To nobody’s surprise, the line-up of games Nintendo is offering on its newly announced Super Nintendo Classic is exceptional. The Super Nintendo had an incredible library of games in its day. Without hyperbole, it was the best console ever for 2D gaming. The SNES era was a goldmine for platformers, side-scrollers, Beat-Em-Ups, and classic RPGs. Titles like Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Castlevania IV, and Mario Kart represent a cornerstone in gaming history.
But it appears there was just too much history to fit in the SNES Classic. The 21 games announced are a great list, but for a console as great as the Super Nintendo, quite a few important games are missing. One can understand why, say, Donkey Kong Country 2 or Final Fantasy IV missed the line-up. However other franchises are absent entirely. Here are seven games that should’ve been included in the SNES Classic.
Dragon Quest V
Dragon Quest V on the Super Famicom was never released outside of Japan. The 1992 JRPG would not be playable in North American or PAL territories until 2009 with the Nintendo DS remake. It would be nice, however, for us to have access to the original version.
Despite the general disinterest of the franchise in the West, Dragon Quest V was a huge pioneer in its day. It was one of the first JRPGs that let you pick a love interest, and in a rarity for games, you have a son and daughter with your bride. By the end of Dragon Quest V, you have an entire playable nuclear family. This was also one of the first games that let you capture monsters and use them in your party. Dragon Quest V was there raising Slimes years before anybody had heard the word Pokémon.
Super Star Wars Trilogy
Super Star Wars is a trilogy of action platformers adapting the original Star Wars trilogy. These were the first games to really capture the movies on a home console. Super Star Wars looks, sounds, and plays like the movies you love. All the major scenes are here: the fights with Darth Vader, the Death Star attacks, plus some new ones. All the best of John Williams’ score was ported over to the SNES’s little music chip. And all your favorite characters like Luke, Han, Chewbacca, and the scruffy-looking Nerf herder are playable in glorious 16-bit graphics (including some jaw-dropping Mode 7 effects.)
Only these games are extremely hard. I dare you to reach the Death Star in the first game without save states. But if you can master it, Super Star Wars gives you wild light saber-spinning action. The game is a brutal journey through a galaxy far, far away, but also one of the most rewarding.
Terranigma has an odd history. It was released in Japan, it was released in Europe, but it came out just slightly too late for North America. That’s a real shame since Terrangima is a transcendent spiritual journey in the guise of an action RPG. The game retells the Book of Genesis, only with dungeons and talking lions.
In this top-down action game, the player character is a young man from the last human village in the world. As you explore and defeat bosses, you recreate the continents of the world. Then you find yourself as a creator deity, bringing back plants, animals, and eventually human civilization. Terranigma tells through action RPG gameplay the tale of the life cycle of the Earth. It’s a weird cult classic, but don’t let that scare you away from great gameplay and great atmosphere. Also the music is extraordinary.
Unfortunately, even Square Enix seems to have forgotten Terranigma exists.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
You can debate all you want whether the SNES version or the arcade version was better. (Maybe you even prefer the Genesis version.) But no matter what side you end up on, we can all agree that Turtles in Time for the Super Nintendo was an awesome game. Turtles in Time is both one of the best Ninja Turtles games and one of the all-time great Beat-Em-Ups.
This game gives you and a friend a satisfying journey through the ages to beat up Shredder and his minions. It’s always great to slam a bad guy into the ground or even throw him into your TV screen. The graphics pop with color, really making you feel like you’re playing the cartoon.
Sadly, the licensing rights might be in a bit of snarl now. Konami was nice enough to give us Castlevania IV at least.
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776
For years, Nintendo assumed that nobody outside of Japan wanted Fire Emblem. They started to correct that mistake come the Gamecube and Game Boy Advance era. But a few games were still never released. Unfortunately, those games are also the ones the fanbase consider to be the best in the entire series.
Genealogy of the Holy War remains an epic, even by Fire Emblem standards. It is a story set across two generations as Sigurd and his son Seliph fight against evil in the continent of Jugdral. This was the game that built modern Fire Emblem the weapon triangle system and romance options. It also features an incredibly dark plot twist for a Nintendo title, comparable only to the most gut-wrenching swerves on Game of Thrones.
Thracia 776 is a midquel set in the middle of Genealogy‘s storyline. It’s a legendarily hard title even for classic Fire Emblem. Also, it has several interesting mechanics like capturing units, Fog of War battles, and a fatigue system.
Sadly, Nintendo is uninterested in translating either of these giant RPGs.
What in the name of Lavos’ scaly shell happened here?
Of all the omissions on the SNES Classic, Chrono Trigger is the most shocking. It’s still well-remembered and beloved today, it was released in the West on the SNES, and Square Enix has plenty of games on the SNES Mini. This is a glaring hole in the SNES Mini’s library. You can understand why the poorly-remembered Japan-only sequel, Radical Dreamers was left out. But Chrono Trigger? Wow.
Chrono Trigger, in case you somehow don’t know, is one of the most perfect RPGs ever made. It’s a colorful time-traveling adventure with you and your band of Akira Toriyama characters wandering history to stop the end of the world. The game jumps between melodramatic anime twists and pure silly slapstick fun without losing a step. Characters like Frog, Ayla, Robo, and Magus rank as the most memorable figures in any game on the SNES. They’re given so much personality by their simple unique animations. Chrono Trigger‘s soundtrack is more gorgeous than its already beautiful sprite work and locations. And its combat is fast, light, and never gets repetitive.
Chrono Trigger is a masterpiece, simply put. I’m kinda lost for words seeing it missing. What happened? It is a real shame.