10 Games That Prove Consoles Are Often At Their Best During Their Dying Days

By the end of 2013 we’ll almost certainly be able to purchase new systems from all three of the major console makers. Exciting! That said, you shouldn’t ignore current gen systems just because there’s some new hotness on the way. More often than not some of a console’s best games arrive after most gamers have already moved on.

These are the super polished games that have been in development for ages. The games that push the system right to its breaking point. The quirky games that only come out once the market is less crowded.

Here are 10 games that prove how rewarding sticking to a console a bit beyond its best-before date can be…

Kirby’s Adventure (1993)

Released in 1993, over a year and a half after the release of the Super Nintendo, Kirby’s Adventure does things with the NES hardware you wouldn’t think possible. Really, aside from a limited color palate, Kirby’s Adventure could easily pass for an early SNES or Genesis game. Oh, and this is the game where Kirby first got his copying ability and, well, really became Kirby.

Phantasy Star IV (1995)

Sega had already crapped the bed with the Sega CD and 32X, and the overpriced Sega Saturn had just hit the market in a mishandled “surprise” release — Sega fans were feeling a bit bewildered and betrayed in early 1995. Thankfully Sega had a late treat for loyal Genesis fans. Phantasy Stav IV didn’t need a lock-on cartridge, Genesis add-ons or any gimmicks to be played, it was just a good old-fashioned Sega Genesis game and it was freakin’ great.

Super Mario RPG (1996)

What can I say Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars that hasn’t already been said? It’s one of the best genre-mashups ever made and easily ranks amogst the top-5 Mario spin-offs (which is no small feat considering just how many Mario spin-offs there’s been). Like all the best console latecomers, this title left gamers wondering why an upgrade was even needed.