If rumours are to be believed, by the end of the year we’re going to see Nintendo release a pint-sized version of the SNES. In the first of three videos, I’m going to share with you what games I think will end up on it.
Released at the end of 2016, the NES Classic Mini was one of the most in-demand pieces of gaming hardware in recent memory. A shortage of stock, combined with a massive demand for the tiny retro console meant that this repackaging of the Nintendo Entertainment System fetching high prices in the second-hand market. Less than half a year later, and Nintendo quietly announced that the system would be discontinued, followed by reports a few weeks later, stating that Nintendo would follow up the success of this device with a new Classic Mini based on their 16-bit system, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
So, what games are going to be included? We don’t know yet, but based on the sort of games that ended up on the NES Classic Mini, as well as previous Virtual Console releases and a little bit of guessing; I’ve come up with thirty games that I think will show up on the system. In this two-part series, I’ll be sharing my thoughts, but I’d also love to hear from you on whether you agree or not, and which games you think will end up on the system?
Before I start, I think it’s safe to say that we won’t see any games that used the Super FX chip, like Starfox & Yoshi’s Island. These games have never found their way onto any of Nintendo’s Virtual Console services, likely due to legal issues surrounding the Super FX chip itself, so I doubt they’re going to show up here. So with that said, here are the first fifteen games on my list, in no particular order.
Super Mario World (Nintendo)
First up and it’s an absolute no-brainer. Super Mario World was the SNES’s launch game, one of the best releases out of the entire system’s library, and it wouldn’t be a Nintendo system without Super Mario, right?
Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts (Capcom)
Being that the NES Classic Mini featured Ghosts N Goblins, I think it only makes sense for the third game in the series to be here as well. It’s just as rock hard as the original game, so it’s an entry that’s definitely there to challenge the hardcore.
Pilotwings is a Nintendo series that needs a lot more love, but its debut is not only another SNES launch title but an excellent game in its own right. Its inclusion would also add a little variety and hopefully introduce this series to players that may have missed it.
Final Fantasy II (IV) (SquareEnix)
Final Fantasy ended up on the NES Classic Mini, so why shouldn’t the series’ first 16-bit appearance. Final Fantasy IV, otherwise known original as Final Fantasy II is a fine JRPG indeed and was truly the point where Square’s beloved series turned epic.
Contra III: The Alien Wars (Konami)
Super C was most definitely the wrong Contra game to appear on the NES Classic Mini, but here’s a chance to rectify that by putting Contra III: The Alien Wars in the mix. One of the greatest run and gunners around, it would be a sublime game in this collection.
Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo)
Despite Rare being a Microsoft developer for the last decade and a half, that hasn’t stopped Donkey Kong Country and it’s two sequels appearing on Nintendo systems via the Virtual Console service. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be on the SNES Mini, especially as it’s a popular platformer.
The Super Nintendo had some find shooters, and Axelay is a particularly good example one one. Another showcase of the system’s Mode 7 capabilities, Konami’s shooter constantly kept you guessing with many varied levels while wowing you with incredible graphics and sound.
Super Punch-Out!! (Nintendo)
Super Punch-Out!!, the 16-bit entry in the series is nowhere near as popular as the NES original, but it arguably the better game, being an improved version of the original Super Punch Out!! arcade machine. Loaded with great looking characters and retaining the awesome gameplay of the original, it deserves to be on this list.
Super Castlevania IV (Konami)
The NES Classic Mini was host to the first two of Simon Belmont’s adventures, and Super Castlevania IV seems like a shoe in. It’s a great showcase of the system’s Mode 7 visuals, and an awesome action platformer, with fantastic gameplay and great music.
Kirby Superstar (Nintendo)
Kirby is another mainstay of Nintendo products, and I can’t think of a better game to showcase the pink blob, than Kirby Super Star. It’s more than just a collection of new Kirby minigames, also including some substantial platforming games in there as well.
Mega Man X (Capcom)
The SNES Mini wouldn’t be complete without a Mega Man game, and Mega Man X is my pick of the bunch. The other X games have featured on previous Virtual Consoles, despite featuring Capcom’s CX4 enhancement chip – Assuming that the SNES Mini won’t feature games with chips in, this seems like the logical choice. Plus, it’s arguably one of the best Mega Man games ever made.
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest/ Mystic Quest Legend (SquareEnix)
We’re assuming that Final Fantasy will be coming to the SNES Mini, but why not Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest as a long shot? This was a JRPG created especially to cater for Western audiences, where the genre hadn’t quite caught on with audiences. It’s a very good JRPG for beginners and had some cracking music as well.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (Nintendo)
If you’re going to have Donkey Kong Country, you might as well have its sequel, Diddy’s Kong Quest. It’s more simian-themed platforming fun, and it’s absolutely full of secret areas to discover.
Super Street Fighter II (Capcom)
You can’t have the SNES Mini without Street Fighter II, but honestly, I don’t want to see more than one version of Capcom’s game on this collection. So let’s keep it to Super Street Fighter II, the most advanced version of Street Fighter II to hit the 16-bit systems. For some, it’ll be enough of an excuse to buy the system by itself.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past (Nintendo)
We finish the first half of my SNES Mini selections with a game that just simply has to be included – The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. For me, it’s the pinnacle of 2D Zelda games and an essential game for any Nintendo fan. Nothing beats a full-on adventure through Hyrule, stomping foes and grabbing Heart Pieces!