Super Nintendo (1991)
For many gamers in my generation, the first console that they learned to love was the NES. Not so for myself. Though I did enjoy that ugly flip-lidded machine for a year or so from kindergarten onward, it was the SNES that gave me my first real taste of what would become a life-long hobby. When my brother and I opened the SNES on Christmas morning all those years ago, it was pretty much an instant addiction. We started with Super Mario World and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time but it wasn’t long before we were moving on to the bevy of exciting titles that were constantly being released on the 16-bit juggernaut. While my brother started to drift away from video games, preferring more casual fare as the years went on, I only sunk deeper. Titles like Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VI, only further cemented my hardcore devotion to gaming in each of its facets and iterations.
A stellar step forward for consoles, and arguably the finest machine Nintendo has ever produced, the SNES defined and refined what gaming could be for generations to come, all while launching a dozen franchises that continue even to this day. Unfortunately a series of mis-steps from Nintendo over the years, from a failed collaboration with Sony, whose Playstation would eventually topple Nintendo from the top of the heap, to the gimmicky consoles and handhelds which have defined the company of late, the storied legend of the SNES and its insanely impressive line-up of genre-defining titles have largely been relegated to the hope of glory days past rather than the expectations one might attach to a promising future. Here’s hoping the upcoming NX can change that, but until we know more about that mythical machine, hope is all we can do. Still, I’ve owned a dozen consoles and handhelds since I first encountered this tiny box of joy, yet none have ever filled me with the charming warmth that this nostalgic contraption still holds.
Long live the SNES! (Mike Worby)