What happens when you mix together one of my favorite consoles (SNES) and one of my favorite gaming genres (horror)? Do you get great video games and horror masterpieces?
Well, there’s no doubt that the immersion and intense dread has increased as graphics have become better over the years.
That being said, there are still some great horror games for the SNES. We’ve tried to condense them down into the top 5. Here’s our take on the 5 best SNES horror games.
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5. Laplace No Ma (1995)
This SNES horror game, developed by Vic Tokai, is the only Japanese exclusive on this list. Laplace No Ma is a turn-based horror-RPG that feels completely unique in so many ways when it comes to games on the SNES.
The game takes place in Massachusetts and follows the story of a haunted mansion in which three teenagers and the owner have gone missing. You can choose to play as a male or female character, and get to choose between 5 different classes – Detective, Journalist, Scientist, Medium, or Dabbler – all of which have unique attributes. Once you’ve chosen your character, you get to make up a party of choosing some of the other classes.
As you make your way through the haunted mansion, random battles will appear at regular intervals a la every RPG game of the time. The enemies are fairly diverse and the combat never seems to get too boring.
The best aspects of Laplace No Ma, though, are the story and sound design. The narrative is well-written and keeps you engaged throughout, while the music is equal parts catchy and chilling. When you add decent visuals to this, you’ve got yourself an engaging horror experience.
Laplace No Ma is definitely one of the best SNES horror games.
4. Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts (1991)
I know it’s difficult to call this a horror game. It’s more of an action-platformer with horror elements. That being said, it’s still a great game and is one that I always recommend to people who are in the market for SNES horror games.
It’s aesthetic is quirky, the protagonist moves awkwardly, and the enemies are often goofy. But this all just adds to the fun. At times, it can be frustrating, but if you have the time to persevere you’ll soon see that Super Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts is more like a puzzle horror game that requires timing and a bit of know-how to get right.
Once your skill level improves in the game, the challenge becomes enjoyable, and you’ll no doubt end up liking this game. The unique artstyle and sound design further make it stand out as one of the best SNES horror games ever made.
3. Clock Tower (1995)
Clock Tower is a point and click horror game that is truly unique within the SNES world. You play as Jennifer while you explore an old mansion that is, of course, riddled with horrifying things.
The game takes a very dark turn when a scary figure wielding huge scissors impales a helpless victim against stained glass windows and begins hunting down Jennifer. The gameplay is based on trying to hide from the crazy scissor man by finding creative hiding places and searching for objects that might help along the way.
What really makes the game great, though, is the atmospheric music and simple but effective visuals. At times, you hear nothing but your own footsteps, but when you hear the scissors start snapping, you know it’s time to hide, and this can really get the heart racing.
WIthout a doubt, Clock Tower is easily one of the best SNES horror games ever made.
2. Demon’s Crest (1994)
Demon’s Crest seems to split opinion in the SNES world, but I ended up loving it. I mean, who doesn’t love flying through various platform levels as a demon, demolishing a multitude of enemies with an upgradable arsenal of weapons.
Granted, the game is short, and the level design is not as good as it could be, but Demon’s Crest is tons of fun. I’m aware of the nostalgia that could be influencing my decision to rank this so high as one of the best horror games for the SNES, but I would genuinely recommend this game to anyone looking for a different take on the genre.
It looks and sounds cool, and the gameplay is very easy to get used to. For me, this is a must play for those looking for the best SNES horror games.
1. Super Castlevania IV (1991)
What a game Castlevania IV is. In fact, if you ask most people to rate the best SNES horror games, I’m sure this game would be in the top 2 at least 99% of the time.
It has a unique artstyle that just wants to make you hang out in the game for as long as possible. On top of that, there’s a great sound design that feels epic at all moments.
In general, this platform horror game is fair, and with a bit of patience you can easily figure out the enemy patterns and level designs in order to make your way to victory. The protagonist, Simon, has a whip that you can aim in multiple directions to take out enemies, and there is also access to other weapons along the way.
All in all, Super Castlevania IV is just a great game, and there’s a reason why so many people consider it to be one of the best horror games for the SNES.
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If you want to discover some obscure horror games for the SNES, check out the great YouTube video below by Post Black.