The Mega Man franchise is one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time.  There are so many different series’ in it, ranging from the classic 2D platformer/shooter Mega Man, to the 3D shooter Mega Man Legends, and even to the RPG series Mega Man: Battle Network.  These series have all been praised, but arguably the most famous Mega Man “side” series is Mega Man X.  Released in 1993, Mega Man X was the first non Mega Man game that isn’t completely related to the classic Mega Man series.  The titular character, Mega Man X, is a new robot, created 100 years after the events of the original Mega Man series.  Known as X for short, Mega Man X is given the task of taking down the evil Sigma, who is wreaking havoc on the world.  Mega Man X is often praised as one of the best Mega Man games, but how does it hold up 24 years after its release?

X destroys a miniboss

The gameplay of Mega Man X is very similar to that of the original Mega Man series.  Jumping from platform to platform, shooting down enemies, defeating bosses, and getting powerups that are used to X’s advantage.  One of the biggest changes in the gameplay from Mega Man to Mega Man X, is that X is much more versatile than Mega Man.  X can wall jump, dash, break blocks with his head, and more.  The gameplay of Mega Man X is very fast paced, and doesn’t have that many issues.  One of the only issues I found was that X can easily get blindsided by enemies, but the large health bar compensates for this.  There are many collectables, such as the four sub tanks, which when full can refill X’s health.  Another collectable is the heart tank, which extends X’s health.  These heart tanks are scattered throughout the game, but aren’t hard to find.  The powerups, not including the boss powers that are obtained by defeating them, are found in certain levels, and give X the abilities listed earlier.  The gameplay of Mega Man X is very fun, and has very few flaws.

The controls of Mega Man X are also very good.  What makes these controls so good is that they’re customizable.  In the options menu, you can change what buttons on the controller do what, making the controls accustomed to everybody who plays.  There is a lot of fast action in the game, requiring the player to know the controls well, but this shouldn’t be an issue with the customizable controls.  That being said, if the player didn’t know about the custom option, then I could see them complaining, since the default layout isn’t exactly ideal, with the dash button far from the jump button.  With the controls being super easy to change, there’s no reason I can’t say that they’re still fine today.

The character select screen. Still looks very nice today.

The graphics of Mega Man X are 16-bit, since the game was released for the Super Nintendo.  While pixelated, for the time the graphics looked amazing, and for the Super Nintendo, they look outstanding.  The Mega Man games were some of the best looking ones on the Super Nintendo, and Mega Man X is no exception.

The Music of Mega Man X is also outstanding.  The music is almost never bad in Mega Man, so there would be no reason to think that Mega Man X’s soundtrack wouldn’t be superb.  The game opens up with a rocking tune for the tutorial stage, and the rock soundtrack continues throughout the game with amazing tracks for each stage.  The Super Nintendo’s sound chip was advanced for the time, and Mega Man X takes full advantage of it.

X rides a cart through a very fast paced level.

Mega Man X is a near timeless game.  With amazing gameplay, alright controls, and great graphics and music backing the game up, there is no reason to not love Mega Man X.  If you love the classic Mega Man series and want something a little different, X is your place to go.  Mega Man X has aged very well.