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15 Best Sega Genesis Action Games Ever

The Adventures of Batman and Robin

8. The Adventures of Batman and Robin

The SNES version of The Adventures of Batman and Robin tends to get all of the love, and it’s not hard to see why. Rather than simply port that exceptional action platformer to the Genesis, though, developer Clockwork Tortoise decided to make something that felt a little more…appropriate to the Genesis. Essentially, they turned Batman into a run-and-gun shooter hero. 

That may sound like blasphemy, but the results are heavenly. Not only is this game dripping with style (its soundtrack is one of the Genesis’ very best), but it offers some of the best pure action on a console clearly not hurting for notable entries in that subgenre. Hell, between its stunning side-scrolling sequence and surprisingly strong vehicular segments, this may be the best Treasure-like action game on the Genesis not made by Treasure. As we’ll discuss later, that is one of the biggest compliments I can pay a Genesis action game. 

Contra Hard Corps

7. Contra Hard Corps

Though it may seem redundant to put the word “Hard” next to Contra, I can assure you that the seemingly superfluous descriptor is both apt and necessary. With this game, Konami essentially asked “How hard can we make a Contra game while still keeping it technically beatable?” The answer, dear reader, is “Historically fucking hard.”

Push through that part of this game’s deserved reputation, though, and you’ll find Contra at its very best. Through such innovations (relative to this series) as multiple control options, branching paths, a greater variety of level types, and the ability to carry multiple weapons at once, Hard Corps manages to offer the most creatively diverse Contra experience of the franchise’s early era. Though future titles followed a bit more closely in its footsteps, Hard Corps arguably remains the franchise’s finest and toughest hour. 

Alien Soldier

6. Alien Soldier

Given that Alien Soldier’s North American release was limited to the Sega Channel service, there is a very good chance that many people simply never got the chance to play it. If you are among those who never got the chance to play this game back in the day, I implore you to do so now however you are able. It is one of developer Treasure’s finest action games and (as you can see) among the Genesis’ finest action titles. 

Released at the very end of the Genesis’ life cycle, Alien Soldier is a showcase of both the lessons Treasure learned in the Genesis era and the console’s technical capabilities. It was made for experienced Genesis gamers, and that philosophy is made abundantly apparent even in the game’s supposedly “easier” difficulty. Challenges aside, though, it’s the sheer spectacle of the experience that makes it truly special. Though structurally little more than an elaborate series of boss fights, the scale of those encounters and the ways you are asked to use all of the abilities at your disposal to overcome them do make this game feel like a mighty flex from an all-time great developer.

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