The Sega Genesis, which also known as the Sega Mega Drive (only Korea differs), is a great console with many great platformer games. When we ask different people about the best Genesis platformers, then we get a lot of different answers. Plus, many don’t even know some Genesis platformers.
This post gives a top 10 Genesis platformer games that are officially released. Here is a platformer game a game by which one the genres is the platformer genre. So, a game in the top 10 can also be a combination of other genres.
The top 10 Genesis platformer games is a list that I have based on a rating system. This rating system works a bit complex, but it is a combination of game critic-based ratings and user-based ratings. The system is not perfect, but it works pretty well.
The purpose of the following top 10 Genesis platformer games is to give insight. Maybe you discover a new platformer game, or maybe you can give a game new change to play it. Also, we can see it as a method to test our Genesis platformer games knowledge.
Here follow the top 10 Genesis platformer games. I have sorted the top 10 in ascending order, which means that the lowest rating comes first (number 10) and highest rating comes last (number 1).
10. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master is an action game in the genre platformer. The game features the ninja fighter Joe Musashi that has to defeat Neo Zeed that threats the civilization. As the last fighter that handles Oboro Ninjitzu techniques, Shinobi is the only one that can put an end to Neo Zeed.
The main hero has to complete different levels, in different settings, coping with various obstacles and enemies. His basic abilities include: running, jumping, kneeling, and slashing with his sword. Besides that, he can perform more complex moves that improve his defense and attack skills.
The Ninja warrior can perform a dash-kick, while in the air. Another ability is a powerful sword slash while running that protects against enemy’s projectiles. Also, he can do scale jumping to overcome such high structures as walls and cliffs.
The main hero has four Ninjitsu techniques. The first one is engulfing lightning, which shields for some seconds against the enemy’s sword kicks and throwing stars. The second ability is summoning fire dragons that destroy faster enemy warriors.
The third is a vertical leap boost helps the hero to add power when climbing giant walls. The last ability is self-sacrificing, which takes away a life when killing a boss. During the game, the player can collect lives hidden inside special boxes.
9. El Viento
El Viento which means The Wind in Spanish is a platformer game. It is part of the trilogy of games that includes the games Anett Futatabi and Earnest Evans.
During the game, you get an unlimited supply of bladed boomerangs. Ultimately you can get access to up to five spell attacks. Similar to many platformer games you have to fight a wicked level boss to complete a stage.
The game is in the same fictional world as the Earnest Evans game. However, the events of the game take place years after the events of the happenings of the first game in the trilogy. The game also has many references to Cthulhu Mythos the fictional universe in the H.P. Lovecraft horror novels.
The setting of the game is 1920s New York. During this time there were several prominent characters in action. These included Al Capone the gangster, Henry the cult leader and Restiana the sorceress. The three plot to awaken the malevolent and ancient god Hastur.
There are descendants of the ancient Hasturian bloodlines in the city. The most prominent is Annet Myer, the Peruvian sorceress.
Annet gets the assistance of Earnest Evans to attempt to stop the resurrection of the Hastur. To do this, she uses the spells that belong to the bloodline of Hastur.
The game has brutal gameplay, super-fast graphics, and historical anachronisms.
8. Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog is a side-scrolling game in the genre platformer. It features a human-like hedgehog named Sonic that can run super fast. His mission is to defeat Dr. Eggman that stolen the Chaos Emeralds and free his imprisoned friends.
The main villain in the game is Dr. Eggman. He is a mad scientist that builds aggressive robots to help him conquer the world and create his empire. He confronts Sonic in every boss fight at the end of each game zone.
The game has six zones that consist of three acts each. At the end of the third act, a boss battle takes place. Each zone provides different enemies and obstacles and comes with a different setting.
The levels have a variety of obstacles that the player has to avoid to be able to advance in the game. He has to deal with mad robots, bottomless pits, moving walls, and spikes. If an obstacle harms Sonic while he has no rings, then he loses a life.
At the beginning of his adventure, Sonic has three lives. When the player loses a loge, then he can start again from the last activated checkpoint, while he has at least one life.
Sonic’s main weapon is his lightning-fast Spin Attack. He curls up his body, and spins towards his enemies, destroying them at the point of collision. After the player completed all six zones, then there is the Final Zone that features the final battle with Dr. Eggman.
