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 Raid — February 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.
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.
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).
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.