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The 25 Coolest Two-Player SNES Games To Relive Old Memories!

Sometimes you just need to flood your veins with a healthy dose of pure, unadulterated nostalgia. Sometimes you just need to remember, with rose-tinted glasses, the way things once were so that we can better understand the way things are. When measured against the yardstick of times long past we can Come to appreciate the incredible scope, imagination, and technological capabilities of games today; or, alternatively, we can learn that perhaps graphics aren’t the game.

Whatever the lesson, is no doubt a fruitful exercise with the PS five and Xbox series X coming out later this year to take a look back at what once was the gold standard of home consoles And see just how far we’ve come. Below is the Nerds chalk curated list of the best 25 two-player SNES games ever made.

Contra III: The Alien Wars

  • Released: 1992
  • Developer: KONAMI

Contra III: The Alien Wars started as an arcade game, quickly accruing enough love and popularity to merit ports to multiple consoles. The SNES version was particularly praised for its dynamic, run-and-gun gameplay and usage of the Mode 7 graphics system that allowed the SNES to emulate a three-dimensional perspective. The game is remembered as one of the most challenging, and most gratifying games ever made for the console, and is without a doubt one of the most important games for any retro gamer interested in the SNES to play.

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Kirby Super Star

  • Released: 1996
  • Developer: HAL Laboratory

Kirby Superstar, or Kirby Fun Pak, is a compilation of seven standard Kirby games and a couple mini-games, most notable for their unique multiplayer mechanics. The levels operate as a traditional platformer’s, with all of Kirby’s usual abilities — eating enemies, puffing himself up into the air and the game’s signature bombastic boss battles; all that jazz — but also allows Kirby to “spawn” a second, playable character based on the abilities of a swallowed enemy. So it’s not so much two Kirbys, but rather Kirby and a unique “helper” and it’s a whole lot of fun.

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Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Capcom

Street Fighter needs no introduction, really. It’s Street Fighter. It’s a sidelong fighting game — correction, it’s the sidelong fighting game and it was Hyper Fighting that really propelled the game into the hall of fame with the speed and precision-based gameplay that would go on to define the series and, by extension, the genre itself. Special attacks, high-speed combos, and spammable cheese-moves designed to eradicate all resistance and end friendships. It’s all there in its original, classic glory.

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Super Mario All-Stars

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Nintendo

If you ever wanted to get your hands on what many consider the best versions of the OG Mario games before it became the multi-tiered IP that it is today, Super Mario All-Stars is without a doubt your best bet. It features a compilation of the very first Mario games, remade and enhanced for increased capabilities of the 16-bit SNES. All of the original levels, featuring smoother, more polished versions of the platform gold that first got gamers hooked to the inexplicable world of Mario and Luigi.

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Super Mario Kart

  • Released: 1992
  • Developer: Nintendo

For those without more than a passing familiarity of Mario and an idea of the true scope of the franchise, the last time you caught wind of the Mario Kart franchise might have been when the mobile version of the more modern games came out last year. But indeed, the history of Mario Kart is one that spans several decades. Considered by many to be the best racing game to have ever come out on the SNES, Mario Kart is a must-play for anyone lucky enough to have their hands on the most classic of consoles.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4: Turtles in Time

  • Released: 1992
  • Developer: Konami

Any fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise has to, at least once in their lifetime, play this most glorious of beat ’em ups. Players are free to step into the roles of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo, and move about the setting of the 1987 animated series while beating the crap out of an assortment of appropriately wacky villains.

Each turtle has their own unique playstyle, weakness, and abilities that are balanced out by 2 to 4 simultaneous players at a time. The game, and by extension the franchise, is so enduringly popular that Turtles in Time managed to receive multiple ports across different decades to a variety of platforms – and without a doubt, the original TMNT: Turtles in Time on SNES is the one to play.

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Zombies Ate My Neighbors

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: LucasArts

Zombies Ate My Neighbors remains the pride and joy of the LucasArts lineup of SNES games, one of the many jewels in the crown from way back when it was actually a developer and not another notch in the Disney belt.

