Last Wednesday was… not great for Switch Online’s SNES collection. When your headliner is Claymates, a platformer so forgettable and frustrating that nobody would ever ask to be reminded of it again, maybe you just need to skip the announcement entirely. I’ve heard people defending these choices as a reflection of what our own home collections were like back in the day, but to that I say that maybe some memories are best left in the past where they belong. Sure, you can also argue the idea that Nintendo isn’t actually in charge of what gets on there these days (and there’s proof to back that – tl;dr: publishers come to Nintendo and pay for their games to be added), but the point remains that there HAS to be better things they could be putting on here, right? Well, I’m here to give you my suggestions of things that need to be on here that you might not have even thought of, or even HEARD of before. But first, let’s make a few ground rules.
What You Will NOT Find On This List
- 1: Final Fantasy III, IV, V, or Chrono Trigger.
There will be no Final Fantasy games on this list. There is no way that Square is going to pay a single cent for Nintendo to post the games that they just announced as Pixel Remasters on this service. If Chrono Trigger is getting a re-release, it’ll be on Square Enix’s watch and we’re gonna have to buy it.
- Super Mario RPG
This will come eventually. I’m sure of it. There’s no way it won’t. You’ve already played it. I’ve already played it. It’s a masterpiece and we’ve already given it enough time. All in due time.
Again, this will show up eventually and I’m not sure why it wouldn’t. Ness is popular and loved by all who have played the game. We’re going for the stuff you haven’t heard about, not stuff that should have been here AGES ago.
Alright, are we good on this? Cool, let’s get moving!
Contender #1: Uniracers/Unirally
Uniracers (as we had it called in the States – Unirally in the UK) is one of the sickest and most fun racing games that ever came out of the SNES era, and for good reason. This game SLAPS. This isn’t just a basic Mario Kart style racing game, this is a 2D speedfest with some absolutely insane music. Courses are full of loop-de-loops, vertical climbs, jumps and pitfalls that always keep you excited and help you realize that these races can change in a moment’s notice. On top of crazy tracks, there is a trick system by using the face buttons. L and R rotate your character, X inverts you to do what are called “Z Flips”, and A spins you. Landing tricks not only styles all over your opponent, but it grants you a speed boost. Tricks are an absolutely THRILLING risk/reward system for a racing game.
Apparently not a lot of people ever got the chance because Pixar filed a lawsuit to only have one printing of the game. Apparently there’s only one way to animate unicycles to give them personality and Pixar felt like it was theirs. Screw them. Uniracers is an underrated gem that needs to be played by more people. I mean… just listen to this intro track. How can you not be excited by this?
Contender #2: Terranigma
Terranigma is a tricky beast for a lot of reason, but we’ll get there in a second. First of all, this is a game that never came to the states so either you lived in the PAL region or you were in Japan. In this game, you play as Ark, a kid tasked with restoring and saving the world (as you know most games do), but this game is absolutely stellar in terms of presentation and soundtrack. The game feels a lot like the games in the Mana series (Secret of Mana, Trials of Mana) and really deserves a chance to be localized in the States for the first time. I only ever had the chance to emulate this game in the early 2000’s and I loved every second of it. The combat is cool and exciting with a gripping story that makes you hungry for more.
Literally the only thing that is keeping this from being on the Switch Online service is the fact that this game originally belongs to Enix before they became Square Enix. My only hope for this game ever seeing the light of day again is that recently, like THURSDAY (September 23), some of the original team for Terranigma talked about how they want to revive the game. Not sold on this? These people made Soul Blazer, another SNES gem you should probably go play.
Contender #3: Plok!
Man, Plok needs to be experienced by more people. Is it hard? Yeah. Is it unfair? Sure. Does the soundtrack written by Tom Follin absolutely SLAM every second of every stage? VERY YES. Let me talk to you about Plok!
Plok is a fairly standard 2D platformer with some interesting twists and mechanics. Plok, the main character in yellow and red, is heading off to his nearby island to recover his flag that he loves for some reason. Aparrently some nasty fleas (those little blue guys with the legs) ran off with the flag and Plok is having NONE OF IT! Plok thrown his limbs at enemies like boomerangs and gathers a few pretty cool powerups along the way.
This game is WILD though. The first few stages are a pretty basic “get to the end of the stage” kind of levels that are capped off with a boss fight. Then, nearly every stage after this is a hunt to kill each of these fleas before you can clear the stage. It’s a really interesting game that could use all the love it deserves. Yeah some of the stage hazards can be frustrating and the “leaps of faith” you have to complete every so often make you want to scream, but this game is pretty great and a solid challenge for anybody looking for a good time on the SNES.
