SNES vs. Sega Genesis : 20 Years Later

SNES vs. Sega Genesis : 20 Years Later

Playing a SNES & Genesis ROM

“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, when I was dead broke, man, couldn’t picture this,” as heard from The Notorious B.I.G.

The two greatest 16-bit consoles are still going at it. Even twenty years later, there have been games released via XBLA, PSN and Wii Virtual Console as well as compilations and, my favorite, ROMs. For sure, we will be playing the classics forever.

Today, we refer to the Super Nintendo by its initials, SNES, and it is still the more popular of the two. How do I know that? Just ask around, or go on eBay or half.com and see the top selling retro games. Better yet, look at the amount of SNES ROMs downloaded daily. Nintendo has kept a tight seal on their exclusive franchises. Why do you think the Wii’s Virtual Console is so successful? Ironically, some do not know what a ROM is and have been missing out on SNES games. Those unfamiliar with ROMs will just hunt the cartridges down. One time I listed Super Mario All Stars on Craigslist and, to my surprise, someone came to pick it up from 2 hours away. I found that odd since he could have just purchased it online. He was so ecstatic about buying it from me that I would not be surprised if he had never heard of ROMs.

sega genesis vs snes

The SNES has too many exclusives that are played out, so only those that stand out above the rest will be mentioned. I recently played Donkey Kong Country 3 since I never got around to it in the 90’s. This games has some of the greatest graphics of its generation. There is a stage in DKC 3 with mountains that reminded me of some of the Gran Turismo courses. The game was a great twist in the series and kept the trilogy fresh. Super Mario World has also been played out, but I once found a redrawn version of the game that gave it a new feel. It was a hack for the ROM. The game was so well done and had me so hooked that I beat in a day, including the hidden Star World. I also played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past recently and I must say this game is better than Ocarina of Time, Ouch! Really, A Link to the Past is much more innovative, to say the least, as there is more mystery and I feel more involved while playing. My imagination expands while d-padding the little shrimp around, seriously. Lastly, there is a palm-to-face game I would like to mention: NBA JAM. This game falls to shame compared to the arcade version. It is just laughable, really. Trust me when I say that you are better off playing the sequel, NBA Hangtime, which still has a fun multiplayer.


The Sega Genisis/Mega Drive was, and still is, less popular. I have very fond memories of the Genesis. My greatest memories are of playing Samurai Showdown with a friend and this game still kicks ass today. It brings a unique pace to the battles. Samurai Showdown never tried to be like Street Fighter II and for that, it is a gem. Lately, I played Shadow Dancer and it was just as great as before. It is the Shinobi game I prefer and should be mentioned more often. In the game, you have low vitality, one hit’s worth maybe, but you can send your dog ally to drop down an enemy as a special move to help. Earthworm Jim 1 and 2 were awesome on the Genesis, surpassing the efforts of the SNES version. I only got to play the Earthworm Jim games recently and I was hooked on them, gems in my book. The Genesis had numerous sport games plus many outstanding racing games. Outrun still holds up today and it is so fun and easy to pick up and play. Those 90’s racing games just have something to them. Super Monaco GP is another favorite as well. It puts you in the driver’s seat during game play. If you are into chase scenes and quick time events, then pick up Road Avenger for the Sega CD. Road Avenger places you in what seems like a 90’s cartoon and you jump right into the action, no commercials. The Sega CD is quite a gem in itself, a great addition and worth the revisit even though it flopped in the early 90’s. Sega CD gives the Genesis library a different taste. You will find the types of games you cannot find on the SNES and they will have the 90’s written all over them.

The 16-bit era is truly unique and the Super Nintendo is still amazing. I will even send it off to battle the PS2 for the greatest thing to happen to gaming. Big thank you to Japan. These two 16-bit consoles are easily accessible today for players to take advantage and play the games they never played in the 90’s. They rarely make games with such passion anymore. Plus, since both systems are from Japan there are plenty of import games to enjoy.

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