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10 Wonder Boy in Monster World
An epic, engrossing and enjoyable mash-up of platforming and RPG. Lots to see and do, items to collect and monsters to bash. A great game in a great (if somewhat barmy) series.
9 Comix Zone
It’s a shame the Sega Technical Institute didn’t make more games, really. This innovative game put you in the shoes of Sketch Turner, wannabe comic-book artist who is sucked into his latest creation and has to fight his way out. Playing out as a mix of scrolling beat-em-up and platformer, it’s brutally hard but also incredibly innovative and fun if you can handle the steep difficulty curve.
8 Story of Thor
Got a Mega Drive? Missed out on Legend of Zelda? No worries – Story of Thor is an excellent action RPG. Arguably, I’d say this has the edge, with at least as much depth in this title as Nintendo’s franchise.
7 Earthworm Jim
In the endless battles between the SNES and the Mega Drive, Nintendo’s console came out on top quite a few times. However the definitive 16-bit version of Shiny’s platforming gem is the Mega Drive version. Taking advantage of their experience with the console Shiny were able to wring extra performance out of Sega’s machine. A great platformer, and damn funny too…
6 Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
An utterly epic and sprawling JRPG. The culmination of the series on the Mega Drive, and probably the best installment in the series. It added lots of new ideas to a formula that was getting a bit stale, and if it’s longevity you’re after then you can’t go wrong with this.
5 Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
The best game in the series, Shinobi III is an awesome, epic action platformer. Breathtakingly beautiful and tough to beat, it’s one of the best platformers on the Mega Drive.
4 Castlevania Bloodlines
A classic Castlevania adventure for the Mega Drive, this game was heavily censored when it came to Europe and the US (boo!). Nonetheless it’s a fine entry in a strong series, and well worth a go. Provided you don’t mind the legendary Castlevania difficulty!
3 Gunstar Heroes
Treasure were geniuses. We would have put Dynamite Headdy in this top 10 if it weren’t so mind-bendingly crazy. Marginally more sane (only marginally, mind) is their seminal platform shooter Gunstar Heroes. A brilliant, tough, inventive game – there’s something new around every corner. If you’ve got a Mega Drive, you need this game…
2 Streets of Rage 2
The best Streets of Rage game, and possibly the best scrolling beat-em-up ever. It improved on the original in every way possible, with better special attacks, longer levels and much more variety. The slightly dingy graphics of the original have been overhauled too, and the whole package just feels right…
1 Sonic the Hedgehog 2
There were a fair few Sonic games on the Mega Drive, but for our money this one’s the best. It added so much to the series – Tails, two-player, Super Sonic. The design is also better, so the levels are more enjoyable and intuitive. No wonder it’s the best-selling Sonic game, and the best-selling Mega Drive game, as well as being our best Mega Drive game of all time!