Ever wondered which titles were the best SNES games of all time? Was it a personal favourite? Or, perhaps, it’s something you’ve never played.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) first released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, before being rolled out globally over the next few years. The rest is history. It’s the sequel to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and it brought a whole new level of graphical advancements and sound capabilities to home consoles.
It’s the best-selling console of the 16-Bit era, despite the SEGA Genesis giving it tough competition, and continued to be a popular console throughout the next generation of consoles and beyond. The console itself sold just over 49 million units, but what about the games you could play on it?
In the list below, we’re going to go through the top 15 SNES Games. The ranking will be done on two factors: Units Sold and Reviewer Scores. Sometimes a game sells a lot but it isn’t that good, right?
Best SNES Games Ranking
I have the need… The need for speed. F-Zero is known for its’ thrilling, high-speed racing and futuristic setting. It managed to sell 2,990,00 units in it’s lifetime. Although it doesn’t have a Metacritic entry, it scored highly on Famitsu, IGN, and Total! It is also the 15th highest-selling SNES title, beating Dragon Quest V and Final Fantasy V… So, it retains it’s place.
14. Star Fox
Something… Something… Barrell Roll. Star Fox brought Fox McCloud to our screens in 1993 and with it hours of fun! It only initially sold 2,990,000 units, but started so much more. It sold just about the same amount of units as F-Zero and it has roughly the same Review Scores. GamePro even gave it a 5/5!
13. Killer Instinct
Killer Instinct is a fighting game series that’s been around for a long time. It may not be as popular as Mortal Kombat or Tekken, but that doesn’t mean people don’t play it. The original Killer Instinct sold a massice 3,200,000 units. Although most reviewers praise the arcade version of Killer Instinct, it still made a huge impact on home consoles. It has comfortably high ratings, but nothing excellent. However, it’s sales can’t be ignored. 200,000 units more than Star Fox is a big deal!
12. Dragon Quest VI
The sixth entry in the Dragon Quest series was released by Enix in 1995. It sold around the same amount of units as Killer Instinct, 3,200,000. For many, Dragon Quest VI was a tunring point in the series. It adopted numerous key features from it’s competitiors which enhanced it’s gameplay greatly. Generally, it’s reviews float between 85% and 90%. It may have sold the same number of copies as Killer Instinct, but the more-favourable reviews place it higher.
11. Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
Okay… That’s a long title… But, Dixie Kong’s got Double Trouble so I guess it’s justified. The third Donkey Kong Country game sold a little more than FFVI: 3,510,000 units. However, it’s ratings are generally lower. That’s why it sits just behind FFVI. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a bad game at all. Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble averages review scores between 80% and 85% across the board.
10. Final Fantasy VI
It isn’t the most popular Final Fantasy game, but it’s still made it’s way comfortably onto the list. The sixth entry into the series sold around 3,420,000 units. Final Fantasy VI‘s critical acclaim upon release and initial success was for good reason. It received favourable reviews from Famitsu, IGN, and All Game. It was the 8th-best selling SNES Cartridge of 1994 in the U.S., too.
9. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Another fighting game has made the list! This time, it’s Street Fighter II Turbo! Ryu, Ken, and the rest of the Street Fighter crew managed to convince SNES owners to buy 4,100,000 units! Comfortably outselling Donkey Kong Country. It was also nominated as the best game of 1993, when it released. This wasn’t unjustified, either. It scored near-perfect reviews from almost every major publication.
8. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
Sneaking in ahead of Street Fighter II Turbo, the second Super Mario World title managed to ship 4,120,000 units. The reason, really, as to why it sits ahead of Street Fighter II Turbo is the universal acclaim it received. Sure, Baby Mario was a little annoying but if you look past that it received near-perfect scores from a lot of places.
7. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past
A Link To The Past is a popular game no-matter the platform. On the SNES, it racked up 4,610,000 units sold. That’s a lot of links to a lot of pasts! Nintendo Power had it second place in their rankings all-the-way up to their last issue in 2012! As you might expect, it got very-high review scores and the amount of units it sold speaks for itself.
6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest
It seems that the second entry in the Donkey Kong Country series sold quite a bit better than Donkey Kong Country 3. Diddy Kong’s Quest shipped 5,150,000 units on the SNES. It’s a huge jump from A Link To The Past, too! GamePro gave it the Best SNES Game of 1995 award and it scored very-highly with Game Informer and AllGame.
5. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
It appears the fans prefer the turbo-less Street Fighter II. The World Warrior sold a substantial 6,300,000 units in it’s lifetime. A substantial jump. It seems like this was the better of the two Street Fighter II’s, when you consider the review scores too. Generally, it hits 90% and up from almost every major publication.
4. Super Mario Kart
O Mario Kart. An absolute classic on any platform. The SNES’ entry into the Mario Kart series managed to ship just under nine million units! It clocked in at 8,760,000 in the end and confidently takes 4th place. Although the basics of Mario Kart games don’t really change, reviewers found the graphical advancements of Super Mario Kart enough to warrant it extremely high scores.
3.Donkey Kong Country
Nothing beats the original, ehy? The first Donkey Kong Country managed to rack up 9,300,000 units sold in its’ lifespan. Not bad. There’s a reason for these high sales, too. It’s also one of the highest rated titles released for the SNES! While it’s GBA release only hit around 80% from major publications, the SNES version of the game was comfortably landing 90% and up.
2. Super Mario All-Stars
It’s as popular now as it was then, it seems. This All-Stars collection of Super Mario titles ranks second on our list. It sold 10,550,000 units throughout it’s lifespan. All four of the NES Super Mario titles that Super Mario All-Stars contains were highly rated as it is, but this All-Star collection hit new levels. GamePro? 5/5. ONM? 95/100. EGM? 9.25/10. It’s safe to say it was well-received.
1. Super Mario World
Dominating the SNES sales figures, Super Mario World sold almost double the amount of units as Super Mario All-Stars. It finally ended up on 20,610,000 units sold. Huge amounts, all things considered. According to Game Rankings, Super Mario World is the 17th highest-rated game of all time, across all platforms! It sold a mind-blowing amount of units, too. Nearly double Super Mario All-Stars. This means that almost half of all the SNES consoles out there had Super Mario World played on them. Crazy.
So, there you have it. These are the fifteen most popular SNES games of all time. I think we all knew it would be dominated by Super Mario titles, but there were a few surprises in there right?