best sega saturn shmups

20 Sega Saturn Shmup Games That Showcased Its 32-Bit Power

Thunder Force V (1997)

thunder force 5 saturn

The fifth entry in the Thunder Force series, known for its stunning graphics and fast-paced action. The game added polygons to the series whose last outing was the 1992 release of Thunder Force IV on the Megadrive. The game saw a release in the US in 1998 on the PS1 but for Saturn owners its the Japanese version you’ll need to pick up.

Batsugun (1996)

batsugan saturn shooter

One of the earliest “bullet hell” games by Toaplan who released it in the arcades back in 1993. The title also made it to the Saturn in Japan which is the only home console to receive this manic game which has an intense power-up system and six pilots to choose from.

Darius Gaiden (1995)

darius gaiden sega saturn shooter

A Taito classic with branching level paths and fish-themed enemies, a haunting soundtrack and a feast for the eyes. Check out our full review of Darius Gaiden for the Sega Saturn, it was also released in both the US and PAL regions making it a rare shmup to be released outside of Japan.

Sengoku Blade (1996)

sengoku blade

Sengoku Blade is a horizontal shooter by Psikyo and was different to the usual space based fare with its futuristic feudal Japan aesthetic. The version for the Saturn only came out in Japan, however it did see a UK release in 2004 on the PlayStation 2. However if you absolutely have to have the Saturn version expect to pay out for it.

Hyper Duel (1996)

hyper duel saturn

A fast-paced action game by Technosoft, the makers of the Thunder Force series naturally comes with impressive sprite work. This is another Saturn exclusive outside of arcades that contains both the arcade perfect version and a special Saturn mode version.

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