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Mega Man

Experience The Year 20XX—Today!

Want to play Mega Man on your modern console? Here are your options.

By John Teti • May 9, 2013

It’s Mega Man 2 Day on The Gameological Society! In honor of its release in Japan 25 years ago, today we’re paying tribute to Mega Man 2—and all things Mega Man.

Since our wall-to-wall coverage may have whetted your appetite, we figured we’d survey the current availability of the Mega Man games so that you could rotate them into your weekend gaming plans. This list only covers modern consoles, but of course there’s always the flea-market route, or you can use an emulator if you want to acquire electronic copies of the games from somewhere. (Maybe the internet?) Also, we only looked at the “main” Mega Man series and its sibling the Mega Man X series. If you know where to dig up games from some of the other Mega Man spinoffs, share your wisdom in the comments!

For all the platforms listed, you can download the game in question from your console’s online store—the Nintendo eShop in the case of the Wii, the PlayStation Store for the PS3, and so on. You get it. This isn’t complicated.

Mega Man
Nintendo 3DS, Wii, Wii U—$5; PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita—$6

The original game is a little raw by the standards of what came later. The evil Dr. Wily has reprogrammed only six Robot Masters as opposed to the later-standard eight, for instance, and the game loves to hand out bonus points, a vestige of the era when such things were thought to be essential. (How far we’ve come! Now we have Gamerpoints. Much more sophisticated.) Still, it’s remarkable how much of the Mega Man formula is on display here, and if you can handle the unforgiving challenge, there are plenty of ways to familiarize yourself with a prominent entry in the ’80s gaming canon.

Mega Man 2
iPhone—$1; Nintendo 3DS, Wii—$5; PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita—$6
Mega Man 2

Keiji Inafune, the longtime Capcom producer who probably played the biggest part in the design and evolution of Mega Man, considers Mega Man 2 a pinnacle of the series. We think it’s a pretty neat game, too, to the extent that we built a whole day of content around it. Maybe you’ve heard. The sequel is available cheap in the iTunes Store, but you have to play with fake touchscreen buttons. If ever there were a game that demands the tactile feedback of an actual controller, it’s this one.

Mega Man 3
Nintendo 3DS, Wii—$5; PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita—$6
Mega Man 3

Inafune isn’t quite as fond of Mega Man 3—he’s said in interviews that the development cycle was rushed and stressful, a victim of Mega Man 2’s success. But it’s still an excellent game. Highlights include the much-loved Snake Man level and the debut of Mega Man’s robot-dog sidekick, Rush.

Mega Man 4
Nintendo 3DS, Wii—$5; PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita—$6
Mega Man 4

Every Mega Man game has its oddball boss, and for Mega Man 4 that’s Pharoah Man, a robot supposedly designed to explore ancient Egyptian pyramids. It’s not clear why we need robots for this. Maybe there’s an archaeologist shortage in the future? Mega Man 4 is the first game in which Mega Man’s default arm cannon can be charged up for a more powerful shot, an innovation that made the pea shooter a more viable weapon and substantially changed the complexion of combat (by the conservative standards of these games, at least).

Mega Man 5
Mega Man 5

We’re getting into less “essential” territory here, but these late-era NES games have their appeal. Since they haven’t gotten as much attention over the years as their predecessors, they’re liable to hold more surprises for you than the well-worn territory of the ’80s Mega Man titles. Plus, by now the Capcom designers had a strong grasp of the NES’ graphical capabilities, so the pixel art is often a sight to behold, like in Mega Man 5’s Napalm Man and Crystal Man stages. Among modern consoles, Mega Man 5 is only available on the Wii, and the news gets worse from there…

Mega Man 6, Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8
Mega Man 7

The last NES game, the only Super NES game in the main series, and the only main-series game for the original PlayStation, respectively. While these aren’t the brightest moments in Mega Man history, it’s a shame that they haven’t been reissued for present-day consoles. It’s not hard to acquire the sixth and seventh installments through shady means online, though. And they’re all part of the Mega Man Anniversary Collection compilation disc, which turns up in used-game stores and on eBay if you still have a PlayStation 2 banging around. (The Anniversary Collection was also produced for the Gamecube and the original Xbox, but who has one of those hooked up anymore?)

Mega Man 9
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii—$10

In 2008, with 8-bit nostalgia in full swing, Capcom released this retro-revival installment, which restored an NES look to Mega Man. A more cynical development team could have easily turned out a good-looking mediocrity—a sop to homesick 20-somethings who missed their Nintendo Power and their Mario cereal—but to their credit, the ex-Capcom staffers at the Inti Creates studio produced one of the best entries in the series. Mega Man 9 marks the appearance of the first female Robot Master, Splash Woman. (The soundtrack to her stage is superb, too.)

