Genesis Mini Hero

It feels like it has taken an eternity for Sega to get around to releasing its own answer to the NES and SNES Classic Editions. While the much-disliked AtGames has plopped out wonky Genesis / Mega Drive clones for years now, this new venture promises to be something different – it's finally time for the real deal.

This time around, the software side of things is being handled by M2, the same company that worked on the Sega Ages and Sega 3D Classics series, so you know you're in safe hands. On top of that, legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro has confirmed he’s making menu music for the console. Some top talent, then.

With Sega overseeing this effort, it’s hard to see the Mega Drive Mini repeating the mistakes of previous licenced attempts. While enthusiasts will probably still want the accuracy and precision of something like the Analogue Mega Sg, this Genesis Mini is shaping up to be super convenient way to play some classic Sega games on a modern TV without forking out the sort of money that could get you a brand new console from this generation.

What’s in the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini box?


In the US and Europe the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini package will include the console, two classic kidney-shaped three-button controllers, a power cable, USB power adaptor and HDMI cable.

The Sega Genesis Mini will come bundled with the following 42 games (yes, Sega snuck two extra games onto the collection):

How is the Japanese version of the Mega Drive Mini different?

While each region will get its own variant of the console, the controllers coming with the Japanese version will be the six-button versions - arguably vital for playing Street Fighter II without pulling your hair out. There’s no word yet if these will be available to buy individually (or if they’ll make an appearance in the west). Japan also gets the option of a cheaper pack with only one controller, so that might be worth keeping an eye on if you wanted to supplement your western console with a six-button pad.


The line-up in Japan is also different (arguably better). Here's the full list with regional exclusives at the top followed by the games only appearing on the two Asian variants, and finally the shared titles:

  • Dyna Brothers 2 (region exclusive)
  • Lord Monarch (region exclusive)
  • Madou Monogatari I (region exclusive)
  • Party Quiz Mega Q (region exclusive)
  • Rent A Hero (region exclusive)
  • The Hybrid Front (region exclusive)
  • Yu Yu Hakusho Makyo Toitsusen (region exclusive)
  • Assault Suits Leynos (JP and Asia only)
  • Game no Kanzume Otokoyou - a Japan-only Sega Channel compilation featuring the following twelve games: 16t, Flicky, Putter Golf, Hyper Marbles, Shi no Meikyuu, Medal City, Paddle Fighter, Ikasuze! Koi no Doki Doki, Penguin Land MD, Pyramid Magic, Robot Battler, Teddy Boy Blues and Aworg (JP and Asia only)
  • Langrisser II (JP and Asia only)
  • MUSHA Aleste (JP and Asia only)
  • Wrestleball (Powerball) (JP and Asia only)
  • Puyo Puyo 2 (JP and Asia only)
  • Puzzle & Action: Tant-R (JP and Asia only)
  • Slap Fight MD (JP and Asia only)
  • Snow Bros. (JP and Asia only)
  • The Revenge of Shinobi (The Super Shinobi) (JP and Asia only)
  • Alisia Dragoon
  • Beyond Oasis (The Story of Thor: A Successor of the Light)
  • Castlevania Bloodlines (Vampire Killer)
  • Comix Zone
  • Columns
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Darius
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Ghouls 'n Ghosts (Daimakaimura)
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Landstalker
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars (Rockman: Mega World)
  • Monster World IV
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Road Rash II
  • Shining Force
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Space Harrier II
  • Street Fighter II Dash Plus: Champion Edition
  • Streets of Rage II (Bare Knuckle II)
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Tetris
  • Thunder Force III
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck

Wait, isn't there a third variant?

Yes, there's also a version releasing throughout the rest of Asia with the following five regional exclusives:

  • Alien Soldier (region exclusive)
  • Puyo Puyo (region exclusive)
  • Out Run 2019 (region exclusive)
  • Shining Force II (region exclusive)
  • Sword of Vermilion (region exclusive)

The rest of the line up is a mixture of the Japanese and western consoles - check out the complete games list if you're interested.

When is the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini launching?

The console is scheduled for release on Thursday 19th September 2019 in the US, and 4th October in Europe.

Is it worth pre-ordering the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini?

Before the announcement of M2 and Yuzo Koshiro’s involvement, we’d have answered with an emphatic ‘no’. However, given the talent Sega has enlisted and the quality of the unit as shown in trailers, it really seems like the company has taken note of Nintendo’s success with its two Mini Classic consoles and is ready to deliver an experience worthy of the Mega Drive’s legacy. Just look at the attention to detail on those cartridge slot flaps in this trailer!

A word of warning though: make sure you're getting the brand new version. Warehouses and stockrooms all over the world are still clogged with the awful AtGames plug-and-play mini Mega Drives and we'd imagine unscrupulous retailers will try to offload inventory on unsuspecting customers and well-meaning relatives. Double check that the description and packaging matches what you see below before snapping up a 'bargain'.

With the build quality of this upcoming console looking to rival Nintendo’s efforts, we expect this to be a hot item with many of these units ending up on auction sites, so while it’s impossible to predict Sega’s production and distribution plans, we’d get in early before the scalpers and pre-order one today.

These are all the pre-order options which we could find at the moment, more will be added as they pop up.

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Pre-Order Sega Genesis Mini in the USA

Pre-Order Sega Mega Drive Mini in the UK

Pre-Order Japanese Sega Mega Drive Mini

True Mega Drive aficionados will accept nothing less than the best - a Japanese import just like the good old days! The advantage with importing a Japanese Mega Drive Mini, is that it comes with a 6-button controller as standard.

Pre-Order Asian Sega Mega Drive Mini

And for the completionists who can't resist picking up the trinity of available consoles, there's always the Asian Mega Drive Mini with its five exclusive games. What do they take us for, eh? Tempting us with Shining Force II and Alien Soldier... oh, go on then.

Pre-Order Sega Mega Drive Mini Accessories

What is a mini retro console without the inevitable accessories? Don't miss out on these goodies!

Let us know if you'll be slamming down a pre-order for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini with a comment below.