It’s now been more than two decades since Sega exited the hardware business, but gamers who were around back then still fondly remember the days when Sega did what Nintendon’t. The Sega Genesis wasn’t just the console that introduced the world to Sonic the Hedgehog, it was also home to a deep library of action […]
The post 15 Sega Genesis Games That Deserve a Sequel or Remake appeared first on Den of Geek.
It’s now been more than two decades since Sega exited the hardware business, but gamers who were around back then still fondly remember the days when Sega did what Nintendon’t. The Sega Genesis wasn’t just the console that introduced the world to Sonic the Hedgehog, it was also home to a deep library of action titles, sports games, and high-quality arcade ports.
And while a lot of the console’s best games have been re-released in various forms over the years, it’s still home to plenty of great titles that haven’t seen a proper update or new title in the series. To be fair, a few of these games have seen sequels, but if even those games were released decades ago, we think it’s time for another one, especially with Sega recently announcing plans to bring back a few classic franchises. These are 15 Sega Genesis games that deserve a sequel or remake.
15. The Adventures of Batman & Robin
There were a number of beloved licensed games on the Genesis that are deserving of a remake at the very least. I almost put one of the X-Men games in this spot. The thing is, while those games got better reviews than Batman & Robin at the time of their release, the caped crusader’s adventure has aged a little more gracefully thanks to the timeless run-and-gun gameplay and some unique boss fights.
A direct sequel probably wouldn’t make much sense at this point (especially with so many other great Batman games released since), but a full-on HD remake with animation on par with the cartoon would be absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, with the original developer Clockwork Tortoise long shutdown, a remake is probably a long shot.
14. Eternal Champions
The ‘90s were a golden age for fighting games thanks to regular and revolutionary releases from Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Plenty of other developers attempted to capitalize on the popularity of those series, often with middling results that are best left in the past, but one of the few contenders in the genre that’s still well regarded is Eternal Champions: a fighter that combined many of the mechanics of Street Fighter with fatalities that were even more violent than Mortal Kombat.
The game sold well enough to warrant a 1995 Sega CD sequel, and a third title for the Sega Saturn was even announced at one point, but Sega canceled it to focus on Virtua Fighter. Sadly, the series has barely been heard from since, but in the right hands, a modern sequel could make for a comeback on par with what Microsoft has done with Killer Instinct.
13. Herzog Zwei
Gamers tend to think of real-time strategy games as something that’s best played on the PC, but the title that had the biggest impact on the genre actually got its start on the Genesis way back in 1989. Pretty much everything recognizable about RTS games from resource management to multiplayer is readily playable in Herzog Zwei, and it’s still remarkably fun and deep given its age.
The developers of RTS classics like Dune II, Warcraft, and Starcraft, have all cited Herzog Zwei as inspiration for their titles. Despite this, early reviews were mixed, and it wasn’t even until 2020 that the game received any sort of proper re-release when it came to the Switch. Given that the genre is still popular but hasn’t seen many major releases in recent years, now would be the perfect time for Sega to release a remake or sequel.
12. The Ooze
Say what you will about Sega in the ‘90s, but the company was not afraid to take risks. The Ooze was pretty weird even for an era when Boogerman was seen as a marketable character. You play as a scientist who’s turned into, well…ooze who then has to stretch and wiggle around levels, while also throwing gobs of himself at various enemies.
To be fair, The Ooze still has a pretty mixed reputation. It’s a difficult game with wonky controls. Still, nothing else out there looks quite like it, the electronic soundtrack is surprisingly catchy (especially given the Genesis’ notoriously weak sound chip), and the unique gameplay has its charms. An updated version could be something really special if Sega handed it off to the right indie developer.
11. Gunstar Heroes
Three decades after its release, Gunstar Heroes is a title that almost always lands among the top tier on “best of” Genesis lists thanks to its frenetic gameplay, beautiful graphics, and one of the best soundtracks on the system. But despite the acclaim, reclusive developer Treasure never really capitalized on the game’s success aside from compilation re-releases.
A 2005 Game Body Advance sequel, Gunstar Super Heroes, was a commercial failure despite strong reviews, and for reasons that are still unclear, Treasure hasn’t even released a new game since 2014. Another sequel might be out of the question, but a remake of the Gunstar titles with modern graphics could introduce a whole new generation to the greatness of these games.
10. Ecco the Dolphin
Not many people have beaten Ecco the Dolphin. It’s a ridiculously difficult game, even by the standards of the era. Still, a lot of people played it, and almost all of them have fond memories of the time they spent with it. Ecco was just a wholly unique concept in the ‘90s; a title that put you in large maps with little direction and limited your interactions with the world to things only a dolphin would do. Most developers would have given Ecco a rocket launcher or something.
Ecco was last seen on the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 in the early 2000s in another stupidly hard game, though this one was set in 3D. A remake or sequel that actually made the gameplay a little more accessible could be huge though, and it would look absolutely stunning on modern platforms.
We all know Sega made a lot of huge mistakes in the ‘90s, but one that’s not brought up nearly enough is how the company tried to launch a surprisingly great platforming mascot on par with Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis just three months before the release of the Saturn. Ristar was basically doomed from the start, which is a shame because the one game featuring the anthropomorphic star is fun, and features some of the best graphics on the console as well as unique gameplay focusing on Ristar’s stretchable arms.
Unfortunately, when the topic of Ristar has occasionally been brought up to Sega reps, they’ve always replied that the odds of a sequel are close to zero. Hey, at least the game is readily available in a lot of Genesis collections and is still well worth playing today.
