Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Best Super Nintendo Games: 15-11

We continue our countdown of the 10 best Super Nintendo games, starting with:

15. Mega Man X2

Mega Man had already gotten a gritty reboot in the original Mega Man X, but Mega Man X2 took it to the next level. There were multiple paths for the levels, some truly difficult bosses, and just like the first Mega Man X game, defeating some bosses before other bosses could change the later levels. The story: Mega Man has defeated Sigma and now is tracking down the rest of the Mavericks. Along the way, he finds new powers and meets up with three mysterious villains who have a strange plot. What are they planning? (Hint: Revive Sigma.) While not as tight as the first game, it's still great fun.

14. Kirby Super Star

Kirby Super Star was a victim of bad timing and a poor game description. They couldn't sell people on a 2D game released right before Super Mario 64, first of all. Secondly, when the box art touts "8 games in one!", it immediately conjures up images of crappy games mashed together.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Kirby Super Star was surprisingly cohesive, and all of the games together add up to one stellar package. For instance, in one game, you use powers like normal, by inhaling opponents and stealing their powers. In another, you find the various powers throughout the world and can summon them at will, but can't steal other enemies' powers, and so on. Throw in multiplayer co-op and you have one of the best Kirby games ever. Too bad barely anybody got to play it.

13. Final Fantasy IV

For many, Final Fantasy IV was the first real RPG they played. You could definitely make a case that this game should be ranked higher on the list, but don't assume that I hate it. Like I said at the outset, you could make a case for almost any game on this list from here on out. Final Fantasy IV is one of the best RPGs of all time, and certainly one of the most influential.

Final Fantasy IV spun a gigantic tale of redemption, suffering, and love while pioneering a fantastic battle system. This stuff is de rigeur now, but comparing Final Fantasy IV to any other previous JRPG shows how forward-looking this game was. It's been eclipsed by other RPGs, but it still deserves a huge amount of respect for what it achieved.

12. Super Mario Kart

The idea of video game characters riding around in go-karts is a little old hat by now, but when Super Mario Kart came out, it was a bolt of lightning across the sky. (Or, a banana on the track, if you will.) You could actually have a racing game with go-karts? With weapons? And characters that DIDN'T normally belong in a racing game? It was an extremely novel concept then, and it remains extremely fun today.

Battle Mode was really where Super Mario Kart shined. Once again, this was a huge leap forward. Up until this point, we hadn't really seen a multiplayer racing game where the point wasn't to win the race but defeat your opponent with weapons. It was a revelation in multiplayer, and countless friendships were forged/lost playing it. A very deserving game on this list.

11. Mega Man X

Mega Man X changed Mega Man from a simple character with giant eyes who went from level to level beating bosses into a conflicted yet supremely powerful action-packed hero. Some would argue that this change was for the worst, but it's not the fault of the original. Mega Man X is an incredibly tight game that deserves all the accolades it's received.

One of the awesome things about this game was the subtle way that levels changed, often without you realizing it. For example, if you destroyed Storm Eagle's flying stage and then entered Spark Mandrill's factory level, you would find parts of the flying stage laying on the ground and the electricity would be haywire. If you beat Chill Penguin before heading into Flame Mammoth's level, all of the the lava in the level would be solid ground. It doesn't sound like much, but this was revolutionary at the time, and it still manages to be pretty cool today.
If you want to read the rest of this list, please look here:

The Final Three

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