The NES was a hit and can be thanked for creating a video game empire. As popular as that system was, it is nothing compared to the nostalgia over the SNES. There are few systems with as many games in the SNES’ libraries that hold up as well from the gameplay to the graphics.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Chrono Trigger, and the list goes on. These three examples lived on in the next generation of consoles. The other SNES examples on this list were less fortunate, but should still be remembered for trying. Many of them were Japanese exclusive and are thus a bit more obscure.
ActRaiser was one of the more unique action RPGs on the SNES. It was part simulation game and part action-platformer. Players were essentially a god who took care of the world below from a cloud fortress. When things looked dangerous down below, a warrior was sent down to settle any disputes. There was a sequel that featured similar gameplay.
There was a spiritual successor to it in 2019 via SolSeraph and a remaster of the original in 2021 called ActRaiser Renaissance. The name and premise have not died, but as the series never got a true sequel beyond the SNES, ActRaiser still counts for this breakdown.
7 Aero The Acro-Bat
The SNES era was lousy with mascot platformers trying to take on the Mario series. The only series that stuck was Sega’s investment in Sonic the Hedgehog. Aero the Acro-Bat was another platformer that starred a circus-performing bat. It, and its sequel, were decent platformers but not mind-blowing.
However, they were big enough to create a spinoff via Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. This was a Sega Genesis exclusive and the titular Zero was Aero’s rival in the other games. Aero The Acro-Bat was later ported to the Game Boy Advance and plans were made to re-release the sequel as well but it was soon canceled.
6 Disney’s Magical Quest
Disney’s Magical Quest was one of many platformers that Capcom developed for Disney in the 90s. The first game in this trilogy, The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse, featured a costume system that gave Mickey powers similar to a power-up in the Mario games. The only difference here is that these costumes were necessary for completing levels.
The sequel, The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie, added simultaneous co-op. The third game, Disney’s Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey & Donald, had co-op as well. Strangely the SNES version of the final game did not come out in the West until the GBA port in 2004. The other two games were ported to the GBA as well but a fourth game was never made.
5 Dual Orb
Dual Orb is an obscure series in the West since neither of the two games were ever released outside of Japan. They are both classic turn-based RPGs set in fantastical fantasy worlds with gameplay similar to Dragon Quest.
The sequel has received a full fan translation into English for those curious. The original, for whatever reason, does not have a finished script but work has been done on it by fans as well. There are better RPGs to check out on the SNES but these are still worth remembering.
4 Go Go Ackman
Go Go Ackman is based on a manga of the same name. It was created by Akira Toriyama who most anime fans will recognize as the creator of Dragon Ball. The main character of this series looks like Trunks, so it’s hard not to see a resemblance.
There were three SNES games and they were all action platformers. None of them ever received an official release outside of Japan but fans have done work to preserve them online. There was also a Game Boy spinoff that was more puzzle-like.
3 Jerry Boy
Jerry Boy was the Japanese name of the game but Western fans will recognize it as Smart Ball. The biggest difference between the two versions is the name as they are both platformers starring a jelly-like hero. This game skirts the line on being a series because there was technically only one game released.
However, a sequel, Jerry Boy 2, was almost complete. Sony pulled the plug late in development. Eventually, a beta of the game appeared online and fans went to town to translate it. Spiritually, this “series” belongs on this list as the sequel practically was done but was shelved due to bad blood between Sony and Nintendo. Also of note, Game Freak co-developed these games.
2 King Of The Monsters
There are many games like King of the Monsters today like the recently released GigaBash. However, these were some of the first fighting games with big environments. It was an SNK series that began in arcades but quickly found a home on the SNES as well.
Both games feature giant monsters fighting each other in destructible city environments. They are just as fun today as they were in the 90s and can be found in various SNK collections. No third game was ever made though.
1 Little Master
Little Master is another series that skirts the line as the first two games were on the Game Boy. Those two games were tactical RPGs and were titled Little Master Raikubaan no Densetsu and Little Master 2: Kaminari Hikari no Kishi.
The third game, Little Master: Nijiiro no Maseki, was the final release and was made for the SNES. Since the Game Boy is technically part of the same era as the SNES, it seems fit for discussion here. Work has been done to translate this series into English as they were all Japanese exclusive. Of the three, the final game is the one worth checking out.
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