Like many kid-focused shows of the ’80s and ’90s, Power Rangers seemed to be created specifically to sell toys, pajamas, bubble bath, and of course, video games. With the basic setup of five(ish) costumed superheroes doing exaggerated kung-fu on all manner of monsters, cyborgs, and aliens– while occasionally transforming into giant robots, dinosaurs, and other mechanical beasts– most of the work was already done in turning the Power Rangers into video game stars.
While not quite as prolific in video game adaptations as some of their peers–namely, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who seemed to have a new game every three months–the Power Rangers have still had over two dozen different video games released in the franchise’s 24-year history. But have those games been any good? Review scores will tell you no, but that isn’t always an indicator of how well something actually appeals to its intended audience.
Here are 15 Power Rangers Games, Ranked From Worst To Best.
15. Power Rangers: Wild Force (Game Boy Advance)
The Wild Force incarnation of Power Rangers occurred during the show’s tenth season, and also served as an anniversary celebration for the franchise (coincidentally, it was based on what was the 25th anniversary of the Super Sentai series on which the Power Rangers is based). Unfortunately, the video game based on that season didn’t share its nostalgia, and only focused on the six then-current Rangers.
That said, Wild Force is a fun little brawler, even though its simplicity is best-suited for younger players. The Ranger sections take place from an isometric perspective, with the action shifting to a side view when you enter a Megazord boss battle.
One nifty feature of this game is its multiplayer, which allows up to four players to battle at once– if you have the patience for the required tangle of cords that goes with multiplayer GBA games– and has the best-performing player in each stage getting to be the one to fly the Zord solo against each boss. A lot of co-op games have a competitive angle, but rarely is there a reward for “winning” beyond a high score or something equally arbitrary. Wild Force offers a legitimate incentive to outperform your friends, something more games of its type should do.
14. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Mega Battle (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
One of the nice things about Mega Battle is that it purports to be an alternate telling of the events of the original series, making it a nice entry point for anyone who might be new to the franchise and feel overwhelmed by its years of canonical baggage. The game also takes a different visual approach, opting to go for a more hand-drawn animated look, rather than trying to replicate the live-action series as most Power Rangers games have done post-16-bit.
The biggest downside to Mega Battle is that the developers seemed intent on distancing the game from the campiness of the series, which is a misguided decision as that’s a big part of why so many people love Power Rangers. The mechanics themselves are solid, though, with satisfying fisticuffs and boss battles that let you test out the little-used tank mode from the series to lob missiles at your enemies. All of that, combined with still being one of the only Power Rangers games in HD, makes for a game that is a good choice for new fans, as well as old ones who don’t mind the downplaying of the franchise’s signature cheesiness.
13. Power Rangers S.P.D. (Game Boy Advance)
Based on the show’s thirteenth season, the S.P.D. game steps away from the isometric 3D that far too many GBA games tried to do and went with a more traditional side-scrolling setup. This allowed for much tighter action and gameplay, including some rather satisfying jumping– and well-done jumping mechanics should never be taken for granted in side-scrollers that aren’t made by Nintendo. The environments are admittedly dull, but the character and enemy animation is fluid.
Like most Power Rangers games, there are both on-foot and Megazord sections, but S.P.D. ups the ante with a few additional gameplay types to break up the monotony that often sets in with games of this type. There are some fun Space Invader-esque shoot-em-up levels, and some racing levels where you control robotic dog R.I.C. that take advantage of the GBA’s ability to replicate the SNES’ Mode 7 effect. Neither are especially deep, but they do their job, which is to offer fun diversions between the standard level types.
12. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Sega CD)
Every platform got an almost completely different Mighty Morphin Power Rangers game, but the Sega CD version is the most different of the bunch. Rather than merely being a better-looking port of the equivalent Genesis version– as many Sega CD games were– the add-on platform got a Power Rangers game that was uniquely designed around its CD-ROM media format.
Opting to go the “full-motion video” route of many Sega CD games, this Power Rangers game was more an interactive video experience than an actual video game. It may seem trite now, but in 1994 it was exciting to have the full opening from the TV show pop up and play when you started the game. While it was disappointing that no new footage was shot for the game, getting to “play” episodes from the show was still pretty fun.
11. Power Rangers: Ninja Storm (Game Boy Advance)
The main thing that gives Ninja Storm the edge over the previous two Game Boy Advance games in this list are the visuals. Rather than going for that cold, digitized live-action look for the characters, the characters in Ninja Storm have a cel-shaded, more cartoony style which allows for a better overall aesthetic. Ninja Storm also improved on the bland backgrounds that plagued the other games, with its livelier, more vibrant environments.
The season of Power Rangers that this game is based on is perhaps best-remembered for how much it ramped up the humor and called out a lot of longtime franchise tropes, and this game definitely missed a good opportunity when it didn’t do the same.
