With the announcement of the SNES Classic from Nintendo, set to hit stores this September, many are zooming down the list of offered games and debating over what seems to be missing from the list. The Super Famicom Classic being released in Japan features a few different games that won’t be appearing Stateside — similar to the release of the Japanese NES Classic. The difference this time around, for both releases, is how solid the chosen games are for the SNES Classic. There isn’t a bad game in the bunch and they’re all worth your time, unlike the NES Classic where you could easily skip a few because they didn’t age very well.
That said, there are still quite a few games that the SNES Classic is missing from the vaunted history of the console. One of the biggest, but understandable absences is Chrono Trigger and it’s a deal breaker for some around the internet. Others are willing to overlook it, despite keeping it at the top of their wish list for their dream version of the SNES Classic. That’s why we’re just skipping it and treating it as a forgone conclusion at this point.
Note: Most sports games are missing from this list, save for one exception.
Illusion Of Gaia
We are spoiled with action RPGs on the SNES Classic with the Secret Of Mana and The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, but it’s hard to deny that Illusion of Gaia is a classic that would fit snugly alongside them. While it’s not a surprise this wasn’t included, it’s definitely worth seeking out for combining fantasy and history into one satisfying role-playing package.
Typically a game featuring God creating his kingdom and vanquishing the forces of Satan wouldn’t be part of the mainstream conversation, but ActRaiser is different from your typical Bible story. You do play God somewhat, with a mix of platforming as a sword-wielding statue and Sim City building gameplay to take you through the world and cleanse it of evil.
Super Star Wars/ The Empire Strikes Back/ Return Of The Jedi
Essentially the best Star Wars games of the 2D generations, you couldn’t go wrong with any of these games from Lucasarts. Including any of them seems like a no-brainer if the legalities could be figured out, with Super The Empire Strikes Back standing out with the best version of the Battle of Hoth until Shadows Of The Empire on the N64. The only drawback is these games are unforgiving with their difficulty and could easily cause you to break a $80 mini-console into small pieces.
This “beat ’em up” stands out thanks its connections to several other games in the Capcom library, including the original Street Fighter. While it isn’t the first in the genre, it is one of the best — keeping it simple and giving you a crazy group of baddies to beat into submission as the former pro wrestler turned mayor Mike Haggar. Instead of just bowing to ransom demands and red tape, Haggar hits the street with his two pals and a gaming classic is created.
Donkey Kong Country 2
Another addition to the frustration department alongside Super Star Wars, but in a far different game. Much like the original Donkey Kong Country, this game features some segments that will make your questions your beliefs and wonder if you’ll ever enjoy another game again. Still, Diddy Kong’s Quest improves upon the original with great graphics and gameplay that definitely challenges, but makes it worth it in the end. Including this and possibly the entire trilogy would’ve been a fine choice, but at least we’ve gotten one from the series.
Mortal Kombat 2
Street Fighter II is represented on the SNES Classic, but its direct competitor from the period is absent for some reason. While the original Mortal Kombat on SNES paled to its companion on the Genesis due to censorship issues, MK II brought back and expanded upon the elements planted in the original to give home audiences a proper arcade experience. The violence and blood are likely the reason this missed the cut — along with the dissolution of Midway games — but it would be a worthy addition.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time
Another arcade port that held up and evolved slightly for its home console release, the absence of this game on the SNES Classic is actually a bit of a crime. It’s a great beat ’em up game with top notch music and graphics, crafted when the Turtles were at the top of their popularity. A remake for Xbox Live was released a few years back and was underwhelming compared to the original, not to mention it was removed from the digital store in 2011. If this was included, we would finally have a proper way to relive this great game.
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
This game is actually part of the Japanese SNES release, so its absence from the American version has some extra salt rubbed into it. This could be explained by its heavy Japanese background, following the exploits of Goemon as he smacks and explores a Japanese world of ghosts, magic, and robot ninjas. Definitely a game that shows off the finer points of the system.
Saturday Night Slam Masters
One of the games with a direct connection to Final Fight — Mike Haggar is a playable wrestler in this game — Saturday Night Slam Masters represents a wrestling game for the system that isn’t a chore to play. Since Super Fire Pro Wrestling never made its way out of Japan, the colorful, over the top nature of this game is acceptable from that non-simulation perspective. Where WWF Super Wrestlemania and its sequels lack that presentation you enjoy from a wrestling game, Saturday Night Slam Masters excels.
We’re getting Super Castlevania IV with the SNES Classic, which is perfectly fine, but why not add in the game that would end up setting the stage for Symphony Of The Night, arguably the greatest game in the series? It also gives you chance to play a game that isn’t just a remake of an NES game, even if it is a lower-quality port of a PC game.
Captain America And The Avengers
We looked at adding one of the good Marvel Comics games from the period and were stuck between this or Spider-Man / Venom: Maximum Carnage. Both are beat em up games, but Captain America And The Avengers just offers a glimpse at the Marvel Universe that you didn’t get outside of the comics at the time. Today it would seem common to see Captain America and Iron Man in a video game, but it was a novelty while in the arcades and once it came to home consoles. It hasn’t seen a re-release in the modern age, so its inclusion would’ve been welcome.
One of the finest side-scrolling shooters available, it follows games like 1942 from Capcom and adds in customization elements that you just didn’t see in the genre at that time. Buying power-ups and upgraded planes is welcome for a game that usually keeps everything on the screen. It gives a sense of strategy to the entire game, along with giving you a choice in the pilots you can play in the game. It also has a style that sets it apart as just another shooter, crafting a world to play within.
Any classics we missed? Let us know in the comments!