Since the 2018 release of SEGA AGES Sonic the Hedgehog, we've seen a slow and steady flow of classic SEGA games arrive on Switch eShop courtesy of developer and retro port specialists M2. This is the same company responsible for the excellent SEGA 3D Classics line for 3DS.
While not as plentiful or frequent as Hamster's Arcade Archives or ACA Neo Geo catalogues, M2 lavishes extra care and attention on every Sega Ages release which often goes above and beyond what you might expect. You won't find any dusty ROMs thrown on the eShop here - every single release has a smattering of mod cons and extras, often bespoke to each individual title.
Sega has stated that the Sega Ages line is now at an end on Switch, with a total of 19 games in the collection. Those games are listed below in alphabetical order, although you can also view them in our database sorted by Release Date or User Rating. Beneath the full Sega Ages Switch list you'll find our picks of the very best.
SEGA AGES Switch eShop releases - Complete list
- SEGA AGES Alex Kidd In Miracle World (Switch eShop)
28th Mar 2019 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Columns II: A Voyage Through Time (Switch eShop)
17th Oct 2019 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Fantasy Zone (Switch eShop)
23rd Jan 2020 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES G-LOC: Air Battle (Switch eShop)
30th Apr 2020 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Gain Ground (Switch eShop)
28th Mar 2019 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Herzog Zwei (Switch eShop)
24th Sep 2020 / SEGA / Technosoft
- SEGA AGES Ichidant-R (Switch eShop)
17th Oct 2019 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Out Run (Switch eShop)
10th Jan 2019 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Phantasy Star (Switch eShop)
13th Dec 2018 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo (Switch eShop)
22nd Aug 2019 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Puyo Puyo 2 (Switch eShop)
20th Feb 2020 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Shinobi (Switch eShop)
23rd Jan 2020 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Sonic The Hedgehog (Switch eShop)
20th Sep 2018 / SEGA
- SEGA AGES Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Switch eShop)
20th Feb 2020 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Space Harrier (Switch eShop)
22nd Aug 2019 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Thunder Force AC (Switch eShop)
28th May 2020 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Thunder Force IV (Switch eShop)
20th Sep 2018 / SEGA / Technosoft
- SEGA AGES Virtua Racing (Switch eShop)
27th Jun 2019 / SEGA / M2
- SEGA AGES Wonder Boy: Monster Land (Switch eShop)
27th Jun 2019 / SEGA / M2
Looking at that list and don't know where to start? Then check out our picks of the best SEGA AGES games — in no particular order — to get you off on the right foot.
The best Switch SEGA AGES games...
Out Run may lack modern spit polish but it is the quintessential feel-good arcade racer and time has done little to dull its brilliance. M2's emulation here makes the game more accessible than ever and only the lack of the 3DS port's autostereoscopic 3D prevents this from being the ultimate version of the game. For anyone with an interest in retro gaming, it’s a must-have. Get the tunes on the radio, let the wind rush through your hear and head towards that blue sky horizon.
There is certainly no shortage of choice when it comes to shmups on Switch, and while the genre might have a reputation for being hard-as-nails and gritty, but there's no reason they can't have some colour. M2 works its usual magic on Fantasy Zone, a classic shmup with that added SEGA blue skies wonder. With the addition of Upa-Upa mode which ditches the shop part entirely and gives you easier access to weapons and upgrades, this is a fine addition to the Sega Ages Switch library.
Adding a new AGES mode which permits ol' Joe to more than a single hit (as per the original arcade release), Shinobi is a classic you should seek out if you've only ever played the Mega Drive version. In addition, a rewind feature means you've got no excuse not to get to the end of this classic now. It might not be the longest experience, but it sure is a sweet one.
The second entry for this genre on our list, the Sega Ages release of Thunder Force IV presents a perfect port of the classic 2D shmup that includes a handful of extras enabling gamers of any ability to get the most out of this shooter. The indignity of selecting 'Kids Mode' aside, it's a welcome option to make a brilliant game accessible to as many players as possible, and this fourth entry in the Thunder Force series deserves your time.
M2 really pushed the boat out with its port of Virtua Racing on Switch. Purists may bemoan the differences between the original 1992 arcade release and this version, but the fact is that the game is simply 'better' here than it has ever been. You get 1080p (when docked), 60fps, reduced pop-in, new modes and up to 8-player same-console split-screen multiplayer. Those searching for the pixel-perfect 'authentic' experience may wish to look elsewhere; anybody else should download the best port of Virtua Racing ever released quick-smart.
