The Best SNES Games On Nintendo Switch Online

Highlights

  • The Super Nintendo has a vast library of beloved games that are still enjoyable today, offering timeless experiences for players.
  • Nintendo Switch Online provides access to a variety of Super Nintendo games, with new ones being added regularly, giving players a large selection to choose from.
  • Some standout titles on the platform include Kirby Super Star, F-Zero, and, Super Metroid. Each game offers unique gameplay experiences and showcases the capabilities of the Super Nintendo console.

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The number of memorable and beloved titles in the Super Nintendo’s catalog may outnumber any other console’s library of games. Nintendo reinvigorated the video game industry with the NES, but it wouldn’t be until the introduction of 16-bit graphics that the company would create some of its greatest and most influential adventures.

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Nintendo Switch owners can access a variety of SNES titles through the Nintendo Switch Online service. While new games are added every month, the number of games already on the platform can often be overwhelming. Whether you’re searching for some nostalgia or looking for a new adventure, these Super Nintendo games offer timeless experiences that are just as fun to play today as they were during the 90s.

Updated September 21, 2023 by Kyle Chamaillard: The number of titles available on Nintendo Switch Online continues to grow as new ones are added to the service every month or so. With over fifty great games to choose from, we’ve decided to update this list to help you choose which one to hop into next.

15 Star Fox

Star Fox Puppets Fox, Falco, Peppy and Slippy

Star Fox for the Super Nintendo was the first game on the console to use polygonal graphics to create 3D models and environments. It was a technical marvel at the time, and an incredibly important game in Nintendo’s long history, but what used to be amazing then feels a bit outdated by today’s standards.

It’s still exciting to see Star Fox and his anthropomorphic crew mates on their first adventure, and they bring a lot of charm to what would otherwise be a fairly straightforward rail shooter. It takes roughly an hour to complete a successful run of the game, so if you have some time to kill, a journey through space and history is a trip worth taking.

14 Super Mario Kart

Mario drives ahead of Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong Jr., Koopa Troopa, and Toad

When Super Mario Kart launched on the SNES in 1992, few people could have predicted that it would be the first entry in one of Nintendo’s most popular and successful series. It’s surprising how fun the original game still is, though a few things hold it back from being the best Mario Kart available on Nintendo Switch.

The controls are as smooth and intuitive as they are in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but it’s much slower than any of its sequels which requires some patience to maneuver around. The presentation of the game also makes it feel like an older DS title, as the main action happens on the top half of the screen while a large map takes up the entire lower half.

13 Kirby Super Star

Kirby uses the cutter ability on King Dedede in a ring

Kirby Super Star is one of the most interesting releases for the SNES. Instead of following the tiny hero through one adventure like in previous entries, Super Star contains a variety of journeys, minigames, and battles to play through. Each mode offers a variety of fun iterations on the classic Kirby formula, while also offering new ideas that would later become staples of the franchise.

Super Star is packed with games, including a semi-remake of Kirby’s Dream Land, the Metroidvania-inspired Great Cave Offensive, and so much more. Many of the modes offer cooperative play as well, so you can fight the Dyna Blade together with a friend or face off in Megaton Punch.

12 Super Mario All-Stars

Mario and Luigi talk as other Mario characters linger in the background

It’s incredibly common these days, but when Super Mario All-Stars launched for the SNES in 1993, it was one of the first examples of games from a previous console getting remade with better graphics for the next generation of hardware. The cartridge contained definitive versions of the three Super Mario Bros. games for NES and Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels.

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Super Mario All-Stars was an essential SNES title, but on the Nintendo Switch, it merely provides another way to experience these classic games. Not only can you play them through the NES library on Nintendo Switch Online, but the upgraded versions for the Game Boy Advance are also available and contain even more content and upgrades than the versions in All-Stars.

11 F-Zero

The Blue Falcon drives on the Sand Ocean track

F-Zero launched alongside the SNES, and excellently showcased the console’s new sound chip and graphics with its diverse tracks and breakneck speed. The futuristic setting helps make F-Zero one of the most visually distinct racing games on the SNES and creates the perfect atmosphere for a deadly race to the finish line.

One of the biggest hurdles for new F-Zero players is mastering its controls. It takes time to figure out how to avoid collisions and obstacles during high-speed races, but using the rewind feature on the Nintendo Switch makes it a much less frustrating process. It also lacks a multiplayer mode, but you can always play F-Zero X with friends through the N64 service.

10 Mario’s Super Picross

Mario points his finger in the air beside a Picross puzzle

The Super Nintendo is known for its excellent library of platformers, JRPGs, and action games, but there are certainly a few puzzle games that deserve some attention too. Mario’s Super Picross was originally never released outside of Japan, but has now made its Western debut through Nintendo Switch Online.

You might not spend hours playing Mario’s Super Picross on your TV like other games on this list, but it’s still a great puzzle game to play on short commutes or before falling asleep. Its tutorial levels are great for anyone unfamiliar with Picross, while the Wario levels provide more difficult puzzles for veterans of the series.

9 Donkey Kong Country

Donkey and Diddy Kong run through the jungle followed by enemies and friends

Rare dazzled audiences when they released Donkey Kong Country, one of the first home console games to use pre-rendered graphics. This technology allowed the developers to use 3D models on the Super Nintendo, which helped Donkey Kong Country to stand out — not only for its challenging gameplay, but also for its revolutionary visuals.

The Donkey Kong Country series is perfect for anyone who thought Super Mario World was too easy. The tight platforming can be frustrating at times, but it’s hard to match the feeling of conquering a difficult mine cart stage. All three Donkey Kong Country games are available on Nintendo Switch Online, and while the original is the most well-known, each one features suspenseful gameplay and some of the best soundtracks on the hardware.

