Popful Mail (SCD)

Originally released on the NEC PC-8801 home computer in 1991, Popful Mail is a side-scrolling action title with RPG elements which has gone on to become one of Nihon Falcom's most beloved '90s titles.

The Sega CD version – which, at one point, was almost part of the Sonic franchise – is the only one to get a Western release and is somewhat different to the Super Famicom port, which arrived around the same time.

Once again, Working Designs handled the localisation of the game for North America, and that version is now worth a considerable amount of money on the secondary market.

Earthworm Jim: Special Edition (SCD)

Shiny's platforming classic gained rave reviews and bumper sales on Genesis / Mega Drive, but this Sega CD upgrade is perhaps the definitive way to experience the game.

It contained all of the same content, alongside a new level, a new weapon, a CD-quality soundtrack and vastly improved animation. Earthworm Jim: Special Edition certainly went above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to its Sega CD version, and is effortlessly one of the best examples of the genre on the system.

Robo Aleste (SCD)

Like Sega CD stablemate Keio Flying Squadron, Robo Aleste uses real-world history as its foundation, placing you in a Sengoku-era feudal Japan where flying robots are commonplace.

As part of the long-running Aleste series of games, you're virtually assured a good time here – although it's perhaps worth noting that very little takes place that couldn't have been achieved on the standard Genesis / Mega Drive.

Even so, this is one of the best shumps on the platform, and a must for trigger-happy genre fans.

Dark Wizard (SCD)

This tactical role-playing game is a system exclusive, and one that was fortunate enough to get a Western localisation. You assume the role of one of our playable characters, each of which has strengths, weaknesses and a range of units to command on the battlefield.

Each character offers a different storyline, adding massively to Dark Wizard's longevity. Deep, engaging gameplay combines with a wonderful musical score and some polished cutscenes to produce one of the best titles on the Sega CD – and one which certainly deserves wider recognition.

Lunar: Eternal Blue (SCD)

This sequel to Lunar: The Silver Star came very late in the Sega CD's lifespan – it launched in the same year that Sega released the Saturn – but it remains one of the format's most accomplished games.

While it's set in the same world as the original, its events occur a thousand years later, with the young Hiro assuming the central role.

The game was later remade under the title Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete for the PlayStation and Saturn, with the former getting a Western localisation by Working Designs, who also published the Sega CD original in North America.

Night Trap (SCD)

Before you get too upset, we're not saying for a second that Night Trap is a 'good' video game. In fact, it's anything but – interaction is limited, the video quality is fairly poor and there are better ways to experience it on other systems.

Even so, Night Trap is something that should be experienced at least once on Sega CD, if only to get an idea of why it caused such a fuss when it was originally released. Demonised as a 'video game nasty', it was one of the first games to get an age rating in the United Kingdom, and carries a lot of negative baggage as a result.

In reality, it's very tame, and the history behind the project is so interesting (it started life as a title for Hasbro's abandoned Nemo console) that it deserves a second look.

Thunderhawk (SCD)

The Sega CD's rotational and scaling abilities were much-hyped prior to its release, so it's quite surprising that there weren't more games that made use of them.

Core Design – a staunch supporter of the system – was one of the few companies that really tried to leverage this element of the Sega CD, and Thunderhawk is perhaps Core's crowning glory on the platform.

Placing you in the cockpit of the fictional AH-73M attack helicopter, Thunderhawk presents you with a series of missions to undertake across some of the world's most deadly war zones. This is a game that legitimately could not have been achieved on the base Genesis / Mega Drive hardware, and comes highly recommended.

A sequel would later be released on the PlayStation and Saturn.

Panic! (SCD)

One of the few Sega CD games to make use of the Sega Mega Mouse, Panic! (known as Switch in Japan) is a point-and-click adventure which requires the player to guide a boy and his dog through a maze by pushing various buttons.

To call it a 'game' is perhaps generous, as it's little more than an exercise in tapping parts of the screen to see what happens. Even so, the devilish sense of humour and general unpredictability of Panic! make it a memorable experience, and one that makes good use of the host hardware.

The Secret of Monkey Island (SCD)

With its extended load times, slightly downgraded visuals and light censorship, the Sega CD version of The Secret of Monkey Island isn't the best way to experience Lucasart's seminal point-and-click classic, but that doesn't mean it's not one of the best games on the platform.

The humour remains intact, and the delightfully taxing puzzles retain their ability to both befuddle and entertain, even after all this time. The music is also great.

Road Avenger (SCD)

Many of the Sega CD's FMV games were poor, and while Road Avenger (a port of a 1985 Laserdisc game called Road Blaster) has its faults, it's the one we can't help but keep coming back to.

The cheesy introduction sequence (with a song that's exclusive to the Sega CD version) sets the tone brilliantly, and while there's limited interaction, it seems to work better than the likes of Dragon's Lair and Time Gal purely because you're behind the wheel of a car, so you basically have left, right, accelerate and brake to worry about.

A guilty pleasure, then, but one we can't help but love.

How many games were on the Sega CD?

207 games were released on the Sega CD across all regions.

Can Sega CD play music CDs?

Yes. It can also play CD+G discs.

Is Sega CD the same as 32X?

No. The 32X was released later on in the Genesis / Mega Drive's lifespan, and bolts onto the console's cartridge slot. There are some games which require both the Sega CD and 32X to be connected.

What is the best-selling Sega CD game?

Sonic CD is the best-selling Sega CD title, with total worldwide sales of 1.5 million units – not bad when you consider the Sega CD itself only sold 2.23 million units.

Was Sega CD more powerful than SNES?

The main CPU of the Sega CD is a 16-bit Motorola 68000 processor running at 12.5MHz, which is faster than the Genesis / Mega Drive's CPU.

The Sega CD also includes an application-specific integrated circuit graphics chip which allows the system to rotate and scale sprites and backgrounds – very much like the SNES did with its Mode 7 graphics feature, but with the ability to handle many more objects.

However, very few developers took advantage of the Sega CD's technical improvements; its biggest selling point from their perspective was the fact that CDs allowed for more space, and could support features like Redbook audio and FMV.