The Super Nintendo (SNES), which also known as the Super Famicom (SFC) and as the Super Comboy, is a great console with many great role-playing games (RPG). When we ask different people about the best SNES RPGs, then we get a lot of different answers. Plus, many don’t even know some SNES RPGs.
This post gives a top 10 SNES RPGs that are officially released. Here is an RPG a game by which one the genres is the RPG genre. So, a game in the top 10 can also be a combination of other genres.
The top 10 SNES RPGs is a list that I have based on a rating system. This rating system works a bit complex, but it is a combination of game critic-based ratings and user-based ratings. The system is not perfect, but it works pretty well.
The purpose of the following top 10 SNES RPGs is to give insight. Maybe you discover a new RPG, or maybe you can give a game new change to play it. Also, we can see it as a method to test our SNES RPGs knowledge.
Here follow the top 10 SNES RPGs. I have sorted the top 10 in ascending order, which means that the lowest rating comes first (number 10) and highest rating comes last (number 1).
10. E.V.O.: Search for Eden
E.V.O.: Search For Eden is an action role-playing and a platformer video game. EVO: Search for Eden took place billions of years before men came into being. In the prehistoric times, animals were ruling the world, and you will, therefore, play as one of them.
After you accept the “Survival of the Fittest” trial, you will start wandering the planet. While you do that, you fight other animals for ascendency and eat others to grow or evolve into a powerful creature. The game wonders unto itself, and you are likely to do that too.
The graphics of EVO plays a vital role in the presentation. The world of this game is gorgeous. You will start in the mystifying “Ocean of Origin,” which is a world without any dry land. Moreover, when you progress through the first five chapters of this game, you see the land and change your shape.
The many effects, including the parallax scrolling, line scrolling, and the color layering create a sense of realism and depth. Due to the diversity of terrains and the many types of animals that exist, you will spend most of your time wondering what will come next.
Interestingly enough, unlike the background, all the animals exist as cartoon characters. Watching the animal changing and developing as it evolves from one form to the other will provide you with the fun you need. However, the characters walking animation is a bit stiff, but the facial expressions are convincing and comical.
9. Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen (伝説のオウガバトル Densetsu no Ōga Batoru)
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen is a real-time tactical role-playing game. The game follows the protagonist who takes charge of the Liberation Army and attempts to free the continent from tyranny. The setting of the game is Zetegenia, a continent ruled by the evil Empress Endora.
After the Liberation Army defeats and kills the Empress, they discovered that she was acting under the influence of Rashidi. The protagonist defeats Rashidi, but he uses his blood to release the king of the underworld Demundza. The outcome of the story depends on the characters chosen, their reputation and their alignment.
The game begins with the players getting asked a series of questions to determine their suitability for leadership. The questions could have three possible answers: one neutral, one evil and one righteous. How the player answers the questions will determine their starting units and abilities.
The game combines combat and character development of a role-playing game with real-time tactics game. The player engages in a series of battles deploying units to liberate occupied temples and towns.
The player can recruit characters. These recruits vary from rare to common and can include knights, witches, ninjas, griffins, wizards, and angels.
Each stage in the game comes with an evil boss that has to be defeated to complete the mission. The conduct of the player is what will determine the ending of the game.
8. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (エストポリス伝記II Estpolis Denki II)
Lufia II: Rise of Sinistrals is a role-playing video game that is also known as Estpolis Denki II. The lead character in the game is Maxim, a talented swordsman who goes on a quest to destroy the Sinistrals. The game is set 99 years before the setting of Lufia & the Fortress of Doom (the previous game).
The Sinistrals are in both games the main antagonists bent on world domination. The Sinistral of Terror Daos leads them alongside with his three subordinates Erim, Amon, and Gades.
In Lufia II, the characters traverse a world map on a quest to save their world by fighting monsters in dungeons using a variety of spells and equipment. The characters use several modes of transport that include warping, travel by boat, and by blimp.
Monsters appear on a map in the dungeons though they only move when the player does. Maxim fights the monsters with a variety of weapons and tools such as hook shots, bombs, bow, and arrows. The monsters appear randomly since the game especially the dungeons emphasize the solving of puzzles.
In addition to the RPG standards of “Use Magic,” “Use Item” and “Fight,” players have access to accessories, armor, and weapons as IP skills.
