Sega Genesis Original Console & The Best Old Sega Games
One of the most important retro gaming consoles in video game history was the original Sega genesis 16-Bit console. Made through a combination of third-party developers and by Sega itself. The Sega Genesis original release date, was during the summer of 1989 in North American. The European release was in 1990. It had the benefit of being released to the North American market a full two years prior to its major competition, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The SNES wouldn't be released until August 1991 in the United States.
Another one of the factors that set the Sega Genesis apart from the competition - at least in the early days - was its graphical capabilities. It is important to keep in mind that the Sega Genesis was released in North America at the time when its only true competition was the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The Nintendo NES has a massive library of classic games, but was only capable of 8-bit graphics. The Sega Genesis making the jump to 16-bit graphics was a huge leap in those early days of gaming. Only with the release of the Super Nintendo, which was also capable of 16-bit graphics, did the playing field level a bit.
Where to find & Play Old Sega Games
If you want to dip your proverbial feet into the original Sega genesis console, there are a few key routes you can take. Even though it's hugely disappointing that Sega is no longer making its original hardware, one unforeseen benefit for gamers comes from the fact that its software is now available on a huge number of platforms. You can purchase digital versions of many Sega classics like "Sonic the Hedgehog" on the PlayStation Network, for example.
You can also purchase compilation releases designed for consoles like the PlayStation and various Xbox consoles. Which feature a collection of games all on one disc. Now you can pick up a classic Sega genesis console that features a bunch of preloaded games. Never been a huge fan of plug-and-play consoles, but these classic consoles do offer a nice game library. For us, it's not about buying a Sega all in one console, nor is it about buying a compilation disc. It's all about preserving the classic hardware & playing the games the way they were supposed to be played, on a vintage Sega genesis game console.
The Game Library
One of the factors that made the Sega Genesis one of the most popular consoles was its library of titles. How many Sega genesis games are there, it's been reported the console topped out at over900 different games. Many classic franchises that gamers still know and love today started with games from the Sega genesis library. "Sonic the Hedgehog" was an amazing game, and for a time was, one of the most lucrative franchises in all of video games. Not only did it spawn a series of well-reviewed video games with tremendous graphics and ingenious gameplay, but it also spawned comic books, breakfast cereals and not one but two different animated series.
Some other popular hits in the library of the console included: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Hyperstone Heist, Streets of Rage, Earthworm Jim, Alex Kidd, Desert Strike, and Altered Beast to name a few. Comix Zone & Herzog Zwei are a couple of real entertaining games that should be mentioned as well. Disney's Aladdin was a huge hit, which was based on the Disney animated film of the same name. The beat em up genre had some nice titles on the genesis as well. From popular titles such as: Golden Axe, Double Dragon, Streets of Rage, The Punisher, Splatterhouse, and cyborg justice. Double dragon back in the day was an arcade classic, that is always fund to play with a friend.
The Game library was Balanced
The genesis is often overlooked retro console, but it really had a balanced library for everyone. Sega's appeal back in the day was marketing their library as arcade based games. Not sure if that's entirely true, but that was their marketing plan. The library featured some amazing role playing games, "which is a good read". Some really great franchises came out of the role playing genre, like the Phantasy Star series, Shining Force series, and gauntlet IV.
Then we move on to the fighting games, I specifically remember Mortal Kombat on the genesis. As if memory serves me right, the Sega version featured blood & gore, like we had never seen in a video game. Sega was always trying to have uncensored games, while Nintendo was always trying to be family friendly. I specifically remember playing the heck out of Mortal Kombat on the genesis just because of all the blood. Here is a good article about the topic from Nintendo Life about how impactful the blood & gore was in the console wars of Sega Vs Nintendo. Other notable fighting games would be: Street Fighter II, Eternal Champions, Fatal Fury, and Samurai Shodown. Which, we have a few for sale on our site.
How about NHL 94
I know sports games are a dime a dozen, but I've written about this before in another article about Sega Saturn vs DreamCast Console Wars, but Sega has always had some great sports games. The top sports game from the Sega genesis library has to be NHL 94, which maybe the best retro hockey game ever. Reason being has to be the silky smooth game play, the newly added features and the music. I mean, the game alone made people hockey fans, how many video games can say that? Read more about what made NHL 94 so special.
When Sega stopped producing video game hardware in the early 2000s and instead opted to focus solely on software, many of the franchises that began with the Genesis in the late 1980s and early 1990s proved that they could still be huge hits today. It's a testament to the quality of these video games that gamers could still play and enjoy them on modern hardware 25+ years later. If you're interested in how sega's downfall began - we've got that topic covered as well.
If you're a retro gamer, it's important to keep playing on the original hardware and teach others about what made the Sega Genesis, and it's library so fun. Hope you enjoyed the read & learning something new about the Sega Genesis. :-)