The game is best played with two players as they step into the roles of Zeke and Julie and do their best to avoid being eaten by recognizable horror movie monsters while rescuing their blissfully ignorant neighbors from the impending apocalypse. The gameplay is well designed and surprisingly deep for the SNES, and holds up extremely well even for modern tastes. Certainly a must play for any pair of players with access to an SNES.

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Goof Troop

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Capcom, Disney Interactive Studios

Goof Troop is a wacky adventure game starring the iconic Disney star Goofy and his lovable son Max as they go exploring across the varied landscapes of the Island of Spoonerville. The game places a heavy emphasis on puzzles and, funnily enough, one of the best aspects of gameplay actually comes from a design limitation inherent to the Disney IP: during each of the numerous boss battles at the end of each level, neither Goofy nor Max can actually directly strike their enemy.

It would be kind of weird if they were ever to go full blown streetfighter on anybody, so they’re left to resort to using their environment and tactical positioning to defeat their enemies. Combined with the two player nature of the game, this makes for some stellar teamwork and incredibly gratifying gameplay that makes this game a legendary classic.

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Super Bomberman

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Hudson Soft

Super bomberman was one of the most awesome games back in the day for its unique ability to promote backstabbing among teammates. The basic setup of the game is on a grid filled with destructible and non-destructible walls and a number of enemies. Players can move around the level and drop bombs at their feet to go off a few seconds later, blowing up either enemies, destructible walls or — if you or a friend happen to still be standing there – players.

In the game’s normal standard mode, players can work cooperatively to progress through the level – or, alternatively, do some of the aforementioned backstabbing – or a battle mode that supports up to 1 to 4 players where the aim of the game is the more honorable frontstabbing. Probably some of the best co-op in PVP from back in the day.

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Secret of Mana

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Square Enix

Developed by Square Enix back when it was just Square, and sequel to the first Final Fantasy Adventure but not called Final Fantasy, not enough people remember the landmark adventure RPG that is Secret of Mana. The game has all the hallmarks of a modern day, expansive RPG and a completely unique-for-the-time combat system similar to that of Dragon Age.

Players can move around a large open world map, combating enemies accruing experience points and equipment, and going on numerous side quests in what is a well-developed high fantasy world. Whereas Final Fantasy and other JRPG’s are in part defined by the turn based combat system, the now 27-year-old Secret of Mana uses a unique Ring Menu mechanic the pauses real time combat, allowing players to decide and plan on actions in the middle of battle.

What makes it really shine for multiplayer is the drop-in/drop-out co-op system that allowed players to merely plug-in and take control of one of the AI characters.

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Joe and Mac

  • Released: 1991
  • Developer: Data East

Joe and Mac is kind of like if super Mario were set in the prehistoric Stone Age. Players take control of either of the titular pair and traverse a variety of levels flush with enemies on their way to a final confrontation with some sort of boss — usually a gigantic dinosaur. While the game wasn’t exactly the most well received by critics, it is remembered by many players as one of the more fun co-op games available on the SNES.

Not only does it make the sometimes clunky gameplay more digestible with a friend, there is even a friendly fire option that allows you to do what’s most important when playing together: get your friend killed and immediately pretend it was an accident. Rinse wash and repeat. Anybody who has access to a copy of Joe and Mac and a functioning SNES should definitely give it a shot just to see what some of the more mid range games were like back in the day.

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Metal Warriors

  • Released: 1995
  • Developer: LucasArts

Metal warriors is a very ahead-of-its-time SNES game with superb Japanese mech-anime style graphics and cutscenes that look like something that might’ve been made today. With a richly developed narrative set in the year 2102, players take control of Lieutenant Stone as he pilots a variety of different mech-suits, each with their own distinct playstyles and unique mechanics, and wages war against the forces of the Dark Axis invading the Earth.

The game’s most notable feature is a pleasing lack of an on-screen interface — something many games of today are only now trying to steer towards. Instead of a health bar or hit points, damage is visually represented as the suit progressively disintegrates, eventually falling apart completely and ejecting Stone. Once ejected, players are free to move around the map in search of another suit but are significantly underpowered in comparison to most enemies and have an especially tough time staying alive.

The game also features a splitscreen deathmatch option for 1v1 PVP. All in all, the game’s incredible visual polish, expensive story, and innovative game mechanics contributed to the formation of something of a cult following that lingers to this day. Copies may be hard to come by, but the person who gets their hands on a working Metal Warriors is certainly a lucky one.

