The games industry has been thriving for decades, with the home game industry booming since the late 1980's. Over the years there have been hundreds upon hundreds of excellent games but it's extremely difficult to go back and play those games on their home console if you don't already have them! Enter the compilation, a cartridge or, disc that isn't necessarily a new game in a series but a collection of a series or, specific titles in a series. These are my ten favorite Game Compilations.

Mega Man is a prolific series which originated on the NES and spawned dozens of games and a huge legacy to rival other iconic gaming characters. Early in the summer of 2004, the PS2, Xbox and, Gamecube were graced by a disc collecting (then) all 8 games in the original Mega Man series. Also included on the disc are the games Mega Man: The Power Battle and its sequel which were fighting games exclusive to arcades in Japan. Added to the original six titles is a "Navi" mode which features hints on how to get through levels. Each of the three console versions had a slight variation too: The Gamecube version included an interview with Keiji Inafune whereas the Xbox version had that same interview and the first episode of Mega Man NT Warrior, an anime series. While all three versions can still be found, the PS2 one is by far the least expensive.

Capcom released a few of these collections but I'm going with the first one for a few reasons. First off, this one has 22 games compared to the portable versions' 20 and, volume 2's collection of 20. Why would I chose the original though? In the original collection, you get arcade ports of three flavors of Street Fighter II (World Warrior, Champion and, Hyper Fighting editions). Also present are Ghouls n' Ghosts (regular and super) and, Ghosts n' Goblins. At this point you can find the PS2 disc online for very cheap, making it a great bargain for fans of classic Capcom or just arcade games in general.

Taito was a big force in the arcades so it comes as no surprise that it would throw its hat into the game compilation ring. Enter Taito Legends, a collection of 29 classic arcade games by that specific company. This is the first of two titles we got in the west but in Japan they got four. Our Taito Legends is Japan's Taito Memories I and II. I chose the original over volume two because the original has games such as Space Invaders, Bubble Bobble, Operation Wolf, The Ninja Kids and, Battle Shark. Both are great collections though and definitely worth your time. If you have an original Xbox, you'll have an easier time getting this one on the cheap.

Data East Arcade Classics on the Wii collects 15 arcade games by the now defunct Data East. While some of the games on this collection have been ported to other consoles, this collection features the original arcade versions. The games on the disc are nicely varied too, from Bad Dudes which is a beat-em-up to, Magical Drop III which is a color-matching marble puzzler.High scores can be linked to your Mii and local multiplayer is featured. Attaining certain achievements can even unlock things like music tracks and, arcade boarders. Sadly, since Data East went under, the price of this collection is a bit high even though this disc was only released in 2010 so it may be difficult to find this one, cheap or not.

I'm going to be honest, I got this used. I don't know how people ended up getting this game but the popular theory I've heard is that you had to pre-order Wind Waker from Best Buy but that could be disproved if that's how people got the Master Quest/Majora's Mask disc. Anyway: I chose this over that because in addition to Ocarina of Time and, Majora's Mask, this collection has the two NES Zelda games, Legend of Zelda & Zelda 2: Link's Adventure. There is also a promo video for the then-new Wind Waker which is a nice addition. This is somewhat difficult to come by at this point but it's definitely worth it if you can find a copy.

What's better than Super Mario Bros? Super Mario World. What's arguably better than Super Mario World? Super Mario Bros 3. What's even better than that? A cartridge released in December of 1994 that collects all four Mario Bros games from the NES and the still recent Super Mario World. The previous summer, Nintendo released Super Mario All-Stars which was a collection of the three Super Mario games we knew and love here in the US but it also included Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels which was exclusive to Japan until that point. The version released in December of 94 collects the same four games but includes the Super Nintendo launch title Super Mario World which makes it the better deal by any measure. Not even the Wii re-release of All Star can compare considering it lacks Super Mario World!

Sonic the Hedgehog has had many, many compilations released and I chose Mega Collection Plus. Like with the Mega Collection, this version compiles Sonic the Hedgehog one through three, including & Knuckles and all three of its expansions. Spinball, Mean Bean Machine and, 3D Blast are present, as are a number of Sonic games that released to the Game Gear. Most interestingly though, this compilation features Ristar, Ooze and, Comix Zone! This is an amazingly large collection and was released to the PS2 and Xbox.

The Super Nintendo had an incredible collection of games on offer but today, trying to build up a collection of carts is extremely difficult unless you happen to be a multi-millionaire (or richer). The Mega Man X collection is a compilation of titles which goes from the excellence of Mega Man X to the game that is Mega Man X6. You don't need to read about how awesome I think Mega Man X is or indeed, how awesome Mega Man X2 or X3 are...You don't even need to read lame jokes I could make about the voice acting in Mega Man X4 (What am I typing for!?). All you need to know is if you want to play Mega Man Battle & Chase, the only Mega Man cart racer, you need to beat X through X3 on a compilation disc that you can grab on the cheap for any of the three consoles from two generations ago...or shell out some big import cash.

Kirby is a somewhat under rated Nintendo character and it's easy to see why: taken at face value Kirby seems like a cute, child friendly game that wouldn't have much to offer for an older audience. I see the Dream Collection as being more for the adults who grew up playing Kirby games and the games on offer reflect that. Half of the games on the collection are the three Dream Land titles for the Game Boy which were really popular years ago. Kirby's Adventure for the NES is also on the collection as well as Crystal Shards for the Nintendo 64, both really engaging and fun side-scrolling adventure games. The 6th game on the disc is the Super Nintendo version of Kirby Super Star which itself is a compilation of eight games! In addition to all of these games, Dream Collections has a 'museum' which briefly summarizes every Kirby game up to 2012 (with a preview of Return to Dreamland). Finally, the Dream Collection has 3 full episodes of Kirby: Right Back at Ya, an interesting anime series based on Kirby. This collection is widely available as it's still a recent Wii game.

Did you own a Super Nintendo as a child? Have you ever wondered how the other half lived? If you don't live close to an independent games retailer or have an unlimited amount of spending cash, you may never know what kind of Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) games passed you least until this collection was released to the PS3 and Xbox 360 in early 2009. Sonic's Ultimate Collection is a compilation of 40 popular games from Alex Kidd to Vectorman, Altered Beast to Shinobi and a ton of other titles not counting arcade or, Master System versions of certain games which can be unlocked as you play through and beat the games you do have instant access to. The best thing is that this is a budget title at this point so if you've ever had a passing curiosity about games like Golden Axe II or, Decap Attack then you have very little to lose.

Every week, more and more games are released to the public and while its true that there are a lot of great and, interesting games coming, it seems a shame that games of old could potentially be overlooked or outright forgotten. Compilation discs and, bundles are be a great way to preserve the heritage we as gamers have built over the years. Even if you owned the original discs or, cartridges, there are whole new generations of young gamers who don't know what they're missing out on and could miss out on games they might have absolutely loved. Hopefully the compilation and, collection sub-genre will continue on and grow stronger; titles such as the 2K Essentials and, various Sony collections (like God of War and Jak & Daxter) are great steps in the right direction.

List by EnmaDaio2588 (11/08/2013)

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