Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mixtape: Best of UK #1s 1982 - 2012

Yesterday I posted my favourite UK #1 hits between the years 1952 and 1981. Why? Because the UK #1 is now sixty years old. We've had sixty years of popular music, and the charting of the popularity of it. So I decided I wanted to celebrate the past sixty years of music by revealing my favourite #1 hits. Because sixty years is such a long time I've made two lists, and this is the second one.

This Mixtape celebrates my favourite #1 hits from 1982 to 2012. This list of songs isn't as good as the list I put up yesterday, in my opinion anyway, because my favourite songs from the past 30 years hardly chart, nevermind get to #1. But there are some great tracks here, I'm sure you'll appreciate.

Don't know much about Mixtapes? Here are the rules. 

A Mixtape is a playlist of a certain genre, band or era. The list is generally 80 minutes long, the same length of a blank CD, with further recommendations if some of the songs aren't to your taste. Remember kids, downloading is wrong! 

So here we go! Here's a list of my favourite #1 hits from 1982 to 2012, with the date it got to the #1 spot! Enjoy!

This Mixtape is now available to listen to fully on YouTube so subscribe to me if you want to listen to it properly. Enjoy!
  1. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor (04/09/1982)
  2. Let's Dance - David Bowie (09/04/1983)
  3. Stand By Me - Ben E. King (21/02/1987)
  4. Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant (12/06/1982)
  5. Should I Stay or Should I Go? - The Clash (03/03/1991)
  6. House of Fun - Madness (29/05/1982)
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (15/12/1991)
  8. Dancing in the Street - Mick Jagger and David Bowie (07/09/1985)
  9. Your Woman - White Town (19/01/1997)
  10. Country House - Blur (20/08/1995)
  11. Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Mix) - Cornershop (22/02/1998)
  12. Don't Speak - No Doubt (16/02/1997)
  13. The Importance of Being Idle - Oasis (28/08/2005)
  14. When the Sun Goes Down - Arctic Monkeys (22/01/2006)
  15. Paradise - Coldplay (01/01/2012)
  16. Deeper Underground - Jamiroquai (19/07/1998)
  17. Dare - Gorillaz (04/09/2005)
  18. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy) - The Offspring (24/01/1999)
  19. Rollin' - Limp Bizkit (21/01/2001)
  20. Killing in the Name - Rage Against the Machine (20/12/2009)
Don't like some of these? Give these five a try...
  1. The Drugs Don't Work - The Verve (07/09/1997)
  2. Stay - Shakespears Sister (16/02/1992)
  3. Bring Me to Life - Evanescence (08/06/2003)
  4. Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs (25/02/2007)
  5. Vertigo - U2 (14/11/2004)
So that's it! I hope you enjoyed both of these playlists, or Mixtapes as I call them. Sure, I complain about the lack of quality songs getting up the charts nowadays, but that's obviously my opinion, an unpopular one based on the fact that in the end, it's a popularity contest for musicians. But we have had some great songs get up to the top, and I used to really love listening to the chart show when I was younger, so this was a trip down memory lane in a certain way. I hope it was for you too.

This will be my last piece of work before Christmas. As you have probably noticed, I don't write much at the moment. I would like to see if I can address that properly in the New Year, but we'll see. Either way, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas if you celebrate it, and a Happy New Year. Take care!

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mixtape: Best of UK #1s 1952 - 1981

Last month was the sixty year anniversary of the first #1 hit single in this country. Our first ever #1 in this country went to Al Martino with "Here in My Heart". Since then we've had over 1000 songs get to the #1 spot, the spot all music artists aspire to get to in this country. It means that for at least one week, their song is the most popular and most requested. It's like being king for a week I suppose.

Now the problem with #1 hits for me is that it usually goes to pop stars. The word pop comes from popular obviously, so if, like me, you like your rock and metal, chances are it makes it THAT much harder for your favourite tracks to actually perform well in the charts, nevermind get the #1 spot. Over time for me, less of my favourite tracks are getting to the top, which is a damn shame. But that's life!

