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Added by ape on 23 Sep 2012 02:43
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Master System Games - ranked by preference

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People who added this item 44 Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Phantasy Star - Sega Master System
Release Date: December 20, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: RPG

Dragon Warrior hit North American shelves about a year after Phantasy Star did...And while Phantasy Star is a far superior game in terms of everything from gameplay to graphics, it never really gained the popularity that Dragon Warrior did. That said, Phantasy Star is a futuristic RPG (one of the first) and it may be the very first great RPG to be released in North America. I can't think of one that came before it that was better. I can't think of many released within a few years after it that was better, for that matter. If you're a fan of classic, turn-based, grinding RPGs, this game is worth buying a Master System for alone.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Aztec Adventure - Sega Master System
Release Date: September 20, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Adventure

I really wish that more people were exposed to this gem. Aztec Adventure has a top-down view, exploration of the world, and combat similar to Legend of Zelda. You've even got various items to use, like a weapon for attacking, fire for attacking or burning down pesky trees in your way, and even bags of money, which can be used to bribe certain enemies to fight by your side. Wandering around alone is fun by itself, but the strategy of buying the services of some enemies rather than fighting them adds a unique element to the game. I hope that this game gets ported over to the Wii or Wii U's Virtual Console at some point. It deserves a whole lot more attention than it currently has.
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Wonder Boy in Monster Land - Sega Master System
Release Date: January 31, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: West One
Genre: Adventure

What a transformation for Wonder Boy...The first game was an Adventure Island clone. The second game, dare I say, is superior to any Adventure Island game ever made. Wonder Boy in Monster Land is a game that pulls me in every time I play it. I meant to play it for a few minutes to grab screens for this list...Next thing I knew, an hour had passed and I still didn't want to put the controller down. It may not seem like anything special in comparison to most games of today, but for its time, it was absolutely amazing. And like I kind of mentioned above, I'll gladly spend hours in Monster Land now like I did twenty-five years ago.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Shanghai - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1988 (NA/EU)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Puzzle

Shanghai is like solitaire, but with mahjong tiles instead of playing cards. Your goal is to match pairs of tiles to eliminate them from the pile, eventually pairing everything up so that you're left with nothing. In the Master System version of Shanghai, there's not really a lot of game modes of anything, but that never bothered me. For its time, the fun it provided was plenty. Even today, I can pop this cartridge in and lose a few hours just matching the tiles away.
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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
R-Type - Sega Master System
Release Date: October 1, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Compile
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

R-Type is one of my favorite scrolling shooters of all-time, so I naturally wanted it when I saw it was on the Master System. While it's in 8-bits and may be one of the least-impressive variations of the game in the graphics department (and it's still not that bad, honestly), the gameplay is all fully intact, bringing a fantastic, third-person shooter experience to your living room.
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People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (16 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 - Sega Master System
Release Date: OCtober 16, 1992 (EU)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Platformer

I liked the first Sonic the Hedgehog on the Master System, but felt it lacked some of the elements, like a sense of speed, that made the Genesis Sonic games so fun. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 does a better job at that, providing Master System owners with a pretty enjoyable platformer with an improved sense of speed, better level design, and just an overall improvement over the original. The Genesis games are still better, but if your only option of playing a Sonic game is on the Master System, this is definitely a worthwhile game to play.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Zillion - Sega Master System
Release Date: May 24, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Action

Zillion is a very solid title that kind of reminds me of Metroid in how the game is laid out level-wise. Spending much of the game in corridors and using elevators to get from area to area, it constantly reminded me of the game that Samus Aran stars in. But Samus doesn't star in Zillion, J.J. does. The thing I like about Zillion is how you need to use your noggin'. You're not going to beat the game by simply shooting everything in sight. You need to track down an I.D. card, then blast open capsules in each room and check them for items or symbols that you'll have to remember to input in terminals as part of a code to unlock doors, activate elevators, etc. Zillion isn't perfect, but it feels very advanced for its time, and it's definitely well worth playing through to experience it.
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People who added this item 60 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Alex Kidd in Miracle World - Sega Master System
Release Date: November 1, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Platformer

Alex Kidd was Sega's answer to Mario that never really caught on. Despite his lack of popularity, Alex Kidd still starred in some pretty solid games. Alex Kidd in Miracle World was his debut game and it was pretty dang solid. With good level design and enjoyable punch-enemies-and-blocks fun, Alex Kidd should have been a bigger hit than it was...But alas, the games with that Italian plumber starring in them were always just a little bit better. But as it stands, it's still one of the best platformers to grace the Master System.
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People who added this item 12 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Rastan - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1988 (NA)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Taito
Genre: Action

Rastan is a neat little action title that doesn't always feel like it's the smoothest-playing game in the world, but some nice level design and gameplay mechanics help make up for that. Levels often have multiple paths to the goal or hidden passages to discover, as well as power-ups in the form of new weapons, with each one playing slightly different from the other. It's not a perfect game, but Rastan is still very enjoyable regardless.
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Astro Warrior - Sega Master System
Release Date: December 14, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

