Top 80 Genesis games

80 Krusty’s Fun House

Another under-appreciated puzzle game, Krusty’s fun house bears many similarities to lemmings but takes more of a hands-on approach, allowing you to roam about the levels in person.
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79 79num FIFA International Soccer 95′

This was a milestone for Football games when released, I remember spending a lot of time playing it back in the day.
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78 Star Flight

If you like your Adventure/RPG’s games to be massive and non-linear then you can’t go wrong with this game. You can go wherever you want and fully explore the universe in any order you want, the alien races are all very well designed and full of charm and the whole thing is very unique, it’s actually the spiritual predessesor to one of my favourite games, Star Control 2 (same people worked on both games)
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77 Decap Attack

Decap Attack may not be the most original game out there but when it’s done this well who cares? loved the horror styling too.
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76 Eternal Champions

Unlike other Street Fighter clones around at the time, Eternal Champion really had a feel and personality of it’s own, and it has that easily identified classic Mega Drive look about it’s graphics and style.
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75 Super Fantasy Zone

I really love Fantasy Zone games, everything about them just seems to work, the look , the weapons, the gameplay which echews the usual scroll one way firing gameplay for a more non-linear style, this one even has a melodramatic story of revenge! which can only be a good thing.
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74 Chiki Chiki Boys

Very Simplistic and charming Platformer where you run fly and swim through the stages swinging your sword, the presentation level is also very high, it’s just a shame it’s missing the 2-player mode as with this inclusion the game would’ve been able to reach a much higher placing.
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73 Ristar

Ristar is a bit like a cross between Bionic Commando and Sonic the Hedgehog, it doesn’t always work as well as the developers probably hoped but there’s some nice original ideas and the graphics are extremely impressive too.
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72 Jungle Strike

Built upon the groundwork of the original admirably, this is the shoot-em-up for fans with a leaning towards strategy.
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71 Thunder Force III

Great music, fast frenetic blasting, a brilliant power-up system and nice design, all hallmarks of a great Shmup and a classic series.
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70 Sonic 2

It may have been more of a Sonic 1.5 than a proper sequel, but Sonic 2 had enough of the Sonic magic, as well as some very important additions with the spin dash and inclusion of Tails to warrant praise, and though the 2 player co-op was a bit of a design mess for player two the competitive mode was also a great addition.
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69 Hellfire

Great shmup that all the mags seemed to rave about it the early days, it has to be admitted that there’s some real finesse at the way that the power-up system works in this game, and how it effects the clever level and boss designs.
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68 Wiz N’ Liz

Really fast, really fun, really unique, run around catching rabbits and creating spell before the time runs out, great in 2 player too.
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67 Alisia Dragoon

This is an excellent little unique platformer, not only do you get a pretty original lightning style attack but you also have a companion of your choice and upgradeable stats, it really rewards you for exploring all the stages properly too
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66 Pete Sampras Tennis

Really fun tennis game made even greater by the fact that it was on a J-Cart (and everyone knows J-Cart’s rule) on top of that was the fantastically mad-cap “wacky mode” unlocked by typing “zeppelin” into the password section on world tour mode.
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65 Dynamite Heady

Treasure really knew the in’s and out’s of the MD, their games always seem to look better than 95% of the competition, Dynamite Heady is no different, great, varied gameplay and impressive set-pieces are also the order of the day.
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64 Mega Bomberman

Bomberman, everyone out there has probably played a form of this game in one way or another already, this version is pretty well presented with nice graphics and such, and most importantly the multi-player is as great as ever.
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63 Phantasy Star III

A bit of a departure for the series, PS3 was still very impressive by any RPG’s standards and it had some of it’s own unique features which is always an admirable quality.
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62 Sub Terrania

Very original and unique take on the gravity style of shmups (you know, like asteroids or thrust) but this time with much more focus and variety due to it’s mission based structure, the game is also quite difficult so those who give up easily need not apply.
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61 Toejam and Earl

Toejam and Earl is a weird game, that is pretty lacking focus and let’s you do what you want at your own pace, it probably shouldn’t work but somehow does really well, I think it’s something to do with it’s high level of charm and likeability.

