Ranking The Mickey Mouse Genesis Games

Main Street Electrical Arcade
6 min readJun 7, 2020

Hey all, it’s the 60th anniversary of Sega, and while they are deciding to use it to promote a version of their mediocre handheld so small no one could possibly play it, I’m going to use it to focus on easily their biggest success, the Sega Genesis. And one of the biggest stars on the Genesis and in video games in general during the 16-bit era was none other than Disney’s own Mickey Mouse. He had a slew of games on just about every major platform, six that he starred or co-starred in on the Genesis alone, so with it being the 60th anniversary of Sega, ranking the six Mickey Mouse games on their most noteworthy console seems like a good idea. Without further ado:

#6. Fantasia

Mickey Mouse had a lot of games in both the 8 & 16-bit eras. A lot were very good. Some were very bad. Sadly Fantasia is one of the latter. It certainly looks pretty and does a pretty decent job of the somewhat impossible task of somehow making not just one segment of the film Fantasia into a game but really incorporating the essence of the whole weird trip that the movie itself is.

Unfortunately, this impressive graphical and atmospheric feat is wasted in a game that is very bad. The music sucks, the controls suck and it’s incredibly obtuse and ridiculously challenging to the point of being no fun on top of that. Despite all this, the game should be considered rare and an incredibly valuable collector’s item-Roy Disney demanded all copied be destroyed (not because the game was bad but because Disney was not supposed to license out anything related to Fantasia) so only about 5,000 copies of this game even exist (for comparison the extremely rare Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Sega Saturn had around 25,000 copies made). It should be incredibly expensive to own and yet you can easily find very good cartridges on eBay for under $30.00. It’s rare that a game is this rare and anyone cares that little. It’s that bad and that forgotten.

#5. Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is a bit a departure from the rest of the games on this list and hey it gets credit for Mickey going out of his 2D platformer box at least a little bit. Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is more of a puzzle game with some light platforming elements involved here and there, but mostly it’s puzzle challenges.

If the puzzle challenges were at all interesting or fun it’d probably rank way higher. I am keeping in mind this was likely aimed at young children but even they would feel bored and not at all challenged by these extremely tedious things I would stretch to call puzzles in most instances. In one “puzzle” you shrink to a small size and push out potions for Donald Duck. Is there any sort of trick to the potions or how to push them? Not really you just push them into a hole and that’s it. You meet up with Goofy and guess what’s in his toolbox. How is that a puzzle? As much as the 8 & 16-bit eras had a lot of good licensed games, this is an example of one of those terrible ones that didn’t even try.

#4. Mickey Mania

From here on out it’s all pretty good. And truth be told if this was one of the superior versions of Mickey Mania (either the Sega CD version or the PlayStation version only released in Europe and titled Mickey’s Wild Adventure) it would almost definitely place higher. But that’s because those versions look crisper, have better CD-quality soundtracks, and really great voice samples.

The Genesis version of Mickey Mania is by no means a bad game, just missing all those extra bells and whistles that really make the game sing on better platforms. It’s still a really solid platformer starring Mickey Mouse which was absolutely his bread and butter in the 1990s. Moreover, it’s a celebration of the history of Mickey Mouse up to that point. The levels are all based on classic Mickey Mouse cartoons and at the time the more recent Prince and the Pauper animated film starring Mickey himself. The game controls well, looks great, and does a great job capturing the look and feel of those beloved classics. There’s really nothing wrong with Mickey Mania, just that the three games that follow it on this list are better and there are superior versions out there even if they are a little more obscure.

#3. The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie

Though there is no difference in the way they play, The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie is already fairly noteworthy in it being one of a handful of video games where Minnie Mouse is not only in it, but an active participant and a playable character rather than someone who is just kidnapped or completely helpless.

In addition, the game is also co-op and while it’s a pretty ok single-player experience The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie absolutely shines in co-op much like the New Super Mario Bros. games are more fun with another person (just ONE more person though not two or three). It’s Capcom doing a Mickey (and Minnie) Mouse side-scrolling platformer on a 16-bit system in the 90s. It’s nearly impossible for it to be bad.

#2. World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck

A fantastic 2D single-player and co-op platformer that looks amazing, has a great soundtrack, made by Capcom, starring Mickey Mouse AND Donald Duck (I’ve always been more of a Donald Duck guy myself anyways and believe me we’ll be doing a ranking of his games at some point). What could be bad about it? Well, nothing really.

World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck is an absolute classic and if you have the means, you should totally play it. Much like the previous game on this list it’s best in multi-player but is a really solid single-player experience as well. My one minor knock against the game is the spells and controls are just a tiny bit on the stiff side but it hardly mars the experience. A true platforming gem in every sense of the word and one of the best games on the Genesis for sure.

#1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

I was definitely torn between the number one and number two spots for this list. On the one hand, World of Illusion looks notably better and also has Donald Duck and is a fantastic game, not taking anything away from that at all.

However, when you get down to it, Castle of Illusion is pretty much the premiere 2D Capcom-developed experience starring Mickey Mouse. It’s his best game. The game still looks really good (and the remake you can buy on Steam is incredible) but it also does a lot of fun wacky things with platformers you weren’t seeing at the time. It doesn’t just settle for being a competent licensed game, that would have really been enough. It just excels at everything. The controls are arguably tighter than World of Illusion and though it’s definitely a Mario-esque clone, I think I prefer it aping Mario to the magic-based platforming in the follow-up. It just works better and is a more pure experience of great side-scrolling platforming.

There’s a reason this is game most people remember and out of all the great 16-bit Mickey games this is the one that gets a remake and gets included in the Sega Genesis mini and others are left behind. It’s just a fantastic game and arguably the best one starring Mickey Mouse period (and yes at some point I will rank every Mickey Mouse game, but have to have them all first and play them, that’s a very tall order). That’s all for now, see ya real soon!



Main Street Electrical Arcade

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