The Nintendo Switch is practically a blessing for gamers that love to get enraptured in their games while they’re making moves in the outside world. A bunch of new Nintendo exclusives, feature-rich Wii U ports, unique indie games, and so much more are available on Nintendo’s home/portable console. There are two libraries of games that you can also tap into if you’re a Switch owner, by the way – a slew of NES and SNES titles can be played to your heart’s desire. Sign up for the Nintendo Switch Online service, make sure you download the SNES games player, get yourself one of those compatible SNES controllers, and dive right into this list of the best SNES games on your Switch.
One of the greatest 2D platformers of all time is undoubtedly this SNES classic. You can never go wrong with an hours-long session hopping, bopping, and finding secret warp pipes in Super Mario World. Playing as everyone’s favorite plumber Mario means you’ll get to venture throughout the varied biomes within the Mushroom Kingdom while your cute dinosaur companion Yoshi helps you along the way.
The second Super Mario World takes Mario all the way back to his baby years for his next colorful adventure. But this time, you don’t get to play as the lil’ plumber hat-wearing hero – you take on the role of Yoshi, who’s set up as Baby Mario’s protector. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island features the same quality platforming featured in the predecessor while introducing a children’s storybook art style that perfectly matches its themes.
This is the game that started it all. Every kart racing game that came after this one followed its formula since it practically mastered it on its very first try. Super Mario Kart has it all – well-tuned racing mechanics, smart track layouts, a lovable roster of Mushroom Kingdom denizens, and a super catchy soundtrack. Make sure you get the homies together for a good old four-player romp through this kart racing game originator.
If you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past already, then you’re simply doing yourself a disservice. This amazing SNES dungeon explorer has inspired countless games to varying degrees of success. You just can never go wrong with this fun-filled trek through the 2D Kingdom of Hyrule. Exploring the Light and Dark Worlds within this classic Zelda game still holds up when it comes to fun factor. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past personifies the very best in the action/adventure genre.
Once you’ve completed Link’s top-down dungeon-crawling trek, you need to do yourself a favor and check out Samus Aran’s side-scrolling crusade through the planet Zebes. Super Metroid is considered a bonafide masterpiece to everyone that’s played it – the term “Metroidvania” was birthed by this game and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night due to how they both offer the very best in its genre. Progressing through every nook and cranny within Super Metroid is a joy as you unlock the tools needed to wade deeper into Zebes’ alien-filled cave systems.
Fox McCloud deserves so much better from modern-day Nintendo, doesn’t he? With games such as the very first Star Fox and the exemplary Star Fox 64, you’d think Nintendo would provide him with more new titles to prosper in. Speaking of the first Star Fox, it still holds up as one of the best on-rails flight shooters of all time. Yeah, Slippy Toad will drive you nuts with his constant pleas for help. But other than that, Star Fox features entertaining shooting segments, likable heroes, and a bevy of unforgettable boss fights. DO A BARREL ROLL!
When this platformer dropped back in the day, everyone’s jaws hit the floor at the sight of its 3D visuals and ability to run on a SNES. And to this day, Donkey Kong Country remains one of the most celebrated games within the vast SNES library. Pure platforming bliss is in place here as you switch between Donkey & Diddy Kong and explore a nice array of stages in search of King K. Rool. When the video game developer Rare gets mentioned, Donkey Kong Country quickly gets mentioned as one of its finest works.
King K. Rool’s revenge plays out here as he and his reptilian minions kidnap good old Donkey. And this time around, Diddy and his buddy Dixie Kong step up to save their big guy. The new collection of stages you’ll run, jump, and fly through here match up with the pirate theme perfectly. You’ll have a ton of fun carefully maneuvering through the 52 levels available in this classic platformer. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong-Quest is certainly one of the best.
THIS ONE’S A THREE-PEAT! Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! is just as incredible as its two predecessors. Dixie and her cousin Kiddy Kong take the main protagonist spots this time around for another battle against King K. Rool. The biomes you’ll come across in this third Donkey Kong Country game feature more snowy terrain and the familiar stage layouts fans have come to hold in high regard.
Nintendo futuristic racing game that fans still request a sequel for is none other than F-Zero. Captain Falcon and the rest of the game’s outlandish cast of characters battle for first place while speeding along the track in cool hovercars. The original F-Zero has a banging OST, plenty of hazards to overcome on your way to the finish line, and two fun methods that’ll help you go even faster.
Nintendo’s cute & cuddly (and deceptively deadly!) pink puffball has been featured in several great games. One of those great games is Kirby Super Star, an all-in-one experience that lives on two satisfying gimmicks – having the power to suck up your foes & copy their abilities and complete numerous platforming challenges with a second player in tow. Kirby Super Star comes with traditional platforming stages, a boss rush mode, a racing game, and so much more to enjoy.
