The Super Nintendo had some of the best games of the ‘90s. Legendary titles are still fondly remembered to this day by thousands (if not millions) of gamers.
With 16-bits of power the SNES gave us video game experiences that the 8-bit NES just couldn’t handle, and we also got very good ports of popular arcade games.
Unfortunately, there were also some bad games made for the console.
Be it that they were rushed titles that needed to be polished, suffering from super slow gameplay or framerate, unresponsive controls, or a company that wanted to capitalize on the popularity of a movie tie-in. These are
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The 15 Worst SNES Games
Vortex (Argonaut Software – 1994)
While it is a technical wonder, this giant robot 3D shooter was made by the same company that helped Nintendo develop the FX Chip and create Star Fox.
Vortex suffers from terrible controls and a wonky camera that just takes the joy out of the gameplay.
A free-roaming 3D map with a mech that shoots missiles and lasers to the beat of cool music sounds pretty good until you try to move around and try to defeat alien enemies and you can’t seem to really do anything but stay put and explode.
Perhaps the SNES just couldn’t handle what they wanted to do, or the controller wasn’t the right one for this title. Hard pass.
Batman Forever (Acclaim Entertainment – 1995)
In 1995, the makers of Mortal Kombat had an awesome idea. Take digitized actors of the Batman film and create an adventure with the same engine as the ultra gory and popular MKII.
That is until you play it and it feels nothing close to as good as it sounds.
While the idea is solid, it was badly executed, and it makes you wonder if they just rushed the project and couldn’t quite polish the gameplay like it was supposed to work.
Also, figuring out the controls to use the gadgets is harder than solving The Riddler’s puzzles.
The same idea was used a little later for Mortal Kombat Mythologies Sub-Zero with much better results. Too bad we didn’t get the Dark Knight in a game of that quality here.
Lester the Unlikely (Visual Concepts – 1994)
In modern days, Twitter users claim that they want to see more “normal” people in games and media, but this game shows why that just doesn’t work.
Lester is a nerdy kid that gets scared of crabs and turtles, and runs away from them (really, in the game while you play). He is also afraid of heights so he screams “No!” when getting close to a cliff, and actually dies from falling from a platform that’s not even that high to begin with.
There are similar puzzle platformers and “realistic” games that are way more enjoyable to play, such as Prince of Persia or Flashback.
Maybe the idea of having a protagonist that the player can identify with was a good one, but I would much rather play a platformer featuring Sonic or Mario.
Shaq Fu (Electronic Arts – 1994)
A fighting game made just to take advantage of the 2nd “Arcade Boom” that was still going at the time (thanks to Street Fighter II and other arcade fighters of the 90s), and the popularity of Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Shaquille O’Neal.
This is the most famous (or infamous) game on this list of bad Super Nintendo games, and while it is bad compared to other original titles in the genre on the SNES version and arcade ports, there are few that actually enjoyed it.
Surprisingly it got a sequel in 2018, which is more than we can say about the other much more unpopular titles here.
Home Alone (THQ – 1991)
Like the last game, it’s just a quick cash grab made to take advantage of the most famous Christmas movie ever. The problem is that it has very little to do with the film’s plot, and the gameplay gets boring fast.
Here you must explore the McCallister family mansion, find all the valuables and hide them from the thieves that are already inside.
Jumping around in front of all the furniture to find hidden items and avoid baddies gets old pretty quickly. To attack them you have a useless water gun and a not-so-useless but still extremely weak slingshot.
The music and sound effects are very unpleasant to hear and this game must have the worst Game Over screen on the Super Nintendo.
Nickelodeon Guts (Viacom New Media – 1994)
Based on the game show of the same name, this is probably best described as a sidescroller platformer, with a dunking minigame thrown in. Excited yet?
It has nice animations for the characters, and decent audio, but the gameplay is awful.
You have to be in a very exact position to climb a rope or tube, walking and running on a small platform is hard, so you fall down very easily, and it’s a drag to go back to where you were standing.
It just becomes very frustrating to play with the way the controls work.
Also, any minigames of the time were more fun to play than the aerial dunking contests here, where you don’t even know how to score a point.
Beethoven: The Ultimate Canine Caper (Hi Tech Expressions – 1993)
This is an awful sidescrolling “Platformer” where the jumps feel super stiff and you can’t even jump over the first fence in the level correctly given the unresponsive controls.
Almost everything hurts you, even flowers growing on the sidewalks, and the bark attack seems less effective than placebo medicine on a flu patient.
Just a rushed game made to take advantage of the 2nd film of this Dog, which wasn’t even as popular as some of the other movie animals of the day.
