Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: the community's top 100

The release of the Mega Drive/Genesis Mini has inspired the members of the Sega-Mag community, and they have created a list of games that represent best the console, because as we could hear in our podcast, SEGA’s selection wasn’t exactly great… With the arrival of the Mega Drive Mini 2, we have been hoping for further discussion. This is why the community at Sega-Mag worked together to provide a new selection of games for the Mega Drive (we'll keep saying "Mega Drive" from now, sorry fellow american segafans).

After a slightly chaotic series of votes, we eventually reached our conclusion in two steps :

  • Each member was able to assign one or two Immunity Totem to games that he treasured, and that did not have to be masterpieces but still deserved a mention.
  • Furthermore, all members have voted to add other games, until reaching a hundred different titles, while avoiding having several games from a same series appearing, in order to have more variety.

Thus, this is not a list of the 100 best games for the Mega Drive, but a selection representing the variety of the titles available on the console, as well as Segafans favorites, which we hope will help you discovering unknown gems. Thank you to Canard WC et Cireza for organizing the survey.

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Alien 3

Genre : Action
Developer: Probe Software
Editor: Arena Entertainment
Release Date: 1992

 

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Alien3 is an action and exploration game in which we control Ripley, who has to free all prisoners captured by the xenomorphs before she exists the level. The game has great visuals, and conveys very well the atmosphere of the series. It is a difficult game that could turn off some people, but you should still give it a try.

 

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Alien Soldier

Genre: Action
Developer: Treasure Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review

 

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Alien Soldier is one of kind, as it is a Boss Rush game where the small enemies are only there to replenish your life between boss fights. The game impresses with its detailed visuals and animation, a testimony of the developer, Treasure , who had already worked on Gunstar Heroes. This game leaves no respite, and you will have to persevere to see the ending.

 

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Alisia Dragoon

Genre: Action
Developer: Game Arts
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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An atypical game mixing shoot’em up and platforming with an fresh gameplay. Alisia Dragoon shines through its unmatched artistic direction and atmosphere. Mysterious, intense, innovative and captivating, it is difficult to put down the controller once that the game has been started. Add a high quality soundtrack on top of this and you get a game that made the finest hours of the Mega Drive.

 

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Batman

Genre : Action
Developer: Data East/Sunsoft
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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Although released during the first years of the console, this game remains a must play. Exclusive to the Mega Drive, Batman mixes action and platforming, with a well mastered artistic direction and a great soundtrack. A rather short length and a low difficulty are the only weaknesses of a game that you will love playing every once in a while.

 

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Battle Mania Daiginjô

Genre : Shoot'em up
Developer: Vic Tokai
Editor : Vic Tokai
Release Date: 1993

 

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Battlemania Daiginjio was selected by Cireza. It is an unconventional shoot’em up in which you control a couple of young women equipped with rifles and jetpacks. You will fall in love, thanks to the crazy Japanese atmosphere. Vic Tokai had great mastery of the Mega Drive as the game displays unbelievable visuals, with a ton great ideas, on top of being really fun to play.

 

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Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Genre : Platformer
Developer: SEGA
Editor : SEGA
Release Date: 1990
Review
 

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Castle of Illusion is a timeless platforming game. To make it simple, the game still feels fresh even today, with a great technical implementation, levels that are loaded with surprises and stunning effects that will make you say “Wow”. Definitely the best Mickey game. Proof is that a remake saw the light of day 20 years later. A must play.

 

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Castlevania The New Generation

Genre : Action
Developer: Konami
Editor : Konami
Release Date: 1994
Review
 

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Castlevania The New Generation is the first iteration of the series on a SEGA console. And for this episode, Konami made a notable effort with two playable characters with different skills, levels that are loaded with ideas and special effects that push the Mega Drive to its limits, as well as huge bosses. This is a must play of the console, even if only for the technical prowess and the excellent soundtrack.

 

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Chiki Chiki Boys

Genre: Platformer
Developer: SEGA / Capcom
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1993
Review

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Port of a classic CPS1 game, Chiki Chiki Boys is a platforming game offering a lot of variety. A range of traps, enemies and bosses will put your senses to the test in a very colorful scenery. Despite the missing two players mode (which explains why the game is not named Mega Twins in the West anymore), Chiki Chiki Boys is a great game to discover (again) on the Mega Drive.

 

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Comix Zone

Genre: Action
Developer: SEGA Technical Institute
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review
 

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Comix Zone was created by the SEGA Technical Institute. The game has the player immerse himself in a comics. You have to save Sketch Turner, who is trapped inside. You jump from a panel to another, and fight enemies with a gameplay reminiscent of Streets of Rage. The visuals are superb and well animated, and the soundtrack is great. Although a bit short, you will enjoy replaying this game.

 

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Contra: Hard Corps

Genre: Action
Developer: Konami
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1994

 

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With Contra Hard Corps, owe can say that Konami went all out on Mega Drive. This run’n gun game uses the console to its limits. The action is frantic, the bosses huge, and you will have a lot of fun. On top of this, the game offers branching paths, with levels and more bosses to uncover ! It is of course better to play with a friend. The Japanese version is easier as it offers health points and unlimited credits, while the European version is called Probotector and replaces characters with robots.

 

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Cool Spot

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Virgin Interactive
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1993
Review

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This game was selected by KerouacCool Spot is proof that a marketing deal (with 7’Up, in this case) can be synonymous of quality. Developed by David Perry, with music by Tommy Tallarico, Cool Spot is a great platformer, with a unique artistic direction, a progressive difficulty curve, and the game relies a lot on exploration.

 

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Disney's Aladdin

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Virgin Interactive
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1993
Review

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A platforming game that was released during a period where Disney were making major games, be it in the visual or gameplay departments. Aladdin on Mega Drive makes no exception and offers the prettiest visuals as well as an incredibly detailed animation. Much more memorable than its SNES counterpart, this title, although quite easy, remains a must-have of SEGA’s console.

