The Saturn was the console that pretty much forced Sega out of the console making business. Sure, it managed to push the Dreamcast to market after, but consumers were so burned by the botched launch of the Saturn, that it was simply a lamb led to slaughter. While that the Dreamcast was a fantastic console, there was nothing Sega could have done with it to bring consumers back to their side again. Sony had one the battle, and Sega made the smart choice of becoming just a software publisher.
All of that being said, there were some really great games on the Sega Saturn that far too few people have played. Even all these years later, these games are still worth going back to if you have an old Saturn sitting around (or through other means, which I, as a collector of classic games will not to take part in). However you choose to make it happen, the games on this Saturn list are some that every Sega fan, no, every video game fan should at least try out once in their life time.
It makes me a little sad to write about these Sega Saturn games, simply because of how little love their receive (with a couple exceptions).
Panzer Dragoon Saga
This was the game that essentially sent the Sega Saturn riding off into the sunset, and what a grand, glorious way for the system to go out. Saga takes the best elements from the rail-based shooters in the series and fuses it with some of the best parts of a role playing game to create a piece of gaming history that is truly a joy to behold.
Panzer Dragoon Saga will always be remembered as a great game by those who’ve played it, but like so many other classics on the Saturn, not nearly enough gamers had the chance to experience this marvel of game design. I cannot say enough good things about this game. If you have access to it, play it. It’s a long game, spanning four discs, but it is totally worth the time.
Nights Into Dreams
This game stands as another classic from the Sega Saturn days, and even if the Wii sequel did not live up to the splendor of the original, don’t let that stop you from enjoying what the first game had to offer. The game is nothing less than a cult classic, and with good reason. Every detail from the gameplay to the atmosphere was well-crafted.
Nights offers a delicate mix of 3D and 2D gameplay, and it’s done so fantastically. The core mechanics of the game are based on flight, which makes it quite different from most mascot driven games at the time. Between the gameplay, and the sense of whimsy the game delivers, this a game all gamers should try. Best of all, it’s available on PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, so you can play it without even needing a Saturn.
Virtua Fighter 2
Virtua Fighter 2 was one of those showpiece games for the Saturn. It was a fighting game to show to your friends and make them realize what the Saturn could do. Of course, looking back, the game looks terrible, but at the time, it was the pinnacle of 3D fighting games.
Sadly, the Virtua Fighter franchise did not live on nearly as well as Tekken, its chief competitor. That being said, it’s still a great arcade style fighting game, and going back to it now still makes for a good time, even if the game itself looks quite dated.
Guardian Heroes is truly a classic in the beat ’em up genre, and even though it came well after the genre was in its prime during the days of Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, it was still fantastic. The best way to describe the game is like Streets of Rage with skeletons and supernatural awesomeness.
Because this game has a hand drawn art style, it still looks beautiful today. The sprites look as good as they did the day the game came out, and the gameplay is designed in a way that still works today. This is one of the hidden gems on the Sega Saturn, and it’s a shame that more gamers have not had the chance to experience it.
If you own a Sega Saturn, you need to play these games. They are absolute classics in the history of gaming, and if you love video games, you will not regret taking the time to kick back and enjoy them.
What are your favorite Sega Saturn Games? Hit the comments section and let us know!