The Sega Genesis Mini just might be the best plug-and-play retro console we’ve seen so far, with more than 40 classic games featuring brilliant emulation, as well as impressive attention to detail on the hardware itself. If you haven’t picked one up yet, you can currently do so at a huge discount just in time for the holidays.
Right now on Amazon, you can buy a new, down from its standard $80 price. Even at its original price point, the system is worth buying, as it comes with two excellent controllers, a power cable and AC adapter, and an HDMI cable.
Some other plug-and-play systems do not include the adapter, requiring you to use one from a phone to power the system, and the two controllers means you can play several of the games with a friend without needing to spend extra cash.
The game selection on the Genesis Mini is impressive, spanning a wide variety of genres like shoot-’em-ups and role-playing games, and including almost all the big-name hits. The best games on the system include:
- Earthworm Jim
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Street Fighter 2
- Contra: Hard Corps
- Thurder Force III
- Streets of Rage 2
- Comix Zone
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
The Genesis Mini also comes with suspending functions and multiple save states, so that more than one person can work on the same game simultaneously without erasing the other’s progress. With the discounted price, however, it might even be worthwhile to just purchase a second system. They are relatively easy to find, unlike Nintendo’s NES Classic and SNES Classic, which suffered shortages for months after they launched in 2016 and 2017.
Though it doesn’t actually use cartridges, the Sega Genesis Mini features a functional cartridge slot flap on the top, as well as a dummy volume control switch. It uses standard USB plugs for its controllers, which also allows for third-party controllers to function. This includes 8BitDo’s excellent M30, which adds additional buttons, turbo functionality, and wireless connectivity via a dongle. The Genesis Mini’s controller cords are fairly long, however, so they will still accommodate some living room setups if you don’t want to purchase an extender.
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