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The Super Nintendo is one of the most beloved consoles ever created. Even more than 20 years after release, people still play SNES games and still clamor to play those games again on their Switch. And for a very good reason. The Super Nintendo IMO, was when Nintendo was at a creative and commercial peak with their software. Other platforms brought some interesting ideas and success to the table, but no Nintendo console before or since has been able to balance creativity, profitability, and critical acclaim in such perfectly balanced harmony with first party games as the SNES accomplished.

The SNES saw 2D Mario and Zelda at their peak, refining and building on the mechanics introduced by their 8-bit counterparts. New Faces like F-Zero and Star Fox helped diversify Nintendo's portfolio as well as use the hardware to create new ways to play. SNES saw typical oddball Nintendo experiments like the Super Scope and SNES Mouse paired with equally strange games like Battle Clashers and Mario Paint. Nearly all of Nintendo's studios at the time contributed to the console from EAD, R&D1, R&D2, Intelligent Systems, HAL, etc. Donkey Kong made its triumphant comeback with Donkey Kong Country, a game that delivered the Final Blow to Sega, extended the SNES' lifespan, and established Nintendo's partnership with developer Rareware all in one swift strike. And the majority of these games were met with rave reviews and record sales numbers.

I Feel Nintendo consoles afterward haven't been able to strike such a perfect balance as the SNES had done. The N64 had revolutionary games, but lacked both variety and quantity in games from Nintendo, with the only new IP from EAD being a Snowboarding game. The GBA had half its first party titles being ports, with all of the original stuff coming from non-EAD developers within Nintendo. The GameCube was when Nintendo started taking their games in weird directions, and not everyone was a fan of that. The Wii and DS gained the non-gamer audience with unconventional new concepts, at the cost of vocal hardcore fans who wanted a focus on more traditional games for longtime players. 3DS had a lot of games, but didn't have a ton of creative or groundbreaking concepts. The less said about the Wii U, the better.

But I think so far, the Switch might dethrone the Super Nintendo in the long run. I've mentioned this before, but Nintendo's Switch lineup thus far feels like a culmination of everything Nintendo has learned since the SNES days, creating what is perhaps its most varied, dynamic, successful, and potentially largest first party slate in the company's entire history. If Nintendo keeps up the pace, the Switch could replace the SNES as Nintendo at its creative and commercial peak.