SEGA Mega Drive Classics Review (PS4)

SEGA Mega Drive Classics (or Sega Genesis Classics over in the West)  is one of those things that you would think you would need with every console generation, but all this shows is that SEGA needs money and you want to give it to them for a collection of games and a fancy emulator UI.

SEGAName: SEGA Mega Drive Classics
Platform(s): PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), also on Xbox One and PC
Publisher(s): SEGA
Developer(s): SEGA
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Price: US$29.99 / AU$49.95
Genre(s): Compilation
Mode(s): Single Player & Online Multiplayer


The gameplay found in SEGA Mega Drive Classics’ is pretty much the same thing you would get using any emulator or digital platform release, the controls are tight as they were in the Mega Drive/Genesis days. So when you press a button, things will work almost immediately; leading to a lag free experience that you would have had when things like this were “less than legally” emulated on systems like the PS1 & PS2. The PlayStation controller does feel odd to use with these games as the layout is nowhere near the same as the original Mega Drive/Genesis controller layout, but it doesn’t take long to get around the change mentally and adjust for the difference.

The difference between this version and others is the game selection. For some reason, something that is meant to be a more complete collection and a celebration of the era is missing some very key titles. Ecco the Dolphin is missing, as is Sonic 3 & Knuckles… And Eternal Champions (but no one cares about that). I don’t know why these three have been left off the list (Ecco might have a different licensee now) and it’s sad in the case of Ecco and Sonic 3 since those are some of the best games on the system PERIOD.


Graphically, SEGA Mega Drive Classics are faithfully recreated here in their 4:3 resolution glory. Of course, you get the usual retro effects like making the screen have scanlines, curve the screen to emulate the surface of a CRT TV, and change the borders. To be honest, it’s what you expect when it comes to something that is emulating the old games on modern day consoles or PC.

Not much to say here.


Yep, 16 bit sound. No remixes or anything. Move along.


Sadly, this collection of old-school games doesn’t bring anything interesting to the formula. The main interface is actually quite good with a recreation of a 1990s playroom or lounge room where you would have played these games back in the day as a kid. There are a few settings you can mess around within this era, but nothing that is going to make this selection stand out from anything. The games can be changed to use different regions, or jump into a couple of online-enabled games, or do some challenge modes for trophies and all that jazz. Unfortunately, unlike other recent celebrations of games, there are no production notes or manuals or images or anything. Hell, the games don’t even have the full covers, just the spines.


I know it’s been a slow time in gaming with games not coming out much at the moment, but cheap rehashes like SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Classics are just something that fills the time, and that’s how this feels from beginning to end. It’s just an emulator running on modern consoles in order to get SEGA some quick cash.

While everything is emulated to perfection, there was no love or effort brought into the actual packaging that this collection came in. No new features, no additions like other retro collections have done nothing. Hell, the PC version was just a game update since a lot of these were already on PC. Unless you really need to play SEGA games on your modern consoles, I’d give this a pass and just stick to emulators online or whatever.

Classic Collection with no love


Sorry SEGA fans, but this collection doesn’t feel like anything more than a cheap cash in. Games being straight up emulated with a fancy UI is not going to be an excuse to drop money on this collection. These days we deserve more when it comes to collections like this, like a rewind feature, or save anywhere, or just about anything things like the Disney Afternoon Collection has. Not to mention the lack of anything to do with the games like manuals or promo material just shows this is a quick cheap cash in. Sorry, gotta go fast and past this one.