Every Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Mini Game Ranked From WORST To BEST

Every Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Mini Game Ranked From WORST To BEST

The concept of miniature versions of classic
consoles, preloaded with a whole library of games, is a fantastic one. Done right, it’s an affordable, simple way
to dip right back into previous generations and relive our childhoods. Done wrong, it’s the PlayStation Classic. Sega is the latest company to throw its hat
into that particular ring, and because the selection of games is one of the most important
factors in determining whether or not these systems are worth purchasing, we’re ranking
every game on the Mega Drive Mini from worst to best. That’s the Genesis if you’re from North America but we call it the Mega Drive in the UK and we’re doing it for this whole 64 point list. YEAH “But Triple Jump! There are 42 games on the Mega Drive Mini, and the number of entries on this list is greater than 42. Who are you trying to fool?” The answer is nobody. We’re honest and we love you. But the Mega Drive Mini is actually being
released in three distinct iterations: There’s a Western version, a Japanese version, and
an Asian version. They each include different games, and we’ll
be ranking all of them. Before we get to the rankings and you start
typing comments about how easy it is to build a Raspberry Pi, a few ground rules. For starters, we aren’t just considering
each game’s quality. Mini consoles such as this one serve as samplers
of bygone eras of gaming. So, yes, while it’s important that a game
isn’t terrible, we are also considering its historical value. In addition, we’ll be considering how readily
available the games are already. It’s a small consideration, but if a game
has not been included in the many collections Sega has already released, its value on the
Mega Drive Mini certainly increases, yes? No? Well, it makes sense to us. You can like it or lump it. I’m Peter from TripleJump, and this is Every
Game On The Mega Drive Mini Ranked From Worst To Best. #64: Party Quiz Mega Q
Japan When you think of all the fun you might have
with your Mega Drive Mini, you probably aren’t thinking about playing Japanese quiz games
full of questions that are almost 30 years out of date. But if you are, Party Quiz Mega Q will be
right up your alley. Obviously this was not a game designed with
Western audiences in mind to begin with, so the fact that we won’t be getting it should
come as no surprise. Just as obviously, it should come as no disappointment. There are far better things to include on
a retro throwback console than what is essentially a fancy multiple-choice exam. Party Quiz Mega Q did some pretty interesting
things for its time, such as supporting five players and including fake commercials to
make it seem more like you’re participating in a genuine quiz show, but we definitely
wouldn’t want to sacrifice any other games to play it today. #63: Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
West We aren’t saying that Sonic the Hedgehog
Spinball — referred to as Sonic Spinball by anyone with respect for your time — is
a bad game. It’s just definitely not, in any sense whatsoever,
a good game. It is, at the very least, an interesting novelty. Sonic taking the place of an actual pinball
is a serviceable concept for a spinoff, and Sega got there with its mascot a full 11 years
before Nintendo did with theirs in Mario Pinball Land. Sonic fans were used to seeing the Blue Blur
curled up into ball, and they’d bounced and flipped him around pinball-inspired levels
already, so Sonic Spinball could have worked. Unfortunately, this game was not a product
of a development team’s creative spark, but of Sega insisting on a quick product to
plug a release gap. Sonic Spinball came together in only around
two months, and its inconsistent physics, irritating design, and distinct lack of fun
all make that very apparent. #62: Sword of Vermilion
Asia Fans of RPGs will certainly be saddened to
learn that Sword of Vermilion isn’t coming westward. Fans of good RPGs, however, will be far less
sad. The graphics look okay, but it must be said
they weren’t even impressive at the time of its release, and the objectives are so
unclear that the game came packaged with a 100-plus page hint book telling you what to
do. The game fares no better in combat that it
does in any other area. The range on your attacks is laughably short,
so that you are almost guaranteed to take as much damage as you inflict. Your character can level up and you can buy
a very small number of weapons and armors, but while your character does get stronger
he never seems to get more competent. #61: Altered Beast
West At this point, we think even Altered Beast
would prefer it if we forgot about Altered Beast. While the arcade original has its small, easily
ignored place in gaming history, the Mega Drive version likely only sold as well as
it did because it was one of the earliest games available for the system. The basic concept of the game is that you’re
a…dead guy? In Greece, we guess? Turning into a wolf?We have no idea. Fans of tedium will certainly be well-served
by this game’s inclusion, but that’s about it. The sad fact that it did sell well is likely
why it keeps being told to “rise from its grave,” being featured in far more collections
than good sense should ever allow. For a game that nobody should want to play,
there are already plenty of other ways to play it. #60: Vectorman
West From a technological standpoint, Vectorman
was an important game. From any other standpoint…ehhh, it was fine,
I guess? In the more primitive video game generations,
developers tried their best to make things look more advanced than they really were. See the wireframes of Battlezone, or the simple
polygons of Star Fox, or the balls of…Ballz. Vectorman did its best to produce smooth animations
and gameplay beyond that normally seen on the Mega Drive by building a character out
of 23 simple, spherical sprites. The result was indeed impressive by Mega Drive
standards, but it’s certainly not an approach that has aged well visually, ironically looking
more primitive today than many of the contemporary platformers it attempted to outdo. It’s worth giving Vectorman a spin, just
to appreciate the effort, but, overall, there’s nothing to see sphere… here #59: Assault Suit Leynos
Japan, Asia Some games qualify as punishing, and others
qualify as punishment. In the latter category we have Assault Suit
Leynos, which was released in North America as Target Earth. Many games at the time leaned on brutal difficulty
as a way of extending playtime, and Assault Suit Leynos is one of the games that leaned
on it much too heavily. This is disappointing, because there’s actually
an innovative game here. Your performance in one stage determines the
bonus items you’re given for the next. It has more than a dozen different weapons,
which is a huge amount for the genre, especially in 1990. And if you thought Halo introduced regenerating health to the video-game landscape, you’d be very wrong It’s not your health regenerating, it’s your shield. And even if it was health, it still wouldn’t be the first Assault Suit Leynos may not have introduced
it either – we have no idea. But it is here! A fairer concept of difficulty would almost
certainly have earned this game a larger audience, as there’s so much it does right. As it stands, it’s a frustrating relic that
failed to live up to its own potential. #58: Eternal Champions
West Eternal Champions is one of roughly forty-thousand
fighting games developed to coast on the success of games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter
II. It’s also not an especially inventive one. It works, don’t get us wrong, and the game’s
take on Mortal Kombat’s Fatalities are fun in their own right. Beyond that, though, the only things Eternal
Champions has going for it are its characters and settings, which are drawn from real and
fictional history. It’s worth playing for its novelty, but
not much else. One hot and fresh science fact, though, is
that the game was compatible with the Sega Activator, a very early attempt at motion
control that…well, didn’t work. Thankfully the game takes pity on anyone who
attempted to use the Activator, automatically granting them increased attack power and defense. It was the least they could do for the one
unfortunate child who owned the thing. #57: Slap Fight MD
Japan, Asia Neither a fighting game nor the medical doctor
nobody recommends, Slap Fight MD is a hilariously named Xevious clone. What’s the difference between the two games? The name, basically, and now that you’ve
experienced that, you can go play Xevious instead. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. Slap Fight MD does have a powerup system that
owes more to Gradius, and for a clone it’s an admittedly competent one. It may not add much—or anything—to the
scrolling shooter genre, but it plays well enough to warrant a few minutes of your time. We’re not too fussed about missing out on
this one. After all, we’re getting plenty of forgettable
Mega Drive games of our own. #56: Light Crusader
West Though it received positive reviews at the
time of release, Light Crusader’s reputation has gone down a bit in recent years, as its
flaws have become more apparent and what little novelty it had—and it was indeed little—has
worn off. You are David, a guy with a sword who is asked
to fight things in a dungeon. David, being a video game character, agrees
to do so.There isn’t much to do in Light Crusader, and what little there is to do is
made tedious and confusing by the isometric perspective. It certainly doesn’t look or sound bad,
but it doesn’t stand out in either of those areas either. It’s a mediocre experience at best, and
it isn’t even an important part of the console’s history, as nobody in their right mind cares