 

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Donald in Maui Mallard

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Disney Interactive
Editor: Disney Interactive
Release Date: 1995
Review

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After Quackshot, we meet Donald again in a new adventure, with new powers, as he can now transform into a skillful ninja ! In this game, you will have two progress using both of his forms: sometimes using his insect pistol, sometimes using martial arts and a ninja stick. A wonderful game, with a pretty high difficulty bar.

 

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Dragon’s Fury

Genre : Pinball
Developer: Technosoft
Editor: Tengen
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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This PC-Engine port, known in Japan as Devil Crash, builds upon the ideas of its predecessor, Alien Crush: a pinball table several screens high, a variety of impressive bonus stages, and above all a lot of things to do. Quite different from the more classic pinball games, Dragon's Fury is the perfect example of what a pinball game should be on console.

 

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Dune II : Battle for Arrakis

Genre : Strategy
Developer: Westwood Studios
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1994

 

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Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis is an excellent strategy game, and a pillar of the genre. This title offers a fantastic execution and a great soundtrack. Its real-time gameplay enables a ton of possibilities, at a scale never seen before on this console. Its three different campaigns prolongs the enjoyment and has you dive into the Dune. A masterpiece.

 

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Dynamite Headdy

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Treasure Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

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Dynamite Headdy is a platforming game in which you will play as Headdy, a puppet, whose task is to defeat the evil king who has captured the citizens to turn them into slaves. The game possesses an incredible and rich artistic direction, and the gameplay, which evolves around gaining powers by changing heads, is innovative. A true gem of gameplay and creativity.

 

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Earthworm Jim

Genre : Platformer
Developer: Shiny Entertainment
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1994
Review

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New visual and animation masterpiece by David Perry (Aladdin), Earthworm Jim brings you in a crazy universe where the you take the role of an earthworm (!) that will gain powers thanks to a very special armor… Platforming and action meet in this adventure full of surprises !

 

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Ecco 2: The Tides of Time

Genre: Adventure
Developer: Novotrade
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

 

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This game was selected by Rage. The sequel to the unexpected success that was Ecco le Dauphin builds on its gameplay, and improves the visuals to make the ocean’s depths even more enchanting. But don’t be mistaken, Ecco : The Tides of Time is a true adventure and science-fiction game, with a high difficulty level, for people who are not afraid of the loneliness of the depths. If you enjoyed the first game, you will love this sequel, that remains an atypical game in the videogame landscape.

 

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Flashback

Genre : Adventure
Developer: Delphine Software
Editor: U.S. Gold
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Back then this game felt like a slap in the face. In the same vein as Another World, but with better action and length, Flashback became a cult hit thanks to its “realistic” animation and characters, and also with its universe reminiscent of Blade Runner. A remake was released 15 years later, but the original game remains unmatched.

 

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Flink

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Psygnosis
Editor: Sony CE
Release Date: 1994
 

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Flink is the perfect example that a well exploited Mega Drive can do wonders. This platforming game by Psygnosis, who weren’t at their first try in terms of technical achievements, is visually superb, and gives the impression of displaying more colors that the console can normally do. Furthermore, it is a pleasant platforming game, typically European in its design. Give it a try, even if only for its visuals.

 

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Gauntlet IV

Genre : Action
Developer: Tengen
Editor: Tengen
Release Date: 1993

 

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This game was selected by Canard WC. Gauntlet IV is first and foremost a port of the original Gauntlet. Developed by M2, we can find new game modes added to the arcade mode, including a “Quest Mode” that adds experience points and inventory management, as well as a “Battle Mode” allowing several players to compete. All of this featuring a superb soundtrack composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto. A great way to rediscover this arcade classic.

 

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Ghouls'n Ghosts

Genre : Action
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1989
Review
 

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Unlike the SNES version, the Mega Drive game is a perfect port of the arcade. Only the NEC CD version will surpass this cartridge full of colors and trials. Ghouls'n Ghosts is a legendary game that should not be recommended to everybody. Extremely difficult, you will have to complete the game twice in a row to reach the final boss and unlock the true ending. A challenge up to this mythical game.

 

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Gley Lancer

Genre : Shoot'em up
Developer: Masaya
Editor : Masaya
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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Gley Lancer is a shoot’em up that was not released outside of Japan. The game offers a well presented story with several cutscenes and a fantastic soundtrack. The scrolling moves horizontally, and the game is technically impressive, with many convincing effects, notably in the second stage with its lake. There is a good variety between fast and slower sections. A must play !

 

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Golden Axe II

Genre: Beat'em up
Developer: SEGA AM#7
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991

 

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After an excellent port of the first arcade game, Golden Axe comes back in this Mega Drive exclusive sequel. Once again our three heroes and their powerful spells take part in an even longer adventure, with a more dynamic gameplay. The setting is superbly translated to the screen and the soundtrack is excellent. Help from a friend will be welcome to put back the Golden Axe on its pedestal !

 

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Gunstar Heroes

Genre: Action
Developer: Treasure Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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The mythical developer Treasure began its journey on Mega Drive with Gunstar Heroes and what a start ! They deliver a masterful run’n gun on the console. Playing as Red or Blue, you will have to travel across the land and defeat fearful generals and their armies. The game is loaded with special effects and always fun to play. Enemies are gigantic, and there even is a shoot’em up level. A cult classic !

 

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Gynoug

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Masaya
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991
Review
 

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Gynoug is a shoot’em up with horizontal scrolling that is unlike the others. In this game you control an angel who must fight against demons from hell. The title offers a high quality soundtrack, and above all incredible special effects for the console back then, including background deformations. A great game, difficult but not out of reach.

