I’m a little intimidated by how many games there are in the Megaman series. What games would you personally recommend, or how would you help someone new to Megaman?
Okay, I think the best starting point is probably the classic megaman series. It’s the simplest, and if you start there you won’t miss the features from the later games. From the original series I’d recommend 1, 2, 3, and 9, plus Rockman and Forte. 2 is a good starting point because the USA version is fairly easy, they smoothed it out compared to megaman 1, and it has nice variety. 1 is kinda rough around the edges, has a weird scoring system, kinda janky level design at times, but it’s still pretty great. 3 is supposed to be really good, harder than 2, but I haven’t played it yet. 9 is my favorite of the classic series. It’s super smooth, has great bosses, great enemies, great levels. Rockman and Forte is on my list to play. I love the speedrun. Icewall is broken as fuck.
From there it’s probably best to move onto the X series, after you’ve played at least one classic game. X1, X2, and X3 are the best. I’ve heard negative things about every game from X4 onwards. X1 is the only one I’ve beaten of those, it sets the pace really well, adds new abilities to megaman’s repertoire, generally a solid game. X2 and X3 is where it starts to get technical, because there’s more movement abilities, like air dashes, grapples, and frame perfect double jumps off charge shots.
The Zero and ZX series can be played interchangeably. I’ve beaten Zero 4, ZX, and ZX Advent. The Zero series was weird and had a kind of shaky foundation. It tried to change things up by adding a mission structure where you were allowed (and where it was even optimal) to fail missions. It also has leveling up to gain new abilities and Cyber Elves, which had 1 time use effects. By Zero 4 they worked a lot of these elements out or toned them down to be less janky. I don’t know how good the series is overall, and I haven’t heard much. I’d recommend it anyway.
ZX is a bit harder than Advent. Both use a Metroidvania structure for the world with areas unlocking as you get new biometals or boss forms. In ZX, you fight various bosses of 4 different types to gain their biometal, giving you access to a new form. If you avoid hitting their weakpoint the biometal gets stronger. The different Biometals have unique abilities, like airdashing, shooting in paths defined by a grid on the touch screen, detecting hidden items, etc.
ZX Advent is the conclusion, and the main character has the power to copy the form of all the bosses you fight. So you can literally turn into the boss, and use their powers. These are of course used as metroidvania style keys. The bosses have very different physiques, with some being large, some being small, etc. You can also copy the biometals from the previous game later on, and there’s a faster way to switch between forms from the touch screen in this one.
Megaman Battle Network is the weirdest spinoff. Dunno which one to recommend. It plays completely differently, but has a really creative realtime RPG grid battle setup with a deck of chips that have different attacks.