In light of the newest rumor about a potential SNES classic being made, some of our staff and contributors decided to gather together and have a round table discussion about consoles. So, sit back and relax as we discuss our memories and favorite gaming moments through our lives.
I have played many consoles over the years. I started playing games on the Atari and have played games on PC, NES, Sega Master System, Genesis, more obscure systems like the 3DO and the Jaguar, and every iteration of Playstation and Xbox. I have had incredible adventures both alone and with friends on all of these, but my favorite console ever is without a doubt the Super Nintendo.
The Adventure Begins
I clearly remember the day I first played the SNES. I went to visit my friend Paul who lived in South San Francisco at the time. He had called and told me about this new system he had just picked up and said that I just had to come and play the new Mario game that came with it. Never one to miss playing a new video game, I quickly headed over. Little did I know that I was about to play the system that would set the wheels in motion for me to become a lifelong gamer.
The game we played was Super Mario World, and for my money, it is still the greatest Mario game ever made. This game had it all: great graphics, awesome soundtrack, incredibly varied gameplay, a cool dino named Yoshi, and some of the best secrets ever that added a ton of gameplay depth. I was hooked. When it came time to head home, I knew I had to get a Super Nintendo, so I took my summer job money and headed to Toys R Us to buy one. That was some of the best money I have ever spent.
I had always enjoyed video games before, but they had been more of a rainy day activity or something to do when my friends weren’t available up until that point. The SNES changed everything. Whether I was trying to find all the secrets to the Star Road in Super Mario World, being mesmerized by the soundtrack to Super Metroid (which is my all time favorite game, by the way), or trying to figure out all of the puzzles in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, I was becoming completely engrossed in these adventures.
This is what I would go to school and talk to my friends about. Games became what we would get together to do quite a bit of the time. The SNES had great games for playing with friends, in particular Super Mario Kart, and we had a blast trying to knock each other off course with Koopa shells well into the wee hours of a Saturday evening.
Everything that I loved about gaming was born on the Super Nintendo. My love of RPGs started with the Final Fantasy games I played on the SNES. Cooperative games like Zombies Ate My Neighbors showed me that there was more to multiplayer gaming than just racing or sports games. Secret of Mana was the game that tugged at my heartstrings with its amazing soundtrack, action based RPG elements, memorable characters and beautiful graphics. My completionist nature was formed finding the secrets and power ups in games like Super Metroid and Super Castlevania
Interest transformed into legitimate love, a love for gaming. It ignited the flame that still burns to this day. These days, gaming is my escape. It is the place I go where I can be part of something bigger and to take off the mantle of responsibility that comes with adult life and fatherhood. Gaming is the old friend that takes me by the hand and says, “let’s go and do something truly fantastic,” and it all started on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
I was introduced to video games at a very young age. My dad brought home an NES for us to play together along with having a few games installed on his work PC. While I enjoyed console gaming, I wasn’t as drawn into it like my dad or some of my friends. It wasn’t until the summer of 1993, when I was 8 years old, that I truly experienced what I believe is the most pure, fun form of gaming.
My mom and I, along with my mom’s friend and her son, were at a local mall shopping for something I can’t even remember. What I do remember was all of us having lunch in the food court and looking over, and for the first time noticing a dark room with bright lights flashing inside. I’m not sure if this room was something new or if I had just not noticed it until now, I was 8 years old after all, but I had to go check it out. My friend and I walked over to the flashing room and the word “ARCADE” was displayed in bright colored lights overhead as we went inside. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.
There were huge cabinet video games scattered about and a few pinball machines in the back corner. I remember seeing games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA Jam, The Simpsons and Street Fighter 2. There were also a few light gun and racing games in the opposite corner from the pinball machines. For some reason I ignored these machines and was drawn to a cabinet with bright lights, dark colors, loud screams and some pretty intense violence, especially for the time. This game was Mortal Kombat 2.
The Fun of the Challenge
Mortal Kombat 2 represented a true change in how I viewed video games. The graphics were much more realistic and it was very loud and visceral. Instead of a game pad, there was a panel with two sticks and 10 buttons, 5 per side. If I remember correctly, one credit was 25 cents, but you had to wait your turn. There were two older kids playing in front of me and I had to wait for one or both of them to finish. Gaming like this taught me patience at a young age. It also taught me what you could call, “arcade etiquette.” The winner stays and the loser pays. If you wanted to challenge someone, you put your quarters on the player 2 side and jumped in when it was your turn. I’ve never had so much fun as playing against other kids in the arcade, side by side. It’s an experience that many kids these days just don’t get to have, as arcades have all but become extinct.
Shopping malls have raised the rent amount for a store front to the point of making it nearly impossible to make money with an arcade, along with the fact that game developers are now focused on making games for modern consoles like the Xbox One and PS4. For that reason, arcade machines just don’t get built. For all the amazing consoles I’ve played through the years, none of them have led to the pure fun and joy I experience when playing a true arcade cabinet.
If you have a chance to play in an arcade in your life, I suggest you do it and see what I mean. It is truly a gaming experience like none other. Recently luck (and some good paychecks) were in my favor and I was able to add the crown jewel of arcade fighting games to my entertainment room. Now, whenever I want, I can go back in time to the summer of 1993 and relive that same incredible arcade experience in the comfort of my own home. Guests are always welcome, and I relish the challenge. It will only cost you a quarter!
Growing up, my parents were quite strict in regards to electronic gaming. My mom wasn’t a fan of little computer games that would rot your brain, plus they just weren’t things we could afford. So, it was always a treat when we would get to go over to our friends’ houses who did have them and play a little NES or Sega Genesis.
