Nintendo Super NES Classic

Last updated date: August 26, 2019

DWYM Score

8.6

Nintendo Super NES Classic

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We looked at the top Video Game Consoles and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Video Game Console you should buy.

Update as August 26, 2019:
Checkout The Best Video Game Console for a detailed review of all the top video game consoles.

Overall Take

Retro gamers will love the Nintendo Super NES Classic, which comes pre-packed with 21 old school games. All are easy to jump in and play thanks to an equally classic interface. There are also a number of welcome tweaks to the old system, such as a "rewind" function that gives you a do-over on recent gameplay.


In our analysis of 88 expert reviews, the Nintendo Super NES Classic placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

From your first ride on Yoshi to the final heart-pounding escape from Planet Zebes, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System is pure 16-bit retro gaming perfection. Now a new, miniaturized version is here, pre-loaded with 21 of the all-time greatest games, like Super Mario Kart and the first-ever release of Star Fox 2! Just plug it in and play. Live out the golden age of 16-bit gaming like never before. Choose games from the menu, create save points, and more. The system comes bundled with an HDMI cable, an USB charging cable, two Super NES Classic Controllers, and 21 games, pre-installed and ready-to-play. The system is also compatible with the Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro accessories.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.3
9 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
2,606 user reviews

What experts liked

The Super NES Classic Edition is an incredible retro game system and gaming collectible that strikes the ideal combination of nostalgia and quality.
- PC Magazine
September 27, 2017 | Full review
It's fast, easy to navigate and lets you save points in any game you play.
- CNET
June 28, 2018 | Full review
One of the great things about it, though, is its simplicity.
- The Verge
September 27, 2017 | Full review
Navigating the SNES Classic is similar to its predecessor, which is to say, reset button aside, it's a pleasure.
- Engadget
September 27, 2017 | Full review
While the SNES Classic's hardware has some quirks, its 21-game library is almost universally stellar.
- Tom's Guide
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The SNES was the first console that really nailed level design, figured out racing mechanics, and understood how a good fight really goes.
- Wired
September 27, 2017 | Full review
In addition, the SNES Classic adds a new feature called “rewind,” which allows you to look at the last few minutes of your latest gameplay session, and jump in prior to where you stopped (presumably before you messed up and/or died).
- Digital Trends
September 27, 2017 | Full review
But more than half of the SNES Classic’s catalog is fantastic and still a blast to play, and includes some of my personal favorites.
- IGN
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The SNES CE has a good look that will work for most TVs out of the box.
- Tech Crunch

What experts didn't like

The SNES Classic controllers have slightly longer four-foot cables, but they're still a bit too short if you have a large TV.
- PC Magazine
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The only thing I don't love is the little plastic flap you need to flip down to access the ports.
- CNET
June 28, 2018 | Full review
These range from colorful patterns to faux-wood paneling, but I found them all a bit too distracting to be useful.
- The Verge
September 27, 2017 | Full review
If you want to go back to the menu to change a setting or swap games, you have to get up and press the reset button.
- Engadget
September 27, 2017 | Full review
There's just one problem — the wires are still too damn short.
- Tom's Guide
September 27, 2017 | Full review
Nintendo rightly didn't touch the games, but I wish everything else had been up for discussion.
- Wired
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The short cables and mandatory resets don’t help it fit in a modern living room.
- Digital Trends
September 27, 2017 | Full review
You may have to adjust your gaming setup to sit within reach with the controller’s 4-foot, 7-inch cords, as I did, in order to sit comfortably and play
- IGN
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The only major problem I have is that the front of the device has to flip off in an awkward way to expose the controller ports.
- Tech Crunch

Overall Product Rankings

Xbox One X 1TB Console

2. Xbox One X 1TB Console

Overall Score: 8.8
Nintendo Super NES Classic

3. Nintendo Super NES Classic

Overall Score: 8.6
Nintendo Switch

5. Nintendo Switch

Overall Score: 8.6
Xbox One S 500GB Console

6. Xbox One S 500GB Console

Overall Score: 8.6
Nintendo New 2DS XL

7. Nintendo New 2DS XL

Overall Score: 8.3
Nintendo New 3DS XL

8. Nintendo New 3DS XL

Overall Score: 8.2
Nintendo 2DS

9. Nintendo 2DS

Overall Score: 8.1
Playstation Classic Console

10. Playstation Classic Console

Overall Score: 6.4

An Overview On Video Game Consoles

In the market for a new video game console? If you’re buying it for a savvy gamer, let us save you some time right now: Just ask them which one they want. While the console wars are intense between the three major companies (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo), they’ve managed to keep their products fairly distinct so far. Currently, each company’s system has a rabid fanbase that loves their hardware and games for completely different reasons — and none of them are wrong. It’s about entertainment, after all, and there are more ways to capture someone’s imagination than fantastic graphics and sound.

