If the early days of gaming were characterized by simplicity, then the 16 bit generation marked an era for developers to let loose with their creative talents, while still working within reasonable limitations the period’s consoles afforded them. To put it in other terms: imagine handing a talented artist a 24 pack of crayons after they’ve mastered the art of coloring with six basic crayons. The new possibilities, while still limited, opens a brand new door for their creative talents to flourish.
Such is the case with the console generation that followed the revival of video games. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis, and NeoGeo provided developers a brand new pallet of technology to use at their disposal, and they made sure to take advantage of every pixel the new hardware allowed.
New hardware meant new graphical capabilities for developers, but it also meant additional sound channels for game composers. While many of the games released during this era were a graphical feast for the eyes, they also contain some of the finest composed music of any console generation.
By no means is this gallery exhaustive,rather, its more of a sampling of some of the most beautiful 16 bit games ever made. Will these games continue to endure the test of time? That remains to be seen, but please keep in mind, these games are already over twenty years old and still look pretty damn good.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Square, 1995)