Either way, I want to celebrate the last sixty years in music, with my favourite #1 hits through the years. Because sixty years is such a long time, and there were so many great songs through the years (especially over the course of the sixties) I've divided the Mixtapes into two, meaning today you'll get the first 30 years of #1s, and tomorrow you'll get the last 30 years of #1s. Remember this is a biased list.

Don't know much about Mixtapes? Here are the rules. 

A Mixtape is a playlist of a certain genre, band or era. The list is generally 80 minutes long, the same length of a blank CD, with further recommendations if some of the songs aren't to your taste. Remember kids, downloading is wrong! 

So here we go! Here's a list of my favourite #1 hits from 1952 to 1981, with the date it got to the #1 spot! Enjoy!

This Mixtape is now available to listen to fully on YouTube so subscribe to me if you want to listen to it properly. Enjoy!
  1. Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets (25/11/1955)
  2. Three Steps to Heaven - Eddie Cochran (23/06/1960)
  3. Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis (10/01/1958)
  4. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley (24/01/1958)
  5. Shakin' All Over - Johnny Kidd and the Pirates (04/08/1960)
  6. House of the Rising Sun - The Animals (09/07/1964)
  7. You'll Never Walk Alone - Gerry and the Pacemakers (31/10/1963)
  8. You Really Got Me - The Kinks (10/09/1964)
  9. With a Girl Like You - The Troggs (04/08/1966)
  10. Fire - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (14/08/1968)
  11. Paint it Black - The Rolling Stones (26/05/1966)
  12. Voodoo Child - Jimi Hendrix (21/11/1970)
  13. (Just Like) Starting Over - John Lennon (20/12/1980)
  14. Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) - Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel (22/02/1975)
  15. Get it On - T-Rex (24/07/1971)
  16. Blockbuster - The Sweet (27/01/1973)
  17. Tiger Feet - Mud (26/01/1974)
  18. I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am!) - Gary Glitter (28/07/1973)
  19. You're My First, My Last, My Everything - Barry White (07/12/1974)
  20. Under Pressure - Queen and David Bowie (21/11/1981)
  21. Prince Charming - Adam and the Ants (19/09/1981)
  22. Hey Jude - The Beatles (14/09/1968)
Don't like some of these? Give these five a try...
  1. It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones (11/03/1965)
  2. Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison (08/10/1964)
  3. I Don't Like Mondays - The Boomtown Rats (28/07/1979)
  4. Brass in Pocket - The Pretenders (19/01/1980)
  5. My Ding-a-Ling - Chuck Berry (25/11/1972)
So those are my favourite #1 hits from 1952 to 1981. It was an amazing time to be listening to music, as at the time truly great songs were getting to #1 on a regular basis. I can't say the same for today unfortunately. Anyway I'll bring you 1982 - 2012 tomorrow. Join me then!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

My Top 50 Favourite Sega Mega Drive Games: #1 + More

Hey there. Welcome to the final part in my Top 50 Favourite Mega Drive games list. Every day for the past 50 days I’ve been revealing one game per day, in my biased opinion, my favourite games on this absolutely amazing console. I’ve had a blast, reminiscing over these 49 amazing games. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too, and maybe remembered some games you may have forgotten before, or even, found new games in this list you never heard of, and enjoy. We’re at the end now.

