The top 5 selling SNES games of all time.
So we have another addition to our “Top 5 Selling” series. Today we bring you the top 5 selling SNES games. The SNES or Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released by Nintendo between 1990 and 1993, depending on whereabouts in the world you were back then. The console took on various names such as the “Super Famicon” in Japan and in Korea the “Super Comboy“, but its most widely known as the SNES. The appearance also differed depending on the region. Noteably the “Super Nintendo“ on the left, and the”Super Famicon“on the right, (pictured below).
The SNES video games console featured 16 bit graphics and was the follow up to Nintendo’s original NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). New advanced graphics and sound capabilities and a variety of enhancement chips on game circuit boards meant the SNES could stay competitive in the marketplace. The “Super FX” chip enabled the SNES to be the first console to be capable of running three dimensional games, starting with the ever popular cult classic “Star Fox“.
Selling an estimated 49.10 million units worldwide the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was a massive hit globally. Fighting a fierce battle with SEGA‘s new 16 bit system the “Megadrive/Genesis“, which sold 41.09 million units worldwide.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System remains popular even today with a huge list of classics. We thought we would run through the top 5 selling games just to give you an idea of how popular this console was, and still is.
5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. (4.61 million)
The third instalment of Nintendo’s franchise “Zelda” comes in at number 5. Published and developed by Nintendo it was released in 1991/1992 and sold an estimated 4.61 million copies worldwide.
The game focuses the polt on “A Link to the Past” where Link travels on a journey to save Hyrule, defeat Ganon and rescue seven descendants of the Sages. Similar to the original “The Legend of Zelda“, the game features a 3/4 top-down perspective view without the side scrolling elements found in “Zelda II: The adventure of Link“. Concepts of the parallel world and the Master Sword took place in this title, along with new weapons and items, which are still common in new Zelda titles today.
“A link to the Past” received great commercial success and was recognised as a landmark title for Nintendo. Many consider it to be on of the greatest video games of all time. Further releases of the game saw it ported to the Game Boy Advance (with slight changes) and the Wii‘s virtual console. A successor to the game titled “The legend of Zelda: Kamigami no Triforce 2” is currently being developed for the Nintendo 3ds“.
4. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. (6.3 million)
At number 4 comes Street fighter II: The Warrior within. This classic competitive fighting game is the second entry in the Street Fighter series and was originally released by CAPCOM for the arcades in 1991 and then ported to the SNES, selling an estimated 6.3 million copies worldwide. It improved on the concepts introduced in the first game offering players a multiple selection of playable characters each with their own fighting style and some command based special moves with a six-button configuration.
Street fighter II was hugely successful and inspired other game developers to produce their own fighting games franchises causing the fighting game boom in the 1990s. Street fighter II: The Warrior within remains CAPCOM‘s best selling console game of all time. A turbo edition was later released in 1994, again becoming a great commercial success. A console bundle with this game was available in North America which would of contributed to the final sales figures
3. Super Mario Kart (8 million)
We couldn’t have a top 5 selling SNES games rundown without a Mario game. At number 3 we have the first instalment in the Mario Kart Series, Super Mario Kart. Released in 1992/1993 it sold an estimated 8 million copies worldwide. Developed by Nintendo this go-kart racing game lets the player take control of one of eight characters from the Mario franchise, each with different capabilities. Single player mode lets the player race against computer controlled opponents in multi-race cups with three levels of difficulty. Other single player modes include a Time Trials where you race against the clock. Multiplayer mode gives the ability to simultaneously take part in cups or race one-on-one with a freind or family member. You can also play Battle Mode where the aim is to defeat the other players by attacking them with power-ups and destroying the balloons surrounding the opponents kart. During all races offensive and speed boosting power-ups are available to gain an advantage over other racers, such as a mushroom which will give you a turbo charge to gain speed, or a banana skin to make enemies skid.
Super Mario Kart is another classic from the Mario franchise and was praised for its presentation and innovation coupled with its use of the Mode 7 graphics. Its often viewed that the Mario Kart series created the “kart-racing“ sub genre of video games, pushing other developers to release similar games.
Many sequels have been released for later consoles, handhelds and in the arcades, each with their own success. Most recently, Mario Kart 7 on the 3DS, released at various time in different countries throughout 2011/2012.
2. Donkey Kong Country. (9 million)
In at number 2 is Donkey Kong Country, developed by Rare, and released in November of 1994. Selling an estimated 9 million copies worldwide, Donkey Kong Country is a platform video game that was the first to use pre-rendered sprites to create a 3D effect throughout the game. The graphics were produced using an expensive silicon 3D model and then compressed for the 2D Super Nintendo. With this process came revolutionary detailed animations on a 16 bit console, at the time.
The game features 40 different side-scrolling levels where the player must perform various tasks such as swimming, riding in mine cars, launching out of barrel cannons and swinging from vines. The aim is to recover all of Kongs banana hoard which was stolen from the Kremlings.
After its success two sequels were released, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest in 1995, and then later in 1996, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble. The game was also re-released on the Game Boy Colour in 2000, the Game Boy Advance in 2003 and on Virtual Console in 2006, (however was delisted in November 2012, along with the sequels).
More titles from the franchise include Donkey Kong Country Returns which was released on Nintendo’s Wii in 2010, and is slated for a 3DS release sometime this year.
1. Super Mario World. (20.60 million)
Well there was only really one game that was going to be at number one. If you hadn’t of guessed its another title from the Mario franchise. This time its Super Mario World. Developed and published by Nintendo as a launch title for the Super Nintendo it reached an esitmated 20.60 million copies sold worldwide.
The fourth game in the Super Mario series focuses on the quest of Mario and Luigi to save the Dinosaur Land from Bowser. Building on previous gameplay from earlier games, new power ups were introduced that broadened character abilities and set the standard for future releases. Super Mario World marks the first appearance of Yoshi, Mario’s dinosaur sidekick and trusty steed.
Super Mario World is a 2D side-scrolling platform game that shares the similar mechanics from previous titles but in addition to the usual running and jumping, you can also float with the aid of special items and perform new types of jumps such as the spin jump. The player must navigate through 7 worlds with separate stages. In between levels an over world map displays an overhead view of the current world containing several paths from the entrance to the castle which must be overcome to gain access to the next world.
Again as before with the Super Mario franchise the game received and overwhelming commercial success worldwide. It’s been re-released three times. Firstly it was featured on Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES in 1994, then on the Game Boy Advance with slightly modified gameplay as the second part of Super Mario Advance. The third re-release was for the Wii‘s Virtual Console in 2007 where the game remained unchanged from the original. Its worth noting that this launch title was originally bundled with the Super Nintendo, so this does contribute to the final sales figures.
CC Image courtesy of GalgenTX Flickr
So thats the top 5 selling SNES games. What do you think? Any surprises? Below we have noted the next 5 best selling titles for the SNES as we feel they deserve a mention too.
Other notable selling titles included:
6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (4.37 million)
7. Street Fighter II Turbo (4.1 million)
8. Star Fox (4 million)
9. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. (4 million)
10. Killer Instinct (3.2 million)
Is there any that you think deserve a mention? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out our other posts in our ”Top 5 Selling” series below: