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These Were The Games Available When The SNES Launched In America

Whether we all like it or not, time continues to march ever onward. Somehow, the Super Nintendo Entertainment system is now over 30 years old. It's a lot to take in, we know. Since its release in 1991, the internet has allowed us to learn plenty of interesting tidbits about the SNES. Some may not know, for example, that only three games got the color cartridge treatment on the SNES, and only those in Japan could experience the Super Nintendo's satellite internet capabilities.


While those facts are a bit more obscure, it's possible that the launch titles that accompanied Nintendo's fourth-generation console might not be known by all. Back when the system was released in North America, only five games launched simultaneously. Not exactly an enormous amount when compared to the releases of modern consoles, but these were earlier days for the video game industry. The small number of games also didn't seem to affect the success of the console. Especially considering the title that came boxed with each SNES.

Super Mario World got the SNES moving

The original Nintendo Entertainment System, released in 1986, was a massive success in North America. In order to follow suit, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System capitalized on the popularity of the "Super Mario Bros." series. 


As a pack-in title for the SNES, "Super Mario World" sold more than 20 million copies, and put Nintendo's 16-bit console into loads of living rooms. The game has long endured as a favorite for many, including Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Yet, despite his heavy lifting, Mario wasn't alone in accompanying the SNES for its launch.

Thanks to the exhaustive list of launch titles over on Codex Gamicus, we can see the four remaining titles that were overshadowed by Mario were the original "F-Zero," "Gradius 3," "Pilotwings," and "SimCity." While each of these franchises would go on to receive several entries, each one is nearly all but extinct. The most recent release for any of them is "SimCity BuildIt" in 2014. Of course, if one wants to get technical, the rerelease of "Pilotwings 64" as part of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack in 2022 would be the most recent.


However, that doesn't count much, due to it being a rerelease of a title from 1996. Is it possible that these franchises would have more life in them if it weren't for "Super Mario World' dominating sales on the SNES, or did they manage to last as long as they did because of the SNES consoles "Super Mario World" helped to sell? We may never know, but we do know that exciting rumors are constantly circling Nintendo's underutilized "F-Zero" IP.