With over 900 titles, and 30.75 million units sold, SEGA Genesis (also known as SEGA Mega Drive) is one of gaming’s legends, one most people in the world have heard about, if not by name then by a gaming series that made the console popular, like Sonic The Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat, or Street Fighter.
The good old days for me were back in 1990 when I got my SEGA Genesis, a top-notch 16-bit home video game console that rocked my world. I was introduced to the endless world of games, and thankfully, I had plenty of time to explore it. From then on I was, and continue to be, an avid gamer. Even though a lot of games go through my hands, I still remember the first few genre-defining games that meant a whole lot then and still do now. Let me share my best SEGA games, the ones I think everyone should play at least once.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Arguably, Sonic The Hedgehog 3 is the best 2D side-scrolling platformer on Genesis, and certainly the best one in the series. The storyline picks up where Sonic 2 ended, and the gameplay was pretty much the same, but there were many small improvements that, aside from my personal opinion, made this title the best one. Better background graphics, more game interaction with new features, bosses at the end of each of the 12 stages, and save slots that record your progress, which was groundbreaking and new at the time.
Street Fighter II
I actually got hooked on Street Fighter on my best friend’s Amiga (remember those?). The game has a basic storyline we all easily attach to, sing-a-long background music and multiple characters with wide range of moves, techniques, and combinations at your disposal. But, as far as I am concerned, this was my first take on multiplayer gameplay. Later on, I found out the game actually pioneered the use of multiple playable characters and, by chance, a combo moves system (what happened is that players found out that certain moves naturally flowed into others, making it a combo move, no intention from game designers there; they did not do it on purpose).
Mortal Kombat II
The golden era of fighting games started in 1994 with the release of a sequel to the already controversial title Mortal Kombat. "Fatality!" and "Finish Him!" became a synonym for spectacular moves in arcade fight games. Loved by gamers, and acclaimed by most critics, MKII brought 12 characters, graphical improvements, and the ability to use environment to kill your opponents (knock them into pits of acid, knock them from the bridge, kick them up into spiked ceilings, etc.). MKII was so successful, a movie was made one year later with Christopher Lambert as Raiden, hoping to cash in on franchise popularity.
Streets of Rage 2
Streets of Rage 2 is my first side-scrolling beat'-em-up adventure. Adam Hunter, Axel Stone, and Blaze Fielding were back to save the city from Mr.X and his gang, this time joined by a new character, enhanced gameplay, tougher enemies and better visuals. The game brought so much fun, that every now and then I hijack the family Wii just to play it.
Do you know any other game that allowed you to defy gravity and rub it into your friend's nose? NBA Jam gave a whole new meaning to the words ‘he's on fire’. Sure, fighting games were the best at that time, but NBA Jam brought out more competitiveness in us than any other game before or after. With no fouls, free throws, or violations almost of any kind, you were able to score and hit your opponent at the same time and that alone promises tons of fun.
A lot has changed since the '90s of course, but what made these games the best back then still works today. It was the amount of fun you had while playing that made them the best SEGA games of all time… for me at least.
What were your favorites? Which one kept you glued to your TV? Share your thoughts in the comments below.