Kirby's Dream Course is an isometric crazy golf-style game starring everyone's favourite marshmallow with feet. The control mechanics are surprisingly deep, and battling through some of the courses can be a real test in skill. It's a cheerful, challenging game — certainly more of a test of skill than many of Kirby's platformers — and with a fun two-player mode it's definitely worth checking out.
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 incoming 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, especially if your Star Fox journey didn't start in the 16-bit days. We're grateful to have it, then, but it's not something we'll be cracking out very often.
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts isn't for the fainthearted, and you'll be thankful to have access to that rewind button if you're playing the Nintendo Switch Online version. However, that feature should open up this excellent game to an entirely new audience and accessibility is something we encourage across the board. Overflowing with luscious 16-bit visuals, fantastic audio and inventive design, we highly encourage you to check out this Capcom classic.
Capcom's Breath of Fire II is very much 'more and bigger'. Veterans will likely look on it much more kindly than players who never played it back in the day. As with its predecessor, it's a serviceable example of the genre on a system with several genre-defining games. We'd play those first before investigating this, but there is fun to be had if you simply can't get enough 16-bit RPGs in your life.
A spin-off of the Ghosts 'n Goblins franchise, Demon's Crest is a delightfully difficult side-scroller. Its non-linear gameplay and host of abilities give it an RPG flavour that feels more modern than many of its contemporaries, so we recommend revisiting this one if you've got even the slightest interest in demons, crests, or good video games.
18. Wild Guns (SNES)
Natsume's Wild West / sci-fi shooting gallery game is available as a standalone remaster on Switch in the form of the excellent Wild Guns Reloaded, but if you don't want to spend more money to experience the game (plus some new content), the 1994 original is also available as part of the Nintendo Switch Online subscription and still holds up very well - especially if you've got a second player who wants to join in the co-op mode.
Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is a 16-bit sequel to the two previous Game Boy Dream Land entries, and a game which uses the SNES' extra horsepower to up the ante in every way. The improvement in visuals is a given, but the presentation here gives the sublime Yoshi's Island a run for its money, and there's also multiplayer support. The gameplay might not be the deepest, but Kirby's always got charm to spare and you won't regret giving this one a try.
Mario's Super Picross offers plenty of puzzles in two distinct modes. It's simple fare and it shows its age against some modern equivalents, but it serves its purpose well for fans of the genre. It's pretty hard to get Picross wrong, and Mario's Super Picross certainly doesn't.
15. Joe & Mac (SNES)
Originally an arcade game, Data East ported this platformer to various consoles and both this game and its sequel are now available via Nintendo Switch Online (that's Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics, not Congo's Caper — '90s game series had form when it comes to confusing numbering between regions). If you're after caveman platform combat, you could do a lot worse than Joe & Mac.
14. Star Fox (SNES)
Star Fox is obviously a classic, and its use of the Super FX chip resulted in an experience that felt awe-inspiring to anybody who witnessed it on their SNES back in 1993. It's a little more jarring for players these days, especially ones who got into the Star Fox series later. Players who vomit at anything less than 60fps will want to sit this one out, but the underlying design still shines and those pining for a return for Fox, Peppy, Falco, and maybe even the ever-rubbish Slippy will enjoy jumping back in the cockpit of an Arwing and saving Corneria once more. The fact that it's now available on Switch is very nice.
13. F-Zero (SNES)
F-Zero was an incredible template on which its sublime successors were modelled, and for that we shall forever be thankful. That's not to say the original isn't a gem in its own right — it's a racing classic that feels fast and tight to this day — but its lack of multiplayer tends to put it behind its sequels, at least in our minds. Still, this remains a thrilling 16-bit ride, and as the only entry in the series currently available on Switch, we're more than happy to fire it up again whenever the notion takes us.
It's Punch-Out!! with more colour, more character, 16-bit visuals and the same timing-based gameplay that's made every entry in this series a pleasure to revisit. The arcade original is also available on Switch as part of Hamster's Arcade Archives line, and Super Punch-Out!! comes as part of the Nintendo Switch Online collection, so it's easy to get your hands on these days. Which is nice, because it's up there with the finest games on the system.
The Tetris branding was a misnomer here; a pure marketing strategy to give this wonderful puzzler a leg up in the West. Panel de Pon is a cracking puzzle game that doesn't resemble Tetris in the slightest and if you've never played it before, you're in for a real treat. It's so incredibly addictive that Capcom's Shinji Mikami had to ban the game while his team was developing the original Resident Evil. As recommendations go, that's not a bad one.
If you've somehow misplaced your original cart (how very careless), you can check it out most easily on Switch, although you won't find Tetris Attack anywhere on the menu screen of your Nintendo Switch online Super NES app. It's listed under its Japanese title, almost certainly due to Nintendo not wanting to pay The Tetris Company in order to use the name again.