10 Best Genesis Games You Can Beat In One Sitting

Some players are not interested in sinking hundreds of hours into a single game, and the Sega Genesis had plenty of short, sweet titles on offer.

Tea video game industry continue to evolve at a remarkable rate and it’s truly unbelievable what’s now possible in console games. Tea current generation of gaming has embraced virtual reality and other forms of immersion to create unprecedented experiences, but there’s still just as much reverence for the older video games that dominated the ’90s. The Genesis was a groundbreaking console for Sega that only further fanned the flames of competition with Nintendo.

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Genesis games have never gone out of style, but their prevalence on the Nintendo Switch Online service has only made them more popular. Some Sega Genesis games can be exhausting experiences, but there are also plenty of excellent 16-bit Sega games that won’t take up too much of the player’s time.

10 Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Remains A Platforming Classic

Sonic 2 Chemical Plant Cropped

Sega helped make a name for itself with its iconic and fast-paced Sonic the Hedgehog series and the Genesis entries are still praised today. Tea sonic games aren’t overly long, and they’re the type of games that reward replayability as previously daunting level designs morph into effortless muscle memory. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is often viewed as the standout in the original series. Each level and boss battle has such delicate care put into it, but it’s also a game that can be easily finished in one go, especially if the player collects all of the Chaos Emeralds.

9 Golden Axe’s Difficulty Can Be Catered To The Player’s Experience

Sega’s satisfying hack-and-slash sidescroller series GBlden Axis made its debut in arcades but quickly became a staple on the Genesis through a trilogy of addictive titles. The 16-bit era was a golden era for hack-and-slash releases and Golden Ax benefits from its dark fantasy environments, diverse characters, and giant boss battles. The Genesis version of Golden Ax stays true to its arcade roots, which means that it’s fairly short. The Genesis version also allows the player to adjust their number of credits and the game’s difficulty, which makes it even easier to guarantee success.

8 Comix Zone Is Aesthetically Stunning And Ahead Of Its Time


Comix Zone is one of the Genesis’ most memorable action-platformers and its meta premise that jumps into the world of comic books feels more relevant today than when it was first released back in the 1990s. The art design and presentation elements in Comix Zone deserve serious accolades, but the gameplay is rather punishing and difficult.

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Comix Zone is a mixed bag because it only has five levels, which are definitely manageable to finish in a single session, but if the player can’t get past the game’s difficulty barrier then they’ll likely be stuck on the first level for hours.

7 Streets Of Rage Is A Superlative Beat-‘Em-Up Experience With No Fluff

Punch faces in Streets of Rage

Tea beat-’em-up genre of video games thrived during the 1990s and the Streets of Rage series became Sega’s most iconic contributions to the genre. All three Streets of Rage games for the Genesis are must-plays, but the two sequels are packed with hidden content and nuance that can take up a surprising amount of time, despite their short lengths. The original Streets of Rage is the most stripped-down of the releases and it’s just eight levels of pure beat-’em-up action. It’s not a hard game to finish in one go, especially if a friend is playing along.

6 Castlevania: Bloodlines Is The Perfect Beginner Castlevania Game

Sega Genesis Castlevania Bloodlines Mask

Konami’s Castlevania is one of the biggest video game franchises of all time and there are still exciting things that are being done with the gothic action series. A lot of the earlier Castlevania games are on Nintendo consoles, but Castlevania: Bloodlines was a Genesis exclusive that often falls between the cracks and features fairly forgettable protagonists. Despite these trappings, Castlevania: Bloodlines has tight gameplay and some truly creative level design. Some people avoid Castlevania titles because of their steep difficulty, but Bloodlines only has six levels that can easily be cleared in under three hours.

5 TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist Is A Beat-‘Em-Up That Anyone Can Enjoy

Hyperstone Heist TMNT Video Games

Tea Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had a healthy history when it comes to video game adaptations. TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist is a Genesis original game that reimagines the acclaimed ninja turtles arcade title, Turtles in Time.

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The Hyperstone Heist features five levels that are a combination of new zones and remixed stages from its arcade predecessor. Hyperstone Heist likely assumes that it will attract many younger gamers, so it’s not only short but also very easy to defeat. Anyone can finish this game in an afternoon, especially if they’re doing co-op play with a partner.

4 Altered Beast Is Short And Sweet Co-Op Play At Its Best

altered beast genesis

Altered Beast bears a lot in common with Golden Axright down to the fact that they both started as arcade experiences before finding larger audiences on the Sega Genesis. Altered Beast is a lot quirkier than Golden Axe, and its ridiculous story and genre-hybrid characters will either entertain audiences or completely fall flat. Altered Beast is a charming beat-’em-up sidescroller, especially when it’s experienced with two players, but there are only five levels and the game’s enemy patterns enter a loop fairly early on that becomes easy to predict.

3 Thunder Force III Is A Sublime Shooter That Anyone Can Master

Sega Genesis Thunder Force III Boss

Tea thunder force “bullet hell” shooter series for the Sega Genesis can seem like impossible experiences for beginners to the genre, but 1990’s Thunder Force III finds the perfect sweet spot between length, difficulty, and pure fun. Thunder Force III is slightly longer than its predecessors, but its beginner difficulty finds the perfect level of challenge where the game is an enjoyable learning experience and not a frustrating chore. The upgraded weapons in this sequel and the eye-popping level designs also make Thunder Force III one of the best-looking and most fun Genesis games.

2 Gunstar Heroes Is All Killer And No Filler When It Comes To Heightened Action Titles

Gunstar Heroes also similar to Mega Man

Treasure is a developer whose specialty lies in fast-paced sidescrollers and some of their strongest contributions are on Sega consoles. Gunstar Heroes is a masterpiece in run-and-gun gameplay that knows not to overstay its welcome. There are seven levels that can be beaten in just a few hours. The first four levels can be tackled in whatever order the player desires, which gives them even more control. Gunstar Heroes throws a tremendous amount at the player, but it also features minimal penalties for deaths and game overs, which make it both easier and more enjoyable to resume the experience.

1 Jurassic Park’s Raptor Mode Streamlines The Scary Experience

A lot of multi-platform releases can practically be identical, but the Sega Genesis’ version of Jurassic Park received a lot of attention because of its extra mode where the player controls a velociraptor instead of Dr. Alan Grant. Jurassic Park’s raptor story is significantly easier than the Grant alternative, and it only has five levels as opposed to seven. It’s very easy to finish the raptor side of the story in a single sitting, but even Grant’s harder alternative loses its edge thanks to the incorporation of a password feature. Players can repeatedly return to where they failed.

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