While the NES was something I received as a Christmas gift when I was in kindergarten, the Game Gear didn't come along near the end of my time in 4th grade. It stayed with me all the way through high school (though I did have to get a second after I broke the screen on the first one) when, for a variety of reasons too stupid to go into here, I gave it to Alex for safekeeping when I went off to college.
He promptly lost 85% of my games before I came back for winter break. Thanks, Al.
5. Majors Pro Baseball
4. Batman Returns
3. Earthworm Jim
2. Sonic the Hedgehog
1. Power Rangers
I suppose it becomes apparent why I had the sudden urge to do a Majors Pro Baseball post last weekend. Anyway, One sports game, three platformers of varying styles, and one fighting game. I suppose Power Rangers tries to be a beat 'em up, but considering you only ever fight one enemy at a time, and don't really do much moving around the level, it's a fighting game.
It' isn't too surprising a Sonic game made it in, since 6 of the 29 games I had for the Game Gear were Sonic games. Of course, six of the games I had were either X-Men or Spider-Man games (or both at once in the case of Arcade's Revenge), and none of the came close to making the list. Return of the Sinister Six might have a shot at the top 10, maybe Mojo World as well, but that's it.
Looking at the five I picked, it's kind of neat how each of them had a soundtrack I can recall almost instantly. I talked about the "runners in scoring position" music for Pro Baseball, and Batman Returns had this very solemn sort of theme for the credits. I was particularly fond of the music for the Scrap Brain level in Sonic, though every Sonic game had good music. Even Sonic 2, which I otherwise hated (and would likely headline a least favorite Game Gear Games list), had some good tunes for the Sky High level. I remember getting odd looks from classmates for whistling that tune in class in 6th grade.
The three platformers are all a little different. Batman Returns, with the fact most of the boss battles are a lot more difficult than the rest of the level, really encourages searching high and low through the level to find those power-ups that let Batsy call in the mechanized cavalry. You can do that if you want in Sonic of Earthworm Jim, but it isn't necessary. In this Sonic game, at least, you don't have to collect all the Chaos Emeralds, so there's no need to slow down and search carefully. You can simply barrel through full tilt if you'd like. As for EWJ, searching might provide health boosts or a super-powerful one-shot attack, but it's likely the player can find some of those just by sticking to the basic path through the level.
I always wanted Batman Returns to allow me to launch some sort of flying kick when I swung off a grappling line, but it wasn't to be. Which lead to more than a few moments of swinging, landing, and being punched off the ledge by some goon I wasn't able to attack until after I stuck the landing. Early video game Batman couldn't multi-task.