about it. #55: ToeJam & Earl
West Your personal level of tolerance for the sustained,
absurd idiocy of ToeJam & Earl is something we can’t speak to, but for us it’s fairly
low. To be clear, the game’s bright colors and
incredible soundtrack are definite selling points. But its limited gameplay and aimless silliness
get tiresome far too quickly. The game tasks you with walking around a floating
island to see if one of your lost spaceship parts is there. Then you take an elevator to another floating
island to see if one of your lost spaceship parts is there instead. Riveting stuff. The map layouts and locations of the spaceship
parts are randomized, which you’d think would lead to increased replay value, but
it really just means you can’t familiarize yourself with the game to strip away the tedium. In the parlance of ToeJam & Earl’s time,
it’s totally gnarly, dude! Also, gnarly is a bad thing. You’ve been using the word incorrectly for
decades. #54: The Super Shinobi
Japan, Asia Eastern gamers are getting a Shinobi game
that we aren’t, but we think we’ll recover because it’s really not that good. Known as The Revenge of Shinobi to us Westerners,
this was the first game in the Shinobi series to be developed with a console audience in
mind. As such, there are still a few kinks to be
ironed out of the formula. The character movement is stiff, as though
his gi is made of old towels discarded by a massage parlor, and the level and enemy
design feels more frustrating than fair. What’s more, it’s unlikely that this will
even represent the original version of the game, which contained unlicensed cameos by
Batman and Spider-Man, among other famous faces that Sega, legally, had no right to
use. Of course, it’s important to remember that
this isn’t the worst Shinobi game; it’s just worse than most Shinobi games. #53: Columns
West, Japan, Asia Columns was Sega’s answer to Tetris, and
it wasn’t a bad one. It was different enough that it didn’t feel
entirely derivative, yet offered a similarly compelling experience. However, it was far from the best falling-block
puzzler out there. Heck, it’s far from the best falling-block
puzzler on this list. As a filler title, the Mega Drive Mini could
do far worse. Columns has a nice soundtrack, is perfect
for pick-up-and-play time-killing, and is a genuine part of Sega’s legacy, as a version
of Columns was the pack-in title for Sega’s Game Gear. But it’s unlikely to be the first, second,
third, or even thirtieth game people navigate to when booting up their adorable little Mini. It exists, and it’s a welcome inclusion,
but we doubt it will get much more attention from you than it will from us. #52: Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
West, Japan, Asia The Phantasy Star series was the defining
JRPG series on the Mega Drive, and Phantasy Star IV was overall the best-received installment. For that reason alone, it’s nice to have
it in this collection, but it absolutely does show its age. While it still looks and sounds nice, there
isn’t much to the story, and the story that is there is subject to some extremely poor
English translations. It’s also rather short, with a full playthrough
clocking in at around 20 hours. That’s not inherently a bad thing, but if
you’re the kind of RPG fan who enjoys finding and completing sidequests, this is not the
game for you, as there’s exactly one. Your mileage with Phantasy Star IV is almost
entirely down to how much patience you have for early RPG design that has long been left
behind. If you have no such patience, Phantasy Star
IV certainly won’t help you develop any. #51: Wrestleball
Japan, Asia Are you familiar with Wrestleball? Probably not, because it was released as Powerball
in the West. Are you familiar with Powerball? Probably not, because it wasn’t very good. Wrestleball — which is what we will continue
to call it because that name is hilarious — is one of many futuristic sports games
inspired by the 1975 dystopian film Rollerball. It seems that video game developers took one
look at that hyperviolent dystopia and thought, “That does look like fun!” Sadly, Wrestleball lacks the inventiveness
to do anything interesting with its own concept, and the experience we’re left with amounts
to nothing more than shuttling a ball back and forth across a small pitch. There’s some fun to be had in the two-player
mode, but much more fun to be had in almost any other game on this list #50: Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
West In some alternate timeline, Alex Kidd remained
Sega’s mascot, never to be replaced by Sonic. Thank Christ we don’t live there. Alex Kidd was Sega’s original substitute
for Mario, in the same way that a diaper full of old needles could theoretically be somebody’s
substitute for a stuffed animal. Though he hung around for six games, he never
received much love from gamers or from critics. Which is good, because he deserved neither. Enchanted Castle isn’t the best Alex Kidd
game, but for the sake of historical documentation it might put forth the best argument for why
the series never caught on. The controls are loose, the level design thoroughly
uninspired, and boss fights are literally just games of Rock, Paper, Scissors. If only the memory set aside for Alex Kidd
in the Enchanted Castle on the Mega Drive Mini could have been used in a better way,
such as by being left empty. #49: Shining Force
West, Japan, Asia Shining Force is part of a long-running series
that is still receiving games today. That’s good news for fans, because it means
they don’t have to rely on playing this old thing. Shining Force is a tactical RPG that seems
to draw a lot of inspiration from Nintendo’s Fire Emblem, but it has very little of that
game’s quality. It does attempt to mimic Fire Emblem’s named,
recognizable units as opposed to generic ones, but it forgot to give most of them personalities,
rendering the effort moot. It’s not a bad game, but it doesn’t do
anything to stand apart from any other tactical RPG. What’s more, its English translation is
legendarily bad, with characters being misnamed and entire plot points being left out. In 2004, the game got a much better Western
release on the Game Boy Advance. As long as that version exists, there’s
no need to go back to this one. #48: Virtua Fighter 2
West You might hear the name “Virtua Fighter
2” and think, “That’s an important part of gaming history!” And you would be correct! But you also wouldn’t be thinking of the
Mega Drive port of Virtua Fighter 2, which has never been and will never be important
to anyone. Remember, the big selling point—and by far
the most impressive feature—of the Virtua Fighter series was that it was three-dimensional. The Mega Drive port…wasn’t. It’s two-dimensional. What? It works, and it’s fine, but it isn’t
Virtua Fighter. Had this exact version of the game been released
under the name Feel My Knuckles: Yet Another Street Fighter Clone, nobody would have guessed
it began life as a Virtua Fighter 2 port. It’s Virtua-ly not worth your time. #47: Wonder Boy in Monster World
West, Asia Known in its native Japan as Wonder Boy V:
Monster World III, we have to admit we prefer the game’s Western title, which is less
easily confused with a football score. It’s not, however, the best representation
of either the Wonder Boy or the Monster World series. That honor would almost certainly go to Wonder
Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, which recently got a very impressive hand-drawn remake. Still, Wonder Boy in Monster World is a fun
game, if also an unremarkable one. The visuals are appealingly colorful and cartoony,
and the soundtrack does its job well enough, but the game has very little character, and
the regular drip-feed of items and upgrades never quite shaves away the repetition of
batting simple enemies with your sword over and over again. It’s a short game, but it still manages
to wear out its welcome. #46: Kid Chameleon
West If you disregard the existence of most platformers
ever made, Kid Chameleon is one of the best platformers ever made. In this reality, though, it’s an easily
forgettable—and largely forgotten—attempt at a mascot platformer on a system that has
plenty of better ones. You play as Casey, also known as Kid Chameleon
because he gains superpowers whenever he wears masks, just like a real chameleon. The powerups don’t make the gameplay much
more exciting, though; they’ll give you projectiles or allow you to smash through
walls, for instance. It’s a pretty basic game. And while we acknowledge that beauty is in
the eye of the beholder, holy guacamole is this one butt-ugly game. If you do happen to enjoy Kid Chameleon more
than other games that are objectively more deserving of your time, you will get to explore
more than 100 levels, which we admit is pretty generous… or arguably too much #45: Landstalker
West, Japan, Asia Landstalker is an isometric action RPG. It has a pretty nice art style, but beyond
that the years have not been especially kind to it. Originally released to positive reviews, it
feels more than a little clunky to play today. Landstalker relies at various points on long,
demanding platforming challenges, which are hindered severely by the controls and isometric
perspective. Failing them may not result in a game over,
but it will force you to repeat areas, which gets frustrating quickly. The combat is also very simple and often unfair,
as many enemies have longer reaches than you do, and you aren’t nearly nimble enough
to evade attacks consistently. The Japanese release of the game remains notable
for its very adult situations and jokes, but those were removed and rewritten for Western
releases, leaving Landstalker stripped—ooh la la—of probably the most significant aspect
of its personality. #44: OutRun 2019
Asia The distant year of 2019. Who among us can imagine the wonders in store? Certainly not the developers of this game,
