In the 90s, where the Sega Genesis was popular, most gamers now view it as underpowered compared to its legendary rival, the SNES. It’s not entirely true, though. Yes, the SNES got more RAM, and showed more colors simultaneously, but the Genesis powered up a faster CPU that allowed the development of smooth animations previously restricted to arcade titles. Of course the Segas marketing team would have assumed they had blast processing on their side.
If the Genesis was the most powerful console in the market, developers still could make a really beautiful look for the whole game. Once you learn to view Sega Genesis games using their own merits and start comparing them to titles running on massively different hardware, it becomes much easier to understand how impressive they really are. Split Butterfly Valve
Don’t just keep our word on it. Take a look at the 15 most gorgeous Sega Genesis game ever.
To be honest, Contra: Hard Corps probably doesn’t look too impressive in screenshots. There is actually a lot of sixteen-bit games so that not just you can play it, you can just watch these clips from the game as soon as you can. You’ll soon discover that Hard Corps is perfectly stunning in action. To be better, its full of smooth animated alien enemies that you can shoot.
It seems that a lot of players can only ever see a small portion of this stunning game. Hard Corps is widely considered one of the most difficult games in a series that is known for its high difficulty. At the first release of this action title, the most valuable quality of that sort scared many gamers away, but it was a more widely-regarded entry in the Contra series now.
Yes, it looks like a thing made in a high school programming class now, but its use of 3D graphics was a key to the industry, which increased the numbers of students today. It’s a small miracle that Sega couldn’t run this game on Genesis. Few thought that the console would be able to do so with a first-hand eye-popping 90000 polygons per second.
Although, pulling off that feat had a lot of costs. In the moment this title was released, Virtua Racing cartridges needed a special chip. A new version of the game, for which value was $100 (or more than $200 in 2022 dollars) available. This makes today’s $100-deluxe editions look good and inexpensive by comparison.
The first Vectorman was an exceptionally fun platformer for the launch of a gun that was released late in the Genesis Lifecycle. It’s been a fruit of its vector graphics, which resulted in unique and more well-looking sprites than other games on the market. Vectorman received fairly well from fans and critics alike. By the way, Sega went back to the good with a sequel in the next year.
The graphics of Vectorman 2 are phenomenal. The levels are more divergent than the first, so the scene looks really cool. Unfortunately, due to a rapid development cycle, the games level was noticeably shorter than their predecessors stage, thus not quite as fondly remembered. Not to be surprising, the effort to develop Vectorman 3 in the late 90s and early 2000s quickly ended. Just imagine what it could have looked like that game.
In 1993, the Genesis had failed to sell well, but at the time, the fans dread the fact that the console was far behind the SNES as well. As long as Ranger-X didn’t set sales charts on fire, the quality of the games graphics made sure that these concerns got in a bad mood.
This shoot-em-up boasts tons of big sprites and screen-filling bosses without a hint of panic. The developers must make any artistic compromises to achieve this theme using Genesis’s hardware. Ranger-X even featured 3D wireframe cutscenes at the beginning of each level. They look a little scared now, but they were really impressive at that time.
When the prerendered 3D graphics were unveiled in 1994, gamers everywhere knew they were looking at the future of the medium. No matter how much they tried, Sega was never really able to deliver a meaningful response to that game. So, at least, Sega didn’t manage to develop that kind of game in-house.
Occasionally, the Genesis version of Toy Story and its 3D renderings have a pretty close look to Donkey Kong. Hell, it looks a bit too close to the movie, but for a 16-bit version of the game that was released on hardware that showed its age earlier this year is astonishing. The Genesis version seems a little thinner than the SNES version, which presumably makes it the final version of the somewhat underrated gem.
The most basic console seems to be that of one or two developers who quickly learn the ins and outs of the hardware and manage to pull things off that other studios didn’t wish to. The developer, on the Genesis account, is certainly a treasure. Even Gunstar Heroes, the company’s very first game, managed to make the most of the Genesis hardware.
Gunstar Heroes is a lightning-fast shooter with brilliant graphics and many giant, chaotically animated enemies. It really is a technical marvel of its time. It seems like Treasure immediately understood that Genesis had certain weaknesses, but somehow turned these weaknesses into strengths. No surprise, the future Genesis games look even better. Actually, talking about a better treasure, in just a little bit, I’m going to talk about a better treasure for that.
Segas early generation was trying to join edwards’ Legend of Zelda. It’s regarded as a game that really shines in an area of major value: its graphics. Beyond Oasis is a unique and original game of the Genesis thanks to its bright color palette and the huge collection of large enemy sprites. It also features some of the smallest bosses on the Genesis, which is no small feat given the competition in that category.
