The Mega Man games hold a special place in my heart, as the series was one of the first I played as a kid. The simple, yet genius, approach of a rock, paper, scissors mechanic tied into a side scrolling action platformer was astonishing at the time. The series was a success on the NES and has spawned several sequels and spinoffs, but many still debate which game in the original series is the best, 2 or 3?
Mega Man 2 expanded the concept of the original in many ways. The controls are more responsive, there are more robot masters to battle, Wily’s Castle is mapped, and the soundtrack is regarded as one of the best on the NES. The game achieves what a sequel should by improving on nearly every aspect of the original. This game truly sets the bar high for any game next in the series.
Mega Man 3 takes the same approach to its predecessor and looks to add to the solid foundation laid before it. Updated controls including the slide maneuver, a new mysterious character with Proto Man, revisiting all eight robot masters from Mega Man 2 after defeating eight originals, and the inclusion of your companion Rush the canine sidekick.
So which game is better? On paper Mega Man 3 is the better game. It adds a perfect amount of new features, while not straying too far from those games before it. Later games in the series try to add too much, including more sidekicks, secret abilities, and even the charged shot to the mega buster. These additions mostly fall flat and take the series in a slightly different direction, mostly for the worse. However, nostalgia is the deciding factor for me and I prefer Mega Man 2 over Mega Man 3. I replay the Mega Man games often and no other game in the series gives me the same level of satisfaction as Mega Man 2. The sentimental feeling I get when I see and hear the title screen is enough to seal my decision.
Which game in the series do you prefer? How would you like the series to continue, 8-bit style or continue the style of Mega Man 11? Let us know in the comments below or in the BossRush Discord and join other conversations in the community.