10 Scariest Super Nintendo Games

Although there was intense rivalry with the equally popular Sega Genesis console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) eventually became the best-selling 16-bit console. Even now, the console still has a strong fan base with many people playing old games and creating new ones.

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Unlike the Sega Genesis, the SNES couldn’t show much violence and gore as Nintendo wanted the console to remain family-friendly, which meant the horror genre was much more limited compared to other genres on the console. Despite this limitation, there are a few notable horror games worth trying out.

ten Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein


Frankenstein's monster as seen in Nintendo's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Based on the 1994 film of the same name, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a 1994 action platformer where the player controls Frankenstein’s monster as he searches for the scientist, Victor, who created him in order to get revenge. While traveling through the town of Ingolstadt, Bavaria in 1793, he was attacked by the other townspeople who considered him a demon.

Unlike Sony Imagesoft’s previous horror movie licensed game Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this game is better on the SNES than on the Sega Genesis. While Bram Stoker’s Dracula had some extra details in the genesis version that made it look like the game was ported to the snes, this game makes the snes version look like the original with all the details and the genesis version is the most weak.

9 Nosferatus


A man is harassed by a giant floating eye

Another action platformer released in 1994 is Nosferatus, but this one was released exclusively for the SNES. With gameplay similar to Prince of Persia but with just bare fists as weapons, the player guides a young man named Kyle through Nosferatu Castle in order to save his girlfriend Erin.

Although the graphics and music are amazing, the gameplay can be frustrating as the movements feel slow and unresponsive at times. This game is still worth it though because it has a unique vibe that many games of the era lacked, which makes Nosferatus one of the scariest games of the time.


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8 Demon’s Crest


Firebrand on the Demon's Crest box art

Demon’s Crest is a 1994 action platformer centered around the demon Firebrand, who is one of the enemies of the Ghosts and Goblins series. It is the third game in the Firebrand spin-off series after The quest for the gargoyle and The quest for the gargoyle IIand it consists of Firebrand trying to retrieve the six powerful Elemental Crests from the rival demon Phalanx, who stole the Crests from him.

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All levels have a dark and beautiful art style that creates a perfectly spooky atmosphere. Also, like mega man games, the different crests give Firebrand different designs and abilities that allow him to explore more levels, which is a nice feature. While the overall experience is worth playing, it’s an extremely short game that gets a bit repetitive later when the player has to revisit levels.


seven Musya: The Classic Japanese Horror Tale


The cover of Nintendo's Musya The Classic Japanese Tale of Horror

Released in 1992, Musya: The Classic Japanese Horror Tale is an action platform game where the player controls a warrior named Imoto who must descend into an abyss in order to save a woman named Shizuka who has the power to seal the abyss. As the player explores the abyss, he will fight various bosses which will give him different magic spells once the bosses are defeated. The gameplay is really slow and a bit uncomfortable. But it has excellent leveling and enemy designs, which gives the game a gritty and creepy atmosphere.


6 Majyūō (King of Demons)


A man shoots a massive monster in Majyūō (King of Demons)

Although a user-generated English patch is available, king of demons, Where Majyūō in the original Japanese, was unfortunately never officially released outside of Japan. This 1995 action platformer puts the player in control of a man named Abel who travels through various levels filled with monsters in order to save his wife and child.

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Although Abel’s sprite is extremely small, it works for this game because it’s filled with creatures and bosses that are supposed to look huge. After the player defeats the bosses, Abel gains the ability to transform into other demons with different abilities, which makes this game feel more polished. Demon’s Crest. With the scary monsters and detailed level designs, this bloody and slightly disturbing game feels more like the bloodiest and violent games of Genesis.


5 Laplace No Ma


A young man stands in front while superimposed faces float behind him in Laplace no Ma.

Another amazing horror game that never had an official English release was Laplace no Ma. Originally created for the NEC PC-8801 and NEC PC-9801 in 1987, this survival horror RPG was also ported to the SNES in 1995, and this particular version has a fan-made English patch. The player, who can be a male or female protagonist, gathers a group of people to investigate a mansion in the fictional town of Newcam, Massachusetts, where several children have mysteriously disappeared.

Interestingly, players can investigate almost every detail in the game to find clues, and the player’s party is chosen by the player himself at the start of the game. Although the turn-based combat is fairly typical and sometimes tedious, the various classes in the game have extremely unique abilities, and dead party members remain in the party like a body bag, which adds to the horror vibe. .


4 The zombies ate my neighbors


Girl screaming on the cover of the Zombies Ate My Neighbors cover art

If gamers are looking for a cheesy, campy ’90s horror title, then 1993’s run-and-gun The zombies ate my neighbors is a perfect game that makes players feel like they are playing a 90s horror movie. As one or two players, the player controls either a boy named Zeke or a girl named Julie as they explore environments such as movie theaters and hedge mazes in order to save their neighbors from multiple horror movie monsters.

With different weapons such as fire extinguishers and exploding soda cans, the player navigates through several fun and well thought out levels which even have interesting gimmicks such as the player having to use the enemies in the hedge maze to create new paths. Although there was a sort of sequel titled Ghoul Patrolit was not originally intended to be a follow-up and does not have the same life.




3 Super Castlevania IV


Simon battling skeletons and jellyfish heads on Super Castlevania IV cover art

While Genesis had Castlevania: Bloodlinesthe SNES also had its own exclusive console Castlevania game with Super Castlevania IV. Considered by some to be one of the greatest video games of all time, this 1991 side-scrolling platformer once again follows vampire hunter Simon Belmont on his quest to defeat Dracula.

Although many gamers are split on whether the gameplay is enjoyable difficult or just frustrating, most people agree that this game has beautiful graphics and one of the best soundtracks in the series. Even though the later levels are just a remake of the same levels from the original Castlevania, it’s still an enjoyable experience that shows why it helped define the Metroidvania genre.


2 Clock tower


A young girl finds a bottle of perfume in the clock tower

Worthy of being considered one of the most influential horror games, Clock tower is a point-and-click survival horror adventure game from 1995 that was only officially released in Japan, but there is a fan-made English patch. In this game, players control a young orphan girl named Jennifer who is being chased by a serial killer known as Scissorman. As she avoids Scissorman, she explores the Barrows’ mansion and tries to find the other orphans.

Based on the 1985 film Phenomena, the player feels like being in a horror movie while playing the game. Since some rooms can change location and the Scissorman can spawn from anywhere, the game has a good replay value if the player wants to get all the different endings.


1 Another world (out of this world)


Two men talk in a cell in Another World (Out Of This World)

Another world, also called out of this world in North America, is a 1991 action-adventure platformer that was originally released for the Amiga. The SNES port, however, is basically the same without many differences. The main protagonist is a scientist named Lester who is accidentally sent to an alien planet when his invention is struck by lightning.

While the gameplay is extremely brutal and the loading times can be nerve-wracking, the game is significant for its unique art style and surreal plot. Also, this game has inspired other major game franchises such as silent Hill and Solid metal gear.

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About the Author

Timothy C. Mayo