When I was 14, I got a job painting apartments for the summer which paid me in cash. Looking back, it was probably under the table and a little shady, but I was making $7 an hour (minus my share of our paint crew’s weekly Mountain Dew and Pepsi budget) and getting paid in cash every Friday. Soon enough I was able to buy my first game console: a teal Gameboy Color with a copy of Pokémon Blue. Later, with other odd jobs I’d worked, I was able to pick up a Nintendo 64 among other things at a local pawn shop.
But, my favorite console was the one I waited in line for: the Nintendo GameCube. I think I was about 17, and my friend got us tickets for a preview event that Nintendo was hosting at the Mall of America. We got there as early as we could and waited in line for hours for our chance to try out this amazing next gen console before it was even out. We had such a great experience, and spent most of our time playing Super Monkey Ball and Super Smash Bros Melee. That game sealed it for me: I needed this console in my life.
In November 2001, I waited in line at Walmart in order to get my hands on a console. I got my indigo cube, 3 extra controllers (including one crappy MadCatz that we’d make our sister or guests use), and my copy of Super Smash Bros Melee which I still own to this day.
I’ve honestly gotten more playtime out of this platform than any other I’ve ever owned. As consoles have died, I’ve replaced them, but the games still keep me coming back for more. Even though I love what modern gaming consoles have become, and how amazing experiences like Horizon: Zero Dawn or Destiny have given us new and influential ways to play, I still hold a special place for the GameCube in my heart – my little indigo lunch box of joy.
Where to begin? Growing up on the farm, there wasn’t a lot of technology around me, but what my older brother and I had was video games. You know, back when video games didn’t require an internet connection. Some of my first memories are of playing Joust and Star Wars on the Atari. Being the younger brother, I took full advantage of my brother using his own money to buy the NES and SNES (lol sorry bro). Hours and hours of entertainment on those two systems alone.
Being brothers we of course were very competitive. Lots of controllers were thrown during those long hours of Mario Kart and Tecmo Superbowl. It got so bad that we used watch each other’s controller to see what play was picked so we could pick their play. Then came the blankets. We had to cover our controllers with blankets just so we wouldn’t sneak a peak!
Which console was the best console for me? That is a difficult question to answer. When it comes to the memories I’ve made, probably the NES and SNES. If it comes to which had the biggest impact on me, that is Xbox and Xbox 360. I still remember bringing the OG Xbox with Halo home. The hours I spent on those two consoles really impacted me during the college years. In fact, one of the first times I met Thaddeus Prime himself was when he strolled into my room and saw me playing the original Star Wars Battlefront on Xbox. The story of Halo changed me forever as a gamer. Just look at my gamertag: Mulehorn117. John was the ultimate bad ass and I got to be just that with him.
My parents were kind of stingy growing up. No matter how much I asked, I usually never got a home gaming system for any sort of gift-giving situation, and growing up when consoles were becoming more popular didn’t leave much room for me to buy my own as I was to young to work.
Fast-forward to middle school. My parents surprised me with a Playstation 2 as a “gift for the house,” yet I bought the games with gift cards every year and eventually it ended up in my room. It was my favorite of the systems I’ve had by far. The games that were out for it were amazing. I started with a NASCAR title and Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. My collection grew over the years to include Tekken titles, more NASCAR, Ratchet and Clank, other Jak and Daxter games, the Need for Speed underground series and, of course… Guitar hero. Even though I switched to the Xbox 360 in college, the Playstation 2 will always be my favorite.
Favorite Console Ever?
Picking a favorite console ever is a really tough task. From the NES to the current Xbox One, there is so many amazing choices! Not only that, but I owned most of them! However, there is one that stands out just a little bit more than the others. And that system is the Super Nintendo!
Why It Is Amazing
The greatest thing about the SNES is the library. Let’s just start with the pack-in game, Super Mario World. Super Mario World showed off the graphics of the SNES, the amazing gameplay of Nintendo developers, and featured amazing hidden secrets. It was an incredible experience that I was able to share with my brothers and friends.
But, this wasn’t the only Super Mario game that I enjoyed. One of the greatest collection of games of all time (in my opinion) was also on the SNES. Super Mario All-Stars combined all of the NES classics and brought them to the 16 bit era. The original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3 were all packed into a single game. Every one of those games are masterpieces in and of themselves, but putting them all together in one place created one of the greatest games ever made.
There were other games besides Super Mario, though. JRPGs also found a home on the console. One that really impacted me the most is Chrono Trigger. Made by Square Enix, the game featured a time traveling hero, Crono. He bounced from time period to time period, teaming up with other heroes to stop Lavos, an evil that would destroy the world. The game had an interesting story, characters, and combat system. It also was game that me and my best friend bonded over, and still will talk about to this day. Glad to have had the opportunity to play it.
When wanting to just hang out with some friends and goof off, we would turn on NBA Jam. Nothing like hearing, “From downtown,” or “He’s on fire!” Eating pizza, taking on the next challenger, and just spending time together was had simply because we had this game. Also, the Stockton and Malone combo was hard to beat.
Finally, and this may be considered cheating, but I really loved the Super Gameboy attachment. If you don’t know what that is, then let me explain. The Super Gameboy allowed Gameboy games to be played on your SNES. So, having Pokemon to play on the “big screen” was awesome! Pokemon Red is one of my favorite games of all time because I was able to make so many friends with it. I’ll remember sitting with my brother, taking turns battling the Elite Four on our TV. It was a lot of fun to cheer each other on together.
So, that’s why the SNES is my favorite console. It brought people to the couch to hang out with. It had amazing games that kept me entertained for hours and hours. And, I got to spend more time with my friends and family around it. It is hard to beat a console that does all of that!
Thanks for reminiscing with us! It’s a pleasure to play video games, and a very different but fulfilling pleasure to write about them. What were your favorite consoles growing up? Hit us up in the comments below and give us your thoughts!