Marvel Land/Talmit’s Adventure

It may not be the most original platformer of all time but what it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in charm and well designed playability.
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60 Lemmings

A classic puzzle game, everybody probably already knows about Lemmings anyway, so I don’t really need to write anything do I?
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59 Samurai Showdown

Take Street Fighter and add weapons and animal helpers and you pretty much get Samurai Showdown, probably my favourite SNK fighting game.
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58 Micro Machines 96′

By the release of this iteration of Micro Machine’s Codemasters had really had the time to craft their gameplay to perfection, the levels were more colouful and varied and the multiplayer was even more excellent than ever, an essential purchase.
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57 Zero the Kamikaze Squirell

After the abomination that was the Bubsy series Sunsoft really did a turn around and released this, great gameplay and level designs, loads of originality and a main character who was actually pretty decent.
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56 Mega Lo Mania

Mega Lo Mania is easily one of the best and most fun real time strategies for the Mega Drive, it plays a bit like Populous. I like the way that the game progresses through time as you reach new levels.
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55 Shining Force

Sequel to the great Shining in the Darkness, SF was more of a strategy game than the previous dungeon crawler, and this worked much better, and ended up being the route that the series would end up taking for future releases.
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54 Gaeares

Gaeares is yet another great shmup on the Mega Drive (there were so many) and it has a fantastic concept all of it’s own where you clamp onto your enemies to steal there abilities and power yourself up.
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53 Castle of Illusion

I absolutely could’nt believe my eyes when I first saw this game, it took graphics and presentation to the next level, and underneath it all was some perfectly honed gameplay, if it had been a little bit harder it probably would’ve reached higher on the list but it’s just over too fast.
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52 Strider

Strider is a classic, plain and simple, there’s just something about it’s atmosphere and music that makes it timeless, the control system was a little rigid but anyone who took the time to really learn the game found deep and fullfilling gameplay.
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51 Twinkle Tale

Great little top down shooter that has you playing as a witch. A well judged learning curve and great boss designs are some of it’s strengths.
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49 Splatterhouse 3

Splatterhouse 3 is one of those games that couldn’t of been done justice on any other console at the time, it needed the horror and blood to add to the chilling atmosphere. The gameplay had been much refined over it’s predeccesors, and the multiple story paths really added depth.
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48 Addams Family

Ocean were a pretty awful company by the 16-bit era all things considered, but one series of games always proved that there was still some talent there, and that was the Addams Family games, this one was like a cross between Mario and Metroid, which worked really well.
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47 Elemental Master

An interesting vertical scrolling shooter which has you playing on foot (instead of the usual spaceship) this means that environmental hazards play a larger part than most games of the genre, the gameplay is a class act throughout and theres some above average presentation with nice cutscenes too.
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46 Populous

A ground greaking sim which sees you playing the part of a god, and who doesn’t want to fell like they have that sort of power?
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45 James Pond II

I think that James Pond II may of been the pinacle of the European style exploration based platformers of the time, it just seemed to click, this coupled with the styling which was also first rate and endearing helped create an enduring classic that’s still popular today.
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44 Worms

One of the truely timeless multiplayer video games ever made, don’t let the tiny graphics fool you either, somehow they manage to fit a horde of charm and personality into every worm. Gameplay is simple, but elegantly executed.
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43 Comix Zone

Beat-em-up with the very interesting idea of having the action taking place over frames comic book style, as a beat-em-up the game is very polished, but not only that the items, puzzles and nice running narrative help to add a level of depth.
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42 Toejam and Earl Panic on Funkotron

The developers went for a much more linear platforming style to the second game in the series, and I feel that it helps to make the game a bit more accessible, everything that made the 1st game great is still there too.
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41 Revenge of Shinobi

Haters seem to only associate the MD with Sonic, they’ll moan about “lack of depth” and so forth, conveniently forgetting that Sega have more than one classic series at their disposal anyway, and you could hardly criticise the Shinobi series as lacking in depth, with it’s precision based gameplay versatile moves and selectable specials. In my opinion Shinobi is just as important as the more famous hedgehog in defining the Mega Drive.

