7. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)
As we approach the end of the list, we are starting to become very RPG heavy and we have quite a few all-time greats to come. Zelda 3 is easily one of the Super Nintendo’s most revered games and helped to shape the standard for western-friendly action-RPGs.
The game’s beginnings are one of the most memorable in all of the SNES catalogue. You awake as Link in the middle of the night after Princess Zelda has communicated with you via a dream, pleading with you to rescue her from the Castle’s dungeon. You leave your cottage during a rainstorm and hence begins one of the greatest adventures in all of gaming.
Produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the game is vast for such a small storage space (coming in at just over 512kb!), with clever techniques used to compress the graphics and the use of the Light/Dark World mechanic to effectively double the size of the game world, whilst using the same assets. The viewpoint refers back to the top-down overview used in the original Zelda game, abandoning the controversial side on view used in Link’s Adventure (Zelda 2). Combine this with a beautiful use of colour and simple but attractive animation, and A Link to the Past is easily one of the most recognisable looking games of the 16-bit era.
I strongly suspect that Link to the Past will be one of the first games that returning gamers seek out on their SNES Classic Mini; and rightly so. Once they hear the famous Zelda Overworld theme, there is no turning back and prepare to be immersed in Hyrule for many hours before coming back to reality.
We hope you are enjoying our round-up of SNES Mini games, and we have the final 6 games coming in just a few days. Which games are you hoping to see in the final 6, and which is your favourite SNES game of all time? We’d love to know your thoughts via Twitter (@SetTheTape) and in the comments below.