While SEGA has been cranking out their Genesis Classic collections for some time now, this is the first time it’s been released on the latest video game systems. So now we got all of the previous releases into one mega collection with the aptly titled Sega Genesis Classics. Sporting 53 different classics for fans old and new to play, along with online support and achievements, this is the best collection of the games thus far, but it’s not without some caveats.
Being released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, this set features over 50 games including some of (but sadly not all) the Sonic games, all three Streets of Rage titles, Altered Beast (a favorite of mine), E-Swat (another favorite), the two Toejam & Earl titles, both Column games, all of the Genesis Phantasy Star games, the Golden Axe collection, and more. There’s even fan favorites like Dynamite Headdy and especially Gunstar Heroes that gamers love to this day. Despite these awesome titles, it would’ve been nice to get some others that were left out such as Ecco The Dolphin, Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles to complete the Sonic set, and such.
There’s some cool emulation options you can choose from that help bring back the classic look of the games here, such as pixel-smoothing, screen stretching, to my all-time favorite, scan lines which really helps to clean the picture up some while also giving off a super retro look. You can go further by turning on mirror mode that reverses the screen so you can play right to left instead the usual way, to even bending the corners of the screen to have an old school box-shaped TV screen or curve it to look like a fish-lens type screen. There’s also the tried and true borders on the sides you can change as well. Also added to these classics are some limited achievements you can attempt to pull off, such as racking up a high score in a fixed amount of time, or killing off enemies without using power-ups, etc. You can also play some of them with online multiplayer features if you don’t have any friends around as well.
I liked the way that have the interface setup like an old bedroom from the 90s. Here you can access your games on a self where you only see the spine of the boxes and not the actual box art. This is where you also can adjust the TV options, the time of day or night which changes in real time in your room, view achievements you’ve done/can do, and more. I’m also happy to say that the emulation on the games is as close to perfect as you’ll get, though there’s the occasional graphical stutter and sound issue here and there. Who would’ve thought the rough sights and sounds of the Sega Genesis would be so difficult to emulate?
If you grew up with the Genesis or love playing retro games, the Sega Genesis Classics collection is the one for you. It would’ve been nice to had seen some of the classics that were missing from previous entries be added to this one, but there’s a lot of solid titles to be played and enjoyed here. So break out some old school snacks and prepare to go back to the 90s with this set.