Sega Genesis Mini

The Sega Genesis Mini is a highly-rated retro gaming system — and it's totally worth the hype

Over 40 old-school games.
By Sarah Toscano
August 04, 2021 at 08:50 PM EDT
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Finding retro games to play on retro gaming systems is not without its efforts. Those old-school cartridges that were used to play games on the original Sega Genesis, NES, and Nintendo 64 are often like their respective consoles — discontinued. That means you're stuck searching for those left circulating on online auction sites, sometimes paying higher prices than you bargained for in your pursuit of nostalgia. And while there are some great vintage shops that specialize in retro gaming, not everyone has the convenience of living near one. That's when you'll want the Sega Genesis Mini. Released in 2019, the gaming system houses over 40 Genesis games, making it a one-stop hub for all your retro gaming needs.

The original Sega Genesis looked exactly like this little guy, but was bigger in size. And while the design is a replica, the functions are not. The original Genesis held game cartridges, which stored the game and all your data, whereas the Sega Genesis Mini is preloaded with a library of games. Though that doesn't mean the Sega Genesis Mini strays from the original console's design — it has both the cartridge slot and volume slider you'd find on the original, though both are purely decorative. 

The console comes with two wired controllers, which may seem archaic in our 21st-century wireless world, but they help contribute to an authentic retro experience. If you'd prefer a touch of modern convenience, you can buy wireless controllers for the Sega Genesis Mini separately. You'll also find a USB power adapter, a power cable, and an HDMI cable inside your Sega Genesis Mini package.

Sega Genesis Mini
Credit: SEGA

Buy it! Sega Genesis Mini, $99.60, amazon.com

As for the games preloaded onto the system, the library is quite impressive with 40 titles and two bonus titles (Tetris and Darius). From role-playing games like Phantasy Star IV and Beyond Oasis to platform games like Mega Man: The Wily Wars and Dynamite Headdy, the games available on the Sega Mini Genesis span many different genres, meaning there's something for a wide range of gamers. 

One of the most emblematic Sega characters is Sonic, so it's no surprise the Sega Genesis Mini holds multiple Sonic titles — Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic! Spinball. There are also multiple Mickey Mouse titles, with Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion included. You'll be able to play classic beat 'em up games, like Streets of Rage 2 and Altered Beast, as well as run n' gun games, like Gunstar Heroes or Ghouls 'n Ghosts. Gamers looking to play a roguelike, action-adventure game will have access to ToeJam & Earl, and puzzle lovers won't just have to rely on Tetris, as Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine is part of the library, too.

Keep in mind: Retro video games have a reputation for being difficult, so whether you're looking to experience nostalgia or conquer a challenge, this is the gaming console for you.

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Sega Genesis Mini
Credit: SEGA

Sega Genesis Mini

Buy it! Sega Genesis Mini, $99.60, amazon.com

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