I am pretty much a fresh Sega fangirl and I have already gotten a nice Mega Drive library since a lot of games are very easy to come by, very affordable and easy to find complete in box. So here's a list of my top 10 Mega Drive games as of now. Keep in mind I might do an update on this list later when my library has grown, but these are my top 10 MD games at the moment.
10. ZERO TOLERANCE
There aren't many first person shooters on the Mega Drive, and so far this is the only one I have really played to any great length. Zero Tolerance is kind of a mix between Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, with a few unique twists. For instance, you can jump and crouch which is mostly useless but adds a bit of movement to the game, you also have some really cool guns although since your inventory space is limited you can't carry every single thing in the game and have to sometimes waste ammo to get a new weapon which adds a lot of thought and strategy to the game. The weapons themselves also have unique features, such as laser targeting. For the time this was a really ambitious game for a 16bit system and has some really impressive graphics. The game is divided into several episodes, kinda like Doom or Wolf3D but you keep your inventory items between episodes, which is pretty cool. The only bad thing I can say about it though is that the framerate is a bit low and the game therefore feels a bit slow as a result. I also thought the music was really bad and forgetable and I usually turn it off when playing the game. I also really wish the game had saves instead of having to use a password but other than that, this is a solid effort for the Mega Drive and a really impressive one at that. One thing I also wanna mention is that instead of the game having lives, you have several characters to play as, each with their own unique character strengths and backstories, giving the game kind of a roguelike feel as each life is a character and once they are all dead, the game is over.
8. MICHAEL JACKSON'S MOONWALKER
I've heard a lot of people call this a bad game but... I have no idea how anyone could come to that judgement. Sure it is based on one of the most controversial pop stars of all time but as a game I think it's kinda awesome. I don't care what anyone says, Michael Jackson still is one of the coolest entertainers to have ever lived and turning his dance style and his overall coolness into a game is just an amazing concept in my opinion. In this game your primary goal is to rescue children kidnapped by the evil Joe Pesci from the movie, even though all of them are identical girls.
At your disposal you have Michael's magical dust that he throws at enemies to send them offscreen or you can challenge everyone to a dance-off, which of course the king of pop easily wins. Add a ton of classic Michael Jackson hits rendered gloriously in 16bit Mega Drive music form and you have one of the quirkiest and coolest games on the system in my opinion. Oh and he turns into a freakin' robot.
7. EARTHWORM JIM
6. DRAGON'S FURY
Originally released as Devil's Crush, Dragon's Fury is probably the most badass pinball game I've ever played. It features really awesome imagery filled with demons, dragons (of course) and other satanic stuff. The soundtrack is equally badass and one of my favourite on the Mega Drive. Very rocking and fitting to the occult imagery on display. Of course the gameplay is also really solid and to this day this remains one of my favourite pinball games. I highly recommend it to anyone who owns a Mega Drive.
5. CASTLEVANIA: THE NEW GENERATION
In the US this game was known as Castlevania Bloodlines but it was censored to remove most of the blood from the game and was renamed The New Generation in Europe. Still, the game remains largely the same and is just as much fun to play. It's classic Castlevania action and in my opinion one of the best Castlevania games out there (I think Super Castlevania IV is a tad bit overrated).
The graphics are really beautiful for the Mega and features some impressive scaling techniques and reflections. I also really like the music, it has some really good classic tunes in there.
Featuring some tough bosses and solid gameplay, it is a classic in every sense of the word and deserves a playthrough at least once though the price on eBay can be a bit high for the game atm.
4. ALISIA DRAGOON
This game was brought to my attention by Pat The NES Punk and I am really glad he did as normally he only reviews NES games (hence the name). It's easily one of the most underrated and overlooked games on the Mega Drive, featuring a pretty badass female heroine with a pet dragon who battles a ton of enemies by firing lasers from her hands (how cool is THAT?!). The graphics are some of the best on the Mega arguably, the music is also really good and makes really good use of the Mega Drive's capability. It's also one of the few games on the Mega with a female hero as far as I know and for that it gets a big plus in my book.
3. THE LION KING
The Lion King is easily one of my favourite Disney movies of all time and the game is also one of the best I've played on the Mega. It features pretty much all the scenes from the movie and you get to play as Simba from a young cub into a majestic adult. The graphics are amazing for the time and I really love the smooth animation on Simba. The same kind of smooth animation was also present in another Mega Drive Disney game, Aladdin though I like this game a bit more than Aladdin. The music is re-arranged versions of the movie's legendary score and it's really hard not to hum along to it when playing the game. My only criticism is that the game can get a bit difficult in certain stages though by being persistent and replaying them again and again, you get past them eventually. Easily worth a pickup if you're a fan of the movie as I am.
Gaiares (meaning literally Gaia Rescue, as in rescuing the Earth) is probably my favourite shmup of all time, let alone on the Mega Drive. While it was only released in Japan and the US, the US version is fully playable on a European system so importing it is no problem. The graphics are pretty awesome in my opinion and easily some of the best on the system, the music is also equally good with really good melodies and riffs that sticks in your mind for a good time after playing the game, especially the level 1 theme which I always hum along to when playing the game. The game has a pretty fair difficulty as well in comparison with a lot of other shmups from the time and seems to strike a really good balance as the game never feels unfair but rather relies on repetition to get good at it.
I pretty much learned about this game from Mark of Classic Game Room and I can see why he's such a fan of the game. It's an awesome shooter and like I said, one of my favourites of all time.
1. SONIC 3
So that was my top 10 Mega Drive games. What are your favourites? Comment and share!
- Alyxx <3