Mega Man 10
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii—$10

While not quite the triumph that Mega Man 9 was—the tenth game sometimes feels like it was cobbled together from the designs that weren’t good enough for the ninth one—Mega Man 10 is still a solid effort. The coolest wrinkle here is the ability to play as two different characters, Mega Man or Proto Man, with the option to download a third (Mega Man’s rival, Bass) as a paid add-on.

Mega Man X
iPhone/iPad (Universal)—$5; Wii—$8; PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita—$10
Mega Man X

The Mega Man X was a modernization of Mega Man for the Super NES era. Making its U.S. debut in 1994, Mega Man X featured a hero that was more agile and versatile than his X-less predecessor. The X games also place more of an emphasis on exploration and equipment upgrades, although the core structure of “beat boss, acquire weapon, beat next boss” is still present. The PSP and Vita versions listed here are actually Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, a remake of Mega Man X for the PSP that features (less appealing) 3D characters and backgrounds.

Mega Man X2
Mega Man X2

This sequel occasionally lets X pilot vehicles like a super-powerful robot suit and a futuristic hover-jetski. It is otherwise about as fun as Mega Man X, which is to say that it’s quite fun.

Mega Man X3 through X8
Mega Man X3

Once again the later entries get no respect from the re-release powers that be. But why? These games are good, too. Well, X6 and X7 are rough. Those can be skipped without compunction.

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41 Responses to “Experience The Year 20XX—Today!”

  1. John Teti says:

    We had a lot of fun with this one. Expect to see more theme days in the future. (And it doesn’t have to be an anniversary—I only realized it was the 25th anniversary of Mega Man 2 after we had decided to make today Mega Man 2 day.) Your FF6 suggestion is a great one!

    • Bad Horse says:

      That is quite the coincidence.

    • PugsMalone says:

      Yeah, I looked up the release date and thought it was weird that we were having it in May when it didn’t come out in Japan until Christmas Eve 1988, and in North America until 1989.

    • Citric says:

      You could do something on the crazy people who break FFVI – I don’t know too much about this, just that a crazy person I know on Facebook is doing this. It requires playing half the game without saving, it’s kind of insane.

      • PugsMalone says:

        Does hacking the game so it’s about ponies count as “breaking” it?

      • I stumbled onto the vanish/sketch glitch once. It screwed up my game pretty good. I’ve never tried the early airship bug.

      • duwease says:

        Was it you that posted the Let’s Game link to that?  I read most of that, it’s wild.

      • Uncle Roundy says:

        While I find myself annoyed and disgusted by the unceasing mission of My Little Pony fans to remake everything in the known pop culture universe with MLP characters, I must admit their commitment to said mission is admirable.

    • NakedSnake says:

       This was a rollicking good time. Thanks for making my day. Dunno if the focus for future days has to be on one game only, but here are some ideas:

      (1) Castlevania SOTN. Perennial classic, and I always dug the fact that they went ball-out with 2d during the age 3d was blossoming. You could also compare and contrast different games in the series. For instance, Castlevania 2, 3, and SOTN share many similarities but many differences, too.
      (2) Wario day: From the beginning, Wario games have been some of the most innovative and diverse offerings for Nintendo’s system. I love the idea that Nintendo is some uncaring parent who considers Wario some knock-off of Mario. They don’t love him so they let him do whatever he wants. The games reflect the character: he’s never going to be as popular or as loved as Mario, so he’s got to be a little more crazy to get noticed.
      (3) (Bonus): This is more of an Inventory idea, but what about Licensed Games that Don’t Suck? X-Men Mutant Apocalypse, Escape From Butcher Bay, Arkham Asylum, all good games. Hell, I was just playing Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition for the Genesis and enjoying it immensely.

      • Citric says:

        Oh god, a To the Bitter End about the first Wario Land is a thing that needs to happen. It toys with expectations in such a nifty way.

    • Chalkdust says:

      I gotta say, this felt like an all-day-long party, and I got a truly celebratory vibe from visiting a website, which is a rare feat.  I look forward to whatever themed days may yet await us!

  2. TheBryanJZX90 says:

    Mega Man 2 Day was pretty great. Thank you Gameological!

  3. Destroy Him My Robots says:

    Uhm, you need robots to explore Egyptian pyramids because they’re immune to curses? *points thumb at Teti, makes “What’s with this guy?” face*

    Seriously though, theme day was great and I’m looking forward to more. Thanks for the hard work!

  4. Steve McCoy says:

    There is an X8. It’s supposed to be much improved over X6 and X7, but I never played it.

  5. Someone with an older Wii system (like myself) technically still has a GameCube hooked up. Although they should know that the GCN version of the Anniversary Collection is such a straight port of the PS2 version that they didn’t even bother to re-map the buttons so that A jumps and B shoots as the video game gods intended. This will fuck up your muscle memory.

    • mizerock says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. I never owned a GameCube, but I still own a Wii, so, same thing, right? Yes, I do have a few GameCube controllers (2 genuine + 2 off-brand versions).