who pretty much decided that the roads might be made of glass and stopped there. OutRun 2019 barely even leans into its own
“futuristic” setting. The cars don’t hover, aliens don’t attack,
Britain doesn’t leave the EU…it’s a complete failure of imagination. The gameplay is serviceable but far from exciting,
and while the courses do offer branching paths, they look so similar that there’s little
point in exploring them. In fact, the only truly amusing thing is that
the localizations treat kilometers per hour and miles per hour as interchangeable. This means that your vehicle’s already silly
top speed of 682 km/h in the European version becomes 682 mph in the American version. That’s almost 1,100 km/h. Maybe the game is theorizing that in 2019
nobody would be able to do basic arithmetic. #43: Puyo Puyo
Asia One of the all-time greatest falling block
puzzle games—or, perhaps, a falling blob puzzle game?—Puyo Puyo started life as something
of an afterthought. Technically, the series is a spinoff of Madō
Monogatari, a largely forgotten series of RPG dungeon crawlers. Puyo Puyo features characters and other elements
from Madō Monogatari, but its gameplay couldn’t be much different from that of its parent
series. Instead of zapping enemies with magic, you’re
arranging little gelatin-like globs by color. It’s a simple concept, but one which proved
to be very fun. Line up four or more jelly babies of the same
color and they wink out of existence. That’s it. The real strategy and satisfaction comes from
orchestrating chain reactions to clear more of the little Puyos from the board and send
garbage blocks to your opponent’s screen. It’s a great, addictive puzzler that the
West isn’t getting. At least, not under this name… #42: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
West “I’d like to play Puyo Puyo, but unless
a terrifying bald man scowls at me from the box art, I don’t believe I will.” That’s what we assume Sega and Compile must
have been thinking when developing Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. The game is, from tip to tail, just a Western
localization of Puyo Puyo covered in Sonic the Hedgehog stickers. That doesn’t make the game less fun, of
course, and it almost certainly sold better as a result of its visual ties to the Sonic
universe. It would have been nice, however, to get a
proper release of an early Puyo Puyo game on the Mega Drive Mini just so Western gamers
could get a taste of the original. We’ll take what we can get, but we’re
disappointed that the lone Western representation of the series is a relatively shameless reskin. #41: Puyo Puyo Tsu
Japan, Asia Puyo Puyo Tsū—which is a pun, so we can
get away with just calling it Puyo Puyo 2—followed up on the unexpected success of its predecessor
by essentially providing more of the same, but better. When Compile developed the first Puyo Puyo
game, they didn’t treat it as anything more than a simple side project that might bring
in some quick money. With the second game, they knew they had a
hit on their hands, and they dedicated more resources and attention to it. This paid off, as Puyo Puyo 2 became the biggest
arcade success Japan had ever seen, and the game was ported to as many systems as possible,
including the Super Famicom, PlayStation, Saturn, PC, the Mega Drive of course, and
even the Virtual Boy, though that version was cancelled with the console’s mercy killing. We won’t be getting this with our Mega Drive
Minis, but the untranslated arcade version is included in the Sega 3D Classics Collection
for the 3DS. #40: Lord Monarch
Japan Lord Monarch is an installment in the long-running—and
largely Japan-exclusive—series Dragon Slayer. The closest most Western gamers will have
gotten to that series is the NES game Faxanadu, which shares its title with a song by Falivia
Newton John. Lord Monarch is a real-time strategy game
that features a large number of interesting mechanics, including alliances that in order
for the game to end must be betrayed by either party, turning much of the experience into
a sort of diplomatic game of chicken. You can also liberate condemned men from the
gallows, who will then be indebted and loyal to you for life, which is either the smartest
or stupidest war strategy we’ve ever heard. It certainly doesn’t look pretty—the Super
Famicom version easily surpasses it in that regard—but a medieval RTS featuring monsters,
rebels, magic, and demons sounds like it could be a lot of fun. #39: Space Harrier II
West, Japan, Asia Space Harrier was a massive arcade hit for
Sega, so when it came time for the company to release their Mega Drive, they made sure
Space Harrier II was included in the launch lineup in both Japan and North America. (It arrived shortly after launch in Europe.) The original game’s success is easy to understand. There was little else like it, and its scaling
sprites and world design—inspired by the striking works of artist Roger Dean—made
it a game everybody had to try at least once. The sequel was designed for consoles—specifically
around the specifications of the Mega Drive—so that the game wouldn’t feel like a downgraded
arcade experience and would instead function as a home game that could stand on its own
two legs. Or, you know, hover. Space Harrier II isn’t particularly long,
with only 13 stages, but surviving them isn’t easy, and true satisfaction only comes with
mastery of the frantic experience. #38: Monster World IV
West, Japan, Asia Monster World IV is a divisive game in the
series, with some fans loving it and others being disappointed by its low difficulty level
and reduced emphasis on exploration. Whatever your personal feelings, though, it’s
a welcome addition to the Mega Drive Mini, as prior to this the game received only one
English-language release: in 2012 on the now-dead Wii Virtual Console. Leaving Wonder Boy behind, this game sees
you taking control of Asha, a young girl with a sword and a chubby little penguin monster
that can fly. She sets off to find and help a number of
spirits throughout her world, and while the adventure is a rather shallow and easy one,
it still manages to be a lot of fun. It’s also, it must be said, absolutely adorable. Monster World IV has a fantastic art style,
and for a low-key platformer, you could do far worse. #37: Thunder Force III
West, Japan, Asia The first Thunder Force game, released in
1983 for the PC, was an impressive overhead shooter that allowed players to steer their
craft in any direction. By the time of Thunder Force III, however,
the series reflected the much-more-common side-scrolling approach. This makes Thunder Force III feel a lot like…well,
any other game in the genre. It does, however, look fantastic, and it still
plays pretty well today. In scrolling shooters, the experience comes
entirely down to the tactile thrill of blowing things apart, and Thunder Force III has that
in spades. That’s about all it has, but for games like
this, that can be enough. It also offers some difficulty options, determining—among
other things—whether you lose just your current weapon or all of your collected weapons
when you die. It’s a small change that has big ramifications,
and it helps tailor the game to either beginners or experts. #36: Madō Monogatari I
Japan That is the letter I, to be clear, not the
Roman numeral for “one.” In fact, Madō Monogatari I is the last game
in the series released for the Mega Drive. It is, however, a remake of Madō Monogatari
1-2-3, which consisted of three games but was only ever released as one package, so
that, technically, the first three games are the first game, and this remake of the first
three games is the last game. IT IS EASY TO UNDERSTAND. As you might guess, this game was Japan exclusive. In it, we guide protagonist Arle Nadja from
age five through her teenage years as she explores dungeons and fights monsters. It’s a pretty interesting game that we’d
probably enjoy, but we’ll never know. If only Madō Monogatari I got localized years
ago as Dr. Robotnik’s Angry Bean Dungeon. #35: Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
West, Japan, Asia Ghouls ‘n Ghosts is technically the sequel
to Capcom’s monster-mashing classic Ghosts ‘n Goblins, but in many ways it’s also
kind of a superior remake. Arthur—the knight you’ve seen most often
in his underpants—is a bit more nimble in Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, which goes a long way
toward making the game less demanding and more fun. Ghosts ‘n Goblins, after all, wasn’t just
difficult; it required outright precision at many points, and relished killing you regularly. By contrast, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts…well, nevermind,
it still relishes killing you regularly. Only this time, it more often feels like it’s
your fault, and that’s a big step in the right direction. The Mega Drive version of the game might not
be the definitive way to play it, but it’s more than serviceable, still looks great,
and is one more opportunity to experience that legendary graveyard song. #34: Earthworm Jim
West As it was ported fairly quickly to the SNES
and PC, Earthworm Jim isn’t quite a defining Mega Drive title, but its importance to gaming
history is clear. It’s one of relatively few overtly “comic”
games of its era. It’s a self-lacerating, decidedly zany experience
that even today manages to stand out for its absurdism. But is it any good? Well…kind of. It’s certainly a lot of fun, but a number
of levels are immediately frustrating and never quite recover, such as the one in which
you must bounce puppies across the screen, and another that sees you piloting a fragile
undersea craft through a series of narrow tunnels. The developers attempted to make as many levels
as possible play in distinct ways, which is admirable but also meant there was less time
to test and refine each of those mechanics. Ultimately, Earthworm Jim’s most impressive
triumph is also its greatest liability. #33: Yu Yu Hakusho Makyo Toitsusen
