Top 5 Action Adventure Games on the SNES: A Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Clock Tower, and Earthbound

Top 5 Action Adventure Games on the SNES

The SNES features a feature that allows players to save the game at any point, rather than just right before a boss fight. This makes for an interesting way to play games.

In this installment of the Adventure Island series, Master Higgins has gained the ability to shoot a boomerang in four directions instead of just left and right. He also has the ability to jump higher.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

In the world of action-adventure games, this one takes the cake. Nintendo knocked it out of the park with this title, introducing elements such as an expansive open world environment, nonlinear stage selection and a powerful (and complicated) action system.

A Link to the Past returned to the top-view gameplay of the original Legend of Zelda, dropping the side-scrolling of The Adventure of Zelda and introduced series staples such as parallel worlds and the Master Sword. It also reintroduced the idea of collecting rupees to use items and recover life energy, which has become a core element in the franchise.

It also featured a variety of puzzles, including some which have since become iconic in the franchise such as the Tower of Time and the Firth Tower. The game was the first to feature a playable Princess Zelda and to introduce the notion of freeing Maidens from crystal prisons, which would become a mainstay in subsequent titles such as Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword.

Super Mario World

One of the first games to showcase the full power of the SNES, Super Mario World is an epic adventure that features amazing graphics for a game made 3 decades ago and a soundtrack that would make George R. R. Martin blush. It also has a story that isn’t as hackneyed or melodramatic as many early RPGs.

In terms of level design, it’s one of the most non-linear in the series and gives players plenty of opportunities to explore places they weren’t ready for and to discover secrets. It’s a fun and challenging game that has become an essential part of the franchise.

This was a launch title for the SNES and it shows that Nintendo was able to overcome some of the problems they had with genre classification. The omission of “RPG” here is curious, but that could be due to the fact that NES RPGs were generally categorized under Adventure anyway. Interestingly, this Black Box also includes SimCity and chess, which suggests that Simulation was a more encompassing category than RPG at the time.

Donkey Kong Country

One of the few games on the SNES that isn’t about crystals, medieval castles, or ancient magic, Donkey Kong Country introduced a new level of visual quality to the series while providing an action-packed adventure. Its setting and real-time action gameplay inspired many future video game developers.

The game introduces a tag-team system where the player controls both Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Depending on which Kong is on the screen at any given time, enemies can be defeated with chest-pounding barrel rolls or a quick swipe of a vine. Diddy also has the ability to hover over certain objects, a technique used to grab hard-to-reach items.

This game also introduced many of the Donkey Kong series’s supporting cast and enemies, as well as its setting and musical motifs. It spawned a 40-episode 3D animated television series, a manga adaptation, and other merchandise. It is also notorious for its difficulty. During development, Nintendo frequently asked Rare to rearrange levels and tone down some of its more challenging aspects.

Clock Tower

In a console generation that was dominated by brightly-colored, anthropomorphic mascots with attitude, Clock Tower stands out as a horror game that focuses on the player’s fear of being discovered. A mansion full of sinister chambers, a tenacious adversary and some seriously cheezy cut scenes help to create an unsettling atmosphere that makes the game truly terrifying.

Earthbound is another standout example of a unique SNES adventure game. It uses familiar fantasy tropes such as elf, orc and samurai, but it mixes them up with a sci-fi setting and a surprisingly dark narrative.

It is hard to rank the best SNES adventure games because there were so many excellent ones released for the console. However, Super Metroid deserves to take the top spot because it is a true classic in every sense of the word. It combines a moody atmosphere with fluid gameplay that allows for precise platforming and exciting battles. It also encourages players to explore every nook and cranny to find powerups and advance the story.

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