Golden Axe

Howdy, fellow Genesis fans! Well, we assume you’re a fellow Genesis fan if you’re checking out this article. Thankfully, if you own a Nintendo Switch, you’re in for an absolute buffet of Genesis/Mega Drive titles that you can play on the go.

In fact, it’s strange, because the N64 lineup on Switch is embarrassingly tiny, while the Genesis lineup is a boatload of 16-bit goodness.

And if you’re at all confused about what a Mega Drive is, basically, the Genesis was called the Mega Drive pretty much everywhere outside the United States.

Anyway, let’s look at all of the Genesis games you can play on your Nintendo Switch!

Genesis Games on Nintendo Switch Online’s Expansion Pack

Nintendo Switch Genesis Expansion

Let’s tackle this one first. Nintendo is adding a selection of Genesis games to their Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack offering. This will include a few of the greats, but hopefully the selection will get bigger and better over time.

  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • M.U.S.H.A.
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shining Force
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Strider

Sega Genesis Classics

Nintendo Switch - Sega Genesis Classics

The real meat, potatos, and appetizer of the Genesis lineup on Switch, of course, is the Sega Genesis Classics collection, which includes 50 Genesis games. You can even get it on a cartridge, like old times! Here’s the massive, massive list of titles you’ll get in that collection:

  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Alien Soldier
  • Alien Storm
  • Altered Beast
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Bonanza Bros.
  • Columns
  • Columns III: Revenge of Columns
  • Comix Zone
  • Crack Down
  • Decap Attack
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • ESWAT: City Under Siege
  • Fatal Labyrinth
  • Flicky
  • Gain Ground
  • Galaxy Force II
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe II
  • Golden Axe III
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Landstalker
  • Light Crusader
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Ristar
  • Shadow Dancer: The Secret of Shinobi
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Sonic 3D Blast
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Space Harrier II
  • Streets of Rage
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Streets of Rage 3
  • Super Thunder Blade
  • Sword of Vermilion
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
  • Vectorman
  • Vectorman 2
  • Virtua Fighter 2

Sega Ages

Sega Ages

Sega Ages isn’t a collection that you’d purchase wholesale; you can purchase the Sega Ages version of each of these games individually. They tend to have quality-of-life upgrades rather than being excruciatingly true to the individuals, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for an authentic experience. These games also span several Sega console generations and aren’t limited to just the Genesis era.

we’ll list the currently available Sega Ages titles below, with a note that more are added occasionally. We’re including everything, even if it’s not a Genesis/Mega Drive release, just to be as comprehensive as possible.

  • Herzog Zwei (Genesis/Mega Drive)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis/Mega Drive)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (includes Sonic 2 and Knuckles) (Genesis/Mega Drive)
  • Columns II (Arcade, Genesis/Mega Drive)
  • Phantasy Star (Genesis/Mega Drive)
  • Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar (Genesis/Mega Drive)
  • Ichidant-R (Arcade, Mega Drive)
  • Thunder Force AC (Arcade)
  • G-LOC: Air Battle (Arcade)
  • Puyo Puyo (Arcade)
  • Puyo Puyo 2 (Arcade)
  • Shinobi (Arcade)
  • Fantasy Zone (Arcade)
  • Space Harrier (Arcade)
  • Wonder Boy: Monster Land (Arcade)
  • Virtua Racing (Arcade)
  • Gain Ground (Arcade)
  • Out Run (Arcade)
  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World (Master System)

Note that some of the arcade titles listed above do have Genesis/Mega Drive ports (such as Virtua Racing), but we’ve only marked those that actually have the Mega Drive port included in the Sega Ages release (such as Columns II).

Langrisser I & II

Langrisser I & II

The first two Langrisser games were released on Mega Drive, and thanks to NIS America, you can get them in a nicely upgraded collection for Nintendo Switch. These remastered ports of the classic strategy games have some much-needed quality-of-life upgrades, including a fast-forward button that lets you speed through battles and dialogue.

Both games have also been given a visual overhaul that includes new battle sprites, character portraits, and environments. Thankfully, fans of the classic visuals won’t be left out in the cold. You can switch back to the original art at any time via the game’s menu.

Flashback: The Quest for Identity

Flashback: The Quest for Identity

Flashback: The Quest for Identity is an odd duck that’s incredibly strange and memorable but also frustrating to play. We love this game in concept, with its maddeningly difficult puzzle-platforming and lush cyberpunk jungle aesthetic, but we never get very far before giving up because of the unforgiving and difficult-to-manage controls.

If you want to revisit this highly influential classic, it’s available as a standalone release with some quality-of-life features that make it a bit less of a struggle to play. The visual remaster looks awful, but you can disable that if you want the 16-bit look.

Gods Remastered

Gods Remastered

Gods is a 1991 platformer by the Bitmap Brothers that, like Flashback, hasn’t aged gracefully but still stands as a niche-yet-important title in the pantheon of video games. It originated on the Amiga, but a Genesis port eventually came around.

