Killer Instinct

10 Most Innovative SNES Games: Which One is Better?

Explore more about the top 10 most innovative SNES games in the following post.

Some of the greatest games of the 1990s may be found on the Super Nintendo. Because of its strong 32-bit architecture, game developers were able to push the graphical boundaries of a new generation of gamers and imagine never-before-seen ways for players to engage with virtual worlds. As a result, there was an extraordinary wave of innovation that helped make gaming one of the most important cultural sectors in the world.

While many SNES games are deserving of recognition, some more than others contributed to the media’s transformation. The ten most inventive SNES games transcend genre borders, push the envelope in terms of technology, or just demonstrate remarkable game design to become timeless masterpieces.

10. ActRaiser

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Although far less known than other SNES titles, ActRaiser is one of the most unique games released on Nintendo’s 32-bit console. Instead of sticking to a single genre, ActRaiser plays around with different ideas, from side-scrolling 2D platforming to city-building simulation.

In ActRaiser, you are a god trying to build a civilization in a monster-infested world. By giving life to a statue, you can control a mighty stone warrior in action platforming levels, where powerful bosses must be defeated for the sake of your people. Outside these sections, you use an angel to guide the people to build new buildings and research advanced technology while protecting your civilization form flying creatures. ActRaiser two-part gameplay structure was quite impressive for the time, and helped to show how fantastic diverse games can be.

9. Clock Tower

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Clock Tower pioneered the survival-horror genre, bending expectations with its inventive approach to point-and-click adventures. While the game features puzzles and challenges common to the genre, it introduces a stamina bar that prevents you from running for too long, limiting your movements and leaving you vulnerable while making your way through a creepy mansion.

Clock Tower is one of the most innovative SNES games due to its real-time simulation. While exploring the mansion, you are constantly being chased by a killer named Scissorman. Despite the limitation of the console, you need to keep moving to evade the villain. Plus, once Scissorman finds you, the game enters a ‘panic mode,’ where you start to trip or slow down depending on your health. It’s an unnerving experience that shows how scary horror games can be. Finally, Clock Tower has nine different endings, an impressive number even by today’s standards.

8. EVO: Search For Eden

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EVO: Search of Eden took replay value to a whole new level thanks to its evolution system. The game is a side-scroller platformer in which you devour your enemies to acquire evolution points, which you’ll use to upgrade your character according to your preferences. That means you can choose which of eight body parts to change in a journey that starts as a fish and ends as a primate.

With eight unique body parts to evolve, EVO: Search of Eden offers a diverse gameplay experience every time you boot the game. That was unprecedented in the industry, making it one of the most innovative SNES games.

7. EarthBound

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While most RPGs in the 1990s used an overworld to take you from location to location, EarthBound features a rare seamless world that was quite innovative then. The second game in the Mother series also cemented the notion that RPGs could go well beyond medieval fantasy to create a fantastic world filled with quirky characters and high-stakes adventure.

Another way EarthBound challenged the industry’s standards was by opting for an oblique projection view instead of the most-used top-down or isometric perspective. It’s also interesting to notice that Dark Souls makes you lose your currency when you die it’s nothing new to games, as EarthBound already adopted a similar system in 1995, taking half your earnings when you reach the Game Over.

6. Super Mario World

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To put it simply, Super Mario World achieved the pinnacle of 2D platforming. Super Mario planet was the biggest advancement in the series since Jumpman left Donkey Kong to create his own game. It features complex level design and hidden exits that dictate how quickly you can explore the planet.

Yoshi was also introduced as Mario and Luigi’s sidekick in Super Mario World, and the game’s soundtrack advanced adaptive soundtrack technology by modifying the music in real time based on Mario’s condition. Lastly, even when contrasted to more current games, Super Mario World’s pixel-perfect controls help it maintain its rank as one of the greatest 2D platformers ever.

5. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past

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A Link to the Past was the sole game that helped the cherished series find its foothold, even if the original The Legend of Zelda served as a model for adventure games. The ideal ratio between a somewhat free world and a path that is obstructed by new tools was struck by A Link to the Past.

Another feature of A Link to the Past is its two-cycle gameplay, whereby you unlock new objectives and temples after completing your initial main mission. Additionally, this is the first game in the series to explore ideas like the Dark World and the Sages. Up to the release of Breath of the Wild, every Zelda game emulated the breakthrough design of A Link to the Past.

4. Super Mario RPG: The Legend Of The Seven Stars

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A cornerstone of the mustachioed plumber series, Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the Seven Stars introduced a number of world-building concepts that would become standard in the Mushroom Kingdom. For example, Princess Peach initially appears in the Super Mario RPG holding a parasol, which is now a traditional item in her collection. In addition, Super Mario RPG marked Peach’s debut as a playable character, following Super Mario Bros. 2.

Nonetheless, Super Mario RPG was the first game to give Peach a personality other than that of a damsel-in-distress, as the previous game was only a reskin of Doki Doki Panic. The fighting system in Super Mario RPG was another extremely inventive feature. Unlike most role-playing games, which adhere to a static turn-based system, this one lets you to interact in combat, by timing attacks and defenses that make each turn more fluid and interactive.

3. Chrono Trigger

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Chrono Trigger is still the greatest time-traveling  game ever made, some 30 years after it was released. The game presents a story that spans millennia, but its branching plot never becomes lost. Actually, Chrono Trigger illustrates how every decision you make has an impact on your destiny by offering you the option to change it.

Because of this, the game features twelve distinct endings, one of which has five possibilities. The vast universe of Chrono Triggers offers plenty of sights and activities, but it doesn’t new in terms of storytelling. A timer that regulates when each character will act again is another way the game enhances turn-fight engagement. This is a crucial step in the direction of more dynamic combat systems in role-playing games.

2. Killer Instinct

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When Killer Instinct debuted on the Super Nintendo, it completely changed the fighting game genre. First of all, no fighting game had such intricate graphics and a large cast of characters up to that point. Then, a measure that’s still in use today—two health bars for each character—was introduced by Killer Instinct.

Killer Instinctic brought fighting concepts that were crucial to the industry, beyond just innovative looks. This was the first game that let you instantly construct a complex combo by pressing a series of buttons. Similarly, combo breakers—movements that have the potential to interrupt your opponent’s combos—are introduced in Killer Instinct. Put succinctly, Killer Instinct achieved a tremendous feat for a new series: making fighting games more challenging.

1. Star Fox

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In the SNES era, Star Fox’s 3D rail navigation is a technological marvel. Its ability to simulate a third dimension using sprite-scaling was unmatched in previous games before its release, which is why the game quickly rose to the top of Nintendo’s most popular series. There was nothing on the Super Nintendo that could compare to the immersive experience of speed and depth offered by Star Fox.

Nintendo had to develop a special Super FX chip just for Star Fox and include it in the cartridge because to its high graphic requirements. With the introduction of the Nintendo 64, this chip marked a major development in Nintendo’s understanding of polygonal gameplay.