Top 10 TurboGrafx-16 Hu-Card Games, Plus 5 Honorable Mentions to Rock on Turbo Express

Devil's Crush

The TurboGrafx-16 is one of those consoles that people either love or love to hate. There is no middle ground. For NEC’s first, and only, foray into console gaming in North America it was quite a polarizing console. Technically going head to head with the Sega Genesis but falling in between Sega’s newest console and Nintendo’s Entertainment System as far as power went, the TurboGrafx-16 was a console with no true level ground to stand on. While the TurboGrafx-16 was neither here nor there as far as the “next generation” of consoles went, it was still able to carve out a respectable place in gaming history. Here are my Top 10 TurboGrafx-16 Hu-Card games, plus 5 honorable mentions. Grabbing these games should be a no brainer if you see them. These are my picks for rocking your Turbo Express. No super small text here.

For the sake of keeping this list from being bogged down with sequels, I have grouped franchises together into one listing unless otherwise noted. Even doing this, it was still quite hard to narrow it down to 10, 15 if you count honorable mentions, that represent the NEC TurboGrafx-16.

  • Bomberman ’93. If you think party games started with the Super Smash Bros franchise, then you have some history to brush up on. Bomberman ’93 on the TurboGrafx-16 was quite a fiasco when you got enough friends together with a TurboTap and extra controllers. Quite hectic and quite fun. On the go though, you will be limited quite a bit but still can have quick bursts of fun with this one.
  • Bomberman '93 TurboGrafx-16
  • Bonk 1, Revenge, and 3. When NEC launched the TurboGrafx-16 they packed in a 2D side scrolling action game called Keith Courage. While this was not the best game to showcase the new console, it was adequate. The Bonk franchise is one that defined the TG-16 to gamers that were weaned on Super Mario Bros. Bonk’s games featured slower gameplay than Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega’s Genesis.
  • Blazing Lazers. When you start collecting TurboGrafx-16 games you will notice a lot of scrolling shooters. Blazing Lazers is pretty much the tip of the iceberg and what a game it is. Graphically impressive and tough in just the right areas, Blazing Lazers is no slouch. This one edged out Raiden just a bit since it is a TG-16 exclusive.
  • Devil's Crush TurboGrafx-16
  • Alien Crush/Devil’s Crush. One thing that the TurboGrafx-16 did was to push digital pinball games into the forefront again. Going well overboard with the graphics, much more detailed than anything Nintendo’s NES could muster here, NEC also went with two genres that were to get press talking. Fantasy and science fiction. If you are a digital pinball fan but not put either of these through their paces, then what are you waiting for?
  • Legendary Axe I and II. Another side scrolling action game, like Bonk, but much more mature in nature. While Bonk was obviously aimed at kids, the Legendary Axe games are aimed more at teenagers and young adults. The graphics are darker, the enemies are more gruesome, and the difficulty is ramped up a bit. What a journey though, such a shame it didn’t continue when Konami bought up the rights to NEC and Hudson’s libraries.
  • Military Madness. Turn based, strategy, and devious as hell sometimes. That about sums up Military Madness. Long before we had Advance Wars on the Game Boy Advance we had Military Madness. This was such a unique game against the other available games that it had a challenging time finding a home with many gamers. A shame too.
  • Neutopia TurboGrafx-16
  • Neutopia I and II. NEC were not completely clueless when it came to releasing games for the TurboGrafx-16 (though some of their choices would make you rethink that). Neutopia I and II is basically a better-looking Legend of Zelda style adventure. This set of games will not be beaten in your first sitting and will require some thinking to advance.
  • R-Type. This is a classic that deserves to be on any list if it is available for the platform. Sure, the basic design is not changed from platform to platform, but the challenge is still there, the enemies are often screen filling monstrosities, and even after dying repeatedly, you will want to play more. That is the sign of a true classic. Side scrolling shooter fans, you know what to do.
  • Silent Debuggers. This is a rather tough to find but oh so worth the search. This is a first-person adventure game that has a heavy horror feel to it. Set on an abandoned space station, you must find out what happened. Along the way, you must defeat alien creatures that have infested the station.
  • Splatterhouse TurboGrafx-16
  • Splatterhouse. Aside from the few censored pieces here, this is the arcade game in your home. Blood, gore, and more gore. Donning a mask reminiscent of Jason Vorhees and picking up weapons on your journey are your best defenses. Punches and kicks are also available as you dismember the undead in a quest to save your girlfriend. Squeamish gamers need not apply.

Honorable mentions are the games I simply could not make this list without including somehow. I had to include them, even if in a list of their own afterwards.

  • Air Buster. Intense side scrolling shooters are not hard to come by on the TurboGrafx-16. The better ones are the tough ones to find. Considering the cost of collecting TG-16 games, I wanted to point out another great side scrolling shooter and Air Buster is it. Versus the Genesis version things are a little faster but background sprites suffer a bit.
  • Dungeon Explorer. This is NEC’s answer to Gauntlet and other overhead action adventure games. The sequel on Super CD-ROM is great but it started here on this Hu-Card. There is more story and adventuring here than in Gauntlet so if you wanted more RPG in your hack and slashing, here you go.
  • Dragon's Curse
  • Dragon’s Curse. This is an improved version of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap from the Sega Master System. The creature swapping, and huge levels are still here, just better looking than what fans remember on the 8-Bit Sega console.
  • Ninja Spirit. Ninja’s used to rule the gaming world. Like sports games, if you wanted to be taken seriously with a new console, you had to have at least one ninja game. Ninja Spirit was not only the token ninja game on the TurboGrafx-16, it was quite good. 2D side scrolling action game fans, you will be hard pressed to find better.
  • Shockman TurboGrafx-16
  • Shockman. This release was very similar to Capcom’s Mega Man franchise. They added a bit of story and light role-playing game elements to the mix which makes it rather interesting. This is just one more game proving the TurboGrafx-16 can do more than just shooters (though there are some scrolling shooter levels in this one).

Carl is a portable gamer (mainly PSP and Android) currently getting his butt handed to him in MIniclip’s Beast Quest on Android. Got a cool tip or inquiry about Gaming on Batteries? Contact Carl and he will be in touch ASAP.

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