I never had a SEGA Genesis growing up; I was always on team Nintendo, carrying my trusty grey GameBoy everywhere with me wherever I went. My friends all had SEGA Genesis Games in their houses (SEGA Megadrive here in the UK), so I would play as much as I could when I went round to their homes to get my fill of what it was like to play a different console. The controller was always the best part; it felt so different to the SNES, that magical A button making Sonic jump away from flying bees as we sped towards the goal ring, and blasting foes into space while running around as a certain Underground-dwelling character.
I bought my own console as soon as I was old enough to start earning a bit of money and bought all of the SEGA Genesis Games that I knew and loved, and more besides. I was hungry for some SEGA action, and I made sure that I tested out all of the games available to me (the ones that looked good at any rate). I’ve made a list of 10 of my favourite titles for you to check out; hopefully you’ve played some of them, and if not, then you’ve got one hell of a weekend coming up!
10 Of The Best SEGA Genesis Games To Bring Back Some 90’s Nostalgia
1. Earthworm Jim 2
I still remember the first time I put Earthworm Jim 2 into my Genesis and turned on the TV. I still don’t think I’ve played a game quite like it; it was weird, it was mad, but it was brilliant. An earthworm in a robotic suit with a friend named ‘snot’ that helps him glide around and swing across caverns – it’s the stuff of legend. I still remember cranking out the barn blaster for the first time and killing every enemy on the screen; I felt like a gaming god, though I suppose so did everyone else in the world.
I prefer Earthworm Jim 2 to the original Earthworm Jim (both two of the Best SEGA Genesis Games), as the gameplay feels more fluid, and there’s a much better array of guns on hand too. Breaking rocks with that machine gun is still great twenty-four years after it was released. Can you and Jim save Princess Whats-Her-Name from the evil Psy-Crow, or will you and Snot just have a nap instead?
2. Mega Bomberman
Riding around on Kangaroos that can drop bombs, destroying creatures through Jammin’ Jungle, THE MULTIPLAYER MODE! Sorry, I just had a hard case of nostalgia there. I spent hours on this game with my friends; it was the most addictive multiplayer mode on all of my Best SEGA Genesis games and still is today, with a whole host of playable characters from Planet Bomber that went on to star in another one of my favourite titles, Bomberman 64. Up to 4 players can get involved in the explosive action (see what I did there), and it’s a classic that everyone should try and play once.
This was the first time we saw the white-headed Bomberman as the main star of the show, the character that would go on to be known as Bomberman in future titles. Apart from sounding like cool London nightclubs, Vexin’ Volcano and Crankin’ Castle are two of the best names for worlds on computer games, hands down. Mega Bomberman is worth it just for the multiplayer action, but if you want to stick around and restore Planet Bomber I’m sure the residents would appreciate it.
3. Taz In Escape From Mars
I like games where the unlikeliest of heroes end up becoming the star of the show. Long before Crash Bandicoot was spinning around to defeat enemies, Taz the Tasmanian Devil was kicking ass and taking names with his own brand of crime fighting. Taz was a bit of a dimwit, but he took revenge pretty seriously. After a trip to Earth, Marvin the Martian decides he wants our friend the Tasmanian Devil for his Martian Zoo. After first escaping and then, for some reason, returning, Taz seeks out Marvin to exact his revenge. It would have made sense just to have hidden out on Earth in my opinion, but I have a few more brain cells than ol’ Taz here (just a couple).
Spin, jump, dig, breathe fire, and spit rocks at enemies as you make your way through the different levels in search of the final boss or the much-loved exit sign, where you can breath a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back for surviving. Just like Crash Bandicoot, if you spin into food you’ll destroy it, so you want to watch out for that when you’re running low on energy! Taz can’t fly or use laser beams to destroy stuff, but he’s still a kick ass hero, and his second SEGA title wholly deserves a place in our Best SEGA Genesis Games list.
4. WWF RAW
I used to run back home to watch WWF Smackdown every Saturday morning after taking the dog for a walk, so I took wrestling pretty seriously Seeing the undertaker riding in on a bike or Stone Cold running into the ring and smashing beer cans on his head, now that was something special. WWF Raw was one of the Best SEGA Genesis Games for button mashing multiplayer action, and getting to play as some of my favourite characters was the icing on the barbed-wire cake.
In a similar way to playing Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, I had to try and remember the special moves, signature moves, and move sets for my favourite player. Seeing a 16-bit character tombstone an opponent into the ring still makes me feel like the king of the nerds, and being able to use new moves like DDT’s for the first time was pretty damn exciting. Games like this never grow old and they’re still fun to play with your mates. Sure, the
5. Shinobi III: Return Of The Dragon Ninja
I don’t know about you guys, but I found the first two Shinobi Games pretty damn difficult when they first came out. I’ve chosen Shinobi III to feature in this Best SEGA Genesis Games list because it was more about speed and agility than skill, which is how I tackle most objects in life today come to think of it! The moves were cooler too, and the overall gameplay was smoother and flowed better. Oh, and the weapons were more badass too. Sometimes sequels end up being better because the developers have learnt from their mistakes, and sometimes they create a classic that takes years to match; just look at Ocarina of Time!
