The Top 30 Master System Games

A video game that made multiplayer childhood joy has an impressive game library. And let's talk about some of the Top 30 Master System Games

Best master system games
A huge and varied library of games

It is very unlikely that you, 30/40 year old gamer, have not had, played or at least heard about, and even discussed, about the Master System! This was one of the consoles that dominated the shelves of stores and rental companies in Brazil in the 80s and early 90s thanks to the incredible marketing work done by Tec Toy that not only brought a series of games, but also created some for this one. 8-Bit console.

Launched to be the direct competitor of the Famicon (or Nintendinho), the console was superior in many ways to the Nintendo console, but it suffered a bit from the high popularity of Super Mario in Japan and the lack of 3rd Party games that were released for the competitor. and stayed there for exclusive contracts. Of course, all this did not stop Sega from investing in foreign markets and making the Master System a success, especially in Europe and the Americas.

And, around here, he reigned supreme in 8-bits, won exclusive games and ports from other consoles and even games with our most famous characters, such as Turma da Mônica and Chapolim Colodaro. With all these games in the library, let's talk about some of the most famous and beloved ones on the Master System.

The Top 30 Master System Games

Outrun

Outrun
Outrun

Very respectable port of the arcade classic that proved to be very competitive for the time. The Master System Outrun is a fast and very smooth running experience, with lots of colors, a variety of different landscapes and a good illusion of speed.

-- Advertising --

One of the most notable elements of the game are the paths that branch out, from time to time a fork appears that allows you to choose your route, leading to different environments and routes. These elements, with the seamless transitions between sections, add a real “open road adventure” feel to the game.

Battlemaniacs

Battlemaniacs
Battlemaniacs

Battlemaniacs was revealed and reviewed by UK trade magazines, but for some reason it was never actually released. Fortunately, Tec Toy came to the rescue and managed to give an official launch in Brazil, and we're lucky they did.

The game should remain one of the system's most impressive beat-em-ups, with some of the best music and graphics of any SMS game ever released, and most importantly, with 2 player mode, a feature that was sadly lacking in the most Master games. The game is excellent in many respects, but fails on some of the levels that run out of music in the release version, which gives the game a slightly unfinished feel.

Masters of Combat

The 30 best master system games | 19f56f98 masters of combat | married games reviews | alex kidd, famicom, master system, multiplayer, ninja gaiden, nintendo, sega, singleplayer, sonic, street fighter | best master system games
Masters of Combat

This is an excellent, fast and colorful Master System fighting game that is somewhat reminiscent of the Street Fighter series. Masters of Combat is a great example of the genre, and while it sucks a lot of Street Fighter elements, it still manages to give the game a face of its own thanks to some of its more unique features, like a heavy emphasis on collision and evasion moves. Although Master's of Combat could have had a few more characters, it definitely still stands as one of the best fighting games released for 8-bit consoles.

Kenseiden

Kenseiden
Kenseiden

Kenseiden is a very elegant platformer that really grows over time. It actually gets deeper and more rewarding to learn than it first appears. The game has a lot of atmosphere, with ambient music and a very Japanese style to its horror theme.

-- Advertising --

The gameplay gives you a lot of freedom (you can choose the order you like to tackle the levels) and includes some great adventure aspects in the form of new moves you can learn that improve the character, from higher jumps to a selection of different ones sword blows. In short, when given the chance, Kenseiden becomes a very good gaming experience.

Micro Machines

Micro machines
Micro Machines

Running everyday places in tiny cars from a top-down perspective may not seem like an idea for an all-time classic, but Codemasters really saw the license's potential and ran with it, incorporating idea after idea and creating a selection of some of the most memorable tracks in the genre.

Micro Machines is a lot of fun in single-player mode, but where it really stands out is the fun and intensely competitive multiplayer aspect, definitely a game to put on and play when friends are visiting.