Revolution X (Rage Software – 1994)
A very downgraded port of the arcade on-rail shooter featuring Aerosmith that pretty much takes away everything that made the original arcade version great: Huge sprites, great fast-paced action, lots of animation, many different enemies, and other things to shoot at. And of course, the music and voices by one of America’s greatest Rock and Roll Bands.
In this ultra-basic version of that arcade hit, the enemies look tiny and have very few animation frames. The action is just aimlessly moving the cursor around (that doesn’t control very well to start with) and the music samples are way too compressed to sound anything like the songs of the Bad Boys from Boston.
It doesn’t have any voice over and it suffers from slowdown in many scenes. Also the intro and game over screens take forever and you can’t skip them.
Terminator 2 and Lethal Enforcers (which could be played with the light gun but had a way better cursor) received very good ports, so maybe Rage Software didn’t make enough effort, or they just weren’t skilled enough for the task of porting this game.
The Wizard of Oz (SETA Corporation – 1993)
Dorothy walks so slowly that a snail wearing crocs would beat her in a race.
This game is just so slow-paced and boring. If you are a WOZ fan, this will make you want to throw the controller and go read the book or watch the movie instead.
And those killer lemons falling down every 2 steps? If the heroine was even a tad faster than a land turtle on quicksand they wouldn’t be such a pain in the neck. Just awful.
Faceball 2000 (Bullet-Proof Software – 1992)
A Pac-Man first-person shooter sounds fun, and the original idea was a nice experience on the PC and even the GameBoy, but what makes the SNES port a broken title is the ultra-low frame rate.
The screen where the action takes place is very tiny and It runs at 5 frames per second. It only gets worst if there are 3 faceballs on screen or you shoot many times in a row.
Also, the new music is just unpleasant, as well as the shooting SFX. Can’t believe the original GB game runs and sounds better than the Super Nintendo one.
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures (Namco – 1994)
I rented this one on a weekend thinking it was going to be a maze-based adventure with some Pac-Man cutscenes of him walking around as a human in between. It was not.
It shouldn’t even be named Pac-Man 2, more like “Yellow round thing that does nothing while you click everything”
This is a point-and-click adventure, but a very bad one at that. Nothing seems to work and it’s impossible to figure out what the Pac to do, so you end up just hitting everything and hoping something, anything, works.
Maybe it just wasn’t what we were expecting from a game called “Pac-Man 2”, or maybe it’s one of the worst examples of graphical adventures on the console. Either way, I would never play it again, and if you haven’t tried it yet, don’t.
Pit-Fighter (Tengen – 1991)
WWF WrestleMania for the SNES is a great example of a wrestling game featuring digitized sprites of real actors, and Pit-Fighter is not.
The character graphics have very washed-out colors and only 2 poses per move. The backgrounds look even worse.
During combat you can’t tell if you’re landing your punches, successfully defending attacks grabbing your rival, or getting pulled into a piledriver.
You can just smash all buttons and hope for the best, which doesn’t make a good fighting game.
Captain Novolin (Raya Systems – 1992)
A 2D side-scrolling educational game that was made to teach kids about diabetes. It was distributed for free, there’s a good intention behind it, and it does offer good information, but as a game, it sucks.
All you do is collect all the healthy food walking around.
Yeah, you read that right, apples have legs and walk. Just make sure to avoid the sugary junk food, which looks like monsters.
The thing is that you can’t really jump on anything, the jumping controls are horrible and it’s very difficult to avoid some of the cookie monsters and soft drinks that run toward you.
At least copies of this game were distributed for free in hospitals, unlike the next “game” on this list.
Race Drivin’ (Tengen – 1992)
The original Arcade game by Atari was a pretty good driving 3D experience, taking into consideration that it launched in 1990. But this port is outright garbage.
The frame rate is even lower than in Faceball, like 3 frames per second, and there’s nothing fun about taking curves or going up and down hills in this abomination.
When you least expect it you’ll run out of gas and see the game over screen and then go back to the home menu. Just a horrendous mess that has nothing against OutRun on the 8-Bits Master System.
Bebe’s Kids (Paramount Interactive – 1994)
The slowest, ugliest looking, and worst sounding Beat ’em Up I’ve ever had the displeasure of playing.
The backgrounds seem to have been drawn in Microsoft Paint, the action is even slower than in The Wizard of Oz, and the few beats that make the music loop after just 4 seconds, creating a horrendous tune that will make you mute the game.
This is just a terrible excuse for a brawler based on an animated film based on a stand-up comedy act.
In a Console that had so many memorable titles such as Super Double Dragon, Final Fight Trilogy, and Battletoads, the cartridges that had this software in them were just a waste of plastic. If they had been released 10 years earlier, they would’ve been buried in the New Mexico Desert.
So those are my worst SNES games of all time, and some of the worse games ever released. From bland, to painful, to straight-out unplayable, these are games that nobody should play.