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Topping Up My SNES Classic... Suggestions?

Okay, here's the sitch. I purchased a Super NES Classic from ShopGoodwill about a week ago, and it just arrived yesterday. The good news? It's a little weatherworn, but 100% authentic... I know this because I've tested it thoroughly. That's the other good news... it's functional, and I even put Hackchi on it with no major issues.

The less good news is that the default twenty-one games are a good taste of the system's library, but I need a little more than that. Okay, maybe a lot more than that. I've thrown on some random titles to get me by, but as someone who cast his lot with the Sega Genesis as a teenager, I'm not as familiar with the Super NES as many of you, and I think I'll need to defer to your expertise. Is there anything you would personally recommend that I install on the system, that's not already there by default? Common, obscure, American, Japanese, most game genres... I'm not super picky, as long as it's entertaining. Thanks in advance.

(By the way, the previous owner apparently didn't spend much time with the system... except with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Their last save state for that game clocked in at a ridiculous 76 hours! I get that people liked it, but that much?!)
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I topped mine up with the few holes in the consoles existing line-up not already covered by the Switch Online;

Actraiser
Axelay
Chrono Trigger
Nosferatu
Lufia
Lufia 2
Skyblazer
Soulblazer
Sparkster
Shadowrun
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV

And with the aid of romhacks
Arcana
Breath of Fire 2
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy V
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
I topped mine up with the few holes in the consoles existing line-up not already covered by the Switch Online;

Actraiser
Axelay
Chrono Trigger
Nosferatu
Lufia
Lufia 2
Skyblazer
Soulblazer
Sparkster
Shadowrun
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV

And with the aid of romhacks
Arcana
Breath of Fire 2
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy V
Octo has an excellent list here, though I'm not sure why you'd need a hack of FF4.

The other Heaven and Earth Quintet games: Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma.

If you put on Lufia 2 (and you absolutely should!) put on the Frue Lufia hack that fixes a number of glitches and bad translations. For Breath of Fire 2, you want Ryusui's retranslation patch. While I enjoyed Arcana - Seal of Rimsala, I think you should just put the FastROM patch on the vanilla game.

If you're looking at fan-translated Japan-only games, I recommend: Trials of Mana, Dragon Quest III Remix, Dragon Quest V, Dragon Quest VI, Treasure of the Rudras, and Treasure Hunter G.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
I think there are some other fighters that could round out your experience (in roughly descending order):
Super Street Fighter 2
World Heroes 2
TMNT "5" Tournament Fighters
Fighter's History

Did any one ever make a hack to fix the issues with the Street Fighter Alpha game for SNES?

Breath of Fire 1 is a simple, fun and charming JRPG romp.

And if you want a really hard RPG there is the 7th Saga.

A game I would not recommend unless you are morbidly curious is the port of Samurai Showdown. It is massively compromised in order to run acceptably on the SNES.

Another anti-recommendation I have is for Paladin's Quest.
 
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Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
Another anti-recommendation I have is for Paladin's Quest.
I have a special place in my heart for several less-great SNES rpgs (7th Saga, Paladin's Quest, Inindo, Drakken), but I'm not going to recommend them to anyone.

Though I did remember to recommend Wario's Woods and Kirby's Avalanche; both are delightful puzzle games.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Octo has an excellent list here, though I'm not sure why you'd need a hack of FF4.
It was a total conversion that basically makes FF4 a new game (Unprecedented Crisis).

I'd still give the nod to OG FF4, but it was a fine way to add new blood to a game
 

Beowulf

Son of The Answer Man
(He/Him)
It was a total conversion that basically makes FF4 a new game (Unprecedented Crisis).