 

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Haunting starring Polterguy

Genre: Action
Developer: Electronic Arts
Editor: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Once again, Electronic Arts deliver a very original game with the Haunting : you play as the ghost of a teenager, who died because of a defective skateboard, and he is now going to haunt the family of the manufacturer in order to make them flee from their houses. Polterguy can possess most of the objects and furniture in each room, in order to scare the residents. A great concept and a very fun title.

 

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Havoc

Genre: Platformer
Developer: PrData East
Editor: Codemasters
Release Date: 1994
 

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This game was selected by Enkhyl. Following the tradition of platforming games starring animals, Havoc is a young seal who sets on an adventure to find a jewel holding fantastic powers. A classic platforming game but well executed, Havoc delivers great visuals, not unlike the ones found in Treasure games, and has a charming atmosphere with its pirate theme. An unknown gem of the console.

 

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Herzog Zwei

Genre: Strategy
Developer: Technosoft
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1989
Test (version Switch)
 

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Herzog Zwei looks a lot like Thunder Force II, but it is much more than a classical shoot’em up, as it is actually a precursor of the RTS genre : you will have to produce and move around units to defeat your opponent, while being careful that your factory does not run out of fuel. The title offers original game mechanics that enable him to remain interesting even today, and can also be enjoyed with a friend.

 

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International Superstar Soccer Deluxe

Genre: Sport
Developer: Factor 5
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1995

 

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ISS is Konami’s response to the highly successful FIFA games by Electronic Arts. The tight and accessible gameplay mitigates the absence of the licenses (the altered player names were comical), and make ISS the game that was the closest to a simulation back then. The title supports the 6 buttons controller, and it is highly recommended if you want to enjoy the gameplay to its fullest.

 

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Jungle Strike

Genre: Action
Developer: High Score
Editor: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 1993

 

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An improved sequel of Desert Strike. 60 missions that will require staying cold-blooded in order to succeed, and this time while piloting the helicopter and other vehicles as well. The game also offers a wider variety of levels, including in the arctic pole and night missions. A good technical achievement, Jungle Strike is one of Electronic Arts’ best games of this era.

 

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Kid Chameleon

Genre: Platformer
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992
Review

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THE reference from the platforming genre on Mega Drive due to its unusually large content. More than a hundred of levels, secret rooms hidden everywhere, ten different costumes that alter the gameplay. The only flaw is the lack of passwords for who wants to complete the game. Count around 7 hours to reach the end for someone who knows the game.

 

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Klax

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Tengen
Editor: Tengen
Release Date: 1992

 

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This game was selected by Manubis. The concept behind Klax is simple, yet effective : colored pieces drop from a conveyor belt, and you have to catch them using a device located at the end, in order to sort them in a storage area. Align three identical pieces and they will disappear, but be careful, if you miss too many pieces, this will be Game Over. A classic reflection game, that strangely exists in two versions on Mega Drive.

 

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The Story of Thor

Genre: Adventure
Developer: Ancient
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review
 

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The Story of Thor is one of the adventure games that got several translations in Europe. Released late during the console’s lifecycle, the game impresses with its large, well animated sprites, a tight gameplay, an orchestral soundtrack and an excellent artistic direction. The adventure is a bit short, however you will come back to it with pleasure. A must-play of the console, that was developed by Ancient !

 

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Landstalker

Genre: Adventure
Developer: Climax
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Landstalker sits probably inside the top 5 of the Mega Drive. An adventure game but with an isometric 3D point of view, the game offers a high quality implementation, a superb soundtrack and above all a long lasting atmosphere. Everything has been perfectly crafted. The adventure is a treat and you will ask for more after reaching the end. This is as good as adventure games get on Mega Drive.

 

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Lemmings

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Sunsoft
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992

 

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Lemmings, is a timeless puzzle game that was released on most of the consoles and PCs for tenths of years. This Mega Drive version is perfectly playable and offers a high quality soundtrack. This game was actually a first step towards discovering classical music for some players. The game is difficult but not impossible, and these little guys that you have to support in their quest for liberty will drive you nuts. A legendary puzzle game that never ages.

 

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Light Crusader

Genre : Adventure
Developer: Treasure Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review
 

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Developers from Treasure are back with Light Crusader, an ambitious adventure game with an isometric 3D point of view. The game was translated in several languages in Europe. Treasure offers a good mix between action and puzzle, while you get to explore a gigantic underground dungeon located below the castle of Green Rod. The visuals are of good taste and the soundtrack has a unique atmospheric feel to it.

 

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Jungle Book

Genre : Platformer
Developer: Eurocom
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1995
 

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Superb visuals, excellent soundtrack, well executed gameplay, and animation for Mowgli as good as what we saw in Aladdin: Jungle Book is without a doubt one of the best platforming games on the Mega Drive, which further confirms the quality representation the console offered for Disney games overall.

 

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The Lost World : Jurassic Park

Genre: Action
Developer: Appaloosa Interactive
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1997
Review
 

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This game was selected by Shenron. eleased without much communication around it, The Lost World sometimes gives the feeling of looking at a Saturn game, thanks to its colorful and detailed visuals. Above all it is a great action/adventure game, in which you have to explore a large area, while fighting poachers and laying low near the dinosaurs. The adventure is engaging and can be played with a friend. A title that deserves being rediscovered.

 

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Magical Hat no Buttobi Turbo ! Daibouken

Genre  Platformer
Developer: Vic Tokai
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1990
 

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This game was selected by Enkhyl. dapted from a Japanese anime, Magical Hat is a platforming game in which the hero wears a turban and has to save the continent from an evil force. On top of its fists and his jumps, there are several skills available to dispose of the enemies and progress in the levels. Colorful and exotic, this game stayed in Japan but still made it to the West with a lot of changes under the name Decap Attack.

