Unfortunately, the release of the first wave of 32-bit consoles probably prevented Terranigma to get released in the United States, it’s so deserved. Of course, with Square Enix dipping deeper into its back catalog these days, don’t be surprised if a port or remake of this gem arrives here sooner rather than later.
5. Mana Trials
If this list was limited to North American SNES games, Mana Secret would certainly have its place. Since we are talking about global releases, then the continuation of this game only in Japan, Mana Trialssimply cannot be ignored.
This was Square at the height of its 16-bit powers. They took everything they learned from classics like Final Fantasy 4 and the trigger of a stopwatch and designed one of the finest games of its generation. From the start, the goal was to develop a game as close to 3D as possible without actually moving to 3D rendered graphics like other titles had done, and the results really speak for themselves. Mana Trials looks better than many PS1 RPGs. Although the recent remake also looks like it, it’s still worth looking for the original localized version through the Switch. Mana Gathering to experience this one in all its 16-bit glory.
4. Starry Ocean
It’s still hard to believe that Tri-Ace got ocean of stars to run on the SNES. As we see throughout this list, however, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of experienced programmers working with the right technology.
ocean of stars used the S-DD1 chip (the same one used in Street Fighter Alpha 2). This complex compression chip managed to produce near 32-bit quality graphics on aging SNES hardware. Seriously, no other SNES RPG is as detailed or as well animated. Like too many other great RPGs of the 90s, the SNES version of ocean of stars never officially made its way west. An HD remake is now available on PS4 and Switch, but honestly the original is still better in many ways.
3. Star fox
Yes, star fox seems primitive today. You could even argue that the graphics in other SNES games have aged slightly better. In 1993, however, it was revolutionary. Full 3D games were rare, even in arcades, and few believed in a game like star fox could possibly work on the SNES. It’s a small miracle that Argonaut Games was able to develop the Super FX chip that made all of this possible without charging consumers a small fortune for the privilege of playing it.