Unfortunately, the quick-time button-press style of the Megazord battles make them feel more limited than previous games. However, that had the side effect of making the battles much more cinematic than the GBA would otherwise be capable of. And, really, isn’t that the entire point of not only Zord battles, but Power Rangers action as a whole?
10. Power Rangers Zeo: Battle Racers (Super NES)
It seems like most licensed properties get made into a kart and/or combat racing game sooner or later– Star Wars, Toy Story, South Park, M&M’s candy, and even the WWE have all been the basis for racing video games. Power Rangers got to that trope rather quickly into its video game career with Battle Racers for SNES, loosely based on the Zeo generation of the series.
Battle Racers didn’t even bother trying all that hard to come up with some sensible reason for the Rangers to be riding around racing each other, simply dropping them on largely generic tracks that could’ve been used in pretty much any other title. It wouldn’t be surprising if someone took an already-in-development kart racer and shoehorned Power Rangers characters into it halfway through– that type of thing happened a lot in those days.
Possibly-forced license aside, the game was still pretty good. Battle Racers‘ racing action and battle mechanics made it fun to play, especially with a friend, and it is certainly one of the more unique Power Rangers games.
9. Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue (PlayStation)
Despite the fact that the Nintendo 64 game of the same name looks a little better, if blurrier– as it tended to go when comparing PlayStation games to N64 games– the PS1 version of Lightspeed Rescue is definitely the superior game. For one thing, it is more action-packed, and for another, it doesn’t opt to zoom the camera out way too far like the N64 game does.
Comparisons aside, Lightspeed Rescue is, admittedly, a slightly clunky brawler, but that was par for the course with a lot of comparable games of the era– if you remember Eidos’ Fighting Force as a finely-polished experience, your nostalgia is playing tricks on you. The usual drawbacks to 3D beat-em-ups notwithstanding, Lightspeed Rescue is a fun action game with some respectably detailed– and destructible– environments, and Megazord battles that felt a lot faster-paced and more controllable than previous attempts to replicate piloting the giant robots.
It’s definitely true that the best Power Rangers games remain the 2D ones and that the 3D installments tend to struggle, but sometimes you just need your action in all three dimensions– and Lightspeed Rescue scratched that itch admirably for its time.
8. Power Rangers: Time Force (PlayStation)
A year is an eternity in the video game industry– it can mean a world of difference in terms of technological and overall quality improvements. Such was the case for Time Force, which took the previous year’s Lightspeed Rescue and improved upon it in just about every way. In retrospect, Lightspeed almost feels like something of a first draft for Time Force, where the latter got the benefit of seeing what its predecessor did right and wrong and used those lessons to be a much better game. Surprisingly, Time Force is actually one of the better 3D brawlers released on the PlayStation, period.
In addition to the standard adventure mode, Time Force had a surprisingly fun two-player battle mode that let you pick between one of the Megazords and the game’s bosses, and duke it out with a friend. Tekken it wasn’t, but it was still a decent way to spend a weekend, and remains one of the few attempts at a 3D Power Rangers fighting game.
7. Power Rangers Zeo: Full Tilt Battle Pinball (PlayStation)
What was it about the Zeo generation that inspired games that were so different from the usual Power Rangers video game mold? Then again, who says that every Power Rangers game has to be an action/platformer or a fighting game? If there can be an Austin Powers pinball video game, then any license is worthy of the silver ball treatment.
The biggest barrier of entry with this title is that not everyone likes pinball, and even fewer people like pinball video games. If that caveat doesn’t apply to you, and you’re a pinball-loving Power Rangers fan, then you’ll have a blast with Battle Pinball. It gets the basics right– good ball physics, responsive flipper controls, good table variety– and does a really nice job at making creative use of the license.
Like the best pinball video games, Battle Pinball takes advantage of doing things that wouldn’t be possible on a real-life machine, such has having monsters come out and walk across the table for you to attack, and featuring elaborate boss battles. And because of the single-screen, scaled down nature of pinball games, Battle Pinball has the extra advantage of having aged better than the majority of PR games post-16-bit and pre-HD.
6. Power Rangers: Dino Thunder (Game Boy Advance)
Even though Power Rangers games were coming to the powerful PlayStation 2 and GameCube at this point, the GBA still got the best version of the Dino Thunder-based games. The console versions only featured gameplay within the Zords, and while they’re fun to take into battle, controlling big, lumbering robots as they slowly skulk across big environments just feels like a chore.
The GBA Dino Thunder game sticks with the tried-and-true approach of alternating between Ranger levels and Zord levels. The Ranger portions feature some of the best gameplay of all of the PR games, not doing anything especially groundbreaking with the action stuff but just getting the look and feel “right.” There is a slightly more puzzle-solving element than most PR games, which adds a nice bit of depth, as does the ability to find upgrades within the standard levels to power up and customize your Zords.
