There were first 16-bit video games in America 25 years ago today. The TurboGrafx-16 was not the most popular machine in its time, but it was important because it was the first CD-ROM attachment for a game console. It was good for people who didn’t like Nintendo but didn’t like the Sega Genesis because it was too sexy. Middle schoolers in 1990 were shocked when they saw the Devil’s Crush game and the Splatterhouse game on the TG-16, which were both very different from the games on the NES or Genesis at the time. At the start of the 16-bit era, the TG-16 was known as the most “grown-up” gaming option. The CD-ROM only made that reputation even stronger. It opened up new possibilities for animation, full-motion video, and soundtracks that weren’t limited by computer chips. It was a huge hit in Japan, where it was known as the PC Engine. Most games never came to the US because third parties didn’t want to hurt their relationships with Nintendo. Still, there were enough great games to cross the ocean, and these are the sixteen best.
1. Bloody Wolf
Side-scrolling run and gun game Ikari Warriors or Contra was the TurboGrafx’s answer to these games, and this game had your bandana-wearing army man stalking through a war zone and shooting at enemies from all sides. That was an important part of any console’s library in the late 1980s. The TurboGrafx version was better than the arcade version because it had more levels and a better story.
R-Type was one of the games that ended up on almost every system ever made. R-Type was a top-notch shooter for a system that didn’t have many of them. It was as hard and addictive as it was fun.
3. Time Cruise
There were some of the best video pinball games that have ever been made. The TurboGrafx-16 had them. Time Cruise isn’t as well-known as the Crush series, but its unique take on pinball is worth looking for. Time Cruise isn’t really a pinball table at all. It’s more like a series of single-screen tables with the same look and feel. You can move your ball to new screens in all four directions, each with its own pair of flippers at the bottom. Bonus levels are difficult balancing puzzles that look more like Marble Madness than pinball games. It’s a fun twist on classic pinball, but it’s still a lot of work.
Taito’s sword-and-sandals arcade game eventually made its way to the Genesis, but the TurboGrafx-16 version was the first and best version of the game. People who like Dungeons and Dragons rip-offs should play this game because it combines platformer action with light RPG elements like class skills, magic, and character stats. This makes it a hard game for anyone who likes games that require quick reflexes. TurboGrafx’s advanced technology made it one of the most colourful and beautiful games of its kind when it came out back in the early 1990s.
5. Lords of Thunder
Gate of Thunder was a beautiful game, but its sequel was even better. It had more vibrant graphics, more tense shoot-’em-up action, and an even better heavy metal soundtrack that blared out through the Turbo CD. There were four different armour styles to choose from before each game. This game had more strategy than most shooters.
6. Super Star Soldier
Then there’s this one, too. On the TurboGrafx, there were a lot of these things to choose from. There were more shooters on the TG-16 than on the NES. What made Super Star Soldier stand out from the rest of the games was its great graphics and speed. Because it was a sequel to Star Soldier, NEC thought about releasing this in the United States as “Blazing Lazers II” because it had so many similarities to another game on our list, “Blazing Lazers.”
7. Dragon’s Curse
Dragon’s Curse has a confusing history. It’s the same game as the Sega Master System’s Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap, but the art and the story have been changed and the game has a different ending and a different ending. Following in the footsteps of Metroid, Dragon’s Curse is a well-designed but simple non-linear platformer with a cute cartoon art style.
A lot of people didn’t like Neutopia because it looked a lot like Zelda. There were many games that were very similar to the original Zelda, such as Chrysalis and A Link to the Past. Neutopia was the only one that was as close to the original as possible. Still, it found its own way to fit into Nintendo’s template, with its own unique mythology and vivid art.
9. Keith Courage in Alpha Zones
Keith isn’t a name I usually think of when I think of a warrior from the future.
Dex, Falco, Dan, and maybe Dan if the character looked cool enough. Keith is not one of them.
When I was a child, my uncle was called Keith. He is a milkman, and his name is Keith. Because it’s not very exciting. He doesn’t go around with a jet pack or fight robots that are bigger than him.
Except for Mrs. Miggins, who lives at No. 7, of course.
Keith is a well-known person in North America because his game, “Keith Courage in Alpha Zones,” came with the Turbografx 16 itself.
People say this is one of the best Turbografx 16 games because of its interesting storyline and the badass way that Keith fights aliens.
One by one, the story moves through seven levels as Keith tries to stop alien invaders from the planet B.A.D., which stands for “Beastly Alien Dudes.”
With the Nova suit, Keith turns into a half-robot, half-man fighting machine. A crime-fighting Womble, he must go under and above ground in order to save his people. To do this, he must fight for N.I.C.E. (Nations of International Citizens for Earth).
To be honest, I should not have slammed Keith. The man is a legend!
10. Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure
Next up in our list of the best Turbografx 16 games, Bonk and his bonce are back.
When we wrote about the best rare NES games of all time, we first talked about Bonk.
As a result, his Turbografx 16 career hasn’t made as much of a splash in the second-hand market as it should have. But, in my opinion, Bonk 3: Bonk’s Big Adventure will always be worth having.
This is what Bonk has to do to get through a land full of dinosaurs headbutting each other and taking names. Bonk has to use his cranium as his main weapon.
Why a small child is given so much power to do bad things I don’t know. The Bonks aren’t here!
In order to defeat the evil King Drool and a lot of other dinosaurs, Bonk must use his hard-rock brains.
He can eat mushrooms to shrink or grow in size, and you can work with a friend to get twice as many smacks.
… yeah, that last sentence didn’t sound right, so let’s move on.
11. YS I & II
Following YS I & II, which is the first action/role-playing game we’re going to list, is the next game on our list.
For a while, the Turbografx 16 had a lot of interesting RPGs. This remake of the original YS series for the Japanese PC-8801 console was a big hit with gamers all over the world.
One thing I hope you’ve noticed about these games so far is how colourful they have been. When games like YS I and II were made, they helped push the PC Engine to great heights.
In true RPG fashion, there are lots of names and places such as Zepik, Adol, and Jebah (no Keith though, surprisingly), and the plot is about as complicated as trying to understand ‘Sin Cos Tan’ as a 30-year-old who hated maths.
Game Parts I and II are shown in the title.
You don’t have to wait for the next game to start after you finish the first one, which is a nice touch.
Waiting for the next movie is the worst!
Expect huge plot lines, a lot of collectibles, and classic top-down RPG action with magical baddies and ghouls all over the place.