Even worse, everything is running all the time smoothly. Even though many action RPGs of the same time are pretty jerky, Beyond Oasis smooth animations consistently resemble a Sunday morning cartoon. Of all games on this list, Beyond Oasis is arguably the easiest on the eyes by modern standards.
Let’s just get that out of the way. Sonic 3D Blast isn’t a good game. In fact, it could be the worst Sonic game, which is truly saying nothing, because of the low quality of some titles in that storied franchise. That is, however, a stunning-looking Genesis game.
Instead of the 3D pixel art previously known for, the Blast universe is rendered in 3D using a purely isometric perspective. There is a good feeling that action isn’t very good. It even gives the Nintendos similar-style Super Mario RPG a run for its money. It is a marvel that is completely useless when you should actually play this game. But you still don’t realize that the classic Sonic classic does all right from that perspective, this game is still a technical marvel.
Video games based on movies date back to the era of the Atari 2600, but until Aladdin ceased making them much more funny. Aladdin’s fluidity and source material provide accurate animations that were created after the first games was able to use hand-drawn animations which were then digitized and inserted into the game. That means you could enjoy taking a ride in the 90s to play an animated film.
This is the reason why most gamers prefer this version of Aladdin to the SNES. That title was a completely different game developed by Capcom that didn’t use the same graphics technique. It was a bit too fun to play, but it wasn’t fun.
Even in the busy field of 16-bit shooters, Thunder Force IV is generally considered one of the best in its genre. Of course, much of the games’ excellent reputation can be due to its outstanding graphics.
The engine of Thunder Force IV is powered by parallax to produce big vertical levels that exceed the space on the screen. It is a game that usually feels much larger than the actual one. With fast paced shooting, and a powerful soundtrack, you’ll find one that is a classic game that is sure to surpass what’s possible on the console.
That is the second treasure on this list, which means that Gunstar Heroes rang up to 11. It is still a shooter, but Alien Soldier emphasizes boss battles like that of a few other titles in this genre. Alien Soldier goes ahead of Gunstar Heroes in the look department.
The good thing about Alien Soldier is that it has a general and generic name. Those bosses you’ll face truly are alien, with huge claws, grinding mechanical parts and random pulsating organic extremities often highlighting their strange physiques. These are some of the best characters in a 16-bit game.
When it was originally released exclusively in Japan, Panorama Cotton was almost unknown in its home country and still rarely known internationally until the last few years. The game is unnatural, but the eyes eat it.
Panorama Cotton has 3D effects rarely seen on Sega Genesis. You could see that in Genesis as the animated film of Star Fox. In terms of gameplay, the levels look very similar to Space Harrier or After Burner, but with the high levels of psychedelic notes cranked up to 11. At times, it is easy to mistake that for a PS1 or a Sega Saturn game. Thankfully, the game can now easily be found on the PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch.
Many of the best console games are often released soon. Ristar doesn’t make any exception to that rule. Sega has a unique, multifaceted game that has many different levels and lots of clever creatures. A few hundred % of the native color palettes in Genesis don’t seem an issue here right?
While Ristar was one of the best-looking games on the console and extremely fun to play, it sold well below expectations. The titular star has appeared in many other Sega games and compilations over the years, but now it seems unlikely a true sequel to this bright gem is not much of a success.
If we were just grading on style, Comix Zone certainly deserves a top spot on the list. Even though many games before and after have attempted to marry comic books with video games, none have done that perfectly.
Sketch Turner of Comix Zone walks through the panels with ease. When he enters the next panel, the hands of a non-seen artist draw enemies into the area. The whole thing was meant to create the illusion of playing through an in-progress comic book, complete with dialogue bubbles and sound effect words.
In a 16-bit generation, there are no copycats, but graphics from Comix Zones still are completely unique. Unfortunately, the actual game becomes repetitive and the controls are finicky. The graphics are beautiful, so while Comix Zone has its fans, it’s never going to be remembered as one of the most wonderful Genesis games.
The Treasures of The Dynamite Dragon is the most graphically advanced Sega Genesis game. Yes, the sprites look good and there’s no real slowdown, but this is a large amount of the games on the console. The art style really makes this game more relevant than everything else on the Genesis. This is a game that never ceases to amaze new and unique enemies, regardless of whether you are fighting the marionette, robo-cat or the insane baby-face boss.
Sure, a great platformer, Dynamte Headdy is a good start, but it gets so surreal and goes all the way there, sometimes it feels like a fever dream, a hazy memory of an instant from the 1990s when one wasn’t certain to exist. Even Dynamite Headdy is very real, and with a real price, the gaming on the Sega Genesis. It is as effective as 16-bit gaming; a developer was able to explore their vision in a fully full way.
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