Here he is! The fact is that you almost certainly already own Sonic 2--possibly multiple times--but the game is a platforming classic and it's in fine form on Switch. Alternatively, the original Sonic the Hedgehog is equally also great and the Switch version adds optional extras like the Spin Dash from the sequel and the drop move from Sonic Mania.
Besides the lack of widescreen support--something that the Christian Whitehead-helmed mobile versions of these games support beautifully--the only real negative with these two classics is how overly familiar they are. We've seen re-releases across most every platform since their original launch, but if it has been a while since you sprinted through Emerald Hill Zone with your buddy Tails at your side, the Sega Ages version is an excellent way to revisit the game.
There aren't many games from 30 years ago that you can truly say have stood the test of time, but Herzog Zwei is such a perfectly-balanced strategy offering that it's genuinely hard to pick fault or suggest how it could be improved or enhanced. Sure, the unit AI can be a little basic, the online play is a bit jerky and the split-screen mode in multiplayer cuts off a lot of your viewing area (and also reduces the ability to launch sneak-attacks) but the core gameplay is utterly fantastic, and remains just as addictive and engaging today as it was back in 1989, when the game first arrived in Japanese stores.
In single-player, the varied map types and scalable difficulty mean that Herzog Zwei will keep you entertained for weeks (if not years) but when played with another person – be it locally on the same console or online – this game is elevated to a whole new level of greatness. Even if RTS titles aren't your cup of tea, we highly recommend you give this one a whirl because, outside of spiritual successor AirMech, there really hasn't been a game quite like this since.
Never saw the sun, shining so bright, never saw things, going so right... Let us know which of M2's Sega Ages games you've most enjoyed, and which ones you'd avoid, with a cheeky comment below.
This article is one of our Switch Essentials guides which cover a wide variety of genres, including the Best Switch FPS Games, the Best Switch RPGs, the Best Switch Games For Kids, the Best Switch Couch Co-Op Games and the Best Switch Fitness and Exercise Games. We can also help out hunting down the Best Switch Horror Games, the Best Switch Racing Games, the Best Switch Action-RPGs, the Best Nintendo Switch Roguelikes, Roguelites and Run-Based Games, the Best Free Switch Games, the Best Remakes And Remasters, the Best Switch Music And Rhythm Games, Best Feel-Good Switch Games, Best Switch Open-World Games, Best Switch Soulslike Games, Best LGBTQ+ Switch Games, and even Games to Play After You've Finished Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Whatever your favourite genre, we've got you covered: Strategy Games, Metroidvanias, Puzzle Games, Party Games, Online Multiplayer Games, Local Wireless Multiplayer Games, Shmups, Twin-Stick Shooters, Visual Novels, Kart Racers, Fighting Games, Football Games, Funny Games, Golf Games, 'Walking Sims' And Narrative Games, Switch Games For Lovers And Lonely Hearts, Detective Games, Hidden Gems, 2D Platformers, 3D Platformers, Puzzle Platformers, Tabletop Mode Games, Run and Gun Games, LEGO Games, Sports Games, Survival Games, Beat 'Em Ups, Camera Games, Chill Games, Family Games, Retro-Inspired Games, Short Games, Card Games and Deck-Builders, and Life Sims And Farming Games.
Still hungry for more? Elsewhere we look at Wholesome Games, TATE Mode Games, Flight Sim and Space Combat, Point and Click Adventure Games, and the Best Switch Exclusives, as well as Every Arcade Archives Game, Every ACA Neo Geo Game, Every SEGA AGES Game On Switch, plus the Best Switch Ports, Best Wii U-To-Switch Ports, Best Switch Collections And Compilations, Best Cheap Switch Games, Best Switch Demos, Games That Are Better On Switch OLED, Switch Games Under $10, $20, $50, and Switch games with the Best Soundtracks and the Best Graphics. Phew!
If you're looking for the best Switch games regardless of genre, our reader-voted selection of the Best Nintendo Switch Games should help you out, and you can also find the Best Nintendo Switch Games of 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021. And finally, if you're interested in other Nintendo consoles and retro games, check out the Best Game Boy Games, Best GBC Games, Best GBA Games, Best Nintendo DS Games, Best Nintendo 3DS Games, Best NES Games, Best SNES Games, Best N64 Games, Best GameCube Games, and Best Wii Games, and Best Wii U Games, as well as Every Available Nintendo Switch Online Retro Game, and ranked lists of Every Nintendo Switch Online NES, SNES, N64 and Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Game.