The Sega Genesis Mini is due out on September 19, and it has a staggering 42 games available for you to enjoy on your modern widescreen TV. But let’s face it, even though each of these games are likely to be a major nostalgia bomb for someone, not every one is a certified banger.
That’s why we here at TheGamer are looking to optimize your mini Genesis play time by ranking every single one of these games, so you can get right to the absolute classics. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our ranking of all 42 games on the Sega Genesis Mini:
We can't really rank Darius, seeing as how it's a port of a game that never came out on the actual Sega Genesis. However, Darius does remind us of Hootie & The Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker, so we do give it points for that.
41. Alex Kidd In The Enchanted Castle
Alex Kidd was the original Sega mascot prior to Sonic. He was a weird looking monkey boy whose platforming games were about as basic as possible. It's easy to see why they fired him.
40. Virtua Fighter 2
Forget Ryu or Scorpion, look at the polygons on Jeffry! Sadly, the visuals didn’t really age all that well, and neither did the gameplay.
39. Kid Chameleon
Considering how radical Kid Chameleon looks, it's a shame this floaty platformer couldn't match up with his attitude.
38. Space Harrier 2
Hanging out with this dork in a red jumpsuit isn't high on our list of priorities.
37. Light Crusader
You basically hang out in one massive dungeon, solving easy puzzles, and trying to aim your frustrating, awkward jumps in an isometric view. There are better things to crusade for.
36. Sonic Spinball
Sonic can turn into a ball. Pinball involves balls. Thus, Sonic as a pinball should work pretty well. But instead we got a tremendously difficult pinball game with awkward controls, and little of that Sonic charm.
35. Altered Beast
"Rise from your grave" and play a sub-par beat 'em up.
Landstalker actually has a decent sense of humor, but it’s essentially another isometric action platformer with awkward jumping mechanics. It’s cute, but overall nothing special.
33. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
These are the weirdest beans we've ever seen.
32. Comix Zone
If the game played as well as it looks it'd be a real page turner, but it's pretty much just a basic beat 'em up that's too hard. Excelsior!
31. Eternal Champions
While not the deepest fighting game, it does have a colourful assortment of characters, and some fun special moves. It’s also one of the few fighting games where a cyborg can fight a 1920s gangster.
There are better ways to play Tetris, but at least you don't need to shell out a million bucks for this.
29. Wonder Boy In Monster World
It’s a fun, quirky little action adventure game where you fight a Native American snowman and a sphinx asks you trivia questions. We still don’t know the secret to his power though.
28. Alisia Dragoon
Any game where a bikini clad woman fires lightning out of her hands and has a dragon friend is at least worth a look.
27. Monster World IV
This is arguably even better than Wonder Boy In Monster World, although it does lack the trivia sphinx.
26. Castle Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
This game has long been considered a platforming classic, and ranks up there with other 16-bit Disney games like The Lion King, Aladdin (both versions), and of course, Quackshot.
25. World Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse And Donald Duck
The follow up to Castle Of Illusion is as good as its predecessor, even if it’s a bit easy. It also includes Donald Duck, so it ranks one point higher.
24. Super Fantasy Zone
This is an utterly bizarre shmup that has you piloting an adorable ship in a world that looks like a fever dream inspired by too much cotton candy.
23. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
This collection of the first three Mega Man games for the NES was originally a Sega Channel exclusive, and unless you were a spoiled rich kid, practically no one had that.
22. Thunder Force III
A pretty good shmup that has you defending the Galaxy Federation for a third time. It also sounds like the title of a Chuck Norris film.
21. Golden Axe
It’s a little repetitive, but Golden Axe is still pretty fun with friends. There’s just not enough games that let you play as a axe-wielding dwarf riding a dinosaur.
20. Dynamite Headdy
More games should let us fight evil puppets by headbutting them.
It’s Columns. It’s like Bejeweled’s cuddly grandfather.
Unique run and gun fun with 3D rendered sprites that still look pretty cool. Wonder if anyone ever won that $25,000 prize?
17. Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
Apparently the Genesis was the place where Arthur finally learned he could shoot up. Doesn’t make the game any easier, but at least you can finally shoot those flying enemies without jumping around like a madman in your underwear.
16. Ecco The Dolphin
It looks adorable, but it gets really, really weird. Like insane, Lovecraftian, H.G. Giger-esque weird. You've been warned.
15. Earthworm Jim
Maybe the Mini is the place we’ll finally beat Queen Pulsating, Bloated, Festering, Sweaty, Pus-Filled, Malformed, Slug-for-a-Butt (yup, that’s the main villain’s actual name).
14. Road Rash II
You can punch people off their bikes, and then run them over. Of course it’s great.
13. Sonic The Hedgehog
The game that went to war with Mario, and birthed multiple generations of weird fanart doesn’t quite crack the top ten, but it’s a pretty great platformer to this day.
You're essentially a gravity defying cyber-ninja, and it's as awesome as that sounds.
11. Toe Jam & Earl
Few games offer you and a friend the chance to play as hip hop aliens. Just remember to share the hot tub.
10. Shinobi III: Return Of The Ninja Master
One of the best action games on the Genesis, and like many games on this list, pretty dag-gum difficult. It's practically a side-scrolling Sekiro.
9. Contra: Hard Corps.
It's Contra hard, Contra fun, and also the only Contra where you can play as a werewolf with a mini-gun for an arm. Insert chef's kiss emoji here.
8. Beyond Oasis
The closest thing to a top-down Zelda game on the Genesis, only unlike Link, Prince Ali (fabulous he) can duck. Sega truly did do what Nintendidn't.
7. Shining Force
This is unfortunately not the superior Shining Force 2, but fans of games like Fire Emblem should still love this original tactics RPG.
6. Castlevania: Bloodlines
It's an underrated Castlevania, and you get to use a spear, which seems like a more effective vampire killing weapon than a whip.
5. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
Every console until the end of time must have a version of Street Fighter II on it. This is the law.
4. Phantasy Star IV
When people talk about 16-bit RPGs, for some reason the Phantasy Star series is usually left out of the conversation. If you like RPGs, then you definitely should play this.
3. Streets Of Rage 2
If there's a hall of fame for beat 'em ups, Streets Of Rage 2 is a first ballot entry, and deserves a top seat in its hallowed halls.
2. Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 has some of the best music, level design, and gameplay available on the Sega Genesis. Even though he's a bit of a mess these days, it's this game that truly cemented Sonic's legacy as an icon of gaming.
1. Gunstar Heroes
Imagine a cartoony, colorful, Contra-esque action platformer that looks amazing, and plays great. You just imagined Gunstar Heroes. If you're picking up the Sega Genesis Mini, one of the very first things you need to do is load up this triumph of a game from Treasure, and play it to the very end.