11. Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (SNES)

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (SNES)Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts (SNES)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 28th Nov 1991 (USA) / 10th Dec 1992 (UK/EU)

Newcomers to this legendary SNES title could well be put off by its almost superhuman challenge. However, giving up too early means missing out on one of the most accomplished platform adventures of the '90s. Although it’s devilishly difficult, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is also inventive, enthralling, gorgeous to look at and joy to listen to. A superb enhancement of the already brilliant Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, this is 16-bit gaming at its most unforgiving, but with each level completed and each boss defeated, you feel like you’re growing in stature as a player — and surely that’s something all video games should aspire to achieve.

12. Stunt Race FX (SNES)

Stunt Race FX (SNES)Stunt Race FX (SNES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: 10th Oct 1994 (USA) / 27th Oct 1994 (UK/EU)

There are a few issues with the visuals and the limited two-player option is disappointing, but there is a great variety of well-constructed tracks to hold your interest. Trying to shave just a little off your times (particularly in Free Trax) is where you'll get the most enjoyment, meaning Stunt Race FX will keep you occupied for a long time.

13. Kirby Super Star (SNES)

Kirby Super Star (SNES)Kirby Super Star (SNES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory
Release Date: 20th Sep 1996 (USA) / 23rd Jan 1997 (UK/EU)

This is less a game and more a smorgasbord of ideas thrown at the SNES which - somewhat unexpectedly - congeals into a satisfying blend of games, sub-games and mini-games. There are nine in total and the titular character is a versatile hero that manages to suck up these experimental bits and pieces and meld them into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. 'Cohesive' might be generous, but Kirby Super Star is entertaining and well worth a look.

14. Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)

Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory
Release Date: 27th Nov 1997 (USA) / 24th Jul 2009 (UK/EU)

Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is a worthy sequel, improving and expanding just about every aspect of its handheld predecessors. The leap to home consoles gives it a delightful coat of paint and multiplayer support, both of which have become specialities of the series. What it lacks in compelling gameplay is made up for with buckets of charm supported by a whole lot of variety, perfect for short bursts of playtime with a friend by your side. If another helping of Kirby is what you seek, another helping of Kirby is what you’ll get — and it’s pretty delicious, too.

15. Pilotwings (SNES)

Pilotwings (SNES)Pilotwings (SNES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo EAD
Release Date: 13th Aug 1991 (USA) / 1992 (UK/EU)

Simple to pick up and play, Pilotwings is a lot of fun to work your way through. Activities are brief but the difficulty is well-judged, requiring you to master controlling the various modes of transport to proceed. Once cleared there's not much else to do, but the game provides good entertainment whenever you decide to return to it.

16. Kirby's Dream Course (SNES)

Kirby's Dream Course (SNES)Kirby's Dream Course (SNES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory
Release Date: 1st Feb 1995 (USA) / 24th Aug 1995 (UK/EU)

Kirby's Dream Course, perhaps unlike some of his platformers, provides a good old-school challenge that encourages you to take your time and engage your brain. The control mechanics are surprisingly deep, and battling through some of the courses can be a real test in skill. As a result, it should appeal to those with the right mind-set, but should be avoided by anyone who thinks this is some kind of retro Wii Sports. Regardless of whether you opt for a solo challenge or multiplayer duels, it's well worth consideration.

17. Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics (SNES)

Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics (SNES)Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics (SNES)
Publisher: Data East / Developer: Data East
Release Date: Apr 1994 (USA) / Nov 1995 (UK/EU)

Confusingly known as Joe & Mac 3: Lost in the Tropics upon its original release in Europe, this is an oddball addition to the Nintendo Switch Online SNES lineup – but it's also a very likeable 2D platformer which allows two players to join in the fun. Visually, it's certainly eye-catching stuff, and improves on the original Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja (and its semi-sequel, Congo's Caper) in many ways. Not a stone-cold classic by any means, but still well worth a look if you like your action platfomers.

18. Brawl Brothers (SNES)

Brawl Brothers (SNES)Brawl Brothers (SNES)
Publisher: HAMSTER / Developer: Jaleco
Release Date: 11th Mar 1993 (USA) / 1993 (UK/EU)

You might assume that making a successful side-scrolling fighter is as easy as falling off a log, but Jaleco's SNES-based efforts prove otherwise. Brawl Brothers seems to tick every box — it has a two-player mode, five different fighters and a respectable selection of moves to utilize. However, the execution is all wrong. The controls feel loose and floaty, and the hit detection requires enemies to be directly in front of you to register a connection. However, Brawl Brothers commits possibly the most heinous crime for this type of game: it lacks imagination and flair, and that means that slogging through its uninspiring levels is a largely thankless task that only hardcore fans of the genre should consider undertaking.

19. Super Puyo Puyo 2 (SNES)

Super Puyo Puyo 2 (SNES)Super Puyo Puyo 2 (SNES)
Publisher: Compile / Developer: Compile
Release Date: TBA

Coming to the west for the first time, Super Puyo Puyo 2 should need no introduction. The core gameplay elements have been set in stone for decades and we've seen Puyo Puyo sequels on several Nintendo consoles – including the Nintendo Switch. While these mechanics have been enhanced and updated over the years, this early entry has a simplicity that makes it well worth a look – especially if you can rope in a second player.

20. Star Fox 2 (SNES)

Star Fox 2 (SNES)Star Fox 2 (SNES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Argonaut Software
Release Date: 29th Sep 2017 (USA) / 29th Sep 2017 (UK/EU)

Previously exclusive to the Super Nintendo Classic Mini console, this game was fully developed for the Super Nintendo but shelved at the last minute when Nintendo saw the writing on the wall for 16-bit 3D graphics. Wishing to avoid direct comparison with the more impressive polygonal games coming on more powerful hardware, many of this abandoned sequels' ideas found their way into Star Fox 64 instead.

Star Fox 2 is a fascinating curio - a museum piece that we're lucky to get our hands on - and fans of the series will enjoy seeing the ideas that began here and eventually saw the light of day in other games. Despite being seriously impressive considering the hardware it was on, though, it's a little tough to go back to in 2019. We're thankful to have it, but there are plenty of games we'd prefer to play first.