    • mizerock says:

      It looks like a GameCube copy of “Mega Man X Collection” costs quite a bit more than the PS2 version, yet both are purported to play exactly the same way.

    • Girard says:

      Specifically ctrl+Fed “cube” so that I could put this warning here if no one else had. The Gamecube anniversary collection is virtually unplayable thanks to that gaffe, which could have been easily fixed, and should have been easily noticed. So stupid.

  6. George_Liquor says:

    Is anyone else feeling kinda old today?

    Also, emulation is OK in a pinch, but nothing beats the real game in the real console with the real controllers played on a really old, crappy tube TV.

  7. Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

    Aw man, now is my time to shine! Everyone ought to check out Mega Man 8-bit Deathmatch a free game that i think runs on the Doom 2 engine. It’s a multiplayer FPS game with A TON of Mega Man weapons and Robot Masters to play as. The graphics are also kind of gorgeous. Maybe we could even have a game night sometime in the steam group?

  8. caspiancomic says:

    DS and 3Ds owners can also scoop up Mega Man Zero Collection. At $17, that’s a little over four bucks per game.

  9. ItsTheShadsy says:

    I thought we all collectively agreed never to speak of the Mega Man X iPhone port ever again…

    • See… to me, the charged shots take away from the formula that makes MM1-3 (and 9) so great. By increasing the utility of the Mega Buster, the Robot Masters’ weapons become less useful. That was always the greatest appeal for me, so I tend to shy away from the “charge” games.

  10. The Mega Man X collection for PS2 features X thru X6, plus some racing game.

    • Girard says:


      I was fortunate enough to have a weaboo friend in high school who modded his Playstation, and we played the hell out of his imported copy of Rockman Battle & Chase. It was super fun and it incorporated the weapon-taking mechanic by having to win a piece of each robot master’s car each time you beat them. If you beat them four times, you could totally recreate their car, or you could mix and match pieces to get the stats (and special weapon) you most wanted. It was actually a pretty robust game for an also-ran character kart racer.

  11. Girard says:

    And the wonderful Legends games aren’t available ANYWHERE in ANY FORM because the world is a vampire.  Blerg.

    • ItsTheShadsy says:

      But they have been re-released… exclusively for PSP and Japanese cell phones. *god abandons righteousness, crushes @paraclete_pizza:disqus, destroys universe*

    • Chalkdust says:

       So glad I still have my PSX copies of those, and The Misadventures of Tron Bonne.  That girl needs another starring role!

  12. Eco1970 says:

    Have no idea what Mega Man is at all. I’m British and in my early 40s. Does this explain why? Not popular in the UK, maybe?

    This week I have been continually playing Skyrim.

    • SamPlays says:

      Is this one of those Mega Drive/Genesis potato-tomato things?

      • Eco1970 says:

        No idea, I’ll just have to wait until gMeological gets back to something aimed at me I guess.

        The site is now just all about video games, isn’t it? They’ve given up all pretense of it being wider. No game show stuff any more, And I don’t think they’ve ever actually done anything on boardgames, have they?

        • SamPlays says:

          I guess time will tell if the site can manage to sustain a wider view on games in general. A lot of the diversity seems to come out in the weekly “What Are You Playing” feature – many guests seem to be only marginally involved in video games and there’s a handful of regulars who seem to have interests that extend beyond video games. (Interestingly, there’s often negative comments made when an interviewee seems to have little or no experience with video games. I guess the audience being pulled in at this point is influencing the coverage of the site.)

          I’d love to see board games become a mainstay – I’ve found very few sites that offer meaningful, reliable information about board games. Also, more features on the hundreds of game shows in the history of television would be excellent. Covering the fringe elements of the sports world would also seem to be a good fit for the perspective that was outlined at the start of this site. There’s tons of material out there for Gameological to mine but I guess video games are getting the job done for now. There’s always bills to pay, right?

        • Eco1970 says:

          They could at least do a What Are You Playing This Week with Tom Vassal.

  13. Justin Leeper says:

    I don’t think enough attention was paid to the Mega Man Anniversary and Mega Man X Collection — especially because early PS3s have backwards compatibility and the GameCube versions will work on a Wii (still almost worthy of being called a modern console).

  14. DrFlimFlam says:

    Okay, that gives me several months to finally tackle that one. On it.

  15. Zack Handlen says:

    I still have a GameCube! Although I no longer have the MMAC for it. I bought a copy of that when it first came out, and it was the first time I actually managed to beat the first three games in the series.

    • Sleverin says:

       It’s still sitting in my closet over there…only really beat 7 to be honest, since I know that game from back to front.

  16. Mega Man 5 is being released on the 3DS eShop this week. MM6 should be next month?

  17. Anjospot says:

    You need to edit this because Megaman 6 and 8 already released on PS3. :)