Gauntlet

Gauntlet
Gauntlet

After a long wait, players finally got a near-perfect home version of the popular Gauntlet. With this excellent Master System game, the best domestic Gauntlet conversion for the time (has for the Atari ST, but doesn't run as well).

It's a top-down shooter set in a maze like dungeons filled to the brim with hordes of enemies, there are multiple exits for each level to find yourself, some interesting puzzle elements added later, and some fantastic 2-player co-op feature that also helps to add a lot to the overall experience.

-- Advertising --

Bubble Bobble

bubble bobble
Bubble Bobble

Taito really went the extra mile when it came to creating this port of his single-screen platformer Bubble Bobble. This version has about 30 new stages compared to the arcade version, a password system to save your progress, some new objectives and even includes two unique and unique boss fights!

The port itself is also extremely accurate, containing many of the important details that most other conversions at the time missed. Generally, Taito simply stood out in every respect here.

Mortal Kombat

Mortal kombat
Mortal Kombat

It's not the best console version of the game, but compared to other 8-bit versions, Master System's Mortal Kombat was an excellent game. Everything was there (except some characters and some scenarios). The violence, the blood (which was Sega's masterstroke over Nintendo) that you unleashed through a code, the final bosses, fatalitys. The entire game was well ported (under console limitations) by Probe and Acclaim to Master.

I spent many hours playing this game with friends and it took me a while to trigger some kind of special move, but even with all the limitations of the Master System, being able to have violent arcade classics on your 8-bit console was an incredible feeling. Too bad that Mortal Kombat II and, especially, 3 were not so well converted.

Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia
Prince of Persia

Prince of Persia is an adventure game that gained prominence on computers for its high-quality animation and smooth movement, and strong emphasis on exploration, with a good dose of platform jumping and climbing. The Master System port was a very impressive version at the time, boasting some much improved graphics (although later 16-bit versions replaced it) on top of well-translated and adequate gameplay.

-- Advertising --

Lucky Dime Caper

lucky dime caper
Lucky Dime Caper

This is a Disney-licensed game managed by Sega and, as you'd expect, the graphics, sound and gameplay shine the same way as in all of Sega's Disney games. Lucky Dime Caper is probably the most challenging of the games in its partnership with Disney, there are no real puzzle elements like those found in the Illusion games and no adventure aspects like those in Quackshot.

It's just you, the enemies and lots of treacherous jumps and elaborate hazards to keep you constantly on your toes. Anyone who thinks Mickey games are too easy and wants to dive into a game with more challenges need look no further than Lucky Dime Caper.

Wonder boy in monster land

wonder boy in monster land
Wonder boy in monster land

For those unfamiliar with the Wonder Boy series, it started out as a simple platform game (which many might know from the NES port, Adventure Island), but has gradually evolved into a more adventure-inspired experience. In the third game, you were launched into a huge Metroidvania-style game structure, with only a few areas accessible until you acquired the necessary power-ups. This, the fourth and final Wonder Boy game for the Master System, followed from that gameplay with better graphics and presentation.

This game arrived here with a completely new face. So new it even looked like Monica's face! Tec Toy converted this game and renamed it to Mônica no Castelo do Dragão, replacing the character with the toothy story of Maurício de Souza. A game with a Brazilian character? This blew the minds of Brazilian children and there was nothing like it on Nintendo.

Monica in Dragon Castle
Monica at Dragon Castle

road rash

road rash
road rash

Probe has done another impressive job of getting the most out of the Master System with this Road Rash port. Gameplay is as deep and exciting as ever, and the game should stand out as one of the most graphically impressive racing games on the system.

-- Advertising --

In Road Rash you are a racer with a decidedly violent bent, in addition to the well-implemented racing and shop elements, the game allows you to punch and kick the other racers on their bikes and fight cops, which although maybe not the most moral of the gameplay elements were, however, a dynamic and exciting addition.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Sonic's second game on the Master System announced a change in the development team and a new approach to how best to miniaturize Sonic's 16-bit gameplay. While the original Sonic game struggled to adapt and shift the series to weaker hardware, Sonic 2 goes for a faster, more authentic 16-bit style while trying to add some of its own unique elements to the series.

