Top 10 Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Games

Everything felt differently in our childhood, especially games. Nowadays, it is hard to impress modern gamers, sophisticated in advanced graphics, but people of an older generation have taken pleasure in playing Sega Genesis games. These games weren’t afraid to be hardcore and challenge the player by punishing mistakes, which is what the modern gaming industry lacks. So we offer you to remember your childhood and learn more about the 10 best Sega Genesis games.

10th place: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a run’n’gun video game parodying almost every famous Hollywood horror movie franchise before the 1990s. The goal of the game is to find and rescue all your neighbors before zombies, and other evil creatures get to them. After the last neighbor is rescued, a door materializes out of the air with an exit to the next level. If monsters kill any neighbor, there is one less neighbor on the next level. If all victims are successfully rescued in the next few levels, their number increases again. If the player hasn’t rescued anyone, the screen is flooded with blood and the game ends. There are 55 levels in the game (48 main levels and 7 bonus levels).

The game has much humor, mocking horror movies. This applies not only to the enemies and locations but also to the weapons and equipment of the characters.

9th place: Jungle Strike

This game is a direct sequel to Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf. The gameplay is similar to the first part of the Strike. The changes have affected the vehicles. The primary weapon of the player is an attack helicopter Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche. Also, in some levels, the player transferred to another type of transport: a motorcycle, a hovercraft, and a combat fighter F-117 Nighthawk with a nuclear reactor instead of conventional fuel.

Levels have several missions built around destroying enemy guns and structures, rescuing hostages and prisoners of war, or capturing enemy human resources.

The helicopter is armed with a machine gun, more powerful Hydra 70 rockets, and even more deadly Hellfire missiles. The player must choose the right weapon for each specific target. Opposing forces range from foot soldiers to artillery and tanks. The player’s helicopter has limited armor points, depleting under enemy fire. If the armor reaches zero, the aircraft is destroyed. Therefore it is vital to maneuver correctly and pick up valuable items.

8th place: Road Rash 2

Road Rash 2 is a survival racing video game that is a sequel to Road Rash. The gameplay remains the same as in the first part. The player must pass the track faster than their rivals, trying to bypass the city traffic, animals, and other obstacles. The racers can use various weapons for combat during the race. The player receives a cash prize for the victory.

In comparison with the previous part of the game, the game has undergone several technical changes. Colors have become more vibrant. Sprite models have been refined and become more detailed, and the animation of the racers is now smoother. The sound was also improved. There are also animation inserts after each race. They are divided into four types: in case of winning, in case of losing, in case of motorcycle damage, and the possibility of police arrest.

7th place: Virtua Racing

Virtua Racing is an arcade car racing simulator with Formula One cars. The game was the developer’s first fully 3D polygonal racing game. Sprite scaling technology was used previously. The game was originally developed as a test for the new Model 1 arcade platform but was later turned into a commercial game. It was subsequently ported to several Sega home game consoles. In 2004, a remake of the game was released for the PlayStation 2 as part of the Sega Ages collection. The Sega Mega Drive version is the only game for this console. The additional Sega Virtua Processor, as part of the cartridge, accelerates the processing of three-dimensional graphics.

6th place: ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron

ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron is a platformer video game describing the adventures of two alien heroes, ToeJam and Earl. In the first part, they were forced to make an emergency landing on Earth but escaped safely. After they returned to their home planet of Funkotron, they found out that some evil Earthlings had entered the spaceship and intended to lead this planet to destruction as revenge. The player must hunt down the Earthlings, seal them in jars, and deport them back to Earth.

The game is a linear platformer based on the hunt for evil Earthlings. The hunting process has two stages: first, you need to search for Earthlings on the terrain among the bushes and trees and catch them by sealing them in special jars, then the bag with the jars must be loaded into a starship. The level is completed when all Earthlings are caught and returned to Earth with the help of the spaceship.

