Best Msx Games

Summary: MSX was a popular home computer system in the 1980s, offering a large collection of games. Among them were some true gems that deserve to be remembered today. This article will delve into the best MSX games ever made, examining what made them special and why they remain beloved by gamers.

1. Metal Gear

Metal Gear is one of the most iconic games for MSX, with its stealth-action gameplay and gripping storyline. The game was developed and published by Konami in 1987 and became an instant hit. In Metal Gear, you play as Solid Snake, a soldier who must infiltrate an enemy base to stop a nuclear threat. The game introduced many innovative mechanics such as hiding inside lockers and crawling under obstacles, which became standard elements in the stealth genre. The story was also incredibly compelling, with twists and turns that kept players hooked until the end.

The sound design in Metal Gear was also top-notch, with memorable tunes that still resonate with fans today. The MSX version of the game had a few technical limitations compared to later ports, but it remains a classic that inspired a whole franchise of games.

To this day, Metal Gear is considered one of the best MSX games ever made, and its impact on the gaming industry can still be felt today.

2. Gradius

Gradius is a side-scrolling shooter that was originally released in 1985 by Konami. The game challenged players to navigate through levels filled with obstacles and enemies, while upgrading their weapons and defenses along the way. Gradius was known for its intense difficulty, but also its memorable power-ups and boss battles.

The graphics in Gradius were impressive for its time, featuring colorful backgrounds and detailed character sprites. The game also had a fantastic soundtrack, composed by Miki Higashino, who would go on to create more iconic soundtracks for Konami games.

Gradius spawned multiple sequels and spin-offs, becoming one of the most successful shooting franchises in gaming history. It remains a beloved MSX game that set a high standard for shooters in the 80s and beyond.

3. Penguin Adventure

Penguin Adventure is a charming adventure game that was released by Konami in 1986. In the game, you play as a penguin in search of the Holy Grail, navigating through various environments and using special items to progress. The game’s visuals and music were both delightful, creating a whimsical atmosphere that was unlike anything else at the time.

Penguin Adventure was notable for its unique gameplay mechanics, such as being able to swim underwater and ride animals like whales and dolphins. The game also had numerous secrets to discover, encouraging players to explore every inch of the world.

Despite not being as well-known as some of Konami’s other titles, Penguin Adventure holds a special place in the hearts of many MSX fans for its charm and quirkiness.

4. Nemesis 2

Nemesis 2, also known as Gradius 2 outside of Japan, is another classic side-scrolling shooter from Konami. The game was released in 1987 and featured improved graphics and gameplay over its predecessor. Nemesis 2 was known for its challenging levels and boss fights, as well as its innovative power-up system that allowed players to customize their ship with different weapons and upgrades.

The music in Nemesis 2 was once again composed by Miki Higashino, who further cemented her reputation as one of the best composers in gaming. The game also had impressive graphics that pushed the limits of what the MSX was capable of.

Nemesis 2 is still considered one of the best shooters on the MSX and remains a fan favorite to this day.

5. Knightmare

Knightmare is a challenging action game released in 1986 by Konami. In the game, you play as a knight named Popolon who must rescue his daughter from a demonic castle. The gameplay in Knightmare involved navigating through labyrinthine levels while fighting off monsters and solving puzzles.

The graphics in Knightmare were impressive for the time, with detailed character sprites and colorful backgrounds. The music was also top-notch, featuring memorable tunes that enhanced the game’s medieval atmosphere.

Knightmare was one of the first MSX games to receive a release outside of Japan and gained a small but dedicated following in Europe. The game’s difficulty ensured that it remained a challenge even to experienced gamers.


The MSX was home to many great games during its heyday, but few can match the impact and legacy of titles like Metal Gear, Gradius, and Penguin Adventure. These games pushed the limits of what was possible on the platform and helped shape the gaming industry as a whole. Whether you’re a longtime MSX fan or simply curious about classic games, these titles are definitely worth checking out.

Other standout MSX games include the puzzle-platformer Aleste, the action-adventure Vampire Killer, and the RPG Dragon Slayer IV. Each of these games offered something unique and innovative, helping cement the MSX’s reputation as a powerhouse of gaming in the 80s.

The influence of MSX games can still be felt in modern titles today, and their legacy will continue to inspire new generations of gamers for years to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *