Top 10 Best Sega Genesis – Mega Drive Games
Number 10: Lotus Turbo Challenge: The first thing that grabbed in this game, other than the stunning animations for the time, was the fantastic soundtrack. The aim is to race to the finish line across a course-based trial like Outrun. This was a high octane arcade racer complete with racetrack obstacles. Car handling was obviously simplistic and easy but tremendously good fun and required some careful driving and braking when entering sharp corners or overtaking your opponents.
Number 9: Altered Beast: Set in Ancient Greece, you play as a resurrected centurion brought back to life by Zeus who wants you to rescue his daughter Athena. Anyway, this is a side scrolling platform beat’em up complete with magics, undead monsters and of course, the ability for your character to transform into different beats with their own unique strengths. 2-Player mode made this game a lot easier, this was immensely challenging when played alone.
Number 8: NHL Hockey 91: This was a fast-paced and incredibly fun sports title that seems to have been largely overlooked in the console’s history. The graphics and sound effects were decent for the time but it was the frenetic gameplay, fights, attention to detail with respect to the rules and player physics that really immersed you. I personally couldn’t see the appeal of John Madden Football but I sunk a ridiculous amount of time into the game. When you finally hone your skills on the ice and learn how best to score goals, it’s immensely satisfying.
Number 7: Double Dragon: This side-scrolling beat’ em up was released across a wide variety of platforms but the Mega Drive edition was one of the stronger editions both graphically and interms of game mechanics. You play as either Billy Kee or his twin brother Jimmy, two martial artists who fight through the criminal underworld of the Black Warriors gangs to rescue Billy’s girlfriend. Interestingly enough, the original arcade edition suffered from performance issues, which the superior 16-Bit Genesis / Mega Drive hardware was able to resolve.
Number 6: Revenge of Shinobi: Another side-scrolling platformer, this time with a demand for precision controls and well-timed martial arts moves. You play as Joe as you take your revenge of the evil scourge Neo Zeed. You make use of ninjutsu moves, somersaults, shuriken throwing stars and special moves. This game featured four difficultly modes, but was tough on almost any level. If you knew the cheat for infinite shurikens, no one would blame you for using it.
Number 5: Robocop Vs The Terminator: Is there anything more that needs to be said? That title alone says it all. I remember the buzz that accompanied this game and many fines pining for this to become a movie. It sure would have been better concept to base a film off than the recent Terminator Genisys. Anyway, you play as Robocop as you attempt to destroy the Skynet CPU, amazing gameplay, plenty of gore and fantastic weapons. This one was hard to put down.
Number 4: Virtua Racing: No this isn’t a 32X game, I have no idea how they managed to squeeze this level of 3D graphics performance out of a lowly 16-bit console but they did. Resembling the graphics of the Super Nintendo’s Star Fox, Virtua Racing was first and foremost an arcade game and more of a proof of concept than anything. It was ported to the Genesis / Mega Drive in 1994 and contained an extra FX chip in the cartridge, making it enormous. As a consequence this game was insanely expensive at $100 in the US. The graphic detail, track inclines and banking, crashes and spins and the ability to switch from third-person camera modes or the cockpit make this game an extraordinary technical achievement for a humble Sega Genesis.
Number 3: Phantasy Star IV: Described as a role-playing game with turn-based combat and interaction and communication with non-playable characters, this is largely considered the very best RPG for the Genesis / Mega Drive console. The player improves their combat statistics through experience levels and additional magical spell techniques. The story is involving and deep with interesting characters and beautifully designed locations. Taking place 1,000 years after Phantasy Star 2, you lay as Chaz and battle against various nefarious monsters on a dying world. There’s actually a pretty complicated plot here and a conspiracy concerning the Algol solar system so I won’t spoil it. Graphically it may be dated but from a gameplay point of view, it’s as good as ever.
Number 2: Sonic 3 & Knuckles: If I can only include one Sonic game on this list then this is the one I choose. Sonics 1 & 2 were classics but Sonic 3 took things further both in terms of graphics, size and scope of the game and overall gameplay. Sonic & Knuckles was the second part of Sonic 3 and then you combined the cartridges together you got one insanely large and spectacular Sonic mega game. This was the pinnacle of the Sonic franchise and in many people’s opinion, after reaching this zenith, it was downhill thereafter for the spiky blue-haired hedgehog.
Number 1: Mortal Kombat 3: The original Mortal Kombat began it all but number three refined things further and gave us more fast-paced violence with real human sprites characters. It introduced faster combo moves, chain combos, a mercy feature and environments with upper and lower levels. I’ve always preferred the MK series over the more cartoonist Street Fighter franchise, I found Mortal Kombat games to more fun, darker and adult, but not taking themselves too seriously.