All posts by the Well-Red Mage

A pan-galactic, mid-temporal, demi-aquadescent writer, blogger and public speaker with a narrow anti-modern flair. A red-tinted linguiphile living in the past, fighting the eventide of ignorance with every pixelated word.

“SNES Classic Edition reportedly coming soon and 30 games we want to see!”


“Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes ofman.”
Proverbs 27:20 [ESV]

…I’m so tired of spending money. But of course, if Nintendo were to ever release a Super Nintendo Classic Edition, I’d try so hard to preorder it. It’d sit pretty right next to my actual SNES. It’s a retrograming collector’s dream! Well, now it’s been reported that such a mini console is indeed coming later this year. Nintendo sure knows how to grab my attention.

After the fiascofailurecatastrophedisasterdebacle mess that was the NES Classic Edition launch, what with it being nearly impossible to find in stores or online, and what with it being price gouged as high as $1,000 (I kid you not), I hope that Nintendo has a much smoother roll out for the SNES Classic. Fingers crossed. Maybe they’ll even make hardware improvements like controllers with longer…

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2017)


“An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come.”
—Victor Hugo, Histoire d’un Crime

Think about all of the great characters and franchises which have fallen by the wayside over the decades. How many of them survived the jump into 3D graphics? How many of them survived the gold rush of online gaming? How many of them were successfully reinvented and how many of them didn’t make it? Turns out it’s not easy to reinvent the wheel.

Now is the age of the Nintendo Switch, a revolutionary piece of hardware that will undoubtedly have an effect upon its competitors, though it remains to be seen whether it will be a lasting success. Nintendo, coincidentally, possesses more IPs than any other developer and these have survived and often thrived through the generations amid the console wars. Nearly all of them are icons, household names even if…

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“Switch Anticipation, part 3: Top 20 Third-Party Games of the N64”


“In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

The N64 may have been Nintendo’s first step toward irrelevance. Certainly that didn’t mean it was a terrible system. It’s remembered fondly as the console of many of our childhoods, and with good reason. It had some stellar games like Super Mario 64, the first Super Smash Bros., and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask.

But the fact of the matter is, the N64 was the first time that Nintendo dropped from their place as champions of the console wars. They’d revived the industry with the NES and fought down a dirty battle against…

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“Inklings on the Nintendo Switch”


“When one is frightened of the truth then it is never the whole truth that one has an inkling of.”
-Ludwig Wittgenstein

It’s here! Happy Switch Launch Day, NPCs! The hype train has been careening down the tracks for months with reams of excitement pluming from its smokestack and it’s caught me dead in its path, irresistibly struck by the delirium of the Nintendo Switch’s impending arrival ever since that first dramatic reveal trailer… And now it’s finally here!

Getting a console and several games at launch is unusual for me. The last time I did it was when I got the PlayStation One. Everything else I’ve waited to purchase second hand. Something about the Switch just awed me. I’m not one to purchase every single new game that comes out so the “slow trickle” of games coming out later this year doesn’t bother me.

I’m also not one…

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“Switch Anticipation, part 2: Top 20 Third-Party Games of the NES”


“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
-Rudyard Kipling



The Nintendo Entertainment System. The console that saved the industry. The console that defined a generation and influenced all the others to come. Could we even have the Sony PlayStation or Microsoft’s Xbox without the NES? Widely embraced as the greatest console ever, the NES proved yet again that it is still a beloved household name with the recent debacle surrounding the NES Classic Edition, namely that it sold out everywhere in a matter of minutes. Thirty years later. Dropped the ball there, Nintendo.

But let’s hearken back to a time when Nintendo didn’t drop balls. What made the NES so great and so different from the dozens of terrible consoles that came before it? Well, it had a library of over 700 licensed games (and 182 unlicensed ones). It had simple, non-gimmicky controls. It had a much needed degree of quality control. It was compact (for the time) and didn’t look like a whole arcade cabinet. It was also the first console that noticeably had both incredible first-party and incredible third-party games.

Everyone remembers the original games either developed by or published by Nintendo which spawned icons in the gaming industry: Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure, TetrisFinal Fantasy (yes), and Clu Clu Land. But it was also a system which featured third-party games of the highest order, perhaps in greater quantities than even the Super Nintendo

Why do we even want third-party games for the Nintendo Switch? Why are we even having this conversation? Because we want variety. We want those charming, innocent Nintendo games but we also want games which are different, as well, as the success of Sony and Microsoft (and once upon a time Sega) has since proved.