 

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Magical Taruruto Kun

Genre: Platformer
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992
 

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This game was selected by Virtua Hunter. In this platforming game adapted from a Japanese anime, you play as a small sorcerer who can dispose of his enemies either by hitting them with is wand, or by throwing at them objects that were picked up with said wand. The game has a charming look, with cute sprites, pastel colors and a catchy soundtrack.

 

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Master of Monsters

Genre: Strategy
Developer: System Soft
Editor: Renovation Products
Release Date: 1991

 

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Master of Monsters was selected by Cireza. CThis strategy game plays like a tabletop game. There isn’t a proper story. The strategic aspect has been cleverly balanced, and is a reference in its category. You have to conquer maps, and to do so, you will summon monsters that can evolve. The soundtrack, adapted by Hitoshi Sakimoto, is wonderful.

 

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Mega Bomberman

Genre: Action
Developer: Hudson Soft
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

 

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Mega Bomberman is the port from the PC-Engine game Bomberman'94, and should be considered one of the best in the series. The single player mode, with its specific items and its challenge, is quite interesting, but it is of course in the Battle Mode that the game really shines and displays its fun potential. With the SEGA Multitap, up to 4 players can play and the arenas are among the best ever.

 

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Mega Turrican

Genre: Action
Developer: Factor 5
Editor: Sony Imagesoft
Release Date: 1994

 

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Mega Turrican is the Mega Drive version of de Turrican 3. The title offers a frenetic action, and progressive difficulty that quickly becomes rather high. Thankfully, you have access to a variety of movements, including a grappling hook to reach far away platforms. With its intense action, great visuals, superb soundtrack, Mega Turrican is among the best action games of its generation.

 

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Mercs

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: SEGA CS
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991
Review
 

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Port of the classic arcade game, Mercs is a top-down shooter with a great emphasis on variety and detail, be it in its backgrounds, animation and sound effects. The game is difficult but never unfair and even adds a new “Original” mode, reserved to the best players out there, to the existing Arcade mode. The only missing feature is a two player mode for this excellent conversion made by SEGA.

 

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Michael Jackson's Moonwalker

Genre: Beat'em up
Developer: SEGA R&D 2
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991
Review
 

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Moonwalker is a crazy title on Mega Drive. Imagine controlling Mickael Jackson in an action/platforming game. No other console will be able to offer this game, except for an arcade version that is quite different. Offering a soundtrack that truly exploits the potential of the console, and a well-designed gameplay, you will enjoy the animation and atmosphere. A risky game that earned its cult status.

 

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Mickey Mania

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Editor: Sony Imagesoft
Release Date: 1994
Review

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Mickey Mania is an authentic tribute to the cartoons featuring the world’s most famous mouse. Starting with a black and white level, Mickey will experience the greatest successes of his history through a gorgeous looking, yet challenging platforming game. With this title, we reached the best that the console could offer on a technical point of view. A must play.

 

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MicroMachines: Turbo Tournament 96

Genre: Racing
Developer: Supersonic Software
Editor: Codemasters
Release Date: 1995

 

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Who has never made races with car toys when he was a kid ? Micro Machines will bring you back into your childhood with engaging races, as you drive cars, boats and even helicopters ! On top of this, the game can be enjoyed with 4 players thanks to the J-Cart, that allows plugging two additional controllers directly on the cartridge. If you are ruthless with your friends, then this game is for you.

 

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M.U.S.H.A.

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Compile
Editor: Seismic
Release Date: 1990
Review
 

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Compile are back at the helm of an excellent vertical scrolling shoot’em up with MUSHA. Once again, the developers used with mastery the console early in its lifecycle. The incredible introduction scene is followed by intense levels with a super-fast scrolling. A number of ingenious special effects make the experience even more immersive. A classic for the console.

 

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NBA JAM T.E.

Genre: Sports
Developer: Iguana Entertainment
Editor: Acclaim
Release Date: 1994
Review
 

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The upgrade to the NBA Jam is a real success. Offering a complete carrier mode, the game also has slightly improved visuals, and plays as if it had taken vitamins (the first game was already quite fast). Even if you will get more enjoyment when playing with friends, the single player modes are still quite good.

 

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OutRun

Genre: Racing
Developer: SIMS
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991

 

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For the lovers of the arcade original, the port of OutRun to the Mega Drive felt like a Christmas present. On top of being very pretty and having great animation, you will find the classic soundtrack that contributed to the success of the arcade game. Nothing was left aside. This port was carefully crafted by developers who loved the original. A must play that did not age at all.

 

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Panorama Cotton

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Sunsoft
Editor: Success
Release Date: 1994

 

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Only entry of this series to use a third person view, this unique Cotton title on Mega Drive is a technical and playful achievement. The game is pretty, fast, fun and requires good skills to be completed. Another game that demonstrates that the Mega Drive was a highly capable console when compared to its competitors.

 

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Paprium

Genre: Beat'em up
Developer: WaterMelon
Editor: WaterMelon
Release Date: 2020
Review
 

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The Mega Drive gives all it has with Paprium, a rich and nervous beat’em up, that sometimes gives the impression of being a Neo Geo games with the huge size of its sprites and its impressive colors. Sure, the game cheats a bit with its special 64MB cartridge, unthinkable back then, but the results are there : the game demonstrates what a fully exploited Mega Drive can do, and this without sacrificing neither gameplay nor length.

 

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Pete Sampras Tennis

Genre: Sports
Developer: Zeppelin Games
Editor: Codemasters
Release Date: 1994
Review
 

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One button, the right direction and the perfect timing will allow you to make every possible tennis move with precision in Pete Sampras Tennis. It is one of the very best tennis game, all consoles considered. The game has a lot of different players and surfaces as well as impressive sound design and voices for the console. And let’s not forget the moments when the player complains to the referee with the public cheering him up !