I'm not gonna lie. I thought Astro Warrior would be absolutely terrible. The name is corny, and screenshots don't really make the game look all that impressive...It just looks like a clone of every other scrolling space shooter out there. Well, it kind of is, but not in a bad way. Astro Warrior clones most of the good aspects of scrolling space shooters of the time, and not a whole lot of the bad. The end result is a solid, Master System-exclusive scrolling shooter that's an easy-to-find, and cheap game to add to your collection, but one that's also very fun to play.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Reggie Jackson Baseball - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1988 (NA)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Sports - Baseball

Reggie Jackson Baseball is a solid baseball game for Master System owners, and much, much better than Great Baseball is. It's also one of the only baseball games that I've come across (with Legends of the Diamond being the only other one) where you can cause the benches to clear by beaning batters. So it gets points in my book just for that. But really, as far as 80's baseball games go, the game represented by Reggie Jackson is very well done.
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People who added this item 51 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Sonic the Hedgehog - Sega Master System
Release Date: October 25, 1991 (NA/EU)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Platformer

Sonic the Hedgehog on the Genesis is awesome. Sonic the Hedgheog on the Master System is good, but it's not quite awesome. While the level design and platforming are all fine and all, one thing is missing from the Master System Sonic the Hedgehog that the Genesis games have - a sense of speed. The animations make it look like Sonic is traveling fast, but the speed in which the levels move says otherwise...And the game loses something in the process. It's still a solid game and well worth playing for fans of Sonic and/or platformers...But don't expect to get any sense of speed out of the gameplay.
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Ys: The Vanished Omens - Sega Master System
Release Date: October 15, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: RPG

Ys is the type of game I hated as a kid, but have grown to appreciate as I get older...The game what you do to fight is bump into your enemy repeatedly and hope that you're stronger than they are. I'll admit, the combat still doesn't enthrall me, but I can deal with it to experience a worthwhile game and Ys is definitely a worthwhile game. If you've got a Master System and an opportunity to experience this gem, do it. And thank me later with whatever cash you've got in your pocket - change is fine, but paper is better. *wink*
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Release Date: 1993 (EU)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: ITL
Genre: Platformer

For a long time, I was not a fan of Rainbow Islands. It wasn't until recently that I've actually begun to appreciate the game for what it is. What is it? Well, it's a platformer where you've got the ability to spew out rainbows that you can use as platforms to make it to the top of the level. If it sounds lame, it really isn't if you give it a fair chance. It's nothing worth writing home about, mind you, but if you're looking for a solid, unique platformer, look no further than Rainbow Islands.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 4.4 IMDB Rating 0
Pro Wrestling - Sega Master System
Release Date: July 20, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Fighting - Wrestling

In Europe and North America, this game is simply a mildly fun wrestling game with generic male wrestlers battling it out. In Japan, Pro Wrestling is actually a joshi (female wrestling) game starring Dump Matsumoto and featuring Matsumoto, Bull Nakano, Chigusa Nagayo, and Lioness Asuka on the cover. Just a fun fact. Anyway, Pro Wrestling is a passable wrestling game that's fun for a few minutes, but it won't take very long before you've had your fill...Especially after you've beaten the Orient Express four times in a row eventhough there are other teams on the game that you should be moving onto. But, it's decent fun and the best wrestling game available on the Master System.
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Psycho Fox - Sega Master System
Release Date: December 20, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Vic Tokai
Genre: Platformer

A lot of people like to point to Psycho Fox as a great exclusive title for the Master System...The problem is that while Psycho Fox is fun, it's basically a clone of a game that Vic Tokai had created a year earlier for the Famicom that eventually made its way to North America under the name of Kid Kool. Now, it's not an exact clone...The levels are different and Psycho Fox can punch enemies and not have to rely on a fluffy creature to hurl at foes...And to be honest, I think some of the issues with Kid Kool are fixed in Psycho Fox to create a better game. But the way the game plays, the little pole vaults, it's all nearly identical. So, that said Psycho Fox is a slightly better game, but if you don't have a Master System and want to basically experience what Psycho Fox is about, just hunt down a copy of Kid Kool and enjoy.
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People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 0
Fantasy Zone - Sega Master System
Release Date: June 15, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Fantasy Zone is a unique scrolling shooter in that you control what direction the screen scrolls in...And you can change the direction at any time. It's a neat idea, but it can disorientate you if you swap directions without meaning to. The bright, colorful backgrounds are also a neat, unique idea...But this also has its drawbacks, as enemies and bullets often blend in with the backgrounds, sometimes leading to cheap deaths. Even with its flaws, Fantasy Zone is still a solid game and worth a look for fans of scrolling shooters.
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People who added this item 8 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Streets of Rage - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1993 (EU)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Action - Brawler

