The Super Nintendo entertainment system turns 30 years old this week. Feeling old yet?
The original SNES launched in North America on August 23, 1991 and is home to some of the greatest games of all time. It has huge boots to fill since its predecessor, the much-loved NES, but the SNES boasts better visuals and processing power. What’s fascinating about this little machine is that many of its best games are still around 30 years later. The same cannot be said of later games on PlayStation or Nintendo 64, as they had early 3D effects that don’t look as good today.
Since the SNES has such a great game library, there’s bound to be a way to play some of its most popular games on the Nintendo Switch, right? Not exactly exactly. You can play some SNES games through the Nintendo Switch Online program, which some say the game library feels incomplete. Heavyweights like Super Mario World and Super Metroid are all playable on the Switch, but for every gem of that caliber, several other notable titles are missing. There are a lot of SNES games missing from the Nintendo Switch Online service, and since many of them aren’t available for modern hardware, they could be hard to play in 2021.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up the most notable SNES games not available on the Nintendo Switch, ranging in genres from RPG, to beat-’em-up, and even sports.
One of the most requested additions to Nintendo Switch Online is Chrono Activator, a game often considered one of the best role-playing games of all time. Chrono Activator is a classic thanks to its fun turn-based combat, exciting time-travel sequences, and multiple endings that encourage further play. Its visuals are still stunning, which is a theme on this list. Given that it’s one of the highest-rated games ever, it’s sad that it doesn’t make it to the Nintendo Switch. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, this will be fixed soon.
With the rise of beat-’em-ups like Rage Street 4 and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game – Complete Version, you would think Nintendo would take advantage and put Super Double Dragon on Switch. Sadly, that’s not the case. Billy and Jimmy return for this adventure, it’s kind of like a callback to the previous installments. It revisits many of the classic areas and looks better than ever, so it’s kind of confusing that you can’t play this game on Nintendo Switch. Thankfully, the NES version of Double Dragon available via Nintendo Switch Online, but not available super Double Dragon strange.
The combination of the Mushroom Kingdom with RPG mechanics is a match made in heaven, but sadly, Nintendo has never been able to capture the essence of the game. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars after initial release. That’s why it’s a pity you can’t play it on Nintendo Switch. With JRPGs becoming ever more popular, now would be a great time to introduce players to one of the best Nintendo RPGs of all time. This game has it all: Humor, satisfying gameplay, fun text and beautiful visuals, on par with many other games from this era. Probably Super Mario RPG will be added to Nintendo Switch Online at some point, possibly on Tuesday – which is something Nintendo loves to do.
Even if sports games aren’t necessarily your thing, NBA Jam attract a wide audience. Moving away from realism and doing 2v2 matches has made the sports game much more appealing to everyone, not just basketball fans. NBA Jam on the SNES still has a beautiful image that has stood the test of time, with a lineup that dates back to the 1993-1994 season. No need to know about all the intricacies of basketball to enjoy NBA Jam. Instead, the game takes a more video game-focused approach that makes it easy to get in. Its absence on the Nintendo Switch makes more sense than the rest of this list as licensing can be a major hurdle to overcome.
In spite of Final Fantasy VI has been released on multiple consoles, many consider it the first and foremost Super Nintendo game – and it is fully playable on the Nintendo Switch. What makes this game so great? Besides believable characters, stunning visuals, and satisfying turn-based gameplay, it features some of the best soundtracks in a video game ever. Just listening to the soundtrack takes you back to some of the most memorable parts of the game. Besides that, Final Fantasy VI known for its chaotic villain, Kefka. The way this game plays out is simply exceptional.
ActRaiser is… a weird game. You play as God – only you in the form of a humanoid creature sent down to Earth to defeat all the fearsome monsters. Much of the game is a 2D action platformer with boss battles and different creatures to defeat as you make your way through the levels. Still with us? Between these platform segments are what some call simulation-style mechanics that allow you to build bases across multiple towns. It also partly works like a shooter, where you play as an angel who must attack evil demons that appear nearby. The result is a weird but endearing mash-up that arguably doesn’t get the credit it deserves. It definitely belongs on the Nintendo Switch.
We touched a beat with Super Double Dragon, but there’s something else we’re looking forward to on the Nintendo Switch. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time is a 2D side-scrolling game that puts you in the shoes of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael. To this day, it’s one of the most loved beat-up games, thanks to its fun gameplay, stunning visuals, and emphasis on cooperative gameplay. While the arcade version was arguably the best, the SNES version was impressive at the time, especially for a home console version. It has a time trial mode and even a two-player versus option, so there’s a lot to do in this game. When Turtle in time not on Nintendo Switch, we finally get a sequel called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge on handheld devices at some point in time.
Even to this day, there isn’t anything quite like Earthbound. It’s a game that, on the surface, looks cheerful and fun, but has some surprisingly deep (and sometimes unsettling) themes. It’s still one of the funniest games out there, with witty writing that will probably keep a smile on your face. While many of the beloved RPGs of this era sent players on fantastical journeys against dragons, Earthbound more relevant. Four friends investigate a mysterious meteor crash and fight against the town bullies. It’s certainly more outlandish than that, but we appreciate its well-founded approach that complements its satirical world. In fact Earthbound being unplayable on the Switch is an absolute crime.