I'd still give the nod to OG FF4, but it was a fine way to add new blood to a game
Oh, sorry, that wasn't clear: I know why you'd enjoy hacks of FF4. I've played Unprecedented Crisis; and also Golbez Edition, Darkness Within, Ultima, and A Threat From Within. But if you're putting FF4 on this for the first time (it's not on the SNES Classic, is it?) then go with vanilla.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I don't think Chrono Trigger is on there, so that. Donkey Kong Country 2 is one of the best SNES games. Trials of Mana / Seiken Densetsu 3. Final Fight 3.
 

Ghost from Spelunker

BAG
(They/Him)
World Heroes 2 is a great home conversion.
Firepower 2000 for a shooter with no slowdown on the machine that specializes in slowdown. (press select on the title screen!)

And mock the console war by putting some Sega games on it.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Oh, sorry, that wasn't clear: I know why you'd enjoy hacks of FF4. I've played Unprecedented Crisis; and also Golbez Edition, Darkness Within, Ultima, and A Threat From Within. But if you're putting FF4 on this for the first time (it's not on the SNES Classic, is it?) then go with vanilla.
I’d make an argument for a hack that restored the cut content and script, but any port in a storm
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Kinda surprised no one's mentioned Demon's Crest so far, so I'll put in for that.

E.V.O.: Search for Eden is a weirdly unique game that I'd also recommend playing at least once.
 

4-So

Spicy
I added a few to mine.

Mega Man X2
Mega Man X3
Mega Man Soccer*
Chrono Trigger
Final Fantasy 2 (US)
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Soul Blazer
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Super Double Dragon
Super Black Bass*
Stunt Race FX*
Castlevania Dracula X*
Dino City*
Final Fight Guy*
Harvest Moon
Joe & Mac
Knights of the Round*
Lufia
Lufia 2
Ninja Gaiden Trilogy*
Parodius
SimCity
Super Adventure Island*
Super Adventure Island 2
Super Ghouls n' Ghosts
Super Mario All-Stars
TMNT 4: Turtles in Time
Wild Guns*

*these games were important to me as a Small One but I'm not sure I recommend them necessarily

I have Terranigma on there too but I was never able to get it to run.

I also thought about maybe finding a ROM of FF5 and injecting the English GBA script (assuming that's a thing you can do) or maybe just any English localization but I haven't tried it yet.
 
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Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
One game that hasn't been mentioned is Ogre Battle but if you play that I hope you either have large chunks of free time or are planning on using save states.
Knights of the Round*
I was going to maybe recommend this and King of Dragons but I do wonder if the Capcom beat em up bundle is the better way to play those nowadays.
 

4-So

Spicy
Yeah. There are better ways now of playing some of those games but I approached mine as a kind of ideal one-stop shop for games. The NES versions of Ninja Gaiden are better but something about having them all in one spot. Same thing with Super Mario All-Stars. You can get those games so many different ways but as a signature title for the SNES itself, it should be on the Classic.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Here comes my usual recommendation of Front Mission: Gun Hazard. It's still my favorite game we never got in the West.

Getting Terranigma to run requires a little patching. I don't know if hakchi comes with the patches for it now, but there's an SFROM pack out there that has a lot of the good games, including a pre-patched Terranigma and other problematic games.

For a system that supposedly doesn't have good shoot-'em-ups, there have been several that I really liked recently: Space Megaforce, R-Type III: The Third Lightning, and Axelay. I'd also toss in U.N. Squadron, which I like more than the arcade version.

All the Ganbare Goemon games rock to varying degrees. My absolute favorite is the third, followed by the second, but I still recommend numero quatro as well.

If you like old-school arcade racers, Top Gear is great. The sequel is a touch more sim-like, but still fun 16-bit racing.

I really like Blackthorne for my moody cinematic platformer fix. I'd skip Flashback in its SNES form - it's better elsewhere.

The Violinist of Hameln was a lot of fun, too, and best played in an emulator anyway given the lack of any save function and being a pretty long playthrough. In the cute platformer vein, I'd also recommend Magical Pop'n.

