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Sega Genesis Mini review: The best retro console for everyone who ignored Nintendo

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The Good Forty-two mostly-great games included. Excellent port quality. Two controllers included. A number of games haven't been available in other compilations in a while.

The Bad The controllers, while solid, don't always feel as good to use as other retro systems. A less-expensive Sega Genesis Classics compilation might make more sense if you already have a console.

The Bottom Line If you've been dreaming of bringing a Sega Genesis back into your house, this is a fantastic retro box full of classic games that will do it to perfection.

8.8 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Ecosystem 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Value 9

There have been Sega Genesis retro consoles before, and they haven't been good. But the new Sega Genesis Mini is a self-contained TV-connected box set done right. Like the NES Classic and SNES Classic before this, this Genesis Mini has perfect ports of seminal games, layered in a clean menu with extras like game save slots and video settings. And you can trust me on this one: As a bona fide Sega kid -- I had the Sega Master System, Genesis, 32X, Sega CD, Dreamcast, and Game Gear -- the Genesis, and its hundreds of games, was where I lived. I remember scouting all the games out at Electronics Boutique and Toys 'R Us, staring at the prerelease box backs months before release. And I owned most of even the weirdest games, like Kid Chameleon and Decapattack (or hey, anyone remember Mystic Defender, or Greendog: The Beached Surfer Dude?).

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Look how little this thing is!

Sarah Tew/CNET

Now, there have been some pretty good Genesis compilations that have come and gone. A recent Sega Genesis Classics collection on PS4, Xbox One and Switch has been my go-to for a while. The Nintendo 3DS had a great assortment of Sega ports, and the Switch has some now, too (some not even Genesis).

But the Sega Genesis Mini, available now, is the Sega retro console you've been waiting for. Simply put: If you want to play some great Sega Genesis games, a well-spent $80 here gets you 40 well-picked ones. (It's £70 in the UK and AU$139 in Australia, where of course it's called the Sega Mega Drive Mini.) And, there are some games (like Road Rash II) that have nearly impossible to get for years. I love it, love it, love it.

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