Download: Kega Fusion
Rugen, an easy and simple emulator
Although it is necessary to have a somewhat powerful computer to run this emulator, the truth is that Rugen’s experience is at a very high level. This software allows emulating the SG (SG-1000 and SG-3000), Game Gear, Master System and Genesis / Mega Drive consoles. In the future, the developers plan to implement support for SegaCD, 32x and SF-7000.
It can be installed in both Linux as in the Linux Subsystem for Windows.
Download: Rugen Emulator
RetroArch: the unique ring to emulate SEGA
We could talk about a multitude of small programs that are used to emulate different SEGA consoles. However, having programs as powerful as RetroArchIt’s hard to recommend anything else.
RetroArch is not an emulator itself, but a front-end of emulators. Basically, it allows you to concentrate the different emulation cores in a single application so that you can easily enjoy any game, regardless of the platform.
We could say that SEGA is one of RetroArch’s specialties. Is it so all consoles without exception.
The best RetroArch cores to emulate SEGA consoles
The great thing about RetroArch is that sometimes you can choose different cores to play with a single console. This is especially useful in the event that you find a video game that does not finish working correctly with a specific emulator. We talk about crashes, glitches, artifacts or any bug that prevents you from enjoying a game as it deserves.
The most interesting nuclei of consoles SEGA what do we have in RetroArch are the following:
- SMS Plus GX: This core is designed to be able to move SEGA Master System and Game Gear titles smoothly.
- Genesis Plus GX Wide: It is one of the most complete cores you will find. It can move Master System, Game Gear, Mega Drive and SEGA CD games.
- Pico Drive: it is a core capable of moving Master System, Game Gear, Mega Drive, CD and 32X in equipment with ARM architecture, such as a smart TV, a Raspberry Pi, smartphones or any modified portable console (Nintendo Switch, PS Vita…)
- Yabuse: It is one of the best cores that exist to enjoy the SEGA Saturn games again.
- beetle saturn: is an alternative to Yabuse.
- Gear system: a core focused solely on the Master System, Game Gear, and SG-1000.
What systems is RetroArch available for?
You have RetroArch in practically every platforms that you can imagine:
PC and Mac
The list of devices compatible with RetroArch is practically endless. As a general rule, you can install it on any computer, regardless of whether you use Windows, Linux either macOS (you have it for both x86 architecture and Apple Silicon).
Smartphones, Tablets, Smart TVs and more
On the other hand, RetroArch can also be installed on phones mobiles and tablets. But the thing does not stop there. Can also be installed on some smart tvssuch as those with a system based on AndroidTV.
This also includes the dongles and the set-top boxes. If you have a device like Xiaomi Mi TV Stick, a Chromecast with Google TV or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you can make use of RetroArch. There are also custom operating systems for the Raspberry Pi that use the RetroArch source code.
There are also consoles that allow you to use this software. It is the case of the xbox series, which allow you to install the application from a third-party repository. Also the Steam Deck leaves the door open for you to officially install RetroArch and be able to rediscover SEGA classics.
Finally, there are also consoles that have RetroArch versions, but they are not official. This happens with the switch. You won’t be able to download RetroArch from the eShop, but there is a distribution for this console. Of course, to install it, you need to do a Jailbreak. The same goes for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, as well as Sony’s handhelds.
SEGA Mega Drive for Nintendo Switch, the most realistic experience
In addition to third-party emulators, there is a fully legal and official to enjoy SEGA Mega Drive titles. It is for Nintendo Switch, and is part of the subscription Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.
The catalog of games in this application is expanding over the months. Currently, SEGA Mega Drive for Switch has all of these Titles:
- Alien Soldier
- dragoon ready
- Altered Beast
- Beyond Oasis
- Castlevania Bloodline
- Against Hard Corps
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- Dynamite Headdy
- Earthworm Jim
- Ecco The Dolphin
- Golden Ax
- Gunstar Heroes
- Mega Man: The Wily Wars
- Phantasy Star IV
- shining force
- Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
- sonic the hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage 2
- Super Fantasy Zone
- Sword of Vermilion
- Target Earth
- Thunder Force II
- ToeJam & Earl
- zero wing
Mega Drive emulation on Switch allows play online officially (even with voice chat), rewind the game and save save states. Also sold separately mega drive controller to connect to the Nintendo hybrid console.
The only downside to this program is that it doesn’t have a more complete catalog, since the experience it offers is the widest of all the ones we’ve seen in this article. If you have a Nintendo Switch at home and fondly remember any of the titles on the list, feel free to give the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pass a try. Also, if you buy it at a family groupthe year will cost you a lot.