Streets of Rage is pretty much an exact port of the Genesis game with the same name, but in 8 bits instead of 16. It does lose a little in the translation in terms of gameplay, but not a whole lot. It's still a passable brawler and a so-so addition to your Master System library, but if you have the opportunity to play the Genesis version instead, do it.
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People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0
Wonder Boy - Sega Master System
Release Date: December 20, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: RPG

Another NES clone, the original Wonder Boy is a clone of Adventure Island on the NES. The gameplay is near identical from the enemies right down to the power-ups. You'll be hurling stone axes while rolling around on a skateboard, hopping over snails, fires, and boulders in no time. This isn't a bad clone by any means, but thankfully Wonder Boy goes in a different direction for its later games, and a direction that, dare I say, surpasses the Adventure Island series that it originally cloned in its debut title.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Rambo: First Blood Part II - Sega Master System
Release Date: November 16, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Rambo is the kind of game I like to point to when kids tell me that a recently-released game is hard. Even the most difficult games released these days aren't too bad in the very beginning. In Rambo, the first time you play, you're probably going to die within a minute. The more you play and the fancier your footwork in avoiding enemy bullets, the further you'll get in the game. I'm always a fan of that kind of reward. Unfortunately, while I enjoy that aspect of the game, the top-down camera kind of makes the combat feel awkward as you try making your way through the sometimes bullet hell-like amount of bullets headed your way. It's a fun game, though. Just go into it with some patience and the willingness to die a few times and you'll eventually have some fun shooting exploding arrows are your poor enemies.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Mortal Kombat - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1993 (EU)
Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Williams
Genre: Fighting

I'll be completely honest - I thought that this game was going to be absolutely terrible. I was wrong. Granted, this isn't a great, must-play title by any means, but if this is your only opportunity to play Mortal Kombat, it's not a horrible experience. The gameplay isn't quite as smooth as it is on the 16-bit consoles, but it gets the job done well enough where you're nothing throwing your arms in the air in frustration. I'd still recommend the 16-bit versions over this version of the game, but it's still surprisingly not that bad.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Great Baseball - Sega Master System
Release Date: August 17, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Sports - Baseball

Great Baseball isn't great at all. It's not horrible, but it's definitely not great. They should re-name is "Passable Baseball" or "Not Too Special Baseball" or even "Play Reggie Jackson Baseball Instead Baseball." If you're a baseball fanatic, you'll likely find something to latch onto and like here, but most everyone else that plays will spend the majority of their time playing trying to figure out where this "great" aspect that the title mentions is hiding.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Walter Payton Football - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1989 (NA)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Sports - Football

Walter Payton Football is probably the biggest failure in Walter Payton's career. I'm not a football guy, but I know of Walter Payton and his success. This game does not do the man's name justice. It looks pretty. It's got some nifty menus...But that's about it. In the end, I was just disappointed in this game. Shame on you Sega. Apologize to Mr. Payton.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Release Date: 1992 (EU)
Publisher: Flying Edge
Developer: Teeny Weeny Games
Genre: Fighting - Wrestling

WWF Wrestlemania Steel Cage Challenge has all of the modes and familiar wrestling faces to make this a top-notch wrestling title for the Master System...Unfortunately, like most Acclaim/Flying Edge/Arena/LJN wrestling games, the actual gameplay is terrible. Granted, the game as a whole is still better than the NES version of the same game...But not by a whole heckuva lot. If you want to play a wrestling game with various WWF stars of the time, this is the game to play...But if you actually want to enjoy yourself a little bit, then Sega's Pro Wrestling is the way to go.
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars - Sega Master System
Release Date: March 10, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Platformer

What the heck happened? Alex Kidd in Miracle World was really fun...And then The Lost Stars comes along...And what the heck happened?!?! The Lost Stars plays completely different, in a bad way, from the level design and gameplay mechanics down to just how the game feels. Miracle World felt smooth. The Lost Stars just feels horrible. Easily one of the worst sequels that I've ever played.
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People who added this item 7 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 2.2 IMDB Rating 0
Alf - Sega Master System
Release Date: 1989 (NA)
Publisher: Sega
Developer: Sega
Genre: Adventure

Alf kind of reminds me of E.T. on the Atari 2600. They're both about aliens trying to get back home, and they both have weirdos in coats that appear on the screen and chase you down. The major difference between Alf and E.T. is that Alf, while not a particularly good game, is much better than E.T. was. That said, Alf may be worth playing for the novelty of playing a game starring Alf, but that novelty fades fast, and there's not a whole lot of fun to be had here. I've played much worse, but this is still pretty bad.
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I'll be doing lists like this for all systems eventually. As I play games for the system, I'll add them to the list. They're ranked by my own personal preference, so keep that in mind if you can't figure out why game A is ranked above game B.

For release date info, I took the first release date and included the region the date comes from. Here's the key for that: NA - North America, JP - Japan, EU - Europe, AU - Australia

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Video Games - ranked by preference (55 lists)
list by ape
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