I had a complicated relationship with the system back in my teens, but now that the rubble from the 16-bit wars has long been cleared away, I can appreciate the Super NES for everything it brought to the gaming experience. Unlike today's consoles, which are essentially the same hardware in different shells, the Super NES and Genesis are distinct both inside and out, with games that reflect each system's respective strengths.
The Genesis had a faster processor, which brought a tangy zip to Sonic the Hedgehog and gave developers more creative freedom. It's hard to imagine a game like Gunstar Heroes on any other console from the early 1990s. However, there's an undeniable appeal to the richer color palette, the symphonic sound chip, and the arcade-quality special effects of the Super NES.
All three are given a workout in the system pack-in Super Mario World. At first blush, it doesn't look like anything special... a modest improvement over Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES. But then you're hit with the vibrant hues of Yoshi's Island and that jaunty ragtime theme you'd swear was being played on a real player piano, and you quickly realize this is not the kind of game you could get out of a Genesis. Trust me, Sega tried... and they failed miserably.
Here's Super Mario World now, running on the actual hardware. Normally, a Super NES wouldn't look this good on a modern television set, but I picked up a SCART to component converter on eBay a week ago, and it cleans up the picture rather nicely. I'm told an open source scan converter looks even better and isn't so picky about which television you use, but that costs $200 and this was $40, so shut up.
There's just one teensy little problem with playing games on a real Super NES. The hardware is over a quarter of a century old, and its age is starting to catch up to it. The graphics of the Super Nintendo are powered by two picture processing units (consolidated into one chip in later models). When the pins on the PPUs get rusty and the motherboard starts to corrode, you get glitches like this...
Since I don't have any Mode 7-heavy games to give my Super NES a thorough diagnosis, and because I didn't have much luck modding my Sega Genesis a couple of months earlier, I decided not to take any unnecessary risks and left the system the way I found it. Actually, I did make one minor alteration before I put the case back together...
EDIT: I guess there were problems with the images. I've reloaded them... let me know if they come up.