Sega Genesis Arcade Console: Bring Old School Gaming To The 21st Century

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Sega Genesis was also known as the Mega Drive and was one of the most popular games consoles of the late 80s and early 90s. It was one of those iconic devices. You were definitely one of the cool kids around if you had one. At the same time, it started to get a cult following from the start.

Sega Enterprises had a long record of success with Arcade games. So, people were familiar with them when the console came out. It was by far one of the most advanced and graphically powerful choices you had. And a lot of the games from 30 years ago are still available today.

Most of those games have probably changed a lot in the graphics and interaction. Some are even available for VR headsets now. But for a lot of people who grew up with theses there is often a sense of wanting to experience those games again. In all their bare and grainy glory.

Unless you still have an original working console, that would not really be possible these days. Until in 2016 it was decided to bring out a hand-held version of the Sega Genesis. And the great thing is that it comes with 80 of the most popular original games.

So now you can show off old style gaming to young people and even your own kids. They will love the experience and it will be huge fun for you too.

What Is The Sega Genesis Console?

The original console was a small black box that you could hook up to you TV. It took large ROM cartridges that stored the games, and each one only contained one game. It’s actually crazy to think that 80 of those games are now included on a tiny memory chip in this 2016 game.

It first hit the market in Japan and Korea, which at the time were the most popular places for gaming. The US and Europe had suffered a lot longer from the arcade gaming crash of the 80s. As a result, it took until 1989 and 1990 for the Mega Drive to become available there.

For its time, it had one of the most powerful processors. And it was the Motorola processor specially designed to handle graphics. That meant that this console immediately wowed kids and adults with graphics that had never been seen before.

Considering that the original launch had to go up against the Nintendo NES and similar products it was quite an achievement. But as already mentioned, it all came down to the graphics. And at the time, gamers loved the massive improvements in graphics that came every few years. Kind of like the way people now constantly upgrade their phones.

The amazing thing is that Sega continued to license third party manufacturers to build these consoles. And one of those results has been this small and practical portable Sega Genesis. All the original games are still extremely popular and there are even gaming competitions and events that only focus on these old school original games.

Now let’s take a look at what this latest edition is all about. You’ll be surprised how much you get for a small purchase amount.

What Is The Sega Genesis Console 2016 Edition?

You might find it hard to believe, but the Sega Mega Drive was actually in production until around 2010. Third party manufacturers were making over a million of these after the console was officially discontinued. It just goes to show how many people loved this console and wanted to play the old games again.

Yes, gaming has changed in the last 10 to 15 years. Graphics have become amazingly realistic and you can enjoy great action even on 50 inch TVs. And then you can connect to friends and strangers anywhere in the world for real time multi player action.

But sometimes you just want to go back to basics. If you grew up in the 80s and 90s then you can remember the endless hours that you spent on games. At the time, they seemed to be amazing. And even if the graphics look outdated today you can still have a huge amount of fun with them.

In recent years, several different 80s consoles have been remade, and the Sega Genesis 2016 edition does just that. Now, you won’t be getting a console with separate controller that you hook up to your TV. It is more like a hand-held console, but there is a video out port to hook it up to a TV.

That’s a great thing because the screen is quite small and for some of the action it’s a bit difficult to play on a small screen. The great thing is that you can load about 80 different popular games directly from an internal memory. And there is spare storage to save your game progress.

The controls work the same as they always did. And the games are not remakes. They are the original ones that you would have played almost 30 years ago. Basically, you get all the old game action of dozens of games for a very small price.

How Popular Was It?

It’s hard to believe but over 30 million of these consoles were sold. From it’ first introduction in 1988 it immediately became a hit. A major contributing factor was Sonic The Hedgehog, which had already been a popular arcade game. Once it became available for home consoles it just went viral.

Kids all over the world would spend hours with this incredibly fun new game. And then more versions and other games just kept coming.

IGN is one of the biggest games news sites around. And that makes its opinions very influential. In 2009, they compiled a list of the 25 best games consoles of all time. And the Sega Genesis made it all the way up to 5th place on the list.

