The Best Multiplayer Sega Genesis Games

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One of the most fun experiences a console gamer could have back in the day is getting some buddies together and completing some of the best games ever made. Luckily, the Sega Genesis comes with two controller slots, making two-player co-op easy.

Some publishers even released a four-player adapter, taking co-op to a whole new level. In the extensive library of the Genesis, some titles were renowned for their multiplayer capabilities. These titles provided some of the best multiplayer experiences to date, from Gunstar Heroes to Mortal Kombat.

Gunstar Heroes

This two-player game is everything anyone could want from a fast-paced, side-scrolling shooter. In this title, one or two players can team up as the Gunstars, twins tasked with fighting the forces of evil. Players progress through multiple side-scrolling levels similar to Contra, with the addition of directional shooting.

Each level contains several dropped weapons that can build up, creating an insane spread of firepower. Not only is the gameplay exciting, but players will be awestruck with the insane graphical capabilities of this title. Gunstar Heroes is easily one of the most impressive titles on the system, and has stood the test of time with its amazing graphics and control scheme.


Golden Axe

An arcadey beat-em-up, Golden Axe provides players with some of the goofiest and exciting fantasy combat to date. Supporting two players, each level in this title provides players with a fantastical background in which they will fight an assortment of fantasy enemies, from giant maul-wielding brutes to stumpy gremlins.

There are many different secrets hidden around each level, providing players with awesome weapons and mounts that aid in the heroes' journey. Golden Axe is easily one of the best games on the Genesis, and has stood the test of time with its simple, but exciting, gameplay along with impressive graphics and fun sound effects.


Sonic & Knuckles

What would a list of the best multiplayer Sega Genesis games be without Sega's own entry? Sonic & Knuckles features the red echidna, Knuckles, as a playable character for the first time ever, giving Sonic fans an adventure with a twist. While this title does not include a co-op mode for the story, players can experience the fun competitive mode where players must race to the finish.

This cartridge features the innovative "lock-on" addition where players can put other Sonic the Hedgehog titles into Sonic & Knuckles to add Knuckles to previous titles. This game is easily one of the best Sega games and a must-play for Genesis owners.


Contra: Hard Corps

Contra has always been one of the top two-player action titles in gaming history. Since the days of the NES, players have fought their way through hordes of enemies, collecting power-ups, and jumping to victory. Contra: Hard Corps steps this formula up a notch, providing up to two players with four different characters to choose from, each with their own abilities, and heightened difficulty.

There are plenty of new levels to explore, with tons of enemies and power-ups hidden within. Contra: Hard Corps is a welcome upgrade to the series and a great foray onto the Sega Genesis.


NBA Jam Tournament Edition

Probably one of the biggest fan-favorites of the generation, NBA Jam was a wacky take that has rarely been seen since, making this title a gem of retro gaming. The Tournament Edition cranked things up a notch, giving players an updated roster along with some new features.

What makes this game special is the insane moves players can pull off. Players can leap from one end of the court to the other to make a slam dunk. Players can even play as politicians from 1994 with select cheat codes. NBA Jam Tournament Edition is a fantastic title and a must-play for retro game fans.


Super Street Fighter II

Probably one of the best fighters of all time, Super Street Fighter II offers awesome two-player action with a fun line-up of now-iconic characters. Out of the 16 playable characters, every player is sure to find someone that fits their play style.

There are plenty of levels to choose from too, all with iconic music and intricate backgrounds. Each character has specific combos that, upon learning them, will lead players towards mastery. Super Street Fighter II’s importance in the industry could not be stressed enough, and is a must-play for fans of fighters or just retro games.


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  • Updated July 23, 2020
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