Top 10 Underrated Sega Games


Evan Amos

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Oliver Barnfield, Cool Guy/Entertainment Editor

Ah, Sega. You might know them for Sonic the Hedgehog. But I know them for so much more, and so should you. Since Sega basically quit the business, people have thought of them as a second best to Nintendo. But in the 90s they produced an unprecedented run of excellent but little-played games. Here’s a list of games that you might not have heard of by the video game king of the 90s.

{Games that are too mainstream to be included on this list: Sonic (duh) Ecco the Dolphin, Streets of Rage, Shenmue, NBA Jam, Golden Axe, Alex Kidd, etc.}


10. Toejam and Earl (Genesis)

This chill, very 90s game has a devoted following, and as a result its placed rather low on this list due to it being pretty well-known. But its low key charm, and its great two-player compatibility was definitely a plus, especially at the time. The funky music, too, was one of the best on the Genesis.

9. Seaman (Dreamcast)

The Dreamcast was Sega’s last console, and on it were some truly excellent games. Despite its odd title, Seaman is a strange and sometimes soul-searching game that you shouldn’t pass up despite its weird name. It also features Leonard Nimoy as the narrator that leads to some very funny moments. It’s a little surprising that this game even got released in America, even. It’s up there with Doshin the Giant as trippy early 2000s games that need more love.

8. Mutant League Football (Genesis)

Most sports games bore me. But Mutant League Football puts a cool and gruesome twist on the boring old football games of old. A cool heavy metal soundtrack and a simple yet creative premise pushes the sometimes unremarkable gameplay into another plane. The excellent sprite work and cool character designs also put this gruesome game into a LEAGUE of its own.

7. Bonanza Bros (Genesis)

I had the most fun playing Bonanza Bros with fellow staff member Baker T than I had to play any number of modern games. The simple graphics and basic gameplay might seem rather uninspired, but trust me. This game is FUN. By the end of the level, you’re screaming to the other player to get the last treasure. It makes me wish more games just had a simple 2 player mode instead of the tiresome and annoying online play.

6. Mr. Bones (Saturn)

A little-played game on a little-bought console. The Sega Saturn was a huge disappointment for the company, and they never fully recovered from its low sales, so really all the games on it could fill this list. (The story of the Saturn is for another time, however. Possibly an Opinionist episode?) Anyways, Mr. Bones is a quirky mini-game centric romp featuring skeletons, with a good sense of humor and good graphics. The mini-games all feel different from each other, so you’re never bored. The lively character animations were achieved through full motion capture, giving the motion an upbeat and natural flavor. It’s a shame it was so little played, and that it had to be overlooked due to it being on the Saturn.

Mr. Bones is a very HUMERUS game.

5. Beyond Oasis/Legend of Oasis (Genesis & Saturn)

Two great games on separate consoles. (They’re part of the same series.) They’re both interesting Zelda-type isometric adventures, featuring some stunning graphics. When I saw the sprites for Beyond Oasis (the Genesis game) I was shocked to find it was on Genesis. The sequel for the Saturn updated the graphics and added more story, and I personally think its an improvement.

4. Dynamite Headdy (Genesis & Game Gear)

A colorful platformer with a brilliant, almost psychedelic flair, from the studio behind Gunstar Heroes, one of the most popular Genesis games. The clever boss designs are what sets this game apart from the rest, however, and the gameplay mechanics were said to have inspired Cuphead.

The fast-paced animation and fights, as well as some startling backgrounds, make this a must-have platformer for the Genesis.

3. Rez (Dreamcast)

This trippy Dreamcast game has astonishing 3D graphics and a great dance soundtracks. The game bursts with lively colors, showing off the enhanced graphics of the Dreamcast. The game was an influence on many indie games, such as The Witness, and it showed the benefits of Sega giving creators full control.

2. Splatterhouse 3 (Genesis)

The Splatterhouse series stars a masked serial killer who resembles Jason Vorhees as he beats up monsters. The first 2 games were fun but rather formulaic beat em ups starring some interesting monster designs. But this sequel takes it to another level. Literally. This game enabled you to walk around on the environment, and updated the monsters. They are detailed and grotesque, and its satisfying to beat them to the pulp. The gruesome and detailed backgrounds, heighten the experience, as does the intense music and suspenseful atmosphere.

1.  Ristar (Genesis)

Made by the team behind Sonic, Ristar failed upon release. But this upbeat and charming game holds a special place in my, and other Sega Fan’s, hearts as an underplayed but brilliant platformer. The game is short but sweet, and it definitely leaves you wanting more. Sadly, no sequel was made, as the game failed upon release and is consigned to bargain bins everywhere. But the game definitely deserves a second chance. I’d say it’s my favorite game on the Genesis, and if you’re interested, watch his video.