Of all the consoles that reigned during the 1980s and 1990s, very few would disagree that Nintendo’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is one of the greatest consoles of all time. In addition to being one of the first platforms to launch ‘proper’ video games, including a mix of both first and third-party games, it could be argued that it was the SNES that first properly kicked off video game franchises.  

We could devote a whole website to SNES games to return to again and again, but in this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best hidden gems on this retro console.  

Yoshi’s Safari 
Yoshi is a perennial favourite, and in Yoshi’s Safari, all of our gaming dreams come true as we ride around on his back, dispatching goombas and Koopa troopas. Ok, so this game was tied to the Super Scope 6 system, and its high price point wasn’t exactly within every gamer’s reach, but nevertheless, it’s one worth rediscovering in the 21st century. 

Decades before Cyperpunk 2077, there was Shadowrun. A truly unique role-playing game, this title ditched the medieval fantasy elements that were so commonplace in RPGs in the 90s in favour of a futuristic, SciFi feel. It even adds in elements of film noir-esque mystery for good measure. 

Vegas Stakes 
Nowadays, online casino gaming makes up an entire segment of the global gaming industry. Modern gamers are spoilt for choice when it comes to state-of-the-art remote gaming platforms, which transform card gaming classics like blackjack into digital variants that faithfully recover the environment of the green table. It was, however, a different story during the console era. The closest thing to a casino sim that SNES players could access back then was Vegas Stakes.  

While the game may not hold up by today’s standards, it still has plenty of retro appeal. Vegas Stakes, aka Las Vegas Dream, has a simple enough premise: to become a millionaire by playing casino staples including blackjack, roulette and poker. It even made its way on the Game Boy and Wii Virtual Console, such was its popularity. 

On The Ball 
While you may recognise several other games on this list, we can pretty much guarantee that On The Ball has flowed under the radar for decades. One of the more experimental titles to have been released on the platform, On The Ball, puts gamers in control of the environment. Released during the character-driven console era, it ended up being a bit of a flop. But it’s now ripe for rediscovery, given that the gaming industry has become so much more diverse.  

E.V.O. Search for Eden 
An RPG with an evolution theme? Sign us up! As with On The Ball, E.V.O didn’t exactly have the best time of it when it was initially released on the SNES last century. But this fascinating RPG has found new life here in the 2020s. 

Twisted Tales of Spike McFang 
The influence of the Legend of Zelda is clear for all to see in The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang – and all the better for it. Another third-party title released on the SNES, this is a versatile action-adventure game in which you play a vegetarian vampire, with plenty of puzzles to solve and foes to strike down. 

Being one of the more obscure Enix games to have been developed for the Super Nintendo system, we’ll forgive you if you haven’t come across Robotrek before. Essentially, it’s a turn-based RPG in which you play as an inventor who – you’ve guessed it – needs to defeat the bad guys with his robot creations.  

For the time, Robotrek was one of the more innovative games to have emerged, with graphic design that really stood apart from other RPGs of the 20th century. It even had a lasting impact on more modern games, including Pokemon. 

Final Fight 
While the likes of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat dominated the fighting games genre in the 80s and 90s, Final Fight was quietly building up a small but devoted following who still champion the game to this day. A Capcom game originating in the arcade scene, Final Fight made its way onto the SNES and, in our opinion, would go on to define 16-bit brawlers.