Retro gaming has exploded in popularity in recent years. Gamers around the world are beginning to rediscover just how thrilling and well-designed games of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s continue to be, despite the giant advancements in technology and gaming since their release. It’s proof that well-made games are truly timeless.
After SEGA’s last console, the Dreamcast, the gaming giant started re-releasing its library of games on other consoles, and now gamers can grab some great classic SEGA titles from the Xbox Game Store for free. anywhere between $4 and $10, making it an inexpensive way to explore the world of retro gaming.
ten Sonic CDs (SEGA CDs)
SEGA’s biggest console was the Genesis/Mega Drive. In fact, it proved so popular that SEGA did everything to improve and extend its lifespan. The first expansion came in the form of SEGA CD – a disc drive component that would allow the console to play longer games with much better sound capabilities and even improved video quality.
One of the best games from SEGA CD was sonic cdthe third game of the beloved Sonic franchise. sonic cd was praised for its challenging levels, length, and unique time-travel twist, which allows Sonic to travel set levels in the past, present, and future.
9 Crazy Taxi (Dreamcast)
The Dreamcast was known for some wild games, and one of the wildest was crazy cab. In the game, players are tasked with operating a taxi that needs to get passengers to their destination on time…however, this isn’t just any taxi ride. In order to get passengers there in time, players must race around the city, create shortcuts through pedestrian-filled parks, and drive full speed off ramps, jumping over obstacles. Adding to the chaos is the excellent (and so very 90s) with The Offspring and Bad Religion.
8 Nights in Dreams (Saturn)
Fans were angry when they learned that SEGA’s new console, the Saturn, wouldn’t be launching with a Sonic game. After all, it’s the franchise that made SEGA famous. However, Sonic Team (the group responsible for Sonic games) was hard at work on another unique title called nights in dreams.
The game allowed players to fly through colorful levels, collect gems, and slide through rings. It was certainly a departure from the Sonic games, but reviewers praised its unique qualities and smooth flight controls, instantly turning it into a must-have title for the Saturn.
seven Altered Beast (Genesis/Mega Drive)
Altered Beast was a hit arcade game that also served as the launch title for SEGA’s Genesis/Mega Drive console. It’s a side-scrolling beat-’em-up that lets players take control of a character that can transform into different animals like wolves, lions, bears, and more. The premise is that he was chosen by the Greek god Zeus to save Athena from the underworld.
Upon release, the game was a huge hit and players loved the ability to transform into powerful creatures – which also helped make Altered Beast a unique track that stands out from the multitude of other beat-’em-ups that were released at the time.
6 Shinobi (master system)
Originally launched in the arcades, shinobi made its way to SEGA’s Master System console in 1988. The game centers on ninja warrior Joe Musashi who must stop a criminal organization from kidnapping members of his clan. The game was popular because it told a great story and offered a variety of weapon choices, like throwing stars and swords, which helped the game feel fresh and varied. During the 1990s and early 2000s, shinobi The series continued to add new games, eventually releasing 12 in total.
5 Sonic Adventure 1 & 2 (Dreamcast)
After hearing fans complain about the Saturn’s lack of Sonic games, SEGA knew they had to bring their blue hedgehog back in a big way for their next console. Sonic Adventure became one of the Dreamcast launch titles in the United States and Europe and received rave reviews.
Finally, Sonic had been transported into a fully 3D platformer with CD-quality music and excellent graphics (for 1999 standards). Sonic Adventure is still considered one of the best games for the Dreamcast and its 2001 sequel, Sonic Adventure 2received even more accolades and accolades.
4 SEGA Genesis Collection
In 2018, SEGA released a console edition of its popular SEGA Genesis Classics collection, which is a compilation of the best SEGA games from Genesis/Mega Drive. Popular hits like sonic the hedgehog and streets of anger to forgotten wonders like Ecco the dolphin and phantom starthe collection is an absolute treasure trove for fans of the 16-bit era.
Even better, the collection added modern features to enhance games, including online multiplayer and the ability to save games (which was a feature only certain games had in the early 90s).
3 Aladdin and the Lion King (Genesis/Mega Drive)
Two of the greatest Genesis/Mega Drive hits were Disney’s Aladdin and The Lion King. Both were side-scrolling platformers where players could embody their favorite characters, like Aladdin and Simba, and battle their way through levels based on the movies.
The games were surprisingly challenging, making them popular with adults and children alike, and the cartoon-like graphics helped Aladdin and The Lion King the impression that they were really scenes from movies. After decades of fans asking for a re-release, Disney finally bundled the two games together and released them for consoles in 2019.
2 Ikaruga (Dreamcast)
Ikaruga is a top-down shoot-’em-up that was originally released for the Dreamcast in Japan only. Shortly after its release, it developed a cult following in the West. Gamers heard of the game’s rave reviews, and enthusiasts began paying high prices for imported copies.
Before a long time, Ikaruga became one of the best Dreamcast games of all time which, unfortunately, few gamers had the chance to play. Fortunately, in recent years Ikaruga has been ported to various consoles like the Nintendo Switch and Xbox, allowing gamers to finally experience one of the most beloved shoot-’em-ups of all time.
1 Soul Calibur (Dreamcast)
SoulCalibur is regularly hailed as the best Dreamcast game ever made. On the surface it was a fighting game, but what appealed to players was that it went much deeper. Each character had their own special weapons and movies, adding an exciting new layer of depth to an already cluttered genre.
Also, at the time of release, the graphics were absolutely stunning. The crisp lines and bright colors helped amplify the character’s outfits and their massively oversized and powerful weapons. The Xbox version has even been upgraded to HD quality, making the game look stunning over 20 years after its initial release.
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