Sonic the hedgehog 2
Sonic 2

Overall, the game is definitely a hit, but at times it can be a little too ambitious for its own good, and it definitely lacks some of the accessibility of the other games in the series. Sonic 2 was also ported to Game Gear, but it's best to avoid this version because the game wasn't really designed to be played on such a small screen, leading to gameplay with repeated unfair kills due to limited visibility.

Phantasy Zone II

Phantasy Zone II
Phantasy Zone II

Brilliant sequel to the addictive, fast-paced and underrated cuddly explosive original. The main game hasn't changed much (apart from adding another layer of polish in the gameplay and graphics departments), but it's not some of the most notable new additions. The biggest change is in the structure of the stages.

Unlike the original game, Fantasy Zone II levels are built from several interconnected stages joined by warp points, you can freely explore and travel between stages, and you must completely clear all enemy spawn points in each set. of areas before moving on to the boss fight and the next set of stages.

-- Advertising --

It's usually just classic gameplay in a new deluxe form, but the new structure gives the game a very smooth exploration and adventurous feel. In the channel Retro sega bra has one of the best Phantasy Zone reviews and tips ever, both the Master System and Arcade versions.

Golden Ax Warrior

golden ax warrior
Golden Ax Warrior

Simply put, Golden Ax Warrior is a beautifully accomplished Zelda clone for the Master System, which carefully recreates almost all of the core gameplay elements from the famous NES game. There are no radical additions to the formula, but there are also no notable improvements.

Compared to the NES game, the world is much larger (almost twice the size), there's more variation in the terrain, marginal graphical improvements, and the world is a little more elaborate, with distinct landmarks like villages and cemeteries, and people who have more than one sentence of dialogue to say.

But, it's obviously very deficient when it comes to originality, and it took a while to arrive, but when the copy is as good as the original, it was hard not to be grateful that there were any pseudosequences.

Psycho Fox

psycho fox
Psycho Fox

Here we have an excellent platform game with a lot of charm. For those who don't know it is the forerunner of the Megra Drive game Decap Attack (or rather, the game that became Decap Attack) and can be considered the spiritual sequel to Kid Kool on the NES. The art style is fantastic, the bosses never cease to be interesting and creative, and the gameplay feels unique too.

-- Advertising --

The unique feel is mainly due to the inertia based controls (the faster you run, the more you jump) these controls can be hard to get used to, so if you have little patience for tricky games then this classic is probably not for you, but for anyone who wants something challenging and full of charm, you should definitely check it out.

If you're feeling more “patriotic”, then you can check out Tec Toy's version, Sapo Xulé vs Os Invasores do Brejo. Not to be overlooked, Sapo Xulé starred in two other games: Kung-fu Master (adapted from Kung Fu Kid) and SOS Lagoa Poluída (adapted from Astro Warrior).

xulé toad
Xulé toad

Castle of Illusion

castle of illusion
Castle of Illusion

In case anyone hasn't noticed, this game is not a port of the popular Mega Drive platform game, but is a completely original version for the Master System which has totally different level layouts from the original and is much more puzzle oriented. .

The game is a lot of fun, it's well designed and very polished, the maximum health power-ups were also a notable addition, giving the game a light adventure and exploration feel.

Summer Games

summer games
Summer Games

Summer Games (California Games in the original) is a sports game where you compete in a variety of different events, like surfing or skateboarding. It has become an enduring classic for the sports genre, mainly due to its originality, and fun multiplayer mode that has aged quite well.

-- Advertising --

The Master version was easily the best of the original console ports (the Mega Drive version didn't arrive until two years later), and it still manages to hold up excellently.

Ayrton's Senna Super Monaco GP

This racing game was one of the first racing simulation games we had for Sega's 8-Bit console, being a port of the Mega Drive original. At a time when our three-time champion was famous and respected by everyone in the world for his skill at steering wheels, Sega called on him to create a racing game that carried his signature.

