SEGA Genesis Mini Retro Game Console Review


This holiday season, gamers interested in nostalgic video games and consoles are treated to a new offering from SEGA, which is the SEGA Genesis Mini Console that is a scaled down unit compared to your original, and features 42 retro video games inside that you most likely played in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. The original console was at least twice the size and for those of you that had it, or another video game console at the time, you would recall that the games usually were sold separately, ranking up $100’s of dollars or more just to be able to play a handful of games at the time.

If you were old enough back then, you would probably recall Toys “R” Us being one of the leading stores to purchase the consoles, games and accessories, and at the time they had entire aisles devoted to it. We actually recall having to pick up a card that said the name of the game, price and a bar code, bring it to the cashier, and pick up the game at the booth in the front of the store. At the time, that was how things were done to help prevent theft of the games. Now, we’re in a new era and children that grew up playing the games, now have the option to play some of them again on a much cheaper alternative thanks to the SEGA company bringing back a miniature version of the SEGA Genesis video game console.

This new mini version is based on the original Model 1 Genesis which launched in Oct. 1988 in Japan, Aug. 1989 in North America, and Nov. 1990 everywhere else. It’s also just over half the size of the original, and is currently retailing for $59.99 – $79.99USD/£69.99/€79.99/AUD$139.95. Unfortunately, for those of you that wanted to use the original SEGA Genesis controllers won’t be able too with this new device, and you will have to use the controllers that come with this new mini version.

Thank you to SEGA of America for proving their SEGA Genesis Mini Retro Game Console for review. 

Availability: September 2019


The SAGA Genesis Mini is packaged in retro style packaging and artwork, which is mostly a black box with a grid, the logo, and images of the console and controllers on the front, 16-bit character design of Sonic the Hedgehog, and on the back is a detailed look at the 42 video games that are built inside.



The console itself measures 6″x 5″ x 1″and features a slot to insert the cartridges into (obviously since the console has the games build-in, you won’t need too), USB ports, ports for the controllers, volume control, on/off switch, and a reset button. The console also comes with two replica three-button USB Genesis controllers (with 6 foot cables), One USB to Micro-B power cable, One power adapter (North America only), and One HDMI cable that are inside the box.

So, as far the unit goes, hopefully we covered at least most of the important topics so far. But lets start with the pre-loaded games, such as some of the classics like Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Fighter, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, and Earthworm Jim. If you had the original console, then you probably owned at least one of these games, or some of the games mentioned below. Some of these games are harder than others, and we especially recall the difficulty of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts even from about three decades ago. The classics are there, such as Tetris, Mega Man, Castle of Illusions, which starred Mickey Mouse. The system gives you a lot of really great options of games to play, but there is one game that would have been great to include, which is the X-Men from 1993 video game. That was another hard to play game, and now that the super hero pop culture has gone Hollywood this decade, you can be sure that a lot of fans would have liked to play that game in this system. Even without it, you still get a lot of great games that you probably haven’t played in decades, and you definitely should get this system if you’re a fan of retro gaming,  and if you’re reading this, that means you probably are.

Overall, the SEGA Genesis Mini is a great console that fans from the old days and new will love. Make sure to grab this for the holiday, either as a gift or for yourself.

First wave of included games:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Toe Jam & Earl
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier 2
  • Shining Force
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Comix Zone
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes

Second wave of included games:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Castle of Illusion
  • Shinobi III
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • World of Illusion
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Landstalker

Third wave of included games:

  • Beyond Oasis
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  • Alex Kidd
  • Golden Axe
  • Phantasy Star IV
  • Street Fighter 2
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Vectorman
  • Wonderboy in Monster World

Fourth wave of included games:

  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Alisia Dragoon
  • Columns
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Strider
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Light Crusader
  • Monster World IV
  • Eternal Champions
  • Road Rash II

Bonus Games

  • Tetris
  • Darius

Official details to begin game play:

Navigating the Menu…

Sorting your games

By default, when you start up the system, you will be presented with a list of game titles sorted by their Release Date. On the top right of the main menu, you can change the sorting to A-Z alphabetical order, Genre, or Number of Players. The bottom of the screen will display whichever game title you currently have highlighted, along with the number of players it supports and its genre icon.

Displaying your game shelf

Pressing the B buttonwhile hovering over any of the titles will change the display to show all the spines of the different game boxes. Not only is it a quick way to navigate the menu, but it’s also a fascinating way to see how game boxes have evolved over the years!

For more info…

Once you select a game with the A button, you will be presented with a brief summary of the game in question along with its release year, number of supported players, genre icon, and legal info. You’ll also notice a very helpful piece of text right above the Game Start button – during gameplay, you can hold START for a few seconds to save or load your state (suspend point); perform an in-game reset (return to the start screen); or return to the main menu of the Genesis Mini. That’s right: you won’t have to get up from your seat to reset the system or access your game states!

Don’t miss this

Another fun tip – if the system doesn’t detect any input on the main menu for a certain period of time, it will begin to loop around to the different demo modes of all the games. It makes for a really nice screensaver!


On the top left of the main menu, you can access the Settings for the Genesis Mini. The following options are available from this section:

● Please read this before playing
○ General health warnings and where to find the game manuals online.

● Languages
○ Change the system language for the Genesis Mini. We recommend playing around

with this – you may be surprised by what you discover!

● Screen Settings

 Switch from the original 4:3 aspect ratio of the game to 16:9 widescreen. Pressing the C button on either option activates a CRT Filter, which adds scan lines and adjusts the color of the display to emulate the look and feel of a CRT television.

● Wallpaper Settings
Choose between three wallpapers (two graphical options or black bars) that appear around the screen when playing games.

●  Staff Credits

●  Legal Notices

●  Reset to Factory Settings

●  Return to the Main Menu






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