We dusted off some Sega oldies and found some Genesis goodies.
When it comes to reflecting on the classic consoles of the 90s, the Sega Genesis is often snubbed in favor of the Super Nintendo, the Nintendo 64, and the original PlayStation. Although the Genesis was originally released in the late 80s, the console hit its stride alongside the Super Nintendo in a heated battle for 16-bit glory. While you often hear about games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, and Gunstar Heroes, there are plenty of underrated Sega Genesis games that deserve their time in the spotlight.
Whether driven by memorable mascots, inventive gameplay, or unique narratives, these 3 underrated Sega Genesis games have stuck in my mind since my childhood years. While they may not be as polished as some of the more favored Genesis games, their impact and undeniable fun-factor are more than enough to warrant some showcasing.
If you’re looking for a Genesis gem you might have overlooked, this is a good place to start.
3. Comix Zone
With the popularity of comic books and superheroes at an all-time high, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more games like Comix Zone. In this extremely underrated adventure, you play as Sketch, a comic artist living in New York City. When Sketch finds himself trapped within the pages of his newest comic, he must tear through the panels and defeat his deadly creations.
There’s a lot to love about Comix Zone. The visuals are appropriately cartoon-like in nature, with Sketch able to rip through the boundaries of panels to traverse the page.
Although it might seem like a beat ’em up game at first blush, Comix Zone punishes those players who try to button-mash to success. If you want to make any serious progress, you’ll have to anticipate and block enemy attacks, use items with strategy, and solve a puzzle or two along the way.
Better yet, Comix Zone completely holds up to this day. Unlike some other 16-bit adventures, the gameplay still feels tight, the animations look silky smooth, and the challenge remains satisfying. Whenever I take a trip down memory lane with the Sega Genesis, I always make sure to throw Comix Zone in the mix.
2. ToeJam & Earl
If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing ToeJam & Earl, you’re missing out on one of the grooviest Genesis games ever made. Out of the three Genesis games on this list, ToeJam & Earl is probably the most well known, but it still doesn’t receive the appreciation I think it deserves.
The concept is wacky yet straightforward: two aliens from the planet Funkotron crash land on Earth, and now they must recover the ten pieces to their spaceship to return home.
Players explore a psychedelic version of Earth, dodging various enemies by using unique items like boomboxes, rocket-shoes, and more.
In addition to its exceptionally endearing radical attitude, ToeJam & Earl knocked it out of the park with surprisingly laid back, cooperative gameplay.
If you’re looking to sit back with a buddy and enjoy some retro Genesis, ToeJam & Earl should be one of the first you play.
1. Kid Chameleon
Kid Chameleon is essentially the dream of every kid growing up in the 80s and 90s. There’s a new virtual reality game at the arcade, but it’s so real that the boss has escaped and started capturing children. Enter the titular Kid Chameleon, a kid so good at gaming, he’s gonna head to the arcade and take down that boss himself!
Beyond the power-trip fantasy that Kid Chameleon provides, it contains some really cool action and platformer gameplay that’s centered around unique power-ups.
In his normal state, Kid Chameleon isn’t all that formidable of a hero. However, by collecting one of the nine power-up helmets, he can instantly transform into a wide range of powerful forms.
Few Genesis games allow you to play as a samurai, a knight, and a maniac with an axe all in one level. Kid Chameleon lets you do all of that (and then some), while also offering over 100 different stages. In both quality and quantity, this underrated Genesis game delivers the goods.
What do you think of our list? Three games isn’t many and I’m sure you can think of a bunch more that we missed, and some you’d like to see covered in the future. Subscribe and comment to let us know what you think!
(If you’re growing your own retro gaming collection, check out our Retro Game Treasure review)