40 Castlevania Bloodlines

Great Atmosphere, faster gameplay, gore and brilliant set-pieces make this one of my absolute favourite Castlevania games, the differences between the two characters was also pronounced enougth to give varying play experiences too.
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39 Phantasy Star II

Another great iteration in the classic RPG series, who says the Mega Drive doesn’t have any RPG’s?
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38 Shadow Dancer

After making The Revenge of Shinobi Sega went back to their roots with Shadow Dancer, making it much more of a sequel to the original game than any of the others, and as such SD is a much different experience to any of the other MD games. It’s much more action based, and has a more arcadey feel to it, having a dog to help you was also a very nice touch too.
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37 Mean Bean Machine

Puyo Puyo was one of the really stand out Tetris style games that came out. when brought to the Mega Drive they decided to make it into a part of the Sonic series and add it’s characters and such.
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36 Vector Man

Great run and gun game with a totally unique look of it’s own, the game simply plays excellently and the variety of different types of levels really help to keep the game interesting.
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35 Ghouls N’ Ghosts

Sega did a wonderful job converting Capcom’s classic to the MD, and as such the game became one of the MD’s early release classics, I always liked how all the levels have a different thing going on, with varied gameplay styles.
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34 The Lost Vikings

Perfect Puzzle/Platformer hybrid, you get 3 dwarves each with varying abilities and weaknesses and the ability to swap them on the fly, the levels are built around working out which of the 3 best suits each obstacle ahead and using him accordingly.
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33 Eliminate Down

Big fantastic set-pieces, highly polished gameplay, impressive bosses and a great power-up system (which is kinda’ like Thunder Force but upgradeable) a classic shmup in every sense
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32 Sonic the Hedgehog

This was the big one, the game which cemented the MD as a force to be reckoned with, without Sonic who knows what would’ve happened, people seem to forget just how unique, imaginative and generally perculier an experience this was when it originally came out.
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31 Shadow Run

Blue Sky did a good job of converting the pen and paper original to the MD, creating a system that worked well within the constrants of the console as well as conveying the original feel and style which made it a classic, if you like your RPG’s to be complicated and in depth this is heartily recommended.
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30 Alien Soldier

Treasure do it again, another classic run and gun game, this time squarely aimed at the hardcore fans, they give you all the options, controls and weapons you could dream of then throw you into the deep end.
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29 Kid Chameleon

Kid Chameleon may have been blatantly inspired by the Mario series but manages to have a style and personality of it’s own, gone are the happy plains of the mushroom kingdom to be replaced by a bleak dog eat dog world, the makers seemed to take a different direction to Miyamoto too, focusing more on expanding Mario 3’s different suits (which were pretty much forgotten about for Mario World)
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28 Rocket Knight Adventures

Great, playable and well presented platformer, the main difference here is that you get a rocket pack added to your inventory which helps to give RKA a feel of it’s own, The shmup stages were classic Konami too.
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27 Ranger X

Ranger X is a very original shooter, you get to play as a car or split into two sections both of which you still get control over (so long as you have a 6 button controller) the graphics are phenominal and you wonder how the colour variety could be possible for the old MD.
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26 MUSHA

MUSHA is a graphically impressive, intense shooter that’s part of the series of games made by compile (aleste, zanac, gun nac) another notable thing about it is the fact that it has multiple endings.
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25 Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim was an amazing amalgamation of refined run and gun gameplay, comedy and general brilliant presentation, originally a MD game it became so successful that it got ported to every other machine and even got it’s own cartoon series.
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24 Virtua Racing

One of the first truly 3D racing games out there Virtua Racing really wowed everyone the first time they saw it, the game does miss out on some of the greatness of the arcade original but enough is left intact for it to be a great game in it’s own right.
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23 Mortal Kombat 2

This was probably my favourite game in the series, MK had managed to find it’s feet by this time and build upon the original, and it is in my opinion the fairest and most balanced game of the series.
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22 Road Rash 2

I think this is my favourite racing game on the Mega Drive, it’s fast and furious and the ability to hit other riders off there bikes really gives a bit of an adrenaline rush.
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21 Pirates Gold

An updated version of an ultimate classic game, Pirates is just timeless in every way, it’s basically an action adventure style game where you sale about becoming more renowned as you progress.