Contender #4: Gunpuru: Gunman’s Proof
I will be the first to admit that I had no idea that this game even existed of what it was even about until two years ago. Gunman’s Proof is what happens when you combine A Link To The Past with Sunset Riders. You take the role of a little sheriff boy in 1880 who lives on a place just called Mystery Island. Two aliens (YES, ALIENS) crash onto Earth via meteors and while one of them is noble, the other goes off to wreak havoc, The good alien, Zero who is a SPACE SHERIFF, joins you and help you seek out eight dungeons to defeat evil dudes or whatever.
This game is cool for a lot of reasons. For starters, it’s Zelda if he was a sheriff, but it’s cute and it’s really well put together. Apparently the game never came out of Japan, but there were fan translations so we here in the states (and PAL regions) could finally play it. This was a blast to play when I had the chance to and I think that this would do well on the service.
Contender #5: Ken Griffey Jr’s Winning Run
There is a dearth of good sports games on the Switch SNES catalog and that needs to be fixed immediately. Ken Griffey Jr.’s Winning Run is on here for a few reasons that need to be gone over quickly. This game is quality baseball in every aspect. There’s no unnecessary mechanics or complicated garbage, this is just simple stuff that makes you happy. This game has your choice of 2 player exhibitions, single player season mode or even a home run derby! It’s quality stuff and I would love to see this back in a playable state. And hey! Speaking of sports games that are rad and need to be on here…
Contender #6: NBA Jam Tournament Edition
If you haven’t played NBA Jam, then you need to stop what you’re doing and have a go at this fabulous over-the-top basketball game. Between all of the crazy cheats, modifiers and unlockable characters, NBA Jam is the stuff of 90’s sleepover legends. Games are quick and bombastic and are never boring, so you know the replayability is through the ROOF. We need more ridiculous versions of sports like this. You’ll be yelling “HE’S ON FIRE” in no time with this 100% banger of a game if it came to the SNES Online catalog.
Contender #7: Super Scope Games
Man, it’s a shame that a majority of people never got the chance to play Super Scope games back in the day. Maybe it was because they were crazy expensive, took a million batteries and only had like… 4 games that were good, if not just alright. However, with gyro pointing on the Joy-Cons, why not make this a thing? Sure, a lot of these are just kind of ok, but it would be cool to see more people enjoying Metal Combat, Battle Clash and Yoshi’s Safari! I’m not saying they’re all amazing, but MAN it has to be better than Claymates.
Contender 8: Super Bomberman 2
Super Bomberman 2 is in my opinion, the greatest of all the 2D multiplayer games ever made. In the same way that NBA Jam is one of the best party/sleepover games, Super Bomberman 2 might actually be the best for the simple reason of being 4-player. Multiplayer in this game is second only to Tetris Attack in my book, but that’s just a personal preference. The team behind this was nearly perfect, resulting in some of the most addictive just-one-more round kind of gameplay. Seriously, Super Bomberman 2 would be perfect on SNES online because 4-player gameplay is so much easier than it was back in the 90s. Seriously. Why isn’t this on here yet. Konami, ANSWER ME.
The list I have here is getting big, and I’m sure you’re probably getting tired of reading all of this, so let me go through some other contenders really fast to get my point across.
- Gundam Wing: Endless Duel: It’s a 1 v 1 fighting game with all of the GuMobile Suits from Gundam Wing. This game is flashy and looks super clean for the technology of the time. There’s a lot of fun to be had here. Licensing would be a nightmare, but totally worth it.
- Clay Fighter 2: Judgement Clay: If Interplay can give us the worst of all of their clay based games then they can give us the best of their SNES inclusions. Given, it’s not amazing, but this game isn’t awful. Definitely worth a play.
- Sparkster: Known in other regions as Rocket Knight Adventures you play as an Opossum in a suit of armor with a sword and a jet pack. This game is RAD. Slammin’ music and a pretty decent adventure, Sparkster would be a great addition.
- Earthworm Jim 1 and 2: Groovy. This game keeps getting more and more ridiculous and should be enjoyed for the acid trip it really is.
- Actraiser: A cool city-builder/god sim combined with some cool action adventuring, Actraiser is a solid choice to have added into the roster of SNES glory days. For real, this game is dope.
I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of games that we all love and fondly remember, but a hefty deal of those games are either in their own retail releases (i.e. Mega Man Legacy Collection, Blizzard Arcade Collection) or licensed to oblivion (i.e. TMNT: Turtles in Time, Mickey’s Magical Quest) so the parent companies will likely choose to release those games themselves or just keep them in their vaults never to be seen again in the light of day. So for now, I will look at this list of games that I will never see on the SNES’ library because Nintendo feels like putting Captain Novolin or Zoop on there in stead.
What do you think should be on the service? Did I forget your favorite SNES game? Do you think that Izzy’s Quest for the Olympic Rings should be on there? Top Gear 3000? Rise of the Robots? FACEBALL 2000? Let me know! I’m sure I can look forward to the next announcement for the service when they gladly announce that 3D Balls is coming with Mario is Missing to accompany it.