Nowadays, retro games are easier to obtain than they’ve ever been, thanks to such services as Nintendo Switch Online or collections where dozens of games are amassed on a single disc. Never having owned any of the Sega consoles, one such collection that I simply had to buy was Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection on the XBox 360, which features roughly 50 games! And today, I thought it would be fun to list my top 10 games from the collection. Keep in mind that I’m not including major Sonic the Hedgehog titles because that would just be unfair (they’d all take up the top slots, otherwise). Also, please remember that the majority of these games are being judged on their first hour or two of gameplay, since I wasn‘t able to complete most of them…. (I guess I’m just not good enough. Sniff…)
10: Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master – You get to play as a ninja. Which is very cool and very fun. I’ve played other similar games in other collections, and this has always been my favorite.
9: Sonic Spinball – I wouldn’t normally include a Pinball game on the list, but…yep, I really liked Sonic Spinball. It was a lot of fun, and you could control Sonic both as a ball and walking around. It could be kind of frustrating at times (okay, really frustrating), but that didn’t stop me from playing long enough to nearly beat it!
8: Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine – Again, this is a kind of game I wouldn’t normally include in any top 10’s, but darn it, this game (notice how I keep avoiding having to type the super long title) is really fun and addicting. It’s kind of like Tetris, in that you must line up beans of the same color in order to score points. The better you do, the more likely you are to send these grey beans over to your opponent’s side, which are much harder to get rid of. I actually got pretty good at this game and was able to play fairly far into it. (Fun fact: Thanks to Nintendo Switch Online, I discovered that this is actually a Sonic version of another series of games called Puyo Puyo!)
7: Beyond Oasis – This is one of several games on this list that I’d really like to return to in the future. Beyond Oasis is a lot like The Legend of Zelda, where you explore a large open world and visit shrines that are a bit like the dungeons from the Zelda series, if I’m remembering correctly. I actually got stuck on the Water Shrine, despite being the first one in the game….
6: Comix Zone – Comix Zone is a really cool and unique game where you play through the panels of a comic book! I love the game’s creativity and art style, with my only complaint being how hard it is, meaning I never get to play too far into it.
5: Ristar – Ristar is one of my favorite platformers in this collection because of its fun gameplay and colorful graphics. If you enjoy platformers and want to try one from the Genesis that’s not Sonic the Hedgehog, then Ristar would definitely be my top recommendation.
4: Shining Force 1 and 2– I’ll admit that I barely played much of these games, as they had somehow gone unnoticed for years (I mean, the collection has almost 50 games, so maybe that explains it). When I did finally discover their existence, I realized that this game and its sequel was an overlooked gem. The game is described as a “turn-based tactical RPG”, which is something I’ve never played before. But it’s certainly something I’d love to revisit in the future. (Shining in the Darkness was actually the first game in this series, but it was a bit different.)
3: Ecco the Dolphin and The Tides of Time – This is actually a series I had wanted to try out for a long time. You get to play as a dolphin named Ecco, of course, and the game is spent swimming through all kinds of challenging levels made even more difficult due to your need to replenish oxygen from time to time. The game is also beautiful to look at and has a nice soundtrack, as well. These are definitely two games I’d like to return to in the future.
2: Vectorman 1 and 2 –Vectorman 1 and 2 are a cool and fun pair of platformers starring Vectorman, who can run, shoot, and platform his way through various stages. The games, if I remember correctly, were meant to compete with the graphics of Donkey Kong Country on the SNES, making them some of the best looking games in the collection. Of course, graphics wouldn’t mean much if the games weren’t also a lot of fun to play. It’s just a shame that, like a lot of games in this collection, they’re way too tough for me!
1: Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium – To be honest, this is one of the only games in the collection that I was actually able to complete (again, retro games are tough…), though that’s not the only reason it’s made its way to the top of the list. Phantasy Star IV is a turn-based RPG, and…I don’t know, it’s just a lot of fun. Not too much else to say aside from the fact that I sunk many more hours into this game than any other in this collection.
What are your favorite games from the Sega Genesis, dear readers? The comments are awaiting your input below.