Console: Gameboy Advance
Battle Network might have been Mega Man’s most popular (or at least prolific) reimagining on the GBA, but it wasn’t the only one. Taking a darker bent than its Pokemon-inspired sister franchise, the Mega Man Zero games were set a full century after the Mega Man X series, with an amnesiac Zero fighting alongside a resistance group in a post-apocalyptic, robot-filled hellscape.
While the Zero series kept most of Mega Mans trappings – big side-scrolling levels, bosses hiding behind retracting doors – it introduced a lot of its own touches, like weapons that leveled up with use and collectible, Pokemon-like creatures called Cyber-elves that could enhance Zero’s abilities. It was also extra-hard, even by the standards of older Mega Man games. Despite this, Zero proved popular enough to get three sequels on the GBA. The first game is generally regarded as the best though, so its the one we’re singling out here.