The adorably small, nostalgia-laced Super NES Classic Edition is finally here, and it’s got a mess of killer games built in.
But what to play first?
That’s the question! Luckily, we’ve ranked the top five below in an entirely subjective way that’s sure to please everyone.
Whether or not 'Super Metroid' is the best 'Metroid' game ever made is up for debate. That said, it's a damn fine game that set many of the standards for the rest of the series.
If you've never played 'Super Metroid,' prepare to be delighted -- it's a challenging, memorable action game that requires deft skills and quick wit to tackle. You play as Samus Aran, a female bounty hunter in a crazy robot suit who's tasked with saving a baby Metroid from the grips of evil space pirates. Space pirates!
More important than the surprisingly complex plot, 'Super Metroid' is a tremendously engaging, smart game that holds up astonishingly well in 2017.
There's a reason people hate 'Contra,' and it's not because the series is bad -- it's because it's notoriously difficult, and 'Contra III: The Alien Wars' is no exception.
The same run-and-gun gameplay from the first few games returns in 'Contra III,' but it's got far more nuance and graphical fidelity than previous series entries on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. As endless hordes of aliens rush, shoot, and repeatedly attempt to murder you -- often successfully -- you've got a mess of ridiculous weapons at your disposal to take them out first.
Yes, 'Contra III: The Alien Wars' is hard as hell. Yes, it's often insanely frustrating. But also wow it's tremendously fun to play, and a strong reminder of how foundational so much of the Super Nintendo's catalogue remains.
Long before 'Wipeout' took video game racing to the future, Super Nintendo classic 'F-Zero' was conveying a ridiculous sense of speed on crazy-looking, challenging tracks. Bump into the wall? You lose 'energy,' which can only be re-filled by driving over energy refill areas. Bump into another racer? You might be sent careening off in the wrong direction.
Unbelievably, 'F-Zero' in 2017 feels amazingly fresh, fast, and frantic (the classic three Fs, obviously). More than just a great racing game, it's got one of the best soundtracks of all-time in any game.
In a year where 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' launched, it's even more impressive going back and playing 'The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.' That's because the game is huge, brilliantly designed, and a delight to play.
It starts off simply and builds into a massive, detailed adventure -- from a humble boy without a sword to a dimension-shifting wizard capable of conquering evil. More than any other 'Zelda' game in the franchise, 'A Link to the Past' sets the foundations of a series that's spawned dozens of sequels. It polishes the concepts laid out in the original game, of course, but it also establishes dozens of new precedents.
'A Link to the Past' is also gorgeous -- still, right now, in 2017 -- and filled with killer tunes. Aside from a few control quirks and some early quests that haven't aged well, I have nothing but effusive praise for 'A Link to the Past.'
It's genuinely hard to put down. I had to stop myself from playing it so that I would play some of the other 21 games on the mini Super Nintendo.
You knew this would be number one, right? 'Super Mario World' is still, to this day, the very best 'Super Mario' game ever made. It's also the best Super Nintendo game! Really!
That statement includes all the 3D games, the spin-off series, and whatever other game you want to dig up with the famous mustachioed plumber. 'Super Mario World' is absolutely gigantic. Never before was the scale of a 'Super Mario' game quite so expansive, full of secrets and off-path ghost houses and top-secret levels full of bonus power-ups.
'Super Mario World' is the quintessential 'Super Mario' game, perfecting the character's movement and defining many new standards in the series (from the addition of Yoshi to the concept of a Ghost House, and its many exits). It showcased the power of the Super Nintendo, a game console still steeped in deep reverie by millions, and was the first truly epic-feeling adventure for Mario.
It's no surprise then that it's the best game of a list of killer games on the mini Super Nintendo -- it's one of the best games ever made.