Japan Yu Yu Hakusho Makyō Tōitsusen only left
Japan once, for Brazil in 1999, so we aren’t surprised we’re missing out on this one
again, but this could have been a really fun inclusion. It’s a four-player fighting game designed
by Treasure, who spent this entire console generation proving they could do no wrong. Yes, we are aware of that McDonald’s tie-in game We stand by our assessment. It’s based on a manga we haven’t read,
but that’s okay because there isn’t a story mode. It’s just a chance for you and up to three
friends to kick each other’s teeth out. As it should be! There are even two horizontal planes on which
players can fight, introducing a literal depth to the combat that is still rare to find in
2D fighting games. It also contains an admirable attempt at digitized
speech and lovely spritework, as well as an absolutely stellar soundtrack. #32: Tetris
West, Japan, Asia Tetris is…look, we don’t need to tell
you what Tetris is. Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever
your age, close your eyes and you can picture Tetris. It’s one of the most famous video games
in history. It’s also, however, difficult to get excited
about. Strictly speaking, it’s a better game than
almost anything else on this list, but it’s also ubiquitous. It’s been released for more systems in more
versions than we could possibly count, and you probably have multiple copies of it already. This particular version of Tetris, though,
is noteworthy. Its tangled rights history meant that Sega
was not legally allowed to sell or distribute this version of the game, which it had developed
in 1989. It was never properly released until now. That is legitimately cool, but we can’t
help but feel that once we get over the novelty, we’ll just be playing Tetris yet again. #31: Snow Bros.
Japan, Asia Sharing a more than a bit of creative DNA
with its far-better-remembered predecessor Bubble Bobble, Snow Bros. offers very similar
screen-by-screen, enemy-smashing fun. Pretty much everything you need to know about
how the game plays is clear from about 10 seconds of YouTube footage, so we’ve got
you covered there, but we will add that the Mega Drive version controls well and has an
absolutely fantastic soundtrack – perhaps the one category in which this game exceeds
the standard set by Bubble Bobble, thanks to sheer variety alone. Are Western versions of the Mega Drive Mini
poorer for its absence? A bit, but its sheer simplicity means it’s
not for everyone. That is to say, it may not BOWL YOU OVER. In fact, it may LEAVE YOU COLD. Submit a third pun in the comments, because
frankly I’m ashamed of the writer for those two #30: Puzzle & Action: Tant-R
Japan, Asia Puzzle & Action: Tant-R is another game that
never got a proper release outside of Japan, and the release of the Mega Drive Mini isn’t
changing that. That’s a shame, because this one looks like
a lot of fun, and the several ports and rereleases Japan has gotten seem to confirm that. You play as detectives hunting down an escaped
criminal, which you accomplish by participating in mini-games and action sequences. The minigames are selected at random, so each
playthrough is distinct, and there is a multiplayer mode to keep things even more chaotic. What’s more, the “detective” theme isn’t
just a coat of paint; the minigames rely on brainpower more than reflexes. This amusing curio would have been a welcome
addition to the Mini’s library, and probably would have earned it some new and appreciative
fans. #29: Ecco the Dolphin
West Your memories of Ecco the Dolphin depend on
how far you made it through the game. If you only ever played the first few hours,
you remember it being a lovely, soothing undersea adventure during which you explore the seas
and spend quality time with your aquatic chums. If you finished the game, you remember it
being a complete mind-screw in which a dolphin goes back in time to smack aliens around. It’s one strangest games on the Mega Drive,
which is why, for all of its flaws, it’s a must-play. Ecco the Dolphin is an important piece of
history, even if its design hasn’t aged all that well. Labyrinthine levels,unclear objectives, and
an unexpectedly high level of difficulty make the game feel like it can’t quite decide
what it wants to be. Even so, it’s a game like very few others,
and well worth the inclusion here. #28: Shining Force II
Asia There sure are a lot of tactical RPGs we aren’t
getting on our Mega Drive Minis. Shining Force II—the fifth game in the series—is
a huge step up from Shining Force…which was the second game in the series. Got that? Good. I promise you’ll never need to know it again. This time around, the adventure has a greater
emphasis on exploration, making it feel like more than a linear series of battles. It also allows for players to roam more freely
between the world’s regions, and does a better job of making each of the units feel
unique, with their own goals and desires. Shining Force II is a more welcoming experience
than Shining Force, and every one of its changes is for the better. But it’s still not something we’re all
that sorry to miss out on here in the West. #27: Golden Axe
West, Japan, Asia Golden Axe exists to answer one simple question:
What if Altered Beast was good? This side-scrolling beat-em-up was an arcade
mainstay for years, and its Mega Drive port even added content to the experience, such
as a new level, a new ending, and duel mode. Its inclusion on the Mega Drive Mini is a
no-brainer. Drawing from a number of disparate sources—including
Dragon Quest, Double Dragon, and Conan the Barbarian—Golden Axe takes a wealth of great
ideas and weaves them together into a fun, challenging adventure. There are three heroes to choose from, each
with different abilities and limitations, and it’s their job to defeat the Death Adder,
sadly not played by Rowan Atkinson. It’s a welcome inclusion and a firm reminder
of why Sega were such darlings of the arcade and console market for years. #26: Beyond Oasis
West, Japan, Asia Known in Japan—and on the Japanese Mega
Drive Mini as The Story of Thor: A Successor of the Light—Beyond Oasis is an action RPG
with an enduring fanbase. It’s similar in many ways to more popular
games such as The Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana, and a number of critics feel that
it should be held in equally high regard. As Prince Ali you travel the world, defeating
monsters and gradually summoning spirits in preparation to conquer a looming evil. It’s a fairly standard plot, and reviews
at the time seemed split over whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. But whatever you feel about the story, the
lovely animations, interesting locations, and large amounts of weapons and spells make
it an adventure worth enjoying at least once. #25: Musha Aleste
Japan, Asia Released in North America as simply “Musha,”
this game failed to stand out to contemporary reviewers, who found it too similar to and
derivative of the many other vertically scrolling shooters on the market. Time has been rather kind to Musha Aleste,
though, and its reputation has been thoroughly reconsidered. It is now frequently ranked among the best
of its kind. It features remarkable scrolling background
effects, addictive gameplay, and a hard-rocking soundtrack that went through a large number
of iterations before its composer was satisfied. It’s impossible not to see the love and
care that went into creating Musha Aleste. Interestingly, the Japanese and North American
versions of the game each had unique stories. Among many other narrative differences, the
Japanese version took place in the distant past and the North American version took place
in the distant future. Or maybe it was just a massive translation error #24: World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
and Donald Duck West, Japan, Asia
After Castle of Illusion turned out to be such a massive hit for Disney and Sega, a
sequel was inevitable. Almost as inevitable was the fact that a sequel
would not live up to that game. That indeed turned out to be the case, though
World of Illusion didn’t go down without a fight. This time around, Donald Duck is a main character
as well. In one nice tweak, Donald’s adventure is
just slightly different from Mickey’s, as the two must find different ways to progress
at various points. World of Illusion is easier than its predecessor—arguably
to a fault—and doesn’t have the same feeling of charm and imagination that made Castle
of Illusion so great, but it’s a solid game in its own right, and a fun cartoony platformer
worth the couple of hours it might take you to play through it. #23: Rent a Hero
Japan Getting versions of Tetris and Darius we were
never able to play before is great, but far higher on our wishlist for our Western console would have been Rent a Hero, which to this day has never made it out of Japan. It’s an action RPG with a strong emphasis
on humorous dialogue. We’ll…have to take Japan’s word for
that as we can’t read it, but the concept definitely lends itself to a lighthearted
adventure. In Rent a Hero, a young man orders a pizza
and is mistakenly delivered futuristic combat armor instead. It costs far more than he was expecting to
pay for the pizza, so he rents himself out as a superhero to the townsfolk, demonstrating
superhuman restraint by not calling himself Rent Boy. The game looks like a lot of fun and has a
pretty good soundtrack, but for now it remains out of reach. #22: Comix Zone
West, Japan, Asia In Comix Zone we take control of Sketch Turner,
which only seems like a stupid name until you learn that he was originally called Joe
Pencil. That’s not a joke, either; trust us, we
would have called him Hank Crayola. Not only does the game resemble a comic, but
the format informs the gameplay, as we leap into and out of panels, use borders as handholds,
