1988 saw the release of Japan’s Sega Mega Drive, and the Genesis was created the following year in North America, a whole slew of games were made, reaching a grand total of 897 titles.
With nearly 900 games to choose from, there are definitely more than 15 releases we forgot about over the years, especially after experiencing the purdy 3-D graphics on Playstation and Nintendo 64 … and, recently, on the Nintendo Switch.
With such a vast catalog at our fingertips, we needed a “theme” for these forgettable Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games and went with releases that deviated (in a bad way) from their respective franchises, not provocatively, mind you, because that usually makes things hard to forget, but in ways that were just so ridiculous that our minds made us forget about them.
Then there are games so emphatically stupid that mere words can never truly express the horrors and sheer disgust they undoubtedly provoked when played. Those needed to be on this list, too.
Get your nostalgic helmets on. You’re in for a bumpy ride.
15. OutRun 2019
Pretty much every racing game from this particular era is forgettable. In fact, it’s not a stretch to assume that we could make a list comprised solely of forgettable releases from the genre. That said, the reason why OutRun 2019 made the cut is because it takes place in the future, a point in time that, even now, still hasn’t happened … but not for long.
As you have hopefully probably realized by now, OutRun takes place in 2019 … just two years ahead of where … or when … we are now.
So while you undoubtedly forgot about this OutRun effort (or didn’t even know it even existed), you should make sure to play it sometime in 2019 just to see how wrong (or just how right) Sega thought that year would be like.
Here’s something to compare. As indicated in the game, the maximum speed your car can go is … 682 mph.
14. Sonic Eraser
Sonic Eraser? What in God’s name is Sonic Eraser?
You probably don’t remember it because you didn’t even know it existed … until 2004 … before you forgot about it.
Sonic Eraser was made exclusively for those lucky few who owned a Sega Meganet, a modem for the Sega Mega Drive in Japan … and only Japan. Because of this, Sonic Eraser was doomed to forever be a “lost” Sonic game, outside of Japan, that is.
But then the internet happened. People became resourceful. And the Sonic CulT website mods just so happened to be resourceful when it came to Sonic stuff. Who’d have thought? In no time, they got their digital hands on the Sonic Eraser ROM, exclusively available through Sega’s Japan-only download service, and allocated it across the globe for the world to “enjoy” in February of 2004.
And yet, the world soon realized there was a reason why the Maganet was only a Japan release because games like Sonic Eraser were a complete waste of time.
It’s nothing like the Sonic games everyone loves. It’s not just a puzzle game, but an overtly simple puzzle game (you must eliminate the whirlybob ring shapes on the playing field by matching two together … just like Bejeweled). At least the titular speedy-blue character was included.
13. Pigskin 621 A.D.
There are two reasons why the Rugby-esque Pigskin 621 A.D. game was completely forgettable. In addition to competing with a plethora of Madden NFL games, from 1994 to 1998, it had to stand up against actual Rugby games, such as Australian Rugby League, International Rugby and Rugby World Cup ’95.
It was the odd child of the bunch. In Pigskin, teams tried to score as many touchdowns as possible, very much like American football, but it also featured elements more akin to rugby, too.
Not only was Pigskin a strange fusion between two sports (so you didn’t get to play the sports you actually cared about) but the game’s only saving grace was that the characters were from medieval times and could pick up random weapons (axes, maces, nooses, scythes, spears, swords and torches) lying around on the playing field, of which was littered with pits, bushes and logs.
Who wants to play a game starring a duck that shoots plungers at enemies (causing them to shake uncontrollably as though they fell into some sort of violent epileptic fit) when you can control that same duck in a game where he’s both a detective and a ninja like Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow?
QuackShot is the example of the former game, whereby Donald and his three nephews are treasure-hunters. Oh, and Donald doesn’t just shoot plungers but popcorn and bubble gum, too. Great …
The game would’ve been memorable if this duck were anything remotely like Donald. Sure, if you pick up chili peppers in QuackShot, Donald falls into one of his uncontrollable fits of rage. But, again, this only happens after he picks up peppers (of which you can only find in Duckburg, India, and Egypt).
The film Fantasia is utterly glorious, and perhaps one of the greatest things that Disney has ever released (we’re pretending Fantasia 2000 never existed). Unfortunately, the game based off said masterpiece was nothing like it, and especially not as grand or impressive as the actual Sorcerer’s Apprentice “skit.”
In this adaptation, you may have controlled Mickey Mouse who was, thankfully, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but your goal was to collect musical notes that went missing while the robed mouse was sleeping. Sure, the levels were amalgamations of various segments from the film, but, again, everything just paled in comparison, and that’s probably one of the many failures of the game.
