy Mystic Quest.

5/10 Mega Man X3 Throws Too Much Into The Mix

Released: 1995

Zero storms the level in Mega Man X3

The Super Nintendo’s Mega Man X games are largely viewed as the pinnacle of 16-bit action-platformers. There are three games on the SNES before it transitions over to 32-bit consoles, but Mega Man X3 begins diminishing thanks to its heavier focus on Zero and lazier Mavericks.

RELATED: 10 Nintendo Games Everyone Should Play At Least Once

Mega Man X3 is an undeniably gorgeous game that pushes the Super Nintendo’s hardware to its limit. 32-bit ports of the game for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn were easily accomplished. Mega Man X3 marks the start of the franchise biting off more than it can chew, and the subsequent Mega Man X games are even more bloated.

4/10 Zombies Ate My Neighbors Gets Lost In Too Much Content

Released: 1993

A hedge maze is explored in Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a 1990s Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis run-and-gun game with a healthy supernatural twist. An early LucasArts console release, its outrageous name helped it find a big audience.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors deserves points for creative ambition when it comes to its enemies, but there are nearly 50 levels, which slowly become laborious instead of exciting. There’s a fun core to Zombies Ate My Neighbors, but the game eventually wears out its welcome.

3/10 Mortal Kombat Fails To Test Its Might

Released: 1992

Shang Tsung fights Sub-Zero in the original Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat has become one of the most popular fighting franchises of all-time and it’s a rare example of a series that’s successfully translated over to home consoles from the arcade. In fact, it continued to endure throughout each gaming generation. The original Mortal Kombat is an important piece of gaming history, but the franchise doesn’t truly find its voice until its first sequel.

Compared to the more violent Sega Genesis port, the original Mortal Kombat is a thin experience, especially on the Super Nintendo. There are much better SNES fighting games like Street Fighter II or Killer Instinct.

2/10 JRPG Staples Get Bogged Down In Secret Of Mana’s Silly Story

Released: 1993

A giant bird is approached in Secret of Mana

The Super Nintendo’s Secret of Mana is actually the second title in Square’s Seiken Densetsu JRPG series. Secret of Mana has the reputation as one of the 1990s’ best fantasy RPGs. It definitely trumps most of its peers, but it’s far from a perfect game.

Secret of Mana begins with a fairly derivative story where three heroic underdogs fight to save their world, but this narrative grows progressively complex and emotionally distant. There are also challenges with inconsistent difficulty that make it difficult to find the right rhythm.

1/10 Star Fox Shows Off The Console’s Capabilities

Released: 1993

Flying the ship in the SNES Star Fox game

Star Fox is still one of Nintendo’s most popular series and one of the medium’s most iconic rail-shooters. However, the original Star Fox for the SNES feels more like a glorified tech demo than a finished game. However, many consider Star Fox considerably more substantial than Pilotwings.

Star Fox is a game that’s mostly caught up in how impressive it is to deliver 3D-level graphics on a 16-bit console. Star Fox changed what was possible with Super Nintendo technology, but it’s not until Star Fox 64 that these ideas could properly evolve into a satisfying, full game.

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