20 Wonderboy in Monster World

I really like the later Wonder boy games, they have an excellent marriage of platformer and RPG elements, in this one you had to find an ocarina and learn to play different tunes for it to open doors (sound familiar?)
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19 Yu Yu Hakusho

Unlike most other Fighters of the time Yu Yu Hakusho didn’t try to clone Street Fighter, and went instead for a multi-layered playing field (like Bleach DS). the 4-player mode was also like nothing else out at the time and was great fun.
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18 Contra Hard Corps

Is there any 16-bit games out there that can compare to CHC in action and excitement? the game is fast and brutal, and throws set pieces at you like no other game, if it wasn’t so difficult it would’ve definately placed a little higher in the list.
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17 Crusader of Centy/Soleil

Centy is very much the MD’s answer to Zelda – A Link to the Past, it may not be quite as good, but it is still a very impressive, charming RPG. It does also have a lot of ideas of it’s own going on too, with it’s animal collecting and such.
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16 Ecco – Tides of Time

The Ecco series was not for everyone, you either hated them or adored them, though few could argue that Tides of Time wasn’t a beautifully designed and unique game with a brilliant storyline.
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15 Gley Lancer

The best thing about Gley Lancer I feel is the wealth of options it makes available, you really get to customise your ship to suit your gameplaying style, and it’s just one of those games where everything seems to click into place perfectly.
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14 Streets of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 2 in my opinion was an ultra refined beat-em-up, it never strayed far from the classic formula but it was just an amazingly well presented and feeling game with a timeless quality about it.
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13 Mega Turrican

Turrican games don’t seem to ever get the respect they deserve, every iteration of the series was a stellar effort and this one was no different, great playability, set-pieces and an excellent new Bionic Commando style grappling hook.
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12 Story of Thor/Beyond Oasis

This has to be one of my favourite RPG’s on the system, it’s a lot of fun and just has an amazing, unique style permeating it.

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11 Dune 2

This game was probably one of the most important (if not the most important) RTS games ever made, it was the originator of the whole Command and Conquer style of games, once you get to grips with the controls you’ll find a game just as playable today as it was then.
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10 Pulseman

Take Sonic and then add loads of new interesting and clever ideas and gameplay and you have Pulseman, though probably a deeper experience overrall than Sonic, Pulseman isn’t perfect, it has some of the most awful background designs I’ve ever seen!
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9 Herzog Zwei

Narrowly beat out Dune 2 as the best Strategy game on the system, mainly due to it’s uniqueness, and more importantly it’s excellent multiplayer, for those who like their strategy games to be fast and furious.
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8 Shining Force 2

A big improvement over the first (which was no mean feat) great music, a refined engine with pretty well balanced strategy. another great game.
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7 Thunder Force IV/Lightening Force

Amazing action, amazing graphics, one impressively fantastic set-piece after another, brilliant music, quite possibly the best 16-bit Shmup out there.
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6 Street Fighter 2

Street Fighter 2 has to be one of the most important and influential games ever made, and there’s just something very right about using the MD 6 button pad to play it with.
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5 Shinobi 3

Sega managed to strike the perfect balance of depth and all out action with this iteration of their classic series, great new abilities, some of the best graphics for the system and impressive set-pieces are the order of the day here.
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4 Landstalker

It’s nice to have a change once in a while so I’m glad Landstalker’s developers went for an Isometric view, it works really well in the genre and the whole world of the game feels a lot more solid.
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3 Gunstar Heroes

The first time I saw Gunstar Heroes I couldn’t believe my eyes, never before had I imagined that the MD could pull this level of stuff going on with such impressive graphics and a simultaneous 2-player! It’s definately a must have MD game.
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2 Phantasy Star IV

The best RPG on the system, great storyline, great presentation, loads of depth, a welcome return to the series’ roots.
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1 Sonic 3

Bigger and better than all those that came before it Sonic 3 heralded larger, more interesting levels that seamlessly joined on to each other, an improved co-op where Tails could actually do something, a proper running narative, ability to save, loads of set-pieces, completely re-designed graphics and more depth than ever with it’s different paths, it’s as though Sonic Team had really looked at their previous games and spent a long time improving on every aspect they felt lacking, quite simply one of the greatest games ever made, make sure you play it as intended with Sonic and Knuckles attached too.

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