By Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)
Welcome to the endlessly delayed third and final part of my list of picks for the Top 25 Super Nintendo games of all time. Only ten games left and several of the greatest games of all time are showing up in this one! To make things handy, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. As previously stated, I had to give myself a few guidelines to keep the list at a reasonable size.
Rule 1: The game must have been released in the North American Market in the 90’s. This eliminates several foreign region titles I enjoyed such as Rockman & Forte, and The Firemen.
Rule 2: It must be a game I originally played on an actual Super Nintendo when it was current, not something I discovered in later years through re-releases, or emulation of fan-translations on PC. A lot of Role Playing Games got bumped due to this. Seiken Densetsu 3, Final Fantasy V, and Front Mission to name a few.
16: Super Mario RPG:
Legend of the Seven Stars
(1996, Nintendo, Squaresoft)
Holy crap this was an amazing game. The final Squaresoft game in this list is another of those games that no one asked for, no one expected, and completely blew us away when it came out. Who would have thought that Super Mario Bros and Squaresoft would become the digital equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter? Combining the best elements of traditional Mario gameplay with an explorable RPG style world and progression system Square managed to pack a lot more detail into the world Mario lives in.
King Koopa’s castle has been literally impaled by a giant sword from the heavens and it’s up to Mario to restore peace to the land by protecting the seven-star fragments and kicking the evil Smithy out of Koopa’s castle before this blacksmith king can use them to take over the world! Luigi stays home this time, but you’ll be joined by Princess Peach and even King Koopa himself! Also joining Mario are a pair of new additions to the Mario universe, Mallow the cloud being who believes himself to be a tadpole, and Geno the living doll, both of whom are only playable in this game much to the lament of fans.
Nintendo has since developed all of their Mario-world RPGs in-house with varying degrees of success in the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series, but in my opinion, the original Super Mario RPG still stands tall over the rest. This game is a near perfect blend of charm, fun, and challenge and deserves a place in any Nintendo fan’s library. It’s well worth the price on the Virtual Console, or on the Super Nintendo Classic for the extra level of authenticity that playing on proper SNES controllers can provide.