The Sega Saturn was a bad and failed system for its time, the games were lackluster than its PS1 and N64 competitors. The Saturn was justifiably rejected by people because of its lack of games in the west, so ultimately the console was forced into an early grave by the Dreamcast, and it was a dark day for Sega. And because it didn't sell very well, prices for games and accessories have been inflating a lot lately. Almost like the company's 3DO or Jaguar.
Note: There are certain games in the PAL region that were not optimized for 50 hertz monitors. For a list of games that were either optimized for PAL regions or not, refer to this guide.
Refer to this guide for games that had revisions and decide which to buy or pirate.
Sega Saturn Games - NTSC-U/PAL
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean
A turn-based RPG about some kid, Pike, who saw his parents get assraped by monsters when he was an infant and afterwards he was raised by furries (harpies). Then, his adopted sister is turned to stone and it's up to him and a TALKING SWORD to find the cure and stop those evil magicians from turning the world's races against each other and resurrecting the ancient god, Vlag. YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS GAME.
A neat platformer regarding goddesses, life, creation, and crap like that. Very fun as you go around punching enemies, throw objects at them, or use your fucking pinball of a bird to destroy them (the second). The downside is that you only have one continue and three hit points instead of the Japanese version's five, although it does help is longevity as this game is really short.
This is a strange tile-based puzzle game that came out on different systems, originally for the SEGA Titan Video (TV) arcade systems. The concept revolves around feeding animals food, which helps you beat the other player somehow. Unlike the other versions, this one has extra modes and prettier graphics.You might like it if you've played something like Puyo Puyo.
Also on SEGA Master System/Game Gear and PC (online probably doesn't work anymore unless someone revived the servers).
Battle Arena Toshinden URA
A fighting game with swords. What more can you ask for? Although, in this game, you can no longer pussy your way out of every damn attack by dodge rolling.
Like the title says. You're a Bug and you do a lot of 2.5D platforman. Has a level where you can race Sonic the Hedgehog in his Sonic & Knuckles sprite. Really shoddy graphics compared to now. Has a sequel BUG TOO!
Also came out on PC, but good luck finding it!
Sequel to Bug! More platforman and whatnot.
In the near future, the world will face an ultimate evil. FUCKING FIRES. It's up to you to save all the citizens, collect crystals, and extinguish those flames with a man on a jetpack. Has neat platforming as well as TPS. It plays better than it sounds. Godlike intro music.
Part one of a platformer with a toy-theme. Probably the first game to pioneer a key as a weapon which is a nice little history lesson. Pretty cool, but a bit average. Still fun though.
Is bundled with CK2 as part of the Pepperouchau no Fukubukuro package, and it includes additional games, extras and bug fixes, so that's more preferred.
Clockwork Knight 2
Part two. You can play as your rival from the first as well.
Is bundled with part one as part of the Pepperouchau no Fukubukuro package, and it includes additional games, extras and bug fixes, so that's more preferred, even though the North American release is based on this version. European version, not so much, so avoid that one if you can.
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
3D Platforman / FUCK YEAH CROC
Awesome platformer from Fox Interactive and Argonaut. You'll have a really great time with this game, and the only downside is Croc's control. (This fucker moves like a tank.) Also on PS1, PC and GameBoy Color. (GBC port is shitty as hell.)
Warning, the Saturn port will glitch up if not started correctly!
Warp's first US release is a good one. You're some chick who's looking around a mansion for her father whose gone insane and barricaded himself from anyone. Explore the place, and even have some "oh shi-" moments coming your way. Not the best game out there, more of an acquired taste depending on what kind of games you like. Also on PS1, 3DO, and DOS.
Has two sequels: Enemy Zero (SAT/PC) and D2 (Dreamcast). Both are worth checking out.
Shoot 'em up
Fuck yeah, Darius! Guide your ship through multiple paths, fighting giant fish robots along the way. Also, this is one of ZUN's favorite games so all your Touhou friends owe an obligation to play this.
Platformer / Puzzle / Action
Unrelated to Landstalker, despite playing similarly at times. Noted for having segments of "platform, jumping, puzzle, adventure and fighting". Curiously each of these segments are separated from each other. The most notable factor about this game are its multiple scenarios. Getting to each depends on the outcome the prologue scenario, which the player may deliberately or accidentally choose a course of action. This offers a neat bit of replay value.
Athlete Kings (EU)
Sports 'n' shit, in 60fps no less.
