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The Sega Genesis, also known as the Mega Drive, is a 16-bit home video gaming console released in Japan in 1988 and in North America in 1989. While the Sega Master System flew under the radar in western markets, the Genesis was a turning point for Sega’s home console efforts.
The Genesis holds a special place in gaming history as one of the most iconic consoles of the 16-bit era. With its vibrant library of games, it solidified its legacy as a powerhouse in the gaming industry.
So, were you a Sega koala or a Nintendo koala? If you were anything like us, it just depended on the day!
10. Golden Axe II
Golden Axe II builds upon the success of the original Golden Axe, offering players another fantasy beat ’em-up adventure. Players choose from a selection of heroes and embark on a quest to defeat the evil Death Adder.
With its cooperative multiplayer, powerful magic spells, and addictive gameplay, Golden Axe II provided a satisfying and action-packed experience on the Genesis.
Golden Axe Tyris Flare Figure
9. Earthworm Jim
Earthworm Jim is a wacky and humorous platformer that follows the adventures of the titular character, an ordinary earthworm turned superhero. Players guided Jim through bizarre levels, battling quirky enemies and utilizing a variety of weapons and abilities.
With its offbeat humor, imaginative level design, and memorable soundtrack, Earthworm Jim became a cult classic and a testament to the Genesis’ ability to deliver unique gaming experiences.
Groovy Earthworm Jim T-Shirt
8. Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II raised the bar for fighting games on the Genesis. With its brutal combat, gruesome fatalities, and a diverse roster of fighters, the game provided an intense and visceral experience. Players engaged in one-on-one battles, executing special moves and finishing moves to emerge victorious.
Competition was a bit more fierce for this sequel. Nintendo decided to not censor Mortal Kombat II after getting thoroughly trounced in sales by the Sega version of Mortal Kombat I. Even still, the Genesis version of the game featured some easter eggs and different character animations than other ports.
Mortal Kombat II’s multiplayer mode, competitive gameplay, and controversial reputation made it a must-play title on the Genesis.
Mortal Kombat Pendants
Aladdin is a platforming masterpiece that brought Disney’s animated film to life on the Genesis. Truly one of the few video games based on a movie that lived up to it’s name. Players took control of Aladdin as he navigated through vibrant levels, defeated enemies, and used his acrobatic skills to overcome obstacles.
With its fluid animations, stunning visuals, and tight controls, Aladdin captured the magic of the movie. It became a standout platformer on the Genesis.
Aladdin & Lion King for Switch
6. Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage introduced players to the world of beat ’em-up games on the Genesis. With its stylish visuals, a thumping soundtrack, and satisfying combat, players took to the streets to clean up the crime-infested city.
The game’s co-op multiplayer, memorable characters, and challenging gameplay made Streets of Rage an instant hit. It was a cornerstone of the Genesis library. Spoiler alert: Don’t be surprised if you see this name again very soon…
Streets of Rage Pixel Art Frame
5. Shining Force II
Shining Force II is a tactical role-playing game that challenges players to assemble a team of warriors and embark on a quest to save the land of Granseal from evil forces. Players strategically maneuver their characters on grid-based battlefields, engaging in turn-based combat against enemies.
With its deep character customization, engaging storyline, and addictive gameplay, Shining Force II became a beloved title among strategy RPG enthusiasts.
Mega Drive Classics for Switch
4. Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
Phantasy Star IV is an epic role-playing game that takes players through a rich sci-fi world. Players lead a team of adventurers as they unravel a complex narrative, engage in turn-based battles, and explore dungeons and towns.
With its engaging story and strategic combat, Phantasy Star IV is a shining example of Genesis’ ability to deliver immersive RPG experiences. It’s not only one of the best Sega Genesis games of all time. It’s also one of the best RPGs of all time and continues to draw new players to this day!
Phantasy Star IV Double LP
3. Gunstar Heroes
Gunstar Heroes is a fast-paced run-and-gun game that offers non-stop action and intense gameplay. Players control the Gunstar siblings as they battle through thrilling levels, facing off against an army of enemies and epic bosses.
Gunstar Heroes is known for its dynamic weapon system, co-op multiplayer, and visually stunning graphics. It pushed the limits of what the Genesis could deliver and became a cult classic among gamers.
Mega Drive Classics for Switch
2. Streets of Rage 2
Another Streets of Rage game, you ask? Yes! And this one was even better.
Streets of Rage 2 is a classic beat ’em up game that allows players to choose from a roster of unique characters and fight through treacherous streets to save the city from the Syndicate gang. Players unleash devastating combos, wield weapons, and face off against powerful bosses in this action-packed adventure.
With its addictive multiplayer, memorable characters, and solid gameplay mechanics, Streets of Rage 2 became a fan favorite. They set the standard for beat ’em-up games on the Genesis.
Streets of Rage Tin Art
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The Best Sega Genesis Game
Don’t blink, or you’ll miss him! Of course, when you rank the best Sega Genesis games, you have to include Sonic; and while the first Sonic game was a classic, the sequel is where Sega really figured the formula out.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 takes the lightning-fast gameplay of the original Sonic and cranks it up to the next level. Players control Sonic and his trusty sidekick, Tails, as they race through beautifully designed levels, collect rings, and defeat the evil Dr. Robotnik.
Fluid controls, exhilarating speed, and a memorable soundtrack made Sonic the Hedgehog 2 a standout title. No wonder it solidified Sonic as Sega’s iconic mascot.