 

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Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium

Genre: RPG
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review
 

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Phantasy Star IV is the last entry of the cult series handled by Rieko Kodama and SEGA. You will experience an exciting adventure throughout the Algo star system. The game-design is among the best of the genre. The dungeons are large and well built. The fights are fast paced, difficult but never unfair. The overall execution is impeccable, with numerous animations and wonderful cutscenes. A futuristic adventure that you must not miss !

 

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Psycho Pinball

Genre: Pinball
Developer: Codemasters
Editor: Codemasters
Release Date: 1994

 

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Psycho Pinball is a un pinball game that was created by Codemasters. The developers deliver a very good game with varied and well-designed pinball tables. The ball goes fast and the physics are great. The main table allows navigating to the others, or you can choose to pick them separately. There are even some mine-games that are very well done. One of the best games of the genre on Mega Drive alongside Dragon's Fury.

 

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Pulseman

Genre: Action
Developer: Game Freak
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

 

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Do not be confused by the horrible cover: Pulseman is a creative platforming game, inspired a bit by Sonic but still having its own identity. The game has an original gameplay, as its main character can move around as a spark to become invincible and gain speed. The title also uses a large panel of special effects known on the Mega Drive, that enrich the global artistic direction.

 

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Puyo Puyo 2

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Compile
Editor: Compile
Release Date: 1992

 

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Puyo Puyo 2 is the episode that really set in stone the fundamentals of the series, notably by introducing an essential mechanism : the possibility to cancel enemy attacks and even send them back to him, which makes the matches longer, while creating a lot of suspense ! Starting from this entry, the Puyo Puyo series will become a cult classic and a reference of the competitive puzzle games genre.

 

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QuackShot starring Donald Duck

Genre: Platformer
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991
Review

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In this adventure reminiscent of Indiana Jones, Donald takes is prettiest hat and equips himself with a suction cup pistol to discover the location of a treasure.  This platforming title is not quite linear and will have you travel around the world, gazing at wonderful scenery, visiting some labyrinthic places and listening to a memorable soundtrack. As a bonus you will meet other famous Disney characters, and the difficulty feels just right. A classic.

 

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Ranger X

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: GAU Entertainment
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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It is challenging for a shoot’em up to leave an impression on Mega Drive, and yet Ranger X succeeds. First with its execution and impeccable pixel-art combined with interesting esthetic choices. Second with its gameplay : the robot can shoot in all directions, use a motorcycle or a flying vessel to scout the area, and also has a powerful secondary weapon that builds up with the sunlight, which pushes the player to find these. Another game that you should discover.

 

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Ristar

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Sonic Team
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review

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An incredible demonstration of what the Mega Drive can do! Ristar is a colorful platforming game that exploits the console to its fullest. The worlds are varied and each has its own theme. The bosses are imposing and have a wide range of attacks. The soundtrack is one the best on the console, and will make you feel a rush to answer the call for adventure. The game is a bit difficult but it is a lot of fun.

 

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Road Rash II

Genre: Course
Developer: Electronic Arts
Editor: Electronic Arts
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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The first Road Rash already allowed the player to travel through American roads while fighting the opponents with a baton or a cycle chain. This sequel improves on the formula by adding a two players mode, the possibility to equip the motorcycle with a nitro upgrade, as well as better visuals and soundtrack. A good example of a successful sequel, that should be considered better than the third entry.

 

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Rocket Knight Adventures

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Konami
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1994
 

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Rocket Knight shook the Mega Drive when it was released and put in the shadows a great number of games. Very pretty, the game was especially nervous and offered an innovative gameplay mixing platforming, action, jet-pack and a ton of special effects for the time. The level where the character is reflected in the lava is incredible. Highly addictive, this title is a monument of the Mega Drive undoubtedly.

 

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Samurai Shodown

Genre: Fighting
Developer: Saurus
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995

 

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At first glance, the Samurai Shodown port suffers when compared to the Neo Geo version for having removed Earthquake, the zoom effect as well as some attacks. Despite these removals, this port should not be ashamed when compared to the other 16 bits ports : the sprites are huge, the action is always smooth, the sound effects are perfectly adapted from the original and the overall feel is very close to the arcade.

 

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Scooby-Doo Mystery

Genre: Point'n Click
Developer: Sunsoft
Editor: Acclaim Entertainment
Release Date: 1995
Review
 

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This game was selected by Shenron. There aren’t many point’n clicks on consoles, and Scooby-Doo does a great job, even though it is obviously inspired by other Lucas Arts game from the era. Sammy and Scooby will have to solve two mysteries, by being smart, and sometimes imaginative ! Each adventure offers a different challenge for all kind of players to enjoy, the pixel-art is wonderful, and the tone rather funny. A curiosity you should discover.

 

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Shadowrun

Genre: Action
Developer: BlueSky Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

 

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Adapted from the tabletop game of the same name, Shadowrun (that should not be mistaken for the SEGA-CD version, entirely different), is a RPG with some shooting action, in which the main character investigates about the death of his brother, while accomplishing various missions and jobs to earn money. It is also possible to hire other mercenaries. Closer to the tabletop game than the Super Nintendo version, Shadowrun might be of interest if you enjoy Western role playing games.

 

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Shining Force II

Genre: RPG
Developer: Sonic! Software Planning
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994
Review
 

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The first entry was already genius, this sequel is a revolution. Prettier, longer, more immersive, more enjoyable on every single aspect, Shining Force II impresses and manages to bring many innovations. The number of playable characters is incredible, every single being charismatic, and the soundtrack is excellent. You get it, this game is a must play in its genre.

