The Game: It is up to the Yoshis to carry Baby Mario through Yoshi's Island in an attempt to rescue Baby Luigi from Kamek and Baby Bowser.
My Take: In my very humble opinion Yoshi's Island is the most beautiful game to grace the SNES. With it's fantastic combination of hand-drawn looking sprites and a great use of the SFX2 chip to run effects to alter the sprites in various ways as well as to bring some polygonal objects into the world. It makes Miyamoto's rumored refusal to bow to pressure to make Yoshi's Island a SGI-based (like DKC) game a very good thing. Not only that the game is a pleasure to play even if Baby Mario's cries can get annoying, just another good reason to get him back and keep him. Yoshi's Island I think came at an interesting time for me. I was 12 (going on 13) when this game came out and while a lot of other kids my age probably crapped on this game because it was as we came to call it "teh kiddie". While I don't have anything but the smallest bit of proof of this, I can say it probably wasn't too be far off. And what I mean is that I remember letter to the editor in a Nintendo Power sometime after Yoshi's Island was released complained about Nintendo making such a "kiddy" game. I kind of wanted to throttle this person and still want to.
4. Super Mario World - 1991 - Nintendo
The Game: Princess Toadstool as been captured! Again! I know I'm shocked to. And guess what? It is up to Mario and Luigi to brave Dinosaur Land with their new friend Yoshi and rescue the Princess from Bowser and his nefarious children.
My Take: Back when Mario was Nintendo's console seller and showcase game (still is to an extent) Super Mario World really showed us what the Super Nintendo could accomplish. The world was bigger, brighter and while not really surpassing SMB3, in my opinion, it really made for a great showcase game. The game did bring some great things to the franchise, like Yoshi and the Cape Feather, the latter of which is my favorite item in any Mario game I've played and of course as we all know Yoshi has become a character into his own right. Moments like the first Banzai Bill you run across or the mode 7 heavy battle with Bowser there is still so much to love and like its console showcase brethren, Super Mario Bros. or Super Mario 64 it is still a joy to play and is a game I keep coming back to on a regular basis.
The Game: The Metroid hatchling Samus let survive at the end of Metroid II has been recaptured by Ridley and the Space Pirates. It is up to Samus to head back to Zebes and put end to the Space Pirate and Metroid menace once and for all.
My Take: For a game I really didn't play until I started my second SNES collection back in 2006 it is quite surprising to me to see it all the way up to number 3 on this list. Back in 1994 for whatever reason I just wasn't sure how to go about playing a Metroid title but by 2006 that wasn't a problem anymore having become a fan of Metroid with Prime in 2002. What I saw, even without the lens of nostalgia, was the reasons why this often many other people's favorite SNES game if not their favorite game of all. With a fantastic atmosphere and great gameplay I really can't say enough for the game that far more gushing descriptions would provide. Since 2006 Super Metroid has become one of my regular games to play through and will continue to do so for as long as I have my copies.
2. EarthBound - 1995 - Nintendo
The Game: The Apple of Enlightenment has foretold that a boy and his friendswill defeat Giygas and prevent a horrible future. That boy is Ness and with his friends; Paula, Jeff and Poo will travel the world fighting those corrupted by Giygas' influence and collect the songs necessary to gain the power to defeat Giygas.
My Take: Back in '95 I read an EGM review for a very curious little game. It had a simple graphical style, a quirky sense of humor and was an RPG. And while RPGs weren't a huge genre for me at the time, I knew I had to play this game. Of course if you haven't figured it out yet, that game was EarthBound. The game really charmed with its quirky sense of humor and, while simple, storyline that was different from your average RPG storyline. Not only that it came with the most amazing player's guide ever which read like a travelers guide to Eagleland and the surrounding areas. It was a great overall package and it saddens me so much that Nintendo of America just won't work with us and let get our hands on more. I dunno if any game franchise has such a single-minded obsession with and NoA just choosing to ignore it is frustrating. But you've heard all this anyways, no use in me going on about it. Still to this day EarthBound is a game that I play on a greatly regular basis and am occasionally finding new things that make me go "Hey will you look at that?"
1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - 1992 - Nintendo
The Game: The wizard Aghanim has taken over Hyrule and imprisoned the Princess Zelda. It is up to Link to attempt to foil his evil plans.
My Take: Not only is this my favorite SNES game it is tied with Ocarina of Time has my favorite game ever. I really can't decide on which one. Believe it or not though, I wasn't always an obsessive Zelda fan, I didn't really get into Zelda games until Link's Awakening opened the series up to me but A Link to the Past really made me a fan. And since then pretty much everything about ALttP keeps me coming back to play it at least once a year (and I'm pretty sure I've beaten it 30 odd times) and it is never boring to me even if I've played so much I've got it down to formula. Scenarios like Link's first steps into rainy Hyrule are just full of atmosphere and even a certain dread or when Link gets the Master Sword and how it clears the fog in the lost woods are times are those situations where the wave of love for the game really shines. While most of the other games in this list move me in similar waves few games do it like A Link to the Past, well except for Ocarina of Time.