Sega Genesis was originally released in 1988 as the third console from the Sega company. There are 697 official Sega Genesis games and 713 total from the Sega company that are compatible with the console.
Of almost 700 official Sega Genesis games, it can be hard to choose the best ones. These are the 4 best Sega Genesis games from the 1990s that we see fans have raved about for the past few decades.
1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Dr. Robotnik is up to his evil deeds again. He traps the animals on West Island while seeking the Chaos Emeralds that will power his Death Egg space station. It is up to Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles to free the animals throughout the island and stop the evil Dr. Robotnik from his underhanded shenanigans.
This scrolling-platform game brings back fond memories of navigating through each level with various unknown obstacles along the way. You had to watch out for bottomless pits, water, spikes, and anything else that could hurt you during gameplay while completing your mission.
The suspense of having to collect the rings when you ran out of them was truly real. We all remember the feeling of losing all of Sonic’s rings and then hitting another nearby obstacle before we could even collect the rings again.
Original Release Date in North America: November 21, 1992
2. Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II took it to the next level in nostalgic arcade gaming. Instituting combo interactions, special moves, and a unique move set for each character utilizing six buttons on the Sega controller, gameplay got more fun and interactive.
Plus, you did not get bored with having the same characters as the first Street Fighter installment. There were more characters to choose from each with a unique fighting style to vary your gaming experience. Eight playable characters from sumos to martial artists to mutants and four exclusive computer characters graced the character lineup.
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Original Release Date in North America: July 15, 1992
Publisher: JP Capcom; Bandai
3. Mortal Kombat
As of today, the Mortal Kombat franchise is the 9th most popular game. Originally released as an arcade game in 1992, it came home to gamer heads a year later so that you can play it without having to leave home.
Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Raiden, Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Scorpion, and Kano were the original character lineup. The game highlights the true grit of hand-to-hand combat from a blood and gore standpoint. At the end of the fight, you “finish” your opponent in a gory manner.
The game has advanced 30 years later from 7 playable characters to 77 of them. Some later installments in the franchise would have the winning opponent either kill the losing character in a gory manner or the unvictorious character would fall to their death and hit spikes.
Original Release Date in North America: June 25, 1993
Publisher: Midway Games, Acclaim Entertainment, and others
4. Streets of Rage 2
Streets of Rage 2 pits a single player or two players against waves of enemies that are after you on the streets. It’s an action-packed game that can have you on the edge of your seat in not knowing where the next enemy will come from.
This side-scrolling arcade-style game features iconic characters such as Max Thunder, Blaze Fielding, and Axel Stone as playable characters. Special Attacks can deal additional damage for a faster victory while the Blitz attacks are action-packed for a flashier appearance.
Original Release Date in North America: December 20, 1992
Publisher: Mega Drive/Genesis NA
Sega Genesis Specialists Weigh In!
We hope this lineup makes you want to go grab your Sega Genesis from the attic and play some retro games for old time’s sake. What was your favorite Sega Genesis game from the 1990s? Which ones do you have the fondest memories of playing by yourself and with family and friends? We invite Sega Genesis Masters to weigh in with their opinion in the comments below!