Also available on PS2. Has a sequel of sorts called "Winter Heat", also on the Saturn and PS2, if you're curious to check it out.
Note: The Japanese version contains a character from the manga Decathlon, and for copyright reasons, he was removed in international versions of the game. For a more swift kick in the nuts (at least for U.S. and Canada), one of the characters, Jef Jansens, was removed in the North American version of both this and Winter Games. What the fuck, SOA?
Die Hard Arcade
Beat 'em up
Cops fight terrorists using hand-to-hand skills, along with whatever forms of weaponry they come across. Quick Time Events give you a potential heads up on enemies. The sequel is known as Dynamite Cop and on the Dreamcast.
Dragonball Z The Legend
Great DBZ game for everyone who's a fan of the show. Covers the whole story of DBZ.
Also available on the PS1, but in Japan only.
RTS / Tactics
Fuck year, Dragon Force. Nothing to do with that band (this came out years before), this strategy game has you choose one of 8 kingdoms to play as and follow each of their stories. Each kingdom has a certain type of troop they specialize with.
Duke Nukem 3D
Duke in his 3D outing. About as good as you'd expect on a PC, just with a Saturn controller. Always bet on Duke!
Bonus level at the end is amazing. You can unlock Death Tank Zwei if you destroy every toilet or have quake.
Earthworm Jim 2
A slight touch-up of the 16-bit versions, the most notable addition being the higher quality audio. Also features a really goofy looking CG Jim in certain cinematic scenes, but as 2D as ever in-game (Hey, it WAS the 90's. Everyone and their dog jumped on the 3D Gravytrain.).
Most survival horror games back then were the same, walk around and look for shit in a overhead view, find items, and shoot some monsters once in a while. Enemy Zero is different from that. It has a similar plot like Alien, in which some aliens escape onto a space ship in the future. The thing about this game is that it uses little to no sight distance, limits on your saves and loads, and a difficult yet rewarding shooting system to scare the shit out of you. The only thing that lets you know a alien is there is a chime that gets stronger if you are near one. And no, there is no health bar. Once an alien touches you, you're fucked. The FMVs and voices were great for it's time and it really isn't obvious why this game is 3 fucking discs long. All in all, a great game by the late-Kenji Eno and Warp.
Exactly what it says on the box. Take VF2 (with some VF3 moves), combine it with Fighting Vipers (No PepsiMan sadly), and this game is the result. Two Modes of play (Virtua Fighter or Fighting Vipers). There's also shittons of unlockable characters and outfits as well (Yes, you can play as the Hornet car from Daytona USA).
One of the other fighting games made by Sega after Virtua Fighter blew up. Has a more looser feel to the fighting, a more Rock & Roll attitude to it. Also includes breakable armour and arenas.
Japanese version is pretty notable for including motherfucking PEPSIMAN (theme included) as an exclusive hidden character (Hint: Lose your first match in the game).
Also available on the PS2 (via SEGA AGES), PSN, and XBLA (Xbone compatible). Has a sequel on the DC if you like this.
Galactic Attack / RayForce
Shoot 'em up
A superb shooter for the Saturn with many power-ups and a lock on system. A game to try out if you're a fan for shooters or just own a Saturn in general.
Golden Axe: The Duel
Not too shabby, but a curious genre shift. Give it a shot if you like the series. Just don't expect any beat 'em up-an action.
Beat 'em up / RPG
YES. You know it, you love it, if you don't, you're gonna. Choose your characters from an assorted cast. The game has multi-planar combat with groups of foes, but also makes things interesting by having multiple routes of stages to go to, meaning you have a whole variety of playthroughs to take on. The RPG elements are mainly just boosting your skills up through stats. It's all action otherwise.
House of the Dead
Rail Shooter/Light Gun
Shoot zombies, RELOAD, RELOAD. Almost arcade perfect.
Sequel on Dreamcast, Wii, Xbox (via HotD3) and PC.
World War 2 Simulator where you can play as United States, Nazi Germany, or Japan, and change the outcome of every battle in the war.
Keio Flying Squadron 2
Sequel to the Sega CD shmup. Concentrates much more on platforming than shmup action though. You might like it more or less because of this, but it still manages to keep its Parodius-esque spirit alive and well.
One of the other fighting games Sega put out after Virtua Fighter blew up. Think of it as Virtua Fighter meets Battle Arena Toshinden. Has a bit of an Anime style to the character designs. Japanese release has an extra disc of bonus material (moves list, character bios, training modes).
