Best Sega CD Games Of All Time

Highlights

  • The Sega CD was an add-on for the Sega Genesis that allowed it to rival PCs of the era, but its high cost made it inaccessible for many.
  • However, the Sega CD had some beloved games, such as Night Trap, Lunar: The Silver Star, and Final Fight CD, which provided unique experiences for players.
  • Another example of a great game on this console is Sonic CD, a must-play for any Sonic fan that features classic Sonic action with a fun time-travel plot.

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The Sega CD is an often forgotten-about piece of tech that was a nifty little accessory to the standard Sega Genesis. Essentially, the little add-on made it possible for the home console to rival the PCs of the era, even if that was to mixed results at the time.

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To this day, the Sega CD is a beloved add-on for those who experienced it. One of the biggest draws was that it made the console capable of the now infamous full-motion video, a major draw way back when. Its high cost made it hard to try out, but those who managed to get their hands on it can remember the best games from Sega.

10 Night Trap

  • Developer
    : Digital Pictures

  • Release
    Date
    : October 15, 1992

  • Genre
    : Interactive movie

Night Trap may be a bizarre example of old-school gaming, but it really is delightfully refreshing. Acting more like a playable movie with quick time events, it is your job to watch a girl’s sleepover and execute a series of traps against the foes that are creeping into the house.

You get to experience a night of silliness, but you have to pay attention because there are a variety of hints of things to come. You need to know what’s going on in all rooms at all times in order to succeed, making it a kind of early Five Nights At Freddy’s in the best way possible.

9 Lunar: The Silver Star

Alex talks to his friend on a cliff in Lunar: the Silver Star

  • Developer
    : Game Arts

  • Release
    Date
    : December 1993 (North America)

  • Genre
    : RPG

There are some great Sega RPGs, but one of the best was home to the Sega CD, Lunar: The Silver Star. Complete with all the full motion videos you’d expect, this game is a robust experience for the time, complete with voice acting.

Essentially, your main hero stumbles upon a dragon and begins his journey across the world to become just like his childhood hero, a dragonmaster. It may not be one of the easier games to find, but for those looking for underrated RPGs, this is a great option.

8 Final Fight CD

Guy takes on a group of villains in a subway

  • Developer
    : Capcom

  • Release
    Date
    : April 1993

  • Genre
    : Beat-em-up

When a lot of games came to home consoles back in the day, they were almost never anywhere close to rivaling the arcade experience. Luckily, Final Fight CD was able to mimic the arcade experience on home consoles, making it a major hit.

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You get the full experience, complete with two-player co-op, voice acting, and the original soundtrack. Certain aspects of the game may still have been limited in comparison to the arcade, but for the time, the mostly dormant Final Fight series was revolutionary.

7 Hook

Peter Pan takes on a pirate on an icy stage

  • Developer
    : Core Design

  • Release
    Date
    : 1993

  • Genre
    : Adventure

While this game may be incredibly similar to both the SNES and Sega Genesis ports of the game, the Sega CD managed to take this excellent and underrated game a step forward. It features the fantastic action and platforming from the original with a huge boost to music and some visuals.

The major addition here is one that was revolutionary for the time. You are able to play through Hook with excellent cutscenes and an adapted score from the film itself. Hearing film-quality music in video games was rare, making this a seriously unique experience for the time.

6 Snatcher

  • Developer
    : Konami

  • Release
    Date
    : January 1995 (North America)

  • Genre
    : Visual Novel

While you may not have thought a visual novel adventure would have been a hit on the Sega CD, Snatcher is regarded as one of the best games to try. Telling a massive story reminiscent of something like Bladerunner, Snatcher tells a tale of a man joining a force to take down snatchers, robotic creatures that have been replacing humans.

You’ll have to become infinitely familiar with your command screen in order to solve some tricky puzzles and experience a seriously thrilling story. The game does add in some action gameplay here and there, but the story and puzzles are going to be the real draw for a lot of people.

5 Popful Mail

Popful mail box art featuring warriors and Popful Mail wanders into a wizard's home

  • Developer
    : Nihon Falcom

  • Release
    Date
    : February 23, 1995

  • Genre
    : RPG platformer

Popful Mail is an interesting game because it merges RPG and platformer elements to make a unique experience on the Sega CD. You’ll gain access to a few different characters while you explore the world and slay monsters before they slay you.

You take control of the titular character, working as a bounty hunter to take out the interestingly named Nuts Cracker. When she fails to do so, she turns her attention to the wizard Muttonhead in order to become a millionaire, thus setting her off on her whirlwind adventure.

4 Shining Force CD

Shining Force CD recruiting a new character

  • Developer
    : Sonic! Software Planning

  • Release
    Date
    : 1995 (North America)

  • Genre
    : Tactical RPG

It is shocking just how overlooked Shining Force CD is considering it might just be the best version of Shining Force. Gaining access to Shining Force Gaiden and its sequel, as well as a lot of bonus content to flesh out both experiences, there is a ton to give a try.

The fantastic tactical combat system forces you to think through every decision, and the fantastic battle animations are always fun to watch play out. With four story portions to play through, you have a massive adventure filled with conflict, betrayal, and friendship to play through.

3 Sonic CD

  • Developer
    : Sega

  • Release
    Date
    : November 23, 1993 (Worldwide)

  • Genre
    : Platformer

It’s no secret that Sonic CD is one of the most beloved entries in the Sonic series, especially when viewed on a CRT. You get all the classic Sonic action you’re used to with a fun time-travel plot thrown into the mix. Some of the aspects of this game should feel familiar thanks to the excellent Sonic Mania using some similar ideas.

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You’ll need to keep Little Planet safe from Doctor Robotnik and his nefarious schemes. With animated cutscenes and the introduction of series staples like Amy Rose and Metal Sonic, it’s a great blast from the past for any Sonic fan.

2 Dark Wizard

a group of units have taken over a set of land, and the stats for one unit are displayed

  • Developer
    : Sega

  • Release
    Date
    : 1994 (North America)

  • Genre
    : Tactical RPG

If you’re the kind of person who loves tactical RPGs, then you’ll probably love the often-forgotten Dark Wizard. Taking on the evil of Velonese, you must take on tough battles in order to lead your army to victory and retake the land of Cheshire before it’s too late.

You can focus on the main aspects of the game, but the more you take time to look around, the more you’ll find to do while you play. With your choice of character, each choice you have to make is yours alone rather than being forced into what the game wants.

1 Star Wars: Rebel Assault

  • Developer
    : LucasArts

  • Release
    Date
    : November 25, 1993

  • Genre
    : Rail shooter

While it may not hold a candle to the modern versions of rail shooters, Star Wars: Rebel Assault was a breath of fresh air, and one of the best games on the Sega CD. This version may be less powerful than the versions you could play on the computer, but that’s a trend that still mostly exists today when you think about it.

With stunning visuals, great music that felt like it was lifted right from your favorite Star Wars scenes, and even some missions that take you out of your trusty spaceship, the game is always interesting.

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