 

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Shining in the Darkness

Genre: RPG
Developer: Climax Entertainment
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991
Review
 

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Beginning of a love story that will continue with the Shining series, Shining in the Darkness is a high quality Dungeon-RPG with a first person point of view. Released early in the console’s lifecycle, the game is remarkable for its animated movement instead of square by square, and has a fantastic atmosphere. Rather difficult, you will have to use pen and paper to draw your own maps if you hope to make it to the end. A demanding game but highly enjoyable…

 

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Shinobi III : Return of the Ninja Master

Genre: Action
Developer: Megasoft
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Shinobi became an instant classic in the arcades, The Revenge of Shinobi became a classic for the Mega Drive, and this sequel further confirms the quality of the series. Shinobi III raises the bar by offering superb visuals, an impressive variety of situations, a larger action palette, smooth controls, all which were adequate considered the time of release. A must-play of the action genre even today.
 

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Soleil

Genre : Adventure
Developer: Nextech
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995

 

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Soleil is reminiscent of Zelda’s Nintendo as far as visuals go. Using a top-down view, this is an adventure game well executed from beginning to end. Very enjoyable, pretty, and with many original gameplay ideas to differentiate itself other titles in the genre, such as the numerous animals that will grant you their powers, Soleil shines like a star in the night sky above the Mega Drive.

 

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Sonic 3 & Knuckles

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Sonic Team
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994
Review of Sonic 3 - Review of Sonic & Knuckles

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There it is, the Magnum Opus of the Sonic series, the one that was elected best Sonic game of all time by the fans. Sonic 3 & Knuckles is the most ambitious of all the Mega Drive entries, with its three playable characters, its multiple endings, the variety of its situations, and of course the incredible lock-on system, cleverly built out of necessity because of the price of memory on a single cartridge. A timeless masterpiece.

 

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Sonic 3D Flickies' Island

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Traveller's Tales
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1996
Review

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JThis game was selected by Chaz. Sonic 3D Flickies’ Island uses the concept from the game Flicky but inside in the Sonic universe, all of this in an isometric 3D world. In this game that pushed the Mega Drive to the limit, Traveller's Tales have the player explore vast, colorful environments in order to find the flickies that were kidnapped by Dr Eggman. A wonderful soundtrack and charming atmosphere make this game a must play.

 

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Speedball 2 : Brutal Deluxe

Genre: Sports
Developer: The Bipmap Brothers
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1992

 

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Speedball 2 is a brutal sports game, in which we play something akin to handball with a Rollerball feel to it, ultra-violent, but much more tactical than it appears at first. You can score in several ways, hitting your opponents being one of them. To succeed, everything goes, including raising your players statistics between matches, and having offensive items spread across the field. A great game, especially with a friend.

 

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SplatterHouse 2

Genre: Beat'em up
Developer: Namco Ltd
Editor: Namco
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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SplatterHouse 2 allows us to play as a hero who must save his lover across areas loaded with monsters, and a creepy universe reminiscent of the most gore movies from the 80s. Behind a limited set of actions hides an extremely demanding and precise gameplay, where even the slightest mistake is fatal. A great arcade game at home with a unique atmosphere.

 

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Street Fighter II' : Special Champion Edition

Genre: Fighting
Developer: Capcom
Editor : Capcom
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Port if a classic game for the Mega Drive. The visual style is good overall, even if we would have preferred for the game to use the high resolution of the console. The twelve characters are available with their special attacks, the backgrounds and soundtracks have been adapted for the Mega Drive. You should play it with the 6 buttons controller for best experience !

 

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Street Racer

Genre: Racing
Developer: Ubisoft
Editor: Ubisoft
Release Date: 1994

 

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Street Racer had an excellent port on Mega Drive. Even if the game does not offer variations of height, its scrolling is incredibly smooth and the road is fully textured. The gameplay adds drifting on top of the overall chaos of the races, adding some skill to the formula. The visuals are superb and perfectly exploit the console. It is even possible to play with 4 players, and there is a soccer mini-game !

 

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Streets of Rage II

Genre: Beat'em up
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Streets of Rage II is the sequel to the legendary Mega Drive beat’em up. And what an update it was ! The characters are enormous, the action palette richer and the stages longer and more varied. Yuzo Koshiro is back with a memorable soundtrack. And of course, it is possible to play with a friend to make sure that justice is dispensed in the streets, using a baseball bat if required.

 

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Sub-Terrania

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Zyrinx
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

 

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Sub-Terrania is among the games that pushed the technical limits of the console. You will control a ship that has to accomplish missions in underground areas. Gravity, and the overall physics, are extremely well implemented. The game is full of impressive special effects, and the soundtrack, composed by Jesper Kyd, one of the best on the console. This title is quite difficult though !

 

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SunsetRiders

Genre: Action
Developer: Konami
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1993
Review
 

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Adapted from the famous arcade title, Sunset Riders is an innovative action game taking place in the Far West, during the age of conquest. Survive ambushes, diligence attacks by native Americans, and dynamite throws in order to stop the worst robbers of the West. The game has a ton of clichés, the action is hectic, and you will need the help of a friend to make it to the end !

 

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Super Hang-On

Genre: Racing
Developer: SEGA AM#2
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1989

 

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Who doesn’t know Super Hang-On ? Be it in arcade with its huge cockpit, on Mega Drive of course but also in several other games such as Shenmue, Super Hang-On has made it through the decades. Harsh at first, the pleasure improves as you play and you will eventually make memorable runs helped by the fantastic atmosphere. A gem for the most relentless gamers.

 

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Super Monaco GP

Genre: Racing
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1990

 

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To this day, Super Monaco GP remains the favorite F1 game for many, which says a lot. Very pretty and with a good sense of speed, the game impressed with its extensive carrier mode. Climbing the ladder, changing from a company to another and beating the best of the best while we had starting at the very bottom. Such an enjoyment… All the best tracks are included as well.