Gods Remastered offers an updated version of the original, so it’s maybe not the best choice for those who want an authentic experience. Still, it’s a neat game to revisit if you’re interested in experiencing some early-1990s platforming set in Ancient Greece.

Disney Classics Collection

Disney Classics Collection

If you played the Genesis back in its heyday, you might remember that Disney was absolutely killing it on the console, with memorable hits like The Lion King, Aladdin, and The Jungle Book.

There was a previous collection of games, Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King, which had some suspicious absences in its roster. Most notably, it was missing the SNES version of Aladdin. Well, Disney Classics Collection is coming out this November to rectify this, and it’s adding all versions of The Jungle Book as well.

Not everything here is for the Genesis/Mega Drive, but Sega fans get a whole lot of love in this collection. In fact, we might even argue that three of the best games in the Genesis lineup are present here, which makes this an absolute must for Genesis fans.

Here’s a complete lineup of games in this collection:

  • Disney’s Aladdin (SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega MegaDrive)
  • Disney’s Aladdin – Final Cut (Sega Mega Drive)
  • Disney’s Aladdin – Demo Version (Sega Mega Drive)
  • Disney’s Aladdin – Japanese Version (Sega Mega Drive)
  • Disney’s The Lion King (SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Mega Drive)
  • Disney’s The Lion King – Japanese Version (Sega Mega Drive)
  • Disney’s The Jungle Book (SNES, Game Boy, Sega Mega Drive)

Contra Anniversary Collection

Contra Anniversary Collection

Yes, you can get Contra Hard Corps in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, but you could also just pick up the Contra Anniversary Collection and play through a robust selection of Contra titles. This includes Contra Hard Corps (the Genesis game) and Probotector (the Mega Drive version), on top of its mostly Nintendo-focused offerings.

  • Contra (Arcade)
  • Super Contra (Arcade)
  • Contra (North America, NES)
  • Contra (Japan, Famicom)
  • Super C (NES)
  • Contra III: The Alien Wars (North America, SNES)
  • Operation C (Game Boy)
  • Contra Hard Corps (Genesis)
  • Super Probotector Alien Rebels (PAL, SNES)
  • Probotector (Mega Drive)

Castlevania Anniversary Collection

Castlevania Anniversary Collection

And here’s another collection of classic Konami games. Like the Contra Anniversary Collection, this is also mostly Nintendo-centric, but it does include the Genesis game Castlevania: Bloodlines (which is also available in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack).

  • Castlevania (NES/Famicom)
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (NES/Famicom)
  • Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (NES/Famicom)
  • Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
  • Castlevania: The Adventure (Game Boy)
  • Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge (Game Boy)
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis)
  • Kid Dracula (Famicom)
  • History of Castlevania – Book of the Crescent Moon (ebook)

Blizzard Arcade Collection

Blizzard Arcade Collection

One of must-play titles on the Genesis was The Lost Vikings, and you can relive the time-traveling shenanigan’s, alongside some other Blizzard classics, with the Blizzard Arcade Collection. Some of the games here feature multiple versions, with a Definitive Edition that combines the best features of all the retro versions.

Note that the collection was updated at some point to include RPM Racing and The Lost Vikings 2, which were absent from this collection at launch.

Again, not all of these are Genesis games, but the ones that are here are essentials for any Genesis collection on the Switch.

  • RPM Racing (SNES)
  • The Lost Vikings (SNES, Genesis, Definitive Edition)
  • Rock N Roll Racing (SNES, Genesis, Definitive Edition)
  • Blackthorne (SNES, Sega 32X, Definitive Edition)
  • The Lost Vikings 2 (SNES)

Now, this is admittedly not a great time to support Blizzard, so you might want to hold off on a purchase for now. But since this is a comprehensive list of every Genesis title available on the Switch, we figured we’d include this collection on it.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Ghoul Patrol

Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Ghoul Patrol

So, Ghoul Patrol never actually got a Genesis release, but it was the sequel to Zombies Ate My Neighbors, which did have a Genesis version. Both games are included in this collection, but the version of Zombies Ate My Neighbors you’ll get here is an updated version that isn’t a perfect match for either the Genesis or SNES version.

All that said, it’s neat to get to play these LucasArts classics once again.

  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors
  • Ghoul Patrol

Aleste Collection

Aleste Collection

Okay, so this is an odd addition because it doesn’t actually include any Genesis titles, but Aleste is a niche shmup series that was a shining beacon of light on the Sega Game Gear. We’re mainly including it here as an additional recommendation for Genesis fans, as the quality here is exceptionally high and the Game Gear is Genesis-adjacent, right?

This collection includes:

  • Aleste/Power Strike! (Sega Mark III)
  • GG Aleste (Game Gear)
  • GG Aleste II (Game Gear)
  • Power Strike II (Master System)
  • GG Aleste 3
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