The Mega Drive is a fourth-generation video game console released by Sega in Japan in 1988 and Europe in 1990. The console was released in North America in 1989 under the name Genesis, as Sega was unable to secure legal rights to the Mega Drive name in that region. The Mega Drive, heavily marketed as “16-bit” due to its hardware, was Sega’s fifth home console and the successor to the Sega Master System, with which it is electronically compatible.
The Mega Drive was the first of its generation to achieve notable market share in Europe and North America. It was a direct competitor of the TurboGrafx-16 (which was released one year earlier in Japan under the name PC Engine, but at about the same time as the Genesis in North America) and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (which was released two years later). The Mega Drive began production in Japan in 1988 and ended with the last new licensed game being released in 2002 in Brazil.
The Mega Drive was Sega’s most successful console, with over 29 million units sold worldwide. The console and many of its games are still popular today: Some games have been re-released in compilations for newer consoles and/or offered for download on various online services, such as Xbox Live Arcade and Virtual Console. The console is also still popular for fan translations and indie game development.
–From the Wikipedia entry
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The Best Sega Genesis Games
Below are some of my favorite games for the Genesis. I tried to include something that everyone would enjoy in this list.
Beyond Oasis – A Zelda “clone,” but who cares? In addition to running around and slashing enemies, you summon elementals to assist you in solving puzzles and beating up bosses. A sequel came out for the Saturn called Legend of Oasis.
Castlevania: Bloodlines – The Genesis’ only entry in the Castlevania series is thankfully a very solid game. Don’t believe the hate, it’s a must-buy for CV fans.
Contra: Hard Corps – More like Contra: HardASS Corps. Pretty difficult when compared to the other games, but not any less fun at all.
Disney’s Aladdin – Some crazy bitches on the interwebs think this game is “too hard,” but they need to stop smoking so much goddamn crack! What a solid action game based on the movie. This is my favorite Disney game on the Genesis, no question about it.
Exile – I’ve got a weak spot in my armor for Action/RPGs, and aside from more cowbell, there’s only one other cure! Exile is a pretty good game.
General Chaos – Multiplayer mayhem! Definitely a solid reason to get a four-player adapter.
Ghouls ‘n Ghosts – While the NES home port of Ghosts n Goblins was pretty decent for an 8-bit conversion, this port of the sequel was and is dynomite! I always preferred it to Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts.
Gunstar Heroes – 2D Treasure action that doesn’t stop. If you don’t have it and are clueless as to what that means, get this game!
Jurassic Park – Based on the movie, you get to play as Dr. Grant or the Raptor. Dr. Grant’s a little more fun, though.
Mutant League Football/Hockey – Did the referee make a bad call? Then kill him! These two games are the most unique sports titles in the Sega Genesis library simply because no one is safe from the carnage!
Out of this World – A physicist working in his lab during a storm ends up being transported to a bizarre alien world. This is an awesome action game where a lot of trial and error is necessary in order to advance. If you enjoy this, check out the sequel Heart of the Alien (which packs OotW in the same release) for the Sega CD or Delphine’s Flashback, also on the Genesis or Sega CD.
Phantasy Star IV – Easily the most polished entry in the Phantasy Star series on the Genesis. Time flies by when you’re having fun, and this game leaves you wanting even more when it’s over.
Shining Force – A very good Strategy/RPG game. This is the starting point in the series, which featured one sequel on the Genesis (SFII), and then a 3 installment successor on the Saturn (SFIII)!
Shining in the Darkness – A traditional first-person RPG for the Genesis, Shining received a sequel on the Saturn called Shining The Holy Ark.
Shinobi III: Return of the Master Ninja – Shinobi was the first game I ever got for the Master System and I loved it. Years later, I’d get Revenge of the Shinobi and Shinobi III. Shinobi III is the definitive Genesis Shinobi game. A rockin’ soundtrack and solid gameplay keep bringing me back.
Sonic the Hedgehog – Before Sega built huge Sonic levels, added a large supporting cast, and over-complicated things; there was Sonic the Hedgehog. 2D platforming excellence that provides a great atmosphere with memorable music.
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – While Sonic 2 was pretty sweet, I’ll always think Sonic 3 is the biggest and best Sonic game on the Genesis. When I was 12, I saved up my allowance for a few months for this to get it on release and was not disappointed. It was recently revealed that Michael Jackson did indeed have a hand in some of the game’s soundtrack. How can you beat that?
Streets of Rage 2 – Some may want to sucker punch me for choosing this over SoR3, but I haven’t played it yet! So I can only honestly say SoR2 is a very solid beat’em up.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist – This great Turtles beat’em up is often overshadowed by the popular Turtles in Time arcade game, but I’ve always favored Hyperstone Heist. Definitely my favorite Turtles game on any system.
Toe Jam & Earl – Randomly generated levels, outrageous items, and ridiculous enemies. Two funky aliens are trapped on earth, searching for pieces of their smashed spaceship so they can return home. It’s too bad it’s two sequels (TJ&E: Panic on Funkotron on Genesis, and TJ&E III on Xbox) never presented this much fun.
Wonder Boy in Monster World – See my Exile entry concerning Action/RPGs. The Wonderboy games were great on the Master System and WBiMW just continues the legacy.