8 Best Games On The SNES, Ranked


  • Enix’s unique RPG E.V.O.: Search for Eden lets players evolve from a small fish, a concept that no other game has replicated.
  • Square Enix’s Star Ocean for the SNES was action-based combat with instanced arenas, similar to the early Tales of games.
  • Front Mission by Squaresoft features mech customization not seen in other mech games, drawing fans to this tactical RPG.

Squaresoft and Enix were rivals from the start, cranking out two of the most popular RPG series ever made on the NES. Squaresoft had Final Fantasy and Enix had Dragon Quest. Their rivalry only got hotter during the SNES generation and it went beyond their bread-and-butter franchises.


Every Final Fantasy (& Other RPGs) Squaresoft Released On The SNES

Squaresoft (now Square Enix) has always been at the forefront of RPGs. These are the best they released on Super Nintendo.

Squaresoft, for example, put out some odd RPGs like Bahamut Lagoon and Treasure Hunter G. Both were never released in the West or even got sequels in Japan. Enix had some strange ones too like ActRaiser and Soul Blazer. Those examples have their fans, but these eight other titles have a more rabid fan base. Let’s see what great games the two of them made and produced in the 90s on the SNES.

8 E.V.O.: Search For Eden

Pokemon Wishes It Could Evolve Like This

Fighting enemies in EVO-Search For Eden

E.V.O.: Search for Eden is one of the weirder action RPGs that Enix helped distribute on the SNES and it was released in the West. Players begin as a small fish in the ocean but as they eat and fight more, they grow and evolve. There are branching paths players can take to evolve their fish from razor-blade fins to sharp beak-like mouths. Besides simulation games like Spore, no one has really copied this idea. It’s an outside-the-box concept but that’s what made the SNES so magical and why Square Enix buffs should check this out.

7 Star Ocean

A Blend Between Sci-Fi And Fantasy

Exploring a town in Star Ocean (SNES)

Star Ocean was not released outside of Japan until it got a PSP remake in 2008. There was a fan translation years before that though, which is how a lot of fans got acquainted with the franchise. The great thing about combat was that it was action-based even though players still warped into instanced arenas akin to a turn-based game. It’s like how the Tales of games were released in the early years of that franchise. This game looks and sounds good on the SNES as the first in the Star Ocean series too on top of having an engaging battle system.

6 Front Mission

Customizing Mechs On A Global Warfront

Fighting a battle in Front Mission 1

Front Mission was one of Squaresoft’s earliest attempts at a tactical RPG and they went all out. The mech customization alone was something not seen in even the best mech games from this era like Metal Warriors or Cybernator. Players could equip their mechs, or Wanzers as they are called in-universe, before battle and then engage in grid-based maps.


The 10 Best Remakes From Square Enix, Ranked

Be it Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, Square Enix has remade its share of games. Which remakes are the company’s best?

Like a few of these RPGs, Front Mission was not released in the West until much later when it got a DS remake in 2007. It has since received an even more detailed remake and it is out on most modern consoles like the Switch.

5 Secret Of Mana

The Legend Of Zelda But With More RPG Elements

Exploring the world in Secret Of Mana

Secret of Mana

October 3, 1993


The Mana series, overall, was kind of like Squaresoft’s answer to The Legend of Zelda. The original was a top-down RPG complete with puzzle dungeons and an overworld map. Secret of Mana expanded that idea on the SNES, adding a lot of great improvements while keeping that same action RPG feel. It’s one of the few RPGs from this era that offered co-op, for example. The game eventually got a remake on PS4 and PS Vita which did not review well. The best way to play it instead is through Collection of Mana on the Switch which comes bundled with the first three Mana games.

4 Dragon Quest 3 (Remake)

The Birth Of The Ever-Addictive Vocation System

Exploring a town in Dragon Quest 3 The Seeds Of Salvation

Dragon Quest 3 was originally an NES game before it got this massive remake on the SNES, but only in Japan. This version is basically what players can buy on digital stores like the eShop now though. Dragon Quest 3 is an important one because it introduced the franchise’s version of a class system called Vocations. Similarly, Final Fantasy 3 is the first game in that franchise to offer swappable Jobs. Like most games in the series, Dragon Quest 3 is light on story, putting its best gameplay foot forward instead which is comforting in a modern RPG world.

3 Final Fantasy 6

A Big Cast Of Characters Accompanied By A Deep Magic System

Exploring the world in Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy 6

October 11, 1994

Square Enix , Square

Final Fantasy 6 is considered by many fans to be the peak of the series in this early era. It went all-out by adding a huge cast of playable characters, the biggest in the mainline franchise to this day. From a ninja going his own way to a boy lost in the wilderness to a young painter, the group was an eclectic cast of characters.


13 Square Enix Games That Desperately Need A Remaster

Square Enix has always put out some quality games. With remasters becoming more commonplace in recent years, these forgotten titles are in need of one

It was a globe-trotting adventure wherein a group of resistance members tried to take down an evil empire. The Esper system, which allowed characters to learn magic, was like an early prototype for Materia in Final Fantasy 7 and it gave players a lot to experiment with.

2 Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars

Mario’s First Wacky RPG Adventure Complete With Genre Bending Tactics

A scene featuring characters in a church in Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

May 13, 1996

Square Enix

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars felt like a big risk for a game in the 90s. Up to that point, Mario mostly starred in platformers and the occasional puzzle game. Putting him in an RPG seemed wild but Squaresoft proved they were up to the task. It was the first game to create a more active turn-based combat system wherein players could boost attacks or defend themselves with timed button releases. It was also just a funny game that made the Mario universe feel more alive. It recently got a remake on Switch which was a solid love letter to this SNES classic.

1 Chrono Trigger

A Miracle Mashup That Holds Up

Fighting a boss in Chrono Trigger

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Chrono Trigger have a lot in common because they feel like dream projects. A lot of the best minds at Squaresoft and Enix came together to make Chrono Trigger, almost a decade before the two companies merged officially. Akira Toriyama did the art who also did the art for Dragon Quest and of course Dragon Ball. Hironobu Sakaguchi, who helped birth Final Fantasy, designed the game, and Yuji Hori, the main talent behind Dragon Quest, wrote for Chrono Trigger. Those are only a few names that helped make this time-traveling RPG stand the test of time in a non-ironic way.


The 10 Best Selling Square Enix Franchises Of All-Time, Ranked

There have been some seriously amazing franchises from Square Enix over the years. Here’s a look at the best-selling of all time, ranked.