The folks at Nintendo have outdone themselves with the SNES Classic.

As my author bio currently states, I wasn’t old enough to play the original Metal Gear Solid when it released. I was born in 1994, and my newest ambition is to play classic video games that I missed from the SNES and PS1 eras. This life goal sits somewhere between “Go to the West Coast” and “Invent teleportation.” Yet in the constant torrent of gaming releases, it’s hard to go back to 27-year-old titles that the masses no longer care for.

The right time never comes. Or rather, the right method never comes. Nintendo has released many a great title on their Virtual Console service for Wii U and 3DS. Meanwhile, Sony flaunts a few of their biggest hits on the PS3 and PlayStation Vita. Furthermore, PC emulators exist for every “retro” console imaginable. Most can run on a small Raspberry Pi interface for easy TV support.

Yet I have one tiny, first-world problem: every one of these options lack the authenticity of playing retro games in their hey-day. I want the controller, the console, and a CRT filter. I want to smoosh against a TV on a Saturday morning. I’d prefer it without the price tag of an actual working SNES or PS1 with games. Moreover, I want it to be simple: I hate dragging out older consoles and fiddling with cords. My time is valuable.

Enter the SNES Classic. A first-party controller that is near indistinguishable from a USB controller on eBay? Check. 21 classic SNES games, the likes of which are all found on the Wii U and 3DS eShop? Check. Save state and rewind functionality, both of which take concepts from popular emulators? Check.

A combination of all three options into one package that is easy to plug-in, play, and travel with? Check.

Despite the SNES Classic’s shortcomings (*ahem* cord length), it’s the perfect emulation solution for today’s generation. It’s so tiny, compact, and lovable! I can move it between rooms with ease. I’ve even taken it to a friend’s house—something I can’t say about my PS3 or Wii U. There’s no need to worry about bundles of cords or controllers, nor do I have to fiddle with USB drivers or emulator menus. Instead, I plug in my teensy plastic box and it works, like magic.

In 10 seconds flat, I can watch my friend (try to) speedrun Donkey Kong Country. We can begin a group playthrough of Super Mario RPG. I can even place it back onto my desk, safe and sound, and start up The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. The SNES Classic is insanely portable and goes hand-in-hand with the Switch’s philosophy: “Great games, anytime, anywhere.” Nice move, Nintendo.

I hate dragging out older consoles and fiddling with cords. My time is valuable.

I don’t think anyone needs to be sold on the SNES Classic’s library. Link to the Past, Final Fantasy VI, Mega Man X, Super Mario World…you’ll be happy with these Super Nintendo hits. But I can wholeheartedly attest to how easy and fun they are to play. The mini-console never wastes my time with setup, nor does it feel cheap or generic. It’s a near-painless experience, made even more so if you’ve got a cozy setup. Scoot your chair close enough to the console to negate the short cord length. In fact, that’s the best way to play the SNES Classic: smooshed up against a TV, with a CRT filter turned on.

We really hope you can find the SNES Classic in a store near you. Nintendo assures us they’ve made a lot, this time around. Let us know about your nostalgic joy via Twitter or Facebook!


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