November has come to a close which means I am finished highlighting the Super Nintendo as my console of the month by showing off and discussing my SNES collection. The Super Nintendo was an odd console for me as it is the only console I owned during the prime of it’s existence that I didn’t buy new in stores. Therefore I have no console box, which I regret but I have a decent number of complete in box games since I was buying new titles when they were still in stores.
Back in the 90s, I was a big fan of the SNES but I didn’t give all of the genres that excelled on it a fair shake. As I mentioned in my RPG post, I missed out on a lot of the best RPG games due to ignorance (no internet and no Nintendo Power) as well as lack of time & money (being in college and all). I stuck to what I knew, which were sports titles and sequels to NES franchises. This worked out alright for me overall as I still experienced the excellence of Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Punch Out, just to name a few. But if there’s one thing I learned about the Super Nintendo since owning one in it’s heyday, it has one of the deepest game libraries of any console. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of junk titles that likely turned me off of collecting for it when that’s all I saw in used game stores, liquidation stores and eBay game lots. Sorry, but I don’t need to play a game based on the movie Home Alone or The Mask. However, if I had taken the time to investigate a bit further, I would have found there to be a ton of games that are not only worth owning, but some of the finest examples from their respective genres. It took me almost 20 years to figure that out but better late than never!
So how would I grade the Super Nintendo as a console? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of the system and it’s collectability today.
- Sturdy consoles not known for needing frequent repairs
- Enormous library of good to great games from every genre
- Graphics, sound and music quality is top notch
- Controllers are user friendly and ergonomic for long play periods
- Extremely popular console so there are a number of them along with games that can be found in the wild
- Some of the best games of all time exist on the SNES
- Games have spiked in price as children of the 90s have aged and possess expendable income
- Games were shipped in cardboard boxes which means owning titles complete in box is just as difficult and expensive on the SNES as it is on the NES
- Buying games requires research and diligence to sift out the junk
- Consoles have a tendency to yellow over time
Is the Super Nintendo one of the best consoles of all time? Yes, I truly believe it is. I was not a believer of that notion before this month as I honestly felt like it was a console top heavy with a handful of great games but weighted down by so many trash titles and cash grabs for licensed properties. I had years and years of fun with my Super Nintendo in the 90s so I am not sure why I felt this way. Maybe because since that time, I discovered so many other consoles I hadn’t owned or played before that had caught my attention. Consoles such as the Atari 2600, Colecovision, Turbografx-16, Sega Genesis and Sega Dreamcast were now vying for my attention and money. While not technically new, they were newer to me than the Super Nintendo, therefore more interesting. It’s a shame it has taken over 20 years since the SNES made way in the public’s consciousness for the Nintendo 64 for me to realize how many awesome titles I was missing for this console.
The SNES is now one of the most nostalgia driven systems for collectors and gamers, right up there with the NES. If the NES represented my childhood, the SNES represented my transition into adulthood. While that is still a very memorable time in a young man’s life, it often doesn’t drive the same type of euphoric nostalgia as your childhood does. When it came time to “collect” games from my youth as a young man in my 20’s, I gravitated more towards the NES and systems that came before it such as the Atari 2600, Intellivision and Colecovision. All that really means is that I missed out when SNES games were at their cheapest to purchase. Since I can’t go back in time to hit the nearest Funcoland for cheap SNES and late release NES titles (if only), I attempted to rectify my transgressions by picking up 3 games that appear on many gamers “best of” SNES lists. I bought complete or nearly complete copies of Chrono Trigger (game, manual, map, box) & Secret of Mana (game, manual, map, box) as well as a loose with manual copy of Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. Only three games you might be thinking? Well, as I mentioned, SNES games have gone up a bit in price over the past 5 or more years so this was all my monthly budget allowed me to buy. Look up what a complete in box Chrono Trigger is going for on eBay and you’ll understand what I mean.