Hagane seems overwhelming at first, but I found it to be a really fun game. Don't be afraid to abuse save states the first time, though, and that last climb is pretty brutal unless you have all your moveset down. For another lesser-known SNES gem, Run Saber fills the Strider-sized hole on the system.

There are a lot of really good Disney games on there. The Magical Quest games, Aladdin, Goof Troop, and Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow were all a lot of fun.

X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse and War of the Gems are both fun brawler/platformer hybrids. The former is very tough, though, so be aware of that! The sequel is quite a bit easier, but it does start off on the wrong foot with that really slow underwater stage in the first set of levels. In that same category, you've got The Ninja Warriors, although no real platforming there, just single-plane brawling. I also really dig Return of Double Dragon, which is a more complete version of Super Double Dragon.

Operation Logic Bomb is a relatively short but fun overhead shooter. It's actually in the Ikari no Yousai series, which started with Fortified Zone on Game Boy.

Uhh, I think I'll stop there before I go overboard. If you decide to, you can always put other systems' games on there and run via RetroArch, but I ended up pulling them off mine and keeping it dedicated to SNES. You may still want RetroArch on there just for problematic SNES games, though. Also, make sure you've got the save state compression mod on there - it makes all the difference in the save sizes, which often will chew up more than the ROMs themselves if uncompressed! (I don't remember if that's the default now.)
 
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Phantoon

I cuss you bad
If you decide to, you can always put other systems' games on there and run via RetroArch, but I ended up pulling them off mine and keeping it dedicated to SNES.

This was also me. The thing is a SNES love in, playing anything not from the system felt wrong. Same goes for the NES Classic and the Mega Drive mini.
 
Okay, back from my fateful trip. I wanted to let this thread percolate a bit while I went to Sierra Vista, and boy, has it! Almost makes up for the car leaving me on the side of the road about an hour before a rainstorm. You suck ass, car.

A few things. I already installed a few of the games mentioned in the thread, but surprisingly, not that many! I've got Fighter's History, Space Megaforce, Hagane, TMNT: Tournament Fighters, TMNT: Not Fighting in a Tournament but Just Because They Feel Like It, Super Mario All-Stars, and maybe a few others. Space Megaforce is... thematically dull for a Compile shooter, but the button that switches modes for your current weapon and adds versatility to the game's already wide range of attacks makes it all worthwhile. Hagane is like the rogue offspring of Ninja Spirit and Strider, left in the woods and raised by wolves. It's mean, it's merciless, but it's also pretty impressive when it's not chewing off your leg. Fighter's History is dumb comfort food, a fighter that's so ridiculous it's almost proud of it. The other ones we already know pretty well. It'll be nice to play Hyperstone Heist without all the scaling and rotation trimmed out.

I'm going to try to keep this machine as dedicated to the Super NES as possible. I fudged a little with the Genesis Mini and added 32X and Master System games, but at least that was all Sega stuff. The Playstation Classic is totally Playstation (and who would need anything else, considering that library?) and the Neo-Geo Mini was hacked just to play Neo-Geo games, so I'll probably continue that tradition with the Super NES Classic. There's enough worthwhile on the system that I don't need to muddy the waters.

As for the other games you guys recommended... I'm seeing some very good choices here. I thought Skyblazer was a solid platformer, not too far removed from its Ukiyotei bunkmate Hook and a good sight better than Punky/Coolly Skunk. I should give ActRaiser an honest chance; it always kind of repelled me with the world building half of the game, but maybe I'd discover its pleasures if I spent some serious time with it. (Ten minutes of an hour long game room rental is not "serious time.") Firepower 2000/Super SWIV is worth considering... I tried that on the Genesis via an emulator and it felt like it would benefit from the Super NES's richer color palette and more symphonic sound chip. Dino City got a surprising thumbs up from SNESdrunk, who praised it for its inventive level design. It seems like I ought to give that one a spin, too.