and kick seven shades of India ink out of illustrated baddies. It’s a remarkably stylish game that makes
the most of its concept, elevating what would have otherwise been a forgettable beat-em-up
into one of the most memorable games of its era. Part of the reason it’s still held in such
high regard is the fact that no subsequent games have even attempted to emulate its approach. Of course, that’s because Sega patented
the style and then never used it again. So, thanks for that, Sega. #21: Super Fantasy Zone
West, Japan, Asia While Fantasy Zone’s imagery and characters
still crop up in Sega’s games from time to time, it’s largely been forgotten. This might be due to the fact that five games
in the series were released over a five-year period, with very little to differentiate
them. By flooding players this way, Fantasy Zone
might have diluted its own novelty. Super Fantasy Zone is a great opportunity
to get reacquainted with the series, or to discover it for the first time. It’s a scrolling shooter that has you soaring
through colorful environments and killing everything that has a face on it. Clear out the level, defeat the boss, and
cash in your winnings for better gear. It’s a simple experience, but a profoundly
charming one. The only problem with Fantasy Zone is that
if you’ve played one game you’ve played them all. But that one game, whichever one it is, is
still worth playing. #20: Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
West, Japan Included on the Japanese version of the mini
as Street Fighter II Dash Plus: Champion Edition, this is one of many, many ports of Capcom’s
legendary fighting-game classic. This version includes the content added to
Street Fighter II: Turbo for the SNES, as well as its own balancing tweaks, alternate
character palettes, and playable bosses. However, one of the game’s selling points
isn’t likely to be reflected on this Mini release: its support of a special six-button
controller. Don’t worry; it’s still fully playable
on the included three-button controller, but the six-button option did a lot to help this
game stand apart from its SNES counterparts. Just about every iteration of Street Fighter
II is worth a spin now and again It was a great game then and still is now, and always worth spending some time with. #19: Game no Kanzume Otokuyou
Japan, Asia When the Mega Drive Mini was announced, all
you’d hear around the Triple Jump office was, “It had better have Game no Kanzume Otokuyou
on it!” Or, “Clearly they wouldn’t consider releasing
it without Game no Kanzume Otokuyou.” Or, “Why don’t they just release a standalone remaster of Game no Kanzume Otokuyou?” I’m joking, of course; we had absolutely
no idea what in blazes this was or even if we’re saying it right. Is that actually the word game or does it
just look like it? It turns out, though, to be a genuinely welcome
inclusion. It’s a compilation of 12 games from Sega
Mega-Net, a Japan-only service that has been defunct longer than most of us have been alive. From a purely historical perspective, this
is fantastic news. Games that would otherwise be lost to history
are instead being kept in circulation. What’s more, one of them is Flicky, which
introduced a little blue bird who would go on to feature in a huge number of Sonic games
to follow. #18: Road Rash II
West, Japan, Asia Motorcycles are fun. Beating up strangers is fun! Combine them and you get Road Rash, a smear-or-be-smeared racing brawler that we’re honestly surprised hasn’t seen an entry in almost 20 years. The original game, also on the Mega Drive,
was a simple, addictive affair that saw you leaving the flesh of your opponents up and
down the roadways of California. Road Rash II took almost everything from that
gameand expanded upon it, with a greater number of locations including Hawaii, Arizona, and
Alaska. New weapons, more bikes, and various quality-of-life
improvements were also added, making this by far the superior choice for inclusion on
the Mega Drive Mini. The best part, though? Road Rash II’s simultaneous two-player mode. The first game had you taking turns, something
that doesn’t quite work when either racing or brawling, let alone both at the same time. #17: The Hybrid Front
Japan The Hybrid Front is an interesting futuristic
war game that, quite frankly, we would love to play. It takes place on a version of Earth in a
constant state of war for oil and slowly dying from climate change. But don’t worry, there are fictional things
that happen, too. For instance, a powerful group of corporate
terrorists called Cocoon locks heads with the Pan-Earth Treaty Organization, who really
just thinks it would be nice to go a year or two without global thermonuclear conflict. Those hippies. The game unfolds with a series of 26 battles
across Earth, the moon, and Mars, with units capable of fighting on land, in the sea, in
the air, and in space. It looks like a game that rewards careful
thinking and foresight, and we’re disappointed we won’t get the play it ourselves in the UK. #16: Alisia Dragoon
West, Japan, Asia One of the best platformers on the Mega Drive,
we are thrilled to see Alisia Dragoon included on the Mini. As the daughter of a sorcerer, Alisia’s
attacks are magic-based, and the player must keep a close eye on her magic meter. If it runs out, she’ll be temporarily defenseless. This is a bad thing, because Alisia begins
the game with only one life. Exercising a high degree of caution both in
dealing damage and avoiding it is crucial. Alisia also has a roster of monster pets that
can help her succeed, granting quite a bit more variety to the combat. Lovingly drawn and animated by professionals
who worked on films by Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame, Alisia Dragoon takes one of gaming’s
simplest genres and elevates it to a work of art. Even better: The soundtrack manages to exceed
the precedent set by the visuals. #15: Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
West, Asia When it comes to licensed games, Disney has
been rather fortunate. Whatever system you owned growing up, the
odds are good that at least one Disney game was a cherished part of your library. And if Castle of Illusion was that game for
you, well, you just might have had the best of the bunch. This is a gorgeously animated outing for Mickey
Mouse that its sequels were never able to top. Critics at the time gushed about its graphics,
soundtrack, and playability, and time has done little to dull our impressions of any
of those things. It was surprising to learn that any Disney
games would be included in the Mega Drive Mini, which makes us retroactively more disappointed
with the mini consoles that preceded this one. Can we have a rereleased NES Classic Edition
with Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers, please? …please? #14: Contra: Hard Corps
West, Japan, Asia No series is more synonymous with the run-and-gun
genre than Contra. From the very beginning, it’s been a high-octane,
bullet-spraying experience that isn’t easy to master, but is even harder to put down. Though it isn’t a numbered sequel, Contra:
Hard Corps does pick up after the end of Contra III, and gives players a number of pretty
cool features, including branching paths and characters who have unique abilities and collect
different weapons. The controls are tight and the gameplay remarkably
smooth. The soundtrack absolutely rises to the occasion,
and pixel-art hyperviolence has rarely looked so pleasing to the eye. It’s about as close to perfection as the
formula ever got, though 2007’s Contra 4 for the Nintendo DS might just edge it out
for that honor. Either way, Contra: Hard Corps is a perfect
and welcome inclusion. #13: Langrisser II
Japan, Asia Langrisser is a series that hasn’t seen
much representation outside of Japan, but it’s one that does have a devoted following
worldwide thanks to fan translations. Langrisser II is a tactical RPG with branching
story paths, based on which of three factions you decide to align yourself with. You can even change sides at various points,
meaning you aren’t locked into a single path based on one early decision. That’s some pretty impressive flexibility
for a console game released in 1994. By all accounts, Langrisser II was one of
the better tactical RPGs on the Mega Drive, and its massive amount of player characters,
intriguing story, and numerous outcomes relying on more than just which way the tide turns
in battle make it something we wish we were getting with our Western Mini. #12: Streets of Rage 2
West, Japan, Asia The Streets of Rage series didn’t last long. Between 1991 and 1994 there were three releases. Between 1994 and…well, now…there have
been zero. Hopefully the worldwide inclusion of Streets
of Rage 2 will lead to a whole new generation of fans who can be equally disappointed the
series doesn’t exist anymore. Streets of Rage 2—known as Bare Knuckle
II in Japan—is usually considered the best in the trilogy. It updates and refines the satisfying gameplay
of the original brawler, and adds some welcome features. The characters here get their own unique special
attacks, the enemies get more varied movesets, and new weapons have been added, all of which
results in a much-improved experience. The soundtrack is also one of the best in
the entire Mega Drive library, and even if you aren’t a fan of beat-em-ups, Streets
of Rage 2 is worth playing for that alone. #11: Strider
West, Asia Strider is just one of many classic series
Capcom doesn’t seem interested in giving the time of day to anymore. That loss is ours, because Strider—in both
its original arcade form and this Mega Drive port—is fantastic. It’s a tough-as-nails platformer, with protagonist
Hiryu being something of a glass cannon; he can dish out excessive punishment, but he
dies easily, and tanking hits is rarely an option. The Mega Drive version, to be honest, looks
and sounds almost as good as the arcade original—which is saying a lot—and nearly all of the game’s
