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.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors feels like what you get if you somehow turned Contra into a second rate horror movie. Suffice it to say, if shooting everything in sight and blowing stuff up is your thing, you're going to love this unusual Super Nintendo action title. It might be a little on the strange side, but any time you're given the opportunity to shoot a zombie in the face with a bazooka, you know you're in for a real treat.
Sunset Riders can hold its head up high and stand tall amongst the plethora of amazing side-scrolling run and gun games on consoles of the era. It is bright, colourful, fantastically well animated, with superb music and sound. It understands its place as a Western game and within the run-and-gun genre, by combining imaginative characterisation and humour, with well-paced action set-pieces, plus variety in its gameplay. It is 'pulp' gaming and possibly the most fun and entertaining 16-bit Wild West game that money can buy.
Capcom essentially created a genre with this game; while one-on-one fighters existed prior to its release (the original Street Fighter being one example), the game pioneered many concepts which are now commonplace. The first Street Fighter II on the SNES remains a solid game, but pure nostalgia might not be enough for some players. When you consider the two direct SNES sequels added so much, it can be hard to go back. If you're one of the few people who preferred the pure nature of the game before Capcom started tweaking and adding new fighters, this still packs a punch, though.
Konami's The Legend of the Mystical Ninja is a fun, colourful, challenging adventure of a kind that the games industry just doesn't see much of any more. If you're looking for an adventure that's light-hearted but addictive, difficult but rewarding, it's hard to go wrong with this one.
Rounding off the Super NES DKC trilogy nicely, Dixie and Kiddie's adventure is still a pleasure today. It arguably can't quite reach the highs of the second chapter in Rare's trio of DK delights, but Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! looks better than ever and gives you some choice with a non-linear map to explore and options should you hit a roadblock on your adventure.
Like so many of the blue bomber's back catalogue, Mega Man X2 doesn't really do much in the way of innovation, but there's not really any need to. Mega Man X was a great game, and while it's obviously a bit less original, X2 is also a very solid experience and comes highly recommended to anybody that enjoyed the previous title.
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 thoroughly entertaining and well worth a look.
Lufia II is easily one of the top tier RPGs for the Super Nintendo and a game that is challenging, humorous, and a joy to play. Combine the game's unique visual stylings, the efficient turn-based combat system and the beautifully orchestrated soundtrack, and you get one absolutely unforgettable RPG experience on a system with its fair share of those. Before we all got spoiled with the full-motion video and millions of polygons per second of today's epic RPGs, we had games like this that had much more to them than flashy visual effects and voice-overs.
Contra III: The Alien Wars is often cited as a shining star in the catalogue of games available on Super Nintendo, one of the finest consoles ever launched. Incredibly, the game has lost little of that lustre all these years later, as the gameplay, presentation, controls and sheer intensity of Contra III’s attitude all manage to strike just the same chords they did in 1992. Available on Switch as part of Konami's Contra Anniversary Collection, its refreshingly short completion time, ingenious stage structure and inimitable mood and tone come together beautifully to offset the one or two design drawbacks in the top-down levels.