The Best Sega Genesis RPGs / Role Playing Games to Play


There’s nothing quite like a good RPG to transport you into a world of swords-and-sorcery, foul creatures and great heroes, and make you feel like you’re part of a great adventure to save the world. That’s all we wanted to do as kids, right? (Some of us still hope to find a portal that takes us into a world where we are axe-wielding warriors tasked with saving the realm, on a pet dinosaur)

Today, we are going to take a look at the best Sega genesis RPGs video gamesOne of the strengths of the Sega Genesis Console, has to be the library of games, which we talk about in another article.  It really had a little something for everyone, but today it's about Role-Playing Games.  So put on your armor and pick up your weapon, and let’s run through some of the best old Sega games ever made.  If you are interested in buying some of these classics, see what's on sale in our store.

Shadowrun - Released in 1994best rpg sega genesis

Shadowrun is one of the best pieces of interactive fiction that has been produced, so it isn’t a surprise that we absolutely highly recommend you check out this game.

Shadowrun begins with a sinister tone – your brother has just been murdered, and now you have to travel to a post-apocalyptic cyberpunk version of Seattle to find out just what happens. This game mixes elements of magic, sorcery and The Matrix. Yes, we said The MATRIX – go get this game.

Sword of Vermillion - Released in 1990best rpg sega genesis

It might be difficult to imagine a first-person exploration game that also featured top-down battles, large townscapes and a side scrolling boss fight mechanic. It may be even more difficult to imagine that such a game could exist in 1990 – but it does, and Sword of Vermillion is that game.

Like all good role playing games, it is well-written and features an engaging story with a memorable cast of characters and a fully realized world that has plenty of things to keep you engaged at all times.

Light Crusader - Released in 1995Sega Genesis RPG Light Crusader

After creating the smash-hit Gunstar Heroes, developers Treasure decided to focus their attention towards building a Role playing game, and Light Crusaders is what they created.

The premise of the game is simple – you have to get a sword, find a bunch of missing people, and then slay the dragon that is guarding the castle. But within this innocuous setup, Light Crusader manages to weave a surprising amount of variety that keeps the gameplay fresh. Did we mention you’ll also fight a tank and an evil blob in addition to the aforementioned dragon?

Landstalker Treasures Of King Nole - Released in 1992

Landstalker is a deep and rewarding Role Playing Game that sets itself apart in the narrative department immediately. You’re not playing to save the world or the princess or fight a dragon – you’re just there to make as much money as possible. Now there’s a hero motivation that we can all relate to.

Landstalker is hours and hours of fun as you plunder through the universe and grab what’s yours by hook or by crook.  

Beyond Oasis - Released in 1994

1994 was an incredible year for the Action RPGSega Genesis RPG Beyond Oasis

In this game, you play as a young man who discovers a magical armlet and unwillingly  becomes involved in a battle of good vs evil where the fate of the entire world is at stake. Beyond Oasis made great use of different elements in combat and threw some challenging enemies and bosses your way. It also taught players a crucial lesson – sometimes when you come across an abandoned armlet, you should consider letting it be and just walking away.

Shining in the Darkness - Released in 1991Shining in the Darkness

This was the first game in Sega’s ‘Shining’ series that later spawned games such as the turn-based Shining Force and the hack-and-slash Shining Soul.

Shining in the Darkness is a first-person turn-based dungeon crawler that puts you through some of the most challenging environments ever put on the Sega Genesis. It will test your patience. It will test your resolve.

Through the 20-odd hours it lasts, there’s plenty of charm and wonder to complement the high difficulty level.

Phantasy Star IV - Released in 1994Phantasy Star IV

Phantasy Star for the Sega Genesis and Final Fantasy III for the SNES both launched very close together, and it was incredibly difficult for players to choose one because both were absolute classics. If you were anything like us here at the Old School Game Vault – you purchased both, and then proceeded to spend weeks and months raving and gasping as you explored their rich worlds and satisfying gameplay.

Phantasy Star III was a disappointment, so expectations were high for IV, and it absolutely delivered – the battle system (combinations upon combinations!), graphics, storyline and original characters are all so compelling that we still revisit this game from time to time, 25+ years after it was first released. Outside of Phantasy Star III not being my favorite, the Phantasy Stari II and the first one in the series aren’t bad selections.

Other Great Sega Genesis Games: Shining Force

If you are looking for a Legend of Zelda type RPG on the Sega Genesis. Hands down, Crusader of Centy is a must-play! Unfortunately, Crusader of Centy is going to cost a pretty penny to buy these days, but it’s really the best Zelda clone without a huge challenge. A few good platformer RPG’s would be Cadash & Exile, I’d probably would choose to play Cadash on the turbografx 16 though, as it’s a better port of the game.

Another one of the awesome genesis RPGs game series to get into would be Ys, as Ys III: Wanderers from Ys would be a good addition to this list. The Ys series was on many of the earlier 90s consoles, from the Super Nintendo, and Sega Master System. If you have the Sega Master converter for your Sega Genesis, the Wonder Boy series is a solid choice.  

Of course, you can never go wrong with some classics. A couple other genesis RPGs series which are worth playing would be Gauntlet and Shining Force Series. I’ve never played Gauntlet IV, but read was wonderful as it does include RPG elements into the game. With Shining Force II being one of my favorites, the game gives you some great dungeon crawling adventures mixed with some turn-based strategy Role Playing Game elements which are always fun!

Before I close

You can read a good resource from racketboy. Which provides a great list of Best Sega Genesis RPGs that are not mentioned here. Hopefully this list is a great reference for you, did I miss anything? Which Role Playing Games from the Genesis era do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments and until next time, happy gaming!

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Comments 1

Guest - Smaddy on Wednesday, 07 April 2021 15:25

Agree with the whole list. Shining in the Darkness is especially a treat.

Agree with the whole list. Shining in the Darkness is especially a treat.
Friday, 19 July 2024