Charge up your arm cannon and get ready to hunt down some Mavericks; it’s time to list the 12 best Mega Man games!
Ok, some of that sentence (if not all of it) will be weird if you’ve never played a Mega Man game before, but don’t worry. We’ve got everything you need to know about the 10 best Mega Man games below, including which titles you should be giving over your hard earned cash for.
Mega Man’s career has spanned over 30 years, 34 to be exact at the time of writing. That makes him one of the longest serving video game characters of all time!
His battle against the robotic forces of evil is never ending, and we’re hopeful for another 34 years of Mega Man as the series progresses and grows.
This series has more numbers, off shoots, and character breakaways than the Street Fighter games…ok, almost more. Experience a robotic cat that turns into a buzzsaw, a dude called Zero that is one hell of a hero, and everything that makes the blue wonder one of the best protagonists all time.
Table of Contents
1. Mega Man X (1994)
Some people might think that putting a spin-off of the original Mega Man series in the top spot is sacrilege, but Mega Man X started off a whole new canon that brought new moves and skills to the table.
Plus, the X series is so popular that it only seemed right to put my favourite game, the one that kicked it all off, as the best Mega Man game of all time.
So what made Mega Man X so exciting for fans of the previous games? Well, for starters, having X at the end of anything instantly makes it cooler. Our blue space hero could also climb up walls and dash from place to place for the first time too.
After his creation by a scientist, Mega Man X is shut away in a laboratory capsule and left forgotten for 100 years. His creator feared that a thinking robot might harm humans, but Mega Man’s a good guy!
After being found by another science-loving-troublemaker, X is replicated into a horde of human-killing robots known as reploids. X must team up with Zero, another android, to stop the robots from wiping out the human race.
I do love the addition of Zero in these games, but it’s the cool reploid hunting storyline and the upgraded abilities that I like the most. That and the classic side-scrolling levels and post- apocalyptic backgrounds.
If you’re looking for a quintessential Mega Man experience, then give Mega Man X a try, the best of the best Mega Man games!
2. Mega Man 2 (1988)
Mega Man 2 has one of those game cases that would look great as a framed print. He looks less like a robo-space-warrior in this pic and more like a poor man’s Robo Cop, but the game features all the same classic Mega Man action that we know and love.
He might be weielding a gun on the cover, but Mega Man’s arm cannon returns in this epic NES title. Dr Wily is back, once more commanding a ruthless army of mechanical soldiers hellbent on destroying the world.
It makes me wonder whether the cover artist had ever played a Mega Man game before or knew anything about it. It looks more like a wild west/Terminator crossover!
Mega Man 2 is still the most popular title in the series to date, including all of the X, hunters, Zero, and other names, letters, and numbers that proceed his name. It sold over 1.5 million copies and is often considered one of the most influential titles of all time.
It’s not enough to make the top spot in our list thought! You can’t rely on figures alone to get into our good books!
The gameplay is pretty much the same as the original Mega Man. Battle robots, conquer sub-bosses, and work your way to the end boss for a final showdown. Wood Man and Flash Man, both characters that sound as though they should be on a sex offenders list, try to stop him at every turn, but they’re no match for our robo warrior!
3. Mega Man 7 (1995)
Mega Man 7 takes the third spot in this list of the best Mega Man games of all time! It’s also one of the rarest SNES games on the market today too, which means that it comes with a rather hefty price tag.
MM7 is a side-scrolling tour-de-force. It has all the feels of Air Zonk crossed with Sonic the Hedgehog, bringing colourful levels, tough bosses, and epic characters that stay with you long after the game ends.
I still remember the first time that I met Bass and Treble. No, they’re not a jazz duo on cruise ships; Bass is the other robotic looking dude below and Treble is his robotic wolf!
I know what you’re thinking; Mega Man 7 looks good! It hasn’t made this list of the best Mega Man games without passing some stringent tests, you know!
This was the first game in the series to use 16-bit graphics, which is why all the levels and bosses look so damn good!
Speaking of the bosses, they were all created by fans that won art competitions. I wanna meet those guys and girls and ask them why they made the bosses so difficult to beat!
MM7 hasn’t invented the wheel (it’s just a sequel to MM6 after all), but it is a cool game and one of the best looking SNES titles around.
4. Mega Man Powered Up (2006)
Mega Man Powered Up takes the 4th spot in this list of the best Mega Man games of all time! He might look like a super-powered Rugrat (a far cry from his counterpart in 2nd place below), but Mega Man still has all the same robo-firepower and moves that make him such an epic protagonist.