Essentially, we want the Switch to be like the NES.

So let’s take a moment to remember the kind of third-party games that helped the NES save the industry after the crash. Maybe in remembering we’ll realize that diversity is what we really wish for the Switch. Maybe in remembering where they’ve come from, Nintendo will place great emphasis on forging relationships with third-party developers again. Just don’t bring back Wisdom Tree or LJN, please. Quality control. Quality control.


nes_mckids_cover#20. M.C. Kids (1992)
Virgin Interactive/Ocean Software

Let’s be perfectly clear: M.C. Kids is crap. No, it’s worse. It’s constipation. But the fact that the NES featured a McDonald’s video game shouldn’t be underappreciated. This was a Mario clone but talk about a range of different games. Of course I’m not asking for third-party games that are rubbish like this, but ones which would be just as startling to see on Nintendo’s Switch.

78197-marble-madness-nes-front-cover#19. Marble Madness (1989)
Mark Cerny/Atari Games/Rare/Milton Bradley Company

One thing which the NES specialized in was bringing home ports of popular arcade games. Think about how significant this was. The home console scene had just been wrecked, thanks not in small part to Atari’s bungling, so video games at the time lived on primarily in arcades. Atari failed to bring home a quality port of Pac-Man for their 2600, but Nintendo succeeded with numerous and refined home versions of arcade classics. One of these was Marble Madness. Expect to see more quality ports on this list.

boxartlolo1us#18. Adventures of Lolo (1989)
HAL Laboratory/HAL America

Though HAL is the developer known for creating the Kirby, EarthBound and Super Smash Bros. franchises, they are not identical to Nintendo. The heroic blue puffball Lolo is one of their lesser known properties. A game like this puzzler would fit right in on the Switch and we already know there have been several games announced which are fairly similar. Puzzle games seem like they are made for a console that can be taken on the go, simply because of their momentary and casual nature. Like a sudoku book. Heck, is it too much to wish for a new Lolo game for the Switch?

lembox.jpg#17. Lemmings (1992)
DMA Design/Psygnosis/Ocean Software

I can still remember watching my dad and my friends’ dad play what was then a fairly popular game, Lemmings. Only recently did I come to find out just how popular the game was, evidenced by its many, many, many ports. Lemmings was not an NES exclusive, but it was not a terrible version of the original. Nintendo! Learn from your past by giving us ports that aren’t stripped down and over-simplified!

2361114-nes_adventureisland.jpg#16. Adventure Island (1986)
Hudson Soft

This one has always been dear if not near to me, what with it featuring a kanaka trying to rescue his wahine. Turns out, it’s an adaptation of Wonder Boy from Sega, but it sired its own set of spin-off sequels. Platformers were once the genre of the day, just as shooters were before that, though FPS’s seem to be the most popular in our time. Thus, I’m glad to see such a sizable presence of platformers on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo still remembers they’re the house that platformers built.

3dworldrunner_nesbox.jpg#15. The 3-D Battles of WorldRunner (1987)

Dude. The Nintendo Entertainment system had a background-scrolling rail shooter with a built in toggle for 3D glasses, and it was scored by Nobuo Uematsu and developed by Square. Let that sink in. The NES was already playing around with 3D, bringing the ticket selling concept home from the movie theater. WorldRunner blew my mind. Could we be seeing an unprecedented step toward 3D graphics or even VR with the Switch? Who knows. Mario knows and he ain’t talkin’.


ms-pac-man-usa.png#14. Ms. Pac-Man (1993)

The Switch’s lineup for 2017, though sparse in total, looks to be heavy on a few things like indie games and ports. Nintendo already knew how to bring exceptional ports to their consoles. Considering the Switch is launching sort of pseudo-between generations, there are a wealth of games to port that must be translated well. I played Stardew Valley on PS4, but I’m currently convinced that game would work a thousand times better on the Switch, to cite just one example.

ninja_gaiden_nes#13. Ninja Gaiden (1989)

Yes! This is what Nintendo needs. Don’t shed the kiddie image but include some hardcore, fast-paced, tough-as-nails games like the iconic Ninja Gaiden. This was not a game which merely appealed to mature players simply because of its masculinity and violence, but because it was produced at such a high standard. It’s a game with integrity and the Switch needs third-party titles like these which seem so anti-Nintendo, but which fit right in with the NES once upon a year.