Ayrton talked about how a car's controls worked, how it felt on the zebra and how they could simulate track layouts and this was the result of one of the best racing games on Sega consoles. Game Gear's screen size limitations have taken a toll on the game, but it's still good. The channel Gows Games made an excellent video about the history of the development of Super Monaco GP.

Lemmings

Lemmings
Lemmings

A classic puzzle game where you have to guide a bunch of Lemmings to the exit without many of them dying. It is in practically all existing systems (which validates its quality) and the Master System version is excellent.

Last IV

last iv
Last IV

A very admirable port of possibly the greatest RPG made in the west of the period. The graphics and artwork have been revamped from the original computer versions, and the interface is now much simpler to use than before, without losing too many features (unlike the NES version). It's a very genuine and idealistic game, and it's a good example of the differences between early Western and Japanese RPGs, with its much less linear style and greater freedom of choice.

-- Advertising --

Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden

The Ninja Gaiden series was one of the best action series on the NES, and the Master System game (which is completely original and exclusive produced by Sega itself) does the series admirably justice. The graphics are fantastic and the feeling of speed as you progress through the stages jumping and climbing walls is unparalleled.

The gameplay flows really well, and with Sega's approach to the series containing a slightly more Shinobi-style bent, it feels like a very different (but equally good) piece from the Ninja Gaiden series.

Power Strike

power strike
Power Strike

Power Strike is an excellent shoot-em-up produced by Compile, and is probably the most sought after of the rarest Master System games out there. All the features of Compile's other shooters are present and very evident here.

There are weapons galore, speed, frantic action, smart attack waves, excellent music, and it's all tied up with some really great graphics for the console and tons of polish. Truly one of the most unknown classic lost and rare 8-bit games.

Asterix

Asterix
Asterix

Once again, Sega manages to use a beloved license to create another classic and polished platform game. Asterix is ​​a fun game, long and very well designed from start to finish. In addition to the more traditional elements you'd expect from games of this genre, it also takes a little mental work to understand the way different potion effects help you move forward and keep you thinking at all times.

-- Advertising --

It conveys the comic book style very well, and it definitely shouldn't be ignored by platform game fans. It's just a shame that the sequences never managed to match the original, neither in polish nor in gameplay.

For nationalists, the game also received a Brazilian version starring characters from the TV Colosso program, which was shown on TV Globo.

colossus tv
Colossus TV

Alex Kidd at Miracle World

Alex kidd at miracle world
Alex Kidd at Miracle World

After the huge popularity of the original Super Mario Bros. pushed NES sales into the stratosphere, Kotaro Hayashida (who would later work on the Phantasy Star series) was tasked with creating Sega's answer, and what a phenomenal job he did too.

Miracle World is an ambitious title for its time (coming around the same time as Super Mario Bros: Lost Levels). There are currency and stores, item management and vertical scrolling levels, a multitude of different vehicles, excellent graphics and many varied environments.

All of these elements helped to add real scope to the game and as such it felt more like a journey, an adventure, than many of the platform games that came before it. The game received a remake and you can read our review about Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX here

-- Advertising --

Read more about the entire Alex Kidd story here

R-Type

R-type
R-Type

Here is one of the most classic "navy" games of all time. Released in the '80s, it's a game full of great new ideas, ranging from the strength pod and bits (the things that float above your ship that you can collide with enemies) to the boss's unique weaknesses.

There was the iconic HRGiger-inspired art design and some classical music. R-Type has been translated very well for the Master System, aside from some shines, it has been rendered practically intact, keeping the gameplay of the arcade classic original.

Wonder Boy the Dragon's Trap

wonder boy the dragon's trap
Wonder Boy the Dragon's Trap

The graphics are great, with a captivating design throughout, and colorful and varied environments to traverse, and the gameplay is always very well rated, with carefully designed platform sections and lots to see and do, and due to its game mechanics. unique (you are being turned into a variety of different monsters with different abilities as the game progresses) the gameplay never becomes obsolete, it just keeps surprising you from start to finish and you always want to see what will happen in the next corner.