We don’t know if anyone even wrote a positive review for the game back in the day. MegaTech magazine said it was “a massive disappointment.” At least MegaTech gave it some recognition by placing it on a list, where it ranked six out of 10. However, it was a list of the Worst Mega Drive Games of All Time.
10. The Adventures Of Mighty Max
After reading this title, you’re probably kicking yourself in the ass for not quenching your younger self’s thirst for owning anything and everything Mighty Max related, especially this game. Who didn’t own the toys or watch the animated series? (Speaking of which, a VHS of a Mighty Max adventure came with the game, too.)
However, this release was actually pretty horrible. Sure, the goal was to destroy the evil Skull Master’s weapons, but, to get there, you had to pick up random things that looked like car parts and throw them into portals. Plus, Mighty Max could somehow jump higher than Michael Jordon (he was a basketball player back then) and your weapon was a BB gun thing that shot stupid bouncing ball things. If you wanted more firepower, all you had to do was hold down the fire button, which, upon release, would unleash a whole freakin flurry of balls. Stupid, random … and forgettable.
9. Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Quest
The biggest reason (out of many) as to why Belle’s Quest was so easily forgettable is because it was released simultaneously with another Beauty and the Beast venture: Roar of the Beast. In the latter, you not only controlled the Beast, but roar at enemies (which temporarily froze them in place, even flying bats), jab at them, slug them (when holding the punch button) and viciously bite them (while on all fours). When you have a game like that, why would you play one that stars Belle?
If you were fooled and bought Bell’s Quest, then your goal was to make it to the Beast’s castle in order to break the spell and, of course, live happily ever after. However, the path to the castle was littered with mazes and puzzles as well as enemies that you had to jump over. Wow. So exciting.
8. Math Blaster Episode I
You’re probably thinking we messed up real bad and, somehow, got a beloved PC educational math game mixed up into a list of forgettable Sega releases. And yet, we got it very, very right.
The game you’re probably thinking about is Math Blaster Episode I: In Search of Spot, Davidson & Associates’ remake of Math Blaster Plus! Due to Episode I’s success, the educational product was remade for both the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. But everyone who somehow remembers the PC version only recalls it as being just that, a game that was released for the PC. Nothing more, nothing less.
Heck, the PC version was rated as one of the top 100 CD-ROM games of 1994 in PC Magazine, and the Sega/SNES’ rendition saw no such recognition.
7. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
You’re probably asking yourself, “How in the heck could I ever forget about a Mortal Kombat game?” And for fans more familiar with the earlier renditions of the famous fighting franchise are probably asking: “How in the heck could I ever forget the game that brought back Scorpion?”
We’ll answer both those questions for you because the majority of people have forgotten about it.
The Mortal Kombat game that everyone remembers (and not in a good way) is Mortal Kombat 3 (the third rendition of said release without the word Ultimate in the name).
First off, Mortal Kombat 3 wasn’t heavily influenced by Oriental themes as its predecessors were. It was Westernized. Plus, the color palette in 3 was ridiculously muted and each character was digitized up the wazoo, losing the iconic hand-drawn style that gamers now crave. But worst of all, many popular characters were missing in 3, the two most egregious being Kitana and, yes, Scorpion. And, also, who in the living hell thought Stryker would be a good replacement?
6. Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
Just take a minute and let that atrocious image sink in. Now, take a gander at this: there’s another Sonic game on this list, which is even more forgettable than this one.
In this release, the beloved hedgehog is a pinball. A freakin’ pinball!
The storyline in this game might be cool, but that’s about it: Doctor Robotnik, once more desiring to enslave the population of planet Mobius, constructed a new robot-transforming mechanism of evil, the Veg-O-Fortress. But for some reason, Doctor Ro-butt-nick thought it would be a great idea to fortify his fortress with pinball machine-like systems, of which Sonic could easily take advantage of by “becoming” a pinball.
The only reason why this gem was made is because Sonic 2 had done so well and Sega of America wanted another reiteration of the fuzzy, blue speedster to be released in time for the holidays. And guess how they got their idea? Spinball’s creators took one of the most popular aspects of one, yes, one zone from Sonic 2 (Casino Night) and tried to expand the concept into an entire game. Sure, Casino Night Zone was rad, but not that rad.
Suffice it to say, Spinball was released to mediocre reviews (mostly for the clunky controls).
5. Castlevania: Bloodlines
You might be surprised that there are other games on this list ranked higher than this one. Castlevania is a Nintendo game, through and through, and because of that, can be easily dismissible as nothing more than a copy cat. The fact that Castlevania debuted on not the NES, but the Family Computer Disk System, makes it all the more outrageous that Sega tried to replicate this well-known franchise.
