The Definitive 50 SNES Games: #24 Mega Man X

Click here to view our list of the Definitive 50 SNES games. Links to each video and write-up are included.

I have a confession to make. Before I began work on the Definitive 50, I had never played a Mega Man game. That’s right, I had never encountered one of the most famous and prolific game characters of all time until just a few months ago.

Upon picking up Mega Man X for the first time, I immediately realized the appeal of the series, and what had kept fans coming back for so many installments.

Mega Man X takes 24th place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games.

Mega Man X is a side-scrolling action platformer released for the Super Nintendo in December of 1993. It was later released as part of the Mega Man X Collection for GameCube and PS2. Although technically a separate series from the famous Mega Man games of the NES, the X games are a natural progression of the gameplay founded there.

Sure, the basic gameplay premise of Mega Man X is extremely reminiscent of other action platformer titles we’ve looked at on the Definitive 50, like Super Star Wars and Earthworm Jim, but there is a smoothness of controls and design here that goes unrivaled.

In Mega Man X, your jumps are superhuman, but do not feel wild or uncontrollable. You can cling to walls and even progress up vertical includes by repeatedly hopping. You must dodge enemies and other obstacles to keep up your health, and blast Sigma’s robotic Mavericks whenever you get the chance.

After you advance passed an introductory level, Mega Man X is made up of 8 main levels, each with a boss at the end to battle and an upgrade to find. The order in which you take on these levels is entirely up to you. Plug away on one you find enjoyable, and collect the upgrades you find there to get yourself ready for the levels you find more frustrating.

The instant variety afforded by the game’s level select design makes it immediately accessible and irresistible even for an inexperienced player.