7. Rocket Knight Adventures
Rocket Knight Adventures is a side-scrolling platformer game. The lead character in the game is an opossum knight named Sparkster who fights a range of adversaries. Sparkster has a rocket pack that he uses to fly and a sword that he uses to project energy over short distances.
Sparkster is an orphan that was trained to become a member of the Rocket Knights at an early age. The Rocket Knights were an elite group of soldiers trained to protect the Pig Star. The Pig Star was a powerful ship once used by El Zebulos the king to repel invaders to the kingdom.
Just like his companions, Sparkster wears armor with a Rocket Pack, harnesses lethal combat skills and wields a mystical sword. He traverses caves, jungles as he races to find the Key to the Seal to the Pig Star which the Evil Emperor Devligus Devotindos also tries to find. Things become complicated when he discovers that Devligus was nothing more than a robot.
The gameplay is side-scrolling where you control the character on linear runs through the levels. You can perform moves such as flying using the rocket pack, shooting energy forward from the sword or swinging the sword.
Depending on the style of gameplay you can switch up the levels through the options menu. In some levels, you have to perform horizontal scrolling shooters similar to those found in Gradius. Others have the lead character battle with Axel gear using a large machine.
6. Contra: Hard Corps
Contra Hard Corps is a 2D side-scrolling action platformer game that lets you run around and shoot at all the enemies that you see. It has a variety of different guns to choose from, and a boss is waiting for you when you finish a level.
The game lets you walk, jump, shoot, and change weapons. It has two different ways to fire your weapons. One will let you move around wherever you want while shooting, and the other you have to stay still and fire one of eight different directions.
You can jump down from different platforms and move along the ceilings and walls. The playable characters have a new sliding ability which allows you to become invulnerable when you slide. With this action, you can even damage enemies with it.
You can carry four different weapons at a time and cycle through them whenever you want. You can collect weapons from shooting flying capsule pods that fly over you when walking through the level. Each time you die you lose your primary weapon but keep the same amount of bombs that you had.
The game will allow you to play through different levels, depending on the decisions that you make during specific parts of the game.
In certain stages they allow you to ride a hover-bike. The hover-bike can transform into a robot, but the game will always have the same 2D side-scrolling action throughout the game.
5. Sonic & Knuckles
Sonic & Knuckles is a 2D side-scrolling platformer adventure game, and it plays a bit differently from the previous game. Now Sonic can jump higher, he’s a little bit faster, and can use an instant-shield ability for a split second which makes him invincible. Knuckles can break obstacles, glide, and climb up most walls.
There are two acts per level, and the game has six different levels. Each stage has a mini-boss and a final boss. You find the mini-boss when you complete the first act, and the final boss when you get to the end of the second act of each stage.
There are bonus stages and one special stage on each level. You can access the bonus stage by passing through the checkpoint with 20 rings or more. To enter the special stage, you have to jump through a giant hidden ring secretly located at each level.
The special stage is a 3D environment. To collect a chaos emerald in this stage, you have to turn all blue spheres into red spheres and avoid hitting any red spheres. When you complete the special stage, you earn the chaos emerald.
When you collect all chaos emeralds in the entire game, it will let you turn into either super knuckles or super Sonic whenever you want.
4. Disney’s Aladdin
Disney’s Aladdin is a platformer game that the developers based on loosely on the Disney’s Aladdin a 1992 film. The game is just one of many that were released based on the film.
The gameplay is all about controlling Aladdin who works his way through several levels. The levels are locations drawn from the movie. The locations include the Sultan’s Dungeon, the Cave of Wonders, the rooftops and streets of Agrabah.
The Grand Vizier’s Jafar Palace is the setting for the final confrontation. However, before getting there, Aladdin needs to fight through desert animals and the Sultan’s guards.
Aladdin has access to gems, apples and a scimitar on his quest. The scimitar is useful for close range battle and for deflecting projectiles. He can also fight long range battles with the apples though these are limited. He can collect gems and exchange them for lives.
You get bonus rounds by finding Abu or Genie icons. The bonus game is a game of chance where you play with tokens for a chance to win extra lives, gems, and apples. The round ends when you land on Jafar, or you run out of Genie tokens.
