One of the big hits of 2016’s holiday season was the NES Classic Mini, a miniature throwback version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System game console that made Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach household names. Now Nintendo has announced the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) Classic Mini, set to release at the end of September. Pre-orders are already selling out quickly, so it’s safe to say that this is going to be another hit for Nintendo. But why exactly is a console with games over 20 years old on it such a big deal?
Put simply: nostalgia. The chance to relive childhood experiences. Better yet, the chance to share that experience with our own children. And on the other side of the equation? Kids get a kick out of seeing what their parents used to play. These throwback consoles are the perfect opportunity for parents and kids to connect, spend time together, and talk about a common interest. In short, it is the unicorn of parenting: magical, elusive, and, if you’re lucky enough to be in the presence of it, life-changing.
So you get the appeal of nostalgia (you’re probably feeling it yourself), but maybe you are wondering if these older games are as effective at exercising thinking skills. Yes, they are! And even if your favorite SNES game isn’t included with this console, chances are that at least one of the 21 games on this list will have your heart beating a little faster in anticipation:
- Contra III: The Alien Wars™
- Donkey Kong Country™
- Final Fantasy III
- Kirby™ Super Star
- Kirby’s Dream Course™
- The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™
- Mega Man® X
- Secret of Mana
- Star Fox™
- Star Fox™ 2
- Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
- Super Castlevania IV™
- Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts®
- Super Mario Kart™
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars™
- Super Mario World™
- Super Metroid™
- Super Punch-Out!!™
- Yoshi’s Island™
But what do you do once you find the perfect game for you and your child to connect over? We’ve highlighted a few games and the thinking skill practice they offer below. Pick the skill your child needs to work on, start up your favorite game, and let the nostalgia and conversation lead you toward a teachable moment. There are plenty of opportunities here for all of the skills and sub-skills!
Final Fantasy III (also known as Final Fantasy VI) is a very in-depth game that takes place in a world that is in danger because technology and magic are out of balance. FFIII can help a child who needs to work on their cognitive flexibility practice trying new things. The game also exercises almost all of the focus-based skills, long-term and short-term planning, problem-solving, self-awareness, self-control, time management, following directions, and improving memory.
Secret of Mana practices several thinking skills, including flexibility and working memory. The many missions and side quests offer players the opportunity to try new things and require that they follow directions. The puzzles and hidden areas challenge organization and problem-solving skills. Other games on the SNES Mini that are similar to Secret of Mana include Earth Bound, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Mario RPG.
Super Mario World challenges the player to work on multiple thinking skills. Since every level gives the player a limited amount of time to complete, time management skills are put to the test. Players are also tasked with the focus skill of shifting attention between tasks as they eliminate bad guys, collect coins, save Yoshi, and discover hidden locations. Hunting for all of these different things, and facing new worlds and bad guys, also allows the player to practice trying new things. Donkey Kong Country, Kirby Super Star, Super Metroid, and Yoshi’s Island all have similar gameplay and thinking skill practice.
So now you know! A slice of your own childhood can not only provide you and your child a chance to bond, it can help them get very important thinking skill practice. Which game are you most looking forward to playing with your child? Let us know in the comments or come chat with us on Facebook.
Featured image courtesy of Nintendo.
8 thoughts on “What’s So Great About SNES Classic Mini?”
Wow, looking at the first post almost 40 days ago! You guys have the most anticipated homebrew right now = lot’s of excited people in anticipation. But take your time making it perfect cause once it’s out it’s out till the next release so make it count!
On a more personal note Emu_kidd who are you looking forward to fighting again in the new Punch Out!! coming out on Monday?
No other video game console even comes CLOSE to the SNES. I mean, forget about it just winning the 16-bit war with the Genesis (which it absolutely did), it just crushes everything else that was ever released. The amount of all-time great games on this list is just absurd. It has the best platformers, the best JRPGS, the best exclusives, the best versions of the two best fighting games of the 90s, Nintendo worked with developers to push it’s technology to the absolute limit (Donkey Kong Country, Star Fox, Killer Instinct, Super Mario RPG) while it’s competitor was selling an entire other system to catch up. The graphics and gameplay hold up far better than it’s predecessor (the NES) or the it’s immediate successor (the N64) because the capability of 16-bit graphics was perfect for the bright, cartoon pixels of most of the games. The look never goes out of style. The controller is essentially perfect. Just like the system.
A Link to the Past should not be #1, in my opinion. The concept of the Zelda games is not suitable for everyone. I had to use walkthroughs for Ocarina of Time, and now I’m wondering why it’s suddenly regarded as one of the greatest games ever, especially with all the hullabaloo about the Water Temple. Super Mario World on the other hand, has a easy to use/understand concept of just making it to the end of a level, with no frustrating no-hints given puzzles that you can learn from and not get frustrated with from getting lost, and again, was a pack-in game. Arguably the best of all games packaged with systems.
the turn-based rpg genre is a bit over-represented here
also Donkey Kong Country should have been way higher (28th place as it is), ign even says it saved the console and then they put 2 Tetris games over it?
personal taste transpired a bit too much in this
there is hundred of games one of my favorites skyblazer sunset riders , topgear dracula x gaia ilusion of the time , demon crest ff especial act raiser.1.2 super bomberman , turrican sonic blast man Rival Turf , the peace keaper brawl brothers , super street figther 2, capitan comando . ninja warrior , metal warriors . hagane king of dragons clock tower , the fire men, biker mice from mars , Ghost Sweeper Mikami goof troop, gundam win
I only ever played the super popular games, but some of these look really unique and fun. Basically, my dad still had a Super Nintendo from a while back, and I got into it. He only ever had like seven games; Super Metroid, Mega Man X, Chrono Trigger, Link to the Past, Castlevania, Earthbound and Super Mario World. At least, those are the ones that still worked. Anyway, if I were born like a decade earlier I think I would’ve enjoyed the more obscure games out there. Great list, though! :)
Final Fantasy 6 was the first game that ever made me feel an emotion. People give credit to 7 for that due to one major death, but the truth is 6 was a pre-apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic game. You honestly felt bad for the world seeing what it became after the villain effectively won the game.
The character cast was one of the best in a video game ever. The large main cast all got personal stories even if you had to hunt for some. Some had lost loves, murdered families and one even tries to commit suicide. Some had positive stories like adopting orphans or brotherly bonds. This is the first real feels in a game.
So much nostalgia seeing these Maria screenshots. Maria is by far one of my all-time favorite games I remember playing it on the Nintendo 64 when I was a kid so much. Such good memories.