Sega deserves much praise for Sega Forever, the new campaign that has been delivering classic Sega titles to the Google Play Store on a monthly basis.

All the games are free to play with ads, meaning you'll have to contend with those pop-up ads between levels and when you save. If you love a game and want an ad-free gaming experience, you can unlock the paid version for $2.

The touchscreen emulation for controls is pretty decent, but Sega has added controller support for most of the titles, so if you have a Bluetooth controller for Android, you're good to go.

Though there are more than 20 games in the growing collection of Sega Forever-branded titles, these are the best of the best.

The Cream of the Crop

Sonic The Hedgehog Classic

The game that anchored Sega's Genesis line up, Sonic the Hedgehog is an absolute classic. This high-speed platformer was Sonic's video game debut, and is still an absolute blast to play all these years later.

The Android version was actually released well before the start of the Sega Forever campaign, so you'll definitely notice the difference in presentation. Compared to other retro games brought to Android such as Mega Man that felt sluggish, the emulation here is almost too fast, and yet oddly appropriate for a Sonic game.

Download: Sonic The Hedgehog (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is one of the best selling Sega games of all time — and for a good reason. This game is as iconic as it gets for Genesis games and introduced Sonic's sidekick Tails to the franchise.

Dr. Eggman/Robotnik is trying to track down the seven Chaos Emeralds to unleash his ultimate weapon, so it's up to Sonic and his pals to free the captured forest animals and save the world from evil. Just another classic Sega game that still holds up today.

Download: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Sonic CD Classic

Released for the Sega CD — a CD-Rom accessory for the Sega Genesis that you probably didn't own — Sonic CD was designed to highlight the new capabilities of CD-Rom technologies and while it didn't showcase anything too earth-shattering, it managed to preserve everything we love about Sonic.

The story has you battling Dr. Eggman/Robotnik again who is now after the Time Stones in a new adventure that has Sonic traveling forward and backward through time. It's the same fast-paced platforming action you'd expect from a Sonic game with the added flourishes that the Sega CD afforded the developers to dabble with. If you've played the first two Sonic games to death and are looking for a fresh Sonic adventure that isn't dreadful like Sonic Adventures.

Download: Sonic CD Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Sonic 4 Episode 2

Sonic 4 was one of the first official Sonic the Hedgehog games that Sega published to the Google Play Store, and it represented both a return to the classic 2D side-scrolling action of the first games with 3D rendering and new ways to attack and move. The first game, Sonic 4 Episode 1 was launched on the Google Play Store nearly a decade ago as a paid title, but Sega has just recently added the sequel, Sonic 4 Episode 2, to the Sega Forever line up.

Sonic 4 is equal parts nostalgic and a breath of fresh air. All those classic sound effects are here, but the gameplay has been significantly altered from the classic Genesis games. Some of the changes are really cool, like the ability to tag in Tails and fly away to victory, but others like the newer quick attack to during the flow of the game. All in all, I've found Sonic 4 feels a bit slower than the classic Sonic games I remember which is a bit disappointing, but it's still a pretty great game that plays well with a Bluetooth controller in hand.

Download: Sonic 4 Episode 2 (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Ristar Classic

Chances are you may have missed out on Ristar back in the day, and that's fair because there were so many games released back them of mediocre quality that it was nearly impossible to play them all.

Of all the "unknown" games released under Sega Forever, I think this plucky platformer might be my favorite. Developed by the Sonic development team, you play as the titular character, Ristar, an anthropomorphic cartoon star with stretchable arms that allow him to climb and swing around and also take out enemies. It's a bright and colorful game with unique gameplay that plays really well on Android.

Download: Ristar Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Comix Zone Classic

This game is pure '90s nostalgia. Comix Zone is a beat-em-up game initially released for the Sega Genesis that plays out on the pages of a comic book. You play as Sketch Turner, a rockstar/comic book artist hard at work on his latest comic creation when a bolt of lightning causes Sketch and Mortus (the main villain in the comic) to switch places. You must work your way through the pages of the comic as Mortus draws in enemies for you to fight.

You've got to give it up for just how creative the concept is, and the gameplay is top notch. You can kick enemies through to the next panel of the comic, and there are secrets to unlock as you can occasionally choose your own path through the pages. The action is pretty stellar, too, with puzzles and other secrets to keep the game fresh.

Download: Comix Zone (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Kid Chameleon Classic

I think it's easy to dismiss Kid Chameleon as just another cheesy 90s platformer but there's a ton of content packed into this game. Set in "the future" when hologram VR games are all the rage, the boss in the game "Wild Side" has started abducting players into the game and it's up to your character Casey to go in and beat the game to save the day.

