How Past Game Consoles Said Goodbye In Japan

Each time we approach the beginning of a new console generation, it also marks the slow and gradual ending of the previous one. Games for the previous consoles are released less frequently until they disappear altogether. But have you ever wondered what the final releases were for each major home console in Japan?

Sega Mark III (Sega Master System)

Bomber RaidFebruary 4, 1989

Bomber Raid is a top-down SHUMP like the classic 1942. Unlike many of the games on this list, it was actually released outside of Japan as well.

Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System)

Adventure Island IV — June 24, 1994

The Adventure Island series was hardly an unknown title during the NES era, but the final game in the series, Adventure Island IV, never left Japanese shores. It differs from the other games in the series by being less of a straight platformer and more of an action-adventure/platformer hybrid.

Sega Megadrive (Sega Genesis)

Madou Monogatari I — March 22, 1996

Madou Monogatari I is part of the long-running Madou Monogatari series (which released its latest game on the Vita earlier this year). It is a classic first-person dungeon crawler where you navigate a massive maze and battle monsters.

Super Famicom (Super NES)

Metal Slader Glory: Director's Cut — November 29, 2000

An enhanced remake of NES game Metal Slader Glory, Metal Slader Glory: Director's Cut is a science fiction visual novel. It never had an official cartridge and was released only via Nintendo’s Nintendo Power game download service.

Sega Saturn

Yukyu Gensokyoku Perpetual Collection — December 4, 2000

Yukyu Gensokyoku Perpetual Collection is a game collection release with the dating sims Yukyu Gensokyoku, Yukyu Gensokyoku 2nd Album, Yukyu Gensokyoku ensemble, and Yukyu Gensokyoku ensemble2 included in one package.

Nintendo 64

Bomberman 64 — December 20, 2001

Yes, Bomberman 64 is the final game released on the N64 — but not the Bomberman 64 you’re thinking of. In Japan, the game that was released in the West as Bomberman 64 is called “Baku Bomberman.” In 2001, a game actually titled Bomberman 64 was released in Japan — and luckily for the naming confusion issues inherent, it was never released anywhere else.


2006 FIFA World Cup — April 28, 2006

Japan didn’t seem to like the original Xbox as much as the rest of the world, but they do tend to love their soccer, which makes 2006 FIFA World Cup a fitting final release.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess — December 2, 2006

Say what you will about the ups and downs of the GameCube era. In Japan, the system went out with a bang with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.


Legendary Hits: Dewprism — January 25, 2007

The last PlayStation release in Japan was actually a budget re-release of Square Enix’s Action-RPG Dewprism — or as it was known in the West: Threads of Fate.


Karous — March 8, 2007

Karous, a cell-shaded SHUMP, was the last official game released on the Dreamcast. (Though, admittedly, there have been several unlicensed games released in the years since).

PlayStation 2

Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin — March 27, 2013

As Square Enix turned out the lights and closed the proverbial door on the original PlayStation, so too did they with the PlayStation 2. Long running MMORPG Final Fantasy XI’s latest expansion pack, Seekers of Adoulin, was released on the system earlier this year, leaving the PlayStation 2 with a Japanese catalogue stretching 13 years.

So there you have it, the last games in Japan for the major home consoles you know and love. How do they compare to the last releases over the rest of the planet? Head over to this handy little list at Wikipedia and see for yourself.


    GCN Twilight Princess = superior Twilight Princess.

    Shame the last Cube game out here was the TMNT movie tie-in.

      YES! no right hand-ness, true Link style

        Beyond even that though. Button to sword, instead of stupid waggle. Full camera control with the C-stick. And no stupid swap-out system for items (for those who don't know, on the Wii version you had three items available at any time but in order to use one you had to swap it out to the B button before you could use it. On GCN you only had two items, but they were assigned to X and Y and directly accessible through them).

        I did like the pointer controls of the Wii version, they were an improvement. But everything else was better on GCN.

      It was also the hardest Zelda game to find (GameCube version). At least, it was for me... every game store I went to at the time had abandoned the GameCube.

        Now that you mention it, I vaaaaaaaguely recall something about it being released in limited quantities... which would explain why I slapped down a preorder for it :P

          Yeah the GCN version was a limited edition. I tracked it down a year later on ebay and now I replay it on my Wii with my GCN controller.

    Man, Threads of Fate is such an underrated game. Visually, nothing special, but the gameplay was chock-full of really interesting ideas that made the action-adventure/RPG style of the game very fluid, almost Zelda-like, while copying almost nothing from Zelda, like most games of the genre do.

    The story was also quite sweet, with a really cool twist and a great, satisfactory ending.

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