10 Most Underrated Mega Drive & Genesis Games Ever

Sonic was just the surface of an incredible game library.

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Sega

If you were to ask a gamer at random to list off some of their favorite Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) titles, it's a pretty safe bet you'd get many recurring answers:

Any of the Sonics, Streets of Rage, Revenge of Shinobi, Columns, Altered Beast, Phantasy Star - the list goes on.

If you were to dig a little deeper, you might start encountering titles like Toejam & Earl, Contra Hard Corps, Kid Chameleon, Castlevania Bloodlines or Earthworm Jim. The truth, however, is that Sega's 16-bit catalog runs very, very deep.

These days Sega has resigned to creating games for other platforms, but the 16-bit era was by far their most successful outing. They were the first hardware manufacturer to give the seemingly untouchable Nintendo a legit run for the money.

With a library of over 700 games released in a few short years (not counting the libraries of a seemingly endless stream of hardware add-ons), there were bound to be titles that slipped under the proverbial radar.

10. Marvel Land - Namco (1991)

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Namco

Typically, when we think Mega Drive cartoony platformers, we think Sonic and when we think Namco, we think Pac-Man. In 1991, though, Namco was busy porting its then-fresh arcade game Marvel Land to Sega's home console.

Marvel Land (no relation to the comic book publisher) is a very Mario-esque 2D platformer centered on a theme park setting. The protagonist (Paco - at least they didn't call him Paco-Mano) even has to save a princess who has been captured by the evil Turtle King, er Mole King.

It really is a lot like having one of the fabled Nintendo Mario games on your Mega Drive, a decidedly rare experience on Sega hardware.

The game was fairly popular in Japan but failed to make much of an impact anywhere else in the world - a hidden gem at the time that's still fairly unknown today.

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Jason Russell has been working in video game journalism since the early 1990s before the internet existed, the term "fanzine" had meaning and sailors still debated as to whether or not the earth was flat. The first time. More recently he has been the guy responsible for the Retrospective column for Old School Gamer Magazine, pens up a Game Skinny column on a plethora of video game topics. He's somehow managed to author nine novels, writes and runs the blog CG Movie Review, is co-founder of the science fiction publishing house Starry Eyed Press, and sometimes, when the planets align and the caffeine has fully left his system, it's rumored he sleeps.