Abu’s bonus round is a little different. In the round, you control a little monkey and try to catch a range of items falling from the sky. You have to avoid the unwanted objects such as pots and rocks or else the round will come to an end.
The game has delightful artwork, sound effects, music, and great gameplay.
3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is a 2D scrolling platformer game that is the second in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. The lead character in the game is Sonic who fights against Dr. Ivo Robotnick. His nemesis is on a quest to steal the Chaos Emeralds that he intends to use to power the Death Egg – his space station.
At the start of the game, you can either play as Tails, Sonic or both as they come with identical capabilities. The game has a series of levels and acts, where you would have to fight a level boss before meeting Robotnik in the last act.
The game also comes with special stages where you collect rings hoping to acquire a Chaos Emerald. The stages increase in difficulty, and there are a set number of rings that need to be collected to pass a checkpoint.
Sonic becomes Super Sonic once he collects all the Emeralds and 50 rings with jumping. The super version makes him able to jump further, run faster and invincible to attacks.
The Death Egg is a parody of the Death Star, and Robotnik intends to use it to dominate the world. Sonic and his sidekick Tails pursue the antagonist with a biplane named the Tornado. The plane gets damaged in the fight, but Sonic infiltrates the Death Egg, fights a robotic impostor.
Sonic defeats the robot and then it explodes in the process damaging the Death Egg. This explosion was so huge that it knocked the Death Egg out of orbit and caused Sonic to fall off the station. He is saved from serious injury by his friend Tails who gets him into the Tornado before he falls.
2. Sonic the Hedgehog 3
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is a 2D side-scrolling platformer adventure game. You can choose to start as either a blue hedgehog or a fox named tails that has two tails.
There are six different levels in the game, and each level has two parts to it. When you finish the first part at each level, you have to face a mini-boss. When you get to the final part of the level, you have to fight the boss of the entire stage to complete the level and go onto the next stage.
Sonic can charge up by turning into a ball and rolling faster and faster (called spin dash attack) at enemies and go through the stage. He can only kill enemies by jumping on them or by using his spin dash attack.
Throughout the game, you can collect rings. These rings act as a health bar and disappear every time you get hit. If you get hit with zero rings, you lose a life and have to start the level over again.
There are two different kinds of bonus stages. You can activate the first bonus stage by passing through the checkpoint in the level with a minimum of 50 rings. Further, you can find the second bonus stageby jumping through a giant ring hidden throughout each level.
The first bonus stage allows you to collect rings and power-ups. The second bonus stage allows you to collect rings by turning blue spheres red and potentially earn a chaos emerald. If you can collect the seven chaos emeralds, you can become super Sonic which makes you invincible to almost all objects.
Ristar is a 2D scrollable platformer adventure game. In this game, the players can conquer enemies and collect treasures throughout the game. You can use Ristar’s stretchable arms to kill bad guys and collect treasures.
In some ways, the game is similar to the Sonic platformer games also on the Genesis. However, it is more a slower strategic 2D adventure game.
Since Ristar’s primary weapon is his extendable arms, he can use them in a variety of ways. One way is to grab enemies and pull himself towards them to headbutt them. The other way is to use his arms to sling himself around poles and fly throughout the levels at various speeds.
When you find yourself stuck in a level, you can usually find a pole or something else nearby to swing yourself to the next part of the level. You’re also able to grab onto enemies and objects in mid-air and swing on them as well.
A fun part of the game is using a “star handle”, which let’s you swing around 360 degrees and launch yourself in any direction. If you gain enough speed while swinging, it allows you to make a special attack called a meteor strike. This allows you to become invincible for a short period of time which lets you kill enemies as you fly through the level.
Each level has one special star handle which sends you to a bonus level where you can collect more treasures.
This top 10 Genesis list is not perfect. Moreover, the list can’t be perfect since I have tried to base this list on the opinions of critics and users. However, I do think that the most important and best platformers are part of this list.
If you like this post, then you may want to look at some posts in the top games part, since this post is also part of it.
Hopefully, you liked this top 10 Genesis platformer list. Also, when you know someone who likes to know what possible top Genesis platformer are, then feel free to share this post. Additionally, do you think there misses a game in this top Genesis platformer list?