Now for an aside about the games already on the system. Starfox is... pretty rancid, honestly. I get that it was old tech and that it was groundbreaking at the time, but now it looks like paper airplanes moving at the speed of lard. You HAVE to play the game to unlock Starfox 2, which is pretty mean of Nintendo... the previous owners didn't even attempt to finish that first stage, and I don't blame them. They did spend 76 hours with Super Mario World 2, which is dedication I find hard to muster for any game, let alone an oddball sequel to Super Mario World that doesn't play much like its predecessor. At least the previous owners got their burger's worth out of the Super NES Classic while they still had it!
 
I want to specifically signal boost Shadowrun, EVO: Search For Eden, and SimCity. If feel if a SNES player hasn't played them, they might think these are low priorities. However they are actually quite capable of exceeding modest expectations, so consider this an extra push.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Shadowrun has been on my list for a while to play through. I really, really need to do it. Might even use that mouse-modded version out there, because it really feels like a game that should have supported the SNES Mouse.

Out of curiosity, did they actually get very far with Yoshi's Island? Maybe they just left it running for a while? So many mysteries! I'm pretty sure I didn't even put that sort of time into it back in the day, and that's with going for 100% in every level.

The only mini system I have that isn't dedicated is the PlayStation Classic, owing to it being a beefier chipset and super easy to throw games on. I used AutoBleem + RetroBoot and it works great.
 
Shadowrun might be worth it if there was a hack that puts back in all the stuff Nintendo censored... and I think there is, so I should look into that.

I've heard people low-key praise EVO before, and it was designed by one of my favorite kusoge developers, Givro, so that's a point in its favor. They also gave the world Fighting Masters (an ambitious fighting/wrestling hybrid cut off at the torso by a small cartridge size) and Cosmic Carnage (another sci-fighter with a similarly bleak theme and action that sacrifices speed for animation), which are both objectively crappy but still have a perverse, inexplicable appeal. Fighting Masters in particular is not much more than Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, but the fact that Givro squeezed twelve fighters and a boss into 512K of ROM (while Samurai Shodown was 3072K and Super Street Fighter II was 4096K!) is worthy of praise, not derision. I dare say it could have been a good game and not a YouTube joke if Givro was given four times the cartridge size and the same amount of additional development time.

Since a Beam Software title was mentioned, you know what was really good in 1992 and remains so nearly thirty years later? Super Smash TV. How did the people who belched out the Back to the Future games for NES wind up making a gem like this? It runs with tons of onscreen characters, no perceptible slowdown, only minor flicker, and has better music than its arcade parent. It digs a grave for its Genesis counterpart and roundhouse kicks it in there. I wouldn't even consider putting Super Smash TV in my Genesis Mini, but it was one of the first games I reached for after I hacked the Super NES Classic.
 

Sarge

hardcore retro gamin'
Beam definitely got better on 16-bit consoles. They also did Blades of Vengeance on Genesis, which is really solid, and True Lies, an Arnold game that is somehow actually good. They also did Nightshade on NES, which isn't perfect but has a really silly sense of humor.
 

