15 Best Looking SNES Games Ever | Den of Geek

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Sadly, the release of the first wave of 32-bit consoles likely prevented Terranigma from getting the stateside release it so very much deserved. Of course, with Square Enix dipping into its back catalog more and more these days, don’t be surprised if a port or remake of this gem comes here sooner rather than later.

5. Trials of Mana

If this list was limited to North American SNES games, Secret of Mana would certainly have a place on it. Since we’re talking about global releases, though, then that game’s Japan-only sequel, Trials of Mana, just can’t be ignored.

This was Square at the height of its 16-bit powers. They took everything they learned from classics like Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger and crafted one of the most beautiful games of its generation. From the very beginning, the goal was to develop a game as close to 3D as possible without actually making the move to 3D rendered graphics as other titles had, and the results really speak for themselves. Trials of Mana looks better than a lot of PS1 RPGs. While the recent remake also looks, it’s still worth tracking down the localized original version via the Switch’s Collection of Mana to experience this one in all its 16-bit glory.

4. Star Ocean

It’s still hard to believe that tri-Ace got Star Ocean to run on the SNES. As we see throughout this list, though, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of experienced programmers working with the right technology.

Star Ocean utilized the S-DD1 chip (the same used in Street Fighter Alpha 2). That complex compression chip managed to produce almost 32-bit quality graphics on the aging SNES hardware. Seriously, no other SNES RPG is this detailed or this well animated. Like too many other great RPGs of the ‘90s, though, the SNES version of Star Ocean never officially made its way West. An HD remake is now readily available on the PS4 and Switch, but honestly, the original still looks better in a lot of ways.

Star Fox

3. Star Fox

Yes, Star Fox looks primitive today. You could even argue that the graphics for other SNES games have aged slightly better. In 1993, though, this was revolutionary. Fully 3D games were a rarity even in arcades, and few believed a game like Star Fox could possibly run on the SNES. It’s a small miracle that Argonaut Games was able to develop the Super FX chip that made it all possible without charging consumers a small fortune for the privilege of playing it.


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