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Wild Guns

  • Released: 1994
  • Developer: Natsume

Basically Cowboy Bebop if it were an SNES game, Wild Guns is a glorious mash up of steampunk and spaghetti westerns, given life in the form of a shooting gallery style SNES game. The plot follows Annie and certifiable space-badass Clint as they go after the devious Kid family for murdering Annie’s family. Yeah, it’s not exactly Goof Troop. But it’s a whole lot of fun. The shooting gallery style gameplay has players moving and shooting in the foreground in a firefight with bad guys in the background.

What makes it especially interesting is the fact that players cannot move and shoot simultaneously — the D-Pad can only control either the crosshairs or the player exclusively. It’s not clunky; it’s awesome. There’s a ton of shooting, a lot of upgrades and plenty of great boss battles — but unfortunately the game is amazingly hard to come by nowadays so anybody with a copy is likely to either keep it to themselves as a collectors item or pawn it off for a solid chunk of change.

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Mortal Kombat

  • Released: 1993 (SNES)
  • Developer: Midway

It’s Mortal Kombat. What else do you want to know? It’s the original 1v1 fighting game, up there with Street Fighter on the Mount Rushmore of arcade-origin, combo–chaining combat goodness.

This is the original Mortal Kombat ported straight to the SNES from the arcade version and is perfect for any fan of the modern games looking to see the starting point of the franchise for home consoles. While there of course have been many new additions to the character roster in the decades since, many of the classics from Subzero to Scorpion to Johnny Cage and Raiden are still there, and they’re all playable in their original sprite form with their unique finishing moves.

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Super Mario World

  • Released: 1990
  • Developer: Nintendo

Just in case you missed out on Super Mario All-Stars, it might be worthwhile checking out the standalone super Mario world. Not only is it considered one of the greatest games ever made, let alone Mario game, the simple graphics hold up surprisingly well even today, with the crisp neatly stylized visuals distinctive of the franchise in line with later games and still fully recognizable.

In case you don’t already know, you can play as either Mario or Luigi as you quest across the Mushroom Kingdom, popping blocks and taking names (via turtle Shell or head-hopping, of course) and sliding down green tubes in search of secret areas. Because what else would a pair of Italian plumbers stuck in a Japanese created high fantasy universe be doing other than sliding down said tubes and doing battle with a fiery turtle dragon in order to rescue a fairy princess.

It’s pretty simple: if you have yourself working SNES, get yourself a copy of this game. It’s one of the standard bearers of the console and the great granddaddy of one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world.

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Tetris Attack

  • Released: 1995
  • Developer: Nintendo

Surprisingly, Tetris attack actually has no relation to Tetris other than a superficial similarity in gameplay. The game is named so because Nintendo happened to have a license to use the name and thought that its similar block stacking gameplay coincided well with the title. It’s actually more similar to something like Candy Crush or Bejeweled than it is vanilla Tetris, but accuracy never stopped anybody from a little money now did it?

Players are tasked with rearranging colored, stamped blocks into horizontal or vertical rows to make them disappear for points. In Japan, the game somehow found a way to set itself in a fantasy setting with a cast of fairy character but abroad, Nintendo, once again not letting that pesky thing called truth get in the way of a healthy bottom line, decided to set the Candy Crush style gameplay in the Mario universe, which is why you see Yoshi up there in the thumbnail.

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Kirby Dream Course

  • Released: 1994
  • Developer: HAL laboratory

If you’ve ever had a grudge against Kirby, like the guy in the commercial above, Kirby’s Dream Course might be just the therapeutic exercise in kid-friendly violence that you need. In Kirby’s Dream Course, players play mini-golf on a course populated by numerous enemies from the franchise and must control the angle, power, and spin of the strike in order to send Kirby (who acts as the golf-ball) colliding into them.

As is fitting, Kirby obtains certain abilities in power ups depending on the enemy he comes in contact with — and subsequently swallows whole. The last enemy transforms into the hole, allowing Kirby  to then clear the level. It’s sort of just golf, but it’s also pretty awesome with the Kirby kind of… you know, eating people… mechanic and was extremely popular back in the day. If you’re a fan of Kirby or just a fan of games with great multiplayer options, then definitely don’t skip out on a chance to play Kirby’s Dream Course.