A lot of people had already grown tired of their Game Boy Advances by 2004, especially with knowing that the DS and PSP were on the horizon. Thus, Dino Thunder passed a lot of PR fans by, even though it is one of the best PR games ever made.
5. Power Rangers: Super Legends (PlayStation 2, PC)
The best 3D Power Rangers game is also one of the few to be a proper celebration of the entire franchise (at that point), and not just focus on the current generation of the show. A whopping 21 playable characters are available in Super Legends from fifteen different seasons of the show, from MMPR all the way through Operation Overdrive— though Dino Thunder and Mystic Force were unfortunately left out of the reunion.
Super Legends was released during the brief stint where Disney owned the franchise, and it is clear that the company put a little more money behind its sole Power Rangers games than most PR games have gotten. Rather than just going the Super Smash Bros. route by throwing all of the characters into a button-mashing fighting game– by far the easiest way to fit a large cast of fan-favorite characters into a single game– Super Legends features co-op story levels, with some light puzzle-solving and Zord battles to go along with the typical fast-paced kick-and-punch action.
4. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Game Gear)
Now we start getting into the era of games that Power Rangers fans of a certain age will remember with the most affection. However, even though now-thirtysomething gamers most fondly remember the franchise duking it out with Genesis and Super NES games, Sega’s Game Gear portable system sneaked out one of the best PR games of the bunch.
Where the Genesis version is largely a one-on-one fighting game, the Game Gear takes that basic foundation and builds it out a bit, especially in terms of the story mode. Rather than just being a glorified two-player mode against the CPU, the single player mode in the Game Gear MMPR is a bit more like Streets of Rage-lite where you pound on various grunts in between the more substantial battles. It doesn’t have any multiplayer, which hurts to lose in a PR game, but so few people utilized the Game Gear’s multiplayer functionality that most developers didn’t find it worth the time to implement it.
3. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition (Super NES)
In an effort to not monopolize this list with ten different versions of the games based on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, some combining had to be done. This entry acknowledges the Genesis MMPR game that was just a one-on-one fighter, but lets the superior SNES fighting game represent that style of game on the list. Fighting Edition had better visuals, better-balanced characters, fairer difficulty, and best of all, it focused entirely on the Zords rather than the Rangers.
A Ranger-based fighting game kind of gets lost in the shuffle of a thousand other martial arts fighting games, but there are far fewer fighting games featuring giant robots–especially good games.
Any SNES-owning fighting game fan no doubt spent countless hours playing Street Fighter II or other similar games, but once in a while, it was nice to change things up a bit. Big, flashy, epic Zord battles served that purpose quite nicely. And it being a pixel-based Super NES game, it actually still looks pretty gorgeous to this day.
2. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Super NES)
If you were a Power Rangers fan and a gamer in 1994, you wanted a PR game in the vein of other classic licensed beat-em-ups like X-Men, The Simpsons, and TMNT. And that’s exactly what you got with MMPR for Super NES– just good, ol’ fashioned side-scrolling brawler action.
One neat thing that this game did, that few other PR games have done since, is let players begin as the Rangers in their human forms, beating up bad guys unmasked until about halfway through each level where they’d then morph into their more-powerful Ranger form. It offered a nice bit of progression that most beat-em-ups lack. It was more exciting to have to “earn” the upgrade rather than just having it from the moment the game began.
The game also played differently before and after the change, going from basic punches and kicks as human teenagers to powered-up weapons wielders as the Rangers. It certainly beat the arbitrary “power meter” that games like X-Men implemented to keep you from spamming your special attacks– once you morphed, you were free to go full-on Ranger, unabated.
1. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (Super NES)
Like any good video game sequel, this game took everything that made MMPR great and cranked it up to 11. Better graphics, better gameplay, better variety, better music, better set pieces, a drop-in co-op mode– it was, and still is, a Power Ranger fan’s ultimate video game adventure. While largely on a 2D plane like the previous game, certain segments had a second plane that you– and your enemies– could jump between, literally adding a layer of depth to the gameplay.
The progression from human to Ranger returned, and felt as satisfying as ever. New set piece-type sections, from snowboarding to fighting atop a moving train, made the game feel more cinematic. Some might consider the absence of Zord battles to be a step back, but it ended up making for a more cohesive experience overall– and people who still wanted that could just get the stand-alone fighting game that better handled Zord battles, anyway.
All in all, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie for Super NES is both the best PR game of all time, and a worthy addition to the pantheon of classic 16-bit beat-em-ups. Most PR fans would’ve probably been content just having this game reskinned for each subsequent generation of the TV series and playing through it all over again each year.
Which Power Rangers game is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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