This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Sunset Riders SNES: A Review

Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 1
Wild Wild West Run N Gun Action!


Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 2

Sunset Riders is a classic run and gun arcade game that made its way onto both the SNES and Sega Genesis early on in the 90s.

If you're wondering where to play Sunset Riders, the SNES version is a great option.

With four playable characters, players take on the role of a Wild West gunslinger and shoot their way through eight levels of bandits, bosses, and obstacles.

But can you get Sunset Riders for Nintendo Switch or play it on PS4? And how long is Sunset Riders?

We'll answer these questions and more in this review. So saddle up, partner, and let's get started!

Listen To This Article


Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 3

Sunset Riders is a side scrolling run and gun game published by Konami in 1993. It’s a port of the arcade version that stays as true to the original as possible. You can choose between one of four cowboys. Steve, Billy Cool, Bob or Cormano Wild.

Steve and Billy both carry revolvers which have a lower bullet count, Bob gives you the fast firing rifle, and Cormano is our favorite of the bunch.

Cormano is my go to as he has the double barrel shotgun as his main weapon.

Bob is also a good selection in case you want to grab a buddy and play through it with two players.


Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 4

The game play reminds me of Contra as you make your way through the screen having to avoid enemy fire that comes your way.

There are also other obstacles such as bombs, fire, or TNT that enemies will either drop or throw at you.

After each stage in Sunset Riders you'll be presented with a mini game where you're set off to take out enemies in an 8 way combat that's very reminiscent of Shinobi taking out cowboys on the screen.

Gameplay like this really helped with the flow of the gameplay, breaking up the run n gun action to the more static approach where you'll score points for each enemy you take out.

Being a Konami title the controls are excellent. You can shoot in eight directions, Jump, or slide to avoid enemy fire.

The game keeps things fresh like the area where you ride on the bulls or hop on the back of a horse and shoot down enemies that are on a train.

Coupled with some outrageous boss encounters and Sunset Riders makes for one hell of a game. I absolutely love the dialogue that happens after some of the boss battles.

Sound Design

Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 5

The sound in Sunset Riders was put together so graciously by none other than Motoaki Furukawa, who's brilliant work shines bright along the lines of Metal Gear, Snatcher and Policenauts which are some of the best Sega Saturn games.

Each of the tracks makes you feel like you're in a wild west video game as you take on cowboys on foot or on horse, wielding your power upgraded shotgun or pistol.

Play Style

Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 6

The approach that I typically take when playing through Sunset Riders is focus your attention on the bullets coming at you rather than what you’re shooting at. You’ll end up being able to dodge the slow bullets that are moving towards you.

I would recommend keeping your expectations in check for the length of the game. You can expect to finish Sunset Riders in about a half an hour of playtime.

I wouldn’t consider this a negative as that’s part of the experience. Sunset riders is extremely challenging and was designed to eat your quarters in the arcade.

Given the popularity of this run n gun classic, the arcade release been brought over to the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. You'll get added colors, improved sounds and sweet looking full length cutscenes during the introduction to the game.

Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 7

We were glad that the port was brought over as the arcade release. Considering the SNES and Genesis versions lacked some of the features brought to the table.

Sunset Riders is one of Konami's best games ever at the pinnacle of their timeframe for game releases.

I can tell you first hand how many times I’ve come back to Sunset Riders despite it’s relatively short eight stages. You just don’t see enough cartoon western style games.  I tip my hat to Konami for taking an unpopular theme and giving it their own flare.

It’s rather unfortunate that a copy of Sunset Riders is approaching 100 USD at the making of this article. So if you are lucky enough to find a copy of Sunset Riders for a reasonable price, definitely do it and don’t look back.

Sunset Riders Cheats

Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 8

In case you wanted to know how to get the best cheats like a stage and sound selection option in Sunset Riders, we've got the best cheats for Sunset Riders.\

Sound Test and Stage Selection

At the character selection screen, press the following buttons in order:

L, L, L, L, L, R, R, R, R, R

Then proceed to select a character. You'll then be brought to the stage selection screen.

Gaining Extra Lives

As soon as you're able to select either starting option at the main menu press the following buttons in order:

R, L, R, L, R, L, A, R, L, R, L, R, L, Y

When you enter the options screen, you'll be able to select up to 5 continues as well as 5 lives for any of the difficulty modes.

Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 9

99 Continues (Genesis Version Only)

When you're in the options screen, put the sound option to 0E and use the A button to listen to the audio. Then start the game and select your character. As soon as your character looks up, press A B and C simultaneously in order to unlock 99 continues.


Sunset Riders (SNES) Review 10

Because to its enjoyable gameplay, amazing soundtrack, and stunning visuals, Sunset Riders is a timeless classic that has endured the test of time.

Between the SNES or Genesis ports, the MAME ROM, or the original arcade version there are plenty of ways to saddle up and play Sunset Riders.

Fans may still play Sunset Riders through emulation or by buying the original cartridges even though it hasn't been officially released on the PS4 or Nintendo Switch.

Sunset Riders is a pretty short game that can be finished in about an hour, with four exhilarating stages and difficult monsters, but it's still a fun to play even after all these years.



Passionate gamer and nostalgia enthusiast. Journeying through the pixelated realms of retro video games, unearthing forgotten gems and sharing the joy. Join me on a nostalgic adventure! 🎮✨