Sega Genesis Mini vs. Super NES Classic Edition thumbnail

Sega Genesis Mini vs. Super NES Classic Edition

Battle of the 16-bit minis

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Versus on

Retro gaming is making a resurgence and there are now a handful of mini consoles to help old-school gamers get their fix. However, none of these consoles are as awesome as the Sega Genesis Mini and Super NES Classic Edition so let's see which one is better.

A.J. has been obsessively gaming since the late '80s and is just as passionate about video games in 2023. 🐻

Photo of Sega Genesis Mini and Super NES Classic Edition
Who knew 63 games could ever fit into such a small couple of packages?


First, both consoles look fantastic and are spot-on representations of their original models with functioning power and reset buttons. They also both have the same Micro-B USB power slot and HDMI ports in the back. However, the Sega Genesis Mini's controllers have a standard USB connection so you can probably use them for much more than on the console they were built for. Meanwhile, the Super NES Classic Edition's controllers can be plugged into a Wii remote so you can use them with Wii and Wii U virtual console games if you still have those consoles kicking around. Finally, the Sega Genesis Mini has a removable hatch on the side and a volume slider which add authenticity but I'm fairly certain they don't do anything while the Super NES Classic Edition has an ugly front that you have to remove in order to plug in the controllers. Overall, I much prefer the Sega Genesis Mini's physical aesthetics so it wins this category. v1d30chumz 3-235-186-94


Let's keep this one simple. The Sega Genesis Mini has a pretty unappealing interface complete with grating audio effects yet it's very functional as it allows you to sort and view the games in various ways. Of course, the Super NES Classic Edition is full of Nintendo charm with delightful audio and a slick design which makes it a joy to browse through its menus so it clearly wins here.

Screenshots of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Mario World
Few games are as classic as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Mario World!


On to what's important: the games! For starters, the Sega Genesis Mini contains exactly twice as many titles (42) as the Super NES Classic Edition (21) but quantity isn't always quality so let's begin with the must-have classics. Surprisingly, the Sega Genesis Mini only has 3 Sonic games in the form of Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and Sonic Spinball. Aside from those, you can enjoy the classic puzzler Columns, the unconventional Ecco the Dolphin, the action-packed Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master, the gorgeous Comix Zone, the timeless RPG Phantasy Star IV, and the co-op fun of Golden Axe and Streets of Rage 2. There are some other top-notch games as well including Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition, the highly underrated shoot 'em ups Thunder Force III and Super Fantasy Zone, Earthworm Jim, Strider, Castlevania: Bloodlines, and my favourite run 'n' gun games: Gunstar Heroes and Contra: Hard Corps. Throw in a couple of Disney classics in the form of Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion and you're left with one incredible line-up of games!

How could the Super NES Classic Edition beat that? Well, it features a couple of the best 2D platformers ever in Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island as well as the near-perfect masterpieces that are Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Need I say more? How about the amazing RPGs EarthBound, Secret of Mana, Super Mario RPG, and Final Fantasy VI? Also, the Konami classics Contra III: The Alien Wars and Super Castlevania IV are included plus the adrenaline-fueled F-Zero and Star Fox as well as the never-before released Star Fox 2. Finally, you have more fun platformers like Donkey Kong Country and Kirby Super Star, the Capcom 2D action classics Mega Man X and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, the original Super Mario Kart, and Super Punch-Out!! Although this isn't as many games as I listed for the Sega Genesis Mini, I can easily say that the quality of the Super NES Classic Edition's AAA line-up is superior.

Screenshots of Alisia Dragoon and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Alisia Dragoon and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts are top-notch supernatural 2D action games


With the big games out of the way, let's discuss the included hidden gems and let me tell you, the Sega Genesis Mini is chock-full of them. The 2 coolest inclusions are brand new adaptations of the arcade games Darius and Tetris although both games aren't as good as other console versions of their respective series. Additionally, there's Mega Man: The Wily Wars which never released in North America physically and it contains remakes of the first 3 NES games. Next, Wonder Boy in Monster World and Monster World IV are fantastic inclusions that are still great fun. There are also plenty of enjoyable underrated 2D action games such as Alisia Dragoon, Kid Chameleon, Dynamite Headdy, and who could forget Vectorman? On top of those, there's the very fun fighter Eternal Champions, the crazy racing game Road Rash II, and the memorable adventures in Light Crusader, Beyond Oasis, Landstalker, and the turn-based SRPG Shining Force. There's even a couple of overlooked first-party gems in the form of Space Harrier II and Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle.

For better or worse, the Super NES Classic Edition contains mostly high profile titles and doesn't feature many buried treasures. I guess it has the obscure and highly enjoyable Kirby's Dream Course and the previously mentioned debut of Star Fox 2. Well, that's about it. Therefore, when it comes to more obscure games, the Sega Genesis Mini definitely takes the cake and as a result, it's a great product for retro gamers who are looking to discover some truly innovative titles that they may not have played otherwise.

Screenshots of Road Rash II and Contra III: The Alien Wars
Road Rash II and Contra III: The Alien Wars are both kickass games for macho chums

Some Versus decisions are easy yet this one is certainly on the tough end of the spectrum. However, I have to pick a winner which is...

Winner Super NES Classic Edition

I love my Sega Genesis Mini and it's introduced me to some very cool games. However, if I had to choose to play just one of these then it would definitely be the Super NES Classic Edition as it's bursting with some of the greatest video games ever released. Replaying the RPGs alone would take hundreds of hours and the 2 Mario platformers are a couple of my favourite games of all time. Plus, Super Castlevania IV has a special place in my heart and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid are still mind-blowing how amazing they are. All of that being said, why not own both of these incredible consoles?

That's just my opinion. Agree? Disagree? Vote now!

Gameplay video playlist for Sega Genesis Mini vs. Super NES Classic Edition thumbnail
Gameplay video playlist for Sega Genesis Mini vs. Super NES Classic Edition
Super NES Classic Edition Trivia

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