content survived the transition. Strider plays just as well here as it did
there, and flipping from platform to platform through treacherous stages and waves of enemies
never gets old. We’re glad to have it on our Mega Drive
Minis. In fact, we think the system would feel just
a bit empty without it. #10: Dynamite Headdy
West, Japan One of several truly great Treasure games
included in the Mega Drive Mini, Dynamite Headdy is a colorful, inventive, giddy joy. It isn’t often mentioned in the same breath
as Sonic the Hedgehog or Rocket Knight Adventures, but it probably should be. The visual design of the game is absolutely
fantastic. Events play out as a kind of insane stage
play, with puppets brawling and a stage light representing your health. The sprites are large and lovely, and so much
happens on screen at almost every moment that it’s impressive the Mega Drive was able
to handle it in the first place. Though it’s been included in a few collections
over the years, Dynamite Headdy never quite seems to get the attention it deserves, and
we’re happy to see it again here. #9: Darius
West, Japan, Asia Whatever your personal feelings about the
games on the list, the fact is that each game will have somebody out there with fond memories
of playing it on their Mega Drive. Except for Darius, and if anyone tells you
otherwise, shout from the rooftops that they are a filthy liar. See, this is the first time that classic arcade
shooter Darius is getting a Mega Drive port. Does the inclusion of a brand-new release
sort of defeat the purpose of a throwback console? Well, yes. But it’s also pretty cool, as it’s like
peeking into an alternate history. And, well, Darius is a lot of fun for what
it is. While it isn’t as well-remembered as its
contemporaries, such as R-Type or Gradius, it’s every bit as challenging, addictive,
and satisfying. #8: Dyna Brothers 2
Japan Dyna Brothers 2 is a strategy game with dinosaurs. I repeat, Dyna Brothers 2 is a strategy game
with dinosaurs. The first Dyna Brothers was also a strategy
game with dinosaurs, but Dyna Brothers 2 is a strategy game with more dinosaurs, making
it the superior strategy game with dinosaurs. Why these games have never gotten Western
releases is baffling. We love moving little tanks and knights and
soldiers around and watching them do battle. Think how much more we would love moving dinosaurs
around to do the same. This is precisely what we were doing with
our plastic dinosaur toys between ages two and sixteen, for crying out loud! Did you…did you not play with dinosaurs
until you were eighteen? Admit it, even if the game were terrible,
you would have loved this. I know I would have. It’s a bloody strategy game with dinosaurs. #7: Sonic the Hedgehog
West, Asia Nowadays, a Sonic game is considered a success
as long as it doesn’t either celebrate bestiality or burn your house down when you play it,
but back in the Mega Drive era, he was a force to be reckoned with. Sonic the Hedgehog was Sega’s first true
system seller. Granted, the game isn’t as fast-paced as
its marketing would have you believe, and Sonic’s physics definitely take some getting
used to, but the fantastic music and bright visuals still hold up today. Of the original trilogy, it’s safe to say
that this is the weakest Sonic game. There are a number of irritating sequences,
primarily in the Marble Zone and Labyrinth Zone, and Sega was still finding its footing
regarding level design. But this absolutely deserves its place on
the Mega Drive Mini. Not that there was any chance Sega would have
left it off. Except, for some inexplicable reason, in Japan. Weird. #6: Mega Man: The Wily Wars
West, Japan, Asia The rarity of Mega Man: The Wily Wars depends
upon where you grew up. In Japan and Europe, we got a nice, physical
copy to enjoy. In North America, however, it was only available
through The Sega Channel, an early dial-up software service that even at the time was
immediately identifiable as a bit crap. The Wily Wars is an enhanced collection of
the first three Mega Man games for the NES, with new spritework, remixed soundtracks,
and a save feature. Purists will almost certainly prefer the originals,
but there’s no question that a great amount of love and care went into this collection,
and it’s a great experience in its own right. What’s more, completing the three games
unlocks Wily Tower, a collection of brand-new levels, and you get to choose any of the weapons
and utilities from the main three games to take with you. #5: Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
West If we could only get one Shinobi game, we
certainly got the right one. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master is
one of the Mega Drive’s absolute best games. It has a stellar soundtrack, precise controls,
and remarkably fluid gameplay. It’s also quite varied in what it offers—one
level sees you fighting baddies while surfing, a common ninja pastime that is so rarely reflected
in video games. Shinobi III is about more than cutting bad
people to bits with your sword, but, rest assured, you will cut plenty of bad people
to bits with your sword. This time around our hero has more moves than
ever before, with dash kicks and wall jumps helping every encounter feel unique. Reviewers at the time—and today—seem to
be split evenly between considering the game too difficult and too easy, but they’re
in near-universal agreement that the game is fantastic and absolutely worth your time. #4: Castlevania: Bloodlines
West, Japan, Asia The recent release of the Castlevania Anniversary
Collection makes the inclusion of Castlevania: Bloodlines — known in Japan as Vampire Killer
— a bit less exciting, but it’s still one of the best in the series. The gameplay is similar to that of the first
three NES games, feeling quite a bit stiffer and less dynamic than the revelatory Super
Castlevania IV, but it looks and sounds absolutely fantastic. It also offers up one heck of a challenge,
with some of the best level design in the entire series. Players choose between Eric Lecardeand John
Morris. A number of critics have pointed out that
the latter is the son of Quincy Morris, who appears in Bram Stoker’s original Dracula,
and therefore connects the universe of the games to that of that book. However, we have it on good authority that
Dracula also appears in Bram Stoker’s original Dracula, so that connection probably shouldn’t
be all that surprising. #3: Alien Soldier
Asia I know we really shouldn’t complain, as
we’re getting a decent number of absolute classics developed by Treasure on our Mega
Drive Mini, but Alien Soldier being exclusive to the Asian version is downright depressing. One of the very best run-and-gun titles released
for the system, it’s also something of a rarity for Western players; the original release
only made it to North America via the Sega Channel. Alien Soldier’s emphasis on smooth movement,
non-stop action, and the ability to counter rather than simply avoid enemy attacks makes
it rewarding to play even today, especially for those who like their games to be tough
as nails. The adventure unfolds over 25 stages and 31
boss fights. Treasure actually intended to develop 100
bosses for the game, but most of those—and a number of other concepts—were sadly lost
to a tight development window. Alien Soldier remains an overlooked masterpiece,
a slice of genuine retro bliss. #2: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
West, Japan, Asia Which is better? Sonic 2 or Sonic 3 and/or Knuckles? The debate continues, but for the purposes
of this list we won’t have to worry about the answer, because only one of them is on
the Mega Drive Mini. Sorry, Knuckle-heads. Sonic 2 is—let’s not mince words here—a
masterpiece. It improves on its celebrated predecessor
in absolutely every regard. The level design is better. The bonus stages are better. Even that game’s stellar soundtrack is eclipsed
by this new batch of compositions. Sega struck gold with the first Sonic game,
and any followup should have been doomed to fail. The fact that Sonic 2 instead left that game
in its dust is nothing short of miraculous. The absence of Sonic 3 is disappointing, but
there are certainly worse games to be stuck with than Sonic 2. Such as…well, everything on this list, apart
from one… #1: Gunstar Heroes
West, Japan, Asia It should come as no surprise that one of
the absolute best games on the Mega Drive—and one of the best games ever made—would also
be the best game on the Mega Drive Mini. Gunstar Heroes is Treasure’s greatest achievement,
and it’s one that’s always worth coming back to. Not only does the game look fantastic, but
its gameplay is stellar and its animations—particularly during boss fights—are some of the most
impressive on the system It’s a run-and-gun brawler with remarkable
variety, as you can combine weapons for different results. Additionally, the stages are unique and memorable,
with highlights including an autoscrolling mine-cart segment and one stage in which you
roll a die and move around a game board. While Gunstar Heroes did not sell well initially,
its reputation increased over the years as critics and fans raved about it, and it’s
finally asserted itself as an all-time classic. It has also asserted itself, of course, as
deserving the highest rank on this list. And there you have it. Every game on every iteration of the Mega
Drive Mini, ranked from worst to best. What did we get terribly, inexcusably wrong? What games would constitute your dream lineup? Are you the one person on Earth who genuinely
enjoys Altered Beast? Let us know in the comments. Also, if you have suggestions for other “Every
X Ranked From Worst to Best” videos, let us know. We are always happy to tell you which opinions
are correct. You can also follow us on Twitter here, and, if you want to support the things you enjoy check out our rewards on Patreon. I’m Peter from TripleJump, and thanks for

