Top 10 Games That NEED to be on the Sega Mega Drive Mini
Top 10 Games That NEED to be on the Sega Mega Drive Mini

Top 10 Games That NEED to be on the Sega Mega Drive Mini

Script written by Mark Sammut

The Sega Genesis had a vast library of games and these are the ones we absolutely must play on the mini! Welcome to and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Games That NEED to be on the Sega Mega Drive Mini.

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Top 10 Games That NEED to be on the Sega Mega Drive Mini

How about all of them? Is that an option? Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Games That NEED to be on the Sega Mega Drive Mini.

For this list, we’re looking at the definitive Sega Mega Drive games that have to be included with the new mini console.

#10: Our Top 10 Sega Genesis Games List

To avoid wasting time on titles that will definitely be included with the Mega Drive mini, we recommend checking out our Top 10 Sega Genesis Games List. The first two Sonic the Hedgehog entries, Streets of Rage 2, Castlevania: Bloodlines, and Gunstar Heroes are among the most influential games in history, ones that represented the Sega brand during the company's heyday, so there is no chance these ten games will miss out on the collection. Strider, Golden Axe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, Comix Zone, Vector Man, and Disney's Aladdin round up the list of sure-fire candidates for the Sega Mega Drive Mini.

#9: “Mortal Kombat”

A year after arcades immortalized the word "fatality," Midway's bloody fighting game made the jump to home consoles. Despite the SNES port's superior visuals and audio, Sega's Mortal Kombat is the better all-around experience. While Nintendo neutered the game to suit their family-friendly image, Sega went in the opposite direction and allowed Genesis players to unlock blood and uncensored fatalities by merely entering a cheat code. Even though Mortal Kombat will always be associated with arcades, the Genesis version ranks among the best console fighters of its generation.

#8: “ToeJam & Earl”

Humor can be hit or miss, but when done right, it results in something special. ToeJam & Earl follows two aliens from Funkotron who crash land on Earth and have to find the necessary parts to repair their spaceship. Described as Rogue-like, Sega's co-op game was not an instant hit but word of mouth elevated ToeJam & Earl to cult status. Bolstered by hilarious dialogue and unconventional gameplay mechanics that prioritize exploration over combat, ToeJam & Earl eventually became one of Sega's leading mascots and even earned a sequel.

#7: “Shining Force II”

The Shining series started as a first-person dungeon crawler, but things changed with Shining Force. Opting for a more strategic style of gameplay, Shining Force II built on its predecessor's good work to deliver one of the best RPGs on Sega's system. Mixing exploration and turn-based combat, players step into the shoes of Shining Force Leader, Bowie, who is searching for allies to take down the demon king. With many different combat units to unlock, characters gain experience from each battle and, once they reach level 20, can be promoted to a superior class. Visually gorgeous and user-friendly, Shining Force II has aged like a glass of fine wine.

#6: “NBA Jam: Tournament Edition”

Simplified does not always equal bad. Starting off as a popular arcade game, Midway's basketball series reduced matches to fast-paced 2-on-2 encounters but maintained an element of strategy by allowing gamers to decide the optimum time to substitute players. The second entry in the franchise, Tournament Edition featured a roster of over 120 readily-available NBA athletes spread across 27 teams and a bunch of other hidden characters, including Bill and Hilary Clinton. Whether scoring insane dunks or entering cheat codes for a quick power-up; back in the day, NBA Jam: Tournament Edition was the ultimate sports game.

#5: “Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium”

As the final entry in the franchise, Sega's RPG series really went out with a bang. Initially met with mixed reviews, Phantasy Star IV has only improved with age and is now considered among one of the best RPGs ever made. Taking place a thousand years after Phantasy Star II, players control a "hunter" named Chaz Ashley who is tasked with keeping creatures known as bio-monsters at bay. Besides exploring towns and interacting with NPCs, the turn-based combat allows up to five members who can use a variety of techniques, skills, or combination attacks. Taking the best elements of its predecessors, Phantasy Star IV remains as charming as ever.

#4: “Earthworm Jim”

Created by Shiny Entertainment, Earthworm Jim was the developer's first non-licensed game, and that newfound sense of freedom can be seen in every insane frame. Generally classified as a run-and-gun sidescrolling platformer with a twist, Earthworm Jim pushed the envelope in terms of imaginative level design and fast-paced gameplay. Due to the use of a hand-drawn animation style, the two Mega Drive games still look impressive today and, honestly, more people need to experience Earthworm Jim's surreal world.

#3: “Contra: Hard Corps”

As the only Contra game released on the Mega Drive, in this case, Konami went with quality rather than quantity. Hard Corps was an improvement in nearly every way over the much loved Contra III: Alien Wars. Expanding the roster of heroes from two to four; Hard Corps doubled the available weapon slots, added new moves like the slide, while also increasing the difficulty due to the ramped up presence of boss fights. As always, the boss fights are epic and entertaining as hell, but Hard Corps' branching paths remain the game's greatest achievement, allowing for multiple playthroughs and endings.

#2: “Sonic 3 & Knuckles”

Released separately as Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles, the Mega Drive's lock-on technology combined the two games to create Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Individually, Sega's games received near universal support from critics and the lock-on feature only enhanced the experience. Sticking close to the franchise's side-scrolling roots, Sonic 3 & Knuckles allows the title characters and Tails to be used in every level, with the areas and bosses changing depending on the participant. The combined version also introduced an extra hub world and seven Super Emeralds that – once collected – transformed Sonic and Knuckles into their Hyper forms.

#1: Better Emulation Overall

While we could fantasize all day about our dream Genesis line-up; if the equipment is lackluster, then the games are worthless. AtGames is in charge of the Mega Drive Mini and the company's track record leaves something to be desired. Unlike Nintendo's Mini retro consoles, the Mega Drive Mini is being emulated by a third party whose previous attempts were dragged down by a slew of problems including a wonky D-pad and terrible audio. Hopefully, AtGames finally gets it right, as the Mega Drive and gamers deserve the best of the best.