Top 10 Sega Genesis Games in my Backlog
Image source: Kira Schwarz

Top 10 Sega Genesis Games in my Backlog

During my childhood, my family had a Sega Genesis, or Sega Mega Drive as it’s known outside of North America. I remember playing Sonic the Hedgehog and its sequel, even though I wasn’t very good at them. But other than Sonic, I don’t think we had any games the console is remembered fondly for. Clearly I missed out on a lot of quality games on the console. This list is all about fixing that!

10. Shining in the Darkness

  • Developer: Climax Entertainment
  • Release: August 6, 1991

Shining in the Darkness was a very early game in the console’s lifespan. It’s a first-person dungeon crawling RPG, where you explore the game’s dungeons with your party, fight monsters in random encounters, and save characters trapped in the dungeon. I haven’t really cared for the gameplay of the previous dungeon crawlers I’ve played, but I’m still curious to try this one since it’s from a series I haven’t played before.

9. Battle Golfer Yui

  • Developer: Santos
  • Release: February 15, 1991 (Japan)

This game was only released in Japan, but luckily there’s an English translation patch for it over on courtesy of Supper, Filler, and Guest. The concept here is just too interesting! It’s a Golf RPG, where you play as a golfer girl who must fight against other golfers to foil the world domination plans of an evil scientist. It sounds super unique, and I’ve enjoyed the small amount of Mario Golf I’ve played in the past, so this could be pretty fun.

8. Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole

  • Developer: Climax Entertainment
  • Release: 1993

I don’t know that I’ve heard of another platformer that uses an isometric perspective, but that’s exactly what Landstalker does. I’ve heard the perspective makes platforming a little weird at times, but that it’s still an enjoyable game nonetheless. I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy playing through this when I pick it up!

7. Gunstar Heroes

  • Developer: Treasure
  • Release: September 1993

Gunstar Heroes is heralded by many as a shining example of the run and gun genre. It’s full of frantic action, and has a unique sense of humor. You can even play it in co-op, which could be fun for PatronusLight and I!

6. Comix Zone

  • Developer: Sega Technical Institute
  • Release: August 2, 1995

Comix Zone is a comic book-style beat ‘em up. It takes place within the pages of a comic book after the author gets pulled into his own work by the villain! It sounds interesting, and I’ve heard some of the music from this game featured on the Rhythm and Pixels podcast before, and I liked what I heard there!

5. Rocket Knight Adventures

  • Developer: Konami
  • Release: August 5, 1993

This one’s an animal mascot platformer that I’ve heard really good things about from YouTube! Or at least, from Austin Eruption. You play as Sparkster, a sword-wielding, jetpack-wearing opossum. As Sparkster, you’ll platform your way through levels, slicing through enemies with your sword and blasting around with your rocket jetpack.

Rocket Knight Adventures sounds like a pretty cool platformer, the jetpack seems like it’ll mix up the regular platformer formula a bit.

4. Streets of Rage 2

  • Developer: Ancient / MNM Software Shout! / Designworks / H.I.C.
  • Release: December 20, 1992

Edit: I played through to the end with the help of an infinite lives cheat. I’m not nearly skilled enough to make it through the entire game otherwise, but I really enjoyed it! It’s a tough but tight beat ‘em up with a great soundtrack, and I can definitely see myself playing through it again someday! You can find more of my thoughts on it here.

Part of the acclaimed 16-bit era beat ‘em up series, Streets of Rage 2 is a side scrolling beat ‘em up. The player fights against many enemies in each stage, utilizing weapons and special attacks to deal more damage.

Though there is a story here, I think I’ll be okay jumping straight into the sequel without playing the original game first. I’m mainly looking forward to the gameplay and music here, as they’re supposed to be top notch!

3. Shining Force II

  • Developer: Sonic! Software Planning
  • Release: October 1994

Shining Force II is a strategy RPG in a high fantasy setting, with knights, healers, demons, and other fantasy elements. Gameplay is turn-based, and takes place on a grid, similarly to other SRPGs like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics. Between battles, you can also freely explore towns and other areas.

With its combination of SRPG gameplay and town exploration elements, Shining Force II sounds like it will be a pretty fun game, and it will be my introduction into the Shining series!

2. Beyond Oasis

  • Developer: Ancient
  • Release: March 15, 1995

Edit: I gave Beyond Oasis a try, but it wasn’t for me. It started out okay, but I became frustrated with the difficulty spike around the halfway point and decided to retire my playthrough. You can read more about my thoughts here.

An action-adventure game said to feature gameplay similar to The Legend of Zelda’s 2D entries, Beyond Oasis puts the player in control of Prince Ali. Ali finds a gold armlet, and learns that as the bearer of the gold armlet, it is his duty to find and stop the wielder of the silver armlet, who will use its power to cause chaos and destruction across the land.

This sounds like a classic struggle of good versus evil, and with the Zelda-esque gameplay I’ve been promised, I’m looking forward to seeing how it stacks up against the 2D Zelda formula.

1. Phantasy Star IV

  • Developer: Sega
  • Release: February, 1995

Phantasy Star IV is a classic turn-based RPG from the 16-bit era. I’ve played some of Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star II in the past, but I’ve never played the fourth entry in the series. Phantasy Star IV is regarded by many as the best of the original Phantasy Star games. With all the hype, I’m definitely excited to play it for myself!


The self-proclaimed "Guy with the Backlog", as of this writing his Steam backlog is slowly growing to the point of consuming him. Meanwhile, he spends most of his time trying to catch up on the retro classics he missed, as well as replaying the games he grew up with.

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