Top 10 SEGA Genesis Soundtracks

July 24, 2011

Editorials, Top 10

Sega Genesis, a console that rivaled the Super Nintendo and truly started the concept of “Console Wars” (nowhere near as bad as it is today with the PS3 vs 360 though).  The Sega Genesis had some really excellent games with exceptional soundtracks, as well as some terrible games that still maintained great soundtracks.  This week’s “Top 10 Soundtracks” may have a few titles that you’re not expecting or you may have completely forgotten about.  Here’s my top 10 soundtracks that stood out to me the most during the Genesis era.


– Superman

If you played the Superman game for the Sega Genesis, you’ll know that it was a pretty bad game.  Stiff controls, poor gameplay design and outrageous difficulty made this game well…not so super.  However, it did have a saving grace…it’s soundtrack.  Even if the game was bad, I made sure to keep playing it to listen in on the awesome soundtrack.  The boss song alone was just…well, have a listen below and you’ll probably understand why the soundtrack is that good!


– Streets of Rage 2

One of the best Sega Genesis titles that had one of the best soundtracks not only for the Genesis, but out of every game out there for any console.  Streets of Rage 2 had an extremely dynamic soundtrack from composer Yuzo Koshiro that really helped make this already brilliant game achieve a true “masterpiece” status.  By infusing a club-style score, this was one soundtrack that you could listen to at any place, any time.


– Sonic and Knuckles

Back in the days where Sonic was recognized as a signature franchise, his titles boasted great soundtracks.  While this one was a tough decision, Sonic and Knuckles was the one that was most memorable for me.  Every single track was brilliantly composed to perfectly fit each zone throughout the game.  Sure, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the one that many people cherish but I personally felt Sonic and Knuckles had a better soundtrack thanks to the fact that every single song stood out.


– Earthworm Jim

Shiny Entertainment’s first big title, Earthworm Jim was ahead of it’s time offering diverse gameplay mechanics, wacky humor, state-of-the-art character animations and a terrific soundtrack.  Sure, the game was very frustrating at points, but will still remain a classic.  GROOVY!


– Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master

Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master was one of the best 2D platformers to ever grace the Sega Genesis.  It dramatically improved on the gameplay mechanics of Revenge of the Shinobi by offering more variety in gameplay, much tighter controls, beautiful visuals and a soundtrack that certainly deserves a spot in the hall of fame of game soundtracks (yes, I know I just made that up).  Also, name another game where a Ninja fights his enemies while riding a jet surfboard to awesome music…yeah, didn’t think you could.


– Vectorman

Vectorman was released towards the end of the 16-bit era but pushed the Genesis past it’s limits.  Blue Sky Software really pushed the hardware by offering top-notch visuals, intuitive gameplay and a soundtrack worthy of it’s own CD release (which it did have).


– Castlevania: Bloodlines

The Castlevania franchise is notorious for it’s soundtracks and their single release for the Genesis certainly stood out.  It was the first time Castlevania fans were introduced to the “Iron Blue Intention” piece which was the start of a new brilliant song. It’s as incredible as “Bloody Tears” was to hear the first time you heard it while playing Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (which I mentioned in my “Top 10 NES Soundtracks”).


– Rocket Knight Adventures

Here’s a title that was extremely underrated.  I remember going to Blockbuster to rent a game and picking this out.  My brother at the time didn’t think it was going to be that great and questioned my choice…until we actually played it.  Rocket Knight Adventures was as perfect of a 2D platformer that one could ask for.  Colorful visuals, tight gameplay and a soundtrack that would surprise most people, Rocket Knight Adventures had it all.  Whether it was something cutesy, to something more upbeat, to a really dark boss theme and final level theme, this was one soundtrack that must be witnessed if you haven’t already.  Also, if you never played this game, shame on you…


– Contra Hard Corps

Contra Hard Corps is considered a fan favorite amongst Contra fans…and for good reasons.  It was the first Contra title to introduce choice-based gameplay that affected the story and what levels you’d play through.  It was also one of, if not the, most difficult Contra game ever made.  Just from the opening level and music alone, you knew that you were in for a hell of game, both in difficulty and gameplay.


– TMNT Hyperstone Heist

No matter how you slice it, TMNT games back in the 90’s had excellent soundtracks to boot with it.  Similar to what I stated about Super Mario Bros 3’s soundtrack in my “Top 10 NES Soundtracks” article, this was another game that I’d hum or whistle the music to.  Classic music to a classic game.  By the way, this song below should play in every elevator I walk into from now on…


Agree or disagree with my selection?  Be sure to sound off your thoughts in the comments!

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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11 Comments on “Top 10 SEGA Genesis Soundtracks”

  1. R17 Says:

    What a great list! Streets of Rage is my personal favorite here but I must say Vector man was very unexpected. I forgot how original and cool the score was especially for that time period! Also Shinobi 3 was a great track as well. cool article Glacier!


  2. RockN Says:

    Great article. 🙂 Looking forward to the next one.


    • Glacier928 Says:

      Thanks! Every Sunday will be a new “Top 10” article 🙂 The main theme for now is “soundtracks for each console.” Once that theme is done, we’ll cover another theme for “Top 10.”


  3. Michael Grella Says:

    I still have and play these games . Michael Jackson game should be up there to.


    • Glacier928 Says:

      I actually never played the Michael Jackson cause well…it just seemed like an odd concept. However, I was aware that many people were impressed that they were able to convert his tracks into 16-bit form. I may have to check it out one of these days.


  4. shnozlak Says:

    All right let me nerd out on you for a sec and set some things straight!!

    Beyond Oasis has the most cinematic music of any game on the genesis:
    (individual tracks dont make sense alone so here are the first 6 minutes of the game)

    Batman and Robin has HANDS DOWN the best music on genesis flat out. Seriously this isnt just good genesis music this is amazing techno no matter how you slice it: No other game of the 16bit era has sound this FAT.

    on par with or surpassing Castlevania Bloodlines (which you selected the lamest track from) is Dragon’s Fury (this also happens to be one of the most visually interesting games on the system):

    Gunstar Heroes should be on that list SOMEWHERE

    As should Thunder Force IV

    As for S3&K
    gotta go with Lava Reef as the better tune

    And goddamn man I love EWJ but the music is really basic and flat.

    Love it or hate it I dont know how you can write a Genesis music piece without bringing up the minimalist P-Funk inspired jams of Toejam and Earl:


    • Glacier928 Says:

      I have to say you gave this comment quite a lot of effort! Keep in mind, this “Top 10” article was based entirely on my opinion as the games I mentioned are titles I grew up with. The ones you listed also had stellar tracks, no question (especially the Batman & Robin track, that one is insanely awesome). Everyone will always have their own “Top 10” and for this category, these were my personal choices.

      Thanks again for checking it out and commenting with your own Top 10 list (which is really good as well)!


  5. k Says:

    great list! esp streets of rage.
    i’d like to see maximum carnage and columns on that list too!


  6. Debbie Says:

    Can someone please email me at and tell me what was the name of the Sega game, where you could ride on bikes, or skateboards, or bodyboards, and race thru the streets? Seems like you were in other countries..Im going nuts trying to find this game. I thought it had the word Xtreme in the title, but I cant find it.


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