5th place: Flashback: The Quest for Identity

This game is noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling French game in history. It featured smooth character animation, hand-drawn backdrops, and pseudo-3D animations and looked very advanced for its time. It used a hand-drawn, frame-by-frame animation technique in Another World and Prince of Persia.

The protagonist uses a pistol with unlimited ammunition, a force shield, rolls, and sneaks in combat. The acrobatics in this game is similar to Prince of Persia: the player can jump from the place and take off, hang on hands, climb ledges, and somersault. Rotoscoping technology makes the animation very realistic. The game has a significant quest element, including conversations with many characters, solving various questions, getting necessary items, and using them (the episode in New Washington is rich in such stuff).

4th place: Gunstar Heroes

Gunstar Heroes is a side-scrolling run’n’gun game similar to the Contra game series. The game can be played alone or in pairs. Players take on the role of Gunstar Red and Gunstar Blue, fighting the evil Empire for having powerful gems. The game has seven levels; the first four can be played in any order. The level formats vary; in addition to the typical left-to-right format, the player rides a minecart along the walls, fights enemies in a helicopter, or plays a board game. Completing a level gives the player health regeneration up to a maximum. 

At the start, players can choose either a free or fixed shooting position. Players have a choice of starting weapons: a homing shot, a lightning blaster, a flamethrower, and a machine gun. Each weapon has advantages and disadvantages and can be replaced by picking up items dropped at each level. Weapons can be combined to create unique types of shots. For example, a homing shot can be combined with a machine gun to add a homing effect, or two lightning blasters can be connected to create a more powerful lightning gun. In addition to firing weapons, player characters can perform many acrobatic tricks, including jumping, sliding, grabbing, and throwing enemies.

3rd place: Phantasy Star 4

Phantasy Star 4 retained many gameplay elements from previous games, including the overhead view, turn-based battles, magic spells, and the transport feature. It also introduced an interesting new feature: the ability to combine combat spells of different characters to apply various powerful magical attacks. This game is considered the last in the original Phantasy Star series. It completes the story of the Algol system, being the sequel to Phantasy Star 2 (Phantasy Star 4 runs parallel to the events of the fourth part).

2nd place: Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a two-dimensional platformer with the developed gameplay of the first part. According to the plot of the game, the villainous Dr. Robotnik arrives on the West Side Island to get the mystical stones called the Chaos Elements to power his space station called Death Egg and take over the world. Sonic meets a fox named Miles “Tails” Prower, and they become best friends. The main characters are going to disrupt Robotnik’s insidious plans of taking over the world.

In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, you can play as two characters: Sonic itself and Tails, controlled by a second gamepad. Their movements are identical and do not differ from each other. Tails can act as an assistant to a first player. He can kill enemies and collect rings, added to the hedgehog. If the second gameplay is not connected, the artificial intelligence makes the character follow Sonic and repeat his movements. In the game, Tails is more of a passive participant in events because the game camera doesn’t even follow him. It is focused on Sonic, and the fox can just get lost behind the game screen. But after a while, he automatically comes to the main character, spinning his tail like a propeller.

1st place: Streets of Rage 2

Although the gameplay of Streets of Rage 2 is very similar to that of the previous game, much has been updated and improved. The biggest change is the special attack. It previously led to calling a police car and damaging all enemies currently on the screen. Now the special attack is available to each character individually. It allows you to do more damage to the enemy, slightly decreasing your life points. All game heroes were redesigned and given unique individual features and characteristics. Enemies have also been redesigned. Now all enemies have a life level indicator (only bosses had this feature in the previous game), names, and own fighting techniques. New types of enemies appeared, such as bikers, ninjas, kickboxers, and robots.

Weapons that can be picked up during the game have also changed. Pepper spray and glass bottles have been deleted. The knife has been improved: it can now be thrown at will whereas this option didn’t depend on the player in the original game. The damage caused by throwing the knife has been reduced. A new weapon, the kunai, was added with similar characteristics and properties to the knife. The baseball bat from Streets of Rage has been replaced by the katana, doing more damage during combat. Now you can throw the pipe and katana, as well as the knife, at enemies.