Here’s quick recap of my list from #50 to #2…
  • #50 - Columns III – 1993 - ***1/2 
  • #49 - World Cup Italia '90 – 1990 - ***1/2 
  • #48 - Virtua Fighter 2 – 1996 - ***1/2 
  • #47 - Jurassic Park – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #46 - Road Rash III: Tour de Force – 1995 - ***3/4 
  • #45 - FIFA International Soccer – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #44 - Mega Bomberman – 1994 - ***3/4 
  • #43 - Golden Axe III – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #42 - Micro Machines – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #41 – Columns – 1990 - ***3/4 
  • #40 - Zombies Ate My Neighbours – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #39 - Sylvester and Tweety in Cagey Capers – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #38 – Flicky – 1991 - ***3/4 
  • #37 - Taz in Escape From Mars – 1994 - ***3/4 
  • #36 – Aladdin – 1993 - ***3/4 
  • #35 - Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle – 1989 - ***3/4 
  • #34 - Sonic 3D Blast – 1996 - **** 
  • #33 - Streets of Rage 3 – 1994 - **** 
  • #32 - Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II – 1992 - **** 
  • #31 – Lemmings – 1992 - **** 
  • #30 - Golden Axe – 1989 - **** 
  • #29 - Mortal Kombat – 1992 - **** 
  • #28 - Splatterhouse 3 – 1993 - **** 
  • #27 - Sonic the Hedgehog – 1991 - **** 
  • #26 - Theme Park – 1994 - **** 
  • #25 – Ghostbusters – 1990 - **** 
  • #24 - Micro Machines: Turbo Tournament 96 – 1995 - ****1/4 
  • #23 - Blood Shot – 1994 - ****1/4 
  • #22 - Super Hang-On – 1988 - ****1/4 
  • #21 - Sonic the Hedgehog 3 – 1994 - ****1/4 
  • #20 - Gain Ground – 1992 - ****1/4 
  • #19 - Street Fighter II: Championship Edition – 1992 - ****1/4 
  • #18 – Worms – 1995 - ****1/4 
  • #17 - Speedball 2 – 1990 - ****1/4 
  • #16 - Super Monaco GP – 1990 - ****1/4 
  • #15 - Shining Force II – 1993 - ****1/2 
  • #14 - Streets of Rage – 1991 - ****1/2 
  • #13 - Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine – 1993 - ****1/2 
  • #12 - Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master – 1993 - ****1/2 
  • #11 - Ultimate Mortal Kombat III – 1996 - ****1/2 
  • #10 - World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck – 1992 - ****1/2 
  • #9 - Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament – 1994 - ****1/2 
  • #8 - Michael Jackson's Moonwalker – 1990 - ****3/4 
  • #7 - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – 1992 - ****3/4 
  • #6 - Shining Force – 1992 - ****3/4 
  • #5 - The Revenge of Shinobi – 1989 - ****3/4 
  • #4 - Quackshot starring Donald Duck – 1991 - ****3/4 
  • #3 - Streets of Rage 2 – 1992 - ****3/4 
  • #2 - Sonic and Knuckles – 1994 - ****3/4
Okay then, this is it. My favourite game on the Mega Drive is…

#1 – Gunstar Heroes
Released: 1993
Genre: Action
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: Black’s Dice Maze. It’s just lots and lots of fun.
Yes, my favourite Mega Drive game is Gunstar Heroes. I don’t think any game since Gunstar Heroes has been able to compactly put so much chaos on screen while maintaining a decent flow of entertainment. I really mean that. This game has so much stuff going on, you shoot through hundreds and hundreds of bad guys, but it just doesn’t get old, doesn’t get boring, and doesn’t get stale. It’s so entertaining, and the game has a brilliant sense of humour, awesome music and the sound quality is absolutely sublime. This game is so exhilarating it’s incredible. It’s simply one of the most action pumped games ever made and is a thrill to play, even 19 years later. Gunstar Heroes is a game you simply have to experience before you die. It’s such a shame the game isn’t acknowledged more, in comparison to other games in this list. Nothing against those games. But Gunstar Heroes is simply one of the best games ever made, and is my favourite game ever to be released on the Mega Drive.

