Nintendo released its first home video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System, in 1983. While this system was met with high praise, Nintendo knew it could do better, and so in 1990, it transformed its 8-bit video console into a 16-bit one and called it the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
Known as the SNES for short, this console ended up selling over 23.3 million units in North America and 49.1 million units worldwide. With those high numbers came many games that also sold incredibly well, and that's what we're diving into now.
We're going to be taking a look at which 10 SNES games outsold all the rest. Spoiler alert: games in the Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and Street Fighter II series sold incredibly well.
With that said, here are the top-selling SNES games of all time.
10 Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
The third installment in the Donkey Kong Country series had Dixie Kong and her cousin, Kiddy Kong, embarking on a wild mission to rescue Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong from the evil King K. Rool. The game was comprised of 48 levels, each of which was contained in one of eight worlds based on factories, forests, and cliff-sides.
The game received generally high scores, with many praising the updated graphics and gameplay details... and let’s not forget that swingin’ soundtrack.
Donkey Kong Country 3 went on to sell over 3.5 million copies.
9 Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
This competitive fighting arcade game found its way to home consoles in 1993, making it the third Street Fighter II game to be released. Yes, we know the title is confusing. Like the other games in the series, Street Fighter II Turbo had players facing enemies at a faster speed with new and improved moves.
The title was praised, with many citing its classic feel and strategic-heavy gameplay for its success. It ultimately battled its way to selling over 4.1 million copies.
8 Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
The prequel to Super Mario World has Baby Mario and Yoshi teaming up to rescue Luigi, who has been kidnapped by Kamek. The pair journeys through 48 levels together, and — being that they're displayed in a hand-drawn-style — are cuter than ever.
The title was quickly praised for its beautiful art, level design, and gameplay. It ultimately sold over 4.1 million copies.
7 The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
This Legend of Zelda installment set Link on another adventure to defeat Ganon and save Hyrule. It featured a top-down perspective like that of the original The Legend of Zelda. Additionally, it introduced staple characteristics into the series including the Master Sword and parallel worlds.
A Link to the Past was praised for its graphics and gameplay, and has often been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. It sold over 4.6 million copies, having at some times been shipped alongside the SNES console during its production period.
6 Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest
The second Donkey Kong Country game had players navigating Crocodile Isle to rescue Donkey Kong who — like in the aforementioned sequel — has been kidnapped by King K. Rool. Unlike the third installment in the series, Diddy Kong has not been captured and actually navigates the 52 levels alongside his girlfriend, Dixie.
The game scored itself critical acclaim with many praising how immersive the series had become. It sold over 5.1 million copies.
5 Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Like the other Street Fighter II we already mentioned, this game was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment system just a year earlier in 1992. It had players battling all sorts of international enemies in stages around the world.
The game was highly praised for its graphics, sound, playability, and replay value. Having been packaged with SNES consoles for a period of time, it sold over 6.3 million copies.
4 Super Mario Kart
The first game in the Mario Kart series hit the SNES in 1992. It had players racing as one of eight Mario characters on a variety of tracks in an attempt to win the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, and Star Cup. Players could also compete in Time Trials, Match Race, or Battle Mode.
The original game was addictive and spawned many titles after it. It was sometimes bundled with the SNES and sold over 8.7 million copies.
3 Donkey Kong Country
The original Donkey Kong Country centered on the titular hero and Diddy Kong as they journeyed through a series of 40 side-scrolling levels to recover their banana hoard from King K. Rool. The game reached immediate success, with many praising the vibrant graphics, beautiful backgrounds, and — of course — the compelling gameplay.
Originally released on, and sometimes included with, the SNES console, the game sold over 9.3 million copies.
2 Super Mario All-Stars
This 1993 game repackaged Nintendo’s four original Super Mario titles including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3. These NES games were each given updated graphics, music, game physics, and the addition of parallax scrolling, but otherwise, they remained the same.
Critics and fans praised the collection for its top-notch remasters, and with the game shipping alongside SNES consoles during select periods, many got to play it. The title ultimately sold over 10.5 million copies.
1 Super Mario World
The best-selling SNES game of all time, with over 20.6 million copies sold, is none other than the 1990s side-scrolling platform game Super Mario World. This title — which was for a time shipped with SNES consoles — had Mario journeying through the brand new Dinosaur Land to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser and the Koopalings. Gamers could play as Mario or Luigi, and for the first time ever, they could also bring Yoshi along for the journey.
The game was highly rated with many commending its strong replay value, audio, visuals, and overall presentation, and as aforementioned, it received a Baby Mario-centric prequel in 1995.