games / Columns

The Top 8 Sega Franchise Games: Sonic the Hedgehog, Warhammer 40,000, More

June 23, 2020 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Sonic 3 Knuckles

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about Sega games. While Sga may not be as important as it was in the early to mid 90’s, they are still an extremely popular developer/publisher with a healthy list of properties to their name. With that said, I haven’t played a lot of actual Sega franchises, or my history with them is a tad spotty. Like, I’ve never played a Phantasy Star, or Streets of Rage game. So, here is just my list of their best games in a respective franchise. Enjoy:

#8: Echo the Dolphin: Defender of the Future

Echo was never a great franchise, to be honest. The first two Genesis games were incredibly hard because of how unclear the missions were. The Dreamcast Echo game though, was actually playable/enjoyable. For one, it looked pretty good, giving you a nice underwater environment for you to roam around in. The game’s controls also helped, making Echo feel more realistic in the setting. Also, the objectives you had were actually understandable to the player, so you could complete the game, which was nice.

#7: Crazy Taxi

The game that made The Offspring be popular, let’s be honest here. If it wasn’t for Offspring and Bad Religion’s songs, this game wouldn’t nearly be as revered as it is now. The Xbox 360/PS3 re-release omitted the soundtrack, which made those versions suck. Crazy Taxi is almost the definition of a “Quarter-Muncher” arcade machine. You can’t really beat it, it’s solely designed to suck money from you because there really is no “ending”. Still, picking up passengers and dropping them off is fun, especially with the exaggerated car physics. Also, Crazy Taxi just had a nice and cartoony style that was fun to look at.

#6: Puyo Puyo Tetris

I’ve probably said this before but Puyo Puyo Tetris was the reason I bought a PS4 in 2015. I didn’t think the game would ever come out in America (though it later did), so I bought an import copy from Play-Asia and loved it. While I’m not so hot on the Puyo Puyo side of things, I love the Tetris aspect. The music is great, the game is colorful, and it has a real good hook on actually being Tetris, which is nice, since a lot of recent Tetris games seem to get it wrong. I think I own this game on PS4, Switch and PC, so you can tell I’m a fan.

#5: Endless Legend

To me, I got seriously into 4X games with the start of 2010 with Civ 5. Warlock: Master of the Arcane in 2012 added some neat hooks to the formula. And Endless Legend, in 2014, was the last 4X game I really got into. The things I liked were that each “Civ” (for lack of a better term) actually played vastly different from one another. One faction is very forest dependent, while another is basically zombie-like and always aggressive, while another are basically ghosts trapped in armor. There’s a lot of flexibility in which Civ you pick, but also in how you complete the actual game. Also, visually, the game is outstanding. If you zoom out on the map, it looks like the intro sequence from Game of Thrones and that is rad.

#4: Yakuza 0

There have been a lot of Yakuza games but the one that got it to click with me, and most other people it seems, is Yakuza 0. I think a big reason I like it is due to the different play styles you have. Both Kiryu and Majima play differently from each other, which helps provide a nice contrast between each character. I love the experience system where you buy new moves with money, and how you can break that system with certain weapons (electric shotgun) and enemies (Mr. Shakedown). Also, I just did the 1980’s aesthetic to the game, the later Yakuza games are set in the present day, and while they look nice, they also lose some of the personality that Yakuza 0 had.

#3: Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 – Retribution

I loved the original Dawn of War 2 and Chaos Rising, but Retribution was a big step up for the franchise. The other two games just had you playing as the heroic Blood Ravens as you did the story campaign. In Retribution, there are 6 different campaigns: Blood Ravens, Orks, Eldar, Tyranid, Chaos and Imperial Guard. While the campaigns are definitely shorter than the campaigns of the previous game, they are more flexible in terms of units and motivations. Also, it’s just fun to stomp around as an Ork, looking for a good hat. “The Last Stand” multiplayer mode was also great, having you team up with two different factions as you survive waves of increasing enemies.

#2: Sonic the Hedgehog 3 + Knuckles

I’m counting both these games as “one” game, because that was the original plan, before other factors got in the way. Sonic 3/Knuckles is some damn good platforming action, letting you play with three characters who all have different abilities and paths to take. There’s also a lot of variety between stages, be it in a casino, icy world, or a forest full of giant mushrooms to jump on. It’s also fairly long, maybe not as long as Mario World, but there were plenty of secrets for you to find and emeralds to collect. To me, this is still probably the best Sonic game of all time.

#1: Persona 5 Royal

Original Personal 5 is damn near a perfect game, albeit one with some really annoying trophies to collect. Royal fixes this issue by having most trophies extremely easy to get, and even the “difficult” ones, really aren’t so. It’s also added new characters, a new dungeon, new gameplay mechanics, and a whole host of other stuff to turn an already great game into something even better. I’m replaying it again now, even though I almost did a 100% playthrough on my first run, just to get the remaining last bits, and see what things I missed.

For comments, list your favorite Sega games or franchises and why.

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Top 8 Games from Namco Franchises