Well that’s it! We’ve finished! I hope you’ve enjoyed this list, and reminiscing over these brilliant games, games released between 1988 and 1996, the epitome of 2D gaming. I love all 50 of these games and I’m sure there’s something in this list for everyone. If there’s any games here that have given you some great memories, please, comment below. Is there any games on here you’ve never played before and it being on this list made you try it? Let me know, comment below.

If you know me personally, you know I’m a stats guy, and here are two interesting graphs you may like.

This graph really interested me. I didn’t take into consideration the year of each game’s release until the list was fully complete. The year 1993 having 13 entries out of 50, that’s over a quarter of the list, was an intriguing statistic. It makes sense though. Sonic 1 was released in 1991, and that really set the Mega Drive off to not only compete but to equal Nintendo at one point in the video game wars. Two years later and game after game after game was released that were outstanding. I’m not really surprised that most of my favourite games were released in 1993, but it’s very interesting. If you were wondering, the earliest released game in this list is Super Hang-On, the only game released in the year 1988, and the latest game was Sonic 3D Blast, which was released on November 30th 1996. Nine years of video games. Amazing.

This graph isn’t surprising at all, but it’s still cool to see what genres were included the most. No surprise really that its action and platformers that dominate my list. There were some awesome action games out on the Mega Drive, and five of the 10 platformers are Sonic games. Beat ‘em ups were high in tally inclusion as well, which isn’t surprising either as there were some solid beat ‘em ups on the Mega Drive.  I wasn’t expecting so many racing games mind, but it goes to show that racing games were pretty good on the Mega Drive too. My favourite genre of game is the RPG, but, as mentioned a few times, the Mega Drive really didn’t do RPGs, hence the lack of tally in the list.

To conclude, the Mega Drive is one of the best consoles ever made, and it’ll always have a strong place in my heart. It was my first ever console, and it really opened my eyes to the beauty of video games. It changed my life, quite simply. I love the Mega Drive. One day, I’d love to own all 50 of these games, preferably in Mega Drive format (bar Columns III, Golden Axe III, Splatterhouse 3 and Gain Ground, which weren’t released on the Mega Drive in the UK). It’s a long-term ambition, one I’ll hopefully be able to achieve when I can afford to! Thank you so much for joining me in this countdown. I’ve had a blast doing this list; it’s always a pleasure doing these listings. I hope you got something out of it too. Until next time!

If you liked this article you might want to read:

Continue reading the listing!
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

My Top 50 Favourite Sega Mega Drive Games: #10 - #2

Here we are. The Top 10. My ten favourite Mega Drive games. What will make the list? What classic games make the list? Are there any surprises? Let’s find out...

#10 – World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
Released: 1992 
Genre: Platform 
Rating: ****1/2 stars 
Best Moment: Just playing two-player mode, it’s one of the best if not THE best two-player games ever made.
As I say above, this game is just absolutely amazing in two-player mode. It’s so much fun, you and a mate, going through this World of Illusion. It’s a very short game, but the imagination, the jubilations, the music, everything about this game is just so much fun. Disney is world renowned for its amazing ability to make children’s films so great, and if there was one game that translates the feeling of watching a Disney film into game form, this is it. It’s that simple. This is simply one of the best kids games ever made. I dare any one to suggest otherwise.

#9 – Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament
Released: 1994
Genre: Racing
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Climbing through the League pyramid to the top. It can be very frustrating but the payoff at the end is great when you finally get there

My favourite racing game on the Sega Mega Drive is Micro Machines 2. It’s possibly my favourite racing game of all time to be honest. I absolutely adore this game. For me, a racing game doesn’t always have to be about it technically being great, or the graphics being smooth and realistic, a racing game has to be fun. And I don’t find that many other racing games as fun as this. The different vehicles are great, the races are crazy, the characters all have their own little quirky personalities and the music is really smooth. Micro Machines 2 is the ultimate Micro Machines game and is simply one of the best racing games ever made. I truly mean that.

