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The Best Sega Master System Games | Retro Games

Want to know what The Best Sega Master System Games are? Check out my list below for some aweseom recommendations to add to your retro gaming collection.

the best sega master system games

While majority of North America's gamers fondly remember the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES); it seemed as though they missed out on experiencing SEGA's answer to the 8-Bit console wars- The Master System!

And while SEGA's 16-Bit successor, the Megadrive/Genesis, is more memorable for a lot of people; there is no denying that the Master System (what, with it's bright colours and relatively good sound structure), has a library full of amazing games.

Personally, I have more of a connection with the Master System than I do the NES.

I grew up with SEGA and only ever experienced Nintendo when I first played my aunt's N64 a fair few years later.

As people tend to ask for my favourite Master system games or whether there are any that I could recommend, I have decided to make a list of games that every retro gamer should add to their retro gaming collection. Here are The Best Sega Master System Games.

The Best Sega Master System Games


Master of Darkness

Best sega master system games

Seen as Sega's answer to the Castlevania series, Master of Darkness is 2D action platformer which sees you play as Dr. Ferdinand Social who is looking to defeat Dracula after a series of killings have occured in London.

Fans of 1800's, gritty London will probably appreciate it's gothic dark edge and appeal, revelling in eye pleasing graphics and reponsive controls, with an interesting story arch that will keep you hooked. This is why I think Master of Darkess is truly The Best Sega Master System Games.


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If you're a fan of the French comics from the late 50's then you will love all the Asterix games that got released for Sega consoles in the 90's- including the Sega Master System. Probably one of The Best Sega Master System Games of all time, this 1991 is a must have in every retro gaming collection.

It's a 2D platformer, where you can choose to play as either Asterix or Obelix, to complete the level. It's quite clever as both characters are different, which results in varied gameplay, and very different ways of completing the game. It can be played alone or even with a friend, allowing you both to truly revel in the colourful graphics, upbeat music and overall fun level design.

Land of Illusion

land of illusion master system game

Although I would say that Disney Dreamlight Valley is one of my favourite Disney titles of today, it wasn't always the case. Roll back to the early 90's and I was obsessed with the Illusion series which saw it's release across both the Master System and Mega Drive respectfully

In the Land of Illusion, Mickey wakes up from reading a story book, only to discover that he's been sucked into a depressive, sad world and must restore happiness in the land once more. It's yet another 2D platformer boasting amazing, colourful 8bit graphics and cute upeat music! Want The Best Sega Master System Games? This is one of them.

Sonic 2

best master system games

Although Sonic 2 for the Mega Drive is often quoted as being one of The Best Sega Mega Drive Games, I personally feel like the Master System version can give it a run for it's money. Not just a carbon copy of the 16bit counterpart, Sonic 2 for the Master System is a fresh, stand alone game with very different mechanics.

The sees our blue hedgehog try and retrieve back the chaos crystals and rescue Tails from Dr Robotnik. It plays like any other 2D sonic title, but also has included inventive ways of traversing through the levels, such as hand gliders and minecarts. For fans of the Sonic series in general, I highly recommend adding this version to your retro gaming collection as it's certainly one of The Best Sega Master System Games.


master system games recommendations

I'm just going to say it, R-Type is so much better than Gradius. FACTS! You can argue with me all you want, but you know you are wrong- however, I do think that is just the Sega bias coming out in me. Also the gfirst boss (pictured), if truly iconic.

R-Type does play very similar to Gradius however the scenary and bosses in this game are just pleasing to the eye, combine this with some amazing sounds and drive music and you've got one of The Best Sega Master System Games. For retro gamers who love the classic Gradius and/or are fans of the Alien film franchise would probably enjoy this game as it actually draws inspiration from them.

Alex Kidd in Shinobi World

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Before Sonic, Alex Kidd was Sega’s answer to Mario in the infamous console wars of the late 80’s. With only five main games under his belt, most being of an average to poor standard, it was hard to really recommend one. Obviously you have the classic Alex Kidd in Miracle World (see below), but I highly recommend adding Alex Kidd in Shinobi World to your collection. 

