The NES Mini, or NES Classic, whichever of the two you want to call it, was a short-lived phenomenon; one that exists only to buy on overpriced Ebay listings and in Cex store windows. I regret not picking one up, stupidly believing they would be available forever. Had I known they would be finite, and that Nintendo would only ship three units worldwide, I would have pre-ordered one.
This brings us to the SNES Classic, which much in the same vain as the NES Classic, will come packed with an array of SNES titles from our childhoods. Which ones, we can only speculate – but speculate we shall.
In my mind, there are a huge number of SNES titles which deserve to be on the console, but only five stand out in my mind as being essential. So, let us consider the possibilities of a SNES Classic console, and hope Nintendo can keep it stocked for more than five minutes. Could you just do that, Nintendo, eh? Is that within your capabilities as a multi-national, consumer electronics manufacturer? To ensure your products are well stocked in all main retailers? Could you just be competent, for once?
Anyway, here’s five games that must be on the SNES Classic console.
I was terrible at Mario Kart as a kid. What makes this worse is that, for a while, it was one of the only games I had for my SNES. Can you imagine what it was like to be me as a child, to only have one game and be undeniably, objectively bad at it? But you know what, I still had fun with Mario Kart.
When you look at Mario Kart on the SNES and Mario Kart 8, not much has changed, other than technical capabilities. The core premise is still there, and Nintendo haven’t had to change it much, because it works. Racing is fun, the usable items such as green and red shells, lightning bolts and banana skins – they all just work.
If you have kids who are just getting into Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U, or the deluxe edition on Switch, then getting them to play Mario Kart on SNES Classic would take them back to where it all begun and would show them just how far the franchise has come. It will also show them how hard it was to control the karts back then. Then they will also know why I was so bad at Mario Kart, but most importantly, they will also see how fun it was too.
This was a terrifying game when I was a kid and I didn’t even own it. My friend used to have a copy and I would watch him play. Sometimes, I even dared to have a go, but nah mate, get it away from me. I couldn’t handle the scares.
Truthfully, it is quite tame by modern standards, but at the time, it created an atmosphere that was palpable. The open-world, interconnectivity of Zebes – the alien planet which serves as the setting – was a large departure from the ‘point A to point B’ style of play in other Nintendo, platform style games. But this was not strictly a platformer, it was a shooter at its core – long before shooters were big.
Metroid, as a franchise, has floundered in recent years, with fans desperate for Nintendo to return the franchise to form. There is talk of E3 2017 being the event where a new Metroid is announced, but this is Nintendo, so it probably won’t. So, let’s bring Super Metroid to the SNES Classic. Let’s bring the good ole days back.
Final Fantasy IV
Long before Final Fantasy became Sony’s key JRPG franchise, it used to be a Nintendo exclusive. I’m sure we all know the history with this one: Nintendo refused to move away from cartridges as a proprietary format so Square Enix shifted to Sony’s PlayStation, as compact discs allowed for more storage space and, therefore, bigger games. Right, now we have the lecture out of the way, let’s move on.
Since then, Nintendo have been looking to recapture that JRPG vibe, especially on the Nintendo Switch. Look on the E-Shop and you’ll see I am Setsuna ported over, along with the release of Disgaea 5. Despite the numerous qualities of these games, none can match the master, Final Fantasy. Nintendo’s stubbornness to stick with cartridges cost them a lot of third-party support, but none more important than Square Enix and the loss of Final Fantasy.
Donkey Kong Country
The original Nintendo O.G, the big DK, showed that he can stand on his own without Mario by his side on the SNES. In fact, Donkey Kong Country helped the SNES survive amongst stiff competition from the Sega Saturn and the PlayStation in 1994. This was in part due to the stellar platforming, which has made Nintendo famous, and that Donkey Kong is a lovable ape in a red tie, and that’s what we need these days. Our apes in red-ties aren’t lovable. They just want to offend G7 leaders and exit the Paris Agreement.
Anyway, sticking to the point, Donkey Kong Country was the first of the Donkey Kong Country franchise. Nintendo attempted to make Donkey Kong work in other formats: Donkey Konga (a rhythm-beat game), Diddy Kong racing, and Donkey Kong: King of Swing. None of these matched the success or quality of the Donkey Kong Country games, prompting a return to Nintendo Wii in 2010. The original is more than deserving of a spot on the SNES Classic. Vote for DK: Let’s make SNES Classic great.
Super Mario World
Of course, this was going to be on the list. Why would it not be? It is arguably the best 2D platformer ever made and one that has stood the test of time. Even as technology advanced and Nintendo have pushed Mario into the 3D space, they still can’t resist making a good old, 2D Mario game every now and again, modelling them after Super Mario World, proving that the formula still works to this day.
It was the Mario game that introduced Yoshi, expanded the variety of power ups – some of which are mainstays in the franchise, and brought us richer and more varied stage designs. It was both challenging and accessible in that way Nintendo games often are and is near flawless. It’s too good a game to not be played by today’s generation of gamers. If the SNES Classic doesn’t release with Super Mario World installed, it may as well not release at all.