20 Best Co-Op & Multiplayer SNES Games Of All Time (Ranked)

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When it first came out the SNES was celebrated for its beautiful colors and the increased detail the 16-bit-capable hardware allowed developers.

It promised to bring the content previously found only on hulking arcade machines to the comfort of your living room, and for the most part it did.

While many developers took the chance to design expansive single-player experiences that weren’t practical for arcades, others simply focused on porting fighters, racers, and other multiplayer content over to the home console.

This allowed players to bond with siblings and friends in a new way, often bridging differences in interests and age.

Everyone can enjoy the SNES which is one of the reasons it became the best-selling console of the 16-bit generation.

To reminisce about simpler times and offer guidance to those thinking of dusting off their old SNES to show the younger generations what they’re missing out on, I’ve put together a list of my favorite multiplayer games out there which I’m sure SNES fanatics will appreciate.

20. Tetris Attack

Tetris Attack for SNES

Tetris Attack is unique in the franchise in that, it’s not actually Tetris.

Rather it’s a Japanese game called Panel de Pon with a thick coat of Tetris paint over it so international audiences would find it appealing.

Where Panel de Pon has cute anime girls as the stage backgrounds, Tetris Attack has characters from Nintendo franchises.

Some call this a smart marketing move, I call it a downgrade.

Still, that doesn’t make the game any less fun to play on your own or against a friend who thinks they have a higher IQ than you do.

19. Metal Warriors

Metal Warriors SNES gameplay

It’s giant metal robots, what is there to explain?

Metal Warriors’ gameplay is reminiscent of those sections in Megaman X where you need to hijack a mech from an enemy so you can make your way through pools of lava.

The sprites are pretty good, albeit not overly-detailed, and both the animations and sound effects are ideal for you to feel the weight of your robot.

Our grandparents made friends piloting tanks in WW2, we make them piloting mechs in Metal Warriors.

18. Killer Instinct

SNES Killer Instinct screenshot

Anyone who hasn’t heard the phrase “C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER” clearly hasn’t been on this earth long enough to even know what the SNES is. And maybe it’s time you show them.

The sprites have a very tasteful 2.5D style that goes hand-in-hand with the 3D cut-scenes, and Rare put a lot of care into crafting a fighting system that anyone could enjoy without previous fighter experience.

This installment isn’t quite as good as its contemporary Mortal Kombat releases.

But with plenty of ULTRA COMBOS and even its own version of fatalities, Killer Instinct may be the best way to rinse your tongue of Midway’s classic franchise.

17. Aero Fighters

Aero Fighters SNES screenshot

Shoot-’em-ups were the bread and butter of arcades for a very long time.

Unsurprisingly, they retained their popularity long into the development of the home console industry.

Aero Fighters is a fantastic example of a good arcade port, retaining visual fidelity and even the audio quasi-intact.

In fact, the SNES version has a much more enjoyable, adrenaline-pumping soundtrack than the original.

While I mostly play Danmaku-type games when getting my shoot-’em-up fix, I’m very fond of Aero Fighters.

It’s easy to jump into, so I can easily play with friends without them dropping the controller in horror after a round of Touhou.

16. NBA Jam: Tournament Edition

NBA Jam SNES multiplayer

As I’ve said before, I’m not that big a fan of sports games.

And the farther you go back in time, the worse they are due to the technical limitations.

And yet there are some outliers, like NBA Jam: Tournament Edition on the SNES.

Not only is its gameplay much easier to understand and enjoy than more modern, nuance-heavy sports simulators, but the game featured most of the 1994 NBA Draft players along with some other wacky unlockable characters like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and, hear this – the Clintons.

Watching all of these characters wrestle the ball from each other and perform insane, physically impossible slam dunks must have been a surreal experience back then.

15. Battletoads in Battlemaniacs

Battletoads in Battlemaniacs SNES screenshot

It’s Battletoads on the SNES.

So you can experience the grueling difficulty without being completely drained of your quarters.