 

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Talmit's Adventure

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Namco
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992
 

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Talmit's Adventure was selected by Manubis. The mole King has kidnapped four princesses and you will have to save them in an amusement park. The hero can get rid of the enemies by jumping on them, but also by multiplying himself, which also allows getting bonuses more easily. A charming game, rather easy, well suited for your young kids and nephews.

 

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Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist

Genre: Beat'em up
Developer: Konami
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1993

 

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The cult series from Konami makes its debut on Mega Drive ! TMNT the Hyperstone Heist is a crazy beat’em all featuring our four favorite turtles. This Mega Drive entry offers an impeccable gameplay : everything responds immediately and all attacks are easy to do. The visuals are excellent and the animation highly detailed.

 

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The Adventures of Batman & Robin

Genre: Action
Developer: Clockwork Tortoise
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995
Review
 

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This question should be asked: is Batman & Robin the prettiest game on Mega Drive ? In any case, it deserves a mention, especially as the Clockwork Tortoise game uses many design and programing tricks to exploit the Mega Drive to its fullest. At the core, this title adapted from the 90s animated series is an intense action game, quite difficult, and only the most relentless gamers will see the end of it. The others will still find a memorable experience.

 

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The Chaos Engine

Genre: Action
Developer: The Bitmap Brothers
Editor: Renegade Software
Release Date: 1994

 

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This game was selected by Bko. This title created by the Bitmap Brothers has you play as a couple of mercenaries who must kick the butt of a mad scientist. The game was made with two players in mind, however the AI will help you if you are alone. With its visuals typical of the PC scene of this era, and its 6 playable characters that bring variety to the formula, The Chaos Engine should be counted among the hidden gems of the console.

 

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The Hybrid Front

Genre: Strategy
Developer: SEGA
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994
Review
 

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This game was selected by Canard WC. Released exclusively in Japan, The Hybrid Front is a full featured strategy game, that borrows from both Daisenryaku and Shining Force, while further developing its narrative structure. With its improved visuals, the excellent soundtrack by Naofumi Hataya (Sonic CD), and a solid gameplay, it is one of the very best wargames of the console.

 

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The Lost Vikings

Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Silicon & Synapse
Editor: Virgin Interactive
Release Date: 1994

 

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Lost Vikings is an original reflection game : you control one after another three Vikings, who have been kidnapped by aliens and must work together to escape, each one having his own skills. You will have to switch regularly to progress inside the various labyrinths. Already great alone, the game gets even better with a second player, as you get double the chaos !

 

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Theme Park

Genre: Simulation
Developer: Bulffrog
Editor: Bullfrog
Release Date: 1995

 

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This game was selected Chaz. Theme Park is the adaptation for the Mega Drive of the amusement park management by Bullfrog. The game is well made and addictive. You will travel around the world with the objective to create the best amusement park in each country. Carefully dose the salt in the fries, the sugar in the cola and make a good layout in your park so that visitors will spend as much money as possible with a smile on their face. And don’t forget the toilets !

 

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Thunder Force IV

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Technosoft
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1992
Review
 

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Thunder Force 3 was already incredible, Thunder Force IV gets closer to being divine. We can say without a doubt that this game uses 120% of the console’s capabilities and nobody expected such a game to run on it. The game was even being compared to Neo Geo games back then, which tells a lot. Very pretty, with tons of enemies, tenths of scrolling effects, amazing soundtrack and a difficulty level worthy of this monument. With the exception of a few slowdowns, this game is near perfection.

 

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Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Konami
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1993
Review

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This first Tiny Toons title by Konami is an excellent platforming game, and the demonstration that it is possible to create a great game even on a small cartridge. The visuals are nice with detailed backgrounds. The characters and music easily recognizable. The game also abounds with secrets and the worldmap offers alternative paths and hidden levels. Furthermore this title is adapted for younger players.

 

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ToeJam & Earl

Genre: Adventure
Developer: Johnson Voorsanger Productions
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1991
Review
 

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This game was selected by Gilles Sat. Such as an UFO in the sky (pun intended), ToeJam and Earl will have you play in a crazy universe where two heroes will have to gather the pieces of their spaceship that were scattered throughout our dear planet. Playable with two players in splitscreen, which was uncommon back then, the title features memorable music and you will have a lot of fun. Timeless game, it even has a high quality remake, which further proves his cult status.

 

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Twinkle Tale

Genre: Shoot'em up
Developer: Wonder Amusement Studio
Editor: Wonder Amusement Studio
Release Date: 1992

 

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Twinkle Tale is a shoot’em up incorporating adventure elements. You will control a witch travelling in various regions. The game scrolls only when you advance, and you can go in all directions. The universe is enchanting and well executed, with nice pixel-art. Although simple to control, the game has some pretty difficult sections. A unique title in its genre that you should try out.

 

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Vectorman

Genre: Action
Developer: BlueSky Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1995

 

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Vectorman propels the Mega Drive in the competition with the 32 bits consoles. This title uses all the features of the console to produce visuals never seen before. We even get to see striking lighting and shadow effects. On the gameplay side, the game is good as well : nervous, fun and well executed. The soundtrack is excellent as well and builds on the strength of the console. A classic !

 

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Virtua Racing

Genre: Racing
Developer: SEGA AM#2
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994
Review
 

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With Virtua Racing, SEGA took the challenge of porting this classic game from the arcades on Mega Drive. Helped by the SEGA Virtua Processor, the console is pushed to its limits by displaying detailed backgrounds, and you can even play with a friend in splitscreen (you have to see it to believe it !). Gameplay is still functional despite the controller, and thus, Virtua Racing retains the qualities of its arcade counterpart.

