People don't love Super Metroid because of its unbelievably slick control scheme, its kick-ass weapons and power ups, and its cornucopia of secret moves to impress your friends and separate the men from the boys (those hours spent practicing wall jumping were necessary). People love Super Metroid because it's got atmosphere like you wouldn't believe. Between the enormous, sinister sandbox world of Zebes and the goosebump-inducing 16-bit soundtrack, Super Metroid combined the claustrophobia and loneliness of Alien with the badassness of Boba Fett, and packaged it all up in a perfectly polished platformer. Facing off against Kraid, Ridley, and Mother Brain, the holy trinity of terrifying boss battles, is just icing on the cake.
As if a game featuring a giant ape who beats up alligators and rides a rhinoceros would be anywhere other than the top five. Easily the most classic Super Nintendo game about a monkey with a tie, Donkey Kong Country deserves praise simply for putting its developer, Rare, on the map, kicking off a spree of little-known games like GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, and Conker's Bad Fur Day. Their first mega-hit was no slouch, either, with pseudo-3D graphics that pushed the SNES to its limits, co-op gameplay, and tons of level variety.
Like the giant squid and the sperm whale, Super Mario Kart is doomed to wrestle forever with its sibling, Mario Kart 64, for ultimate classic kart status. Luckily, our readers didn't have to make that Sophie's Choice. In terms of sheer total hours of playtime accumulated, Super Mario Kart easily blows away any competitors, largely because it's the most easily picked up and played game on the Super Nintendo or any other console. It's so good, you can almost forgive it for establishing the "spelling things with a K" precedent.
It is the highest selling SNES game that brought Mario into the next generation. From the expansive world to bonus levels and Easter eggs, there were hours of interesting and expansive game play. SMW kept all the awesome platforming that made the originals classics and topped it off with everyone's favorite jolly green dinosaur. The addition of Yoshi is undoubtedly SMW's biggest contribution to the Mario franchise. While riding Yoshi, gamers could finally play a Mario game as a character not restricted to using jumps as his main attack. Now they could devour opponents and literally spit fire. Sure, Mario Bros. 2 had a bigger roster, but Yoshi was more fun to control than any of those other characters combined. Plus, as Biggie would say: "It was all a dream."
Simply describing A Link To The Past barely does it justice. The scope and scale is literally awesome. Your epic quest spans hundreds of game miles across two worlds. The game introduced tons of what would become the staples of the series, chief among them the master sword, the hook shot, the spin attack, and Zelda's distinctive pink-and-white dress. It significantly expanded the mythology of Hyrule and the Triforce. Even ignoring its legacy, A Link To The Past is a spectacular game; after all, how many 20-30 hour games make you want to start right over from the beginning the minute you beat them? The puzzles are mindbending, the bosses challenging, the dungeons masterfully designed, the combat simple and perfect, the side quests engaging, the easter eggs delightful, the items endlessly creative, the stakes high, and the world of Hyrule as gorgeous, mysterious, and vast as it's ever been. A Link To The Past is a testament to the power of imagination and ambition in video games, and we're proud to rank it as the greatest Super Nintendo game ever.
Solid choice, gamers.