A character fills up his/her IP bar by taking damage and can deplete the bar by using a skill. While we can customize characters with armor and weapons, IP skills cannot.
The player gets access to the Ancient Cave as a side quest. The cave generates a new layout every time the player enters the cave. The player then has to collect magic spells and equipment as they advance through the floors and levels of the cave.
7. Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV is a role-playing game that follows the life and times of Cecil. Cecil is a dark knight who is on a quest to prevent Golbez, the sorcerer from destroying the world. The lead character works alongside a constantly changing set of allies.
The setting of the game is on the Blue Planet otherwise known as Earth, whose underworld is inhabited by Dwarves while humans rule the overworld. The Lunarians are a race of aliens living on an artificial moon orbiting the Blue Planet.
The game has twelve playable characters that have an unchangeable and unique character class. You can have a total of five or fewer characters at any one time. Cecil works alongside summoners, sages, monks, mages, and princes to fight Zemus, who wants to destroy the human race.
The game takes place in a variety of settings from forests, caves, and towers. The player controls the characters and leads them on quests, where they fight monsters, buy equipment to advance the story. You can change character positions, retreat, use an item or magic or fight depending on character abilities.
Both monsters and characters have hit points, which reduce with damage until the monster or character faints or dies. Hit points can be restored using healing magic spells, potions, items in the inventory or sleeping in an inn. Damage to a character can be minimized using equipment found in dungeons or bought in towns.
Each of the characters has unique weaknesses and strengths. Characters can become more powerful with battle experience or at preprogrammed experience levels.
6. EarthBound (Mother 2)
Earthbound is a role-playing video game that follows lead characters Ness and his four companions. The characters are on a quest to defeat Guygas, an evil alien by which there have to be collected eight melodies first.
The game is similar to many traditional role-playing games as the player controls the party of playable characters. The characters travel in a two-dimensional world that is made up of dungeons, caves, cities, and villages. However, unlike other RPGs, there is no differentiation between the outside world and the towns, villages, and dungeons.
The play involves the characters fighting against enemies which earns them experience points. The character increases their level when they acquire enough experience. A higher level means the character has better attributes such as psychic points, maximum hit points, and defense.
Unlike the previous version of the game, Earthbound does not employ random encounters. The screen will typically transform into battle mode when there is physical contact between the player and the foe. If a character received damage, they lose health points and can become unconscious if there is too much damage.
It is easier to gain tactical advantages since battles are not random. For instance, you get the first strike priority if the player attacks the enemy from behind. However, this also applies to the enemies if they approach the player from behind.
When Ness and the other characters gain more strength, they can win their battles more easily. They will even cause weaker enemies to flee rather than to engage in battle.
The characters can also buy armor weapons and other items in town. These can be used to increase defense and offensive strength and also for healing. Characters can also get healed when they visit the hospitals in towns and pay a fee.
5. Secret of Mana
Secret of Mana is an action role-playing video game. The game is about three heroes on a quest to prevent an empire from taking over the world using the power of a primeval flying castle. The setting of the game is a high fantasy universe.
Unlike many other contemporaneous role-playing games, it does not employ turn-based battle systems. Instead, it uses a power bar mechanic with real-time battles. You can also pause the game and make decisions during battles using a distinctive Ring Command menu system.
Its top-down perspective has the characters traverse the terrain, fighting off hostile creatures. The three characters in the game are the hero Randi, the girl Primm and the sprite Popoi. You can control only one character at a time with the other two controlled by artificial intelligence.
Each character has different weaknesses and strength. These strengths such as evasion and strength may be improved as the character gains enough experience in battle. The characters can also buy equipment, restorative items and regain health points in towns.
Combat happens in real time with the characters using eight different types of weaponry. You can upgrade your weapon eight times with each upgrade increasing skill level and unlocking a unique type of attack. You can upgrade the weapons with collectibles known as Weapon Orbs, earned by defeating level bosses or in dungeons.
The characters may also learn magic by rescuing Elementals each of which grants the player specific spells.
4. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is a role-playing video game that follows the lead protagonist Mario. The setting of the game is a geographically diverse land, where Mario is looking to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser, a celestial spirit. The different landscapes include bodies of water, forests, and mountains.
The Super Mario RPG has gameplay and story based on the Super Mario Bros games. It is a turn-based and adventuring game that is similar in its battle sequences to most traditional JRPGs. The gameplay occurs in isometric 3D platformer mode.
