Despite being one of the best-looking games on the console and tons of fun to play, Ristar sold well below expectations. While the titular star has shown up in plenty of other Sega games and compilations over the years, a true sequel to this bright gem seems extremely unlikely now.
2. Comix Zone
If we’re just grading on style, Comix Zone certainly deserves a top spot on this list. While plenty of games before (and after) have attempted to marry the look of comic books with video games, none have pulled it off so perfectly.
Comix Zone protagonist Sketch Turner swings between panels with ease. When he enters the next panel, the hand of an unseen artist draws enemies into the area. The whole thing is meant to create the illusion of playing through an “in-progress” comic book, complete with dialogue bubbles and “sound effect words.”
In a 16-bit generation riddled with copycats, Comix Zone’s graphics remain wholly unique. Unfortunately, the actual gameplay gets repetitive fast, and the controls are finicky. So while Comix Zone has its fans, it’s never going to be remembered as one of the very best Genesis games despite the fantastic graphics.
1. Dynamite Headdy
Treasure’s Dynamite Headdy isn’t exactly the most graphically advanced Sega Genesis game. Yes, the sprites look good, and there’s no real slowdown, but you could say that about a lot of games on the console. What really elevates the game above everything else on the Genesis is its art style. This is a game that never ceases to surprise with new and unique enemies, whether you’re fighting a marionette, robo-cat, or the insane, multi-stage Baby Face boss.
Sure, you can appreciate Dynamte Headdy as just a fantastic platformer, but this classic gets so surreal and goes into so many different directions that at times it feels more like a fever dream, a hazy memory of a time from the ‘90s you’re not even sure existed. But Dynamite Headdy is very, very real, and easily the best-looking game on the Sega Genesis. This is the full power of 16-bit gaming when a developer was freed to fully explore their vision.