While sometimes compared to The Legend of Zelda, Landstalker actually has very distinct identity of its own. The combat is weightier, and the difficulty spikes can be rough. But it’s also a surprisingly grittier title than anything Nintendo has ever put out (especially the original Japanese version, which has some strikingly adult overtones).
Despite a reputation that’s only improved over the years, Landstalker has never received any sort of follow-up. A remake with upgraded graphics would be nice, but a full-on 3D sequel or reboot that leaned into the game’s satirical take on fantasy tropes would be epic.
7. Alien Soldier
Because it was only released in North America on the short-lived Sega Channel (think early game streaming but through your cable provider), Alien Soldier is still one of the more obscure games on the Genesis. However, its reputation has improved a lot over the years as re-releases have made it more readily available. There are similarities to Gunstar Heroes since it was also developed by Treasure, except this one is faster, harder, and has way more bizarre (and awesome) alien enemies.
It was also a pretty big game for the time, featuring 25 levels and 26 bosses. Even with all that content, producer Hideyuki Suganami has gone on the record as saying the game only contains half of what he originally envisioned. A full-on remake could give us Alien Soldier in its full, uncut glory.
6. Dynamite Headdy
Just based on gameplay and fun factor, Dynamite Headdy might be the best game on this list. At the very least, it’s almost universally considered one of the best games on the Genesis thanks to its innovative platforming gameplay based around the main character throwing his head at enemies. It’s also one of the most graphically impressive games on the console. Treasure went all out designing a unique and colorful world of puppets.
Given how well-received Dynamite Headdy has become in recent years, it’s really surprising that there hasn’t been so much as a whisper about a remake or sequel. It’s easy to imagine just how gorgeous a new game starring Headdy could be with 4K visuals.
5. Comix Zone
It’s really surprising that Sega never tried to turn Comix Zone into a franchise just based on the concept alone. A comic book artist who is trapped inside his own creation and has to defeat hordes of enemies, fighting from panel to panel? It’s a fantastic idea that lends itself to endless new sequels and gameplay mechanics. Comix Zone is also one of the most visually striking games of the 16-bit era that knew exactly how to lean into the comic book aesthetic
Unfortunately, the game sold poorly due to its release late in the lifecycle of the Genesis, though Sega has never been shy about re-releasing Comix Zone. Odds are if you own any sort of Sega compilation, you can play it right now, but a follow-up has never been greenlit. However, Sega did announce a film adaptation in 2022, and if that ever sees the light of day, we might finally get a long-awaited remake or sequel.
Vectorman was the rare console exclusive that arrived at the end of the Genesis’ lifespan that was actually a critical and commercial success. Everyone loved the character, the vector graphics and animation were among the best on the console, and it was an overall fun shooter-platformer. A Genesis sequel (that, unfortunately, wasn’t quite as good) even hit a year later.
More than any other game on this list, Vectorman seemed poised to be Sega’s next big franchise. At one point, a third game in the series was even planned for either the Saturn, Dreamcast, or PS2. The PS2 version was even shown off at E3 2003, with those in attendance making positive comparisons to Halo. Sadly, internal restructuring at Sega of Japan killed the project a few months later, and ever since, Sega seems to have no interest in reviving the once-promising character. Bummer.
3. Beyond Oasis
The Genesis and SNES were in such a heated rivalry, that each console had to have some sort of response to the other’s big exclusives. There were endless debates in schoolyards about whether Sonic or Mario had the better games. But try though they might, Sega never quite put out a game to rival A Link to the Past. Don’t get me wrong, Beyond Oasis is really good. It’s excellent on its own merits with its unique Arabian setting and magic attacks that are actually more reminiscent of Secret of Mana. But it’s just not quite Zelda good. Then again, not much is.
But Beyond Oasis was good enough to warrant a sequel on the Saturn a couple years later. Of course, no one played The Legend of Oasis because only roughly 50 Saturn consoles were ever sold in the United States. Because of the obscurity, Sega might be reluctant to fund a new Oasis game, but if it just built on what was already here and moved it into 3D, it would be really interesting to see how it would compare to modern action RPGs.
2. Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
Most people who had a Genesis in the ‘90s bought it for Sonic, Madden, or the superior bloody version of Mortal Kombat, but one of the best reasons to own the console was actually the Shinobi series. The games are absolutely brilliant action platformers that excel at putting you in the shoes of a bad-ass ninja slicing and dicing through waves of bad guys. And Shinobi III polished the series’ gameplay to absolute perfection.
While this was the last Shinobi game on the Genesis, it did manage to continue on the Saturn and PS2, but after the somewhat underwhelming 2003 spin-off Nightshade, Sega put the series on ice. Unlike every other game on this list, we actually do know that a new Shinobi game of sorts is coming soon. If Sega sticks to what made the Genesis games great, it could be a huge hit.
1. Phantasy Star IV
Yes, I know Phantasy Star Online 2 is readily available on PC and Xbox, but the online games have always been a distinct MMO spin-off series, so I’m not really counting that. The original Phantasy Star games were absolutely brilliant single-player turn-based RPGs, and while the SNES overall did much better in that genre, Phantasy Star IV is still one of the best RPGs of the ‘90s thanks to an epic, star system-spanning story and an innovative combat system focusing on combo attacks. Shockingly, it’s never received a proper sequel or remake (though, at one point, a PS2 remake was actually planned).
Admittedly, the story does tie up the series nicely, so maybe a Phantasy Star V isn’t really necessary. Of course, that type of thing has never been one to stop developers from finding some way to warrant a sequel. Given its reputation as the best RPG on the Genesis, it would be much more fitting if Sega gave Phantasy Star IV the full-on big-budget remake treatment like Square Enix has done with Final Fantasy VII.
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