Essential Mega Man Games?

#1 Edited by Gold_Skulltulla (300 posts) -

I've never played a single Mega Man game, barely even touched one. I'd like to give the series a try, but a certainly don't want to play all of these games since so many seem similar. What are the essential Mega Man games for someone who wants to get to know what the series is about. I'm not just talking 1-10, but X and whatever else is out there in the side-scrolling platformer/shooter mold. Feel free to recommend as many games as you feel are essential, and if there's a preferred order. Can I just play Mega Man 2 and call it a day?

UPDATE: This has been really helpful. Seems like 2, 3, and X are getting the most love, followed by 9. A couple Legends mentions too, which has me pretty intrigued. I'm still interested in suggestions, but wanted to summarize sentiments so far.

UPDATE 2: OK, that settles it. I'll go to some used game stores next week to try and score some copies of Mega Man 2 and 3, and I'll check out the Legends situation while I'm there. I don't have a SNES so I'll download Mega Man X on Virtual Console after I've played 2 and 3. Seems like that should cover it unless I'm really driven to play more after finishing these. Thanks to everyone who offered advice.

#2 Posted by Daneian (1306 posts) -

Maga Man 2

Mega Man 3

Mega Man X

Mega Man Legends

Mega Man 9

#3 Posted by TooWalrus (13333 posts) -

This is really all you need:

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#4 Posted by Naked_Snake (28 posts) -

As far as 1-10 go my favs are 2, 3 and 9. No real order needed....the story in these games are optional.

#5 Posted by punkxblaze (3004 posts) -

X is a must. An absolute must. I would argue more of a must than any of the 1-10 classics, but I'm probably outnumbered in that opinion. The Zero series is excellent, as well.

#6 Posted by IBurningStar (2199 posts) -

2 and X are the must plays. There are a lot of other great MM games as well, but those are the best in the series, imo.

#7 Posted by Briggs713 (239 posts) -

2 and 3 are likely the common responses here. I'll strongly recommend Megaman X, X2 and X3 as well as 7 (all for the SNES).

#8 Posted by RVonE (4771 posts) -

The first Mega Man X is still amazing and should not be missed.

#9 Posted by Dethfish (3739 posts) -

Play Mega Man X, 'cause it's the best one.

Yep, I said it.

#10 Edited by aquamarin (659 posts) -

2 and 3, maybe 4.

#11 Edited by believer258 (12835 posts) -

Play Mega Man X, 'cause....@Dethfish said:

Play Mega Man X, 'cause it's the best one.

Yep, I said it.

Well, this wise man beat me to it.

Also play 2, Legends, and Zero 3.

EDIT: Also, play Mega Man ZX. It's fairly good as well.

#12 Edited by jewunit (1091 posts) -

I will echo 2, 3, and 9 being the best. You may want to consider playing 4 just to see how the charged shot changes the gameplay. I was never a big fan of Mega Man X, but the game is worth trying. If you like X and have a DS or 3DS, consider getting the Mega Man Zero Collection, which has all four of the Zero games on it. Those games are pretty difficult, but they are an interesting take on the X formula.

#13 Posted by Gold_Skulltulla (300 posts) -

No one is vouching for Mega Man 1? Interesting...

#14 Edited by joshthebear (2704 posts) -

2, 3, and X are probably the way to go.

@Gold_Skulltulla: The problem with the first one is that it's missing everything that makes 2 and beyond good, and it's hard to go back from that.

#15 Posted by Terramagi (1168 posts) -

@Gold_Skulltulla said:

No one is vouching for Mega Man 1? Interesting...

MM1 has Elecman's stage, and fuck Elecman's stage.

#16 Posted by JoeyIA (666 posts) -

2, 3, X, X4, and "Mega Man & Bass."

#17 Edited by xyzygy (10595 posts) -

The best Mega Man is V. Not 5, V. The Game Boy editions were created using roman numerals to differentiate themselves. Some of them are shit, but V is among the best in the whole franchise, with X very close behind. The music in V is stellar.

#18 Posted by Sauson (565 posts) -

X, X2, X3

#19 Posted by Ryuku_Ryosake (222 posts) -

2, X, Legends, Battle Network, and Zero. Pretty much cover all your bases. 2 is the best of the original series. X is the best of the X series. You need to play Legends to see why people want a new one. Battle Network is a great and unique jrpg but it is incredibly hard. Zero is an improvement on the X series adding some light rpg mechanics and a new ranking system.

