My memory tells me the SNES came out in the fall of 1991. I can't recall too much hype surrounding it, most people were still satisfied with Super Mario Bros 3. But the SNES stands out with a great depth of quality that put other 16 bit systems on the brink of failure. And (as you will see) it was a fantatastic system for RPG lovers like me. This system has a special place in my heart for being the system I played in the dorm room at college.
1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: If the NES Zelda introduced the concept of world map/dungeon adventure games, A Link to the Past perfected it (in 2-D at least). First, this game was bigger with more ground to cover and more items which lead to more puzzles. Next, this game actually had a running plot complete with the light world/ dark world that this game is famous for. This game sunk its hooks in you, and before you knew it you were battling Ganon. I believe I beat this game as a kid and again in college.
2. Super Mario World: It was hard to imagine how Nintendo was gonna follow up the smash hit that was Super Mario 3. The answer: Yoshi. Yoshi saved my butt more than a few times with his enemy eating, fire spitting apetite for destruction! Also, this game had great depth by adding alternate routes to many levels giving you more than one path for Mario to follow. I completely beat this game.
3. Final Fantasy II: Most of the gaming world will say FF3 is the superior game. But FF2 has a special place in my heart. Games like Zelda and FF1 said they had a plot, but they pailed in comparison to Final Fantasy II. The betrayals, the sacrifices and the plot twists were captivating. So it is a little cheesy that you have to travel to the moon, but hey big games have to do big things. I also really enjoy that you have to play with the characters the plot gives you (no switching out party members) This added a challenge that made me a better RPG player for years to come. If I could only play 1 RPG on Nintendo, this would probably be it. I believe I beat this twice as a kid and twice in college.
4. Final Fantasy III: After declaring my love for FF2, I would like to state how big of a BEAST this game is and how groundbreaking it was. Female lead? Check. (Samus doesn't count, you didn't know she was a lady.) Bad guys betraying bad guys? Check. Opera scene? Check. Whole world collapsing? Check. I think the strength of this game is recollecting all your party members after the world destruction. This game allowed you to really tailor you characters abilities to their strengths.
Sadly, I never beat this game. I got to the final level....and my game was erased. (I think my sister did that one.) I then got all the way back again! And it was erased again. (accident I believe). I then got to the world destruction again and it erased again, this time because the game was getting old. So I never beat this game. Maybe if I had I would rank it higher.
5. Chrono Trigger: So this is one of the most under-appreciated games of all time. The fact that it is number 5 probably shows I under-appreciate it too. This game spans something like 6 eras of history to help defeat the same enemy. That in itself is pretty dang awesome. The other strength of this game is you could develop combo moves if you used characters enough with each other. Instead of single attacks you could use double (or even triple) attacks on enemies. If you've never played an RPG, that just sounded nerdy. But if you do love RPG's, that just sounded amazing. I, er....never beat this game either. I got to the last level and never got around to it. I think the N64 came out and I just forgot about it. Again, under-appreciated.
6. Secret of Mana: My last RPG entry is actually part Zelda part Chrono Trigger. 3 main characters roam an overworld much like Zelda. But each character has spells and abilities that grow as you gain expereince like all RPG's. This new approach was awesome, but the best part was your buddies could control the other characters. So instead of just playing this one by yourself you had a multi-player RPG! The plot was great, except I think your father turned out to be a tree. Oh well, still awesome. I beat this as a kid, in college and almost beat with my sister a couple summers ago. I also watched my roomate Robert beat this game one finals week. (Who needs to study?)
7. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: This might be the most annoying game to be in the room with, but it was a blast to play. This story takes place when Mario is a baby and Yoshi has to take care of him through dangerous levels (for some reason, I think Bowser was kidnapping him again) Your goal was to make it through the level without losing Mario. If he fell off your back, Mario would cry (FOR 20 SECONDS!) until you reached him again. Despite that, the gameplay was really fun including the awesome egg-throwing mechanics. This game also introduced the checklist of things to collect to pass a level 100%. I beat this game once through the plot, then beat it 100% with the help of my buddy Robert. Again, who needs to study!
8. Street Fighter 2: I am terrible at fighter games. Aweful. But this game was too much fun not to play. 15 years later I could probably still recite the controller combos for most of the moves. The gameplay was quick, the characters were memorable, and the battles were epic. HADOUKEN!
9. Tecmo Super Bowl III: Although Madden had games on the Super NES, it was Tecmo Bowl that was my favorite sports games. It took simple/arcade gameplay and added real-life NFL teams and players and threw in recording stats. This game had it all, to the point where Robert and I played an entire season together. He was the Packers, I was the Bills. We met in the Super Bowl which we played at 3:25pm one Friday afternoon. I think I won 24-21 on an interception at the goalline that would have given Robert the victory. If that isn't a memorable video game moment, I don't know what is.
10. Super Tetris:I know that Tetris is on every system, but this is the one we had. If there was ever an argument or decision, we played Tetris over it. Who took out the trash? Loser. Will you put away the meat from the grocery store? I'll play you in Tetris for it. Plus, this game is just so easy to pick up it is a great party game. "This one is for the meat!"
Game I was so dominant at I got kicked out: Super BomberMan. This was a great 4 player game where each person starts in a corner and tries to blow each other up. The only problem was I was amazing. People wouldn't play with me amazing. So I said I would play with the controller upside down. I still won. Finally they said go play something in our room so we can win for once. I am good at alot of games, but this is probably the game I dominate the best. I wish it was Madden or Smash Bro or Halo, but alas it is Super Bomber Man.