55284-double_dragon_usa-1#12. Double Dragon (1988)
Technōs Japan/Taito/Tradewest

Bring back the greatness of the arcades with a huge, sweaty fist! Double Dragon is a legend. Arcade classic, ported across many systems, yada yada, but the Switch has got the goods to play a casual beat ’em up on the fly, whenever you like. And man, a wireless multiplayer beat ’em up with other Switch owners would be a dream come true. Flex those flabby biceps, Hammer and Spike. Maybe we’ll see something along your lines soon.


Castlevania-image4.jpg#11. Castlevania (1986)

Konami had a long, purely platonic working relationship with Nintendo and one of the classics that came out of that wonderful friendship was Castlevania. Coinciding with the 90th anniversary of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nintendo has since moved away pretty dramatically from anything resembling the horror genre, but maybe the time has come to get back to their spooky roots, so long as they maintain their characteristic family friendly image, of course.

2362153-nes_rampage.jpg#10. Rampage (1988)
Bally Midway/Data East

If you have not played Rampage, you don’t know what you’re missing. Again, the Switch is built with multiplayer in mind so I’d be down for an update of this co-op cataclysm classic, or a game created in its spirit. In modern terms, Rampage is almost more of a mobile game so adding in some extra layers of detail would be crucial but the mobile part is already inherent. Maybe include some procedurally generated Google maps cities based on the players’ locations to wreck. Roguelike Rampge. Too much? Too much.

batmanreturnofthejokernes#9. Batman: Return of the Joker (1991)

What was the last Batman game you saw on a Nintendo console. Armored Edition? Exactly. Ugh. Remember the time when original superhero games featured heavily on the NES? We’re talking Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men… the Switch would be more than wise to draw upon the current superhero hysteria by bringing us some exclusive, officially licensed comic book adaptations, just like the NES did back in the day.

metal-gear-nes-_#8. Metal Gear (1988)
Ultra Games/Konami

It’s not the original version of the first Metal Gear but let’s take a moment to remember that a version of the first Metal Gear appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment system. A franchise we associate with Sony’s PlayStation had its origins in part with Nintendo. Is it too much to ask that Nintendo revive the stealth genre with the Switch? Maybe do even more than that by cooperating with Hideo Kojima and his new projects?


contra#7. Contra (1988)

Well I couldn’t really make a list of top third-party NES games without mentioning the game that popularized the iconic Konami code (first created by Gradius in ’86). A couch co-op run and gun like Contra would be more than at home on the Switch, what with the ease of Joy-Cons being used by two players. I don’t think the most important thing about adapting something like Contra to the Switch would be simply just updating it more so than including its co-op nature in a brand new title that’s just as fun and memorable.

cover_medium.jpg#6. DuckTales (1989)

The box cover actually says “state-of-the-art” and “high resolution”. I’m at a loss for words there but the fact is DuckTales was a really fun game taking everyone’s then-favorite Disney cartoon and Capcom’s penchant for perfect platforming to Nintendo’s original console. Just like with Aladdin, Nintendo could stand to benefit from licensed games. I’m sure a lot of the rules have maybe changed but don’t pretend that if there was a new DuckTales game that you wouldn’t sell your children for the money to buy it.

river_city_ransom-front#5. River City Ransom (1990)
Technōs Japan/Infogrames

Now follow me here: take the basics of River City Ransom and blow them up with modern technology, have character creation with account-bound upgrades, the ability to buddy up with other players as you meet them as Switch friends, battling across specific locales depending upon your geography. Shoot, maybe even through in some region specific gangs à la Pokémon Go. Just ensure the violence is cartoonish or you’ll lose the original charm of this third-party Nintendo beat ’em up RPG.

maniac-mansion-usa#4. Maniac Mansion (1987)
Lucasfilm Games/Jaleco

Growing up, Maniac Mansion was one of those games that completely captured my imagination. It was quirky Lucas-gaming at its finest and it was a point-and-click adventure to boot. That genre has seen some resurgence thanks to developers like Double Fine (Grim FandangoBroken Age) but the fact is that point-and-click would be awesome to see make a comeback with the Switch, what with its touchscreen. Portable-only games are already under discussion for the Switch so it’s not outlandish to make this consideration.

91ewyemfg2l#3. Bubble Bobble (1988)

Again I’m going to appeal to something roguelike. Imagine Bubble Bobble but with procedurally generated stages. Throw in a variation of Mario Maker with the ability to make your own levels and then share them and you’ve got a worldwide, customizable arcade-style platformer that the Switch is more than prepped and ready for.