The being said, Castlevania: Bloodlines diverged so much from every Nintendo release that it was hard to ignore, and therefore harder to forget. Bloodlines was the first Castlevania to not exclusively take place in Dracula’s castle. Instead, you controlled Simon throughout Europe.
It also did quite well. Not only did GamesRadar rate Bloodlines as the 8th best Genesis game (out of 25), but GameZone ranked it as the fourth best Castlevania title, a real slap in the face to Nintendo if you ask us.
4. Mega Man: The Wily Wars
You’re just as surprised as we are. Mega Man is a well-known game, so well known in fact that everyone is pretty much aware that the robot guy normally appears on Nintendo consoles. And yet, there was one game that slipped through the cracks into the realm of Sega.
Mega Man: The Wily Wars was essentially Sega’s way of trying to catch up on all of the awesomeness that they’d been missing for the last couple of years … and then some. The Wily Wars consisted of remakes of the first Mega Man releases and featured some gameplay that occurred after the events of the third installment in the series, making the Wily Wars some sort of pseudo-sequel.
However, the Wily Wars didn’t turn out the way you might expect; it was as though Nintendo had cursed anyone who might try to take their character away from them. It was first put on hold indefinitely due to graphical problems (artist Keiji Inafune described the debugging procedure as “an absolute nightmare”) and was released in a non-cartridge format on the Sega Channel.
3. Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
Everyone knows about Sonic. Everyone. We don’t care who you are. You know him.
When you think of Sonic, what comes to mind is either how far Sonic has fallen in the gaming world or the amazingness that is Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and the freakishly awesome double-cartridge-stacking-game Sonic & Knuckles. And when you think about the Sega Genesis in general, what comes to mind are, well, the very same games. That’s how groundbreaking they were back in the day and just how iconic they are now.
So if someone were to mention, in some sort of nostalgia-based conversation, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, you’d probably go “Ooooooh yah. That’s right. I forgot about that,” or “What the hell are you talking about?”
That’s because Mean Bean Machine was nothing like the insanely radical Sonic the Hedgehog releases. Instead of an action game, where you could zoom around as the fuzzy, blue, spikey hedgehog or fly around as the lovable two-tailed fox, Mean Bean Machine was a falling block puzzle game, like some overly glorified Tetris.
Sure, the story may be great: Doctor Robotnik is kidnapping residents … from Beanville … and turning them into robots. But Sonic doesn’t appear at all. That’s why this game is in the top 3 and not Sonic Spinball. While Spinball was pretty stupid (not to mention extremely glitchy and sluggish), Sonic was the star … or the pinball.
2. Barbie: Super Model
We’re sorry in advance if this game will forever haunt you from this day forward, in the same manner as the song Barbie Girl by Aqua has done over the years. If you think this game was ridiculous back in the day, just as much as you do now, then you’re not alone. Nintendo Power said that people who aren’t fans of Barbie “will most likely not be interested at all,” and GamePro, in addition to criticizing the game for being too slow-paced and primitive, only recommended it for Barbie fanatics.
But enough from the critics. Let’s talk about the insane amount of action in this arcade-style game. Not only does Barbie have to get from one end of a horizontally scrolling area to the other, in Hawaii (while on roller skates), Vail (through the snow), through New York City (on a bike) and Hollywood (in Barbie’s convertible), but she must also avoid all of the obstacles and potential hazards that may get in the way.
Oh! And there are bonus rounds, too! These are more akin to what Barbie is known for. Here, you can apply her makeup, dress her up in cute little outfits and choose the right pair of earrings … but you can’t specifically choose the things you want Barbie to wear … if you want to win the bonus round, that is. What you put on Barbie has to match with certain magazine covers. Wow!!
1. Art Alive!
Yup, this existed. This “game” might as well have been called “MS Paint by Sega” because of Art Alive! was essentially the same thing minus the fact that, instead of it being something you did on your computer, was a cartridge you pushed into your Genesis/Mega Drive. Who would buy such a game, you ask? Maybe someone who liked MS Paint but wanted to add some Sega flair. (Remember, this was during a time before the internet was a big thing before you could just copy and paste Sega-inspired things onto your masterpiece). But now this is definitely not the case.
Art Alive! gave gamers the chance to take stamps of various Sega characters, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, and put them onto their blank canvas … and animate them if they so desired. And if you were lucky enough to have a VCR (if you don’t know what this is, then that just makes this writer sad) or emulators, you could save your favorite images.
But who cares? Look at all the awesome stuff we can do! Ever heard of Photoshop?
Art Alive! wasn’t the only one of its kind, either. Sega later released a more interesting title: Wacky Worlds Creativity Studio. Who woulda thought?