The Sega Mega Drive / Genesis is without doubt one of the most popular retro consoles, so there are now plenty of options when it comes to finding the best Mega Drive / Genesis emulators.
Sega’s beast of a console fought head to head with the Super Nintendo over the whole of the early to mid-90s, but it’s too close to call who really came out on top. Nintendo had their now classic franchises, but Sega had the Sega arcade and sports fans more or less wrapped up!
Mega Drive / Genesis emulation is pretty easy going on today’s hardware, so you’ll find that many emulators give you a similar experience. The key differences are in the quality of life features these emulators provide, this guide selects the best emulator for your system of choice, for performance and accessibility.
Read on to find out more and get playing the best Mega Drive games (and Genesis!) in no time at all!
Best Mega Drive / Genesis Emulator For PC, Mac & Linux
Kega Fusion is still the best Mega Drive / Genesis emulator available for PC, Mac & Linux. Whilst it has not received an update for a while, frankly, there is no need as it is such a fully featured emulator
Whilst there are newer Mega Drive / Genesis emulators out there, Kega Fusion still delivers where it matters.
It offers excellent emulation performance along with a wide range of features that not only improve the visuals but is also really easy to use.
Kega Fusion is considered a great performer. It offers not just Mega Drive / Genesis emulation, but also Master System, Game Gear, 32X & Mega CD / Sega CD, so it is perfect for any Sega fan who wants a one-stop shop solution.
Kega Fusion Features Include:-
- Also emulates the Master System, Game Gear, 32X & Mega CD / Sega CD
- Game Genie Cheat Codes
- Save States
- RAM Cart Emulation
- Scanlines & TV Mode Shaders
- Configurable Audio Settings
- Controller Mapping
- CD Drive Emulation
- Pause/Fast Forward Modes
Best Mega Drive / Genesis Emulator For Android
GenPlusDroid is the best Mega Drive / Genesis emulator available for Android and best of all, it’s a free app!
Whilst it may not be considered the most accurate, this just won’t matter to most Mega Drive / Genesis fans who want easy access to the brilliant library of games on their Android device.
GenPlusDroid is free, provides great quality emulation and is packed with all the features you need to enjoy your Mega Drive / Genesis favourites on the go.
If you are a RetroArch user on Android, then consider using the Genesis Plus GX core, this is considered the best in terms of accuracy.
GenPlusDroid Features Include:-
- On-Screen Touch Controller (Six Button Gamepad included)
- Game Genie Cheats
- Save States / Auto Save Function
- Fast Forward / Rewind Functions
- Audio Configuration
- Video Shaders
- Folder Configuration For Where ROMs / Save States Are Stored
- Very Easy To Use
Best Sega Mega Drive / Genesis RetroArch Core
Genesis Plus GX is the best Mega Drive / Genesis core for Retroarch. It is focused on accuracy and also has the added benefit of emulating Mega CD/Sega CD, Master System, Game Gear and SG-1000 systems.
Genesis Plus GX Core Features Include:-
- System Auto Detect – Detects System Type
- Core Specific Aspect Ratio
- Borders Hide/Show Toggle
- NTSC Filter
- LCD Ghosting Filter (Mimics the Game Gear LCD Screen)
- Master System FM Sound
- Mega Drive / Genesis FM Synthesizer Options
- Emulation CPU Overclock
- Remove Sprite Limits (Fixes Sprite Flickering)
- Save States
- Rewind/Pause Emulation
- RetroArch Cheats
- Control Configuration
The Sega Mega Drive / Genesis is one of the most popular game consoles of all time and the amount of quality emulation available reflects this.
However, let us not forget Sega’s arch nemesis, Nintendo and the SNES! Of course, Sega & Nintendo had their own superstars such as Sonic & Mario, but many third-party games were ported to both systems making for interesting comparisons. Check out the best Super Nintendo (SNES) emulators to check out the difference between the two systems.
Another competitor came in the form of the Commodore Amiga, although much older than the Mega Drive, the Amiga packed a lot of hardware and handled 3D slightly better than the Mega Drive. Check out the best Amiga emulators to see how Amiga games faired up against Sega’s 16-Bit powerhouse.
A lifelong avid gamer and computing enthusiast, Matt has decades of experience in the field, so producing retro orientated content for How To Retro comes is second nature to him. Now over 40 years old, Matt now even considers himself retro, but fortunately, nobody has developed a Matt emulator (not yet at least!).