#8 – Michael Jackson's Moonwalker
Released: 1990 (1991 in the UK) 
Genre: Beat ‘em Up 
Rating: ****3/4 stars 
Best Moment: Indisputably, making your opponents dance to death. The different dance sequences on each level are all just beautifully animated and are quite funny at times.
What? Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker at #8 in my favourite Mega Drive games list? Damn right it is. Have you played this game before? If you haven’t, you have no right to question why I rate this game so high. If you have played the game, I reckon you’d understand why. It’s an absolutely fantastic game, and yes, I do rate it at ****3/4 stars out of five. Sure, Michael Jackson ‘rescuing little children’ is questionable in 2012, but back in 1990 none of the sexual abuse allegations were in existence really. Forget that though, what you have is an absolutely brilliant Michael Jackson video game experience. Everything that was great about Michael Jackson is beautifully represented in this game. The dance moves, the ‘magic persona’, the suits, the enemies (based on the movie Moonwalker), and most importantly, the music, it's all here, and it’s so so good. You really have to play this game if you haven’t before. Check out this video below. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

#7 – Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Released: 1992
Genre: Platformer
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: The special stages, Sonic 2 has the best special stages in Sonic history.
Another Sonic game bites the dust in my list. In the main series only Sonic and Knuckles remains. Is it in my list at all? If so, how high? We’ll see. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is simply one of the most exhilarating platformer experiences of all time. Sega did very little wrong with Sonic 2, the 20 levels (in comparison to Sonic 3’s 12 levels) make this the most of any Sonic title on the Mega Drive, and for the most part, the levels are pretty damn sweet. The addition of Tails was quite nice, just so you had the choice of being someone else, although playing with both Sonic and Tails one-player can be very annoying. I really don’t know what to say about Sonic 2 because chances are you have played it and know about how good it is anyway. Sonic 2 is simply one of the best platformers of all time. I love it.

#6 – Shining Force
Released: 1992 (1993 in the UK)
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: Like Shining Force II’s entry, nothing really stands out. It’s just simply one of the best RPGs ever made.
I’ve placed the original Shining Force towards the top of the mountain for many reasons. Firstly, it’s better than the second game in the series, which was a brilliant game in its own right. Why? I just love the characters more, the story is better, and, honestly, the second entry didn’t really experiment much from the original. The original Shining Force is simply one of those games you have to play. Really. It’s a shame the Shining Force series never really developed much after the third game, which wasn’t fully released in the West, a terrible terrible shame, because while the formula has been done by other game series, Shining Force I feel did it best. The balance and variety of the characters, the different tactical approaches you can do in the game, a lot of it was pretty damn amazing for 1992. Final Fantasy was lagging by this point in the RPG games, in my opinion tactically, and that’s where Shining Force’s strongest point lies. Shining Force is a game you simply have to play, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

#5 – The Revenge of Shinobi

Released: 1989 (1990 in the UK)
Genre: Action
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: Going against Batman and Spiderman on Stage 6. It’s really cool, and a set of totally unexpected cameos in the game.
This entry once again is another example where nostalgia places a game higher in my list rather than a game’s technicality. The third game in the series (at #12 in this list) is a far superior game technically; it improves on the amazing blueprint in this game in nearly every way. But I just can’t place this game any lower, it feels perfectly right at #5 in my list of favourite games. Why? I can’t tell you how many hours, how many times, I have completed this game. It’s embedded as one of my favourite games of my childhood. Besides, it’s so so cool, and I can promise you, not many games were as cool back in 1989. Golden Axe was released in this same calendar year, and it’s my very strong opinion that the action available in this game is far superior to that in GA, no disrespect. So yeah, The Revenge of Shinobi, simply, is one of the best games of all time, and my fifth favourite on the Mega Drive.

#4 – Quackshot starring Donald Duck

Released: 1991 
Genre: Platformer 
Rating: ****3/4 stars 
Best Moment: Getting the red plunger. Seriously. I love firing that weapon and climbing walls. Also the Egypt level is awesome too, and was featured in my list of favourite platformer levels ever, a list you can read here.