About the Author: Garret Beatty


  1. What would you have put at number one? What other enormous ranked lists would you like to see from us? Let us know!

  2. Gunstar Heros was my FAVORITE game on the Genesis. It just was so much fun and great to play with other people.

  3. Eternal Champions was one of my favourite games on the system back when I was a teen. The characters were great, the fighting fun, and it had a decent story (that the Mega CD version expanded on).

  4. Not gonna lie, I love Shining Force. Me and some buddies used to bunk off college, partake of the devils leaf and play Shining Force for hours on end. I'm not saying you're wrong having it so low down, just an observation of how rose tinted our nostalgia glasses can be.

  5. I really enjoy these long lists. You guys make them so worth watching regardless of the topic. Can't wait to see more of these lists!

  6. My friend (in his 40s) recently went to his moms house to clear out somethings and found all his brothers old gaming systems. From Atari, Ventrix, Sega Gensis/CD (two in one), SNES, Gameboy, Gamegear…etc. Even a Sega Master System.

    They were either missing cords or didn't work. Such a shame. The handhelds had batteries that burst and the acid ate everything inside. Only thing that worked was the Master System. I don't remember that one. Doubt its worth much then. Only good news is the one Ventrix worked and is worth almost $400.

  7. "We aren't saying that Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball is a bad game, it's just not, in any sense, a 'good' game".
    I guess you could say, then, that it's…. worse than most?

  8. Also maybe consider changing the background music every ten minutes or so… I never want to hear any more this song again in my life.

  9. To answer your question Peter, Sonic 2

    Edit: Have to say I'm a bit annoyed about how low Toejam & Earl is on the list, although I only ever owned the second one and I was obsessed with it. So for all I know the first blew Donkey's Kong.

  10. There are tons of good games on the system so seeing some I loved as a child lower on the list is bound to happen, plus nostalgia is a thing ESPECIALLY with old RPGs. WTF at your Eternal Champions ranking, though? Did you or your editor have an older sibling who would destroy them mercilessly at the game or something? It's one of the better examples of pick up and play old school 2D fighters that's still fun today. You even have other fighting games above it, what?!?!

