There are 1759 official releases for Nintendo’s legendary Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and while everyone knows the classics – Super Mario World, A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, and many more… what about the games that aren’t as well known.
While they may have stood out for their graphics, sound or gameplay and looked dead-certs to become instant bestsellers, some games never seem to achieve what perhaps they should.
Here we take a look back at just five, among dozens, of the SNES’s lesser known classics.
5: Cybernator (1993)
While perhaps suffering from some slight control issues, Cybernator remains a highly impressive title in terms of gameplay, sounds and visuals. Back in the days before hours of cutscenes, award-winning scripting and overly deep and meaningful plots, many games came at you with one intention – to let you blow shit up! One of the gems of the “mech shooter” genre, Cybernator is a hugely fun title that sadly was overlooked in its time and perhaps still is even today.
4: Shadowrun (1993)
While Cyberpunk 2077 will seek to take the crown and some would make the claim for Deus Ex, Shadowrun is the true pinnacle of the cyberpunk genre. While not quite the classic the Mega Drive counterpart is, Shadowrun on the SNES has much to set it apart from the crowded RPG scene on the console. Boasting an intricate storyline, complex conversation system, plus a unique combination of the traditional tabletop roleplaying rules and video game convention, Shadowrun was a breed apart for the SNES.
3: Illusion of Time (1994)
On the console for RPGs, as with Shadowrun, it takes something incredibly unique to stand out from the crowd. Where the former crafted a complex world, rules and conversation system, Illusion of Time takes the opposite route and simplifies a genre that can be made a nightmare by being overly convoluted. Stripping back the combat and item systems, Illusion of Time feels more like a Nintendo title than any other 3rd party RPG on the system. Complete with some ingenious puzzles that wouldn’t disgrace the mind of Miyamoto and you have yet another much-underrated classic.
2: The Adventures of Batman & Robin (1994)
The 16-bit era was full of licensed games, from the likes of Terminator and Robocop to Tailspin and Goof Troop, every franchise seemed to have a video game on the SNES or Mega Drive. However, it was a rare game that truly did justice to the source material in the way The Adventures of Batman & Robin did. Noted for the high quality of its sound and graphics, the game successfully aped the style of the cartoon on which it was based, quite an achievement in those days of 16-bit sprites.
1: Secret of Evermore (1995)
Square were a company that could do no wrong in the 1990s. Most famous for the classic Final Fantasy series, the company were the masters of the J-RPG and could perhaps have expected another hit with Secret of Evermore. While never perhaps reaching the heights of Chrono Trigger or Secret of Mana, there is much to love here. Developed in the United States, the game is a mash-up of the American and the Japanese, yet at the same time unmistakably Square.
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