Millions of gamers are about to feel old, because today marks a quarter century since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System released in North America. That’s right, it’s been 25 years since Nintendo entered the 16-bit era with what would become one of the most celebrated and influential systems ever released. The SNES built upon the success of the original NES, played host to an amazing library of hugely influential games, and was one of the contenders in what was arguably the most heated console war in video games history, against the Sega Genesis. In short, it was a very memorable console cycle.
Of course, a console’s greatness is truly defined by its games, and SNES did not disappoint. Right off the bat, SNES made its mark with technical showcases like F-Zero and Pilotwings, as well as Super Mario World, one of the greatest platformers of all time. In fact, platformers would shine on the console thanks to the Donkey Kong Country series, as well as more entries featuring Mario and Kirby. Super Metroid was released to acclaim that continues to this day and proved to be a significant event in the history of side-scrolling adventures. Also, the system was responsible for introducing many gamers to the JRPG genre with classics including Final Fantasy II and III (or IV and VI if we’re going by the Japanese numbering), Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and the then overlooked but now beloved EarthBound. Unfortunately, SNES only played host to a single Zelda game, but A Link to the Past remains one of the most revered entries in the much loved series. There are many more titles worthy of praise, but that would be a conversation that could go on for days.
Finally, on a more personal note, the SNES was a hugely significant console for me. While I had played other consoles before, mostly NES and Intellivision, getting an SNES for Christmas was life changing. The system not only cemented my love for video games, but it made sure that Nintendo was at the center of that adoration. You could make arguments for other systems being better, more influential, or even as having had better games, but the SNES will always have a very special place in my heart and I’m sure there are millions of other folks out there who would agree.