I have zero shame placing a Disney game at #4 in my list of favourite Mega Drive games. If you’ve ever played Quackshot, chances are you understand fully its placement this high on this list. Quackshot is just one of the best adventure platformer games ever. This game is just jam-packed full of amazing levels, great cameos by other characters associated with Donald Duck, and it can be a tough game to crack at times too. It’s one of my favourite ever platformers, and in my opinion, the best game Disney have ever released. If you’ve never played this game before, you’re missing out big time.

#3 – Streets of Rage 2
Released: 1992 (1993 in the UK)
Genre: Beat ‘em Up
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: Taking out Abadede in the Baseball Stadium. He’s probably the toughest boss in the game and really kicks your ass.
What do I need to say about Streets of Rage 2 that hasn’t already been said before? Seriously, I’m finding it hard to describe anything about this game that you probably don’t already know. It’s just the best beat ‘em up ever made. I don’t think many people would dispute that. SoR1’s formula was absolutely fantastic, but this put all the great things about the original game and set it all to overdrive. SoR3 took many risks and tampered with the difficulty, so therefore opinions on the game are mixed, but SoR2 is by far the most balanced game in the series. And it’s the best beat ‘em up ever as I said, playing on your own or with a friend, it doesn’t matter, this game survives the test of time ridiculously well. I play this game frequently, and it’s 2012. Not many games released 20 years ago or earlier are as replayable now as Streets of Rage 2. What a game.

#2 – Sonic and Knuckles

Released: 1994
Genre: Platformer
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: I love gliding with Knuckles. Lots of fun. I also really love Flying Battery Zone. One of the best Sonic levels ever made.
Yes it’s true. Sonic and Knuckles is my favourite Sonic game. If I were to include Sonic 3 and Knuckles together as one whole game however, that game would completely wipe the floor out of this list. But the games were released separately, so I’ve covered them separately. But even separate, Sonic and Knuckles is still my favourite Sonic game, and it’s just so much fun. There’s so much action, the level design is top notch, the game is decent in length, using Knuckles is really cool and the music as always is just awesome. Sonic 3 and Knuckles to be honest would be one of the few games I’d ever give five full stars. But as for Sonic and Knuckles on its own, it’s absolutely brilliant, an incredible experience, and is, on its own, my second favourite Mega Drive game.

We’re almost there. Want to know what my favourite Mega Drive game is? I’ll reveal tomorrow!

Continue reading the listing!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Top 50 Favourite Sega Mega Drive Games: #20 - #11

We’ve reached an important stage of my listing now. It’s Top 20 time. What are my Top 20 favourite Mega Drive games? Keep following to find out! 

#20 – Gain Ground

Released: 1992 (2007 in the UK)
Genre: Action
Rating: ****1/4 stars
Best Moment: Getting to the end of the level with all characters intact. The game crumbles very quickly if you lose your best characters.
I only discovered this game recently, on the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection actually. I’d never heard of it before then. To be fair, it was never released in the UK on the console itself, but has been ported here on compilation games celebrating the Genesis/Mega Drive. It’s a really good game. It’s hard to describe what the game is about. It’s actually a little like a video game version of British Bulldog if you’ve played it, if so you may have an idea where I’m going with this description; you start off with three characters and you have to get to the end of the level. There are two ways to do this; first, you can dodge enemies and walk to the exit, which is usually the hardest way to do it, mainly because you’d have to do this with every single character. The quickest way to beat a level is to just kill all enemies on screen. As I said you start off with three characters but you can recruit more characters by saving them, to do this you have to find them on the screen and take them to an exit, and in the next level onwards they’ll be added to your roster. If anyone dies then they have to be saved, otherwise you permanently lose that character. It’s a really good game Gain Ground, really worth playing and it’s a tough strategy game in the end but very fun to play. I don’t know how many people have actually played it, I doubt many, but it’s really worth your time trust me.

