Top 5: SNES Games 5. Street Fighter II Turbo, Super, World Warrior, take your pick; all are classics and deserve a chance at the title. Street Fighter II was the Call of Duty of the 90’s. Everyone played it, thought they were the best and mastered their favorite character. Every developer wanted a piece of the fighting game pie and a series of cash grab copycat entries were created (the most famous being Mortal Kombat). SFII contains tight controls, varied combatants and a rock-paper-scissors approach to battle. There was an ebb and flow to these matches. Many of the modern fighting mechanics, such as combos, cheesing and special moves were either introduced or refined within this game. Just in case you were wondering, Ryu was my favorite character and I could beat any every kid in my neighborhood. Now that Street Fighter IV is available….and the whole Internet thing, my block is much larger and I don’t command the same respect. 4. Mega Man X Not to be confused with Mega Man 10; the adventures of X were a reboot/spinoff of the original Mega Man franchise. The classic side scrolling action remained but X was equipped with an expanded arsenal. The character started with a small health bar and no energy tanks. Through exploration and defeating the Mavericks, X would double his health, expand his armor and discover a wide variety of powers. The themes of leveling up are captured perfectly through gameplay mechanics and X’s story to save the world. Depending on what order you defeated the bosses, their stages would differ. If you want the fire to be frozen in Flame Mammoth’s section, kill Chill Penguin first – The More You Know. 3. Super Mario World One of the greatest games for the SNES came with the system. For free. SMW introduced ghost houses, the star road, hidden paths and the fan-favorite Yoshi. This entry could be considered the pinnacle of the Mario series. There were 96 different paths for players to discover and they weren’t always obvious. You could spend hours searching for a level’s alternative exit. This game highlights a theme within the Mario franchise; there is a simple path and a more challenging option for players. The usage of the cape, a slightly overpowered flying mechanic expanded the verticality of level design and options for the player. Yes, much of the praise I heap on SMW can be applied to SMB3…but while SMB3 did it first, SMW did it better. 2. Chrono Trigger The subject matter is heavy, the characters are flawed but the game is pure fun from beginning to end. The end of the world is coming, and only a rag-tag team of misfits can save it from destruction. CT utilizes many RPG tropes, “wake up” opening scene, silent protagonist, mystery that unfolds through layers and secrets upon sidequests with a side of ultimate bosses. But it does it better than most. It doesn’t rely on these tried and true mechanics to be great, it invented most of them. The time travel mechanic is a necessary feature and doesn’t feel like a gimmick.If you grab a treasure chest in the future, you can work backwards through time and pick up the same item multiple times. If you grab it in the past first, it won’t be there in the future. There are thirteen different endings for Chrono Trigger depending on when the player initiates the final boss battle. Thanks to a New Game + it’s possible to beat the game within thirty minutes. 1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past If this is your first NerdEXP post, then welcome hope you return, if you are a regular than you probably saw this coming. LttP is an absolute masterpiece of game design. The story throws the hero (who may or may not be named Link) into a journey with a defined goal and introduces a complex puzzle/combat system. Within each dungeon there is a new item that rounds out Link’s arsenal and expands his abilities to defeat enemies and explore. The gameplay teaches players through context clues instead of a fairy yelling at you the entire time. When you learn the telltale sign of a cracked wall, scalable mountain or poundable peg the once large and vast world opens up. Anything that can be seen, can be reached. The world (both of them!) feel interconnected from each other, instead of a hub world system. This is the pinnacle of game design for the Super Nintendo and the Zelda franchise. All of these titles are available on the eShop. If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing them yet, do yourself a favor. These games are a necessary foundation for the gaming culture of today and by experiencing them, you might just level up your nerd IQ. Level Up, Friends!