Hiyo, everyone! As some of you may have heard, yesterday Capcom announced Mega Man 11, currently slated to be released near the end of 2018. Since I have always loved the Mega Man series, I thought I’d celebrate by posting a top 5 list of my favorite Mega Man games and why I like them! By the way, I’m making this post in addition to another review I plan on posting this week, so keep your eyes open for that!
For this list, I will focus only on the Mega Man Classic and X series. That’s because, while I’ve played some of the games in the other 5 Mega Man series, I haven’t given them the same amount of attention as I have Classic and X, so I feel that if I included them, my judgment would be biased. I’ll also avoid using any compilation games on this list, ’cause that would just feel kind of cheap. =p
Of course, this list reflects only my opinion, so don’t worry if your favorite isn’t on my list; that may just mean I haven’t had the same experience with it as I have with these!
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
5. Mega Man X3 (SNES version)
I first played Mega Man X3 ages ago, and, boy, it was tough! I remember struggling to kill my first boss even though I was aiming for the ones people said were easiest, and at the time, the experience made me very cross! xD But, once I was finally able to get my foot in the door, I found myself with a vast set of levels to explore and a diverse cast of enemies to defeat. I’ll never forget how hyped I was the first time I found Vile’s Lair!
A plethora of hidden items are strewn throughout the game, which I love; scavenger hunts have always been my thing. The only downside was the existence of a few upgrade capsules that, if collected, prevent you from later obtaining the best armor in the game. Not cool, Capcom! But the thrill actually getting that armor on later playthroughs (as well as a certain green buster upgrade~) was lovely, and the ending was cool. Speaking of, the reason I singled out the SNES version of this game as a favorite is because of the music that plays during the start of the credits, while all the enemies from throughout the game are displayed. That music always got me so hyped up, but they changed it for the re-release! So silly!
4. Megaman and Bass
And here we move on to a less known gem! Megaman and Bass, released only for the GBA in the U.S., is graphically similar to Mega Man 8, and even reuses a couple of MM8’s Robot Masters, but there’s one key difference – at the start of the game, you choose between Mega Man and Bass and play through the entire game as that character! The two have very different abilities (Mega Man can charge his attacks and slide, whereas Bass can rapid-fire his weapon in 7 directions and double jump), and throughout the game’s stages, there are paths open to only a certain character. Many of those paths lead to some of the 100 collectible CDs, which I took great pleasure in hunting down! (Mostly. >.>)
The thing about this game that really hit me was that, even compared to X3, it’s hard. It took me a really long time to finally clear the game on the GBA, without the use of save states or anything, but victory was so gratifying! I ended up beating the game several times with each character, and every time I did, it cheered me up a little! If you haven’t played Megaman and Bass before and you’re able to get a hold of a copy, I highly recommend it!
3. Mega Man 4
I think I may be considered a bit weird for liking Mega Man 4 more than 2 or 3, but I can’t help it; I’ve just always liked this game! It’s definitely easier than Mega Man 3, but not yet as easy as Mega Man 5 and 6 would prove to be. I thought the difficulty was a good balance and enjoyed exploring the game’s many stages. And, to my delight, there were things to be found! Mega Man 4 hides two completely optional abilities, and I found figuring out the best uses for them to be an absolute joy.
This is also the first Mega Man game to feature two fortresses at the end. Even though it was pretty obvious that Wily was behind everything, it was nice to have twice as many stages to play through, and some of the bosses featured in them were quite unique. Of the first four classic Mega Man games, this one sticks with me most!
2. Mega Man Powered Up
Here’s a game you may not have heard of! Mega Man Powered Up is a remake of the original Mega Man exclusive to the PSP. While its chibi art style may be off-putting to some (personally, I liked it =p), the game makes up for its visual change in direction by offering completely new stages in place of the originals as well as adding two more Robot Masters – Oil Man and Time Man. Despite being a remake, Mega Man Powered Up offers a truly unique experience. You can also play through the game on three separate difficulties, so an appropriate challenge is available to newcomers and veterans alike.
Then there’s my favorite part of the game – the playable characters! Not only can you play as Mega Man, but also Protoman, all 8 Robot Masters, Roll (who attacks with a broom), and Rock (an unarmed, unarmored version of Mega Man who kicks his way to victory!) This gives the game an incredible amount of replayability and also adds to the challenge; there’s nothing quite like playing as a Robot Master and fighting the one who weakens you!
Mega Man Powered Up also offers a mode where you could construct your own levels, but due to the limited amount of available pieces and some silly restrictions, that mode didn’t really take off. Nonetheless, if you haven’t played this game and can get your hands on it, I highly recommend it!
1. Megaman X
Okay, no surprises here. Mega Man X is among the most beloved games in the franchise, and it’s my favorite, too. Everything about the game is just tuned so marvelously; when I first played, everything from the ability to dash to the chargability of Maverick weapons felt ultra cool! Mega Man X starts off strongly with an intro stage ending with an unwinnable boss fight with a very cool enemy. That got me hooked from the outset, and the game just got better and better!
Difficulty-wise, Mega Man X is unexceptional for a Mega Man game. It’s tough in places, but not brutal, and if you choose to tackle the “correct” first boss, it’s easy enough to make progress. There are items hidden throughout the game that incentivize exploration, and the soundtrack is just killer. From my first time playing and to this very day, Mega Man X is a blast to play through, and for that reason, it is my favorite Mega Man game!
What about you? What are your favorite games in the series? Have you played all the ones I listed? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for reading!