All The Best Sega Genesis Games of All Time Ranked

Disney’s Aladdin Video Game (1992) sega genesis games

The Sega Genesis video game console, released in the late 1980s, offered the first central 16-bit console in the industry. It soon garnered much success, becoming the best-selling and most popular Sega console of all time. This comes down to the spectacular games it has. 

The best Sega Genesis games of all time showcase some of the most substantial experiences in the history of the renowned Japanese game publisher. The best Sega Genesis games include everything from RPGs to platformers to action titles and more. 

1. Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 VIDEO Game (1989)
Image Credit: In-game screenshot, Sega – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

The third entry in the Sonic series took everything to a new level. Sonic and Tails control well, and the zones players visit look like some of the most beautiful graphics on the entire system. The added special stages and boss battles make this game feel like the ultimate platforming experience and game on the Sega Genesis. 

2. Phantasy Star IV: The End of Millennium

Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Video Game (1993)
Image Credit: Sega – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

Sega created one of the greatest JRPGs of all time with this fourth entry in the beloved sci-fi fantasy series. It blends together the future and fantasy elements well with an epic tale and plenty of twists along the way. The solid turn-based gameplay helps the rich characters shine even more. 

3. Streets of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 2 (1992)
Image Credit: Sega.

Few beat-em-up Sega Genesis games reach the level of quality and production that this title does. It has beautiful modern levels and characters mixed with gameplay, which feels fantastic in both single-player and multiplayer. It triumphs over the other excellent games in its series with a high point for the series. 

4. Shining Force 2

Shining Force II Video Game (1993)
Image Credit: Sonic! Software Planning – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

The sequel in this classic Sega tactical RPG game expands upon the original in a massive way. It does away with the chapter system, so players have the option to explore the world at their leisure. The intense strategy options and welcome story help it stand toe-to-toe with Sega’s best. 

5. Super Street Fighter 2

Super Street Fighter II (1989)
Image Credit: Taken by the original uploader – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

This long-running second fighting game in the award-winning series from Capcom has one of its best versions on the Sega Genesis. The incredible 2D characters look phenomenal in their art, and the tight but swift combos and inputs help this rank among the greatest fighting games of all time. 

6. Contra: Hard Corps

Contra Hard Corps Video Game (1994)
Image Credit: Wesker85 – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

This entry in the beloved Konami series sees players embark on high-octane missions where they blast their way through the enemies on screen to find a boss at the end. The impressive special effects and addition of a comic-like storyline help it look and feel much better than past Sega Genesis games. 

7. Shinobi 3: Return of the Ninja Master

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master Video Game (1993)
Image Credit: Sega.

The third game in this action ninja series strikes the right balance between challenge and speed without sacrificing the fun factor. The new mechanics and ninjutsu techniques add nuance to the experience, which helps it rank above some of the other similar Sega Genesis games.

8. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog Video Game (1991)
Image Credit: Sega.

This game alone kickstarted the popularity of the Sega Genesis and the publisher as a whole. Sonic became the de facto mascot for the corporation, similar to Mario for Nintendo. The gameplay features lightning-fast platforming through levels as players collect rings and battle fascinating bosses with unforgettable levels and music. 

9. Beyond Oasis

Beyond Oasis Video Game (1995)
Image Credit: Sega.

This cult classic series represents Sega’s attempt to make its version of The Legend of Zelda. It results in a surprising and remarkable action game about a prince. It features multiple weapons, upgrades, skills, and more, with a gorgeous world to explore. It spawned a single follow-up game, which it needs more of. 

10. Gunstar Heroes

Gunstar Heroes Video Game (1993)
Image Credit: Sega.

This title sees players run and gun through various colorful 2D levels. The art looks fantastic, similar to the Sonic games, with action that is much faster and smoother than other action games at the time. 

11. Castle of Illusion, Starring Mickey Mouse

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Video Game (1990)
Image Credit: Sega.

This underrated Disney title sees Mickey Mouse on his action platformer adventure as he tries to rescue Minnie from an evil witch. The game has light Metroid-style exploration and abilities, which make it deeper, longer, and much more thrilling than it should be. 

12. Ecco the Dolphin

"Welcome to the Machine" - Ecco the Dolphin (1992, Sega Genesis)
Image Credit: Sega.

This bizarre Sega action game features a dolphin who fights back against alien invaders who want to take over Earth. This results in surprising and speedy gameplay as players bash themselves into the enemies to stop them across stunning levels. 

13. Shadowrun

Shadowrun Video Game (1994)
Image Credit: Sega – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

This tabletop-style RPG looks and feels fantastic on the Sega Genesis. The isometric cyberpunk game feels ahead of time with its strategic combat, beautiful world, NPC conversations, skill tree depth, and more. It stands the test of time better than many other Genesis titles. 

14. Lunar: Eternal Blue

Lunar: Eternal Blue Video Game (1994)
Image Credit: Nall. – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

This underrated turn-based JRPG improves upon the original with even more beautiful environments, character sprites, and a fun story. It gives Nintendo’s own JRPGs of the time a run for their money with its grand world, which deserves a revisit at some point. 

15. NBA Jam

NBA Jam Video Game (1993)
Image Credit: catchynamenews review – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

Few sports games of the 1990s reached the peak of this basketball game phenomenon. It features unbelievable action as characters hop across half the court in one jump and slam dunk into the net. The over-the-top, unrealistic mechanics help it impress. 

16. Disney’s Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin Video Game (1992)
Image Credit: Sega.

The beloved and award-winning Aladdin received a 2D platforming cinematic experience on the Genesis. This interactive iteration feels like a challenge but a wonderful one with its colorful recreation of Agrabah and Aladdin’s adventure alongside the Genie. 

17. Golden Axe

Golden Axe
Image Credit: Sega.

This classic fantasy action beat-em-up game features three memorable characters for players to choose from. They each have their own quirks, weapons, and abilities, which gives plenty of replayability and versatility. Better yet, the experience enhances quite a lot when played with a friend or family member. 

18. Road Rash 2

Road Rash II (1992)
Image Credit: Electronic Arts – Fair use/Wiki Commons.

This racing title has some of the most intense gameplay out of any racer in the 1990s. Its graphics may not look the best these days, but it did so much more than other games at the time. Sure, players race motorcycles, but they also engage in combat against fellow competitors, which adds layers of challenge to the experience. 

19. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Image Credit: Sega.

The second game in this series somewhat improved upon the gameplay found in the original. That said, it didn’t do much to light the world on fire like the first game’s introduction to the Sega mascot. As such, it falls just behind the other two in its initial trilogy. 

20. Kid Chameleon

Kid Chameleon Video Game (1992)
Image Credit: Sega.

Sega had plenty of fascinating and original ideas during the 16-bit retro era, but this platforming action game stands on its own. The title comes from the main character’s unique ability to put on masks of other characters and have their powers, which adds necessary depth. 

21. Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim Video Game (1994)
Image Credit: Playmates Interactive Entertainment.

This bizarre platforming title from Playmates Toys features the titular humanoid in his battle across a sci-fi galaxy. It features colorful levels and some intriguing mechanics, such as run-and-gun moments not found in other similar titles. 

Author: Cody Perez


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