10 best Sega CD games

After the smashing success of the Genesis, Sega wanted to make sure they didn’t lose their momentum against Nintendo. For this reason, the video game company released the Sega CD as an add-on for the Genesis in 1991 while also developing the Sega Saturn.

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This led to technological underdevelopment of both consoles and a relatively low number of titles for either system, which resulted in the Dreamcast failing and Sega leaving the console market. But if the Sega CD had its issues, it also had some great games that are worth playing even today.


Heart of the Alien

Buddy carrying Lester's unconscious body at the start of the Sega Heart of the Alien CD game.

Heart of the Alien is a 1994 action-adventure platformer game that is also a direct sequel to the 1991 game Another world (one of the scariest Super Nintendo games ever) and also called Out of this world in North America. Although Another world is still widely known and has had many reissues until the present day, Heart of the Alien is mostly forgotten because it was only released for the Sega CD.

Although the player controlled the human scientist Lester in the first game, this game allows the player to control Lester’s alien ally named Buddy, and the two characters work together to save Buddy’s people. Since this sequel gives the player a whip under tension and includes Another world on disc, this game is the definitive version for anyone who wants to try out these classics.

Road blaster

A motorcycle climbs a staircase in Road Avenger.

While Night trap is probably the most infamous FMV game on this console, the best full-motion video game on the Sega CD should go to the 1985 LaserDisc game Road blaster. Originally released in arcades in Japan, the CD version of Sega was one of the only versions to be released internationally, and it was renamed to Avenger of the road. Players control a man who is trying to get revenge on the biker gang who killed his wife.

Using a modified sports car, the player chases the bikers and engages in vehicle combat. As the animated sequence is pre-recorded, the player determines what is going on by pressing the right buttons at the right time. While the game is basically a bunch of elaborate QTEs, it’s still worth playing due to the incredible animation that Toei Animation does.

Dark Magician

The title screen of the Tactical Dark Wizard JRPG on the Sega CD.

One of the more obscure JRPGs on this console is the 1993 Tactical RPG Magician of Darkness. Created by Kenji Terada, who is best known for his work on the top three Final fantasy games, the game is set in the kingdom of Cheshire where the king has died and the dark wizard Velonese has recently taken over the country in an attempt to free the dark god Arliman.

The player controls one of four characters, each with their own troops and scenarios, to establish an army and reclaim the kingdom. These main characters include the young prince Armer IX, the knights leader Robin, the dark witch Krystal and the vampire Amon. With over 300 hours of playtime, this massive world is a hidden gem.

Eternal Champions: Dark Side Challenge

Larcen Tyler in the Eternal Champions Challenge from the Dark Side game using his Vendetta finisher.

Released in 1995 towards the end of the Sega CD’s life, Eternal Champions: Dark Side Challenge is a fighting game and a partial sequel to the original Eternal Champions for Genesis. In this series, a being known as the Eternal Champion holds a contest between individuals from different time periods in history who have died before they can change the world for the better. The winner can avoid his death and fulfill his best destiny.

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While this game features many of the same characters, stages, and gameplay mechanics as the original, it also continues the story by introducing a new boss called the Dark Champion that invalidates the original competition by introducing new characters. With the roster now of 24 characters and two bosses, the game also fixes some of the gameplay and adds several types of bloody finishers.

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition

The start of the level "Gross Gross" from the game Earthworm Jim: Special Edition.

A year after the first 2D run-and-gun platformer of 1994 Jim earthworm was released for the Genesis and SNES, an improved port was released for the Sega CD titled Earthworm Jim: Special Edition. The game follows a normal earthworm named Jim who gains human abilities after a special “super suit” falls from the sky, which he then uses to fight various antagonists.

Although it is based on the Genesis version, this game adds a new soundtrack, additional new areas in the levels, new animation frames and a whole new level called “Big Bruty”. Additionally, the game had alternate endings depending on the difficulty.

Popful Mail

Popful Mail talks to Tatt in the Sega CD version of the Popful Mail game.

The Sega CD library also included ports from some of the best PC-98 games of all time, including the 1992 side-scrolling action platformer. Popful mail. Developed by Nihon Falcom, who is best known for JRPGs such as Yes, Trails, and The Legend of Heroes, The game follows Popful Mail, who is a female elf and bounty hunter, as she sets out on a journey to find criminal wizard Muttonhead and denounce him for money. But, the seemingly simple quest will become the most important and dangerous adventure Mail has ever taken.

As you move through the levels, the player can switch between Mail and two other characters, Tatt and Gaw, who each have their own unique abilities and equipment. The Sega CD version of this game is the only one officially translated and released in North America, and it has larger sprites, great voice acting, and full character portraits.

Shining force cd

The character of Wendy speaks at the beginning of Book 1 of the Shining Force CD game.

Released in 1994, Shining force cd is a tactical JRPG and is part of the Brilliant force series. The game is a remake of two previous games in the franchise, Gaiden of Shining Force and Brilliant Force Gaiden II, but it also includes two new storylines unique to this release that continue the story.

The game follows the new Guardiana Shining Force leader Nick as he gains new allies, battles evil, and reveals the truth about his own origins. With in-depth strategic gameplay, detailed animations, and many hours of content, this game is one of the main highlights of this forgotten franchise.


Snatcher by Hideo Kojima

Originally released in 1988 for the PC-8801, thief is a cyberpunk visual novel graphic adventure game created by acclaimed video game director Hideo Kojima. Set in the mid-21st century in the fictional metropolis of Neo Kobe City, the player controls an amnesic man named Gillian Seed who joins a special task force called JUNKER to hunt down the “Snatchers,” who are robots that kill humans and humans. replace in society.

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In 1994, a Sega CD version of the game was specially designed for North America and Europe. Although the game sold poorly, it is now considered one of the best cyberpunk games and has influenced other major creators such as Goichi Suda.

Sound CD

A screenshot of Sonic navigating one of the stages of Sonic CD.

Since its release in 1993, the platform game Sound CD was considered one of the best games in the Sonic franchise. Besides being one of the best-selling games on console, Sound CD is known for its soundtrack, large amount of gameplay, time travel mechanics and the introduction of important characters like Amy Rose and Metal Sonic.

The same to others Sonic titles, the player controls Sonic as he goes through different platform levels, collecting rings and destroying robots in order to defeat Dr. Robotnik. But, the game sets itself apart by making Sonic travel through time to collect Time Stones so that he can save Amy and Little Planet, which leads to each level having several different variations depending on the time.

Lunar: the silver star

Alex and his sister Luna practice their song towards the start of the game Lunar: The Silver Star.

Other than Sonic CD, the other best-selling game on the console was the JRPG Lunar: The Silver Star, which worked so well that it had a direct result, Lunar: Eternal Blue, and several remakes. Set on the Silver Star Lunar, which orbits a barren blue star, the player controls a young boy named Alex who ends up having to save the world from the Magical Emperor on his journey to become a Dragonmaster.

Even though the game uses turn-based combat, it is unique from other JRPGs as the damage is based on the character’s distance from enemies. With well-written characters, in-depth dialogue, and a great soundtrack, this game is easily one of the best RPGs of the time.

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