Continuing in the X series of Mega Man games by Capcom, this action platformer was released in 1994 following the success of the first game. The game continues the same style and game play known for all Mega Man games; the eight initial bosses and stage selection process, the upgrading capabilities for X, and additional items that can be found throughout the game. The game did introduce a few new features to the series including a new chip, the CX4, which allowed for simple 3D polygon display and provided a mix of 3D animation with 2D gaming. The game play was enhanced by the inclusion of new mechanized robot rides that players can choose to use during a level. Another new feature was the mid-level boss fights at various stages. Mid-level, intermediate bosses were not new to Mega Man, but this was the first time that players could actively choose to engage/avoid these bosses prior to selecting the next stage and whether or not the player did so affected the outcome of the game.
Taking place just over 6 months after the events of Mega Man X, the Maverick Rebellion began by Sigma is still ongoing with X and the Maverick Hunters stretched thin by constant battle. Taking over for Sigma are three mysterious Mavericks known as Serges, Agile, and Violen, who call themselves the X-Hunters. These three Mavericks have located the remains of Zero, who sacrificed himself at the end of Mega Man X to defeat Vile. The X-Hunters have recovered Zero's body parts and are attempting to revive him as a Maverick, but cannot because they lack his control chip. The chip was actually recovered by X and Dr. Cain and in order to steal the chip, the X-Hunters taunt X with Zero's parts in order to lure him away.