All the characters, stages, fatalities, and secrets from the arcade version of the title are all here, and the Genesis’ six-button control offered the perfect way to experience this landmark fighting game in the comfort of your home. Granted, some will argue that the SNES port is still superior. That’s really debatable. Each version has its merits, and, regardless of your preferences, the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat II is one of the very best fighters and arcade ports on Sega’s revolutionary console.
11. Contra: Hard Corps
During the 16-bit era, it was much more common for each console to get major exclusives, or, at the very least, radically different versions of the same game. This was largely due to the significant differences in programming for the Genesis and the SNES. So, while the Super Nintendo received the excellent Contra III: The Alien Wars, Sega’s console received a Contra game that’s arguably even better.
Contra: Hard Corps obviously features the series’ staple run and gun gameplay, but benefits from some of the best music in the series, a then-unprecedented roster of four playable characters, and a branching storyline with multiple paths. Honestly, it might still be the best Contra game ever made.
10. ToeJam & Earl
After all these years, it’s still difficult to classify ToeJam & Earl. It’s part roguelike, part platformer, an early precursor to modern adventure games, and just an all-around hilarious, bizarre, and funky good time. It remains one of the more unique titles on the Genesis, and it holds up fairly well today thanks to its humor, one of the best soundtracks ever, and an innovative co-op mode.
Despite benefiting from strong critical praise at release, ToeJam & Earl‘s initial sales were sadly lower than expected. A few additional ToeJam & Earl adventures were eventually released, but they sadly failed to capture the charm and originality of the first game. As time goes on, it’s easier to appreciate this title as the truly special experiment it very much was.
9. Streets of Rage 2
Beat ‘em ups were a dime a dozen in the early ‘90s. Even in such a crowded genre, though, Streets of Rage 2 stood head and shoulders above its competition.