One of The Best Sega Master System Games, Alex Kidd in Shinobi World is actually just a parody of Shinobi, a pretty good one at that too! It’s a 2D action platformer which sees Alex abandon the arts of Rock, Paper, Scissors and opt for swords, throwing darts etc. It’s a very fun and upbeat game, and certainly a step in the right direction for the series. 

Wonderboy in Monster Land

best master system games list

There are actually a fair few Wonderboy games for the Master System which I could have recommended, however I eventually settled on Wonderboy in Monster Land due to its colourful graphics, upbeat music and awesome gameplay! 

Seen as Sega’s answer to The Legend of Zelda series, Wonderboy in Monster Land is a 2D action platformer with RPG elements thrown in. Throughout the game, you tackle many enemies, fight plenty of bosses and collect money to upgrade your shield, armour and other equipment to help progress. Would you say Wonderboy in Monster Land is one of The Best Sega Master System Games?

Sonic Chaos 

best sega master system titles

I have to admit, I am a bit of a sucker for the 8bit Sonic titles. Although you didn’t get to play with or as Tails in Sonic 2, you actually have a choice in Sonic Chaos, ultimately affecting how you can traverse through the levels. Sonic is obviously faster and can spin dash, whereas Tails can fly but slower. 

It should also be noted that Sonic Chaos is a stand alone title that was purely designed for the Master System and Game Gear, meaning there is no 16bit counterpart. However, just like any other Sonic game, it’s a 2D platformer where you have to traverse colourful levels, navigate its many obstacles and collect emeralds. It’s certainly a must have in any retro gamers collection.

Laser Ghost 

the best master system games ranked

Being the unofficial love child of Poltergeist and Ghostbusters, Laser Ghost started life as an arcade title before being ported to the Master System in 1991. It’s a shooting arcade gallery game where you’re there to assist a helpless girl as she makes her way through many creepy levels. 

Using either the light gun attachment or the controller itself, you must guide a cursor around the screen, shooting enemies and possessed items that will lunge for the girl. It’s a fun, quirky little game that I would recommend adding to your Master System collection. 

Sonic The Hedgehog 

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The game that actually gave Nintendo some competition and propelled Sonic to replace poor Alex Kidd as Sega’s official mascot throughout the early 90’s. Initially released on the Mega Drive in 1991, a 8bit counterpart was released the same year for the Master System and Game Gear respectively. 

It’s a side scrolling platformer that sees the player collect chaos emeralds and defeat Dr Robotnik, however this version has many different game mechanics and even levels implemented making it completely separate from the Mega Drive version. If you loved the original, I truly recommend having this game in your Master System collection. 

Global Gladiators 

underrated master system games

Probably one of the lesser known Master System titles on this list, Global Gladiators is a platformer that was released in 1992 for many consoles, including the Sega Master System. It’s the spiritual successor to the M.C kids that was released on the NES and is yet another Mcdonalds themed game. 

You take control of either Mick or Mack and must travel through four worlds, guided by Ronald McDonald as you collect the multiple Golden Arches in order to progress through the game. It’s a fun little title with an environmental message and I highly recommend adding this to your Master System collection. 

Alex Kidd in Miracle World 

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Probably considered one of The Best Sega Master System Games ever, Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a colourful 2D platformer that  was released in 1986 for Sega’s 8bit console. You play as Alex, who must save the kingdom from Janken the Great. 

Not only does this game have many elements that make a great 2D platformer, but has a rather unique boss mechanic at the end of some levels, where you partake in a forced game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Although it’s probably the best game in the franchise, it certainly gave Mario a run for his money and is (in my opinion), better than Super Mario for the NES. 

Fantasy Zone 

best sega master system games

Did you know that before Alex Kidd and Sonic were official mascots for Sega, they had Opa Opa from Fantasy Zone? In this scrolling shooter game, you control a sentient spaceship who faces off against an alien invasion. 

Unlike other scrolling shooter games, such as R-type and Gradius, which features darker tones in its style, Fantasy Zone is defined more as a cute ‘em up due to its upbeat, colourful graphics and adorable gameplay. I highly recommend Fantasy Zone to cozy gamers looking for more challenging Cozy Retro Games. 


Do you agree with this list on The Best Sega Master System Games? If you like what you have read, why not check out some of my popular recommendations, such as Cozy Games on Xbox Game Pass or even Retro Cozy Games.


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