Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic Mini have kicked off a retro gaming revolution in the UK, providing the ability to easily play classic SNES games like Mario or Donkey Kong. But what about those of us that played Sega MegaDrive games?
Don’t worry, while there may not be an official reboot of the console, there is a way to buy retro Sega MegaDrive games online in the UK – and there’s even a third-party console that offers SNES Classic Mini-esque features. Read on to find out more.
If you’re looking for something a little more modern, check out the best games coming out in 2018.
Buying Sega MegaDrive games – a warning
Before we showcase some of the best places to pick up classic Sega MegaDrive games in the UK, we should first explain the difference between PAL and NTSC – something you should be looking out for when buying retro games online.
PAL and NTSC are two types of colour encoding systems that have an effect on the quality of content viewed on old analogue CRT TVs. It allegedly affects HDTVs too, but to an almost indistinguishable degree. PAL, the system used in the UK, offers 25fps at 720×576 with automated colour correction while NTSC, favoured by those in the US, offers 30fps at 720×480 with manual colour correction.
What does this mean to those at home? Essentially, those that own a PAL Sega MegaDrive won’t be able to play NTSC games, and vice-versa. It’s important to check which version of the game you have before purchasing, as those in the UK will generally have a PAL-enabled MegaDrive.
Where to buy classic Sega MegaDrive games in the UK
Now you know the difference between PAL and NTSC systems, it’s time to go on the hunt for retro Sega MegaDrive games. While you might assume that you might have a hard time coming across 25+ year old console games, you’re wrong. Retro gaming is becoming ever-more popular in the UK with a number of sites offering old-school game cartridges.
First up, we’ve got eBay – arguably the biggest resource to find Sega MegaDrive games online in the UK. For those that are somehow unaware of eBay, the online marketplace, it allows people from all over the world to sell their unwanted items for cash, making it the perfect place for retro Sega MegaDrive games to surface.
In fact, there’s such a wide selection to choose from that eBay offers an entire section dedicated to second-hand MegaDrive games, allowing you to shop by genre, game features and more. If you’re unsure of which MegaDrive games you want to buy, eBay is a great place for product discovery.
Retro Game Base
Retro Game Base is a UK-based retro game retailer that specialises in the likes of Atari, PlayStation, Nintendo and Sega MegaDrive games. Admittedly the selection of PAL MegaDrive games isn’t as large as what you’ll find on big sites like eBay, but it’s often small sites like this that you’ll find rare, hidden gems.
Games range from £0.99 to £34.99 depending on rarity, and each listing includes detailed information about any cosmetic damage and actual photos of the item. Just be sure to buy items with the EU flag and not the US flag, as you don’t want to end up with an NTSC-J format game on a PAL MegaDrive!
Unlike other retailers mentioned here, Flashback Games is run by a single person in the UK and doesn’t have a shop that you can physically visit. But, while there’s no physical store, the site makes up for it in the variety of MegaDrive games available. The site even stocks rare Japanese MegaDrive games, although you may have to mod your console to support the right format.
Along with a range of Sega MegaDrive games on-sale, Flashback Games also stocks a number of MegaDrive (and other console) accessories that can enhance your retro gaming setup.
Buy a retro console with built-in games
Of course, if you’re not interested in hunting around the internet for specific games, you could always invest in a retro gaming system with built-in Sega MegaDrive games.
Take the Sega MegaDrive Arcade Classic console on Amazon – the console features two wireless controllers (a benefit over the retro console) and a selection of 80 games built-in. That’s not all it can do though, as it also boasts the ability to play any MegaDrive or Genesis cartridges. You can’t go wrong for £54.99, can you?