The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

The Super Nintendo is still considered by many to be the premier platform. For role-playing games, this is the system that changed how we play story games.

If there’s a Golden Age of RPGs, you can believe that it happened on the SNES.

But whether you’ve dug out your old SNES. Grabbed a Super Nintendo Classic, or you’re just rocking an emulator.

You might be looking to dive deep into the most acclaimed RPGs of all time.

We’ve put together this list of the best SNES RPGs not simply for posterity’s sake. All of these games are still playable, they’re still great, and they tell amazing stories with incredible characters.

Best SNES RPGs Comparison Table


Product

Image

Rating

Price

Final Fantasy VI

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Illusion of Gaia

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Secret of Mana

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Final Fantasy IV

 The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Chrono Trigger

 The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Earthbound

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Soul Blazer

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Super Mario RPG

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Secret of Evermore

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Star Ocean

The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Best SNES RPGs Reviews

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Final Fantasy VI


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

We’re starting off strong on our best SNES RPGs list with Final Fantasy VI. Which is still up for debate as not only one of the best Final Fantasy games.

But one of the finest RPG games of all time.

Though Final Fantasy fans argue about which is better, FFVI, FFVII, or FFIX.

Not even the most entrenched side will disagree that Final Fantasy VI tops the SNES charts for greatest RPG on the platform.

FFVI (released originally in the US as FFIII) is a dark, tragic tale of ambition, insanity, personal strength, and friendship. This entry had an interesting take on the characters. Instead of one central character as in almost every video game leading up to it.

It instead featured a rotating cast of characters who were all well-drawn and important to the story.

FFVI also has the distinction of one of the most chilling villains in RPG history: Kefka, the psychotic, dancing megalomaniac jester.

That makes the Joker look like a childhood birthday clown.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Illusion of Gaia


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Perhaps the “cult classic” RPG of the SNES era. The illusion of Gaia isn’t as famous as the Final Fantasies or Chrono Trigger.

But it’s an excellent story and strange, dream-like world will stick with you for a long time.

An illusion of Gaia’s gameplay owes a lot to the Legend of Zelda franchise. You run around dungeons and towns. Fighting bad guys in real time, solving brain-bending bosses. And working your way through clever traps and puzzles.

An illusion of Gaia takes players through a strange medley of actual historical sites dipped in fantasy.

Including the ruins of Angkor Wat, the Nazca Lines. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and even the Great Wall of China.

While the gameplay is a blast, the characters and the story are what really shine. The game follows Will, a psychic boy from a seaside town who is the son of a famous explorer.

Will and his father actually found the legendary Tower of Babel on an expedition. But something appropriately mysterious and awful occurred. Will returned alone to his hometown with no memory of what happened.

Now, he must piece together this mystery and save the world: you know, standard RPG stuff.

What elevates it is the haunting music. The fully realized characters, the amazing atmosphere. The feeling of beauty and loss the game leaves you with when you’re finished.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Secret of Mana


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

The secret of Mana is another game that features real-time combat.  Instead of the traditional turn-based system so popular at the time. It also had a pretty unique feature – you could actually play couch co-op with friends. Player 1 took control of the hero during fights and exploring. While Player 2 could jump in and take control of one of the other party members during battle.

The story follows the Hero, the Sprite, and the Girl. All of which are nameable by the player.

That is through a world-spanning adventure to stop the mythical Mana Beast.  And the ancient Mana Fortress.

The characters are all extremely colorful and memorable. Like Neko the traveling cat-merchant.  Or the Cannon Travel guy who literally fires the heroes from a big cannon toward their destination.

Flammie the dragon that flies you around the world map. Using an early 3D-simulator using just sprites and scrolling backgrounds that looked pretty good at the time.

With a memorable combat system that used a rock-paper-scissor weakness component.

The ability to play through an entire RPG with your friends, there’s a reason Secret of Mana is so well-beloved.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Final Fantasy IV


 The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Originally released in America as “Final Fantasy II,” FFIV followed the adventures of the Dark Knight Cecil. A tool of the evil empire who gradually transitions into a hero.

Though Final Fantasy II and III did have stories. They weren’t as deep, and they were never released outside of Japan.

For the rest of the world, Final Fantasy IV was the first FF game with deep characters and a surprisingly rich story.

In many ways, it was the Final Fantasy that set the tone for the rest of the series, even to today.