#19 - Street Fighter II: Championship Edition

Released: 1992
Genre: Fighting
Rating: ****1/4 stars
Best Moment: Beating the Bonus stages flawlessly. Always a good feeling.
How many versions of Street Fighter II was there? Well the Mega Drive had a few, with this version probably being the best. I’m not putting more than one version in this list; they’re far too similar too each other! Street Fighter II’s legacy speaks for itself, it’s simply the most influential fighting game ever released. I don’t think individually one single other fighting game can claim it’s made a bigger impact. I’m not saying it’s the best, but no game in the genre has added to the genre on the whole more than this game. Street Fighter II is a game you have to experience, to fully understand its place in video game history. It’s not coincidence that Street Fighter IV took a lot of inspiration from SF2 to take the game series back to the top of the mountain. Is Street Fighter II my favourite fighting game on the Mega Drive? No, you’ll find that out later in this list. But Street Fighter II is more legendary than it is one of my favourite games, that’s for sure, but regardless of its placement in this list, I respect the hell out of this game and Capcom for making it.

#18 – Worms
Released: 1995
Genre: Strategy
Rating: ****1/4 stars
Best Moment: Having to take a very risky and tough shot with a bazooka, and nailing it spot on.
Ah, the Worms series. It’s amazing to think that the original Worms game was released on the Mega Drive but it was. I never played it on the Mega Drive personally but I do know that the Mega Drive version has zero changes to it to the Playstation copy I had. And what a game Worms was, back in 1995. Sure, nowadays the Worms formula has improved drastically, as have the graphics and comedy voices, but let’s not take anything away from the original game. At the time Worms was unlike any other game out there. A strategy game with an incredible sense humour, this game could destroy friendships as the competitive gameplay was so good. Worms on the Mega Drive surely makes it one of the best games ever released on the console, even if it was released when the console was dying out.

#17 – Speedball 2
Released: 1990
Genre: Sports
Rating: ****1/4 stars
Best Moment: Scoring after a succession of great passes, either that or heating the ball up and throwing it at the goalie, with the ball ending in the back of the net. Fun times.
I’ve already reviewed this game on this site as part of my Old School Game Reviews, you can read that here. Speedball 2 was a truly terrific game. Sure, it may not be a real sport, but it’s still a sports game, and I rate it as one of the best sports games ever made. A mixture of rugby, handball and hockey, Speedball wasn’t that popular unfortunately, but it’s definitely playable, even today I play this game. It’s quite difficult but a heck of a lot of fun, frenetic fun that is. I love this game, and can’t recommend you play it enough.

#16 – Super Monaco GP
Released: 1990 (1991 in the UK)
Genre: Racing
Rating: ****1/4 stars
Best Moment: Just sticking to your gameplan, racing hard and fast yet accurate, and finishing in first place, naturally.
Technically I suppose the second game was superior and I may have rated it quite low at #32 but I just prefer the first game in nearly every way. I love World Championship Mode. I love starting in the Minrae (which is based on the Minardi F1 car), changing constructors and ending up in the Madonna car (based on the McLaren). I love racing on my favourite tracks (some being Great Britain, France and Italy). I also love and hate the second season of World Championship Mode, when you’re the defending champion and G. Ceara (based on the great Ayrton Senna) joins the season having taken the first season out and getting your arse whooped by him and struggling to reclaim your title. I just have so many personal memories of this game, all great, and it’ll forever be my favourite F1 game ever. There may be many technically better games, graphics or controls, but I’ll doubt I’ll ever find a game I’ll enjoy more based on Formula 1 racing.

