The list is subject to change depending on solar flares and stuff, but here's one version of it.
I've spent the last week with the Super NES Classic. You can read about it here. The little SNES is adorable and filled with merriment and fun. Additionally, it's filled with 21 different games spanning the life of Nintendo's second home console. As of the days before the Super NES Classic is available to all, here's my personal ranking of all 21 games, as they are presented on the Super NES Classic.
21. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
I don't hate Street Fighter II. That's not why this is at the bottom. It's at the bottom because fighting games just aren't really my jam. I'll probably break this out when a friend's over since it's one of the better two-player games included. Aside from that? I won't think about touching this on the SNES Classic.
F-Zero is historically cool. The launch game had some dope Mode 7 visuals and a killer soundtrack. That being said, it's a racing game that only has single-player. The simplicity is fun, but it's a quintessential underdeveloped launch game.
19. Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
I used to hate Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts with the fire of a 1000 suns, and then I played through it to completion (aka beating it twice) with a friend one summer. After that, I resolved I never needed to play this game again. Cool game that I respect a lot more, but I'm fine having it languish in barely being touched on my SNES Classic.
18. Super Castlevania IV
The way the whip is used is rad. Playing this makes me wish it was a Metroidvania while also making me remember how the more action-oriented Castlevania games were neat.
17. Kirby's Dream Course
That feeling when you nail a hole in Dream Course is awesome. I aspire to have that feeling more often. I'll admit to using the Rewind feature of the SNES Classic more than I'd care to reveal when I played this.
16. Super Mario Kart
So I heard some scuttlebutt that Super Mario Kart could be one of the games that Nintendo brings to Switch with online multiplayer. Really, what I'd want to see is Nintendo do that but make Super Mario Kart a four-player game. Also, when you're playing this in single-player, the computer is cheap as hell. There ain't no egg power-up, Yoshi. Put that garbage away, you filthy dinosaur cheat.
15. Secret of Mana
Like 15 years ago I tried playing Secret of Mana and hated it. After playing a little bit of it, I remember why. The story is essentially just the word "mana" thrown in every fourth word, the text boxes kind of give me a headache, and the early combat is on the boring side. I'm committed to seeing it through (or at least further) this time around and I hope Secret of Mana jumps up this late in the future.
14. Mega Man X
I'm not wild about the Mega Man X series, but I also spent the first 18 years of my life not really liking the original Mega Man games. I'm open to change and maybe this will get a prospective Mana-esque bump if/when I play through it on the SNES Classic.
13. Contra III: The Alien Wars
This game is still so effing metal after all these years. You know you wanna use that laser on that giant turtle's heart. Let's go slaughter some aliens shirtless and listen to Slayer, dudes.
12. Donkey Kong Country
I often have this resolute "Donkey Kong Country actually sucks" belief. While I definitely don't think the SNES DKC games hold up to the Marios of the same era, whenever I revisit Donkey Kong Country, I always come away enjoying it more than I remember or expected. I'll attribute most of that to the dynamite soundtrack, but you know maybe the platforming is real fun, too.
11. Kirby Super Star
Younger Neal would have definitely put Super Star in the top 10. Older Neal still really loves Great Cave Offensive and that weird thing where all the enemies talk to each other as Kirby blows up an airship, but Spring Breeze is a little on the staid side. Fortunately, most of the lesser elements of Super Star are overwhelmed by the sheer variety of modes.
10. Super Punch-Out!!
The NES Punch-Out will always have my heart, but Super Punch-Out is a fantastic game. I have fond memories of beating most of the boxers in outrageously fast times and it'll take some time to get my skills back, but I think I can get back to taking down Gabby Jay in mere seconds again.
9. Star Fox
Honestly, Star Fox is probably lower on the list because the newly released sequel blows the pants off of it. The original Star Fox is still an awesome game with some spectacular music and fun rail-shooting space gameplay.
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Blasphemy, right? Sorry, I don't like 2D Zelda as much. A Link to the Past is a fantastic game, but I can think of about seven other games on this thing I like more.
The combat system is simple and sometimes boring, but the story and world of EarthBound is still, to this day, unlike anything else I've seen in a video game. I sat down and basically just instantly made it through Onett because I just straight-up dig this world and its peculiar vibe.
6. Final Fantasy III (or VI)
Fitting that this is in the six-hole. Playing through the intro of Final Fantasy VI so soon after playing Final Fantasy V cements the fact that, well, Final Fantasy V is my favorite in the series now. Sorry you had to find out this way, FFVI. I still think you're second-best.
5. Star Fox 2
I wrote a whole lot more about this one so go read that.
4. Super Mario RPG
Super Mario RPG is why I'm even writing on this website, full stop. Sure, I played all sorts of games before Mario RPG, but this game shaped so much of my preferences in games and was instrumental in getting me to start focusing on more than just the surface of Nintendo. Also Exor is a sword who talks. That's weird.
3. Yoshi's Island
Much like my views on Donkey Kong Country, I went through a long stretch of time where I thought Yoshi's Island was overrated. Little did I know, it's because I hadn't sat down with the original version of it in years. Yoshi's Island on the SNES (and only the SNES) is a supreme platformer filled with so many unique and awesome ideas. It's a damn shame no Yoshi game since has come close to its majesty.
2. Super Mario World
As cool as my Yoshi's Island renaissance was, it ain't touching my platforming king: Super Mario World. This is my favorite 2D Mario platformer ever. It's got Yoshi. It's got the cape. It's got crazy secret exits and ghost houses. It's got the Star Road. Super Mario World rules.
1. Super Metroid
I've learned something over the years at Nintendo World Report: we all collectively love Metroid games. Super Metroid might not be the best Metroid game anymore, but it's certainly the first brilliant one. It's stunning how incredible this game still is.