For a while, the Super Nintendo was the only 16 bit console in my household. With the NES and even the Commodore 64 still getting plenty of play time, there was little use in purchasing yet another gaming console (the Sega Genesis.) Before the 32 bit console started hitting the market, by dad eventually did purchase a Sega Genesis for himself, which basically turned into my system. For the most part, I was able to enjoy the best of both worlds, and being able to try out and buy whichever 16 bit game, or any game for that matter, from my previous job at a game store, there’s isn’t much that slipped my radar on any important system. By important I mean Nintendo, Sega, Sony and Microsoft based, no so much Panasonic, Atari, NEC and so on.
Lets take a look at my Top 25 16 Bit Games (#20 – 16.) This list isn’t as one sided as the 8 bit list, though a majority of titles lean towards the Super Nintendo catalog.
The entire Super Star Wars trilogy as a whole was definitely a success. Super Star Wars stood out just a hair more than the other two, but in truth, the entire franchise should be played, one game after another. Super Star Wars had some impressive music that made if seem just right for its time, clean visuals with slowdown here and there and gameplay that augmented the experience as a whole. Even if certain aspects of the game seem quite outdated, Super Star Wars still stands as one of those must play titles from the 16 bit era, and with good reason.
While Sonic has had quite the fall from grace, his Genesis titles remain some of the best the 16 bit era has produced. Sonic 2 was probably the one I enjoyed the most though. Nothing was outstanding, but everything was “just right” and in turn, created an overall package that stood out ahead of the others. The first appearance of Tails added a pseudo-multiplayer facet, but moreover, it added a bit more character as a whole. The Sega Genesis was basically the glory days of the franchise, and playing through Sonic 2 right after trying out something like Sonic 4 Episode 1, you’ll quickly understand why.
Final Fight is hard to dislike. The Super Nintendo version lacked two player action, as well as one whole stage, the transvestite Poison, and one playable character in Guy. That still wasn’t enough to cripple the fun factor and replay value Final Fight had. The genre its self is occasionally referred to as the Final Fight genre, as it refined a number of aspects, defined even more, and in certain respects, remains the measuring stick in which all within the genre strive to reach (at least the arcade version.) The port on Xbox Live Arcade might be a bit more faithful, but on the Super Nintendo, it was still one of the more fulfilling playthroughs during the 16 bit era.
Before the advent of super combos, parrying, focus attacks and other gameplay gimmicks that the franchise has birthed, there was Super Street Fighter II. The first in the series to properly register combos with on screen indications, Super Street Fighter II added four brand new characters to the default twelve that was previously available. A few vocal cues were removed here and there due to the size of the game its self, but it remained faithful enough to the arcade version, adding in a few things here and there, such as a Tournament mode. It might seemed a bit slower paced these days, but Super Street Fighter II is surprisingly still sturdy enough to come back to and enjoy once again.
Swish! Another arcade port from a time when arcade gaming was actually alive and well, NBA Jam: Tournament Edition didn’t visually please as a port, but the gameplay did not relent nor did it let gamers down. Two on two arcade style basketball led to some hilarious moments, from massive blowouts to backboard shattering dunks late in the game. Tournament Edition added in the ability to change which two players you had on court at once, more Easter eggs and so on. NBA Jam was yet another game that was a good time solo, but thrived off a multiplayer support.