Don't know this game? Didn't you see him at the rental stores? Maybe you know him with the national name of Turma da Mônica eo Resgate! This was Mônica's second game that Tec Toy converted for us, Brazilians, and transformed the characters from the original game into Mônica, Magali, Cebolinha, Anjinho, Bidu and Chico Bento. A real national treasure.

-- Advertising --
Monica's gang and the rescue
Monica's Gang and the Rescue

Land of Illusion

The 30 best master system games | 3793ec09 land of illusion | married games reviews | alex kidd, famicom, master system, multiplayer, ninja gaiden, nintendo, sega, singleplayer, sonic, street fighter | best master system games
The Top 30 Master System Games | alex kidd, famicom, master system, Multiplayer, ninja gaiden, nintendo, Sega, singleplayer, sonic, street fighter | best master system games

After their brilliant Castle of Illusion, Sega managed to come back with something even better for the sequel. They built and improved virtually every aspect of the previous classic, with graphics, music and especially gameplay, all taking very commendable levels of work and attention paid to them, even adding many more adventure style elements to the mix.

It's the new adventure-style skills that really set the game apart from many other platformers at the time, with Mickey gaining skills like scaling and shrinking as the game progresses, opening up new areas in some of the previous stages to explore and add replayability. Overall Land of Illusion is simply a great example of an 8-bit platform.

Sonic The Hedgehog

The 30 best master system games | da272b3f sonic1 | married games reviews | alex kidd, famicom, master system, multiplayer, ninja gaiden, nintendo, sega, singleplayer, sonic, street fighter | best master system games
The Top 30 Master System Games | alex kidd, famicom, master system, Multiplayer, ninja gaiden, nintendo, Sega, singleplayer, sonic, street fighter | best master system games

The first of the Sonic games specially designed for Master System has a completely original design. It's not a port of its 16-bit namesakes. It is not a "demake". It's a new and unique game. And yes, I think it's also better than the Mega Drive original.

The game loses a lot of the speed and freedom of the 16-bit originals, but this is replaced with more emphasis on platform-jumping fundamentals and exploration, taking into account the weaker 8-bit hardware, this change in gameplay creates a, fairer game, free from unwanted frustration, that shines on its own merits.

Phantasy Star

In my opinion, this is certainly the best JRPG of the entire 8-bit generation, and one of the truly gender-defining titles of early console RPGs. Phantasy Star was really ahead of its time when it was released, everything from the graphics to the very detailed storyline and 1st person dungeon sections were extremely impressive.

-- Advertising --

Its entire world, characters and plot just managed to be much more elaborate and developed compared to its main competitors, many of which were still full of monotonous, repetitive and uninteresting environments and characters who could barely speak a coherent sentence even years later.

Aside from some minor initial difficulties, and later dungeons likely requiring manual mapping, the game has actually aged surprisingly well, and is still pretty good for an RPG to this day.

By the way, the game was translated to Portuguese by Tec Toy, which made us Brazilians could enjoy the game even without knowing English (although there are some slips like the “Lassic novel”).

Games only ours

Tec Toy was fundamental to Sega's success here in Brazil and that guaranteed some exclusive games for us. Be it ports of games that were released exclusively for Game Gear and some that were made to please the Brazilian public.

Sonic Blast

sonic blast
Sonic Blast

This game was only released for the Game Gear by Sega as, at the time, the Master System was already on its way to its end. Here, the console was still going strong and players were still asking for more and more games, so the way to go was to get your hands dirty. The difference in screen size meant that, in special stages, there was a black border on the sides.