 

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Wani Wani World

Genre: Action
Developer: Kaneko
Editor: Kaneko
Release Date: 1992

 

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This game was selected by Gilles Sat. Wani Wani World is an arcade game in the same style as Bubble Bobble : our heroes, who are cute dragons, cannot throw bubbles, but rather stomp enemies in order to have them go through the floor while crushing their accomplices in the process. The levels become more challenging with platforms and teleporters, which raise the difficulty. 

 

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Wonder Boy in Monster World

Genre: Platformer
Developer: Westone
Editor  SEGA
Release Date: 1992
Review

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The best Wonder Boy on the console. Here is a quick summary of what can be said about this legendary game. Visuals are great, the soundtrack is crazy, the levels are well designed with many hidden treasures, and on top of this, the game remains perfectly playable and pretty even to this day, like a true mythical game. Play it.

 

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Xeno Crisis

Genre: Action
Developer: Bitmap Bureau
Editor: Bitmap Bureau
Release Date: 2018
Review
 

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In 2019 the Mega Drive comes back on stage with the help of Bitmap Bureau and their new game: Xeno Crisis. The title offers frenetic actions up to two players simultaneously in randomly generated dungeons. The bosses are gigantic, the pixel-art by Henk Nieborg mind-blowing, the soundtrack from Savaged Regime unbelievable, and everything moves around without the slightest slowdown. 25 years later, the Mega Drive gives us another slap in the face !

 

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Ys III: Wanderers From Ys

Genre  RPG
Developer: Falcom
Editor: Renovation Game
Release Date: 1991

 

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This game was selected by Lassic. Despite an execution unworthy of the Mega Drive, Ys III is an addictive Action RPG, with a lengthy content, huge bosses and an enjoyable story. The soundtrack is a high point of the game as well. You should give it a try after being done with the others, more famous RPG from the console.

 

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Yu Yu Hakusho

Genre: Fighting
Developer: Treasure Software
Editor: SEGA
Release Date: 1994

 

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This game was selected by Virtua Hunter. Based on the universe from the Yu Yu Hakusho manga, this atypical fighting game allows fighting on two planes with a zoom effect, and offers original options, such as the ability to charge a special attack to release it later. Moreover, you can play two against two, which was a revolution back then. On top of this, the execution is impeccable and battles fast paced. An excellent fighting game by Treasure.

 

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Zombies

Genre: Action
Developer: Lucasarts
Editor: Konami
Release Date: 1994

 

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This game was selected by bko. Zombies have invaded the city, and it is up to you to chase them and save your neighbors, equipped with a water pistol. Zombies is a humorous game with creative enemies and caricatural NPCs, that will take you to typical places of every American city. In addition, the game can be played with a friend to have even more fun.

Obviously, limiting the list to a hundred games was a difficult task, and many others deserved a place in this selection ! Which games would you have liked finding here ? Please share these with us, as we do not want to miss on a chance of discovering new gems from the wonderful Mega Drive library of games !

kiki, Thu, 06/30/2022 - 15:43
Tiens,pas de Sonic 2?!,mais il y a Sonic 3d, sympathique mais pas indispensable.
Sunset est sympa aussi,mais budget alloué qui semble limité font qu'on est loin de l'arcade voir delà snes
cireza, Thu, 06/30/2022 - 16:34
Premier commentaire et déjà en train de râler lol.

Une pensée pour Shenron qui a passé les deux derniers mois à faire la mise en page de l'article.
Super article! La sélection est vraiment top
Bravo à tous les contributeurs, et félicitations à Shenron pour son travail de longue haleine ;)
Merci beaucoup Shenron ;)

C'est vraiment un excellent top qui réussi son objectif qu'est de montrer la variété de la ludothèque de la machine.
Avec du recul, 16 Bits Rhythm Land aurait pu mériter un de mes totems vu qu'il est absolument unique en son genre, mais bon, fallait faire des choix^^
Fake news : C'est faux, j'ai rien branlé pour ce top 100.

Tout le mérite revient à Shenron et Cireza.
bko, Fri, 07/01/2022 - 19:29
Super article pour une superbe ludothèque. Même un top 100 est difficile à faire sur cette console, c'est dire la richesse.
myau, Sun, 07/03/2022 - 10:04
Une très bonne sélection dans l'ensemble même s certains épisodes majeurs de sagas n'y sont pas (ex : Sonic 1 et 2, Phantasy Star II, Monster World IV, The Revenge of Shinobi, etc.) mais ça fait plaisir de voir que des jeux comme Chiki Chiki Boys, Gauntlet, Battle Mania Daiginjô, Panorama Cotton ou The Hybrid Front plaisent aux membres de la communauté.
Luke, Thu, 07/07/2022 - 10:48
Super boulot Shenron, j'ai pris plaisir à la découverte en faisant défiler la page vers le bas !
J'ai jamais joué au Jurassic Park Lost World, de 1997 nom de dieu ! Donc un des derniers jeux officiels de la console ? Il va falloir que je me le trouve, le pixel art à l'air superbe, et j'adore la licence.

Je ne crois pas les avoir vu, perso j'aurais aimé voir Altered Beast, il m'a trop marqué en janvier 1992 avec Sonic 1, première fois que je jouais sur une Mega Drive. A 11 ans il était choquant, l'Arcade à la maison.
Je citerais aussi Slap Fight, graphismes années 80 mais j'adore la finesse de son gameplay, et Elemental Master, super shoot et une des meilleures OST de la console à mes yeux.
Je crois que c'est Cireza qui m'a fait découvrir Jurassic Park à titre personnel, c'est un super jeu, et très sympa à faire à deux ! Slap Fight est aussi pour moi LA découverte de la MD Mini. Comme je le dis, on pourrait facilement faire un top 200, et ça ouvre la porte à des tops thématiques !
Très bon résumé, bravo! Mais il manque "Altered beast" et "E-Swat" quand même!