13 Best Sega Saturn Games of All Time You Should Play Today

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Getting hold of the best Sega Saturn games is a dream come true. These games give the Sega Saturn true meaning for new and old players.

Old-generation consoles are plenty. However, Sega’s 5th generation console, the Sega Saturn, fought against the best consoles of that time, including Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, leading to a great collection of the Sega Saturn games.

Before we list the best Sega Saturn games, let’s understand the impact of the Sega Saturn console on the gaming industry.

Let’s get started.

Sega Saturn Console and its Impact

In 1994, Sega released its 5th generation console, the Sega Saturn. Instantly, it changed the gaming landscape and impacted the gaming industry.

With a CD-ROM box-shaped design, it captured new gamers. At that time, it was a powerful console and provided extensive improvements over previous generations, improving graphics and gameplay. Moreover, it established Sega’s presence in the gaming market and the other two against Sony and Nintendo.

Sega-Saturn-Console
Source: Wikimedia

These made it one of the most popular consoles ever, especially in Japan. It also was the first console to offer an internet connectivity option in Japan, enabling Japanese players to participate in multiplayer games for the first time. 

Sega Saturn’s achievements include releasing the first 3D fighting game, Virtua Fighter. It also improved 2D game styles by ensuring smooth performance. 

Overall, Sega Saturn’s impact was enough though it had moderate success, as Nintendo and Sony outperformed it in sales for multiple reasons, including its high launch price of $399 and increasing development and supply chain costs. Moreover, developers also needed help to develop games for the system.

Now that you know a bit more about the console, let’s look at the best games you can play on the Sega Saturn!

Saturn Bomberman

Saturn Bomberman is one of the finest Bomberman games, where you play with up to 10 friends. It provides an adrenaline rush fight in a closed arena where players can deploy as many bombs as they want to finish off their opponents. The basic idea ensured thrilling multiplayer fun!

Saturn-Bomberman
Source: Giant Bomb

In addition, it also offered a story mode with up to two players’ support. You also get master mode, where you aim to beat multiple levels and granted ranks based on the time you took. If your time is good enough, you make it to the scoreboard.

Preview Product Rating Price
Bomberman SS [Japan Import] Bomberman SS [Japan Import] No ratings yet $146.64

The Saturn Bomberman offers a unique gameplay mechanic of dinosaur helpers. With three levels of dinosaurs at your disposal, you get an extra life, as the dinosaurs take the damage instead of you.

So, pick up Saturn Bomberman to re-live the carnage in a closed arena-type game. And you can also try out the new Bomberman, released for new console generations.

  • Developer: Hudson Soft, Eleven
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Released: August 22, 1997

Guardian Heroes

Guardian Heroes is a prime example of the best 2D side-scrolling RPG game, developed by Treasure in 1996. It embodied the essence of a true RPG where you connect closely to game characters through a rich storyline. Along your path, you also meet villains. With choice and karma-based approach, you get multiple endings, where each end can lead to a different boss, civilians, and monsters.

2-Guardian-Heroes
Source: Giant Bomb

The game offers an outstanding combat system with multiple-battlefield levels. You start by choosing from one of the five available characters. With each level up, you make your character strong.

Preview Product Rating Price
Guardian Heroes - Sega Saturn Guardian Heroes - Sega Saturn No ratings yet $189.99

Due to its popularity, it got an Xbox Live Arcade version released in 2011. It is also a cheaper alternative, considering that the original version costs a lot!

  • Developer: Treasure
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Released: March 1996

Daytona USA

Daytona USA is an arcade racer that got re-released on Sega Saturn. It captured the essence of NASCAR motor racing, bringing tracks and cars from NASCAR for players to enjoy. And it did significantly impact players as it is one of the highest-grossing arcade games out there. The game physics was also excellent, as you can drift and power slide through circuits. 

3-Daytona-USA
Source: Wikipedia

But, the Sega Saturn’s launch was riddled with problems due to port issues, leading to choppy gameplay. To compensate, Sega re-released an updated version, named Championship Circuit, that fixed those issues. However, the release changed the driving style as well.

Preview Product Rating Price
Daytona USA NR - Sega Dreamcast Daytona USA NR - Sega Dreamcast 22 Reviews $73.17

The game also utilizes a unique game mechanic known as adaptive difficulty. Here, the first lap measures the players’ skill and sets the opponent’s difficulty accordingly.