#20 Posted by csl316 (10872 posts) -

I will echo 2,3, and 9 being the best. You may want to co consider playing 4 just to see how the charged shot changes the gameplay. I was never a big fan of Mega Man X, but the game is worth trying. If you like X and have a DS or 3DS, consider getting Mega Man Zero Collection, which has all four of the Zero games on it. Those games are pretty difficult, but they are an interesting take on the X formula.

I definitely second that collection, great stuff (just don't do the easy mode with everything unlocked!) I was also quite fond of X4.

2, 3, and X are probably the absolute essentials, as many have said. The PSP remake of X was a fun take on it, too.
#21 Posted by csl316 (10872 posts) -

Oh, and Legends is so damn charming. The mall music, man!

#22 Posted by RVonE (4771 posts) -
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#23 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (974 posts) -

Megaman 2 and Megaman 3 are the pinnacle of the classic series. It went downhill afterwards until Megaman 9, which is good but suffers a little to hard from cheap death syndrome. It's funny the first time but when it's put in 15 other levels it's not that fun anymore.

The first Megaman X is the best X series game. Level design is really great, and one of the few platformers that make you actually feel like you're getting stronger as you progress through the game. Megaman X2 is worth checking out to see how they designed levels after making the dash a standard move instead of requiring dash boots, but it's not as good as the first game. Every X game afterward ranges from "mediocre" to "absolutely terrible."

Megaman Legends is a completely different take on the series platformer roots. Extremely charming and really evocative of anime from the 90s. Both Legends games are worth playing, and if you like the series, track down Misadventures of Tron Bonne too.

Megaman Battle Network is more of a card game RPG. The first and second game are pretty interesting in their own way, but not essential to play, and the quality of the later games went to shit. Also completely ignore the Megaman Starforce games.

Megaman Zero is a weird series. The first game feels like an experiment before they streamlined the games starting with Zero 2. I personally think the second game is one of the better GBA games, but like Battle Network, you can skip this series too. It's not essential.

Megaman ZX is a really good game that's brought down by it's metroidvania-ish world and awful map. ZX Advent is trash. Again, not essential.

tl;dr summary: Megaman 2, Megaman 3, Megaman Legends 1 and 2, and Megaman X1 are the best if you're just looking for the essentials. Everything else is just a curiosity.

#24 Posted by Skogen (430 posts) -

X, X2, X3.

#25 Posted by Gold_Skulltulla (300 posts) -

@Morbid_Coffee: Incredibly helpful, thanks for the write-up!

#26 Edited by SJSchmidt93 (4996 posts) -

I know people like to hate on the latter parts of the original series and pretty much the whole X series, but I love all games from both series. Some games do stick out as being a little better than the rest (2,3,4,X) but to me, they're all great. Oh, except for X7 and X8. Don't play those.

#27 Posted by casper_ (915 posts) -


#28 Posted by BisonHero (8452 posts) -

Yeah, pretty much just 2, 3, and X. Everything else is basically reliving those glory days (well, the X series never had a chance to go back to the basics, instead just getting more and more complicated and plot-heavy until it petered out and faded into obscurity).

Play X2 if you really liked X, it still has some neat ideas in terms of stages and enemies and powerups. However, the X series goes dramatically downhill starting with X3.

#29 Posted by Meepasaurus (241 posts) -

I freaking love Mega Man X. 2 is also fun.

#30 Posted by StarFoxA (5257 posts) -

Mega Man, Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 4 are my favorites, but Mega Man 3, Mega Man 5, and Mega Man 6 are definitely worth playing (as are Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10). Mega Man X is great, its sequels are mostly skippable.

#31 Posted by Turtlebird95 (3083 posts) -

Mega Man X is like my favorite game of all time, so obviously I'm going to say that. 2 and 3 from the original series are pretty good, but they probably won't hold up that great to someone who hasn't played them before.

#32 Posted by Vextroid (1463 posts) -

Definitely 2, X and Legends.

#33 Posted by Morbid_Coffee (974 posts) -

The issue I have with Megaman 4 is that the charge shot totally outclasses all of the boss weapons, pretty much defeating the whole purpose of Megaman games. Why use what you're rewarded with when your regular attack does twice the amount of damage?

#34 Posted by Ducksworth (670 posts) -

Everyone has mentioned the obvious ones, so I'm going to bring up Mega Man Battle Network. It's not a traditional Mega Man, even less so than Legends but I still found the first few I played really charming and a lot of fun. If you can handle encounter rates that seem like they really want to piss you off, I recommend giving the first one a shot.

#35 Posted by envane (1188 posts) -

2 that is all

#36 Posted by Slag (5549 posts) -

2 is by far and away the one that matters. It's what made Megaman what it is and has never really been substantially improved upon.

X and 3 are probably the next best.

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