That said, let’s start by explaining graphics capability quickly. All video game consoles display their games on your existing television by hooking up to it via HDMI or AV cable — although some devices can also display games on their own screen. The processing power of a console has a lot to do with how those games look when they’re displayed on your TV, though it can have just as much to do with the individual game you’re playing. The graphics capability of the TV itself also plays a factor. If graphics is your benchmark for quality, the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are far and away the best options. But to truly see the difference, you’re going to need to use them with a TV with 4K capability — preferably one that also has HDR (high dynamic range).

Got one? Great. Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are going to be able to take full advantage of all that resolution. In terms of raw power, the Xbox One X might have a slight advantage here with its 6-teraflop AMD processor and 12 gigabytes of GDDR5 RAM. For those who we lost after the word “teraflop,” allow us to translate: Games on this system look great and run smooth. For that matter, so do the ones on the PS4 Pro. Both systems can even “upscale” older games that were made to display in 1080p resolution, essentially filling in pixels to approximate 4K. And when these systems are running on all cylinders, which is to say playing games that were made in native 4K on an HDR screen, the results are beautiful. That said, graphics capability is reaching a bit of an event horizon. If you’re sitting 10 feet away from a 70″ TV, you might not even notice a difference between the quality in 4K display versus 1080p.

Luckily, graphics are just one feature of a video game system, and they don’t necessarily make the games more fun. Hardcore gamers tend to buy systems based on the games that are available to play. While most games are cross-platform (meaning they can be played on multiple consoles), there are a few exclusive titles that can only be played on certain systems. The PS4 Pro boasts tentpole exclusives, like “Spider-Man” and “God of War.” The Xbox has “Forza Motorsport 7” and “Gears of War 4.” The retro Super NES comes pre-loaded with “Mega Man X,” “Final Fantasy III” and 19 other classic games.

Speaking of Nintendo, both of its primary consoles have a very distinct appeal. The Super NES Classic features the most games bundled with any of the four major systems: 21 ports of titles that hooked gamers back on the original Super NES. For retro gamers, this is a huge value, and the console comes party-ready with two controllers.

The cost of games on these systems varies, from $60 for brand new titles down to $5 or so for some used or indie games. Increasingly, these can be bought in digital format on the console’s online store, so you never have to leave the house — provided your rig has enough storage. (This is a particular highlight for the 1TB PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.) And if you’ve got games from older versions of these systems, like the PS3 or Xbox 360? You can still play many of them on the Xbox One X. While the PS4 Pro isn’t as compatible with older discs, you can buy upgraded versions of its older titles on the PlayStation Store.

The Video Game Console Buying Guide

  • Most of the systems spotlighted here won’t come with games you can play right out of the box, although there are bundles that do include some popular titles for an additional cost. The exception is the Super NES Classic, which is possibly the most user-friendly console. It comes pre-loaded with 21 games from Nintendo’s golden age, including “Super Punch-Out!!” and “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” While you can’t buy additional games for that self-contained system, those titles should keep any retro fan busy for years.
  • Game prices vary for the rest of the systems, ranging greatly in price. You can buy physical game discs (or game cards, in the case of some devices) or download them digitally through each console’s online store. Bear in mind that storing the games this way takes up more storage space. Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X pack 1 TB of space for new games and save data. In all cases, upgrades are available.
  • Exclusive games are a big draw for any console, and for many, it’s the main reason to buy. Popular titles that are only playable on the Xbox One X include “Gears of War 4,” “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” “Forza Horizon 4,” “Forza Motorsport 7” and “Sea of Thieves.”
  • PS4 Pro exclusives include highlights like “God of War,” “Bloodborne,” “Detroit: Become Human,” “The Last of Us,” “Spider-Man” and “Horizon: Zero Dawn.”
  • Once again, consider the TV you own before buying the more graphics-intensive systems (PS4 Pro or Xbox One X). If your television doesn’t have 4K capability, you won’t be able to take full advantage of the console’s main feature.
  • Most homes these days have some form of internet package, but it’s worth noting that it will probably figure into your gaming experience. Apart from the Super NES Classic, all modern consoles incorporate online functionality to some degree. In most cases, you’ll have to sign up for a gaming profile and online membership that will allow you to buy anything from movies to games to enhancements for your existing games. Some games, such as multiplayer shooters, are not even playable offline.
  • Game interface is another frequently overlooked part of the experience. If you’ve played extensively on previous versions of any of these consoles, you probably have a favorite controller. PS controllers tend to be slimmer while those for the Xbox have a fuller, heavier feel. And many gamers still swear by the simple, two-button elegance of the Super NES.
  • The PS4 Pro is a powerful piece of hardware, and you can use them to do much more than just play games. On all three, you can download movies, music or apps, and watch your favorite shows through Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. If physical media is still your thing, you can watch Blu-Ray discs on the Xbox One X, although movie-watching on the PS4 is limited to downloads or streaming.