Peklo

Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
  • You should play Quintet.
  • Both Pocky & Rocky, regardless of what I think.
  • Parodius makes up the best shooting family on the system. There are three: Da!, Gokujō and Jikkyō Oshaberi.
  • The Human Entertainment batch: Clock Tower, SOS/Septentrion, The Firemen, any Fire Pro Wrestling (I would of course favour Queen's Special or Fire Pro Women: All Star Dream Slam).
  • Alcahest, as the other half of the HAL RPG equation.
  • There's a lot of shared design lineage, inspirational throughlines, common production staff and whatnot in the ostensibly unrelated, chunky mech sidescrolling informal trilogy formed by Assault Suits Valken, Metal Warriors and Front Mission: Gun Hazard.
  • RPGs less often on people's must-play lists: Eternal Filena. Brain Lord. Sailor Moon: Another Story. Mystic Ark. Robotrek. Madō Monogatari: Hanamaru Daiyōchienji. Chaos Seed. Dark Half. Uncharted Waters: New Horizons. Dual Orb 2. Emerald Dragon. Metal Max Returns. Growth or Devolution: Heed the Call to Awaken. Glory of Heracles IV. The Adventure of Hourai High School. Laplace's Demon. Monstania. Princess Minerva. Silva Saga II: The Legend of Light and Darkness. Marvelous: Another Treasure Island.
  • Side-scrolling things I don't care how good or not they are because I get to play as women: Appleseed: Oracle of Prometheus. Ghost Sweeper Mikami: Joreishi wa Nice Body. Hyper Iria. Run Saber. Super Valis IV. Psycho Dream. Magical Pop'n. Melfand Stories. Natsuki Crisis Battle. Final Fight 2 and 3. The Ninja Warriors Again. Rushing Beat Ran and Shura. Umihara Kawase. Yōkai Buster: Ruka no Daibōken. Zoku: The Legend of Bishin.
  • Occult classic Majyūō, or if you prefer, King of Demons.
  • Uncategorized cool things: Ihatovo Monogatari. Holy Umbrella: Dondera no Mubou. Smart Ball/Jerry Boy. Sword Maniac. GeGeGe no Kitarō: Fukkatsu! Tenma Daiou. Wonder Project J. Whirlo. Edo no Kiba.
  • Things I wish were translated: Wondrous Magic. Kamaitachi no Yoru. Otogirisō. Angelique. Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts. Lady Stalker. Day of the Idea. Solid Runner. Verne World.
 
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Super Megaman X

dead eyes
(He/Him)
I'm just gonna list what I threw on mine, quite a few have already been listed, but that's okay, this is an extra nudge. Listed in no particular order:

Megaman Soccer
Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire 2
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Front Mission Gun Hazard
Turtles in Time
King of the Dragons
Knights of the Round
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Skyblazer
Soulblazer
Illusion of Gaia
Terranigma (requires small patch)
Lufia
Lufia 2
Super Adventure Island 2
Super Mario All-Stars
E.V.O.
Run Saber
Robotrek
Demon's Crest
U.N. Squadron
Pocky & Rocky
Pocky & Rocky 2

Also, here's a few new ones that I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet:

Bahamut Lagoon
Super Ninja Boy
Dragon View
Ys 5
Live-A-Live (this in particular is both shocking that it hasn't been recommended, and might be my highest recommendation, it's a hell of a game)

A few of these might require a little extra tlc to make work, but they're all doable within the stock emulator. I did my build as a "one-and-done" upgrade: I wanted to use the base emulator, without having to set up any extra outside ones. I also decided from the start that once I finalized my unit, that was it, nothing more was ever being added, it was as if these were simply built into the console in the first place. Less chance of me breaking it if I don't keep screwing with it. If you have any questions, let me know.
 
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Regarding the SMW2 save state clocked in at 76 hours, it looks like the previous owners got to the end of world five. Are there eight worlds in this game, as is tradition? The last stage they reached was a nightmare of platforms suspended over bottomless pits and these weird gray Jujubee people that just won't die no matter what. I'm not overly familiar with the game, preferring the original, plain but satisfying Super Mario World. I think I cleared like, two worlds in the Game Boy Advance port, maybe slightly less.
 

muteKi

Women want fish fear meme
Regarding the SMW2 save state clocked in at 76 hours, it looks like the previous owners got to the end of world five. Are there eight worlds in this game, as is tradition? The last stage they reached was a nightmare of platforms suspended over bottomless pits and these weird gray Jujubee people that just won't die no matter what. I'm not overly familiar with the game, preferring the original, plain but satisfying Super Mario World. I think I cleared like, two worlds in the Game Boy Advance port, maybe slightly less.

It is definitely much shorter in terms of world count with a mere six, but between the size of the levels and the fact that each world has 8 stages it is potentially quite a timesink.
 
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