The next Kirby SNES adventure you can access through your Switch is Kirby’s Dream Land 3. The basics apply here – you control Kirby and go on a rampage across several stages by relying on his copycat moveset and some trusty Animal Friends. The difficulty factor for most Kirby games isn’t all high, but the fun factor that comes with saving the world as the fierce pink puffer is amazingly high.
Remember that dreaded red demon that tore into you during Ghosts ‘n Goblins’ playthroughs? You know the dreaded lil’ guy has his own game, right? Make sure you seek it out because it’s a quality side scroller with light RPG elements. Demon’s Crest lets you play as Firebrand to burn everything in your path and utilize the abilities gained by various Crests to defeat Phalanx.
There was once a palace in time where Capcom actually produced RPGs. The main series that stuck to the genre was Breath of Fire, which always featured a different rendition of Ryu and Nina as the game’s main protagonists. This first entry in the series pits you against the Dark Dragon Clan, who’ve managed to capture Ryu’s sister. If throwback turn-based RPGs are your jam, then hop into this Capcom gem ASAP.
For the second entry in the Breath of Fire series, new versions of Ryu and Nina step onto the scene for an all-new epic adventure. The turn-based battle system gets a nice change-up here thanks to the Formation feature that lets you place your warriors into different positions on the battlefield. Breath of Fire II pits you against a supernatural being known as Deathevn, who’s created from the death of a past foe from the first Breath of Fire.
Super Tennis offers a simple concept – go out on the court and get embroiled in some back and forth tennis matches. This is before the days of Mario and the gang hopping into the tennis arena, which means you’ll mainly get to play as miniature versions of famous tennis players. Do yourself a favor and try out Doubles Mode, which is where much of the fun in Super Tennis resides.
The first-person boxing simulator that tested everyone’s patience and mettle got one of its strongest entries on the SNES. Super Punch-Out!! sports some great-looking cartoony visuals, simple-to-understand controls, and a hilarious batch of rival boxers to put down. Step up the ring and try to fight your way to the top in this SNES classic.
This former Japan SNES exclusive finally got ported over to the States and is worth spending some time with on your Switch. It’s one of those throwback “cute ‘em up” shooters that features a nice mix of cutesy animated visuals and an onslaught of midair foes to shoot down. Pop’n TwinBee is a pretty worthwhile experience for two players that just want to turn their brain off a bit and clear out some random airborne baddies.
You can hop into the remake of this savage shooter (Wild Guns: Reloaded) on the Switch. But if you’d like to revert back to the original version of that game, you can also do that as well. There’s still a lot of fun to be had within the OG rendition – running through the explosive Wild West/Steampunk realm this game houses is a bundle of fun. Find some co-op buddies and ready yourself for a whole lotta shooting and lassoing.
The 3D-centric Super FX-powered GSU-1 did a lot for the SNES so late in its lifecycle. One of the games birthed from that visual evolution was Stunt Race FX, which does things a lot differently than Mario Kart and F-Zero. With three car classes to choose from (F-Type, COUPE, and 4WD), you’ll race across a bevy of tracks. Those tracks are split across racing, obstacle courses, test-driving, and so much more to enjoy.
The gallant knight known as Arthur always has his work cut out for him. Demons have taken the princess and it’s up to him to right that wrong. If you’re prepared to die a whole bunch, then you’re clearly one of those masochist gamers that gets plenty of enjoyment out of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series. Super Ghouls’n Ghosts is one of the best versions of Capcom’s side-scrolling, monster vanquishing romp.
Panel de Pon is pretty much the Japanese version of Tetris Attack, which is one of the most addictive puzzlers of all time. The simple act of matching multicolored blocks horizontally or vertically will soak up so much of your time. Competing against CPU opponents and enjoying a “match ‘till you can’t anymore” run in Panel de Pon are the two main modes of play that’ll keep you engaged for a good while.
Nintendo has its fair share of iconic puzzlers. And so does its 1990s rival Sega. Super Puyo Puyo 2 is proof of that statement and it’s still an amazing time waster. Instead of mixing and matching blocks, this retro puzzler gives you cute and bubbly Puyos to handle those fun activities with. Single Puyo Puyo, Double Puyo Puyo, and Endless Puyo Puyo are the main modes of play here that you’ll surely enjoy.
You may not have known about this game but yeah, there’s actually a Picross game out there that features Mario’s instantly recognizable likeness. Mario’s Super Picross is a special case since it wasn’t even released in the States until it appeared on the Switch as a playable SNES title. Now that it’s here, be sure to hop in and play to your heart’s content as you unearth all sorts of images based on numerical cues within puzzle grids.