Top 10 Sega Genesis Multiplayer Games

Top 10 Sega Genesis Multiplayer Games

A couchful of 16-bit fun

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Genesis on

The Genesis library is bursting with top-notch titles that are fun with friends so here are the very best multiplayer games for the console.

The Adventures of Batman & Robin

When you think of multiplayer games, Batman probably doesn't come to mind but this 2D action game makes for quite an exciting adventure with its varied blend of long-range weapons and melee combat as well as some enjoyable shoot 'em up segments that are thrown in for good measure. Oh, and it's brutally challenging, too, so it's sure to put you and a friend's abilities to the test.

The Adventures of Batman & Robin screenshot
Watch out for the wheel of goofballs behind you, Robin!

Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine

Although western gamers weren't generally familiar with Puyo Puyo back in '93, there was no denying how much fun this Sonic spin-off adaptation of the series is. I remember playing Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine with my siblings back in the day and winning every match. Now that I can play Puyo Puyo online, I'll just say that my ego has definitely deflated since then. 😅

Puyo Puyo Review
Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine screenshot
I don't think I'm going to win this match...

Mega Bomberman

I love Bomberman and this Genesis adaptation of Bomberman '94 for TurboGrafx is great. The multiplayer is a lot of fun despite its somewhat basic setup and the fact that Mega Bomberman introduced many gamers to Bomberman's furry friend Louie is a bonus. 💣

More Bomberman games
Mega Bomberman screenshot
This is going to last a while; just look at all those Louies!

Super Street Fighter II

There were only a couple of Street Fighter games for Sega Genesis and yes, they are arguably superior on SNES. However, that doesn't mean that Super Street Fighter II isn't awesome! With a solid 16 characters to fight with, memorable arenas, and classic tight fighting gameplay, what's not to love? Well, you basically have to have a couple 6-button controllers to make the most of it, I guess.

Which Street Fighter Character Are You?
Super Street Fighter II screenshot
Time to practice so I can actually win against my chums

World of Illusion

Its better-known predecessor Castle of Illusion may have been a solo affair but World of Illusion incorporated a multiplayer component where you and a pal can play as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck simultaneously. Even though both characters have similar move sets, there are special co-op mechanics such as a rope to help the other player up which elevates the gameplay to new heights.

World of Illusion: Donald Duck Joins the Fun
World of Illusion screenshot
Where would poor old Donald be without Mickey?

NBA Jam Tournament Edition

I don't usually enjoy sports games but NBA Jam is an arcade classic and this Tournament Edition is perhaps the best console iteration of it as it features some nifty additions. Its cartoonish visuals and physics make it a joy to play and the fact that its gameplay is streamlined, intuitive, and fast-paced means that it's an ideal game if you want to have some old-school basketball fun with your chums. 🏀

Also featured in: Insert Coin Documentary Review
NBA Jam Tournament Edition screenshot
I feel sorry for whoever has to clean the glass up after this dunk!

ToeJam & Earl

Looking back, I think ToeJam & Earl was ahead of its time because nowadays, games where you just hang out and take your time while exploring are quite common but back in '91, there wasn't anything quite like it. Plus, the fact that you could invite a friend along for the ride makes the experience much more fulfilling as there's actual dialogue between the characters which can be quite funny. 😊

ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Review
ToeJam & Earl screenshot
There's nothing quite like chillin' on a space island with my pal

Gunstar Heroes

Gunstar Heroes is one of the best run 'n' gun games ever made yet few think of it as a multiplayer experience. For the unfamiliar, it's an excellent example of the genre and an absolute blast to play with its clever weapon-combining shooting action which allows for many different shot types. This makes frantically running around its memorable stages while blasting enemies with a pal incredibly enjoyable.

Sega Genesis Classics Review (includes Gunstar Heroes)
Gunstar Heroes screenshot
I hope you land on your feet so we can keep blasting this contraption

Streets of Rage 2

In many gamers' opinions including my own, Streets of Rage 2 is the best in the franchise and playing it cooperatively makes cleaning up the streets a much more exhilarating endeavour. Oh, and you can beat up your friend in duel mode between runs which is fun. It's by far the best beat 'em up in the Genesis library and that's saying a lot because there are some pretty great brawlers for the console.

Streets of Rage 2: A Top-Notch Genesis Brawler
Streets of Rage 2 screenshot
Warning: please don't beat up folks on elevators in real life

Contra: Hard Corps

Very few multiplayer games have offered as much fun as Contra has throughout the years and it could easily be argued that Hard Corps is the best game in the series. Its campaign is absolutely jam-packed with intense action, stand-out moments, and epic boss fights and by the time it's all over, you'll feel like you just starred in an action movie with your chum and really; what's better than that? 😄

Contra III: The Alien Wars vs. Contra: Hard Corps
Contra: Hard Corps screenshot
Do you ever get the feeling that someone's watching you?
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