Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the Super Nintendo’s launch in North America. It was on Aug. 23, 1991 that the 16-bit wonder, AKA the SNES, took the continent by storm with an exciting series of launch games new and existing franchises including Super Mario World, F-Zero, Pilotwings, Gradius III, and last but not least, SimCity. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Super Nintendo saw a pantheon of amazing games in its 5+ years as Nintendo’s primary home console. Old standbys like the aforementioned Mario, as well as series like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kirby, Metroid, and more saw stellar new entries.
Additionally, the SNES saw the debut of plenty of new franchises, many of which stand strong (relatively speaking) to this day. We have compiled a list of seven such franchises that saw their humble beginnings and starts on the Super Nintendo.
Best SNES Franchises
One of the first and arguably best spin-offs featuring Mario and the rest of the Mushroom Kingdom gang started on the Super Nintendo. Nowadays the Mario Kart series has seen itself releasing on pretty much every major Nintendo platform, and has also experienced massive sales success. Seriously, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe still burns rubber on sales charts around the world, and that was a launch window title for the Switch!
Before the series saw itself with features like kart customization and anti-gravity sections, the series simply began with Super Mario Kart, launching just over a year after the Super Nintendo’s original North American launch. Super Mario Kart was a racing game like never seen before with a collection of eight Mushroom Kingdom characters to get behind the steering wheel with, items to use in races, exciting tracks such as Mario Circuit, Bowser’s Castle, and Rainbow Road, as well as two-player split-screen racing.
A major selling point was racing not only with (or against) a friend or family member, but also duking it out with them in the massively enjoyable Battle Mode. This mode would be seen in every future mainline Mario Kart game in some form or another.
While looking rather crude-looking nowadays, the use of Mode 7 graphics to produce a 3D-like appearance to races and tracks was a gamechanger and something insanely impressive back in 1992. Super Mario Kart was a stellar debut for a franchise that has only gotten better and more enjoyable since with recent titles like the aforementioned Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Mario Kart Tour on mobile devices.