This is the game that introduced the Active Time Battle system (or ATB). That the series would use for the next decade and a half. It’s even the game that first introduced the perennial “Cid” character to the franchise.

With a surprisingly mature story about regret, redemption, and PTSD. And its additions to the RPG genre. FFIV will always hold a proud place in Gaming Olympus.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Chrono Trigger


 The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Chrono Trigger is the Rolling Stones to the Final Fantasy’s Beatles. The rougher, tougher, cooler but dirtier version that some people will always prefer.

Though it was also co-created by Hironobu Sakaguchi the creator of the Final Fantasy series. It’s more like if John Lennon was also in the Rolling Stones.

Chrono Trigger is famous for its character and world design, courtesy of world-famous anime artist and DragonBall creator Akira Toriyama. And it’s also so thoroughly adored by its fans because it’s pretty much a perfect game.

Memorable music? Check. Awesome characters? Check. Fun battle system? Check. Branching story that’s based on your actions? Double-check.

With a twisting story of time travel and ultimate doom. Chrono Trigger still takes the time to fully flesh out all of its main characters. When you find yourself crying over the backstory of an anthropomorphic Frog Knight, you know you’ve been hooked.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Earthbound


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

EarthBound is an even bigger cult classic than Illusion of Gaia. Or a smaller cult classic. However, you want to define it.

Either way, this quirk parody of RPGs and Western society landed with a soft thud when it originally released in America.

Over time, though, fans have come to love its wacky take on the usual RPG tropes. For instance, EarthBound is still one of the only games.

Where, if your characters are powerful enough. Enemies will just flee from you instead of engaging in a pointless, one-sided battle.

You lose money when you die instead of just going right back to your old save (though you do that too). And random encounters can even be approached strategically.

If you run up behind a mook on the map screen, you’ll actually start the fight behind them and able to attack first.

A sequel to the Japan-only game Mother, EarthBound was also unique. The time for taking place in a modern world.

Instead of the old tried-and-true swords and sorcery setting.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Soul Blazer


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

Soul Blazer was a strange RPG with a unique hook. You’re not trying to save the world, because it’s already been destroyed. Instead, you’re fighting to improve the world, to restore life to a barren planet.

It’s a killer hook, and it’s no wonder that the game still has a vocal following. You play “Blazer,” a kind of angel sent down by a god called “the Master” to fix the world. You’re out to stop Deathtoll, the jerk who was responsible for blowing up the world in the first place.

The story has love, betrayal, deals-with-the-devil, and sacrifice, all you could want from an RPG story. And the battle system – particularly the boss fights – are still worth the price of admission.

And, as a fun bit of trivia, Illusion of Gaia, earlier in this list, is kind of a loose spiritual sequel to Soulblazer.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Super Mario RPG


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

As usual, leave it to Nintendo to master a genre with their first outing.

Though that scrappy Italian plumber had really only been known for his platformers at the time, Super Mario RPG kicked the door in on the RPG market with hearty praise. Of course, it lifted much of its combat system style from Final Fantasy, but, it made the gameplay unique by keeping the traditional Mario side-scrolling platforming for the adventuring between fights.

This created a familiar-but-new game that players went nuts for. Plus, it featured multiple playable characters, allowing you to strategize fights with Bowser, Princess Toadstool, Geno, and Mallow all on your side and offering different skills and tactics.

And because Mario was already so beloved, Super Mario RPG ended up introducing tons of non-RPG players to an entire genre they had never considered before.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Secret of Evermore


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

If you liked Secret of Mana, you’ll probably like Secret of Evermore. The combat system and much of the overworld exploration feels very similar - you’ve got the character swapping, the real-time battles, and the perspective is also very similar.

However, it’s not really a knock – games borrow from each other all the time. A secret of Evermore was interesting because it was developed by Square in America, which also explains the in-game setting of small-town America. The setting shifts quickly as the main characters - a boy and his faithful hound - are transported to the world of Evermore by a strange machine.

There, they explore different eras in a fantasy-world version of history, including a dinosaur era, a Roman era, a medieval era, and even a future timeline.

The graphics are pretty solid for the era, the music is probably better than it has any right to be, and the made-for-America background allowed for a lot of in-jokes and references for Western audiences. It’s a solid title and one that sometimes gets forgotten behind Square’s other masterpieces.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

Star Ocean


The 10 Best SNES RPGs of All Time

If you’re a sci-fi and an RPG fan, there wasn’t much for you during the SNES era. Sure, Chrono Trigger had sci-fi elements, as did Secret of Evermore, but for a full-on sci-fi and spaceships experience, you turned to Star Ocean.