Anyway, back to Shinobi. Joe Musashi must once again face the evil Neo Zeed in this
We’re Over Halfway! Find out which other titles made it into our Best SEGA Genesis Games List
6. Streets Of Rage II
Bigger, badder, more rage. If you liked Streets of Rage, then Streets of Rage 2 will be right up your alley. The camera is closer to the action, the players all have better moves, and the game itself just feels a lot more polished. I know we all liked calling the police car in to defeat all of the enemies on the original version, but working together to pull of special moves to defeat bad guys is far more exciting than just calling in the boys in blue!
As punch em’ ups go, this was one of the Best SEGA Genesis Games for blowing off some steam. It also made you feel like you were doing a bit of good in the community too; just look at those denim wearing thugs getting up to no good in your neighbourhood! Blaze and Axel are back again, though this time they have to defeat MR X and save their friend and original fighter Adam from his clutches. Joined by Blaze’s brother Skate and a wrestler named Max Thunder, they take to the Streets once more to send the bad guys packing.
7. Quackshot starring Donald Duck
Heading back to the topic of ‘unlikely heroes’, Donald Duck is much more suited to getting angry at everything in sight rather than trying to save the day, but he gives it a good go in his debut title and one of the Best SEGA Genesis Games out there to boot. Taking in Scrooge McDuck’s footsteps, Donald goes in search of hidden treasure with his nephews Huey, Luey, and Duey heading along for support. Big Bad Pete is the antagonist go the game and tries to stop Donald at every turn, but armed with a gun that can shoot plungers, bubble gum, and popcorn, Donald attempts to reach the Maharajah’s treasure first and claim the prize for himself.
It might not seem like it, but these graphics were incredible for when they were first released. The clouds, the mountains, the bricks on which Donald and Pete are standing; they were all heralded by gamers and critics far and wide. Sure, the controls are a little bit fiddly, but the storyline itself is amazing and our favourite duck has some ace tricks up his sleeve. Use your plunger to attach onto birds to fly around, or eat chilli peppers to get enraged and become invincible. Play your way, just remember to give you Daisy a call once in a while.
8. James Pond II: Codename: Robocod
Hailed as one of the Best SEGA Genesis Games on the platform, James Pond: Codename: Robocod was as brilliant as it was humerous, and featured some amazing gameplay that I can still remember to this day. I couldn’t sleep once and stayed up all night playing this game, so believe me when I say that I’m talking from experience here. How many games can you play as a special agent fish that’s been given a RoboCop style suit? Add to the fact that you have to infiltrate Santa’s grotto to free penguin elves and defeat the infamous Dr Maybe, and you’ve got an instant hit on your hands.
Jame Pond is one
Finally; a chance to destroy Sunday Drivers once and for all! Combat Cars was everything that players who were sick of only using shells and bananas needed in their lives. Chain chomps are one thing, but being able to wield landmines, shotguns, glue spots and more really
Win money in races and get a high score, then use the money to upgrade your vehicle for the next race. Combat Cars has a heavy arcade theme about it in the sense that when your time is up, you have to input your name on a scoreboard and start all over again. Games don’t have the same thrill factor now that you can save and turn off whenever you want; you don’t get that sense of achievement of getting to level 20 after blowing your last opponent to smithereens, or the tension when you’re almost out of time but manage to scrape into level 21 bu the skin of your teeth. Those were the days!
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Everyone’s favourite hedgehog is a gaming legend, and there’s no denying it. Link, Sonic, Spyro, Mario, Solid Snake; they represent more to gaming than any of the other characters put together, and I think it’s fair to say that SEGA made the right choice when creating their console mascot. Sonic 2 could be one of the Best SEGA Genesis Games on the planet; I’m surprised my cartridge still works after all of the times I slammed it into the console, blowing the dust out when I’d not played for a couple of days after being defeated by Robotnik yet again. I remember keeping this game on overnight in my bedroom so that I could carry on again in the morning without losing my place on the level; something I would totally not have done if I was paying the electricity bills!
From Westside Island to the all-might Death Egg, Sonic must once again travel through his side-scrolling world to defeat Doctor Robotnik and retrieve the Chaos Emeralds. I never got to see Sonic flying alongside Tails as Super Sonic at the very end as I was never a thorough gamer as a kid. Now I just play for fun, but if anyone did manage to see that cutscene then let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! Who else remembers the special zone where you run through that 3d halfpipe too? That just blew my mind.
Getting to play as Tails for the first time was great too, and the ability to play as Knuckles with the slot-in cartridge set-up was the cherry on top of the golden ring. This was a perfect game and a great one to end our Best SEGA Genesis Games list. Can you believe that the Genesis/Megadrive is 30 years old! I guess time flies when you’re having fun (or you’re a super-fast hedgehog!).