Top 5 Best SNES Games on the Nintendo Switch Online App

Discover the best titles to choose from on the Nintendo Switch Online service with this Top 5 list of the best SNES games! While the selection isn't enormous, there are many games that are worth the low price that a Nintendo Switch Online subscription will cost you.

Top 5 Best SNES Games on the Nintendo Switch Online App Cover

One of the largest benefits to subscribing to Nintendo’s Switch Online service is the plethora of classic games that they provide. Complete with modern features to make the experience more forgiving, one can travel back to the ’80s and ’90s and experience what the previous generation had to play. But some may not see the benefit of subscribing, even with this amazing offer. So let’s select the best of the SNES game bunch and go over the must-plays that make the Switch Online subscription worth every penny!

Note: This list will only go over the SNES games that, I, personally, have played. So while many would put, say, A Link to the Past on this list, I have never played it (need to get on that), so it will not be on this list.

5. F-ZERO

F-Zero - Official Trailer

The beginnings of a franchise that may be more well-known due to Captain Falcon’s inclusion in Super Smash BrosF-ZERO is the first game in the series of the same name and introduced players to the fast-paced racing action that many are still waiting for for modern consoles (17 years and counting).

Despite its simplicity, F-ZERO is still an incredibly accessible racing game that provides a lot of fun for fans of the genre. What it lacks in content it makes up for with solid course design, intuitive controls, and a great soundtrack. While obvious for a game released in the early ’90s, the difficulty definitely ramps up as the game progresses, though never feels unfair. It throws you into the action and expects you to make quick decisions on the fly, so practice makes perfect.

The only thing that may make this a hard sell is said simplicity. This extends to not just the mechanics, but the overall content. There are only four selectable racers and a few modes to choose from. If one’s good enough, they can beat the game in a couple hours, with little else to chew on afterwards. Despite this, it’s a blast to play and is definitely worth replaying in the current year.

4. Super Metroid

Nintendo eShop - Super Metroid Trailer

To many, this is the Metroid franchise’s magnum opus. This is the game that solidified Samus’s place in the Nintendo archives, with many pointing to this as the series’ peak, if not for Metroid Prime some years later. While it will go down in history as a large fan favorite, I’m more of a Metroid Fusion/Metroid Prime kind of player, but Super Metroid is still a very solid game.

My largest criticism is that it’s too vague with things. It’s very easy to get lost, struggling to find out where to go or what to do. Along with some slightly off-putting floaty controls, it doesn’t satisfy my appetite quite like other games in the franchise. But it’s hard to ignore all that it did to solidify the things that made Metroid so popular. Atmosphere, non-linear progression, spectacular creature and boss design; all this combined with a memorable ending makes this a surefire recommendation from most Nintendo enthusiasts.

It’s not one I’d recommend starting with, as there are a lot of mechanics that would be more intuitive after practice in other games. What it does provide, though, is a good adventure with a lot of memorable moments, as well as the blueprint for what most future games in the franchise adhere to.

3. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Super Mario World 2 Yoshi's Island SNES Commercial - Retro Game Trailers

Imagine how large of a meltdown players would have if, say, the next Legend of Zelda title would consist of a Picori carrying around a baby Link on a deserted island away from Hyrule. That’s exactly what Nintendo did in their follow-up to the incredible Super Mario World. Commonly referred to simply as Yoshi’s Island, many forget that the full, official title is Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. This is technically, by the title alone, a sequel… that is almost nothing like the previous title.

Deep down, I can really respect when game developers go for something different. As rad as it is to get 20 Mega Man games that vaguely innovate through one or two new features, going above and beyond to create a whole new experience is, considering the size of the company, pretty bold. That’s part of the charm of Yoshi’s Island, which pulls a 180 and decides to make the buddy sidekick from the previous game into the main star.

Yoshi’s capabilities make for a more strategic approach to levels. If one prefers puzzles over platforming finesse, they may find this a more rewarding experience. This isn’t to say there’s no platforming in this game or puzzles in Super Mario World, but what Yoshi’s Island manages to work with feels a bit more refined than the previous game. Regardless, Yoshi’s Island is both a valuable sequel and a great standalone experience that captures the spirit of Nintendo’s on-and-off penchant of innovating through experimentation.

2. Super Mario World

Super Mario World - Official Trailer

By the way, I prefer platforming finesse.

Super Mario World is, in most respects, iconic. The music, the aesthetic, the way it ruled the world as a launch title for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (or SNES). A lot of people consider this game perfect—or at the very least, the best 2D Mario game of all time. Everything about the game clicked with millions of gamers worldwide, and continues to provide a lasting legacy for what the mustachioed Italian is all about.

I have a lot of nostalgic attachment to this game, so while that may play a part in how much I adore it, I believe there’s no denying how technically sound and, for the time, innovative this game is. Not only is the base content fun and accessible, it has a multitude of ways you can play and beat the game. Secret paths, switches, worlds, and challenges all hide behind discreet specifications, so players may discover something new every time they play. And unlike Super Metroid, the “normal” way to play is as straightforward as need-be, with all the secret goodies being entirely optional.

A classic in every sense of the world, this alone might be worth buying into the Switch Online app. However, there’s one other thing(s) that trump it in total value.

1. The Donkey Kong Country Trilogy

Donkey Kong Country Trailer 1994

While I am technically cheating by putting three games into one, each title is similar enough in content and aesthetic that it’s easy to group them all into one package. The Donkey Kong Country games, put simply, are amazing and wonderful and did my taxes and cured my baldness.

As a little personal fun fact: Donkey Kong Country was the first game I ever played. Clearly this has no influence on my decision to rank these games as #1. Complete and honest truth aside, the DKC series is probably the pinnacle of platforming, fast-paced sidescrolling entertainment. Each game has a wide array of different challenges as the adventure continues, culminated in the always-way-too-long final boss fight against K. Rool.

The best part is that all games have plenty to offer that give them a distinct hook. The original is the straightforward, all-natural fun the series is known for. Diddy’s Kong Quest adds tons of collectibles and secrets that make the original experience even better. And Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble has a really immersive hub world that adds a lot of charm to exploration. The amount of input and charm makes each a worthwhile experience. All three being available on one platform for the price of a few dollars a month is almost a crime.

For three great games, that’s way too much to pass up for the #1 spot.

Honorable Mentions

  • Kirby Super Star
  • Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  • Star Fox

What would you consider the best SNES games on the Switch Online service? Comment below and let me know why I’m wrong and dumb!