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Retro gaming is one of the biggest nostalgia fixes you can get, and thanks to the Sega Forever collection, you can play some classic Sega games on your smartphone.
In this article we round up our pick of the best classic Sega games released under the Sega Forever banner. Telling you how to download them and why you should.
Sega Forever: What You Need to Know
Sega launched Sega Forever launched in June 2017 and it’s the banner name for the re-release of various classic Sega games on Android and iOS.
Featuring titles from the Sega Master System, Game Gear, Saturn, and the Dreamcast (incredibly, Dreamcast games are still being released), the games are ad-supported, although a $1.99 payment on each game will disable the ads. Payment also enables cloud saving of progress.
At the time of writing, 20 awesome games are available. Here are our favorite picks.
1. Streets of Rage Classic
Playing as one of three street-fighting cops, the aim of this beat ’em up classic (1991) is to overcome crime lord Mr X. Each character has his own moves and skills, and with the local Wi-Fi multiplayer option, you can team up with friends to overcome the level bosses.
As if any of that wasn’t enough, once you’ve cleaned up the streets the first time, Streets of Rage 2 is also available.
2. Sonic the Hedgehog
The undisputed icon of Sega gaming, Sonic the Hedgehog has been around since 1991 (read our history of Sonic the Hedgehog). This is the original game, where the magic first began, and it’s available to play on Android and iOS.
Unfamiliar with Sonic games? The aim is simple: race across seven zones, collecting rings and defeating enemies, with the final target of defeating Dr Eggman and saving the world.
This mobile-optimized version with 60FPS scrolling is tricky to control, unfortunately, but does have support for other controllers. You can also play as Tails and Knuckles if you prefer, for a different sort of challenge.
Sonic the Hedgehog Classic isn’t the only Sonic game available under the Sega Forever banner. Look out also for Sonic CD Classic, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 2, among others.
3. Golden Axe Classic
A successful arcade machine port, 1989’s Golden Axe (as it was then known) features a trio of characters, each with their own strengths, moves, weapons, and magic. Set in a medieval-style fantasy world, the game is a quest, in which the Golden Axe can overcome the dictator, the Death Adder.
Golden Axe is one of the standout arcade games of the 1980s, and was developed by designer Makoto Uchida, who also worked on Altered Beast.
The best results with the original Golden Axe could be enjoyed in multiplayer mode. This is a feature that is expected to be introduced in the Sega Forever version.
4. Kid Chameleon Classic
Kid Chameleon is a 1992 platform game that features over 100 stages, with hidden areas to explore. It’s a somewhat forgotten classic that deserves another go.
With fantastic powers available to help you through the game, it’s Kid Chameleon’s job to track the villain. Magical masks give your character the power to convert into an unstoppable warrior, high-flying superhero, or human tank. You can also become a medieval knight, axe-wielding maniac, or even a cyclone if you fancy the speed run option.
5. Crazy Taxi Classic
Crazy Taxi (1999), is one of the most successful driving games of all time.
Sega’s open world driving game lets you spend your time collecting fares and getting passengers to their destination on time. Various combis and bonuses enable you to rack up huge profits, but you won’t win with sensible driving.
Like the original Dreamcast version, this features an arcade and original mode, and music by The Offspring and Bad Religion. While the onscreen controller works well, Bluetooth controllers are probably the better option.
6. Comix Zone Classic
Comix Zone is a beat ’em up with a difference: as the name suggests, the game (1995) takes place inside a comic. As Sketch Turner (no, really), you find yourself stuck in the comic you’ve created (on a break from being a rock musician), with your enemies drawn as you’re about to encounter them.
With some adventure elements (items can be collected and used to defeat enemies and solve challenges), Sketch and his pet rat, Roadkill, must defeat super-villain Mortus to escape.
Presenting an atmospheric and compelling comic-like game world, Comix Zone Classic is an addictive gaming experience. So much so you might just get lost in that comic world yourself.
7. Super Monkey Ball
Imagine placing a monkey in a ball, and then trying to guide the ball around 125 themed mazes, collecting bananas before the time runs out. Please don’t try this at home.
When you break it down, it seems ridiculous, but Super Monkey Ball is seriously good fun. First released in 2001 as Monkey Ball in an upright cabinet with a banana-shaped controller, Super Monkey Ball has been out on mobile since 2010. This reissued version lets you play as one of four adorable monkey characters: AiAi, MeeMee, Baby, and GonGon.
You’ll also find four mini games: Monkey Target, Monkey Golf, Monkey Bowl, and Monkey Base. This last game is tablet-only, and lets you compete with up to three other players.
8. The Revenge of Shinobi Classic
Neo Zeed have killed your master, and captured your bride. So, now, as Joe Musashi, you must take revenge on the crime syndicate, traveling the world dispensing “ninjitsu justice.”
This 1989 Genesis/Mega Drive title is considered by many fans of the series as being the best, and features side-scrolling platform combat. Armed with ninjutsu moves (including special techniques that can be used up to four times in each level), The Revenge of Shinobi also equips Joe Musashi with shuriken to throw at enemies.
Worried about running out of shuriken? Don’t! The old cheat code has been included!
9. Altered Beast Classic
Playing as the Altered Beast, with the ability to transform into killer predators by collecting mystical orbs, this game places you into a world of horror. Your job is to tackle the realm of Hades to rescue Athena, daughter of Zeus. As you defeat hordes of demons and undead armies, you’ll explore the depths of Hell, morphing into a dragon, wolf, bear, and tiger as you go.
Altered Beast (1988) is not a short game, but fortunately the cheat codes from the original title have been left intact. This should make your journey through Hades a little easier!
10. Space Harrier II
A revision of the original Space Harrier, this 1988 sequel was a launch title on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and remains as visually stunning 30 years later.
A rails-based shooter (meaning your overall course is controlled by the game, even though you can move around to an extent), Space Harrier II features a checkers board-style arena across which the main character runs or flies.
The third person viewpoint makes for a slightly disconcerting experience, but the pace is fast and frenetic, with swarms of surreal enemies to overcome. With challenging bosses at the end of each level, there’s even a Dark Harrier character to beat along the way.
Want More Retro Action on Mobile?
The Sega Forever collection should keep you busy for a while, and it’s likely the list of games will be expanded in the future. But if you’re looking for even more classic gaming action, check out our list of free retro games for your smartphone!