This feature was originally published on November 17, 2016.
Breaking news: the Sega Genesis is coming back. The old-school console is back in production and pre-orders are already in place, just in time for Christmas. It will come preloaded with 22 games, which means it’s a great time to revisit our list of the 100 best Sega games, especially since many of the games on this list will be included in the reboot. Sega’s news comes only a few months after Nintendo announced its own reboot with the release of the NES: Classic Edition. Even back in 1980, it was no small feat that Sega, with the help of third-party publishers, managed to hold its own against Nintendo, even though it had a dominating marketshare. The Sega Genesis had a respectable launch with the pack-in arcade port of Altered Beast and supported with games like Mystic Defender, Tommy Lasorda Baseball, and Ghouls 'n Ghosts. The next year saw an unusual glut of side-scrolling and vertical scrolling shooters, many of which were actually worthy of our top 100 list. And looking back on the Genesis game library as a whole, there really was something for everyone. This included unexpected gleams of innovation, like the early RTS Herzog Zwei as well as Contra: Hard Corps and The Adventures of Batman & Robin, games that greatly lessened our desire for a Super Nintendo. We did manage to go through over a thousand Genesis and Mega Drive games in the last couple months to make sure every release was considered. Along with a handful of imports that many American gamers never got to play, this list represents the 100 best games for the classic Sega console.