The Sega Megadrive was a fantastic machine for shoot ‘em ups, especially side scrolling ones. Here’s Retroheadz pick of the ones to look out for, revisit or just be aware of if you ever have the need to destroy some evil empires and what not. Let’s start with… Hellfire Released way back in 1990, Hellfire is an arcade conversion from Toaplan. Hellfire looks stunning considering how old it is and, in our opinion, looks better than the arcade version which was only released a year before. Its a bright and colourful Shoot 'em up and on top of that Hellfire has some great levels to conquer. From starting out in space to fighting in what looks like ancient Egypt, Hellfire is one tough cookie, so expect to get properly frustrated as it takes an age to master. If you want to buy a Genesis copy that will work straight on a PAL Megadrive expect to fork out somewhere in the region of £50. Zero Wing Zero Wing is awesome, and its intro is the stuff of internet legends. This is the game with the infamous ‘All your base belong to us’ dialogue that has created untold meme's since well, meme's began. However, this shouldn’t overshadow the fact that this is one heck of a shoot ‘em up. With the ability to have two support ships flying alongside the Zero Wing and select different types of weapons to being able to pull in enemy ships with a tractor beam and fire them at the oncoming hordes. Zero Wing is one challenging and fun shoot 'em up to play. A PAL version of Zero Wing should set you back between £45-60 Steel Empire Produced by Hot B and published by Acclaim this steampunk styled shoot ‘em ‘up is great fun. You have either a bi-plane or a airship to pilot each of which has different attributes to bring to the battle. Couple these attributes with some decent music, excellent silent movie style cutscenes, epic settings and boss battles. Steel Empire will test your reflexes to the maximum and won’t break the bank to buy either with cart only starting at £15 and boxed around £25-30. Check out the Retroheadz in-depth review for it here. Gley Lancer Gley Lancer was a Japan only release so gamers could get it on import only back in the day. This Anime style shooter is gorgeous to look at from the cut scenes to the game itself. It also has tons of speech which impressed Megadrive owners back in 1992. Gley Lancer is one to get hold of but be prepared to fork out a lot for it, say around £300 if you’re lucky. However, if a copy is found and purchased then proudly display it as even the box art is beautiful. Insector X This was an early release in the US for the Genesis back in 1989 and like the later Steel Empire came from Hot B. Rather than take place in space, Insector X takes place in what looks like your mums’ flower beds in the back garden and has you up against all manner of creepy crawlies throughout. The main character takes on bugs of all sizes and eliminates them with extreme prejudice, well... if they let you that is. Its not that bad a game, but it is showing its age being an early Megadrive release. If you want to buy it you’ll be looking at spending £40-60 for a boxed copy. Gaiares This Megadrive shoot 'em up is bright, colourful, very trippy and challenging. Gaiares seems to have it all including some awesome music and anime cut scenes. This title is pretty rare to get hold of and cost a pretty penny but if you have to have every shoot ‘em up on the Megadrive then this one need to be in your collection for sure. Want to get Gaiares? It will set you back over £100, maybe more. Thunderforce 4 From its epic metal infused intro containing some of the best music the Megadrive can produce. Thunderforce 4 is a special game indeed for Sega’s 16 Bit console. The levels are large, varied and come with some of the biggest bosses ever to grace Sega’s 16 Bit console. Everything about Thunderforce 4 is awesome and any fan of the shoot ‘em up genre should have or definitely needs to play this classic, we did and here is what we think of this gem of a game. Thankfully, picking up this seminal shoot 'em up is not that hard to do, expect to pay £40+ or alternatively get it on the Nintendo Switch if you have one. There’s also Thunderforce 3 which is great but this is so much better. Gynoug Released in 1991, Gynoug is a classical side scrolling shmup and by classical we mean during the classical Greek era of all places You take control of your tiny winged Icarus styled protagonist, Wor, and take on a bizarre mix of disturbing creatures and bosses to make the ancient world free again. Incidentally, It was also called Wings of Wor in the US and we can understand why as we are still stumped as to how to pronounce Gynoug. Any guesses? Want to buy it? Expect to pay around £30 for a copy of Gynoug Feeling Nostalgic? What Megadrive Shoot ‘em up’s did you love to play back in the day or still do? Which one is your favourite? Share your memories in the comments below.