paint-brush
10 Best Sega Genesis Games of All Time Ranked by Salesby@mm22
5,167 reads
5,167 reads

10 Best Sega Genesis Games of All Time Ranked by Sales

by Marc MagriniJanuary 31st, 2022
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

The 10 best-selling Sega Genesis games are: 10. Altered Beast 9. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition 8. Mortal Kombat II 7. NBA Jam 6. Streets of Rage 5. Mortal Kombat 4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (& Knuckles) 3. Disney’s Aladdin 2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 1. Sonic the Hedgehog All of these games sold over a million copies, and many of them continue to find success today. The influence of the Genesis can still be felt, and these titles will likely be remembered as all-time classics for years to come.

Companies Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail
featured image - 10 Best Sega Genesis Games of All Time Ranked by Sales
Marc Magrini HackerNoon profile picture

The Sega Genesis launched a new era of gaming, acting as the spark to the ever-ongoing console wars. With this console, Sega was one of the few companies to rival Nintendo in the gaming industry. Numerous games were able to grow into multi-million-dollar franchises thanks to the success of the Genesis, such as Sonic the Hedgehog.

It’s interesting to see what games were able to make the most of Sega’s success. Outside of well-known hits like Sonic, the Genesis was also rife with titles found in arcades and even on other consoles. Looking back on these titles helps  provide very good insight on how far they were able to rise after around 30 years. As such, here are the best Sega Genesis games in terms of sales!

10 Best Sega Genesis Games Ranked by Copies Sold

  • 10. Altered Beast
  • 9. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
  • 8. Mortal Kombat II
  • 7. NBA Jam
  • 6. Streets of Rage
  • 5. Mortal Kombat
  • 4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (& Knuckles)
  • 3. Disney’s Aladdin
  • 2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • 1. Sonic the Hedgehog

10. Altered Beast - ~1.4+ Million Copies Sold

Altered Beast was one of the first games to let players enjoy a classic side-scrolling beat-em-up title at home. In the game, players are able to power themselves up and transform into bestial forms in order to fight mythical beasts. Its arcade version wasn’t perfectly translated into the Genesis release, but it was a mostly faithful recreation that drew the attention of hundreds of fans. The name “Altered Beast” would also be used for a 2005 game, but it never really managed to make the most of its prior success.

9. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition - ~1.66 Million Copies Sold

The Special Champion Edition of Street Fighter II made an already-beloved fighting game even more popular. The first of many updates to the original game, Champion Edition provided players the opportunity to use boss characters in their fights. Series mainstays like M. Bison and Vega made their playable debut in this title, alongside new mechanics and moveset changes for the original fighters. Champion Edition was a turning point for Street Fighter, and its port to the Genesis almost certainly helped with that. It’s not just one of the best Sega Genesis games - it’s one of the best fighting games of all time!

8. Mortal Kombat II - ~1.78+ Million Copies Sold

Mortal Kombat II was among the most popular fighting games of all time. Like Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition, the game introduced numerous characters that would be a part of the main roster for the series. There were also brand-new fatalities that made the game bloodier than ever, sparking similar controversy to its predecessor. Despite this, Mortal Kombat II remains one of the most well-known of classic fighting games, a fact made apparent by the title’s success on the Genesis.

7. NBA Jam - ~1.93+ Million Copies Sold

Image taken via NintendoLife

While it might be a surprise to see it on this list, NBA Jam was one of the first sports games out there. It was released on two consoles at first - the Genesis and SNES - and both versions were relatively similar. But its Genesis version managed to gain notable popularity, with its later Tournament Edition being a part of Retro Sanctuary’s top 100 Genesis Games of all time. The series has been dormant since 2011, but for a time, NBA Jam found itself with numerous entries and improvements throughout its lifespan.

6. Streets of Rage - ~2.6 Million Copies Sold

Another side-scrolling beat-em-up series, Streets of Rage managed to be the best-selling title of its genre on the Genesis. Compared to something like Altered Beast, this game allowed players to move in a 3D-like environment and even provided cooperative multiplayer. Streets of Rage would go on to become a major franchise, recently getting a revival in the form of a brand-new mainline entry. Had Sega pushed harder to create a new title after ending support for the Genesis, Streets of Rage might have become as well-known as Street Fighter.

5. Mortal Kombat - ~3.25 Million Copies Sold

The original Mortal Kombat found most of its success on the Sega Genesis. This was partially thanks to its edited SNES version that removed more violent fatalities and blood effects. Such effects were the subject of controversy, but that just made the game more tempting for fans of the original arcade edition. If the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat didn’t do well, the gratuitous violence known throughout the series might have been toned down further in future titles.

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles - ~4 Million Copies Sold

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - and its standalone expansion, Sonic & Knuckles - drew millions of fans into the Sonic franchise. It was the first time fans were introduced to Knuckles the Hedgehog, a character that would be a part of the series in nearly every other Sonic game after. With new levels, more interesting mechanics, and tighter controls, Sonic 3 (& Knuckles) was one of the best classic Sonic games out there - and perhaps one of the best Sega Genesis games of them all.

3. Disney’s Aladdin - ~4+ Million Copies Sold

One of the more surprising additions to this list, Disney’s Aladdin received unprecedented success. It was one of the first licensed games to end up well-received by fans, containing great animation and well-designed platforming gameplay. It even contained arrangements of music from the original film! While it didn’t leave behind a long-lasting legacy like other games on this list, Disney’s Aladdin still stands as one of the best-selling Genesis titles out there.

2. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - ~7.55+ Million Copies Sold

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was perhaps even more influential to the franchise than Sonic 3. It was the first game to introduce Tails, which allowed for a plethora of multiplayer modes and mechanics. It also introduced the Super Sonic powerup and well-known Death Egg Robot fight, starting trends in the Sonic series that continue to this day. Only one game could exceed Sonic 2’s popularity on the Genesis…and by now, that game should be obvious.

1. Sonic the Hedgehog - ~15+ Million Copies Sold

While its impressive sales numbers are partially due to being bundled with the console, it would be a lie to discount Sonic the Hedgehog’s success. Heavily influenced by - and rivaling - the Super Mario series, Sonic the Hedgehog was the first of many high-speed sidescrollers to feature the eponymous blue speedster. It was the success of this title that allowed the Genesis to become so well-received in the first place, etching Sega’s name into gaming history. It only makes sense that the first Sonic would be the best-selling Genesis title, as well as one of the most well-known games of all time.

Though Sega doesn’t make consoles anymore, their first foray into the market was no fluke. Some of the best Sega Genesis games are still remembered as all-time classics. All titles on this list managed to sell over a million copies, after all, and many of them continue to find success today. Fans interested in what made these games so beloved can check a few of them out even now, thanks to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.


Sources:

More in gaming:

1. 10 Best Yakuza Games of All Time Ranked by Sales | HackerNoon

2. The Best Mario Games for Switch Owners | HackerNoon

3. Top 10 Resident Evil Games Ranked by Sales | HackerNoon