To do so, Casey must don different masks that transform him into different characters. There are over 100 levels to play, with many of them only accessible by finding warp teleporters throughout the game. Because of the variety of levels and the ability to switch between characters, Kid Chameleon constantly feels fresh each time you play. It's a fun throwback if you remember it from the Genesis days, and still holds up as a fun platformer in 2018.

Download: Kid Chameleon Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Streets of Rage 1 and 2 Classic

Streets of Rage is among the classic genre-defining series that solidified the beat-em-up genre in the 90s. Both Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2 are available on Sega Forever and are still great to play all these years later.

This game is literally about fight crime on the streets, and there's some sort of plot going on but honestly who cares. Streets of Rage is all about fighting action with kickass combos, grapples and throws, with deadly weapons thrown in the mix — just accept the weird video game logic of a punching combo doing more damage than a stab to the gut.

Streets of Rage is fun to play solo, but you're also able to play multiplayer over Wi-Fi, which allows each player play on their own phone. There's support for Bluetooth controllers, but it's not the best implementation that I've seen.

The Revenge of Shinobi Classic

This was the first Shinobi game released for the Sega Genesis, and if you've never played a Shinobi game before — well, here's your chance!

In this game, the evil 'Neo Zeed' organization has killed your ninja master and kidnapped your bride, so it's up to you to travel across the eight districts and use all your ninjutsu skills to take out the bad guys, collecting mystical power-ups along the way. The old cheats you remember from your childhood still work, so you can go into options and set the shurikens to 00 to unlock infinite shurikens. Boo-yah!

Download: The Revenge of Shinobi Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Crazy Taxi Classic

This is one of the Dreamcast games you could call an iconic classic. Crazy Taxi is an open-world arcade driving game where you play an outrageous taxi driver who has no regard for street laws because time is money.

The gameplay is frantic and… well, crazy… as you race around the city picking up new fares and getting them to their destination as fast as you can. This game has been remastered for mobile and features the original soundtrack from the Dreamcast game featuring music from The Offspring and Bad Religion. Both Arcade and Original Modes are available, along with 16 mini-games.

This game is crazy fun and addictive and a great fit for mobile.

Download: Crazy Taxi Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Beyond Oasis Classic

Nintendo had Zelda. In response, Sega had Beyond Oasis.

In this action RPG, you play as Prince Ali as he journeys across a magical land filled with ogres, zombies, wizards and epic boss battles against gigantic rock monsters and dragons.

The gameplay and combat are really spot-on, and there's a variety of weapons you can collect. The game starts after Ali finds a golden armlet that once belonged to a wizard who waged war against the wearer of the silver armlet. The gold armlet lets Ali summon four spirits which must be discovered by exploring the lands of Oasis. If you've never played this game back in the day but love great action-adventure games a la Zelda, absolutely check out Beyond Oasis.

Download: Beyond Oasis Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition Classic

Super Monkey Ball is one of those wacky games that almost seems too loose and silly to be fun. Originally released as an arcade game, Super Monkey Ball games were released throughout the early 2000s for console and handheld devices.

Rather than controlling the character, you control the course itself. Simply tilt your phone and the board itself moves — it takes a bit to get used to, but it's intuitive on mobile phones. Your monkey ball starts to roll and pick up speed depending on the angle and direction that you tilt. You must reach the goal gate of each level without falling off the edge or letting the time run out, with bonus points and extra lives available by collecting all the bananas on the stage.

There are six worlds and 125 themed stages available, along with wacky mini-games including Monkey Target, Monkey Golf, Monkey Bowl.

Download: Super Monkey Ball: Sakura Edition Classic (Free w/Ads, $1.99)

For Hardcore Fans Only

So the above list is the best games, but there are eight other Sega Forever game titles that you might get a kick out of if you played them as a kid, but they just don't cut the mustard in 2018.

As you'd expect, each is free to play with ads with an ad-free version available for $1.99.

What are your favorite Sega games?

Are there any Sega titles you want to be added to Sega Forever? What do you think of the games they've released thus far? Let us know in the comments!

Get the most out of your Android gaming experience

SteelSeries Stratus Duo ($60 at Amazon)

A great Bluetooth controller for use with Android games that offer gamepad support that also includes a wireless USB dongle for gaming on PCs. Highly recommended!

Ventev Powercell 6010+ Portable USB-C Charger ($37 at Amazon)

This battery pack from Ventev is recommended so often because it's so compact and convenient. You get a built-in USB-C cord, built-in AC prong for charging the unit, and 6000mAh battery capacity.

Spigen Style Ring ($13 at Amazon)

Of all the phone mounts and kickstands we've tested, the most consistently reliable and sturdy is the original Spigen Style Ring. It also has a minimalist hook mount for your car's dashboard.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.