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The 30 games I don’t want on the SNES Classic

The 30 games I don’t want on the SNES Classic


Mario should be missing

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Mario Is Missing

Earlier this week, we selected the 30 games that should be included with the rumored SNES Classic. The question of our time, however, remained unanswered: which games should Nintendo avoid?

This is, perhaps, the tougher question. The SNES has one of the best video games catalogs. But the classics are tucked into a cornucopia of lazy movie tie-ins, mediocre sports games, and even a handful of forgettable Mario adventures.

These are the 30 games that shouldn’t (and almost certainly won’t) appear on the SNES Classic, assuming it launches this holiday. As always, we’d love to hear which games you’d include on the list. Let’s meet in the comments.


Beavis and Butt-Head

Jurassic Park

Mortal Kombat

Toy Story

Each of these games had superior (and sometimes completely different) versions available on the Sega Genesis. SNES iterations tended to remove foul language, weapons, and gore. Mortal Kombat lacked blood; Aladdin had no sword; Beavis and Butthead cut some crude jokes; and Jurassic Park didn’t let you play as a raptor. Toy Story looked better on SNES, but weirdly lacked the licensed music. Is Toy Story even Toy Story without Randy Newman?

Batman Forever

Bebe’s Kids

Beethoven’s 2nd

Wayne’s World

The Wizard of Oz

The SNES catalog is crowded with cash-grab movie tie-ins . The vast majority of these games are wretched, seemingly cobbled together on impossible deadlines and shoestring budgets. The result is an abundance of games that border on unplayable. The five above are merely the worst offenders of a sub-genre that could fill this entire list.

Al Unser Jr.’s Road to the Top

Jimmy Connors Pro Tennis Tour

Jimmy Houston’s Bass Tournament U.S.A.

Kevin Keegan’s Player Manager

Newman/Haas IndyCar featuring Nigel Mansell

Nobody under the age of 35 remembers any of these people. This is sad, but you know what else is sad: that time waits for nobody.

Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus

Congo’s Caper

Mr. Nutz

Rocky Rodent

Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel

Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario were the face of the 16-bit console war. While third-party developers didn’t have a horse in the hardware race, they wanted to replicate the sales of the two mascots. Unfortunately, developers assumed the audience cared less about quality, and more about quirky character design. Searching for a new video game at Blockbuster required sifting through aisles of anthropomorphic fodder.

Barkley Shut Up and Jam!

Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball

Looney Tunes B-Ball

Rap Jam: Volume One


Looking back on NBA Jam, the arcade basketball game seemed to materialize from thin air, as if the developers at Midway were stuck on the head by a basketball that fell from a tree. But NBA Jam was preceded by a couple of bland “action basketball” games that established the basic concept. NBA Jam also inspired a rush of copycats and what I can only describe as “basketball adjacent” beat’em-up games. Most of these games made their way to the SNES. I’ve collected the worst offenders.

Mario Is Missing

Mario’s Early Years! Fun with Letters

Mario’s Early Years! Fun with Numbers

Mario’s Early Years! Preschool Fun

Mario’s Time Machine

Nintendo published five bad Mario games for the SNES. These are their names.

Update: I swapped out Zool and Plok, and swapped in Congo’s Caper and Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus. Yes, it’s a silly list, but I forgot how much I enjoyed Plok and Zool, so I’ve replaced them with mascot games that I have no fondness for.