The story takes Roddrick and up to 9 other characters through an adventure to cure a virulent disease. One of the most interesting parts of Star Ocean is that there are fully 10 playable characters, but you can only recruit 8, meaning you can never get all of the characters in one go. You have to make some hard decisions, which gives a surprising replayability not common at the time.

Star Ocean also had a neat “affection” system that you allowed you pursue optional quests that would round out your party’s backstory, much in the way modern RPGs like Mass Effect and Dragon Age do. These side quests, and how your characters feel about you, also change the how the ending plays out.

Star Ocean was surprisingly ahead of its time, and it’s absolutely worth a replay.

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Good Deal

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Try, Replay, or Revisit the

Best SNES RPGs Right Now


A few of these titles are a part of the official SNES Classic system that Nintendo released: Final Fantasy VI, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, and EarthBound are all in the lineup.

As for the rest, many of them can be bought in the retro stores on consoles like the Wii, WiiU, and the Nintendo Switch, or can be emulated relatively easily.

Honorable mentions go to Terranigma, Breath of Fire II, Tales of Phantasia, Lufia II, and Dragon Warrior I and II. They’re all great games, but sometimes you have to make your cuts.

All of these games in one way or another built the RPG genre we have today and are just waiting for you to revisit them best snes rpgs. 

Best Dreamcast Games

Best Dreamcast Games

best dreamcast games

The Sega Dreamcast often gets a bad rap among gamers and critics. Even so, the Best Dreamcast games was home to memorable games that have gone on to legendary status with critics and fans.

Some of the criticism is earned. Sega lost a lot of goodwill from gamers after the disastrous Sega 32X and Sega CD – both are sort-of attachments to the Sega Genesis that sometimes, but not always, improved the games.

Unfortunately, the 32X didn’t work with every game and had no 3rd party support, and the Sega CD was SLOW because the Sega Genesis was simply not powerful enough to load a CD. The peripherals Sega tried to get gamers to buy to update the aging Genesis soured many on the console.

Despite the bad rap, the Dreamcast was ahead of its time and was both revolutionary and a powerful gaming system. It offered a better graphics processor. Many of the features that first appeared with the Sega Dreamcast have become core features of modern gaming.

The Dreamcast was the first system to include a built-in modem for online play. It offered a microphone attachment and high-def graphics through a VGA box. It even used virtual memory (VM). Even with all that power, the Dreamcast was a short-lived console as the Sony Playstation dominated the market and minds of video game fanatics.


The Best Dreamcast Games: Comparison Table



How We Chose Our Ratings for the Best Dreamcast Games


Dreamcast Games

Before we dive into the review, let’s go over the factors we use in our scoring.

The foundation of each review is the gameplay, graphics and story. As we play through a game, it must offer at least 2 of these 3 factors to be considered for the Best Dreamcast Games list. For at least one factor, the game should push the envelope and bring something new to the genre.

Next, we factor in other review sites and message boards to see how critics and gamers responded to the game. We understand the best games inspire an emotional response, both positive and negative, and weigh that in our scoring.

Finally, there is always an element of personal opinion with any rating, but especially a rating on games. Some gamers love shooters and would rather go to the dentist than play an RPG, and we respect that. Even so, we try our best to review critically. Accuracy and honesty are foundation of our ratings.


The Best Dreamcast Games


These are the games we wouldn’t be embarrassed recommending to anyone. You may not agree with every game on the list, but there’s something for everyone here.

Samba De Amigo

If you own a Sega Dreamcast and throw a party, you better have Samba De Amigo.

With fresh, popular Latin sounds, a party-filled screen and controllers that happen to be red maracas (man, those maracas are awesome), Samba De Amigo is one of the greatest rhythm and dance titles ever launched on a console. It was an easy choice for the Best Dreamcast Games list.

In the game, players use the maracas to match the pattern and rhythm on the screen. The party is hosted by a cute monkey who acts as your avatar in the game. If you play well and match the rhythm, then more characters will join the monkey at the party. Do well enough and an entire entourage of characters will fill the screen, including a dancing cactus and creatures and costumes that wouldn’t look out of place at a carnival.

The game also includes other modes such as Party and Battle, mini-games and competitions.