Given they couldn’t take your coins anymore, the developers made the game just a bit less unforgiving, but don’t worry, it’s still considerably worse than Dark Souls.

This version of the quintessential beat-’em-up is simply ideal to sit down with your pals, some beers, and just pass the time.

14. Wild Guns

Wild Guns SNES screenshot

Before they were localizing farm-life simulators, Harvest Moon publisher Natsume dabbled in a variety of genres.

And Wild Guns was one of their most successful titles.

This shoot-’em-up dazzled audiences with crisp graphics and a very unique Wild West Steampunk aesthetic that may remind you of the first Wild ARMs on the PS1.

Among the game’s most memorable features are its bosses, generally colossal mechanized behemoths with mind-blowing designs.

And the best part?

You can go through the entire campaign in Co-Op.

13. Pocky and Rocky

Pocky and Rocky screenshot

Believe it or not, Touhou wasn’t the first shoot-’em-up franchise to put you in control of a youkai-hunting Japanese shrine maiden.

Pocky and Rocky’s simple, engaging gameplay provided the perfect vehicle for its Japanese folklore-based environments and enemies.

You may have thought Super Mario unique for including shiitake-mushrooms with eyes to stomp on, but this game has sentient bamboo shoots!

If you’re up for some shooting action and killer visuals, have a friend take control of your tanooki sidekick and show those yokai who’s boss.

12. Sunset Riders

Sunset Riders SNES screenshot

If Contra’s macho soldier aesthetic just doesn’t resonate with you, perhaps the old-timey appeal of bandit-fighting cowboys will be more to your liking.

This American Wild West-themed run’n’gun was the Red Dead Redemption of the early ‘90s, with flashy visuals and devastating power-ups that show what Konami was capable of before they became a showpiece for the decadent moral state of the gaming industry.

While the SNES version won’t let you go through the campaign with your entire squad like the arcade version, clearing the levels back-to-back with your bestie from the comfort of your sofa is just as good.

11. Street Fighter 2 Turbo

Street Fighter 2 Turbo for SNES

While Mortal Kombat is much more talked-about nowadays, it’s far from the only good fighter in the SNES roster.

For those who like a little more diversity in their character’s movesets and fast-paced gameplay Street Fighter 2 Turbo is the way to go.

The developers’ efforts to make the game more balanced in the Turbo release was met by gamers with much praise, and it’s one of the titles that made button-mashing into a sort of sport.

People take this game seriously.

And after a few rounds with the crew, you’ll notice why.

Rivalries emerge, revenge is sworn left and right, and everyone has a great time until that one dude with callous thumbs shows up.

10. Super Bomberman 1-5

Super Bomberman SNES gameplay

If what you’re looking for in this list is a simple party game everyone will enjoy, any of the Super Bomberman releases on the SNES will do the trick.

Many think this was the height of the franchise, and I’m inclined to agree.

It features classic Bomberman gameplay with super-colorful and crisp graphics that manage to retain the same charm as the original and even expand upon it.

Just make sure you don’t make a fool of yourself by carelessly locking yourself in between two bombs.

9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time SNES

Another one of Konami’s legendary successes in the SNES is TNMT: Turtles in Time, arguably the best beat-’em-up on the console and definitely the pizza-loving testudines’ best foray into gaming.

Not only could you travel through time to wreck Shredder’s plans along with a friend, facing off against very detailed and varied bosses together, but also duke it out against one another in the vs. mode.

Each turtle has their own unique moves and playstyle so even after you’ve cleared the game once, there’s value in replaying the game in control of another ninja reptile.

Cowabunga!

8. Mortal Kombat 2-3

Mortal Kombat 2-3 SNES

Fatalities are an iconic part of gaming culture nowadays thanks to Midway’s world-famous Mortal Kombat franchise. But have you heard of the Brutality? The Animality?

What about the Babality?

These insane finishing moves are only one of the many aspects that made the original Mortal Kombat games so successful, and it’s one I deeply regret they didn’t keep up.

