It only took Nintendo an entire year to give fans Super Nintendo games, but they finally did it. To the surprise of just about everyone, they even managed to do a relatively decent job after the utter disaster that was NSO’s lackluster NES selection. With plenty of classics to choose from, NSO’s SNES app is off to a good start.
But it’s not perfect. Like with the SNES Classic, there are glaring omissions to Nintendo’s catalog. The SNES roster undeniably blows the NES one of the water, but there’s a lot missing. Console defining games are completely absent for whatever reason, locking fans out of the full Super Nintendo experience. Nintendo still has time to add these games, but they should have been a part of NSO from the start.
10 Chrono Trigger
Like with the SNES Classic, Chrono Trigger is an obvious omission. It’s one of the most important RPGs on the Super Nintendo, if not the most important. It’s a game that completely redefined what it meant to be a JRPG and more or less ushered in a new golden age for Square. So where is it?
The game’s been re-released on PSN and has a great Nintendo DS remake, but the SNES original is only available as an SNES original. Chrono Trigger is such a generation-defining game that not immediately including it with NSO seems like a serious disservice. In general, the Switch is hurting for SNES RPGs— something utterly baffling considering RPGs were the SNES’ most popular genre.
9 Donkey Kong Country
Maybe there’s logic in holding back the RPGs, though. After all, Nintendo wouldn’t want to push the idea that the SNES was just an RPG machine when it had so many other types of games. Donkey Kong Country is one of the most important platformers of all time so it’s only natural it be included with the app.
It isn’t, though. None of the Donkey Kong Country games are included. For comparison, the SNES Classic at least had the first Donkey Kong Country to tide fans over. That NSO has none at the moment is just downright embarrassing. Fans know that Rare is willing to play ball so there’s no excuse to ignore DKC.
This is another baffling omission considering Nintendo went out of their way to generate a lot of fanfare over Earthbound being ported to the Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, and SNES Classic. It’s one of the rarest SNES games of all time along with one of the most beloved— Nintendo was in the right to make it more accessible.
They’ll undoubtedly port it over to NSO eventually, but holding back Earthbound yet again is just exhausting at this point, especially when Nintendo proved that they no longer have any issues regarding the game’s licensing. It’s disappointing that good games are being held back so that Nintendo can continue to generate hype in NSO over time. It makes sense, but it’s not consumer-friendly in the slightest.
7 Final Fantasy VI
Really, any Final Fantasy would have made for a good inclusion. Unlike with Dragon Quest, the SNES actually saw some localized Final Fantasy entries. From Final Fantasy IV & VI to Mystic Quest, the fact that NSO doesn’t have a single Final Fantasy game (even on the NES’ app) is utterly baffling.
RPGs really did help define both the NES and the SNES. For Nintendo to ignore that fact is them ignoring their own history. Final Fantasy VI is such an obvious choice for inclusion, as well, considering it was included on the SNES Classic and was previously a Virtual Console title.
6 Mega Man X
When it comes down to it, this is the only Mega Man game anyone really needs to play on the Super Nintendo. Mega Man 7 and X2 are both good games, but nothing quite competes with the sheer elegance of the original Mega Man X. Too bad Nintendo doesn’t want Switch owners to play it despite it being one of the only consistent Virtual Console games across all platforms.
It was also included on the SNES Classic. Mega Man X has become a staple of the SNES’ catalogue, offering players a level of action-platforming that only its own sub-series offers on the Super Nintendo. As is, Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Island stand out as the only real killer app platformers on NSO.
5 Secret Of Mana
This omission actually makes a bit of sense even if it does sting. Realistically, Nintendo won’t be offering Secret of Mana for free when it’s being sold in the Collection of Mana for $40 at the moment. That’s ⅓ of a fairly big release that Nintendo would be crippling. At the same time, the real draw of Collection of Mana is Trials of Mana, not Secret of Mana.
Considering Secret of Mana was also included on the SNES Classic, omitting it from NSO’s SNES launch is clearly just a way of pushing more copies of Collection of Mana. It’s more than likely that Nintendo will only add Secret of Mana to NSO once the Trials of Mana remake is finally reaching its release date.
4 Street Fighter II: Turbo Hyper Fighting
Where are all the fighting games? While it makes sense for the NES to have next to no fighting games, the modern fighting genre was already in full force midway through the SNES’ life cycle. Perhaps not as modern as it is now, but Street Fighter II was very alive and healthy. So where is it?
Street Fighter II: Turbo Hyper Fighting is arguably the best version of Street Fighter on the SNES, and its absence is very much felt. As is, NSO’s SNES Catalogue is sorely missing a good fighting game, especially when considering the fact that NSO has real online multiplayer. No Street Fighter at launch is a missed opportunity on all fronts.
3 Super Castlevania IV
Like Secret of Mana, Super Castlevania IV is currently being sold separately as part of the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. Again, like Secret of Mana, though, Super Castlevania IV is a major part of the SNES’ line-up and it isn’t as if the Anniversary Collection doesn’t include just about every other 2D game in the series anyways.
Putting Super Castlevania IV on NSO wouldn’t have hurt the collection’s sale. If anything, it might have gotten prospective fans interested in the rest of the series through Super Castlevania IV. Worse yet, this game is often considered one of the definitive Castlevania experiences. It doesn’t seem right for Nintendo to withhold it when it’s both a VC staple and an SNES Classic game.
2 Super Mario All-Stars
Super Mario All-Stars is one of the single best video game compilations of all time, especially when considering the Super Mario All-Stars + Super Mario World re-release. While the latter is a proud member of the NSO pantheon, the former has been more or less pushed to the wayside, likely to keep the NES Super Mario titles from being replaced.
But purists will always prefer the originals over the remakes and modern Mario fans will likely always prefer the remakes over the originals so why not offer both? Super Mario All-Stars is such an important piece of SNES history if only because it managed to include every single mainline Mario game up to that point on a single cartridge.
More than anything else, NSO should be a means for Nintendo to shine a spotlight on lesser known games. Unfortunately, it seems that NSO is just Nintendo’s way of doing a victory lap around online subscribers, offering them the bare minimum in terms of content. This, unfortunately, means a game like Terranigma will never be included, but it should be.Only released in Europe and Japan, Terranigma is by far the best action RPG on the SNES and NSO is the best chance for a larger audience to play and appreciate Terranigma. It holds up terrifically even today and is a crown jewel in the SNES’ already stellar catalogue.