(August 1989 - 1998)

A true 16-bit system enters the market and the Nintendo finally has some real competition

To be perfectly honest, I didn't like this 16-bit system here all that much at first mainly because it killed off my beloved TurboGrafx-16.  I bought one off my cousin for only 10 bucks and I still didn't like it (maybe it was the games I had like Ballz and X-men). Then I managed to find that Phantasy Star 4 was for sale in a local movie store and it was then that I started playing this system non-stop for weeks. Because the system had some real solid titles and games like the Phantasy Star series rocked!  Other games like Revenge of Shinobi and Sonic the Hedgehog for example helped to change my mind on the Sega Genesis. Sure, the high success of Sega Genesis system was not only beating out other systems like the TurboGrafx in sales in the early 1990's but it's 16-bit power was also making Nintendo and their then popular but very aging 8-bit NES look bad. Just compare the graphics of certain 1989 Genesis games like Altered Beast and Golden Axe to other 1989 games on the NES like Dragon Warrior and Iron Sword. It was a huge difference! Since Nintendo was so late with their 16-bit technology, the Sega Genesis was on the way to becoming something really big.

Sega didn't even back down when the all powerful Super Nintendo arrived on the scene in 1991. Sega knew that their Master System poster boy Alex Kidd just wouldn't cut it anymore and they knew they needed someone new to take on Nintendo's Mario head to head. Sega would then introduce Sonic the Hedgehog, a cocky blue hero who could run at incredible speeds to counter the new 16-bit Super Mario. Sonic the Hedgehog take on the new Super Mario World and the fight was pretty close with no clear winner but it wasn't till the next year when Sega released the popular sequel: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992 that's when the Sega Genesis became the hottest selling 16-bit system. Nintendo would not have another true Super Mario World sequel till late of 1994 in a dumb move and it didn't help when Mario is Missing was poorly made. The Sega Genesis was definitely a massive success but it did have its share of problems. One thing I really hated about this system is the overall sound. The Genesis just handle certain voices and sound effects too well of in most of their games and some of the music can be subpar can be really annoying as well. If that wasn't enough the game's colours look very bland at times too (there could only be 64 colours at a time). The good definitely out way the bad though thanks in part to all those games out there (over a impressive 700 of them) and who could forget that powerful 16-bit CPU 68000 processor that destroyed the old NES back then in 1989.

Rating: 88/100
The Genesis is great for sports and action fans a like and you can even upgrade the Genesis with the Sega CD and 32X units if you like. Looking back now I can see why the Genesis just destroyed the TurboGrafx-16 and knocked Nintendo off the number 1 spot. Sega was able to produce a continuous flow of hits like Vectorman, Castle of Illusion, Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage and many more during it's run on top while the competitor were lucky if they got a AAA title in one year. The Sega Genesis is a very smart buy now because the system's massive popularity you can get most of all these great legends, cheap (for now). The Genesis is a great beginning for any game player!
Find the Sega Genesis system on eBay here!
Rare Scale: 1/10
if you can't find one then you suck. Only the newer Genesis3 is uncommon.

Powerbase Converter
Wow! This cool device lets you play your Sega Master games on your Genesis. It has a Pause, card insert, and cartridge ports for most of your Sega Master System needs. Sadly this will only work on Genesis 1 unit and it won't play every SMS game. Still this is a must for Sega fans!

Genesis Controller(s)
The first Genesis Controller that was packed earlier systems was a bulky and stiff 3 button pad with a Start button. Not a big deal and not very good pad for long term use. Sega did later introduce a cool 6 button controller with a better Dpad too to promote their release of Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition in 1993.

You can even upgrade your Genesis with these Sega add ons here:
The CD game system adds on that plays music CD's and SegaCD CD-Roms games like Sonic CD and Night Trap.
Upgrades the genesis into a 32-bit machine but it only works on 32X games like Doom and Star Wars Arcade!

Here are all the Sega Genesis systems throughout history:
The Sega Genesis 1 (1989) has TV hook ups that are compatible with the old Sega Master System ports plus its works with headphones if the system's sounds are disturbing others.

The Sega Genesis 2 (1993) is a more cheaper and compact unit with different hook ups than the old Genesis 1 and the headphone outputs are gone. Although the Genesis2 is just like the first model, the Sega Master System Converter will not fit on this unit which is disappointing for me at least.

The Sega Genesis 3 (1998) is Genesis that fits in your hand but is not compatible with the Sega CD or Sega 32x.

The Sega CDX
(1994) plays all (well most) Genesis and Sega CD games.

Japanese and European name for the Genesis: Mega Drive

*Sega released some of its best games ever during the Genesis era.
*Sega even out did Nintendo for a few years.
*If you ever find the portable Sega Nomad then you can play your Genesis games on the go.

*The Japanese Genesis (the
Mega Drive) was never a huge hit, and so we get some lousy Japanese ports like Saint Sword and Mystical Fighters.
*The sound of most of the games is lackluster.

Some of the most common Genesis games, store owners beware: Some of the Rarest Genesis games: eBay:
Altered Beast
Eternal Champions
Golden Axe
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition
Super Hang On
X Men
3 Ninjas Kick Back
Action 52 (Active Enterprises, 1991)
Aerobiz Supersonic (Koei)
Blockbuster World Video Game Championship II
Herzog Zwei (Sega, 1990) The first ever real time Strategy game!
John Madden Football Championship Edition (EA)
King's Bounty
The Miracle Piano Teaching System
Pirates! Gold
Space Invaders 91 (Taito, 1991)
Time Killers (THQ, 1996)
Warrior of
Rome (Micronet)
Warrior of
Rome II (Micronet)
Warsong (Langisser in
Japan )
StarSoldier's Top Twenty Sega Genesis games:
(Sonic speeds past the rest while Phantasy Star Conquers again)
#1. SONIC & KNUCKLES (Sega, October 18, 2004)
2. GUNSTAR HEROES (Sega/Treasure, 1993)
3. PHANTASY STAR II (Sega, 1990)
4. SHINING FORCE II (Sega/Camelot, 1994)
5. PHANTASY STAR IV (Sega, 1994)
6. GHOULS N' GHOSTS (Sega/Capcom, 1989)
7. REVENGE OF SHINOBI (Sega, 1990)
8. STRIDER (Sega/Capcom, 1990)
9. SONIC The HEDGEHOG (Sega, 1991)

Most Disappointing:
Double Dragon 3
Runner up: Rings of Power

The Worst:
Dark Castle
Runner up: Star Flight

Most Underrated:
Mystic Defender
Runner up: Sagaia

Go to the GENESIS Reviews > >