2361245-nes_crystalis#2. Crystalis (1990)

Even though this title comes in at second place, there is quite simply nothing like a good RPG. Crystalis is that and more, with its supplement of action-oriented, Zelda-esque gameplay. Thank God the Switch is looking to get some swell RPGs soon. This “meat and potatoes” of gaming has been a huge draw for many players looking for a more involved and story-oriented experience. What I’m thinking here is the biggest boon with the Switch is that you’ll no longer have to stop a story just because some jerk wants to use the TV. By the way, I highly recommend this game.


22097_front#1. Mega Man II (1989)

One of the best games on the NES wasn’t even developed by Nintendo, and that’s Mega Man II. More refined and polished than the original, Mega Man II is perfection. Capcom may no longer care two beans about the Blue Bomber and Nintendo has taken better care of him than Capcom has of late with their Super Smash Bros. Wii U, but who’s to say there won’t be some new ground plowed with Capcom back being buddy-buddy with Nintendo again? Capcom was one of the best developers for Nintendo during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. It’s time to return to form.


With so many third-party games to choose from on the NES, there’s simply no way to mention them all on a list of twenty. Thus, what are some we missed? What are some of your favorite third-party classics from the Nintendo Entertainment System? Maybe you could wish for them on your own custom fantasy NES mini.

-The Well-Red Mage


“Switch Anticipation, part 1: Top 20 Third-Party Games of the SNES”


“The suspense is terrible! …I hope it’ll last.”
-Gene Wilder, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


Switch anticipation has reached a fever pitch. I’ve thrown out all of my throw pillows and replaced them with square cushions with embroidered Switch icons. I’ve taken down all of the lousy wall-art and pictures of my “family” to paint the walls Nintendo red. I’ve made up an excuse about having a head cold so I could get out of work on launch day. I’ve watched the Switch trailers so much I see them in my sleep. I’ve scoffed down every rebuttal and negative review the hacks on YouTube have conjured up against Nintendo’s victorious handheld-home console fusion. And lastly, I set fire to all my Sony and Microsoft consoles in a kind of funeral pyre, watching them turn to cinder and ash.

One of the things I’m looking forward to most with the Switch is the possibility of changing gears (see how I avoided using the word “switch” there?) for Nintendo and bringing us the third-party games that made some of their past consoles so great. Take the Super Nintendo for example, which I would consider to be the greatest console ever next to the NES. The Super NES was crowded with some of the best Nintendo titles of all-time but also some definitive and exemplary third-party titles.

If Nintendo can find the balance of delivering that kind of content again, I have no doubt that the Switch will usher in a new utopian era of world peace and global self-realization. Or at the very least, it could just be a way awesome console. They did it before. Hopefully they can do it again.

Since we’re all hoping for some solid third-party titles for the Switch, let’s remind ourselves of a time when Nintendo dominated in this arena. Here are my choices for the top 20 third-party games on the SNES neither developed nor published by Nintendo.

It was tough to pick just twenty…

evo#20. E.V.O.: Search for Eden (1993)

Let’s start off this list of unique games with a bang, an eons-long, highly addictive, prehistoric bang. E.V.O. is notable for being so memorable and for being so fun that I completed it and still wanted more. Work your way up the evolutionary food chain from an ichthyoid predator to a thunderous lizard-monster and beyond, arming and “upgrading” your creature in true survival of the fittest fashion by devouring lesser animals for points. Finally, you can make that puppy-monkey-baby you’ve always wanted so you can rule the world and exterminate the dinosaurs. Finally.

maxresdefault#19. Contra III: the Alien Wars (1992)

So much dudebro fun and so little time. Contra III strips down the gruesome difficulty and adds in hideous monsters from outer space for one of the most enjoyable run and gun games on the SNES. We don’t really associate this macho image with Nintendo these days, but some of the Nindie titles they showcased resonate with old school games like Contra III, namely Shakedown Hawaii.

super_castlevania_iv_us_box_art#18. Super Castlevania IV (1991)

No listicle of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras would be complete without the mention of at least one Castlevania game. In this case, I went with Castlevania IV because it has the word “super” in front of it and because it’s a remake of the original from the NES. Nintendo has since distanced themselves from the dark and the supernatural, but things seem like they’re coming back around. Expect to see a lot more from Konami on this list. Now if only they could get it together and come out with another Castlevania for Nintendo’s newest console.