  • Developer: Sega AM2
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Released: March 1994

Street Fighter Alpha 2

For a Stree Fighter fan, there is no better place than playing Street Fighter Alpha 2 on Sega Saturn. Capcom did a commendable job offering their best fighting games on Sega. Their Alpha series showcases some of the best game mechanics and animation styles.

4-Street-Fighter-Alpha-2
Source: Wikipedia

Street Fighter Alpha 2 brought unique character mechanics focusing on the custom combo system. It is easy to adapt to but also hard to master, giving players the right platform to enjoy the game.

Preview Product Rating Price
Street Fighter Alpha 2 - Sega Saturn Street Fighter Alpha 2 - Sega Saturn No ratings yet $144.99

And, when you’re mentioning Alpha 2, it is hard to miss Street Fighter Alpha 3 which improved on an already excellent fighting game. Alpha 3 brought better animation and pacing to fights with features like Reverse Dynamic Battle mode and enhanced Dramatic battle mode.

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Released: November 1, 1996

Virtua Fighter

Virtua Fighter is one of the finest arcade fighting games. It was a launch title for Sega Saturn. With its release in 1993, it became a major commercial hit and part of the best arcade games of all time. 

5-Virtua-Fighter
Source: Wikipedia

And that’s because it brought the 3D fight to any console of that generation. The 3D fighting engine was built from scratch, offering in-depth, real-world fighting techniques.

However, Virtua Fighter 2 raised the bar further with its release, offering better roaster, graphics, and smooth animations. Sega did an excellent job porting the game to their Saturn console, ensuring optimal 60FPS.

  • Developer: Sega AM2
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Released: October 1993

Sega Rally Championship

If you’re a rally fan, then Sega Rally Championship is what you should seek. It is a popular Sega racing game with realistic handling and physics. With a resemblance to an actual Rally as you get to enter a World Championship. In the championship, you must clear three stages, Desert, Forest, and Mountain. And your ending position determines your starting position for the next course.

6-Sega-Rally-Championshiop
Source: Wikipedia

The game does lack force feedback and a rearview mirror. However, driving makes it up for it by offering excellent handling as you maneuver your car across the stages and ensure you get the best lap time. On top of that, you can also tweak your cars to suit your driving style.

Preview Product Rating Price
Sega Rally 2 Sega Rally 2 No ratings yet $79.95
  • Developer: Sega AM3
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: October 11, 1994

Burning Rangers

Firefighters are cool, and you can play as one in Burning Rangers. This fantastic game by Sonic Team is an excellent bundle of perseverance, survival, and discovery as you move across different scenarios to rescue civilians in burning buildings.

7-Burning-rangers
Source: Giant Bomb

And the best part about it is that you’ll need to find civilians using voice instructions as the game doesn’t offer any maps. All of these are made more difficult due to excellent level design that pushes you to find ways to reach the civilians in the most optimal and time-saving way.

Preview Product Rating Price
Burning Rangers [Japan Import] Burning Rangers [Japan Import] 15 Reviews $176.38
  • Developer: Sonic Team
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: May 28, 1998

Shining Force III

The Shining Force series is an excellent 3D tactical RPG title. Camelot, the developer of Shining Force, knows its audience and has released excellent games like Shining Force III. Camelot released the game in three separate releases, including Scenarios 1, 2, and 3.

8-Shining-Force-III
Source: Giant Bomb

However, parts 2 and 3 didn’t reach the Western audience as it only released in Japan. If you’re in the West, you can only play Scenario 1 in your language. And, if you’re brave enough, you can try Scenario 2 and 3 in the local Japanese language or look for translations done by the community.

Preview Product Rating Price
Shining Force III Shining Force III No ratings yet $269.97
  • Developer: Camelot Software Planning and Sonic! Software Planning
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: July 31, 1998

NiGHTS Into Dreams

NiGHTS Into Dreams is one of the top Sega Saturn games. It is a flight-based game where you fly through beautiful landscapes in a time-limited journey. Sonic Team did an excellent job on the game, ensuring a unique experience for the gamers.

9-Nights-into-dreams
Source: Giant Bomb

It all starts when you start following two teenagers. These teenagers enter Nightopia, a dream world, and it is up to you to unravel the truth. In your journey, you team up with Nights, an androgynous character.

