Released from 1985 in Japan, then the rest of the world over the next few years, the Sega Master System is Sega’s first majorly successful console.

System Overview

Originally released as the Sega Mark III in Japan, the system was renamed as the Master System in 1986 and pushed around the world. The Mark III is able to play it’s own Mark III cartridges as well as the newer system cartridges and game cards.

A direct competitor to the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Master System fought a long battle with Nintendo. Ultimately the system failed to beat the NES in the US and Japan. The system did, however, perform very well in Europe and Brazil. Sega’s system, in particular, is hugely popular in Brazil, even to the present day. Many Master System clones were produced by Tectoy in Brazil which have sold strongly across the decades.

Selling an estimated 13 million units, the Master System is estimated to have sold c. 13 million units. Comparing this to the 62 million NES units, it might be perceived as a failure, but for Sega, it was just the beginning of bigger things.

The Master System, in theory, is still available in regions such as Brazil, but the system typically stopped retailing in the mid-90s. The system was succeeded by the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1988.

Sega Master System
The Sega Master System

BEST Sega Master System GAMES

Are you looking for the Best Sega Master System Games? Then look no further as we present to you, a list of our favourite Master System Games! Check our article below.

22 OF THE BEST SEGA MASTER SYSTEM GAMES | HOW TO RETRO

22 of the Best Sega Master System Games

WHERE TO BUY THE Sega Master System

How to Emulate this system?

Sega Master System emulation is reasonably well catered for, we recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all in one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Sega Master System. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator ‘cores’, it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles. Take a look at our quick start guide for RetroArch which can get you up and running in 5 minutes.

Check out RetroArch here

Also, check out the other Sega Master System emulators we enjoy using:

EmulatorDescriptionPlatform
KEGA FusionKEGA Fusion is hands down the best stand alone emulator for Windows, Mac & Linux. It emulates SG-1000, Master System, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Mega CD & 32X games.Windows / Mac / Linux

Sega Master System emulation using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to play Sega Master System games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

Check Raspberry Pi prices on ebay

Scroll to Top