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Legend of the Mystical Ninja

  • Released: 1991
  • Developer: Konami

Loosely based on the historical figure Ishikawa Goemon, Legend of the Mystical Ninja follows Goemon’s Robin Hood-esque exploits as he travels across an adventure-platformer world and contends with a variety of enemies using his judo skills, animal companions and the equally formidable martial prowess of his partner in noble crime.

While the game doesn’t support any revolutionary mechanics or features for the genre, it is widely considered one of the best games created for the SNES, tripling down on the fundamentals that make the action adventure genre enjoyable. What makes it great for two players especially is that both characters can either play separately or piggyback on one another, allowing them to focus on different aspects of gameplay — one player controlling movement and platforming and the other focusing on attacks.

All in all, Legend of the Mystical Ninja is one of the standout off-Mario platformers of the generation and can provide any pair lucky enough to get their hands on it with more than a couple hours of fun.

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Uniracers

  • Released: 1994
  • Developer: Nintendo, Rockstar North

Yes. you did read that correctly. Part of the minds that created Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto — still the world’s most realistic psychopathic murderer simulator — also created a racing game… about unicycles! Yes. Yes indeed! 

And it most certainly made our day to learn this fact, a fact one can never unlearn. And while the game might not feature a gritty, crime-ridden open world setting replete with complex narratives and memorable characters, it’s certainly an interesting spin (see what we did there?) on the racing genre, combining elements of the Tony Hawk games with racing by placing a greater emphasis on tricks and points than finishing times. This, combined with the splitscreen multiplayer, makes for some of the best couch co-op the early SNES money could buy.

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NBA Jam

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Midway

What is the highest earning arcade game of all time? What is the name of the most successful game ever to feature then first lady Hillary Clinton? Which sports game has a secret World of tanks style mini-game?

The answer to all of those questions is the original, undeniable NBA Jam. So successful was the game on the arcades, swallowing up over 4,000,000,000 quarters during its run (yes, that means $1 billion in pocket change), that its port to nearly every home console of the 90’s was pretty much inevitable.

Players can play with a variety of the all stars of the day, along with a few unexpected guests in the way of Bill and Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in 2v2 matches they can be either against the computer or another player. Any basketball fan looking for a serious Jose of old Timey nostalgia need look no further than the first in the NBA Jam series.

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Donkey Kong Country

  • Released: 1994
  • Developer: Rare

“The most fully rendered video game… EVER!”

Today, the graphics of Donkey Kong Country might not have you clutching your temples in sheer awe, but back in 1994 when the game was first released those 3D SNES sprites were mind-blowing — the equivalent of the most insane, graphics-card-murdering, unstoppably immersive ray tracing game ever made.

Rare, the studio behind the game, used innovative compression techniques to deliver the very first pre-rendered graphics on the SNES and the game was a major leap forward for gaming in general, not just for Donkey and his little nephew Diddy Kong. The game itself, graphics aside, is still pretty awesome on its own merits. Players control both Donkey and Diddy, freely switching between the two to best traverse the kremling-ridden platformer levels in search of their stolen banana horde.

Donkey, quite unsurprisingly, is more the muscle behind the duo while Diddy is significantly more agile with increased mobility. There are over 40 levels for players to complete on their way to a final showdown with King K. Rool and can be played either solo or multiplayer with players competing against each other in a race to finish the level or cooperatively with either player using donkey and daddy respectively.

Donkey Kong country remains the third best selling SNES game of all time, and for good reason. Anybody who wants to see a landmark moment in the history of gaming firsthand is doing themselves a disservice by passing on the opportunity to play donkey Kong country.

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Sunset Riders

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Konami

OK. We have to mention this upfront: the original arcade version of Sunset Riders was… not the most politically correct game in the world. The trailer probably already got that out of the way. In its original and uncensored form there were some questionable characterizations of historical topics that would probably not go over too well today, but thankfully the SNES version was reformatted a little bit more tastefully in an effort to stop offending certain indigenous populations.