  11. I absolutely do not agree with the majority of this list. I love these longer lists from you guys, but I miss the ones actually written by Peter and Ben. Still enjoyed this immensely though!

  12. I hate that each region got different games. Why couldn't they just combine all the games and release them equally in all regions? I was really hoping Dyna Brothers, Alien Soldier, Musha and Langrissa would be included on the mini, and low and behold a version of the mini gets it but not in our region. Go figure. I also don't get why Sega's still having licensing issues with Sonic 3 and Knuckles

  13. I’m so disappointed by your harsh words and low ass rankings for both Kid Chameleon and Revenge of Shinobi 😞

    I thought you guys were cool 😢

    Ye didn’t even mention Shinobis ball ticklingly good soundtrack

  14. I still wish Shining Force II was released over the original. It’s so much better

    Note: I’m in the West, it’s not on my mini.

  15. I like TripleJump but I really think they aren't the target audience for the Genesis Mini. How Phantasy Star IV got a lower rank than Virtua Fighter 2 Genesis speaks for itself.

    "Treasure can do no wrong."
    literally says Light Crusader is a bad game minutes ago

    And, Monster World IV also came out on the Xbox 360 in the West as well and there is a Streets of Rage 4 coming. Yup, not the target audience.

  16. You seriously ranked Phantasy Star IV lower than Alex Kidd, Virtua Fighter 2, and this barebones version of Tetris that we all got. Even as someone who didn't grow up with this game, this is laughable.

    "Only twenty hours" of content? Not only are you prioritizing quantity over quality, but you're also harshly judging the game by modern standards. There were hardly any JRPGs in that era that were forty hours or more.

    "Exactly one" sidequest, huh? Well, fuck all of those Hunter's Guild missions that you can take, because those apparently don't count.

    I'll give you that the plot isn't especially stellar, but what is there is well-paced, with most every story beat being relevant to the overarching narrative. The only other game of the era that I can think of that matches its tightness is Chrono Trigger, and that's a pretty high bar. This isn't even factoring in the multiple references to the previous games, of which you need to know precisely none of to enjoy the game. If you're playing the game in a bubble, you can just think, "Oh hey, that's some nice lore;" if you're familiar with the series as a whole, then it serves as a very nice shout out that fits in with the game being a celebration and the climax of the original series.

    And this isn't even talking about all of the good points that you ignored: the fantastic graphics; the numerous animations, which were quite the rarity even in late-era SNES games; the fact that the sound designers actually knew how to use the Mega Drive's sound card; the magic systems, which even include team attacks (not as good as Chrono Trigger due to the way they're implemented, but still solid for what they are); the macro function… Hell, I'm sure there are more that I'm neglecting to mention.

    But hey, this is still ultimately your opinion, even if I feel that multiple aspects of it are suspect and flat-out incorrect. Do what you will.

  17. Dang, the disrespect for Toejam and Earl! I used to love this game. Actually got the newest one a little while back

  18. great list and breakdown naturally there's some games I'd personally move around etc obviously these things are subjective and it was entertaining none the less. Goes to do the Japanese exam quiz game

  19. I love these long lists but I do think they’d be more fun if Ben and Peter did them together. Keep up the good work boys! 🙂

  20. Thank you for this video. Because of it I'm going to buy all 3 versions of the Sega Mega Drive Mini. Again thank you TripleJump. You're the best.

  21. I think there was an indie game based on Road Rash that came out in the last few years.
    Nice nod to the Wonder Boy remake. I played the recent "Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom"(Which references Monster World IV).

  22. There is technically a Dragon Slayer game releasing in the West this month. Trails of Cold Steel 3 is a subseries within a subseries within the Dragon Slayer series although Falcom doesn't refer to it as Dragon Slayer. The full title of the upcoming game should be Dragon Slayer 6: Legend of Heroes 13: Trails of Cold Steel 3 which not merely rolls from the tongue but rather stampedes over the edge of the tongue.

  23. Why would they use Wrestleball when they could have put the basically-the-same-except-better-in-every-way Speedball 2 on there? I guess they weren't able to get the rights…

  24. I can forgive Shining Force being so low on the list (even though the Camelot-era games are my favourites of all time), but I can't forgive the awful new 'Shining' games being referred to as good news for fans of the series! I do love these really long form lists tho – awesome job! 🙂

  25. Just curious why "Super Famicom" is constantly used whereas there was a whole thing about using 'Mega Drive' to describe the 'Genesis' because "we called it the Mega Drive in the UK"..?
    I mean, sure, it was also called the Sega Mega Drive in Japan but the point made was what we call it in the UK and it was definitely the 'Super Nintendo/SNES' in the UK, not the Famicom.
    Just seems kinda odd considering the whole reason given was using what we call it in the UK… 😕

  26. If Sonic 3 was on the Mini, that would have been #1. But I will have to go with Musha. As for the western release, Vectorman. God damn, this list was awful. Vertua Fighter 2 over Shining Force? All because the characters didn't have personalities, despite that all RPG characters at the time had no personalities either?(especially the early Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy games) Seriously, Shining Force 1 mopped the floor with the early Fire Emblem games and blew them out of the water so hard that they practically launched to the moon in ten minutes. The graphics, the creative cyber punk Tolken-ish world, the faster combat system, the cool music, the interactive towns, moments like the zombie town sequence, and memorable NPCs. Columns and Alex Kid's worst game over Phantasy Star 4 and Vectorman? Vectorman plays so smoothly, has great lighting that even DKC couldn't pull off, and has personality that countless games these days lack. And Phantasy Star 4 is the only JRPG I have played that made me feel a little sad inside during the story. I never get emotionally involved when I play JRPs, Even the best Final Fantasy game (FF6) couldn't give me feels like …..'s death at the half way point. What kind of drugs are you taking?

  27. I am sickened that Mickey Mania is not on the Mega Drive Mini. It blows Castle of Illusion out of the water

  28. you said Ecco can't decide what it want's to be – well for me it's easy the worst Sega Mega Drive game i ever owned and i used to own over 100 of them

  29. I'm guessing somebody else has already made this comment but, aren't you aware that by changing the language of the medga drive mini to Japanese, Meanbean Machine becomes Puyo Puyo?

  30. You are are wrong about monster world 4. It also was released on the xbox 369 and PS3 and is available to purchase today on the. Xbox One.

  31. Sonic 1 one has WAY BETTER level design than Sonic 2. Casual loves 2 and don't know how to play Sonic 1. Just want to brain dead spin dash go straigh forward.
    Yes you have the right to go to the left explore and have more slow pace in marble Zone!
    Sonic one was a mix of Speed exploration and classical plateforming not a RUNNER.
    With casual always complaining now you have Sonic games runners or just boost boost in CORRIDORS with automatization. are you Happy now ?
    Where are multiple alternative pathways? Secrets? Hidden items? destructible walls from Sonic 1 and CD..?

  32. Sonic 1 one has WAY BETTER level design than Sonic 2. Casual loves 2 and don't know how to play Sonic 1. Just want to brain dead spin dash go straigh forward.

    Yes you have the right to go to the left explore and have more slow pace in marble Zone!

    Sonic one was a mix of Speed exploration and classical plateforming not a RUNNER.

    With casual always complaining now you have Sonic games runners or just boost boost in CORRIDORS with automatization. are you Happy now ?

    Where are multiple alternative pathways? Secrets? Hidden items? destructible walls from Sonic 1 and CD..?

  33. i had to read the title twice
    "The Mega Drive had mini games? Oh, he's talking about the Mega Drive Mini…

    I'm such an idiot

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