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Top 10 Sega Master System Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Briana Lawrence Before they was SEEGGAAAA... they were this BEEEP BOOOP. Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Sega Master System Games. While we all know Sega for the Genesis and a certain blue hedgehog, we will be taking a look at what came before that -- Sega’s foray into 8-bit gaming, and their first attempt at dethroning Nintendo. We will not be including games that were ported from the Genesis to the Master System, so that hedgehog we mentioned will not be on this list. Special Thanks to our users "Jose Acevedo" "radon548" "herohero" "David Ram" for suggesting this topic on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Briana Lawrence

Top 10 Sega Master System Games


Before they were this (Genesis Startup)... they were this (Master System Startup). Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Sega Master System Games.

While we all know Sega for the Genesis and a certain blue hedgehog, we will be taking a look at what came before that -- Sega’s foray into 8-bit gaming, and their first attempt at dethroning Nintendo. We will not be including games that were ported from the Genesis to the Master System, so that hedgehog we mentioned will not be on this list.

#10: Fantasy Zone (1986)

An invading army, a space adventure, and a sentient space ship with a name that sounds like a Neo-Pet. This games puts players in control of “Opa-Opa,” an adorable ship that’s off to stop the evils of planet Menon in this brightly colored, side scrolling shooter. This day and age, we’re used to seeing some shooters with cute, Kirby-esque backgrounds, but back in the 80s we didn’t expect something so colorful to be about blasting your enemies away in a rapid fire of bullets.

#9: Ys the Vanished Omen (1987)

Something wonderful happened with video games in 1987: they started to tell stories beyond what was written in the instruction booklet. That’s not to say that video games had no story: we did need a reason to travel through the Mushroom Kingdom. But the thing that makes games like Mario memorable is gameplay. Games like number 9 on our list are memorable for, well, everything: gameplay, character, plot, and other components that people, at the time, thought were only capable with movies and books.

#8: Psycho Fox (1987)

Once upon a time animal heroes were everywhere in video games. Bats, Cats, squirrels and hedgehogs, there wasn’t a woodland creature under the sun that didn’t get a go. In this case, we have a fox who can use a Shinto stick to shapeshift into a hippo, a monkey, or a tiger. As if that weren’t enough animals, there’s a feathered ally in the fox’s quest named Birdfly. Yep, he’s named after what he is and what he can do. We... weren’t the best at naming things back then.

#7: Shinobi (1988)

Who doesn’t love ninjas? They’re stealthy, they’re highly skilled, and they do that whole running across the rooftops with the moon serving as a backdrop thing. One of gamings most well known ninjas is “Ryu Hayubusa” of “Ninja Gaiden,” but before that, there was another ninja on the gaming scene: Sega’s Joe Musashi. Before we were getting frustrated with the NES’s ninja adventures, we were on a quest to save the children of Joe Musashi’s ninja clan from the criminal organization, “Zeed.”

#6: Zillion (1987)

In a time where video games were bouncing back from a huge crash in 1983, there seemed to be a bit of an extra risk to everything that was being released. This game went a step further by being based on an anime. Video game adaptations to anime aren’t too surprising now, but back then anime was still a new form of entertainment for places outside of Japan. So we have to give this space adventure platformer major points for taking a chance.

#5: Operation Wolf (1991)

What’s better than dumping quarters into a classic arcade machine? Dumping quarters into one that lets you use a gun controller. The year was 1987 when gamers were introduced to Special Forces Operative, Roy Adams, and trekked across different stages on a mission to rescue hostages. The game was a huge success, making it inevitable that it would hit home consoles. Sadly, most ports of the game didn’t use any sort of gun-con. Fortunately for Sega MasterSystem owners, its port was an exception.

#4: R-type (1987)

You know when they say that games were harder “back in the day”? This is what they mean. This game worked like most side scrolling shoot em ups, however, its insane difficulty level set it apart from others like it. Not only did you have to worry about the enemies on the screen, but the stages would have a correct way to get through them. This was before the time of walkthroughs and FAQs so the only way to learn was to get lucky or fail and try again.

#3: Wonder Boy III: Dragon’s Trap (1989)

You know when you begin a game fully powered, only to have it taken away? Welcome to the third installment of “Wonder Boy.” Up until this point our hero has saved his girlfriend from an evil king and has taken on a dastardly dragon. This game picks up right where the second game left off, where Wonder Boy slays that dragon... only to be turned into “Lizard Man”, lose all of his equipment, and most of his health. Oops.

#2: Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986)

Before Sega’s mascot was a speedy, blue hedgehog, it was this kid -- spelled with two “d’s” for optimal coolness. While there are several installments in the Kidd franchise, the first game is still hailed as the best one in the series – which made the fact that it was included in all master system consoles internally all the sweeter. A platforming adventure unlike any other, Alex sets out to save the land from the evil Janken with the almighty power... of punching the crap out of things. You gotta love an 8-bit hero who can punch a rock into pieces.

Before we shut off our Master System, let’s give it a proper send off with these honorable mentions.

“Ninja Gaiden” (1992)

“Penguin Land” (1987)

“California Games” (1987)

“Baku Baku Animal” (1998)

“Prince of Persia” (1992)

#1: Phantasy Star (1987)

We told you 1987 was a good year for video games. This game was released just two days after “Final Fantasy” and is known as one of the pioneers of the traditional RPG format with it’s overworld maps, interactive towns, immersive dungeons and, of course, random battle encounters. But what really set it apart was how great it looked since it used graphical technology that no one believed could be done. Oh, and it had a female protagonist, something else that was rare back then.

Do you agree with our list? Which Sega Master game makes you want to pull your console out of the closet and boot it up again? For more retro top 10 lists published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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