#15 – Shining Force II
Released: 1993 (1994 in the UK)
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Just assembling your party and kicking arse in general. It’s just a brilliant RPG.
I feel bad that Shining Force II is so low on this list as it’s truly an epic RPG. There weren’t many RPGs on the Mega Drive (only the Shining Force and Phantasy Star games are really worthy of any mention in honesty) but Shining Force is not only the best RPG series on the console, but one of my favourite RPG series of all time. I truly love Shining Force, the stories are decent enough but it’s the strategy and turned based RPG system that truly sets it apart from other RPGs. It gets the formula totally spot on and I just love playing the games. If you’ve never experienced Shining Force, seriously, get an emulator or get the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection and play the two Shining Force games. You won’t regret it.

#14 – Streets of Rage

Released: 1991
Genre: Beat ‘em Up
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Honestly? The first level. The whole of it. The music is just so fricking awesome, topped off by the just as good boss theme. The level, while naturally the easiest, has excellent flow to it and it’s probably one of my favourite ‘first levels’ of all time.

I’ve already reviewed this game on this site as part of my Old School Game Reviews, you can read that here. The original Streets of Rage was just so good, ridiculously good even, for back in 1991. Sure, there were Beat ‘em Ups before it that made an impact, but I think Streets of Rage truly lifted the genre to new levels never seen before, and in honesty, not seen since. And this game started it all off. And the formula was improved further for the sequel, but this game, the first in the series, was and still is, one of the best Mega Drive games of all time.

#13 – Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine

Released: 1993 (1994 in the UK)
Genre: Puzzle
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Quite simply, getting an absolutely humongous combo and piling a load of clear beans on your opponent’s grid, rendering them almost incapable of making a comeback.
Man, I love this game. I’d possibly rate it as my favourite puzzle game ever, although that’s another list for another day. Is it the most original puzzle game ever made? Of course not. In fact, it’s a version of a video game series popular in Japan called Puyo Puyo, marketed for Western audiences. It has some of the same music, the same style of game in nearly every way, the only difference is the addition of Dr Robotnik and some other characters associated with Sonic. So it’s actually a ripoff. But do I care? No, not at all, I love this game, I’ve spent hours and hours playing this game; I’ve probably put more time into this puzzle game than all other puzzle games combined. It’s just a really fun game, and I’ll never play a better puzzle game ever, in my opinion.

#12 - Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
Released: 1993
Genre: Action
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: I just love running at ninjas and taking out my sword and slicing them silly. It’s a simple technique but it’s a hella fun.
You know, I played The Revenge of Shinobi as part of my Mega 6 collection, that I mentioned earlier. I always said to myself, why didn’t they ever make a sequel to that Shinobi game? I never knew this game existed for years later, not to mention that they actually made a sequel for the Mega Drive itself. The second Shinobi game was released on the Sega Game Gear, but this third entry was put back on the Mega Drive as the Game Gear was a flop. Shinobi III was brilliant. It took everything that made the original Revenge of Shinobi a success and added so much more. The action in this game, is just awesome. It blows most games out of the water for the amount of moves and techniques available in an action game. And you really do feel like a badass ninja playing this game. Shinobi III is just simply, one of the best Mega Drive games of all time. You really should experience it if you haven’t before.

#11 – Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
Released: 1996
Genre: Fighting
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: The moment when you finally kick Shao Kahn’s ass; Mortal Kombat is a very hard game at times and Shao Kahn is a worthy final battle, and when you finally defeat him it’s a huge sigh of relief and joy.
In honesty, I never played the original Mortal Kombat III. Nor did I play Mortal Kombat II until many years later. UMK3 is THE fighting game for the Mega Drive in my opinion. 24 characters in one fighting game... I’m pretty sure that was unprecedented in 1996. Naturally now we have bigger rosters, but for a Mega Drive game, to have so many characters all with different movesets and personalities... it was just epic. I honestly rate UMK3 as one of my favourite fighting games ever, it’s definitely my favourite Mortal Kombat game, and for me, it’s definitely the best fighting game on the Mega Drive. Even more so than Street Fighter 2.

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