For pure party-fun and dancing cactuses, we give Samba De Amigo 3.5 out of 5.

?Jet Set Radio (also known as Jet Grind Radio) 

Jet Set Radio
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As one of the first games to include cel-shaded visuals, Jet Set Radio makes the Best Dreamcast Games list not only for great gameplay, but groundbreaking visuals.

The point of the game is fairly simple. You start as a gang member in a futuristic city known as Tokyo-to. You have skates and a can of spray paint, and you fight the authorities and other gangs by tagging the streets. In a typical level, you must tag certain spots before time runs out while being pursued by the authorities.

Sure, the skating doesn’t have the depth of Tony Hawk, but it feels fast. There’s a joy and freedom to the game that works well with graphics that are ahead of their time. Add in the tagging element, the heavy thumping soundtrack, the ability to make your own tags, and the unlockable characters and you have a great game.

For unbridled youthful energy and cel-shaded rebellion against the man, we give Jet Set Radio 3.5 out of 5.

Ikaruga

A cult classic game that is still considered one of the greatest shooters of all time, Ikaruga was an easy choice for the Best of Dreamcast list.

The game offers a new and exciting, twist on the typical twitch gameplay of shooters. All the projectiles in the game are either black or white. The gamer can switch the color, or polarity, of the ship between black and white. The same color projectiles are absorbed, while the opposite color will kill the player.

In the game, as the screen fills with projectiles, the polarity gameplay element will keep the player alive. You need to use the polarity to survive, which makes for an exceedingly difficult challenge.

For a welcome twist on the shooter, we give Ikaruga 4 out of 5.

Sonic Adventure 2

It’s true, the move to 3D platform was rough on Sonic, and his first game on the Dreamcast, Sonic Adventure, was plagued by camera problems and glitches, but Sonic Adventure 2 corrected many of those problems and added new elements that made it a Best Dreamcast Game.

The game featured two campaigns, a hero campaign and a villain campaign Each campaign featured three different characters. Each character offered different gameplay. For example, Sonic in the hero campaign offered the fast-paced gameplay of a Sonic game, while Knuckles the Echidna in the hero campaign was focused on action-adventure in an open world.

Add in beautiful visuals that made good use of the Dreamcast’s power, unlockable power-ups that seemed almost RPG-like, and a fun mini game that let you raise a pet and Sonic Adventure 2 is a powerhouse game focused on fun.

For keeping Sonic fast-paced even with his virtual pets, we give Sonic Adventure 2.4 out of 5.

Rez

I’m not usually one to insist a game must be art, but Rez is not only a gorgeous game with great shooter gameplay, it wraps it in a package that is easily artwork.

At its core, Rez is a shooter on rails. Your avatar travels in an electronic landscape shooting enemies and capturing power-ups. The power-ups can “evolve” your avatar. As the avatar evolves, it changes shape and becomes more human-like. When the avatar is hit, it loses shape and devolves. Add in awesome electronic music with beats synched to your actions on the screen, the game is simply hypnotic. In fact, Sega marketed the game as “synesthesia,” or manipulating different senses with another sense.

For making synesthetes everywhere feel welcome, we give Rez 4 out of 5.

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

For pure frantic combat and insane combat moves, few games can match Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.

The gameplay and set-up are fairly simple. You have a huge roster of characters from both the Marvel Universe and Capcom games. You create a roster of three characters and then you face off against another team. The game takes the simple set-up and explodes it with gameplay that’s chaotic fun and insane brawling. You have combos, hyper-combos that can throw enemies to dizzying heights, a deep tag-in element that adds another level of strategy.

Add-in that huge roster of unlockable characters and you have a game that many still argue is the best fighting game. The only element lacking in the Dreamcast version was the online play, but it was still a highlight of the Dreamcast console.

For game-busting combos and tag-in assists, we give Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 4 out of 5.

Soul Calibur

A weapon-based fighting game, Soul Calibur was originally a Dreamcast exclusive that provided a gameplay depth and tight controls that most games can’t match.

The set-up is simple. You have a roster of characters, each with a different fighting style and weapon. Also, one will face off in a 3D ring with different elements and shapes. Finally, you defeat an opponent by either knocking them out of the ring or wearing down their health. Soul Calibur added depth to the game with an Impact Defense system that let you block and counter attacks. It also used an 8-way run system that took advantage of the 3D arena.