Powered up is, without a doubt, one of the best PSP games ever made. It’s a bold statement, but i’m sticking to it.
The graphics on this thing look incredible too, once more showing that the PSP was capable of pulling off feats way beyond what should have been possible.
The weird thing is that it doesn’t look like a typical Mega Man title. It’s like Paper Mario crossed with Ōkami, which makes for a cutesy game…
… but Mega Man is Mega, not cutesy!
This SNES remake takes the Chibi graphics Capcom championed back in the day and beefs them up. It’s more like playing a cartoon than a video game, and I for one like the style choice. It makes everything easy to see on the PSP’s small screen, and the gameplay is still absolutely superb.
So what’s Mega Man up to this time? Well, he’s stopping Dr Wily again and defeating the Robot Masters once more.
And while Mega Man has got smaller, the Robot Masters seem to have grown bigger and more menacing! Funny how these things work, isn’t it!
Pilot fearsome robots, fire weapons, and control one of the most famous superheroes of all time in glorious colour on a brilliant handheld. What’s not to love?
5. Mega Man Legacy Collection (2016)
Speaking of the very fist Mega Man entry, Mega Man Legacy Collection is the perfect way for new games to experience a blast from the past on their favourite console!
This compendium incorporates everything we love about the early Mega Man years. All of the first six Mega Man games in true side scrolling fashion with a HD polish for all the main next-gen consoles; it’s like a trip to the video game museum!
These reproductions look super fresh and play beautifully too. It’s great for people like me that have played the original Mega Man games to see them on a widescreen TV through the PS4. Still, more importantly, it’s collections like this that will help to keep Mega Man alive for future generations.
True to form, Capcom have included some absolute gems for fans of the series in this game.
Museum Mode (you thought I was joking in that last section) allows fans to dive into a world of Mega Man art and storyboards, experiencing original drawings and facts for the very first time.
Challenge mode is basically like shuffle on Spotify; it mixes gameplay segments up and lets players have a go at insane difficulties for the ultimate challenge.
6. Mega Man X4 (1997)
Mega Man X4 takes the 6th title in this list of the best Mega Man games of all time!
Ok, so for those 100% new to Mega Man, this is the fourth instalment in the X series. X doesn’t mean 10; X is a spin-off Mega Man different to the normal Mega Man canon.
And that guy with the sword on the front cover is Zero, the guy in the game above!
Are you still with me?
MM Zero 4 occurs in the 22nd Century. Robots and humans co-exist together, but some of them go rogue. These ‘Mavericks’ must be hunted, and both ‘X’ and Zero are the ones for the job.
Players can choose to play as X or Zero at the very beginning, with both characters boasting their own skillsets. Mega Man is always famous for his long range arm cannons and firing fists, but Zero has a sweet lightsaber-style sword for short-range skirmishes.
The game’s levels can be completed in any order and, while it is very much a Mega Man game, the change-up of the usual formula is enough to keep this title fresh and engaging for those of us that have played every game since the very first Mega Man entry!
7. Mega Man Zero 3 (2004)
Mega Man Zero 3 could have one of the most confusing titles of any game for people not in the know. It is it the third in the series or the… well… 0th? And that doesn’t look like Mega Man.
What’s going on?
Well, Mega Man Zero 3 follows Zero, one of the characters from Mega Man X. The Zero series follows the X series and sees Zero taking on his own adventures.
Wow… my head hurts!
So what can Zero do that Mega Man can’t. Well, for starters, Zero is MegaMan in this instance, so I guess that’s a trick question.
Zero wields lots of ace sounding weapons such as the Z-Saber and the Recoil Rod. He’s certainly tanked up better than Mega Man and more than equipped to take on Dark Elves, Mavericks, and many more evil beings besides!
A Mega Man’s work (or Rockman’s work if you’re in Japan) is never done!
We love games with secret easter eggs to find, and Mega Man Zero 3 has plenty of them. Unlock minigames, find secret disks, and super hard modes as you play the game again and again. It’s the title that keeps on giving!
8. Mega Man V (1994)
Mega Man V takes the 8th spot in this list of the best Mega Man games of all time. I realise Mega Man is known for his appearances on Super Smash Bros these days, but his Gameboy appearances were.. well… mega back in the 90s.
The best bit about Mega Man V is the weapon pick-up system after every boss stage. Defeat a big bruiser and take their weapon to use in the proceeding stages.
It’s like every time Samus loses her abilities and you have to pick them up again; these space people need to be more equipped!