-- Advertising --

The game uses 3D graphics, silicon graphics, and redeemed in 2D, similar to Donkey Kong, for the new hedgehog adventure. In addition to being the only time we had Knuckles' appearance in Master System, this was also the only time we had Super Sonic's appearance in 8-bit, although he only appeared on one board at the end of the stage.

Street Fighter II

street fighter ii
Street Fighter II

Tec Toy went to Capcom and showed the game, without saying anything! When the developer saw that, they thought it was a Mega Drive version and they were very angry with the situation with such a badly finished game like that and said they couldn't release it at all. That's when they revealed that it was a version made for the Master System. And that impressed them and they authorized the release.

The game managed to convert the songs, characters, moves and commands very well (although you need the 6-button controller to play, it is possible to play on the original 2-button controller from the Master). Of course, the sets are pretty empty compared to the original and gameplay may not be as fluid. But compare the Master System version with the Nintendo 8-bit version!

Chapolim vs Count Dracula – A Scary Duel

Chapoline vs Count Dracula – A Scary Duel
Chapolim vs Count Dracula – A Scary Duel

The original game, Ghost House, was released in a card format and was only 256k in size, which left plenty of room for a 1 Mega cartridge. So, Tec Toy decided to fill this space with neat illustrations of the character created by Roberto Gomes Bolaños. Although it's repetitive, absurdly difficult, and has virtually no rework of changing the characters to other elements more familiar to the TV series (only changed the Chapolim and a stake that turned into the Bionic Sledgehammer), the game was still a Chapolim game!

An interesting detail that has already been commented by former employees of Tec Toy is that the game was made at a time when computers did not have a mouse. It was necessary to go with the arrows and paint the pixels with the space bar one by one. Imagine the despair of the person responsible for the title screen when he was told that Chapolim is written with an 'M' and not an 'N'.

-- Advertising --
Best seller #2 sega classics
Best seller #3 Sega genesis mini - genesis

Frustrated Pica-Pau Vacation

Woodpecker's frustrated vacation
Frustrated Pica-Pau Vacation

This game was all developed by Tec Toy herself and used the beloved bird that flies south, far from the nest (actually, it doesn't do that, because it hurts). In this completely original game, Pica-Pau has to rescue his friends, Paulina, Toquinho, Lasquita, Andy Panda and Picolino, who were kidnapped by Zeca Urubu. There's a version for Mega Drive, which seems to be faster and more fluid, but the whole game is a bit stuck and the gameplay isn't the best.

Castle Rá-Tim-Bum

Castle ra-tim-bum
Castle Rá-Tim-Bum

A platform game based on TV Cultura's educational children's program and is inspired by one of the episodes of the series. One day, when Biba, Zeca and Pedro enter the castle, the youngest boy drinks a potion from Dr. Victor and regresses the age of a baby. To make the antidote, you need to explore the castle and collect the ingredients. Like Pica Pau's game, this is an original game and was only released around here (which makes sense).

Yellow Woodpecker Site

The 30 best master system games | 01a3755th site | married games reviews | alex kidd, famicom, master system, multiplayer, ninja gaiden, nintendo, sega, singleplayer, sonic, street fighter | best master system games
Yellow Woodpecker Site

Based on Monteiro Lobato's books and not on the TV Globo adaptation, Sítio do Pica-Pau Amarelo is also 100% original by TecToy for the Master System. Here you play as Pedrinho or Emilia, and you have to help Aunt Anastasia. The gameplay is still not the best (it seems like what is left over from the desire to make games, gameplay is lacking), but the graphics and characters are the highlight of the game, being very well done for the time and they reproduced the figures well. of books.

Now, tell us: Was there a game missing from the best list? Was there a game missing from the Só Nosso list? Did you have a Master System at the time? Miss the console? If you want to try one of them, you can go to the site Emulator.Online and search for the game. Contact us and take the opportunity to read more about Sega on our website.

-- Advertising --
Avatar of paulo factory

Paulo Fabris is a journalist, writer, RPG player, gamer, cosplayer, nerd and fan of anime since the time of TV Manchete.