What lands Sunset Riders on this list is the overwhelming popularity the game enjoyed back in the day and the bombastic, high quality multiplayer gameplay that it is mostly remembered for. Sunset riders players could play in teams of two or four as they progress through various stages in pursuit of some sort of dastardly bandit.

Contra-style run-and-gun gameplay, heavyweight boss battles, and some friendly competitive co-op are just a few of the things that make Sunset Riders a glorious multiplayer game that anyone can enjoy. Just make sure you get the SNES version.

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King of Dragons

  • Released: 1991
  • Developer: Konami

The king of dragons is basically just a beat them up dressed up as a cool swords and sorcery fantasy RPG. Players can choose from five playable classes, each of which are the recognizable stock archetypes that are somehow still ubiquitous today. There’s the fighter, the mage, the dwarf, the cleric, and the elf, all of which do pretty much what you would expect them to do.

The fighter is a melee brawler, the mage a squishier, high burst-damage spellcaster, the dwarf a heavy duty tank, the cleric is, of course, a healer, and the elf shockingly shoots arrows. For what it lacks in originality in setting, however, it more than makes up for features that were then innovative for a beat ’em up.

Players collect experience points and gold to upgrade their abilities and grow in power, a traditional RPG element of today that was an interesting addition to an otherwise standard beat ’em up. It’s for those really caught up on the old-school game in lower, the game included the fabled Yashichi symbols that Capcom hid in a lot of their games.

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Super Double Dragon

  • Released: 1992
  • Developer: Technōs Japan

Super Double Dragon is just the beat ’em up. The supreme beat ’em up. The be-all and end-all of SNES beat ’em ups. The sequel to the original Double Dragon, Super Double Dragon gives multiplayer combat a little more nuance and a few new features that round out gameplay nicely as you proceed to break femurs like toothpicks and turn the internal musculo-skeletal systems of your enemies into silly putty.

And just to make it even more 1980s kung-fu-manly, Super Double Dragon introduced a new “Dragon Power” meter underneath the health bar that could be charged while performing special moves that, when full, would enhance the basic attacks of both Billy and Jimmy Lee.

Unlike many of the other games in the series, the multiplayer in Super Double Dragon differentiated the two brothers not only in their appearance but also in their playstyles, making it one of the better games in a franchise whose core appeal already lay in multiplayer.

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The Lost Vikings

  • Released: 1993
  • Developer: Silicon and Synapse

We’re guessing that while you watch the trailer no part is he wondered, “Was this game made by the people who made Overwatch?” Yeah we’re guessing that probably didn’t cross your mind. But wait a second, you don’t mean Blizzard — the Blizzard, developer of Overwatch? And World of Warcraft? And Starcraft, Diablo, and Hearthstone!?! Yes and that’s exactly who Silicon and Synapse would eventually become. That’s right!

Before they were known as Blizzard, before Warcraft, Diablo or Overwatch was a concept sketch on ruled paper, there was the kooky, slapstick viking game you see before you, The Lost Vikings. The game is centered around three playable Vikings as they try to make their way through various platformer levels in order to escape the clutches of the evil Croutonians, an alien race that has just kidnapped the trio for their intergalactic zoo.

While it may not have the narrative depth or gritty, grimdark tone that made Diablo and Warcraft what they are, the game was great fun for fans of the SNES back in the 90s and provided great cooperative multiplayer fun in which each player took turns controlling one of the three Vikings, able to freely switch to the third whenever required.

The Lost Vikings is a great game quickly being lost to time and a must try for anyone who wants to see just how far Blizzard, if not gaming as a whole, has come in the decades since.

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My lord! You actually read all of that? Ok, we know you skimmed somewhere along, and that’s fair! But given you have made it past 25 games roster, well you sir/madame, must be quite the SNES fan indeed.

Whether that’s the case or not, we hope you enjoyed this extensive round-up of the 25 best SNES multiplayer games. Let us know if any of these titles clash with your own SNES expertise and if we’re missing any of the most important titles of the console — we’ll be sure to include them in our list.

Also, check out our article on the best master system games just to prove to yourself how nerdy you really are.

Related: Best Master System Games of all time!

Be sure to check out more lists of the best games given below: