50 Underrated Sega Genesis Games


In the late ’80s and ’90s, Sega loved a golden interval of success. The Sega Genesis grew to become a massively common console in America and Europe. Although it confronted more durable competitors in Japan from Nintendo’s Super Nintendo, video games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage, and a variety of licensed sports activities titles made the Genesis a zeitgeist-grabbing hit within the west.

Yet, whereas Sonic and several other different core hits have been liable for promoting a legion of programs, there was additionally a variety of different cracking titles among the many Genesis’ a whole bunch of releases. With apologies if we have missed any of your favorites, this is our number of 50 Sega Genesis video games that by no means fairly obtained the mega-selling consideration they deserved…

50. El Viento

Admittedly, the hack-and-slash motion on this Wolf Team recreation is fairly generic, however there’s one thing so batty about El Viento that it is value recommending regardless of its flaws. You play Annet, a heroine armed with magic and boomerangs, of all issues, who’s on a mission to save lots of 1920s America from Al Capone and historical, evil gods from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos (sure, actually).

Scruffy and barely generic sprite designs are compensated for by some uncommon areas and a few absurdly violent explosions – you actually have not seen a person on a bike explode till you’ve got performed El Viento. Some of the sound results are actually hideous – dying gangsters sound like quacking geese – however once more, for each technical misstep, there is a intelligent concept or amusing second.

El Viento might desperately wish to be a Castlevania beater, however it’s extra akin to a ’90s straight-to-video film, which oddly sufficient, is definitely a suggestion. If you are into accumulating issues, the field seems nice, too.

49. Wani Wani World

Sega Genesis Games - Wani Wani World

In 1991, Japanese studio Kaneko created an arcade recreation known as The Berlin Wall a revival of the outdated Space Panic recreation with higher graphics, end-of-world bosses, and plenty of power-ups. Later ported to the Sega Game Gear by Kaneko itself, Berlin Wall was mysteriously altered for the Genesis, the place it was given a brand new title and a completely completely different central character – a crocodile (“wani” being the Japanese phrase for crocodile).

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Was Kaneko impressed by the success of Sonic the Hedgehog and intent on creating an “animal with attitude” character of its personal? Quite presumably. At any price, the ensuing recreation is a vibrant, breezy little bit of enjoyable. While the single-screen, trap-the-monsters motion might have appeared outdated hat at a time when Sonic was tearing by ranges like lightning, Wani Wani World has aged fairly effectively. The vary of power-ups and issues to gather retains issues attention-grabbing (the crocodile hero seems to have a worrying dependancy to fruit machines), and a few of the monsters are endearingly unusual.

48. ToeJam & Earl

Sega Genesis Games - ToeJam & Earl

Quite presumably probably the most ’90s recreation ever made, with its backward hats, chunky sneakers, and different interval style equipment, ToeJam & Earl stays a pleasant curio. Essentially a top-down dungeon crawler, it sees a pair of ungainly aliens (the ToeJam and Earl of the title) looking a surreal panorama for the lacking components of their spaceship.

Obstacles embody ice-cream vans and violent chickens, whereas the aliens’ solely accessible response is to knock them out with tomatoes. It’s an instance of the sport’s bizarre, creative humorousness, which extends to an ingenious two-player mode the place the display screen solely splits in half when gamers head off in several instructions. A gaudy relic from a bygone age, ToeJam & Earl nonetheless has tons to supply, notably when performed with a pal.

47. Crying

Sega Genesis Games - Crying

Known as Bio-Hazard Battle exterior Japan, this in any other case acquainted side-scrolling shooter is livened up by some nice weapons and a extremely ominous ambiance. Obviously impressed by R-Type, Crying‘s enemies are all unique, organic issues that appear like sea creatures or bugs – even the four-player ships you possibly can select from appear like one thing you’d discover lurking in a deep a part of the ocean.

What’s most notable about Crying, although, is simply how briskly and clean it’s; each degree presents a continuing onslaught of enemies and bullets that swoop and pulsate throughout the display screen in hypnotic and barely eerie style. Although not probably the most unique or strategic shooter on the Genesis, Crying is at the least some of the unusual-looking and technically spectacular.

46. Bad Omen/Devilish

Sega Genesis Games - Bad Omen/Devilish

Bat-and-ball video games have been already wanting antiquated by the early ’90s, however Bad Omen introduced some actually contemporary concepts to the getting old format. It provides the participant two paddles to regulate as a substitute of 1 – the primary solely in a position to transfer left and proper, the opposite in a position to transfer ahead and again in addition to backward and forward. With a little bit of apply, the system rapidly turns into second nature, and because the motion progresses up the display screen, Bad Omen begins to extra intently resemble a scrolling shooter than one thing like Arkanoid – there are enemies to destroy, obstacles to keep away from, and space bosses to take out.

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The horror-themed graphics add ambiance, however it’s the velocity and number of the motion that makes Bad Omen such an entertaining recreation. A couple of technical flaws and design decisions knock it again a little bit (such because the annoying bit the place you must combat your strategy to an exit after destroying a boss – die and you must combat the boss once more) however it stays a novel, neglected title. Bad Omen‘s additionally certainly one of a number of ’90s video games that function a killer tree as an space guardian. We’re nonetheless attempting to determine what ’90s recreation designers had in opposition to bushes.

45. Aero Blasters/Air Buster

Sega Genesis Games - Aero Blasters/Air Buster

The sheer quantity of shooters accessible for the Genesis meant that a couple of inevitably slipped underneath individuals’s radars, and Aero Blasters is maybe one of many much less well-known. Like most video games of its period, it is impressed by issues like Gradius and R-Type, but it is sooner and breezier than both. Its colourful graphics and reworking robotic enemies present the ambiance of a Saturday morning TV anime present, and in the event you thought bullet hell shooters have been the protect of later consoles just like the Saturn, it’s possible you’ll be stunned at how a lot mayhem Aero Blasters manages to throw at you.

Conventional degree designs are interspersed by phases the place the scrolling hurries up and the participant hurtles by a maze of slender, sharply-angled corridors, injecting a welcome little bit of selection and pressure. Couple all this with a comparatively uncommon two-player co-op mode, and you’ve got some of the exhilarating shooters accessible for Sega’s console.

44. Columns III

Sega Genesis Games - Columns III

The match-three puzzle recreation Columns was certainly one of Sega’s most ubiquitous titles within the early ’90s, but this second sequel did not even come out in Europe. This is a pity since Columns III is a good extension of the unique. The single-player mode is now a Puyo Puyo-like battle in opposition to the pc versus a solo rating assault like the primary recreation, whereas the primary draw is arguably its multiplayer mode, which permits as much as 5 gamers to compete concurrently. With a sufficiently big tv, the latter can supply hours of bickering and cajoling. On a aspect be aware, Columns III ditches the bizarre Greek and baroque themes of the primary two video games and options numerous cartoon chickens as a substitute. We heartily approve of this alteration.

43. Landstalker

Sega Genesis Games - Landstalker

This motion RPG must be some of the good-looking video games of its sort accessible on the Genesis. With chunky isometric graphics and a few distinctive character animation and design, it actually evokes the sense that you simply’re roaming a fully-realized fantasy world, from its chilly dungeons to its peaceable villages set amongst lush inexperienced fields. In some ways, it is the Zelda recreation that Genesis homeowners may in any other case solely dream about, with a touch affect presumably taken from the Super Nintendo’s Link to the Past, besides with out its iconic characters and music.

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The American and European launch was edited a bit for the extra risque content material current within the Japanese model, however in any other case, it is the identical enjoyable and sometimes extraordinarily tough recreation, with snappy dialogue and a prolonged, different quest. If you fondly keep in mind Ultimate Play the Game’s once-groundbreaking isometric motion adventures for the ZX Spectrum, akin to Knight Lore, then Landstalker‘s a vital 16-bit relic.

42. Toki/JuJu Densetsu

Sega Genesis Games - Toki/JuJu Densetsu

The Genesis model of Toki is a bit completely different from the arcade unique, but it stays a unusual and difficult platformer. The participant takes management of an ape whose sluggish motion is offset by his uncanny capacity to spit lethal fireballs at enemies. Understandably much less profitable than console rivals like Super Mario World or Sonic, Toki‘s nonetheless a variety of enjoyable – ranges are colourful and different, and a few of the bosses take a substantial quantity of persistence to defeat.

41. Bonanza Bros

Sega Genesis Games - Bonanza Bros

“We’re going to collect all of your valuable treasures,” reads the flyer for the arcade model of Bonanza Bros. “Here we go, you gang of clowns!!” It’s an odd tagline for an uncommon recreation, a platformer the place you play a thief who sneaks into buildings, steals all of the loot, and sneaks again out once more. Or at the least, that is the purpose – wardens and policemen with riot shields are among the many obstacles in your approach, and whereas it is attainable to knock them out along with your helpful stun gun, evasion’s the higher tactic.

Really coming into its personal in two-player mode, Bonanza Bros. is easy, brisk, and filled with welcome comedian touches – guards may be knocked out by opening doorways on them, Mappy type, whereas objects like empty cola tins will go away your character slipping and touchdown flat on his again. A cracking little recreation, this.

40. Gynoug

Sega Genesis Games - Gynoug

This respectable but unremarkable shooter is livened up by a few of the most weird and downright sensible creature designs you may see on the Genesis. There are gigantic amalgams of screaming heads, pistons, and arteries. A half-giant, half-train monster. Demonic skulls with wings and nautilus-like monsters. Oh, and the participant character is a muscle-bound hero with Icarus-like wings.

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Comparisons with R-Type are inevitable, however Gynoug succeeds in creating its personal nightmare ambiance – one degree’s even known as Body Manufacturing Factory, which is as grim because it sounds. Fun reality: Gynoug‘s developer Masaya would later go on to make the Cho Aniki collection of homoerotic shooters.

39. Chase HQ II

Sega Genesis Games - Chase HQ II

More of an expanded port of the arcade unique than a real sequel, Chase HQ II is a cracking little racing recreation. The purpose is to scream down a freeway in a sports activities automobile and apprehend fleeing criminals by repeatedly ramming them till their very own car lastly grinds to a halt – a Jason Statham strategy to legislation enforcement if you’ll.

Unlike the unique, this model presents three completely different vehicles to drive quite than the standard-issue black Porsche, and there are extra little touches like ramps that flip your car up on two wheels. Inevitably much less clean and flashy than the arcade model, Chase HQ II nonetheless replicates a lot of its white-knuckle pleasure. Curiously, the sport did not appear to get a very vast launch in both Japan or the west. Copies of the Genesis model are actually tough to return by and, consequently, unusually costly.

38. Pepenga Pengo

Sega Genesis Games - Pepenga Pengo

The final first-party recreation from Sega in Japan, Pengo is now a sought-after collector’s merchandise. An replace of the 1982 arcade recreation, Pengo is an easy maze recreation that entails sliding ice blocks round to crush enemies. Themed worlds with completely different enemies, catchy music, and bigger sprites give the sport a extra ’90s really feel, even when the gameplay itself is similar as ever. Never launched within the West, Pengo is an undemanding but enjoyable recreation, and it is a pity that its rarity makes it so tough to pay money for.

37. Crack Down

Sega Genesis Games - Crack Down

The tiny, considerably bland graphics aren’t Crack Down‘s strongest facet, however like so many aged video games, its addictive motion greater than makes up for the packaging. Although billed as a top-down shooter, the purpose of the sport goes past simply firing at issues: to finish every degree, you must go away explosive units in predefined positions on the map, after which get to the exit earlier than the digital timer ticks all the way down to zero.

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As the maps change into extra complicated and the enemies extra quite a few, Crack Down turns into more and more engrossing, and small touches – like having the ability to lean in opposition to a wall to keep away from enemy hearth – have been comparatively uncommon on the time. The recreation will get even higher when a second participant joins in, and though Crack Down wasn’t a Genesis unique, it is this port of the arcade unique that is arguably the most effective.

36. Bio-Ship Paladin/Space Battleship Gomora

Sega Genesis Games - Bio-Ship Paladin/Space Battleship Gomora

As the trickle of shooters crowding onto the Genesis rapidly changed into a torrent within the early ’90s, it grew to become ever extra essential for builders to introduce their very own twists on the style. Bio-Ship Paladin is likely one of the higher examples, with its typical side-scrolling motion spiced up by a Missile Commandlike cursor that permits you to shoot precisely at enemies wherever they’re on the display screen. The system takes some time to get used to, however the effort’s value it: as soon as mastered, Bio-Ship Paladin presents a touch of technique together with its conventional capturing. There’s additionally a intelligent two-player choice, the place one participant flies the ship whereas the opposite controls the motion of the aiming reticle. 

35. Atomic Robo-Kid

Sega Genesis Games - Atomic Robo-Kid

A mixture of shooter and maze recreation, Atomic Robo-Kid is uncommon in that it actively punishes any try at fast progress. Try to hurry by a degree and also you’re rapidly overwhelmed by enemies and bullets. Learning when to advance and when to retreat or duck for canopy turns into the important thing to success, and as soon as that is mastered, Atomic Robo-Kid actually comes into its personal.

The central character – a diminutive robotic with heavy ft and large eyes – is an lovable creation, and the entire recreation is handsomely designed from starting to finish. Some distractingly repetitive music can grate after some time, however the number of the degrees and sheer problem makes this shortcoming simple to miss.

34. Dangerous Seed

Sega Genesis Games - Dangerous Seed

This port of Namco’s personal coin-op – a sort of non secular successor to Galaxian and Galaga – is not what you’d name a technical marvel. Its sprites flicker horribly, and the dreary lack of shade in some ranges make it look extra akin to a Master System title than a launch for the (then new) 16-bit Genesis.

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Yet regardless of all this, Dangerous Seed emerges as a busy and memorable shooter, thanks partially to its weapon system, which sees three ships interconnect to create one super-powerful craft, a bit like ’80s arcade traditional, Mooncresta. Throw in some nice space bosses – which appear like Galaga’s house bees blown up underneath a photocopier – and a few of the catchiest music you’ll hear on the Genesis, and also you’re left with an actual diamond within the tough.

33. Fantastic Dizzy

Sega Genesis Games - Fantastic Dizzy

Better identified for his residence pc adventures, The Oliver Twins’ ovoid hero, Dizzy, obtained a uncommon outing on the Genesis in 1991. Like the sooner entries, Fantastic Dizzy‘s a platform journey the place nearly each object gives the important thing to a puzzle elsewhere on the map.

With colourful graphics and appropriately jolly music, Fantastic Dizzy was an important entry within the collection, and deserved to promote higher than it did – sadly, Codemasters’ authorized tussle with Sega over the sale of the Game Genie delayed its launch from Christmas 1990 till early the next yr, putting it effectively exterior the festive gross sales season.

32. Stormlord

Sega Genesis Games - Stormlord

Readers of a sure age might keep in mind Stormlord popping out within the late 1980s. Notable on the time for its giant and doubtful sprites depicting bare fairies, it was additionally a supremely playable platformer from British recreation design ace Raffaele Cecco. The Genesis model appeared in 1991, by which level the fairies within the US model had been given a couple of bits of skimpy clothes to guard their modesty – almost certainly on the behest of Sega of America.

Clothing issues apart, Stormlord‘s an absorbing, unusually claustrophobic recreation, by which you management a bearded chap intent on rescuing the immobile fairies dotted across the panorama. It’s not not like Capcom’s Ghosts N Goblins, however much less frenetic and much, way more forgiving. 

31. Techno Cop

Sega Genesis Games - Techno Cop

Seemingly impressed by RoboCop, this British motion recreation was notable for its uncommon quantity of violence. Play switches between driving sections, the place your sci-fi legislation enforcer speeds to his subsequent crime scene in a purple sports activities automobile, and a side-scrolling platform part, the place Techno Cop can both seize villains in a internet or blast them right into a crimson mist together with his gun. You can in all probability guess which choice is probably the most entertaining – to not point out controversial on the time.

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Ropey from a visible standpoint, Techno Cop is the online game equal of a B-movie – it is strong, trashy enjoyable, with some unintentionally humorous sprite designs. Are these guard canines, foxes, or big rats?

30. Decap Attack

Sega Genesis Games - Decap Attack

The Japanese developer Vic Tokai obtained an uncommon quantity of mileage from this platformer, which appeared in several guises on the Nintendo Entertainment System (as Kid Cool), Sega Master System (as Psycho Fox) and at last the Genesis. Released to the remainder of the world as Magical Hat’s Turbo Flight! Adventure, this recreation was based mostly on a TV anime that by no means appeared exterior Japan, which is why it was given a visible overhaul and launched as Decap Attack in America.

But it’s the unique model that holds probably the most attraction for us, with its unusually beguiling central character (basically a small boy in a turban and cape), curious weapon system (you possibly can throw a smiling, apparently sentient egg at enemies), and weird power-ups (you possibly can flip into a large mechanical gorilla). Although intent on bombarding you with further lives, Magical Hat emanates a sure care-free appeal, with its hum-along music and expansive – and infrequently devious – degree designs.

29. Devil Crash MD

Sega Genesis Games - Devil Crash MD

One of a number of pinball video games that appeared for 16-bit consoles within the ’90s, Devil Crash was maybe probably the most playable and greatest designed. A sort of companion piece to the equally demon-themed Bad Omen, Devil Crash is a digital recreation of a standard pinball machine, albeit with sundry marching demons, bats, and an enormous feminine face that regularly turns into eviler because the factors construct up. With catchy music and timeless gameplay, Devil Crash MD is the very definition of quick-fix gaming.

28. Elemental Master

Sega Genesis Games - Elemental Master

Opening with a brilliantly melodramatic minimize scene (“Is this really what has become of my brother?”), Elemental Master‘s actually simply one other up-the-screen shooter, however it additionally occurs to be a extremely good one. With a shadowy fantasy theme, Elemental Master sees you management a cloaked determine who can hearth {powerful} blue streaks of lightning – a helpful capacity, given the hordes of big bats, fleshy crops, and different critters ready for you as you advance up the battlefield.

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Background graphics are a bit on the muddy and drab aspect, however the vary of weapons and power-ups accessible retains the display screen coated in dazzling blue and purple balls of fireplace, so you do not discover an excessive amount of. The enemies, then again, look terrific – the bosses are a very unique bunch and embody a large flying sea serpent and a demonic hedgehog. The video games trade wants extra demonic hedgehogs.

27. Growl/RunArk

Sega Genesis Games - Growl/RunArk

This curious side-scrolling brawler responded to the subject of animal welfare in the identical approach Eugene Jarvis’ Narc handled the drug commerce: with rocket launchers and excessive violence. As certainly one of a small band of Indiana Jones-like heroes, you batter and shoot your approach by a panorama of ivory poachers and different merciless villains, and from time to time, a couple of animals will take part to ship their very own spot of retribution. 

Growl lacks the polish (to not point out fame) of the Streets of Rage collection, however it’s nonetheless totally entertaining, and nowhere else will you see dangerous guys pummelled by elephants or pecked into oblivion by a convocation of raging eagles. (Yes, we did look that collective noun up.) 

26. Fatal Labyrinth

Sega Genesis Games - Fatal Labyrinth

Think of RPGs on the Genesis and collection like Phantasy Star or Shining (Shining Force, Shining within the Darkness) will in all probability spring to thoughts. Fatal Labyrinth is, in some ways, a reasonably generic 2D dungeon crawler the place you navigate your hero throughout 30 randomly-generated flooring of nasties and treasure chests in quest of a mystical trinket guarded by a dragon. What separates Fatal Labyrinth from different RPGs of the interval is its quirky humorousness. You can gather all of the gold you want, however it serves no specific use within the recreation itself – as a substitute, you are merely handled to a extra lavish funeral if you ultimately die. You’ll in all probability die rather a lot, as effectively, as a result of the enemies are legion and extremely aggressive, and in an additional twist, you may also die from over-eating.

Yes, in addition to keeling over from sheer starvation in the event you do not decide up sufficient meals, your hapless hero may also exclaim, “I’m stuffed” if he is given an excessive amount of to eat – after which promptly expire. He have to be a nightmare in all-you-can-eat eating places. Such particulars apart, Fatal Labyrinth is an entertaining and endearing little recreation, with an important sense of development, as your hero builds himself up from a humble newbie to a hero in a winged metallic helmet.

25. Flicky

Sega Genesis Games - Flicky

Flicky’s a type of video games you’d fortunately faucet away at in your cell phone for a couple of minutes every day. Ported from the ’80s arcade machine of the identical title, Flicky was one of many first video games accessible to obtain from Sega Japan’s short-lived on-line service – making it an early forerunner of the fashionable cellular app. Released within the west on an excellent, old style cartridge, the sport in all probability appeared laughably backward within the face of the brash, flashier stuff accessible on the time, however Flicky has a easy, endlessly replayable attraction that makes it nearly timeless.

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Cast as a mom chook, it’s your purpose to rescue your misplaced chicks from a gang of mischievous cats and take them to the exit. Jump on a chick, and it follows you round as if it’s hooked up by an invisible wire. The extra chicks you gather and take to the exit in a single go, the extra factors you’ll get – however on the larger threat of being captured by these pursuing cats. With an infuriatingly catchy background tune and some of the addictive bonus phases on the Genesis, Flicky is a modest but massively entertaining little recreation.

24. Gain Ground

Sega Genesis Games - Gain Ground

The idea behind Gain Ground is easy, however therein lies its attraction: your aim is to get every of your 4 characters to the exit situated someplace on the display screen, all of the whereas avoiding the assaults from topless enemies sprinting round after you. Each of your characters has his personal distinctive weapons, and the sport seems and performs a bit like Gauntlet, besides all of the motion takes place on one display screen.

Initially very simple, Gain Ground rapidly improves because the screens refill with dozens of enemy sprites and different pitfalls. Markedly much less flashy than most different early Genesis releases (just like the imposing Altered Beast, with its massive, chunky character designs), Gain Ground‘s plain exterior hides hidden depths.

23. Cosmic Spacehead

Sega Genesis Games - Cosmic Spacehead

A refreshingly uncommon mixture of point-and-click journey and platformer, Cosmic Spacehead is a colourful, absorbing romp with an important ’60s cartoon look. As youthful alien hero Linus Spacehead (the sport’s unique title was Linus Spacehead’s Cosmic Crusade on the NES), your purpose is to traverse every stage and resolve puzzles so as to discover a digicam and a spaceship – the bizarre plot has one thing to do with travelling to Earth and taking footage of its inhabitants.

Not everybody warmed to the abrupt adjustments of tempo, because the point-and-click drawback fixing provides strategy to arcade sections, and admittedly, Spacehead’s lack of ability to assault enemies within the platform segments is sort of irritating. But by way of visible design and puzzles, Cosmic Spacehead is extremely interesting – oh, and as a bonus, there’s additionally a two-player mode on the cartridge known as Pie Slap, which is a top-down aggressive shooter. Strange, however numerous enjoyable.

22. Granada

Sega Genesis Games - Granada

Although described as a tank recreation, Granada is way brisker than different video games of its sort from the ’80s and ’90s, like Tengen’s unfathomably sluggish Vindicators. A top-down shooter, Granada hurtles alongside at an unimaginable tempo, providing up a maze of futuristic buildings the place all types of enemy {hardware} await. The considerably gray tiled graphics do not precisely push the Genesis to its restrict, however the sheer quantity of stuff occurring at anyone time definitely does – the bosses, just like the purple and blue bouncing tank-type factor on stage one, fling bullets across the display screen like harmful confetti.

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The degree designs are different, too, with the second stage happening on the again of a big flying fortress. A modest but massively entertaining recreation, Granada deserved to get much more consideration than it did.

21. Krusty’s Fun House

Sega Genesis Games - Krusty's Fun House

This Simpsons tie-in is a hybrid of Lemmings and conventional platformer: as Krusty, you must clear your mansion of rats, which is achieved by putting blocks and main the zombie-like rodents to a Heath Robinson-esque killing machine operated by Bart Simpson. The music’s completely horrible, however the recreation itself is pleasant, with every degree providing a balanced mixture of motion and (more and more tough) puzzles.

20. Herzog Zwei

Sega Genesis Games - Herzog Zwei

This uncommon recreation from Technosoft was one of many earliest makes an attempt to create a real-time technique recreation for a console. From the security of your aircraft/robotic transformer, you deploy your small military of fight automobiles and ship them into battle. Clear, icon-based controls make the surprisingly complicated technique of successful battles simple to get used to, and Herzog Zwei represents a refreshing change of tempo from the pure motion titles generally discovered on ’90s consoles. Considered fairly uncommon on the time of its launch – and a sluggish vendor consequently – Herzog Zwei is now rightly thought to be a milestone within the RTS style, paving the way in which for video games akin to Dune II and Command & Conquer.

19. Marvel Land

Sega Genesis Games - Marvel Land

Numerous builders tried to reverse-engineer the brilliance of Super Mario Bros., and Namco succeeded higher than most with Marvel Land. Its elfin hero bounds by a vibrant collection of fantasy landscapes, accumulating issues like milkshakes and power-ups whereas sometimes leaping on the heads of his enemies. The flagpoles from Mario are changed by paper targets right here – however one instance of how a lot inspiration Nintendo’s iconic platformer was to Marvel Land‘s designers.

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Lack of originality apart, Marvel Land‘s a variety of enjoyable and competently ported throughout from the arcade machine. Its handful of contemporary concepts actually stand out, too. There’s an important stage that takes place on a curler coaster, the place you must soar and duck over obstacles because the automobile hurtles alongside a twisting observe. Less well-known than Sonic, Marvel Land nonetheless holds its personal attraction – not least as a result of, with a quickly rising issue degree, it takes appreciable talent and apply to finish.

18. Virtual Bart

Sega Genesis Games - Virtual Bart

This is definitely one of many extra uncommon Simpsons video games but launched. It’s basically a collection of mini-games held collectively by a narrative a couple of VR helmet. The video games see Bart Simpson throwing tomatoes at different Simpsons characters, using down a log flume (a sequence with some surprisingly good pseudo-3D results), using a bike by a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and weirdest of all, beating up clowns whereas within the type of a pig. Copies for the Genesis are actually quite scarce, however Virtual Bart is value selecting up for the humor in its cutscenes and novelty worth alone.

17. Midnight Resistance

Sega Genesis Games - Midnight Resistance

This side-scrolling run-and-gun recreation was ported to quite a few computer systems and consoles, together with an important model for the ZX Spectrum. None may fairly discover a strategy to replicate the arcade unique’s twin stick management system, however this caveat apart, the Genesis model of Midnight Resistance is a totally respectable adaptation. Like Konami’s Contra, you play as a battle-hardened soldier combating a lone warfare in opposition to an array of dangerous guys, tanks, and armored gun emplacements. To assist you to alongside, there’s a broad arsenal of weapons (together with an important flamethrower and a gun that fires lethal beachball-type issues ). The agile hero can shoot in all instructions and even crawl whereas doing so.

A much less acquainted title than Contra, Midnight Resistance’s launch on the Genesis seemed to be comparatively low-key, particularly within the west. Despite this, it’s a shooter effectively value searching for out.

16. World of Illusion

Sega Genesis Games - World of Illusion

Castle of Illusion was an early hit on the Genesis, but 1992’s World of Illusion failed to realize the identical sort of consideration – possibly as a result of it needed to compete with the all-conquering Sonic the Hedgehog 2, launched across the identical time. The timing of World of Illusions launch was unlucky as a result of it stays a superb platform recreation – among the many highest accessible for the Genesis, in actual fact.

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This time, Mickey’ introduced Donald Duck with him, and in two-player mode, the pair traverse the platform panorama collectively, aiding one another with ropes or standing on one another’s shoulders. It’s a extra standard expertise in single-player, however stays colourful and is, by the requirements of the time, exquisitely animated.

15. Dick Tracy

Sega Genesis Games - Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy shakes up the predictability of the Rolling Thunder/Shinobi platform shooter with a brilliantly-realized machine gun mechanic. As effectively as coping with the dangerous guys ready for you in your journey throughout every degree, there are extra enemies lurking within the home windows and doorways additional within the distance. To eliminate them, you must shoot them with an aiming reticle, a bit like TAD’s arcade machine, Cabal.

A substantial quantity of focus is required to change between these two views since Dick Tracy’s weak to assault from enemies within the foreground whereas he’s capturing these within the distance and vice versa. Couple the various and relentless gameplay with some nice, cartoonlike graphics and meaty 16-bit gunshot sound results and also you’re left with among the finest motion video games on the Genesis.

14. The Ooze

Sega Genesis Games - The Ooze

A sort of cross between the outdated arcade recreation Snake and an motion journey, The Ooze casts the participant as an amorphous blob who’s on the hunt for 50 DNA helices that can flip him again right into a human. The approach the participant’s gooey sprite is animated is extraordinarily intelligent, contemplating the period the sport was made in, and the character’s design means you possibly can see at a look how shut you’re to demise: every hit you’re taking reduces the dimensions of the blob, whereas absorbing different blobs across the panorama will make the mass improve once more. You also can spit blobs of your personal goo at enemies, however once more on the expense of your total mass.

The maze-like ranges supply a variety of imaginative enemies to deal with in addition to puzzles to resolve, and whereas The Ooze is not probably the most enticing recreation on the Genesis – its graphics are inexperienced and muddy brown for probably the most half – it is an endearingly sludgy, unique title that also has a lot to supply even at present.

13. Mega Turrican

Sega Genesis Games - Mega Turrican

Free-roaming platform shooter Turrican obtained a superb port in 1991, and like its pc counterparts, was a perfectly designed and slick recreation in the same vein to Metroid. Oddly, Turrican II was rebranded as Universal Soldier on the Genesis (tying it into the Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren motion film), although the standard of its gameplay was nonetheless excessive.

Further Reading: The Best Sega Genesis Shooters

The greatest recreation within the collection needed to be Mega Turrican, which did little to shake up the free-roaming, aggressive format however constructed on the standard of the primary recreation’s graphics and sheer mayhem. The weapons are extra satisfying to play with and devastating than ever, swinging throughout chasms utilizing the character’s sci-fi rope capacity feels pure and exact, and the look of the factor is basically one thing to behold: the variety of enemies and explosions Mega Turrican‘s designers have smuggled into the sport is usually mind-boggling.

Unfortunately, all these sprites come at a value in the event you’re after a bodily copy from eBay – the going price seems to be someplace across the $50 to $70 for a cart in a field with directions. By approach of comfort, you possibly can obtain Mega Turrican from the Wii Virtual Console for only a few bucks.

12. Rainbow Islands Extra

Sega Genesis Games - Rainbow Islands Extra

Although hardly an obscure title in gaming phrases – Rainbow Islands was ported to only about each system you could possibly consider within the ’90s – this Genesis port was, mystifyingly, by no means picked up for launch exterior of Japan. A wonderfully respectable model for the Master System got here out in North America and Europe in 1993, but the Genesis version did not comply with swimsuit.

An exceptionally trustworthy rendition of the arcade unique, Rainbow Islands Extra retains the bouncy, deceptively punishing motion of the coin-op. Your major weapon is a rainbow, which you’ll throw out in entrance of your character to both kill enemies or use as a sort of escalator that will help you attain excessive platforms.

A steadily-rising water degree provides a layer of pressure, as one slip from a platform or fading rainbow can go away you falling to your doom. With dozens of things to gather and different secrets and techniques to search out, Rainbow Islands Extra is a traditional entry in Taito’s ’80s cycle of unforgettable platform video games.

The Genesis model comes with the Extra mode – basically a set of remixed ranges – plus it retains the unique arcade theme music, which was altered in subsequent ports when its similarity to “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz was famous as being probably copyright infringing.

11. Road Blasters

Sega Genesis Games - Road Blasters

EA’s not-dissimilar Road Rash collection was higher identified and technically superior, however this adaptation of Atari’s motion driving recreation remains to be weirdly addictive. Driving down a post-apocalyptic street to nowhere, you must shoot oncoming automobiles and gather the gasoline orbs inside, all whereas staying on the tarmac lengthy sufficient to achieve the end line earlier than your petrol runs out.

It’s arduous to pin down what makes the Genesis port of Road Blasters so efficient, regardless of your lack of ability to brake or speed up. Maybe it’s due to the deliciously crunchy sound results, which makes capturing enemy automobiles so satisfying. Perhaps it’s as a result of your continually dwindling tank of gasoline continually provides you a motive to maintain capturing and accumulating, capturing and accumulating. Or it may simply be the sensation of exhilaration you get from reaching the end line with one tiny drop of gasoline left – or the scrumptious agony of stopping mere inches away from victory.

10. Musha Aleste

Sega Genesis Games - Musha Aleste

Released in America as M.U.S.H.A, this later entry within the collection from Compile is among the many highest vertical shooters accessible for the Genesis. Its creators use its Tenryaku-era setting as a springboard for some actually inspiring creations, akin to historical Japanese temples that rework into tanks, or enormous flying cannons topped with eerie Noh theatre masks.

Further Reading: 20 Games That Deserve Remakes

There’s additionally an important sequence the place the ground regularly falls away tile by tile, revealing a gaping chasm of rock and lava beneath. It’s moments like these that make Musha Aleste definitely worth the hefty price ticket usually hooked up to it on eBay: each single degree introduces one thing new and visually arresting.

9. Dynamite Headdy

Sega Genesis Games - Dynamite Headdy

Japanese developer Treasure excelled itself with this lovable and usually unusual platform recreation. You management a barely ungainly-looking puppet hero, who storms a colourful collection of ranges in a quest to save lots of his city from an evil demon king. Generic plot apart, it is Dynamite Headdy‘s design that makes it actually particular: every degree speeds by at a dash, with backgrounds designed to look as if they’re the set items in a demented theatrical manufacturing.

Then there’s the hero himself, whose numerous heads give him completely different powers, such because the Kirby-like capacity to suck up enemies like a vacuum cleaner. Headdy might lack the outright charisma of Sonic the Hedgehog – which is maybe why the sport wasn’t an enormous hit, regardless of a world launch – however Treasure’s nearly supernatural capacity to stretch the Genesis’ prospects makes Dynamite Headdy among the finest video games of its sort on the system. With its hectic tempo, dozens of mini-games, and surreal humorousness, that is about as shut as we’ll get to a 16-bit online game designed by Terry Gilliam.

8. Monster World IV

Sega Genesis Games - Monster World IV

This platform journey recreation deserved to be an enormous hit, however the timing of Monster World IV‘s launch (it arrived because the Genesis was nearing the tip of its life) meant that it wasn’t even launched exterior Japan till it was lastly translated and made accessible on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network. Introducing a brand new lead character – the heroine, Asha – and a fantasy Arabian theme, Monster World IV nonetheless has the identical sprawling maps and light-weight RPG parts as its predecessor, Wonder Boy V: Monster World III.

The normal action-adventure trappings apply: you traverse the surroundings in search of 4 elemental spirits, and see off a collection of space bosses within the course of. Monster World IV’s major twist is Pepelogoo, a little bit blue sidekick who assists Asha wherever she goes. Once he’s grown to his full dimension, Pepelogoo can be utilized to hit switches far out of attain, fly Asha throughout vast chasms, and shield her from lava drops and different projectiles falling from above. Both characters are lovable creations, and there are some nice (and generally fairly difficult) bosses to combat, too.

A really charming recreation, Monster World IV may have served as a reboot for the collection, and we’d have beloved extra adventures that includes Asha and Pepelogoo on different programs. Instead, Monster World IV stands alone as a pleasant and all-too-rare one-off.

7. Gunstar Heroes

Sega Genesis Games - Gunstar Heroes

The first title from the now legendary developer Treasure, Gunstar Heroes accommodates every little thing the studio’s followers affiliate with its output: a unusual humorousness, frantic motion, and graphics that push its host platform to the breaking level. On paper, Gunstar Heroes is simply one other run-and-gun recreation, however that’s a bit like saying that The Raid is simply one other martial arts film.

Further Reading: The Evolution of Handheld Gaming

Treasure pitches the participant headlong into one weird encounter after one other. One minute you’re combating a big boss known as Curry and Rice, the following your hurtling by a mine shaft on the highest of an out-of-control cart, and the following you’re combating dangerous guys on an airborne zeppelin. The working, leaping, and capturing is time-worn stuff, however Treasure injects the sport with a lot vitality and sheer invention that it by no means feels something lower than contemporary.

6. Contra: Hard Corps

Sega Genesis Games - Contra: Hard Corps

Konami introduced its long-running, constantly wonderful run-and-gun collection to the Genesis in 1994, and the outcomes are spectacular. Like Castlevania: Bloodlines (see later), Hard Corps shakes up the platform shooter gameplay with some gorgeous visible concepts. The first degree alone brings with it the arresting sight of a large robotic silhouetted in opposition to a burning cityscape, just for the mecha to leap into the foreground and start menacing the participant with its superior firepower.

Konami actually was on type at this level in its historical past, and Hard Corps is certainly one of its many 16-bit masterpieces. Be warned, although – Hard Corps actually does dwell as much as its title and presents up a few of the hardest challenges in any Contra recreation. Tune in to its brutal tempo, nevertheless, and you will be handled to one of many highest platform shooters on any ’90s system.

5. Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyo Toitsusen

Sega Genesis Games - Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyo Toitsusen

If you have been into one-on-one brawlers within the ’90s, you have been in all probability enjoying one of many many flavors of Street Fighter II doing the rounds on the time. If you have been very, very fortunate, you could have chanced on this eminently playable combating recreation, which remained nearly unknown exterior Japan. Based on the hit anime and manga collection Yu Yu Hakusho, it is a lightning-fast recreation, with combos and light-weight/sturdy assaults akin to Street Fighter II, besides with the flexibility to leap out and in of the display screen to keep away from assaults.

The busy, polished visuals and anarchic motion make sense when you think about that Makyo Toitsusen was dealt with by Treasure – this being certainly one of a number of underrated gems from the studio to make this record. And simply to spice issues up much more, Genesis homeowners with a multi-tap may take pleasure in a blistering four-player multiplayer brawl – one thing extraordinary in combating video games on the time. Only launched in Japan and Brazil, Makyo Toitsusen is the very definition of a cult merchandise and is now extremely wanted by collectors.