All enemies are visible on the map and as such random encounters do not exist. Mario only fights when he comes into contact with an enemy. So the character can avoid unnecessary battles that would deplete their hit points.
At the beginning of the game, the player can only control Mario. Over the course of the game, you can control, three more characters though you can have up to five in the party. Mario is always one of the three playable characters you can control.
Each of the characters has their own unique set of technique and attacks. The game employs a turn-based battle system combined with commands to amplify effects. The player takes their turn by either performing magic, using an item, running, defending, or attacking from the combat menu.
3. Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI is a role-playing game set in a fantasy world. The world is similar in technological development to the Second Industrial Revolution. The plot follows an ever-expanding cast of characters with fourteen being playable and permanent.
The drama has a lot of plots and subplots. These include anything from fighting an evil dictatorship, to an arms race, to teenage pregnancy.
Similar to previous versions, it has four basic modes of gameplay. These are the menu screen, the battle screen, the dungeon and town field maps, and an overworld map. You traverse the terrain using either an airship, a Chocobo or on foot.
You can make some decisions on the menu screen. These decisions are such as which characters to include in the traveling party, the magic they learn and the equipment they wear.
The story develops as the characters progress through the dungeons and towns. With visiting towns, you can activate quests, get information, and buy equipment. Dungeons may feature mazes and puzzles, which require cooperation among the characters to advance to the next level.
Combat is menu-based, and you can choose from Item, Magic, and Fight among other options. You may use a maximum of four characters in combat, each with a special unique ability. The health bar of each character replenishes dependent on their speed statistic.
You can equip your characters with a range of armor and weapons to increase their combat ability. While only two characters start out knowing how to use magic, all the other playable characters can also learn magic.
2. Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is a role-playing video game in which you control the lead character and his companions. The game setting of the game is a fictional world of dungeons, cities, and forests. In this word you encounter enemies, solve challenges and procure items.
Chrono Trigger is a little bit different than other to traditional RPGs. You can see the enemies lying in view rather than having to fight them in random encounters. Contact with foes will typically initiate a battle that you have to fight right on the map and not on a separate display.
Players and enemies can use magical and physical attacks to wound their targets. Losing all hit points typically means that the playable character faints. Losing all playable characters typically ends the game, and the only way to get them back is by opening a previously saved chapter.
You can equip your character with helmets, armor, and weapons. These give special effects such as defense against magic and increases attack power. There are treasure chests and shops scattered on the field maps, from where you can purchase these items.
There are several distinct traits of gameplay unique to Chrono Trigger. You have access to the game world history going back seven generations, which help predict future events.
The game has thirteen unique endings and how you end your play will depend on how you got to your final battle and the ultimate conclusion of the battle. The game provides the option of restarting a new game with all the equipment, techniques and level of the just ended game.
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past This is an action-adventure video game that follows a lead character known as Link. Link is on a quest to defeat Ganon, save Hyrule and liberate the maidens related to the Sages. The game is similar to the innovative Legend of Zelda, though it introduces the concepts of a parallel world.
While it still uses concepts and mechanics from the original game, it introduces several innovations and elements in the game. For instance, there are now separate items such as arrows. In previous the previous game shooting an arrow cost a Rupee.
The character also gets an upgrade as his sword swing is better given that he can now swing sideways rather than just forward. The game also introduces techniques and recurring items such as the Pegasus Boots, the Spin Attack, and the Hookshot. The player also gets maximum health points by collecting the Heart containers hidden in the levels.
The game introduces two parallel worlds through which the character travels. There is the dark world and the light world, and each location in the dark corresponds to another in the light world. However, it is only the physical structure which is similar, as the nature of the two is very different.
Using a magic mirror Link can travel from the light to the dark world using a portal between the two worlds. The Light World has spread hidden warp locations that Link can use to move between the worlds. The ease of travel between the worlds allows Link to exploit the structural difference between the worlds.
This top 10 SNES RPGs list is not perfect. Moreover, the list can’t be perfect since I have tried to base this list on the opinions of critics and users. However, I do think that the most important and best RPGs are part of this list.
If you like this post, then you may want to look at some posts in the top games part, since this post is also part of it.
Hopefully, you liked this top 10 SNES RPGs list. Also, when you know someone who likes to know what possible top SNES RPGs are, then feel free to share this post. Additionally, do you think there misses a game in this top SNES RPGs list?