2363935-snes_lostvikings_2#17. The Lost Vikings (1993)
Silicon & Synapse/Interplay Entertainment

An innovative, multi-character, puzzle-platformer like this would be perfect for the Switch. Puzzle games especially have a pick up and play kind of feel to them which would feel right at home with Nintendo’s new baby. The Lost Vikings was awkwardly hip and presented a real challenge for players dedicated enough to solve its many stages. I’d snap up something like this in a heartbeat.

snes_out_of_this_world_p_8x486e#16. Out of this World/Another World (1992)
Delphine Software International/Interplay Entertainment

Eric Chahi’s pre-indie scene indie adventure was an early, early cinematic masterpiece that inspired Hideo Kojima and Fumito Ueda. That sentence alone should really make you want to hunt it down and play it for yourself, and furthermore wish for more games like it for the Switch. The modern artsy game (JourneyRime, AbzûBoundHyper Light Drifter) with its minimal dialogue and emphasis on surreal imagery owes a lot to the pioneering of Another World. It’s time for Nintendo to bring back the art!

snes_mortal_kombat_p_tsvlpu#15. Mortal Kombat (1993)
Sculptured Software/Acclaim Entertainment

Just one of several definitive fighting games from the SNES, Mortal Kombat had its violence and gore famously dialed down by Nintendo. Nobody is asking Nintendo to ditch their “family friendly” appeal. It’s what makes them Nintendo. It’s what gives them their charm. However, the inclusion of Mortal Kombat on the SNES and other more adult games on the Switch is a step in the right direction in terms of variety and marketing to a much more mature audience. The brilliance of the 16-bit era is that it did just that. You could play your innocent Super Mario World and then the very next minute uppercut someone into a pit of spikes.

2840359_orig#14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time (1992)

TMNT4TIT is still one of the best side-scrolling beat ’em ups you can find, a great translation of a great arcade style game. If there’s anything the world needs more of, it’s beat ’em ups. Think of the Nintendo Switch’s capabilities in wireless local multiplayer and you’ve got the base foundation for a truly epic beat ’em up. Yeah, if some developer could get right on that, that’d be great. And no, Arms doesn’t count.

maxresdefault-1#13. Breath of Fire II (1995)

This is what made the SNES so good: tons of RPGs. Breath of Fire II may not have been even close to the best RPG on the 16-bit system but it was Capcom’s and only Capcom’s. It wrestled with high ideas of philosophy, destiny and religion, heavy subjects for Nintendo’s console, though it suffered from an… inconsistent translation, let’s say. There are some fine looking RPGs on the horizon for the Switch. Is it too much to ask for a new Breath of Fire title, Capcom’s answer to Final Fantasy?

snes_final_fantasy_2_p_xfzkj6#12. Final Fantasy IV (1991)

Speaking of which, Final Fantasy IV (then II) remains one of the most influential RPGs of all time. It relied heavily upon traditions yet paved the way with its innovative ATB system to fuse action gameplay with role-playing gameplay, which we’re still benefiting from today. Nintendo would do well to employ this winning formula of tradition fused with innovation, without sacrificing either for the sake of the other.

6960232_orig#11. Street Fighter II (1992)

Who can forget the game that practically built the tournament fighting genre as we know it? Anyone who played it was hooked. Didn’t matter if you’d never played a fighting game before. It was fast-paced, relentless and addicting. It was so wildly popular you could find an opponent in nearly anyone, and that is something which Nintendo could monopolize on right now. Come out with a fighter so widely embraced that I can walk right up to another person, a perfect stranger, with a Switch of their own and fully expect them to be ready to face me in said fighter. That’s what it was like in the 90’s, except we couldn’t carry around our Super Nintendos or arcade cabinets…

2363865-snes_harvestmoon#10. Harvest Moon (1997)

We wouldn’t be talking about Stardew Valley and its brand new multiplayer features coming to the Switch if there was no original Harvest Moon. This addicting farming sim spawned generations of sequels, spin-offs, clones and copies all the way up to Nintendo’s newest console. I already know we’re getting the updated version of the latest and best homage to this classic game, so there’s not much to complain about. The Switch is absolutely built for Harvest Moon, to play it on the fly in short intervals.

maxresdefault-2#9. Soul Blazer (1992)

I came across Soul Blazer almost accidentally and decided to pick it up. I enjoyed the heck out of it. It’s a hidden gem that’s both Zelda-esque and also evocative of Final Fantasy. A beautiful collision. Now that Square has picked up the suffix of Enix, the world awaits with bated breath at the possibilities in store for the Switch, like Octopath Traveler. That’s high on my list.