4. Castlevania: Bloodlines

Sega Genesis Games - Castlevania: Bloodlines

Konami has made Castlevania video games for a large number of programs because the collection started in 1986, however just one for the Sega Genesis – Bloodlines, which is arguably among the many better of the 2D entries. Visually gorgeous by Genesis requirements, Bloodlines is a fast-paced action-adventure within the ’80s and ’90s Castlevania custom. With the ability of the console’s 16-bit processor behind it, the sport’s an addictive and massively atmospheric expertise, too.

Its beefed-up heroes traverse landscapes filled with traps and imaginative monsters, together with a big wolf boss whose howl is {powerful} sufficient to shatter home windows. Then there’s an Atlantis-themed stage with the motion mirrored in ebbing waters or a stage the place you must head up an enormous, rotating tower. Considering the technical limitations of the ’90s, the creativeness and ambition of Bloodlines is typically startling.

Further Reading: 10 Best Castlevania Games

By the requirements of the Castlevania franchise, Bloodlines is likely one of the lesser-known entries, and more and more tough to pay money for in its unique cartridge type. True followers of the collection ought to go for the full-blooded Japanese launch quite than the US or European variations, which have been censored.

3. Comix Zone

Sega Genesis Games - Comix Zone

Like a number of different video games on this record, Comix Zone got here out comparatively late within the Genesis’ life, which in the end proved to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, the timing meant that its designers have been effectively positioned to get probably the most out of an getting old system (simply as Team Ico did with Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 2), however on the opposite, the sport got here out when many gamers have been already enthusiastic about the following era of consoles.

As a end result, this wonderful-looking motion recreation might have handed some individuals by, although it is some of the pleasant and downright novel video games on the system. As the title implies, it is a couple of hero combating his approach by the pages of a graphic novel – and its scrolling brawler gameplay is enriched by some sensible thrives, as protagonist Sketch Turner leaps and tears his approach by one comedian guide panel after one other.

Games like Batman: The Caped Crusader had toyed with comparable concepts years earlier, however Comix Zone does issues that would solely be dreamt about on the ZX Spectrum, just like the sequences the place Sketch rips by the white house between panels to get to the following scene. Every second of Comix Zone is filled with persona and thought, from the little speech bubbles that maintain the story occurring the fly, to the gorgeous animation on even probably the most incidental creature, such because the little rats whose eyes glint within the darkness of a sewer.

“Man, I’m glad this panel is over,” the hero thinks aloud as he fends off one other spherical of dangerous guys. With Comix Zone‘s problem being intense but comparatively quick, we will solely lament that its creators could not have squeezed in a couple of extra ranges or, alternatively, made a sequel or two as a substitute.

2. Pulseman

Sega Genesis Games - Pulseman

In 1996, the then little-known Japanese developer Game Freak launched Pokemon Red and Blue on the Game Boy, leading to a multimedia, multi-million-dollar phenomenon. Before that, the studio created a string of lovable little platform and puzzle video games, amongst them Quinty for the NES, Jerry Boy (often known as Smart Ball) for the Super Nintendo, and Pulseman for the Genesis.

In phrases of consideration to element and distinctive touches, Pulseman is gorgeous. The title hero is a half human, half digital being who can enter the digital realm. Although clearly modeled after the template established by Astro Boy and Mega Man, Pulseman has his personal type and persona, thanks largely to Game Freak’s sensible character animation. Pulseman has a lot of the velocity and agility of Sonic, coupled with the flexibility to fireside bolts of vitality like Mega Man and a sort of increase soar akin to Sega’s Rocket Knight.

Eschewing the same old elemental themed worlds of most platform video games of the time, Pulseman is as a substitute set in distinctive digital landscapes, futuristic cities, or behind the scenes of a TV information present. There’s even a brilliantly post-modern second the place Pulseman zaps himself into an arcade shooter known as Galaxy Gang and fights throughout a Gradius-like curtain of stars and boulders. It’s an concept you may usually see in fashionable indie video games, however nonetheless felt new and daring again in 1994.

Fast, thrilling, and filled with surreal moments, Pulseman is an outstanding, usually neglected second in Genesis gaming. It’s unhappy to notice, in actual fact, that the success of the Pokemon franchise has left Game Freak both unwilling or just unable to make one other platform recreation like this one.

1. Alien Soldier

Sega Genesis Games - Alien Soldier

For some, this run-and-gun recreation from Treasure is the holy grail of Genesis rarities. But not like some collectible video games for the console, Alien Soldier is a masterpiece of design quite than merely a low-print-run cult oddity. Treasure but once more pushed the Genesis to its technical restrict, by some means producing a recreation that would not have appeared misplaced on later programs just like the Saturn. There are gigantic bosses that nearly fill the display screen, explosions in every single place, and an agile, brilliantly animated lead character.

In line with the studio’s irreverent strategy to gaming conference, Alien Soldier‘s ranges are deliberately transient, basically fast-forwarding the ten-minute breather you’d usually get between boss battles. The result’s a recreation the place the boss battles take middle stage, and it is right here that the standard of the extent design involves the fore. One boss is a big toad that lays explosives. Another takes the type of a colossal, steam-powered ED-209 robotic that fires rockets. There are a complete of 31 bosses to combat in opposition to, every extra curious and stunning than the final. A scene the place you combat a colossal alien-helicopter hybrid on the roof of a transferring prepare has to rank among the many most spectacular boss moments in any Genesis recreation.

Even when performed at present, Alien Soldier feels refreshingly fashionable and slick. Its 25th birthday could also be quick approaching, however Alien Soldier‘s ferocious, addictive motion stays undiminished by time.

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