The Mortal Kombat franchise marked many a childhood with blood and gore you probably weren’t supposed to be exposed to at that age.

But you don’t need the nostalgia value to enjoy these masterpieces nowadays.

I’d recommend the original MK as well. Yet since the SNES version was censored to hell and back, you’re better off with the sequels.

7. Super Smash TV

Super Smash TV SNES

In contrast, Super Smash TV is a stupidly violent game that was surprisingly uncensored on the SNES which contributed to its popularity.

It’s set in the distant future of 1999, where society has become so depraved, the highest rating show on TV is an ultra-violent battle royale where contestants fight to the death for stupid prizes like refrigerators and bikes.

This dual-stick shooter is one of the genre’s grandparents, pitting you and a friend against hordes of enemies, competing for a high-score and trying to stay alive long enough to enjoy your hard-earned kitchen appliances.

6. Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbors SNES

As a kid, it’s much easier to immerse yourself in gaming when the characters on screen are like you – kids.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors managed to hit a wide age range thanks to its teen characters as well as the countless references to old-timey horror films with a cult following such as Night of the Living Dead and games like Day of the Tentacle.

Fight vampires, giant ants, aliens and werewolves with makeshift weapons including water pistols, explosive soda cans and even lawnmowers with the help of a friend in this B-Movie of a game.

Possibly one of the most classic titles on the SNES.

5. Kirby Super Star

Kirby Super Star for SNES

While it may be marketed towards kids with its bright color palette and cutesy characters, Kirby Super Star is a very engaging and at times difficult game you’ll have a blast playing at any age.

It was the first multiplayer Kirby game allowing a friend to plug in a second controller to take control of a “helper” after Kirby has gobbled a monster up and… processed them…

One of the best features of the game is that it’s actually a collection of eight different campaigns running on the same engine but with some notorious tweaks to gameplay that make them feel entirely different.

So you’ll never get tired of doing the same thing over and over.

4. Contra III Alien Wars

Contra III Alien Wars SNES

Finally, the title we all knew was going to be here.

Contra was the leading Co-Op franchise ever since its inception, and even today it’s remembered as one of the most influential games in the history of gaming for the way it manages to make hard and unforgiving gameplay fun.

The third installment is famous for its amazing visuals.

And the classic run’n’gun gameplay is accompanied by a couple of levels played from a top-down camera angle just like a shoot-’em-up, which helps break up the action from time to time.

3. Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart SNES

Often completely forgotten by younger generations who think it all began on the N64, Super Mario Kart was Nintendo’s first foray into mascot-racing.

And the world would never be the same.

Racing was a top-grossing genre, so it was only logical to pair it with the ubiquitous Mario franchise.

Still, it wouldn’t have been the same without its beautiful 2.5D racer sprites, interesting tracks like the infamous Rainbow Road, and the wonderful Battle mode, which has made an appearance in every sequel since.

Arguably one of the better titles in the entire MK series.

2. Goof Troop

Goof Troop SNES

Finding a TV-show tie-in so high up on the list can be a surprise to younger generations.

But back in the day it wasn’t unheard of for developers to, you know, actually make good use of the material they were working with.

Goof Troop is a prime example, pairing the funny antics of Goofy and his son Max with puzzle-adventure gameplay reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda.

Throwing stuff at enemies and setting up traps in a coordinated fashion was simply the best if you had a sibling to play with.

1. Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana SNES multiplayer

Something we don’t get nearly enough of these days are Co-Op RPG adventures.

Then again, I’m not sure we’ve ever gotten enough of those.

If you don’t believe me you clearly haven’t played Secret of Mana, an action RPG developed by Square that not only plays like a charm, but also manages to keep the same depth as any other RPG while also supporting up to three players simultaneously (if you own a MultiTap).

With intense boss battles, stunning spritework and carefully designed environments, it’s easy to hand this cult classic the title of the best multiplayer game on the SNES.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.