It’s no surprise that this year has brought another bout of nostalgia for gaming fans who remember a bygone era of 16-bit fun. The Sega Genesis Mini might be the most exciting mini console release so far. It’s especially exciting for fans who were left disappointed by the PlayStation Mini.

The Genesis Mini, like the NES Mini and SNES Mini before it is a winner and a clear must-have for any classic gamer. The only fault the system has is it comes with three-button controllers, not the six-button iteration that was later introduced. This makes included games like Street Fighter 2 impossible to play correctly.

While this is a fault it is nowhere near as bad as the PlayStation Mini so I wouldn’t hold out for a massive price drop as we saw there. This is a great way to experience the best the Genesis had to offer.  

With the recent release of the Sega Genesis Mini we here at Nerd It Here First thought we would go through the games list of over 40 games and count down the top ten.

Here we go.

10. Strider

At number 10 we have Strider, the side-scrolling action-adventure game that relies heavily on a grappling hook and a laser sword. This game oozes cool with fun action and fluid movement. The character has been a mainstay for Capcom ever since, appearing in the Marvel vs. Capcom series as well as having a remastered version come out recently.

9.The Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse comes in next and it’s a great representation of what a licensed game can be. Another side-scrolling action game this time instead of a laser sword we have apples and marbles, but the fun is still there. With crisp graphics and memorable music, this one deserves its spot at number nine.

8. Shinobi III

In the Genesis stalwart series of Shinobi, only one made the cut for the mini and it is the best one, Shinobi III: Return of the Master Ninja. With fun gameplay, good graphics, and an awesome soundtrack, the third entry in the Shinobi series raised the bar. Not just for the Genesis but for all consoles of the time.

7. Road Rash II

Road Rash II is a fantastic game. Racing motorcycles while swinging a chain at your competitors made for great fun in the ’90s and it continues to be fun to this day. Addicting gameplay and a series that isn’t available on modern consoles make this a must-play on the Genesis Mini.

6. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog, of course, deserves to be on the console and this list. It’s Sega’s mascot and the game that came packed in with most of the Genesis’ sold. We have an extremely fast side-scrolling platformer here that still holds up well to this day.

5. Phantasy Star IV

The Genesis wasn’t known for its RPGs unlike its competitor the Super Nintendo. It did however have the exclusive series Phantasy Star on it. With Phantasy Star IV you have an awesome futuristic medieval setting that the series is known for and the best graphics in the 16bit series.

4. Contra: Hard Corps.

At four we have Contra: Hard Corps. Taking what made the original Contra and Super C games great and turning the volume up to 11 we had Hard Corps. With outstanding co-op play, multiple playable characters, tons of new special weapons, and huge difficult bosses, this is the best game in the Contra series and that is saying something.

3. Gunstar Heroes

We’ve talked about side scroll action and speed on this list already and a game that doesn’t almost better than every other game on the console, not just the mini, was Gunstar Heroes. With fantastic controls the speed is of the game was incredible and the difficulty was high. Requiring skill and patience this game did not hold back. Other than a remake on the Game Boy Advance we haven’t seen this series since the Genesis and that is a shame.

2. Streets of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 2 is the best beat-em-up of all time. It features multiple memorable characters with different move sets, an outstanding soundtrack and awesome stages and enemy and weapon variety, as well as tough boss fights. This game delivered on everything you could ask of a video game. The game is a fantastic co-op experience to this day.

1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2

And the best game on the Genesis Mini and of the entire Genesis library is Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Taking everything that made the first game great and improving on the level design, music, and speed we have the best game on the console. It took the formula of the first game and just improved on it in every way, a simple concept but not seen often enough.