4 Reasons to Buy SNES Classic (and 3 Reasons Not To)

The Super NES Classic is official, and at first glance, it's everything a nostalgic Nintendo fan could want. The $80 miniature console packs 21 incredible games (including the never-before-released Star Fox 2), and even ships with a second controller so you can whoop your friends in Super Mario Kart right out of the box.

However, the SNES Classic isn't for everyone, and folks who have been burned by the scant availability of last year's NES Classic have reason to be skeptical. If you're on the fence about picking up Nintendo's newest retro box when it launches on Sept. 29, here are the biggest reasons for -- and against -- buying one.

You should buy the SNES Classic if...

You want instant access to some of the best games of all time. While the NES Classic's 30-game lineup was hit-or-miss, the SNES Classic's 21 games are all certified smash hits. With genre-defining titles such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mega Man X and Street Fighter II Turbo as well as more obscure favorites such as Secret of Mana, Earthbound and Final Fantasy III, the SNES Classic serves as a playable museum of some of the best games ever made.

You want to play the never-before-released Star Fox 2. The SNES Classic is the only way (well, the only legal way) to play Star Fox 2, the sequel to Nintendo's hit dogfighting game that was cancelled just before it was scheduled to launch in the mid 90s. It's a really cool exclusive in a sea of games you can pretty easily access elsewhere.

You like playing with friends. Unlike the NES Classic, the SNES Classic ships with a second controller out of the box. That means you can spar with loved ones in Street Fighter 2 Turbo and ruin friendships in Super Mario Kart without having to shell out for an extra gamepad.

You're looking for a great gaming value. While the SNES Classic is $20 more expensive than the NES Classic was, it's still one of the best values in gaming you can get this holiday season. For $80, you get a cool, collectible version of the SNES, two controllers, and a trove of amazing games that would cost a heck of a lot more if you tried to track down the original versions individually.

MORE: Where to Pre-Order the SNES Classic Edition

You shouldn't buy the SNES Classic if...

You hate dealing with lines and shortages. Nintendo tells Kotaku it's producing "significantly more units" of the SNES Classic than it did for its previous retro console, but its hard to trust the company after the fiasco that was trying to snag an NES Classic last year. This is going to be an incredibly in-demand item, so if you plan on buying one, get ready to wait on early-morning lines or maniacally refresh Amazon at all hours of the day.

You don't like sitting close to the TV. While the SNES Classic's controller cable won't be as frustratingly short as the one that came with the NES Classic, it's still not very long at 5 feet. That's notably shorter than the 8-foot cable that came with the original SNES controller, and means that you'll probably be hunching closer to the TV than you'd like to. Here's hoping some wireless alternatives pop up like they did for the NES Classic.

You can play most of these games elsewhere. Many of the SNES Classic's best games -- including Super Mario World, A Link to the Past and Donkey Kong Country -- are available to buy digitally on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U for a few bucks a pop, thanks to Nintendo's Virtual Console service.

The Virtual Console also offers a few SNES favorites that aren't on the SNES Classic, including the Final Fight series and the complete Donkey Kong Country trilogy. You can enjoy these games on the go if you get them for 3DS, and it seems like only a matter of time before the Virtual Console comes to Nintendo Switch.

Image Credits: Nintendo

Michael Andronico

Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.