With a roster of interesting characters and fascinating backstories that weave together to tell the tale of the evil Soul Edge sword and its counterpart, Soul Calibur, the game is pure fun. With plenty of game modes and a deep fighting system that takes time to master, Soul Calibur is an easy choice for the Best Dreamcast Game list.

For cool swords, we give Soul Calibur 4.5 out of 5.

Phantasy Star Online

One of the first MMORPGs to be released on a console, Phantasy Star Online introduced millions to the joy of playing online with friends.

The game also ditched the turn-based combat of previous Phantasy Star games for real-time hack and slash combat. Players can choose from one of three classes and one of three races for a character. Players then team up with up to 3 other players (though you can play alone when you want to) to fight through levels, or instances, before reaching a boss. Loot is collected, and experience gained for powering up your character.

With a fascinating mix of science fiction and fantasy elements, Phantasy Star Online was a great addition for the Dreamcast. Today Phantasy Star Online is still remembered fondly by gamers everywhere.

For hacking and slashing fun with friends, we give Phantasy Star Online 5 out of 5.

Skies of Arcadia

Like many games, Skies of Arcadia is a Final Fantasy clone, but it does everything – from story, to characters, to exploration, to combat, better than almost any other game.

As a turn-based RPG, you control Vyse, a sky pirate tasked with stopping an evil empire from unleashing ancient weapons of mass destruction. You fly across a 3D world in a skyship revealing new areas, chasing mysteries, finding new continents and areas, discovering treasure and exploring dungeons. Along the way, you fight enemies and gain experience, and eventually save the world.

Sure, it sounds like many other games, but few, if any, games could match Skies of Arcadia for characters you could fall in love with and a story that kept you playing late at night.

For swashbuckling sky ships, we give Skies of Arcadia 5 out of 5.

Shenmue 1/Shenmue 2

Yes, this is two games, and yes it was originally supposed to be an installment in the Viruta Fighter series, but Shenmue broke so many barriers in the gaming world it deserves a position at the top of the Best Dreamcast Games list.

In the game, you play Ryo, a martial arts student investigating his father’s murder. After the set-up, Shenmue separates itself from other titles. It offers 3D open world environments that include brawler battles and events. There are elements of RPGs, simulation games where you manipulate NPCs for information, and real-time events like day, night and characters with daily schedules. In the game, shops close, buses follow a schedule, and characters need to eat.

Unfortunately, the game never reached a mass market and the series is still unfinished. For storytelling, combining gameplay elements successfully, and creating an interactive world, Shenmue is a masterpiece. Many still consider it one of the best games ever released.

For hungry NPCs and murder mysteries, we give Shenmue 1 & 2, 5 out of 5.


Buyer’s Guide to the Best Dreamcast Games 


While the Sega Dreamcast wasn’t a long-running system with a huge catalog of games, it did offer some of the best and most enduring games on the market. The system pushed boundaries at the time.

If you are looking to purchase ports or remakes of the titles here, keep in mind there are some very bad ports out there. Not every port was able to capture the magic of the Dreamcast original.

For example, Samba De Amigo has several ports, including one for the Wii, but they didn’t add the maracas or offer the same gameplay control as the Dreamcast original. The port suffers for it, even with enhanced graphics.

Take a look at reviews of the port before purchasing to make sure critical gameplay elements are included.

As always, happy gaming!

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The 17 Best Atari 2600 Games

The 17 Best Atari 2600 Games

best atari 2600 games

We’re going back in time today, looking at one of the very first home consoles to really make a splash best atari 2600 games in the market.

Released in 1977, the Atari 2600 actually had a wood veneer on it, in case you’re not sure how old it is. In today’s money, it cost around $800, a sobering figure for those who thought the $600 PS3 was a ridiculous price.

Not only did the Atari sell well, it had a solid bevy of great games. Here are some of the best:


Comparison Table - Best Atari 2600 Games


Product Name

Image

Rating

Price

Joust

Joust

Pitfall

Pitfall

Breakout

Breakout

Secret Quest

Secret Quest

Missile Command

Missile Command

Asteroids

Asteroids

Outlaw

Outlaw

Adventure

Adventure

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

Warlords

Warlords

Centipede

Centipede

River Raid

River Raid

Kaboom

Kaboom

Fatal Run

Fatal Run

Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back

Ms. Pacman

Ms. Pacman

Combat

Combat
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