The discovery of an FCC filing showing a SNES controller with the model number ‘HAC-042’ (indicating it’s part of the Switch’s library of peripherals) has all but confirmed that Super Nintendo games are finally on their way to the Nintendo Switch Online service alongside their NES-based brethren.
The current line up of games available to NSO subscribers features a host of NES classics, and in September it’ll be a year since the service launched and Nintendo is eager to add value to its online offering as those annual subscriptions are coming to an end. We've seen monthly updates to the NES library and recently the welcome addition of a rewind feature. SNES games are the next logical step and we're excited to see what Nintendo has in store (and if we can play in handheld mode with two SNES pads strapped to our console).
We’ll forgive you if this overdue arrival doesn’t immediately get your hype nodes buzzing, though. With the SNES Classic Mini, the Virtual Console on Wii, Wii U and New Nintendo 3DS, plus the remakes and various collections we’ve been treated to recently, there’s hardly a shortage of ways to play 16-bit classics these days. Still, with SP versions of certain NES games (essentially save states that start you off in late game scenarios with commensurate powers), Nintendo has shown a willingness to be playful with its line up and there’s plenty of potential for the service if the company is serious about making Switch Online essential.
Here we’ve collected together 12 SNES games we’d like to see come to Nintendo Switch Online. You’ll find a few of the usual suspects (spoilers: Mario and Metroid are in there), but we’ve included a few which, for one reason or another, didn’t turn up on SNES Mini which we’d love a chance to play again while we're out and about...
Combining an overhead 'god' mode with some side-on, sword-swinging, platforming goodness, ActRaiser wraps put two distinct styles of gameplay with an incredible score by Yuzo Koshiro (you may have noticed that we're quite partial to his tunes around these parts). In isolation, the component gameplay parts perhaps don't hold up as well as they might have, but taken as a whole with its brilliant soundtrack, Quintet's game is unmissable and having it on Switch would be a godsend.
Yes, yes, there are various ways to play Super Mario World, but for a game with a legitimate claim to the 'Best Game of All Time' crown, that's no bad thing. The bottom line is that this is possibly our favourite Game Style in Super Mario Maker 2, and it would be lovely to have the original on Switch. Super Mario All-Stars would be another winner, although you can already play all those games in their NES guise with Nintendo Switch Online, so let's not double up at this early stage, hmm?
This game sat completed in the vaults of Nintendo HQ for over two decades. Star Fox 2 was canned at the last possible moment because Nintendo feared the SNES game would send the wrong message if it were to launch alongside the new Nintendo 64 system. Compared to that system, SNES' primitive polygons simply couldn't compete despite the game being a remarkable technical achievement on the hardware. Many of Star Fox 2's ideas would be recycled and put to work in what is arguably the series' pinnacle, Star Fox 64, but the original game would eventually get a surprise release on the Super Nintendo Mini Classic console. That's currently the only place to play it, but we'd love more people to have access to the game and it would make a nice addition to the Switch Online catalogue.
Another no-brainer, we couldn't be expected to leave this off the list, could we? The jewel in the crown of the franchise, we know Metroid Prime 4 is on its way, and until Nintendo puts Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Switch, it'd be a shame if the only Metroid game NSO subscribers have access to is the original NES game. That one's a classic, sure, but it can't hold a candle to Super Metroid and Switch owners need to brush up on their lore. Y can't Metroid crawl, again?
A 1992 shooter from Konami, this was a very welcome surprise then it showed up on Wii U Virtual Console, but we've long since packed away our Wii Us and it'd be cracking to be able to take Axelay on the bus with us. Konami had an exceptional run during the 8 and 16-bit eras and this isn't the last you'll hear from the developer on this list.
Yes, Captain Obvious strikes again, but this game's art style is an evergreen delight and we imagine it would sparkle on Switch's screen. Prior to this appearing on the Super NES Classic Edition, the SNES version of this game was stubbornly unavailable through any official channel beyond the original cartridge, with only the Game Boy Advance port showing up on Virtual Console. Nothing against that version - it's a fine port given the system's limitations - but Yoshi's Island deserves to be played on the largest canvas possible and we'd welcome it on Switch Online.
Well, we've done Mario and Metroid, so let's get the last part of the Triforce of the Bleedin' Obvious out of the way. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is coming, but no-one in their right mind would turn down A Link To The Past on Switch. It's a seminal game that set a series template so strong that it lasted for over 25 years. You may think that Breath of the Wild wiped the slate clean and started afresh, but the truth is that this game's fingerprints can be found in every last rock in the series' open world epic on Switch (and Wii U!), and it's only fitting that players should be able to enjoy it on our favourite handheld hybrid, too. We're going to have to stop calling it that when Switch Lite drops.
What's a 16-bit console without a classic arcade-style side-scrolling beat 'em up? This tapped into the zeitgeist in the early '90s, but coming from Konami at a time when it seemed the company had trouble producing a bad video game, Turtles in Time matched the popularity of the licence with an impressive game to boot. This is an expensive cart to track down these days and despite tricky licensing issues, it'd be a treat to see it running on a Nintendo console again.
Classic Bomberman action on Switch with up to four players (or five, if you went for Super Bomberman 3 instead)? That sounds like just the ticket! Of course, we've already got Super Bomberman R, which Konami has been supporting rather well since launch, but there's nothing quite like the classic simplicity of the 16-bit versions. Thankfully, we wouldn't need to use a Super Multitap this time round and it'd be great to have a game in the SNES Online line up that we could play with more than two players. Super Bomberman's a riot and would make a worthy addition to the Switch Online service.
We've chosen Street Fighter Alpha 2 for the sake of variety. Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting is arguably the best entry on the SNES, but there are more than enough flavours of Street Fighter II floating around to satisfy all tastes. While not the best Street Fighter on the system, we've gone for Alpha 2 because squeezing it onto the Super Nintendo was a hugely impressive feat that deserves our admiration. You can play the arcade port of the game already on Switch as part of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, but the SNES version is still a sparkling example of what could be accomplished on the console.
Curiously absent from the Super NES Mini, Pilotwings might not look like much these days, but its relaxing, precise flight sim gameplay would be an ideal tonic to the stress of travelling. It's been a while since we've taken to its Mode 7 skies. Come to think of it, we'd love to see a return for the series, but then again there are plenty of dormant franchises we'd like to see back in the fold on Switch.
Okay, now we're getting a little ambitious. Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem came out on the Super Famicom in 1994 and never left Japan, even when it was remade for Nintendo DS. The third game in the series, Fire Emblem didn't really catch on in the west until much later, but the success of Fire Emblem: Three Houses on Switch reconfirms the franchise's popularity here following its revitalisation with Fire Emblem: Awakening on 3DS. We would absolutely jump at the chance to play this or its follow-up, Fire Emblem: Geneology of the Holy War, with a new localisation. It's a lot to ask, yes, but if you don't ask you don't get, and Nintendo want to add value to the service; previously unreleased games would be a great incentive to stay signed up.
There we are - a varied bunch, we're sure you'd agree! Obviously, this is a very select list - we've only chosen twelve games and even with heavy hitters from Mario, Metroid and Zelda, there are dozens of titles we could have added from the spectrum of classics the SNES hosted. Which ones would you (re)play on Switch? Are there any others you'd like to see which perhaps haven't been available for a while? Let us know your picks below.