Kirby’s Dream Land 3
Kirby has had a long history with Nintendo, and really shone brightest during the SNES era. While the SNES Classic Edition does include Kirby Super Star (arguably one of the very best Kirby experiences ever), the console’s second option for the pink puffball is a golf game, completely overlooking the fun, puzzle-focused experience that is Kirby’s Dream Land 3.
For starters, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is the first direct sequel in the Dream Land series after the first two games didn’t really have anything to do with one another outside of sharing the same protagonist. This allowed the third entry to really build off of the solid foundation of its predecessor by doubling down on animal teammates, giving Kirby and Gooey a new adventure that sees the world on the brink of destruction, and really getting creative with environmental puzzles. When it comes to single Kirby experiences, there isn’t much better than this and it’s a notable absence from the SNES Classic Edition’s lineup.
Earthworm Jim 2
If you didn’t grow up in the ’90s, there’s a very good chance that you have absolutely no idea who Earthworm Jim is so let us bring you up to speed really quick. Once upon a time, there was a regular ol’ worm just minding its business when a super suit fell from the sky and imbued the poor creature with intelligence (a term we’re using loosely) and incredible power, turning it into a superhero by the name of Earthworm Jim. Jim now finds himself on the run from the aliens who created the suit as well as searching for Princess What’s-Her-Name, because games of the time always needed someone to save. What ensued was quick platforming with some over-the-top run-and-gun action.
The second game in the series follows the same rescue plot, only this time there are more mechanics which add some depth and fun to the game. There’s Snot, your fun little friend who lets you swing from surfaces or can be used as a parachute. There’s trivia, stealth, and more. It’s an interesting take on the action-platformer that would’ve added an extra layer of variety to the SNES Classic Edition. If only Nintendo planned to update the machine with new games. There’s still hope for it on the Switch’s eShop at least.
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II was an improvement in every way over its predecessor and a standout fighting title on the SNES which has us wishing it made the cut for the SNES Classic Edition. Where the first game rode the wave of its brutality and “realism,” MKII was just a darn good fighting game. The speed was increased to make fights more engaging, combos became much easier to pull off, and new abilities were given to each of the characters. There was also the introduction of several characters who are now fan-favorites such as Jax, Baraka, Kung Lao, and Kitana. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a Mortal Kombat game that doesn’t have them in some form.
What really makes the second entry a standout was the expansion of the Fatality system which introduced multiple match-ending abilities such as Babalities and Friendships (both of which were sort of hilarious). Throw in stage-specific Fatalities, and you had one seriously fun and violent fighting game that was completely unmatched. Granted, its violence may be why Nintendo wouldn’t even consider this game for the SNES Classic Edition, but that won’t stop us from missing it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
It may not be easy to believe, but there was a time when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games were the bee’s knees. Taking control of one of the four turtle pros and taking your fight to the Foot Clan and other enemies was just like being in the cartoon (especially if you were the lucky one who got to play as Mikey, the best of the bros). This entry saw players fighting through time in order to get back the Statue of Liberty from Krang as well as deal with Shredder and his goons.
There was nothing like teaming up with a sibling or friend as you paired up to explore the sewers and other locales you found yourself in all while using slick martial arts to beat some baddies. It was one of the most fun arcade games to make its way over to the SNES and would’ve been a serious co-op blast from the past on the SNES Classic Edition.
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
Several series on the SNES Classic Edition got multiple entries, but one was sorely overlooked: Donkey Kong. While Donkey Kong Country, one of the SNES’ best games, got a much deserved nod, its sequel is nowhere to be seen, and that’s a shame. The first game was great, yes, but the second game really cracked open the mechanics to create something truly memorable and, dare I say, better.
The core of Donkey Kong Country 2 was very much like its predecessor, with pseudo-3D visuals, tight platforming in levels that used different mechanics (such as mine carts and swimming), and animal friends that you could ride as you bonked enemies on the head and collected bananas. However, the addition of new animal friends such as a Spider, a Seal, and a Rattlesnake. Diddy maintained his higher agility that fans may remember from the first game, but Dixie’s twirling hair added a new dimension to platforming and general navigation, mixing things up. Oh, and when you got multiplayer rolling, you were in for one seriously good time.