Also available on the PC and PS2 (via SEGA AGES).
Top Down Shooter
THIS GAME IS BRO AS FUCK. Basically you play as one of a handful of characters killing guards and insane patients in some sort of mental hospital. THAT'S THE FIRST GODDAMNED LEVEL. The music is annoying and repetitive as fuck, but extremely goddamned catchy. It has multiplayer, so you and a bro can fuck shit up together. Also on PS1.
released in Europe as Torico.
The Story is about A traveler called Fred who finds himself imprisoned in Misty Town jail. He came to the village in search of answers to his past, a past of which he has no recollection. On his head, he bears a crescent-shaped tattoo. In his cell, Fred meets the strange and seemingly all-knowing Anthony, who tells him of the legends of the City of Moons.
Magic Knight Rayearth
FUCK YEAH. Don't know about MKR? You don't know shit about 90's anime. That aside, this action-RPG is relatively solid. Each of your girls has different specialties in weapons and elements, making for a slightly more strategic experience. Plays akin to a Zelda/Ys type of game. Has cutscenes along with that Working Designs charm. Notorious for taking FUCKING FOREVER to come out in US.
NOT to be confused with the SNES game based on the same series, even though that one is good too.
Marvel Super Heroes
Classic Capcom fightan but instead of X-Men you have more than just X-Men; stuff like Spiderman, Captain America, The Hulk, etc. The Japanese version had Anita from Darkstalkers as a playable character via cheats, but for some reason she was removed from international versions.
Also in America on the PS1, and was part of the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins compilation for PSN and XBLA (includes Anita this time around) before being pulled off digital stores in 2014.
You play as a undead jazz blues musician who has to stop an undead group of assholes who want to take over the world. Of course like every platformer you gotta help Mr. Bones kick evils ass back to hell. A fun game for anyone into the platformer scene.
The Japanese version has fixed cutscene resolution and lowered difficulty
MegaMan 8 Anniversary Collector's Edition
Action / Platformer
Megaman 8, same as the one on the PlayStation, but with a few extras such as a mini-stages with Woodman and Cutman. Also, has a far superior Tengu Man stage song, though you're free to disagree. Really don't know why this version got cut out of every re-release, as it's the superior version.
Action / Platformer
Mostly the same as the SNES version, but now has a few cutscenes, along with a delicious CD-quality soundtrack, with damn near every song being remixed or rearranged. Available on the PS1 but both of these remixed versions were released in Europe and Japan only. But don't sweat it; it was ported to the X Collection on GC/PS2 so you can see its enhanced version in America for the first time.
Action / Platformer
Unlike Megaman 8 its an exact port of the PlayStation version. Still a fun game, has a great soundtrack. The voices are kind of hit and miss. But hey, it was a 90's Capcom game y'know? Also available on PC, the Mega Man X Collection for PS2/Gamecube, and the MMX Legacy Collection for PS4/XBOne/Switch/PC.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
All the characters from the first 3 MK games in one solid pack! Just look at dat list! Fun too if you love MK.
Basicly an updated MK3.
Mystaria: The Realms of Lore
The player controls Aragon and his party to try to reclaim the land to free the people. Aragon's mother, the Queen of Queensland, has been placed under a spell by Lord Bane and has handed her country over to him. Lord Bane has complete control over her and she believes that the prince and the others are traitorous rebels.
Night Warriors: Darkstalker's Revenge
Sequel to the first Darkstalkers. It has a crazy cast of characters that are really detailed. It's only on the Saturn, so PS1 fans who want all 3 games will just have to get a Saturn.
Nights Into Dreams
Fly through rings and shit. Known for being one of the "killer apps" of the system back in the day. Has a pseudo-sequel of sorts on the Wii, but opinions are mixed on that one, while damn near everyone likes this one.
Also ported to PS2 including a version with enhanced graphics, and the regular Saturn (crappy visuals) as well. Therefore is recommended to get the PS2 version. The PS2 version was ported in HD on PC, PS3 and XBox 360.
Nights, but with Christmas themed outfits, rings, and stages. Happy Holidays!
You can play as Sonic in this one!
Unlocked in the updated HD version, albeit without the ability to play as Sonic.
You ride a dragon and shoot down enemies. Fuck yes. Each of these were known for being relatively hard to find, but also rather fun. Heavily inspired by Jean Giraud's Arzach, which explains the series' unique visual style. Movement is very similar to Star Fox in that only the boss battles are free range.
Also on the 2500 Collection for PS2 with enhanced graphics, as well as the option for the original graphics. 2500 collection games are Japan only though! You can get this on both the PC and on Panzer Dragoon Orta For Xbox.
Panzer Dragoon II Zwei
Much more depth than the previous entry with alternate routes, extra attacks, and an evolving dragon that changes based on your performance.
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Free roaming exploratory levels either on foot or by dragon with loads to do. Your dragon evolves here too like in Zwei and Orta. Battles are turn based but with real time maneuvering that lets you angle attacks and perform certain strategies and may include multiple enemies that generally have multiple points which you can combat using your attacks, items, or berserks (spells).
This baby usually goes for over $250Ha ha try $540 minimum, on auctions, probably because of its rarity (10,000 or so copies produced). Then again, being one of the best RPGs ever made may also have something to do with that.
Cute 'em up
Konami's self-parody of Gradius. Features similar stages and enemy types, but disguised as much goofier variants, such as a cat-battleship, and sweets factory, and more. Has higher quality sound and multiplayer, IIRC.
You're in Egypt, in a town infested by mummies, Anubis soldiers, scorpions, and other evil spirits, and its up to you to kick some mummy ass. Sounds cool, right? You better believe it.
Known as "Exhumed" in Europe, the Saturn PAL release and the PS1 version do not include the bonus game Death Tanks.
Note: This is a completely different game from the DOS version that plays more like a straightforward shooter, get from point A to point B.
There was an unofficial remake of the Playstation called "Powerslave EX" in 2015, but the download was pulled offline.
Source Code is still available
Fuck year, Rayman! This game showed us all that 2D gaming wasn't dead. Fun as fuck but it can also be hard as hell sometimes. Has an awesome sequel.
Also available on PS1, the Atari Jaguar, and DOS (both the GBA and DSi versions are based on the DOS version apparently).
Has some slight differences in that it uses some 3D effects at the end of the levels and has different backgrounds than PS1 on some levels.
About the same as the PlayStation version. It's just as good, no complaints, so you can have a fun time killing zombies on your Saturn.
Also ported to DS, but both the GameCube remake and its HD remaster for the PS3/PS4/360/XBOne/PC are better.
Hell yeah. Has a classic story mode that can be played with 1 or 2 players, Dinosaur helpers to ride on in place of Rooeys, and of course, battle mode! This battle mode is famous for having characters from different Hudson series, such as Master Higgins and Bonk, allowing 8 players, and even having online mode! Technically, you can play with 10 players, but this disables some of the power-ups, disables dinosaurs, and alters the stage and players slightly. It's up to you on whether you'll want to go with 8 or 10.
Sega Rally Championship (Plus / Plus NetLink Edition)
GAME OVER YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
That's really all you need to know about this game. Either way, it's a neat racing game, made none other by Sega.
Has multiple versions for this system, although the one you'll want is the PLUS edition, for it has better 3D Controller support and online multiplayer (Not like it matters to you, though).
The PC version is based on this version while the PS2 version is based on the Model 2 Arcade game. Has a sequel on the Dreamcast.
Warning: The North American version was released in an unfinished state, resulting in missing sound effects, GUI elements, and backgrounds.
Sega Worldwide Soccer
Soccer for the Saturn. That's pretty much it.
Shining Force 3
Came out in 3 scenarios. US only got Scenario 1. A fan translation exists for scenarios 2 and 3, but there are some minor bugs. While nearly all of the text is translated, it has yet to be "refined".
Shining The Holy Ark
First-person RPG. Has similarities to Golden Sun in various animations, music, and atmosphere.
Zelda like entry in the Shining series!
You're Sho, your girlfriend has been kidnapped by your bastard brother Kazuma, and it's up to you to kick some ass! While not quite as good as The Revenge of Shinobi or Shinobi III, as it ditches the pixel art in favor of digitized actors and FMVs making it look dated as hell, its also more gorier, so you'll know you're in for a helluva time.
Also known as Shinobi Legions in North America, and Shin Shinobi Den in Japan, it should be stressed that you get the European version, as the soundtrack for NTSC version is so fucking shitty that SEGA of Europe got Richard Jacques, who would later compose for Sonic R, to redo the soundtrack to sound closer to Yuzo Koshiro's composition for Revenge of Shinobi, and since Shinobi X wasn't optimized well enough for PAL consoles, it should play just fine for NTSC consoles.
