Part of the Shanghai series of games, Great Moments is a sequel to the 1990 game Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye and features both four game modes (most of which are from the 1994 arcade entry Shanghai: Triple-Threat) and nine tile themes (most of which are based on real-life art and pictures, and each of which have elaborate match animations for each tile). It is also notable for including actress Rosalind Chao (then known for her role in the 1993 film The Joy Luck Club) in both full-motion video and voiceovers, where she helps the player navigate the menus and gives a synopsis of each game mode.
The game modes included are:
- Classic Shanghai - The traditional game of mahjong solitiare, where players are given one of 13 multi-layer tile formations (one of which is the classic "Shanghai" layout) and must attempt to remove all pairs from the board.
- The Great Wall - From Shanghai: Triple-Threat. Instead of the layout having tiles stacked on their backs, it has tiles stacked upright like a wall. Matched pairs can cause tiles above them to fall down due to gravity. It also includes face-down tiles which cannot be matched.
- Beijing - From Shanghai: Triple-Threat, Beijing has players solve a 16x8 rectangle of tiles by both traditional matching and pushing groups of tiles along empty spaces of the row or column (giving a larger amount of points, with multiple pairs giving a multiplier).
- Action Shanghai - New to the series. Similar to Classic Shanghai, but players start with a smaller layout and tiles are added to the board over time (every 12 seconds for Easy, every 9 seconds for Medium, every 6 seconds for Hard).
The game was later ported by SUNSOFT to the Sega Saturn on November 15, 1996 and the Sony PlayStation on January 17, 1997, both released exclusively in Japan. Both the Windows and Mac versions was also bundled together, along with the Windows and Mac versions of Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye, in 1997 as Shanghai Double Pack.
- Evil Eye
- Four Corners
- 5 Windows
- 5 Doors
- Solid Wall
- Great Moments in Space Exploration
- Great Moments in Science Fiction
- Great Moments in Romance
- Great Moments in Art
- Great People
- Great Moments in Music
- Great Inventors, Discovers & Innovators
- Momentous Events