Preview Product Rating Price
NiGHTS into dreams... [Japan Import] NiGHTS into dreams... [Japan Import] No ratings yet $99.00Amazon Prime

To get the best out of NiGHTS Into Dreams, you must utilize Sega’s analog-based 3D Controller that lets you fly across the maps with more control.

  • Developer: Sonic Team
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: July 5, 1995

Panzer Dragoon Saga

Panzer Dragoon Saga is a JRPG game set in gigantic open maps. To traverse the maps, you hop on a dragon and discover the vast areas through flying.

10-Panzer-Dragoon-Saga
Source: Giant Bomb

Team Andromeda improved on its previous two iterations and provided a better Panzer experience. Here, you play Edge, a young mercenary that meets with his dragon through a sequence of incidents where he also gets revived by mysterial light. Edge soon finds he can communicate telepathically with the dragon, and the fantastic RPG game begins.

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The game tells you an excellent story with the right mix of atmosphere and gameplay. However, you’ll find it hard to get a copy, and even if you do, you’ll need to shell out a fortune.

  • Developer: Team Andromeda
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Year: May 5, 1998

Lunar: The Silver Star Story

In Lunar: The Silver Star Story, you fight through an excellently written story to become a ‘Dragonmaster.’ It is one of the early Sega Saturn games, released in 1996.

11-Lunar-The-Silver-Star-Story
Source: Wikipedia

Despite its “not so amazing” graphics, the game offers excellent value for your time as you play Alex, a young boy from a small town. The top-down gameplay ensures high engagement set in a 2D environment. The game is also narrative-heavy with non-player characters’ interactions.

Preview Product Rating Price
Lunar: The Silver Star Lunar: The Silver Star 15 Reviews $190.81

The battle system utilizes auto-battler characteristics. Here, you set player action and moves in advance and let it play afterward.

  • Developer: Game Arts
  • Publisher: Working Designs
  • Year: December 1993

Dragon Force

Are you looking for a real-time strategy RPG that makes you sweat? If you do, check out Dragon Force, an old-school challenging game that lets you fight as a nation.

12-Dragon-force
Source: Giant Bomb

You get plenty of selections out of the box, with six characters representing different kingdoms. Once you complete the game, you get access to two more characters!

The gameplay is also well-refined with three parts: administrative mode, map mode, and battle mode. You start with administrative mode, where to assemble your castles, generals, and prisoners. In map mode, you move your army across the world map, and the battle mode is where you fight with the enemy forces.

Preview Product Rating Price
Dragon Force - Sega Saturn Dragon Force - Sega Saturn No ratings yet $348.95

This makes the game challenging, meaning you’ll need a lot of patience to play through it.

  • Developer: Sega
  • Publisher: Working Designs
  • Year: December 12, 1996

Radiant Silvergun

Radiant Silvergun is one of my favorite Sega Saturn games out there. It is a 3D shoot-em game, first released in 1998. It soon became a top arcade game of all time, with Xbox re-releasing it in 2011.

13-Radiant-Silvergun
Source: Giant Bomb

You start with a ship loaded with a lot of weapons. You can make a choice and then head out to your mission. 

These missions take you to unknown grounds, where you’ll find neatly designed platforming elements. Moreover, you can change between six different firing modes. Furthermore, it has an addictive combo system — the longer you keep it, the more adrenaline you get.

Preview Product Rating Price
Radiant Silvergun [Japan Import] Radiant Silvergun [Japan Import] No ratings yet $329.99

Overall, Radiant Silvergun is fun to play. With raving reviews, great gameplay, and a cult following, you’ll have to pay quite a lot to get hold of the original copy. If not, you can always pick up the Xbox Live Arcade version.

  • Developer: Treasure
  • Publisher: ESP
  • Year: July 23, 1998

Final Thoughts

Sega Saturn is an excellent console. Even though it didn’t become a commercial success similar to Nintendo and Sony, it gave its players the best Sega Saturn games of all time. These games are a gem and provide a collectible value to the owners. And that’s why you’ll find many of these original game CDs selling at premium pricing — which I think is worth it for the right person.

If you like old games like these, you should definitely take a look at our list of the best retro games!

Nitish Singh
Nitish Singhhttp://www.techaltair.com
For the past 20 years, Nitish has been an avid gamer. His primary focus is on PC games, but he also enjoys exploring the worlds of Nintendo, XBOX, and PlayStation. Nitish is always looking for new games to try out and is particularly fascinated with emulation.

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