We’re grateful that we’re getting any of the Country games, but skipping over the second entry definitely leaves a sore spot in our hearts.
During the days of the SNES, there weren’t many RPGs that fans felt could contend with Final Fantasy, yet Square seemed to be intent on outdoing themselves. Two RPGs outside of the Final Fantasy series are already on the SNES Classic Edition (Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG), but allow us to be a little greedy here as we ask for one of the best JRPG’s of all time: Chrono Trigger.
While many of the mechanics found in Chrono Trigger are similar to those found in their FF peers, the addition of cooperative techniques, the use of the overworld as your battle space, and time travelling made for a memorable experience. Crono’s adventure to save the world and and his friends is full of charm and deep moments that keep the emotional rollercoaster going, while providing some solid RPG action. The SNES was a great platform for these 2D adventures and we would love to see them all on the new mini-console. But, if we can only have a few, it would’ve been great to dive into Chrono Trigger with an SNES controller snugly in our hands once again.
The only sports game on the SNES Classic Edition is a golf game by the name of Kirby’s Dream Course, and we have to use the term ‘sports’ really loosely for that one. The NES Classic had some football on there, so it would’ve been great to see another major sport be showcased on one of these micro-consoles. The first one that comes to mind? NBA Jam from Midway.
NBA Jam provided 2-on-2 basketball gameplay with real NBA teams and players. What made it stand out among all the other sports games vying for attention back in the ’90s was how over-the-top the action was. Players jumped super high, let shots fly from across the court, and could dunk from beyond the three point line. Build up enough momentum by scoring three consecutive times and you can hear the announcer yell that you’re on fire, followed by you actually catching fire and being able to run infinitely while shooting with insane precision. The arcade action led to hours of play as you paired up and faced off against friends. The announcer alone is enough of a reason to bring this game back, the gameplay just seals the deal.
Pilot Wings is a bit of an odd one as it was a flight simulator on the SNES that was well ahead of its time. Looking at gameplay from the past you may be struck by how well the old console handled 3D gameplay. Fun fact: the game wasn’t actually 3D. Nintendo EAD used the Mode 7 technique that is visible in games like FFIII and F-Zero to mimic 3D graphics in a way that had everyone fooled. The result was a fun title that offered a healthy amount of challenge as you learned to pilot through different obstacle courses.
If there is any game that could show off the power of the SNES, this would’ve been a perfect option as there was simply nothing really like it at the time. The plus is that it would fit on the SNES Classic Edition as more than a tech demo of sorts, because it was genuinely fun. It’s surprising that Nintendo would leave off such a beloved first-party title from a classic platform, but hopefully we’ll get it in some other form. Until then, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and our eyes on the sky.
You can never go wrong with Tetris. It’s a fun, easy to learn puzzle game that just becomes a world of crazy (the good kind) once you throw in other players. Tetris Attack mixed things up a bit by forgoing the usual fill in the space approach of the original, instead opting for a match three mechanic, which most likely paved the way for the millions of these games you can find on your mobile device today. While it was different, though, it was no less fun than other games bearing the name.
The micro-SNES doesn’t have much in the vein of multiplayer puzzle games, which is a shock considering the era it comes from. Tetris Attack would’ve fit in perfectly, adding another reason to bust out one of the extra controllers that’s included with the console. While you can play Tetris on pretty much any device available, It’s still going to be missed as I dive into Super Mario RPG for the umpteenth time.
Capcom’s Aladdin (which is based on Disney’s animated film) was early proof that licensed games don’t have to be terrible. In fact, there are quite a few classic Disney games that this could be said for, but Aladdin definitely holds a special place in our heart.
Like most Disney games of the time, there was a healthy level of challenge in Aladdin as you navigated various areas which include Agrabah and the Cave of Wonders. That latter one is most memorable as it includes a rather unforgiving side-scrolling section that had you use the Magic Carpet to avoid a wave of lava that was chasing you. It blocked so many from ever seeing the end of the game and including Aladdin on the SNES Classic Edition would’ve given many of us a second chance. Of course, we’d also just wanna run around with Abu, our trusty little monkey friend, as we relive our favorite parts of the story. Granted, you didn’t have the sword like you did in the Genesis version, but it was still one seriously good game that deserves to be on all Classic Editions.