1. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
So I got the Genesis bundle that came with this one and the first Sonic instead of the Joe Montana football game and haven't been happier for it. Both Sonic games were a welcome change of platformer excitement from Super Mario, however the greater depth added in the sequel (as well as probably the first example of drop-in, drop-out co-op play) puts it a little bit ahead of its precursor. Good music, good game play and a cohesive story, not much to say on this one beyond it was fun and awesome.
2. Earthworm Jim
This game came out on both 16-bit systems, however the Genesis version packed a bonus level. That reason alone makes this a favorite over the SNES version to me. A platformer shooter from the warped mind of Douglas TenNaple about a space suit mutating a common earthworm to fight against the evils of the galaxy to rescue Princess What's-Her-Name (A nice little stab at the genre staple there) that included great music and sounds, quirky and unique character design and very awkward humor. (Cow launching as part of level progression, wtf?) This game made me a fan of Mr. TenNaple's work and I try to follow everything he has developed since.
3. Mutant League Football
Speaking of sports games. While I was not a big time sports enthusiast, this one right here got my attention. I did end up with the Joe Montana game that had the digitized voice (Mon-tan-ah back ta pass), but this one will be my favorite title based on the idea of chucking a pigskin down the field to sweaty guys slamming into one another. Taking the idea of football to an over the top violent extreme, not only were there injuries, but also fatalities. the players themselves were skeletons, mutants or other types of alien monsters and the respective coaches themselves were just as off-the-wall. I hear the hockey game carries a similar amount of the humor and absurd violence, but the cartoon television series was a bit of a downer (Yet kept some of the violence).
4. Mortal Kombat
Another game that launched for both systems simultaneously, and the Genesis one ended up being superior. Not due to the sound or graphics, oh, but that infamous hidden cheat. See, when MK moved from arcades to home systems, there was a big legal stink about the level of violence in the game. Blood flying with crazy uppercuts, dismemberment, impaling, all the stuff MK was made famous for certainly should not be allowed in our own homes. So, when Akklaim got the rights to port to the home systems, they made the blood turn gray (for sweat? I dunno) and toned down all the Fatalities (Johnny Kage's Foot-in-chest of dewm!) Except for the Genesis. While on the surface it played the same, but after entering "ABACABB", you could now send the blood flying, rip out hearts and tear off heads with impunity. Take that, censorship!
5. Disney's Aladdin
I seem to have based my picks upon which system I got the game for on a lot of these, huh? See, Aladdin also came out on the SNES as well as the Genesis and again, while the SNES boasts better graphics and sound quality, it is the Genesis version that had animators incorporate their drawings directly into the game. This lends a greater feeling of fluidity and similarity to the movie. Also, Aladdin had a sword in the Genesis version. Nintendo sure did its best to try to distance itself from more mature themes, didn't it?