Action / Space Sim
Similar to Star Fox, but more fast paced, more power-ups, and more intense. Like Star Fox, you talk to your buds throughout the mission to make you feel like you aren't playing alone.
Racing / Tails Doll / Can you feel the sunshine?
This game isn't as good as other Sonic games but is still fun to play with others. It has a GREAT soundtrack (if you like Brit pop) and has an original take on its racing techniques rather than just being a rip off of Mario Kart or useing some shitty boards. Also on PC, and on the Gamecube's (PS2 in Europe/Japan as well) Sonic Gems Collection. FUN FACT: This is the game that created that whole creepypasta "Tails Doll/Can You Feel the Sunshine?" thing.
Has the 4 main Genesis games (1, 2, 3, Sonic And Knuckles) along with full lock-on ability for Sonic and Knuckles. Works with 2 and 3 normally, and unlocks the Blue Sphere extended-mini-game with Sonic 1. There's also a 3D Sonic world to explore a bit, but nothing on Adventure's level.
Not actual ports, all the games were programmed from scratch for the Saturn! Optional spindash in sonic 1, plus easy modes!
Space Hulk: Vengeance of the Blood Angels
FPS / Strategy
A game that combines gameplay of Doom and acts similar to the old Aliens vs. Predators game. The only thing though is you have a squad with you in which you can customize your gear and fight creatures in a struggle for survival in a the Warhammer 40,000 like universe.
Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior's Dreams
First entry in the Alpha/Zero series. Very good, has a lot of new characters not seen in Street Fighter II and has great 2D graphics. Also on PS1, GameBoy Color, Arcade, PSN, and PS2 via the Street Fighter Alpha Anthology collection.
Street Fighter Alpha 2
The story of Street Fighter's origins is told through Ryu fighting an evil sonuvabitch named Akuma. You also get some Final Fight characters thrown in for some reason. It's on the Alpha Anthology Collection on the PS2 as well as the PS1, and SNES for a weird reason. Get it if you love Street Fighter and button mashin'. Named Street Fighter ZERO 2 in Japan. Better name if you ask me since it's a prequel. Alpha is the first letter in the greek alphabet, and is thus a fine name for a prequel.
Street Fighter Collection
A collection of Street Fighter games. Probably the only explanation I can give, but still awesome because of that.
The Legend of Oasis
Successor and Prequel to Beyond Oasis on the Genesis/Mega Drive. Has similar concepts of utilizing elemental spirits.
Three Dirty Dwarves
Beat 'em up
A rather silly beat 'em up where you control three dwarves, each with unique abilities, as you fight through various levels in a rather silly environment/world. The art style is pretty awesome.
Rail Shooter/Light Gun
Ever wanted to be a cop and shoot them fuckin' assheaded criminals? Well today's your lucky day because Virtua Cop has exactly that. Has a sequel that is also great (both came out on PC too).
Virtua Fighter Remix
Virtua Fighter 1, done right. Basically an apology from Sega after they rushed the original version of VF1 out the door to meet the release of the Saturn in America and Europe. Has polygon improvements, texture mapping, and improved gameplay.
Virtua Fighter 2
It has better graphics, models, more players and stages than the first game (hey, it's a fighter, of course the sequels improve upon the prequels). The killer app for the Saturn in Japan.
Also on the PS2 (via SEGA AGES), PSN, and XBLA (Xbone compatible). There's a port on the Genesis, if you like 2D fighting ports.
Virtua Fighter Kids
Cutesy Virtua Fightan. Just what you'd expect from the series. Supposedly, it was actually made to test a new facial engine at the time, but was entertaining enough to become its own game. A bit more upbeat than 2 in style, music, and gameplay.
Virtual On: Cyber Troopers
This game is the shit! Take control of a handful of robots and unleash the fury!!! Each robot has a unique arsenal of weapons to demolish your opponent in an awesome 3D fighter. In order for them to port this to the Saturn they had to get rid of crap like framerate and resolution, but don't let that stop you.
Even so, if you can't find the arcade version of this game, then this will do nicely.
Second game in the Wipeout series, a port of the Playstation version. Awesome soundtrack. Also on PC and Mac, and the last game in the series to be on a Sega console.
X-Men Children of the Atom
Capcom's first entry to Marvel fightan. Pretty good, at least this one and the sequel are in English on the Sega Saturn and PS1.