10 Best Sega Genesis Shooting Games

Shoot 'em up with these Genesis hits.

Milan Zagorac
Milan Zagorac
8 Min Read

The Sega Genesis is full of hit games. Shooter games were popular on any console, including this one. The following 10 games are among the best Sega Genesis shooting games ever released.

While there are many more shooters that you can enjoy, these will set the tone of what you can expect from the legendary console. 


After Burner II

After Burner II is a great Genesis shooter.

Release: 1987/1990
Developer: Studio 128/Dempa
Publisher: Sega/Dempa

After Burner II is more of an update to the original After Burner than its own game. It adds throttle control and three more levels. Most people confused the two games and considered After Burner II the complete first game.

You fly an F14-Skycat (Tomcat) continuously into the screen while shooting down enemies and dodging their projectiles. There are at least 18 stages, with 3 more added by the update. It was a hit arcade game, and it did well on consoles such as the Genesis and SNES.



MUSHA is a great vertical scrolling shooter.

Release: 1990
Developer: Compile
Publisher: Toaplan/Seismic

Vertical shooters with planes were popular on all consoles, including the Genesis. A part of the Aleste series, you pilot a MUSHA mecha vehicle, combatting all sorts of enemies. There are upgrades to weapons, as well as super weapons, and drones.

Super weapons give you an extra hit and firepower. Weapons are divided into three types, while drones can fire in one of eight directions, or they can rotate around the player. MUSHA is one of the best Sega Genesis shooting games.


Bio-Hazard Battle

Bio-Hazard Battle is a unique side-scrolling shooter, one of the best Genesis shooters.

Release: 1992
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

This is a different take on a genre that was populated densely on all the consoles. You take control of four organic Biowarriors as they attempt to make Avaron, a planet, hospitable. The planet is full of deadly predators.

As a scrolling shooter, it was very fast for the time, with enemies and players moving at higher speeds. There are multiple weapons, upgrades, and characters, each of whom has different speeds and tools. It is a stand out among the many Sega Genesis shooting games.


Advanced Busterhawk Gley Lancer

Gley Lancer is a great shooting game.

Release: 1992
Developer: NCS Corporation
Publisher: Masaya/Samsung

Gleylancer is a side-scrolling shooter that puts us in control of the eponymous craft. Lucia Cabrok steals the craft to go rescue her father, Admiral Ken from the Earth Federation Navy. There are 9 levels, each of them scrolling until a boss is reached. 

The drones that attach to the ship and fire in preset directions are innovative, setting it apart from others. The game was re-released for popular consoles such as the Xbox Series, PS5, and the Nintendo Switch.


Thunder Force IV

The Thunder Force series was very successful on the Sega Genesis.

Release: 1992
Developer: Technosoft
Publisher: Technosoft/Sega

The fourth installment in the series, Thunder Force IV is a horizontal scrolling shooter. The series is part of the greatest Sega Genesis shooting games. You control a craft and can scroll up and down to reveal parts of the level that otherwise cannot fit.

You can hold many weapons and cycle through them at will. Craft speed is changeable. Each of the stages has a boss, sometimes even a smaller mid-level boss. The entire series is great and should be played, though the fourth game stands out.


Lethal Enforcers II: Gun Fighters

Light games were very fun and as such, Lethal Enforcer II, stands out on the Sega Genesis as a great shooter.

Release: 1994
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

Shooter games where you simply shoot at enemies that appear on the screen, also known as light gun shooters, were decently popular. This is the second game in the series, taking place in the fictional Wild West.

The goal of the game is to shoot all the bad guys while not shooting law enforcers or civilians. Based on the performance, you can get more life points. There are five stages in the game. It can be played with a gamepad, as well.


Forgotten Worlds 

Forgotten Worlds offered different controls on a genre that had everything figured out.

Release: 1988/1989
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom/Sega

This is a horizontal shooter but with a twist. The player controls muscular men as they fly through the air. They have two different types of weapons, long and short-range.

There is a special control to rotate the characters right or left, enabling them to shoot in 16 directions instead of the regular 8.



Truxton is an overall great shooter on the Genesis.

Release: 1988
Developer: Toaplan
Publisher: Taito/Midway

A sci-fi vertical shooter, Truxton gives us the choice of using three weapons, a wide shot, a homing laser, and a straight beam. There are super weapons or bombs that destroy any enemy on screen, except bosses.

The story revolves around Tatsuo, the player character, fighting the invading Gidans. There are five levels, each of them with a boss. The levels get progressively harder. This is one of the best Sega Genesis shooting games.



Gynoug or Wings of Wor is a fun shooter, with both great gameplay and story.

Release: 1991
Developer: NCS Corporation
Publisher: Masaya/DreamWorks/Sega

Gynoug is known as Wings of Wor in North America. It is a side-scrolling shooter that gives you various abilities in terms of shooting. You can have a spread shot, fan spread, and even shoot backward.

The game also has spells, which can be offensive and defensive. There are six levels, each with a mid-boss and a final boss. The seventh level is a gauntlet of all the bosses, but stronger. The story revolves around an angel of Wor battling invading demons.



Gaiares is a great shooter that had you steal guns from your opponents instead of picking up classic power-ups.

Release: 1990
Developer: Telenet Japan
Publisher: Renovation Game and Products

Gaiares is a horizontal shooter that features unique elements that other shooters do not have. You make use of a TOZ system that fires and attaches to enemies, copying their weapons. There are 18 weapons in this game, each can be stolen and upgraded, a mechanic that makes the game interesting and challenging.

Evil space pirates Gulfers want to steal Earth’s pollution to make weapons. Leezaluth wants to avoid this so they warn Earth of the coming attack. It is up to Dan Dare and Alexis to stop them, as they pilot a ship and battle various enemies. The uniqueness of Gaiares makes it one of the best Sega Genesis games.


The list of Sega Genesis shooting games is massive but these are the top 10 that you should try. Take note that there are multiple titles that could be on the list, and are worth playing as well. Once you get bitten by the shooter bug, they are up to you to find and discover.

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With over 1650 hours of Apex Legends, and 2100 of League of Legends, Milan is an avid gamer. When he's not indoors, he climbs mountains or does urban acrobatics. Add a passion for writing to the mix and you get a hopefully interesting broth.
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