snes_super_ghouls_n_ghosts_p_w1m4u5#8. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (1991)

Capcom proved their love for all things ghoulish and spooky with one of the most recognizable games from the SNES. Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts was a rock hard platformer with so much Gothic appeal, Vlad the Impaler was rolling in his coffin when this came out. Can the Switch return to a time when games were actually both fun AND bearably difficult? I hope so.

aladdin_snes_box#7. Disney’s Aladdin (1993)

Am I going to get sued for using this image? See, that’s the point. Licensed games used to be Nintendo’s bread and butter. Nowadays, video games based on movies and cartoons have largely taken a dive in terms of quality, though there are a few exceptions out there. If the Switch can somehow get back to featuring solid, impressive licensed games like Disney’s Aladdin then, well, you’ve got all kinds of built in interest and hype right there. Give me a Moana platformer! Take my money!

2364727-snes_zombiesatemyneighbors#6. Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993)

LucasArts was once the height of playful weirdness and nothing matches the beautiful oddity that is Zombies Ate My Neighbors. With an emphasis on two-player simultaneous play, fighting back hordes of the undead and pop culture references was never more delightful. A game like this which is built in sets of stages utilizing either split screen or wireless co-op would excel with the Switch’s design philosophy. Forget Ghoul Patrol, can we get something along the lines of Zombies Ate My Neighbors 2?

snes-earthwormjim1-vgo#5. Earthworm Jim (1994)
Shiny Entertainment/Playmates

“Off the wall.” No, it’s not wet paint. It’s the development platitude Nintendo needs right now. They’ve continued to churn out some of the great titles we’ve come to expect from them, but that’s just it, ain’t it? In some ways, Nintendo has become pretty predictable. Time has shown that we’re all waiting for the next Mario and the next Metroid. The world is drooling for Breath of the Wild. But Nintendo used to shock us. We already know making sequels for Earthworm Jim doesn’t work, so perhaps some of the more peculiar games to come could give Nintendo a little more of that magic word they call “variety”.

maxresdefault-3#4Secret of Mana (1993)

Elegant, optimistic, and different, Secret of Mana remains one of the most beloved titles from its time. And no wonder. What other RPG included so much real-time action? What other RPG allowed you to bring a real life friend along for the journey? It’s this kind of innovation that pushed the Super Nintendo to the top. Secret of Mana was also an epic. Yes, the uniqueness of the Nindies is charming and most welcome but we’re all craving for the real RPG experiences with Nintendo again.

snes_mega_man_x_p_xky270#3. Mega Man X (1994)

Capcom once ruled the day with so many awesome titles for the Super Nintendo but none of them was better than Mega Man X. This is how you reboot a franchise. One of the best games on the system was this third-party action side-scroller starring an edgier Blue Bomber in a more violent and dystopian world. The peachy hairs on the back of my neck stood up at the mere mention of my boy Mega Man during the Nindies Showcase, when they announced Blaster Master Zero. What happened with Mighty No.9 was a tragedy so I’m not necessarily asking for a new Mega Man, just a line of games which live up to the sheer integrity of Mega Man X.

snes_final_fantasy_3_p_wgtfw8#2. Final Fantasy VI (1994)

Never forget that what is arguably the great Final Fantasy of all time found its home on a Nintendo console. Final Fantasy VII would’ve ended up with Nintendo as well, if not for cartridges. But VI proved that Nintendo’s hardware could support the highest standard of graphics, storytelling and RPG gameplay possible. Square was one of the biggest voices on Nintendo’s consoles once upon a time and nothing makes me happier than seeing them come alongside Nintendo again. Will we get a game as conclusive a FFVI on the Switch? Only time will tell but remember that this is the equivalent of a massive, non-Nintendo triple A game.

1255-1#1. Chrono Trigger (1995)

There can be only one and that one for me will always be Chrono Trigger, no matter the list, no matter the subject, no matter the question. The answer is always Chrono Trigger. It’s not only the greatest Square game nor even the greatest SNES game… it’s the greatest game in existence, in my opinion. It’s everything the ultimate third-party game for Nintendo needs to be: beyond beautiful, musically inspired by dreams, open-ended, traditional and innovative, uniquely storied, and memorable to the point of being haunting. Nothing can ever top it. Or am I wrong? Ball’s in your court now, Switch.

Thank you to Miketendo64 for the invitation to contribute! And now, dear NPCs, I’m sure you can think of plenty others! What are some of your favorite third-party games from the Super Nintendo?

-The Well-Red Mage  rmage2