Are Sega Genesis Worth Anything?


The Sega Genesis (also known as the Mega Drive outside North America) was Sega’s 16-bit game console released in 1988. It proved to be a major competitor to the Super Nintendo, selling over 30 million units worldwide.

The Genesis played host to some iconic games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat, and NBA Jam. But decades after its release, is collecting for the Sega Genesis still worth it? Do the consoles and games hold any value today?

Key Takeaways:

  • Original Genesis consoles generally sell for $20 to $50 in working condition depending on model and condition.
  • Highly sought after games like Crusader of Centy and MUSHA can command prices from $150 up to over $1000.
  • Complete-in-box (CIB) games tend to get 30-60% higher value than loose cartridges.
  • Specialty items like the Sega CD and 32X add-ons and rare limited edition games can get very high collector prices.
  • Common games usually sell for just a few dollars each, so collecting a full Genesis set is attainable.

Factors That Determine Value

Several key factors influence how valuable Sega Genesis consoles, games, and accessories can be:

  • Rarity – Games released in lower quantities naturally tend to be more expensive and desirable to collectors.
  • Condition – Complete-in-box and pristine condition items are worth significantly more than loose or worn items.
  • Popularity – Well-received games maintain strong enthusiast fanbases that drive up prices. Hidden gems tend to increase over time.
  • Special Editions – Limited production runs with special packaging, colors, or bundled items command higher prices.
  • Nostalgia – Games and hardware that were popular in the 90s retain interest as older generations revisit their childhood.

Original Genesis Console Values

The original Sega Genesis models – Genesis 1, Genesis 2, and Genesis 3 – regularly appear for sale online and at retro game stores today. Their values can vary significantly based on condition and inclusion of controllers/cables.

ConsoleLoose PriceCIB Price
Sega Genesis Model 1$20-$40$50-$100
Sega Genesis Model 2$25-$50$60-$120
Sega Genesis Model 3$15-$30$40-$80

Later model Genesis consoles with built-in games like the Genesis 3 are less desirable to collectors. But any working Genesis still fetches decent value based on nostalgia and ease of use on modern TVs.

Popular Genesis Games Value Ranges

Unlike Atari 2600 titles which mostly sell for a few dollars each, Genesis games have a wide value spectrum based on popularity and rarity. Here are typical price ranges for common Genesis games in complete condition:

TitleLoose PriceCIB Price
Sonic the Hedgehog$10-$20$25-$60
Streets of Rage 2$15-$25$35-$75
Phantasy Star IV$50-$100$125-$200
Contra Hard Corps$70-$130$150-$250

As you can see, the most common games like Sonic are very affordable. But highly sought after games like run and gun shooter MUSHA sell for sky-high premiums, especially complete in box.

Valuable and Rare Genesis Games

Beyond extremely popular titles, there are many Genesis games valued from $100 to over $1000 based on rarity and collector demand:

  • Crusader of Centy – Action RPG similar to Zelda. Mint CIB over $1000.
  • Elemental Master – Side-scrolling shooter from Techno Soft. $500+ CIB.
  • Castlevania Bloodlines – Only Castlevania game on Genesis. CIB copies over $250.
  • Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker – Strange MJ license platformer. Around $150 CIB.
  • Splatterhouse 2 – Controversial horror game. Loose around $125.
  • Hyperstone Heist – Rare alternative to Turtles in Time. $200+ CIB.

Obscure and forgotten games are constantly being re-discovered and appreciated. Under the radar launch titles and late life cycle games with small production runs are most likely to spike in value.

How Do Special Editions and Accessories Affect Value?

Like most retro consoles, Sega produced many special editions and accessories for the Genesis. These bonus items can significantly raise collector and resale value.

  • Sega Genesis Classic Game Console – Plays built-in games. Only 50,000 produced. Worth up to $400.
  • Sega Nomad – Portable Genesis, very rare now. Near $400 in good condition.
  • Sega CD – Optical disc Genesis add-on. Harder to find, worth up to $150.
  • 32X Add-on – Increases graphics/sound. Challenging install but $200+ now.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Gold Cart – Limited cartridge included with some Model 2 bundles. $200+ loose.

Complete high box special bundles like the Sega All-Stars pack sealed can sell for ridiculous prices up to $2000 for enthusiastic collectors seeking the very best items.

Factors Decreasing Value

Not all Genesis gear maintains value however. Here are some things that diminish interest and price:

  • Damaged/non-working consoles and games
  • Very common sports titles with little demand – Madden, NHL, etc
  • Loose game cartridges only – no box or instructions
  • Poor/worn condition boxes and manuals for games
  • Model 3 consoles with poor compatibility reputation
  • Broken accessories like 6-button controllers

Unless you have some ultra rare items, expect to sell non-working or very common games and hardware for parts or repair only for a few dollars. But even scrap Genesis can be repaired or harvested for spare parts.

Recommended Places to Buy and Sell

Here are some reputable marketplaces to find deals on Genesis items or sell your own:

  • eBay – World’s largest auction marketplace, just beware reproductions
  • Etsy – Good for homemade repros and custom merchandise
  • ShopGoodwill – Online Goodwill marketplace with auction style listings
  • OfferUp – Popular local buy/sell app with good deals on vintage gaming
  • Facebook Marketplace – Find sellers in your area through Facebook
  • GameStop – Offers trade-ins for retro games and hardware
  • r/GameSale – Reddit community for buying/selling games and consoles

Take time to research current value ranges before buying to avoid overpaying. And learn how to spot fake cartridges and CIB reprints which are common for Genesis.

Is the Genesis Still Worth Collecting For?

If you grew up with a Genesis in the 90s or just love the huge library of games, the console is definitely still worth going after today.

The best games maintain strong enthusiast following and increasing value. Most consoles still work reliably and look great on modern TVs, while replacement parts are plentiful. And you can build an expansive collection without spending a fortune.

Just take some time to educate yourself on legit hardware and fair prices. As long as you avoid garbage sports titles and broken hardware, the Genesis provides an exciting and affordable retro collection that should only become more desireable over time.


How much are common sports games worth?
Most loose Genesis sports games sell for $1-3 each. More popular series like Madden, NHL, and NBA can get $5-10 depending on the specific title. Box and instructions add a small premium.

What model Genesis is most reliable?
The Model 2 Genesis is usually considered the best option. It has good compatibility, standard AV out, and runs cool and quiet. Model 1 has issues reading CD games while Model 3 can be glitchy with cartridges.

Is the 32X worth getting?
The 32X can be frustrating to set up and the add-on library is limited. But it enables some exclusive games and impressive 3D graphics. For around $100-150, it can be worth trying for enthusiasts wanting the full 1990s Genesis experience.

Why are some Genesis games so expensive?
Many rare Genesis games came late in the lifespan so not a lot of copies were produced. Games released only in Europe/Japan also drive up US prices due to low supply locally. Iconic early titles are expensive due to very high enduring demand.

How do I connect a Genesis to my modern TV?
You need an AV to HDMI converter to plug the Genesis multi-out to an HDTV’s HDMI input. Alternatively, you can mod the system for direct HDMI output. Using original cables on CRT TVs with composite inputs also works well.

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