The 4th generation, like the 3rd, was dominated by Nintendo, this time with the Super NES. Sega, however, was hot on their heels with the Genesis and their shiny new mascot, sonic the hedgehog. There were other companies in play, like SNK with the Neo Geo and TurboGrafx-16 sold by NEC, but they were nowhere near as successful as Nintendo and Sega.
A number of factors explain Nintendo’s success. They had already established themselves as market leaders, and the improved system meant that more ambitious games could be made. While Sega’s aggressive marketing worked to some extent, it was the quality of the games Nintendo released that saw them dominate the generation.
ten Super Mario Kart (SNES) popularized the kart racer with its magic formula
The upbeat music, the visual style, the cast of characters, the fun and innovative gameplay; it was a formula that proved hugely popular with gamers in the early 90s and beyond, selling 8.76 worldwide, making Super Mario Kart the fourth best-selling SNES game of all time.
the Mario Kart The franchise is still going strong today, and while a lot has changed graphically and gameplay-wise, the core mechanics of collecting and launching projectiles while racing remain the same, and as such, the game remains as fun as ever.
9 Chrono Trigger (SNES) is arguably the greatest JRPG of all time
the trigger of a stopwatch has a legendary status among his fans. It was released at the end of the 4th generation in August 1995, but it still sold extremely well in North America and Japan, where it sold two million copies in just two months. The combat system, music, and multiple story-changing arcs along the way make it one of the best JRPGs of all time, with many citing it as the best.
Fans have been clamoring for a remake for some time, and the ability to play the game on modern systems would no doubt be greatly appreciated.
8 Mortal Kombat (Genesis) became infamous for its gore
mortal combat is one of the most controversial games in video game history, the kind of game that even non-gamers know because they’ve seen it on the news. Its violent and gory gameplay was all the rage with younger gamers, but parents didn’t quite share their appreciation for Fatality.
Nintendo decided to censor the game, so to get the real experience players had to play the uncensored version of Genesis. The series has amassed over 20 titles, including spinoffs, since the original’s release in 1992.
seven Super Metroid (SNES) still inspires developers today
A Metroidvania at a time when the only Metroidvania were metroid and Castlevania Games. The atmosphere, level design and intricate gameplay were so well done that the developers still draw inspiration from them today. Super Metroid.
Part of the reason there was no metroid game on the N64 was that some developers didn’t think they could make a game that would match Super Metroid. It came late in the generation in 1994 and as a result sales weren’t as high as they perhaps deserved.
6 Streets Of Rage 2 (Genesis) Perfected The Beat-‘Em-Up
While games like final fight and Dual Dragon had been a great success in arcades, Streets of rage 2 was the first beat-’em-up to do so on a home console.
The different playable characters bring great variety in terms of gameplay, and the distinctive graphics, music and sound effects come together to create an outstanding game. In 2015, it was ported to a Nintendo console for the first time as 3D Streets of Rage 2 for the 3DS.
5 Street Fighter II (SNES) has iconic characters and scenes
Released in North America in July 1992, Street Fighter II is an iconic game that enjoys worldwide popularity. Multiple iterations of the game have been released on multiple systems, including Street Fighter II Turbo, the former having sold 6.3 million copies worldwide.
The gameplay is solid and filled with variety, the characters’ different personalities and abilities make them memorable, and the stages are filled with charm and character.
4 Donkey Kong Country (SNES) felt like a next-gen game
donkey kong country unlike anything else on the Super NES. In addition to revolutionizing the donkey kong franchise, the game pushed the system to its limits, but it was far from being just a graphical showcase.
Although he may not have reached the high bar set by Super Mario World gameplay-wise, it was incredibly fun to navigate levels as the titular character. Players could also embody Diddy Kong and ride many animal companions, such as Rambi the rhinoceros or Enguarde the swordfish.
3 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES) Has Spawned Countless Top-Down Action-Adventure Games
Released in April 1992, A link to the past is considered not only one of the greatest Legend of Zelda or Nintendo games, but one of the greatest video games of all time. The game has spent more than five consecutive years at the top of Nintendo Power best games list.
The overworld is filled with Easter eggs, secrets, and quirky characters. A link to the past inspired many other descendant action-adventure games and continues to do so today, especially indie developers.
2 Sonic The Hedgehog (Genesis) gave Mario a run for his money
In an attempt to gain a foothold in the video game market, Sega came up with something that was the opposite of a chubby Italian plumber: an insanely fast blue hedgehog named Sonic.
The franchise has had mixed success since sonic the hedgehog was released in 1991. Although it may not be the best 2D Sonic game, it is a revolutionary and extremely fun game that injected a lot of adrenaline into the gaming industry.
1 Super Mario World (SNES) is Shigeru Miyamoto’s favorite game
The favorite game of Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself, Super Mario World is hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. Although the core gameplay doesn’t differ much from its predecessor, Super Mario Bros 3, things like being able to drive Yoshi, the brighter color palette, and improved graphics made it an even better experience.
The game shipped with the Super NES at launch, making it one of, if not the best, launch titles in gaming history.
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