Good news to all who missed their chance to purchase the NES Classic Edition, Nintendo has confirmed its plan to release a classic edition of its SNES platform with 21 games preinstalled on the system including Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Yoshi’s Island, and more. However, much like the NES Classic, there are some questionable exclusions of iconic games missing from the platform. With that said, we wanted to add 10 titles to the list of 21 games we feel should have been included, and a short explanation as to why. It’s not the final answer and it’s likely Nintendo didn’t include these for a specific reason, for instance complicated intellectual property laws, but the titles missing can’t go without mention. Check out our selection below and chime in on what else they missed.
Final Fight is the grand-daddy of the beat ‘em up genre, as it’s what would lay the groundwork for other titles mentioned in this list. And even though the North American release suffered a ton of limitations and censored content from its arcade and Super Famicom counterpart, the fantastic gameplay and mechanics that inspired some of the greats were left intact.
Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage
For many, this was the first Spider-Man title gamers ever got their hands on. Iconic characters like Venom and Carnage featured on the forefront while tethered to the successful comic book storyline it’s named after made the title a highly coveted game during its time. Well, that and its distinct red cartridge that made it pop out whenever you saw it.
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Street Fighter Alpha 2 brought an eclectic character roster and custom combos to the forefront, reinventing the Street Fighter play style in the process. Although diehards appreciated the upheaval in gameplay, the title pushed the limits for the SNES, making compromises to play on the home console appropriately as opposed to its arcade counterpart. But for its effort and success in reinventing the Fighter formula despite its limitations is why the title deserves recognition and an entry in this list.
The Lion King
When people think of great game adaptations of feature films, The Lion King is among the shortlist of such names but it’s also included in conversations as the most insanely difficult games of all time. The title kept gameplay fresh following Simba and his arsenal of attacks changing from young cub into full-fledged king of the Pride Lands. It also proved to be one of the most challenging platformers, as the developers intentionally made the game harder to keep kids from renting it at Blockbuster and beating it without purchasing it. Pretty sneaky, indeed.
The other title people come up with when thinking of great film to game adaptations is Aladdin. Now depending on which platformed you played it on, Genesis or SNES, you were playing a completely different game than the other. This was due to complicated Disney copyright laws at the time, but luckily, both titles were great and featured tight platforming and gorgeous graphics that captured the magic of the kids film it’s based on.
The aesthetic of Earthworm Jim was unheard of at the time of release. It’s fluid, hand-drawn style was a breath of fresh air from your average 16-bit title. Earthworm is truly a product of its time, with idiosyncratic humor, goofy enemy names, quirky sounds and silly animations. Level designs were unique and pushed the boundaries of what one would find in platformers at the time. Gamers may never again see a game like this in their lifetime and is why a gem such as this should live on all the platforms it can.
The original arcade sports game was so good that many still see it as the best of all time decades later. It’s exaggerated realism and fast gameplay brought together a sub-genre in gaming all in its own. Instead of 5 v 5 full-court games played by the books, Jam sees 2 v 2 games with the rules thrown out the window, inhuman 3-point jump shots from afar, and the ability to catch on fire when you’re on a scoring streak. And when the title came to the home consoles, it was chalk full of cheat codes, including the ability to play as former president Bill Clinton.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Donkey Kong Country 2 took what the original offered and refined it into perfection. The game boasted the most impressive graphics on the system at the time with its highly detailed sprites and scenery. The game also played much smoother than its predecessors. The only thing the title didn’t include was Donkey Kong himself; instead players control Diddy, alongside newcomer Dixie, to save the big lug, which opens a brand new play style in the swift Diddy and Dixie over the powerhouse DK.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
One of two beat ‘em up games Konami made (the other being The Simpsons) that perfected the genre. According to some, it’s also the greatest Turtles game ever made. The title was designed to look like a direct episode of the 1988 cartoon series, and is still one of the best representation of the team to this date, a far cry from the Michael Bay film adaptations. The title includes all the normal fare of TMNT like pizza and catchphrases and incorporates it seamlessly into the beat ‘em up mechanics. It also featured time travel, seeing the party in different eras of time. Along with distinct playstyles in each turtle, TMNT IV is one of the most unique and diverse games of its kind.
The foundation of role-playing games as we know it is responsible in part by Square’s masterpiece Chrono Trigger. The title features an engaging plot, flawless gameplay mechanics, and a bevy of alternate endings the player could end up with depending on their decisions throughout the game. It even features one of the greatest plot twists of all time; gaining antagonist Magus as an ally in your party. With Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Yuji Hori (Dragon Quest) and Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball) helming concept and development, there’s no wonder why Chrono Trigger is still heralded as one of the greatest games of all time. Its exclusion from the classic edition is baffling.