Back in 1986, the Sega Master System was first released in North America. This was just over a year after the Nintendo Entertainment System was first released in North America. Sega’s console had better hardware than the NES, but it didn’t sell well in North America and Japan because Nintendo’s console was more popular there. That’s not to say that the Master System didn’t do well in Europe. That helped make it possible for the Sega Genesis to come out three years later.
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People don’t think about their home consoles because Sega couldn’t compete with Nintendo and Sony, which forced them out of the console market. This is a bad idea for retro game fans, because the Mega System had a lot of great games that are still fun to play today. Some of the best games for the Sega Master System are here.
1. California Games
Epyx, the company that made Summer Games and Winter Games at the time, made 1987’s California Games. Epyx was best known for making games like this. A lot of casual outdoor games were popular in California in the ’80s, so the California Games show a lot of these games now. The games you can play:
BMX Footbag with a Flying Disc
Surfing on a half-pipe with roller skates
Like most critically acclaimed sports games from the 1980s, California Games’ gameplay is very simple when compared to today’s games. But it still has tight-knit and well-balanced gameplay that is still fun today.
There’s a side-scrolling shooter called “R-Type.” It was made by Irem. On arcades, it came out in 1987. The next year, it came out on the Master System.
R-Type, like most coin-operated arcade shooters, is very hard. This is to make sure that people didn’t get too much playtime for their money. The first boss, Dobkeratops, became famous in the 1980s because people kept replaying the beginning.
Shinobi is the third game on this list that came out in 1987. Sega’s game was a huge hit with the public. It soon became one of the top-grossing games of the year. In a short time, Shinobi was available on both the Master System and the NES, before it came to home computers. When the game came out more than a decade ago, it was made available on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console and the Xbox Live Arcade.
In addition to being a huge hit, Shinobi also started a long-running series of games. The most recent was Shinobi for the Nintendo 3DS, which came out in 2011.
4. Out Run
Out Run was first released in 1986, and its bright, sunny graphics made it stand out right away. Most games at the time didn’t look like this.
During the time that Out Run was released, it wasn’t just the game’s visuals that set the standard for games. Sega’s game was also the first to have high-quality game soundtracks and non-linear gameplay. Out Run’s hard work was recognised by the Golden Joystick Awards, which gave the game their prestigious Ultimate Game of the Year award for 2012.
5. Golden Axe Warrior
Golden Axe Warrior was made by Sega in 1991 and was a spin-off of the popular Golden Axe series. Most of the gameplay was side-scrolling hack and slash.
Golden Axe Warrior, on the other hand, is a top-down adventure game that doesn’t hide how much it looks like the first game in the Legend of Zelda series, which came out in 1986. Even though the game isn’t as good as The Legend of Zelda, it was still a good game that was a good alternative for Master System owners.
6. Operation Wolf
Back in 1990, Operation Wolf was first released in Europe on the Sega Mega System. The next year, it was released in North America on the same system. The game had already been released in arcades and on the NES, and Mega System owners were eager to play it because of how well it had been received by fans and critics. In fact, the game won the Golden Joystick Awards’ Game of the Year award in 1989, beating the well-known runner-up, Starglider II, by a lot.
7. Road Rash
E3 recently showed a trailer for Forza Horizon 5, and it’s easy to forget how far graphics have come in games over their short history so far. Road Rash may not look as good today as it did when it came out, but its simple and addictive gameplay and extreme violence still make it a lot of fun.
When Electronic Arts bought racing game maker Codemasters, they made a lot of noise in the gaming world. They made the Sega Genesis version of Road Rash.
8. Prince Of Persia
Prince of Persia was released on the Apple II in 1989, three years before it came to the Sega Master System three years after that.
Prince of Persia is thought to be the first video game platformer to be released, and it had a big impact on the platforming genre. Because the game was so popular, it had a big impact on other cinematic platformers like the classic Another World. But it also had a bigger impact on critically acclaimed modern games like Limbo, Inside, and Little Nightmares.
9. Alex Kidd In The Miracle World
Legendary Super Mario Bros. was first released in 1985. Soon after, the gaming industry took a big turn as studios tried to cash in on the huge critical and commercial success of Nintendo’s mascot platform game.
One of these was Alex Kidd in the Miracle World, which came out in 1986 and was a hit. Sonic The Hedgehog is often thought of as Sega’s response to Mario, but it was Alex Kidd who first tried to compete with his own brand of platforming gameplay that didn’t hide its influence from the original Super Mario Bros. game. Coincidentally, a remake of Alex Kidd in the Miracle World is set to be released in Brazil on June 22, 2021. It will then be released worldwide on June 23, 2021.
10. Psycho Fox
Psycho Fox was another one of Sega’s attempts to get rid of Mario from the top spot in the platforming genre. Sonic The Hedgehog came out in 1991 and finally gave the genre some real competition.
Psycho Fox didn’t do as well commercially as Mario did, but it did have some interesting ideas, like the ability to switch between characters who had different skills. This idea of changing into different characters or having different abilities is still used in platform games today, like Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Kaze and the Wild Masks.
11. Land Of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Land of Dreams One of Sega’s many attempts to compete with Nintendo by using well-known IPs was when Mickey Mouse was in one of their games. The game also had a lot of other well-known Disney characters, like Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy.
Land of Dreams Starring Mickey Mouse didn’t try to come up with a new way to play a platforming game at the time. Instead, it kept its core gameplay very similar to other well-respected games of the time. The game was very popular with fans and critics, even though it didn’t have a lot of new ideas. It was thought to be one of the best platforming games of the early 90s.
12. Marble Madness
A Master System game called Marble Madness comes in at number 24 on this list of the best games.
If I had to guess, it would be a marble game. Marble Madness isn’t a new game, but it was a big hit when it was made for Atari.
Fans of Super Monkey Ball will love this game because it has a lot of obstacles and problems to deal with, which makes it fun. Played move a marble through six isometric tracks while a counter keeps going up and down.
Getting the hang of Marble Madness is easy, but it’s hard to get the hang of beating. To me, I like that this game is hard, which makes the six levels very playable again and again.
Getting harder as the game goes on could be the reason I don’t have any hair left.
The two-player co-op mode is also a nice touch. It lets two people race to the bottom of a track together. The best way to make a game is to make it simple and fun at the same time.
13. Chase HQ
It’s called Taito Chase HQ, and it’s in the 22nd spot on this list of the best Master System games ever.
A game like this would be called “Cheap HQ.” There are a lot of dangerous chases in this movie, even though the title says so.
Players are in charge of the things that happen to them There is a police driver named Tony Gibson with the CSID. People who don’t know what Chase Special Investigation Department stands for should look up that term now.
Detective Raymond Broady is with Tony as they try to find criminals who are running away from police. They drive a Porsche 928 together.
The game has five levels that all work in the same way, but each level is different. In this game, players have to catch up to and ram a car that is far away. It’s not as easy as it sounds.
They have to drive on the right roads, not get into accidents, and put their foot down to keep up with their car. In this game, if the thief gets away, it’s over!