Who is Mega Man protecting the earth from this time, I hear you ask? Well, this time its the Stardroids, more robots that want to see us dead and buried!
Usually Gameboy Games copy or borrow heavily from home console titles, but Mega Man V boasts original boss fights. It’s a must have adventure for fans of the series to experience and one that often crops up in lists of the best Gameboy games.
And what’s that on the front cover; an arm cannon that’s actually a projectile arm?
The Mega Arm makes an appearance for thr first time in this game along with other new characters such as Tango the robo-cat. Tango can transform into a gnarly buzzsaw and makes mincemeat out of enemies… literally!
9. Mega Man 64 (1997)
Mega Man 64 might look a lot like Mega Man Legends to PlayStation users out there. That’s because they’re the same game with a different name, though Mega Man 64 was the one I came across first and a title that was never far from my my N64 back in the day.
Weirdly, this isn’t the usual Mega Man that we know of from all the other games in the series. This guy is called Volnutt, which isn’t exactly a name that rolls off the tongue.
He’s not a super-space-age soldier, but rather a digger that must delve into the secrets of what remains of a flooded Planet Earth.
Maybe he’s related to Mr Digger?
This is the first 3D Mega Man game on the N64 and the second in the series after Mega Man: Battle & Chase. It might look a bit old now, but this game blew my mind back in ’97!
So what is Mega Man 64 like? Well, imagine Super Mario 64 mixed with Goeman Mystical Ninja and a little Quest 64 thrown in for good measure.
Like every Mega Man game, the story is set in some point in the future where we have to start using letters as well as numbers. This time it’s 80XX, and cyborgs are pretending to be humans to get away with all sorts of trouble.
Not only does Mega Man have to try to stop the Reaverbots from tarnishing his mission, but the Bonne pirate family and the Servbots all want a piece of him too. When does a digging dude get a break!
10. Mega Man 11 (2018)
Mega Man 11 takes the 10th spot in this list of the best Mega Man games of all time! It’s also the newest title in our list and boasts some super slick graphics that Switch users can enjoy both on the sofa and on on the toilet!
Just check out that scene below! These games have always been notoriously colourful and detailed when it comes to bosses, backgrounds, and blue super-suits, but this new addition to the Mega Man canon is even crisper, brighter, and more impressive.
The look might have changed, but the gameplay is still the same. We’re talking epic side-on boss battles, fantastic weapons, and nail-biting fights with all kinds of robo-warriors.
Ever experienced two scientists falling out over a double gear system and one of them barging into a lab to steal eight Robot Masters to wage war against the other with?
I hadn’t either until I played Mega Man 11.
Yes, Wily is back and up to no good once again. He’s implementing the Double Gear into Light’s Robot Masters and plans to destroy anyone who stands in his way, including Mega Man.
As well as the superb graphics in this game, other notable features are the epic soundtrack and the brilliant storyline. It’s a true Mega Man game and holds its own amongst the tidal wave of titles.
MM11 sure sets things up nicely for the next 9 games in the series. Pease Make MM20 in virtual reality!
11. Mega Man X3 (1995)
Mega Man X3 sees players taking control of X and his mate Zero.
Don’t worry, you’ll meet lots of versions of Mega Man throughout this article, so all will be revealed in time.
This is also the first time you’ll hear me talk about Reploids too, sentient androids that think and speak like humans.
Oh yeah, Mega Man just turned into a Charlie Brooker show!
Play through 8 exciting stages with graphics and levels that look as though Sonic could be moonlighting in them.
Maybe that could be an idea for one of the best Sega ROM hacks… anyone up for the challenge?
I love Mega Man X3 because you can tackle the levels in any order too. That means that you can acquire the special weapons from each stage in any order too!
Which one will you go for first? I’d go for Tornado Fang… just saying.
12. Mega Man 8 (1996)
Mega Man 8 kickstarts our best Mega Man games list! It also kickstarts a list of incredible titles that champion a feud between our favourite Blue Fighter and his arch nemesis, Dr Wily.
After discovering a robot from space, Wily hatches a plan to make an army of Robot Masters that will take over the world!
So what’s new in Mega Man 8?
Well, how about FMV cut scenes and voice acting? We’re talking full anime-esque cutscenes that don’t just drive the storyline along, but supercharge it all the way to 11!
So the gameplay isn’t much different to the other games of the same era, but who cares.
The music sounds fresh, the sound is crisp, and Mega Man has all his usual firepower ready to lock and load.
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 34 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.