8 Super Punch-Out

Mr. Sandman, Bald Bull, and Super Macho Man stand in the boxing ring

Super Punch-Out may not be as fondly remembered as its predecessor, but its improved visuals and inspiring soundtrack still make it a contender for one of the best SNES games. The gameplay that made the original so successful is kept intact, but everything else — from the animation to the variety of opponents — was improved upon.

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Once again, you play as Little Mac as he attempts to fight his way to a championship title. Super Punch-Out will test your reflexes and patience as you make your way through gauntlets of tough foes, but it can now be a bit easier with the Switch’s rewind and suspend point features.

7 Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

Diddy and Dixie Kong attack enemies on a ship

After the success of the original Donkey Kong Country, Rare continued to develop sequels for the SNES that creatively built upon the mechanics and ideas formed during the first adventure. It’s a bit startling when you discover that Donkey Kong isn’t a playable character in Donkey Kong Country 2, but putting Diddy and Dixie Kong in the spotlight was a genius move that paid off.

The visuals in Diddy’s Kong Quest are just as impressive as the previous game, and each stage provides a decent challenge that will test your patience. The soundtrack might not feature iconic songs like Aquatic Ambiance, but the score provided by David Wise is still impressive and full of unique songs that will continue to play on repeat in your head after you’ve rolled the credits on this fantastic platformer.

6 Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble

Dixie and Kiddy Kong face a bunch of pears

As Rare continued to develop Donkey Kong Country games, they finessed and perfected the formula by the end of the excellent trilogy. Once again swapping a main character with another – this time replacing Diddy Kong with Kiddy Kong – helped keep the gameplay from feeling stale between entries, and the levels contain the perfect blend of difficulty and replayability.

Once again, the visuals in Donkey Kong Country 3 create a realistic world that’s easy to get lost in. The animations of the protagonists and antagonists look great, and the boss fights are both challenging and memorable. They always say save the best for last, and the Donkey Kong Country trilogy is one of the best examples in gaming.

5 Earthbound

Ness stands outside of his house on a sunny day

Not only is Earthbound one of the few JRPGs currently available through Nintendo Switch Online, but it’s also the funniest game on the service. Earthbound follows Ness as he travels through an abstract portrayal of Western culture, defeating cults, piles of puke, and the powerful alien known as Giygas in order to save the planet.

Earthbound has become a cult classic over the years. Although it sold poorly during its initial release, Ness’ inclusion in the original Super Smash Bros. significantly improved his popularity and introduced many players to the series. Its predecessor — Earthbound Beginnings — is available on the Switch as well, through the NES service, but it’s not nearly as iconic or fun as Earthbound itself.

4 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Yoshi's Island - A Group Of Colorful Yoshis Stand Around Baby Mario

Super Mario World introduced us to Yoshi, a dinosaur that Mario could use to turn enemies into mushrooms or reach new heights. As popular as Yoshi was after its debut, it was still baffling when Nintendo announced that they would be the stars of the Super Mario World sequel. First, Mario saved the Yoshis from Bowser, but now it’s their time to become heroes.

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While Donkey Kong Country was praised for its realistic and immersive graphics one year earlier, Nintendo decided to use a hand-drawn aesthetic for Yoshi’s Island to help it stand out from other SNES titles. It was the first game to star the colorful dinosaurs as the main protagonists and introduced their infamous flutter-jump and egg-tossing abilities.

3 Super Mario World

Mario rides Yoshi over a map of Dinosaur Land in the Super Mario World box art

Super Mario World launched alongside the SNES, and set the bar for what audiences could expect from the rest of the console’s lifespan. Its stunning visuals were a huge jump from the NES-era Super Mario Bros. games, and the gameplay had never felt better. Each level is full of secrets and surprises that are still being uncovered decades later.

Not only did Super Mario World introduce us to Yoshi, but it also includes powerful new abilities such as the Cape Feather, which allows Mario to fly or glide across a stage with ease. Its soundtrack features recognizable songs from previous games, but with new and improved rearrangements that utilized the SNES’s powerful sound chip.

2 Super Metroid

Samus stands in front of Crocomire in Norfair

Many of the games Nintendo developed for the Super Nintendo are full of vibrant colors, fascinating characters, and euphoric soundtracks. Super Metroid is one of the rare exceptions, instead throwing you onto a desolated and ambient planet full of dangerous enemies and secrets. It’s a haunting experience at times, but Super Metroid is one of the most influential and timeless games ever made.

After rescuing the last known Metroid in her previous adventure, Samus drops the baby off at a colony of scientists so they can research its unique abilities. It doesn’t take long for Ridley to ruin everything by stealing the Metroid and taking it off to a faraway planet. It’s up to Samus to navigate the bleak planet of Zebes to prevent the resurrection of the deadly species.

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Link holds the Master Sword in the Lost Woods

While the original Legend of Zelda titles for the NES offered some of the best experiences on the hardware, they are full of obtuse puzzles and secrets that make them difficult to enjoy by today’s standards. Like many SNES games, A Link to the Past feels timeless, and is just as fun to play today as it was when it launched in 1992.

Not only did A Link to the Past introduce elements that would become staples of the franchise, such as parallel worlds, but it also contains some of the best dungeons and boss fights in the series’ nearly four decades of history. It’s a surprisingly long game, but almost every moment of it is surrounded by a whimsical aura that draws you in with stunning visuals and a gorgeous soundtrack. It doesn’t let go until you finally save Hyrule from Ganon’s reign of terror.

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