At its peak the Genesis was still right up against the Nintendo NES. While that console outsold it by millions, there were several months where the Genesis was the number one sold product. This mainly coincided with releases of hugely popular games like Mortal Kombat and Golden Axe. Each of these went through many different versions each selling millions of copies.

Sega also introduced a lot of accessories that became very popular. Sega CD was one of those. And it allowed you to load games from CDs. It’s hard to believe that CDs were the height of tech innovation. Especially when you think that today they are practically obsolete.

There were also light and laser guns as well as different types of controllers. This gave kids even more reasons to buy new gear to be able to play all of the latest games.

Was It Really That Great?

This really is a matter of opinion. If you ask people who grew up playing video games in the 80s and 90s then you will probably hear a lot of debate. Yes, just looking at the facts and numbers would make the NES by far the most popular. But that had a lot to do with the fact that it was introduced a lot earlier.

At that time, there was very little competition. However, when the Sega Mega Drive hit the market there were dozens of other products available. And the personal computer revolution had really taken off. That meant gaming was available on desktop computers, often at much cheaper prices.

With that in mind you have to consider that selling over 30 million consoles was a huge achievement. And gamers still love the console to this day. The original version was still available until 2009. And that produced a total of 1.5 million sales over about 15 years.

Not bad for a legacy old school games console!

One of the reasons that it was so popular is that there were quickly a lot of brilliant games available. And each games cartridge wasn’t that expensive either. By putting the extra effort into the games Sega was able to introduce dozens of games that have now gained cult status.

Some, like Sonic the Hedgehog, have even been revived in recent years. Using the latest technology, you can now get even more amazing game play and graphics.

If you grew up in the 90s and had the original Sega console, then you will love this new version. For such a cheap price, you can bring back all those old gaming memories.

What Sega Classic Games Are Available Now?

In total the 2016 model comes with 80 different games. Some of them are really simple games, but still fun to play. What most people will be wondering about though are all the classic games that everyone was addicted to back then. We’ll take a look at a couple of them here.

Sonic is probably one of the greatest games of the 90s. You play a small hedgehog who runs through each level at incredible speed. You have to make sure that you jump over obstacles and gather up as many stars as possible. But this becomes ever more difficult as you progress through the levels.

When you take in the newer version of the game then a total of 80 million physical copies have been sold by Sega. But there is also an entire franchise around this character with cartoons, movies and comic books. Using this 2016 version you can play the original game again as if it were the first time!

Mortal Kombat is the second game that we have to talk about here. It also started as an arcade game and it was hugely popular all over the world. Kids would queue up to spend their spare change. On Sega Genesis, there were a total of 3 versions of the game. It is quite a violent game. But when you look at the old graphics then you see that it’s very cartoon like violence. Modern games are so much more graphic.

Golden Axe is another game that went through multiple versions and was hugely popular. It didn’t take off as much as Sonic, but it’s still a great game to get into. Essentially, it’s an action game in a Conan The Barbarian style fantasy world. Your task is to rescue the princess and recover the golden axe before they are both destroyed by the evil Death Adder.

As mentioned there are 80 games in total and you will find endless hours playing these. It’s also a great way to introduce younger generations of kids to the history of gaming. That way they can really appreciate what they have available today.

What Are The Limitations?

You might be thinking that you order this 2016 edition and get a console box that looks like the old one. That is not the case. What you get is a portable console with a screen built in. The resolution is pretty good, but the screen size is small. However, you can connect it to your TV with an adapter cable that is also available. We recommend that you add it to your order as it does make the whole experience a lot more fun.

Another very important thing to consider is that the old cartridges will not work with this 2016 version. The same goes for any Sega CDs you still have from the 90s. You will also not be able to load any additional games onto it. Essentially, it comes with 80 games on a memory stick.

Finally, you can’t add another game controller. It is all one unit and that means single player action. It does take away a bit of the fun, but you’ll still spend hours on this.


The latest remake of the iconic Sega Mega Drive is a great investment for any gamer. It also makes a fantastic present for any adults that grew up with the console. Why not surprise a friend or loved and provide hours of entertainment? For such a small price, it really is a very straight forward decision. Happy gaming!


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