A collection of rare Sega Genesis games are listed below. We have specifically looked at ones you may have in your collection, so excluded really stupidly rare ones (Tetris) and prototype games (blockbuster cartridges). Prices have been taken from auction sold listings where items have been bid upon (no buy it now) and cross referenced with second hand online stores. Of course, all are approximate.
Right after that introduction, we contradict ourselves by putting in a game that flirts the borderline of ‘you may have in a collection’ to ‘no chance of ever having that’.
Part of the vertical scrolling shooter series ‘Aleste’ the game has you piloting a craft in a bid to take down a super computer that threatens earth.
The game has an absolutely belting soundtrack and graphics look amazing. The anime cut scenes give a real slice of nostalgia and it is the epitome of retro gaming. However, when it arrived the console was awash with games in a very similar vein. As such it had tepid reviews and even worse sales.
You are looking at a whopping $650 dollars for a good condition complete one including the original warranty card..
Crusader of Centy
So I am writing this in April 2020 and find out that the protagonist of our next rare game is aptly called Corona.
As Corona, you inherit your fathers sword and must use it to stave off monsters threatening the land. You do this in and RPG, Zelda type game that is essentially a clone of the aforementioned. It was released really late in the life of the console making it one of the rare Sega Genesis games. Add to that the niche RPG appeal in a fairly underwhelming game and you can see why it is hard to come by.
This game was really hard to put a price on as they were really hard to find online, which tells me the value could be a lot more. Sealed in box copies are being advertised for around $550.
Sometimes when writing these articles, I really do not understand the appeal of some high priced games (See our Gamecube article on college basketball). However, in the scheme of rare Sega Genesis games, Punisher is totally justified.
Probably one of the best side scrolling beat em ups from the golden era, you are violent vigilante Frank Castle. As his anti hero alter ego, The Punisher, you must trail the streets in search of The Kingpin and bring down the criminal responsible for the death of his family.
I really can not fault the arcade version of this game, probably because I am a big Marvel fan anyway. It is two player with the second player taking charge of old school Nick Fury. The game does not shy away from the violent nature of the character or it’s comic book roots.
However, the Genesis version did make a lot of concessions which led to very poor sales and thus, rarity. The violence was censored and due to hardware limitations a lot of the fun gameplay elements were removed. Complete and in good condition this goes for around $240. Some versions even came with a Punisher tattoo, which will put the price up even further.
Streets of Rage 3
Possibly one of the worst covers ever placed on a videogame, Streets of Rage 3 (Bareknuckle to our US friends) should have been a huge success. It was the third in the trilogy of Sega’s smash hit beat em up franchise. The previous games were critically appraised and it had a long standing fan base. So what went wrong?
The game had a number of upgrades and changes made since the last two outings but they just did not really make the game better. In fact, they did the opposite. Add to this heavy censorship compared to the Japanese version (even including less revealing clothes for female characters) and the game was just not as good as 1 or 2.
Introduce other factors such as it being released late in the lifespan of the console plus a cult following for the series built over time and you can begin to see why a complete one in good condition can go for around $240.
Pier Sola and the Great Architects (First Print)
Please note picture above is the reprint cover and not the first edition
One of the most interesting games on the list due to the fact that it was not released in the systems production time. Pier Solar is actually a homebrew effort by a company formed from an online chatroom.
The genesis (see that?) for this game began in 2004 in an online community dedicated to Sega games. After numerous changes and a delay in release schedules, the game was shipped in December 2010. Pier Solar was a huge 64 Meg RPG game that saw you take on the role of three best friends who must find a magical herb to cure your father.
Upon release, reviews were really mixed. Music and art direction were generally praised but gameplay was often lambasted as repetitive. However, it did enough to warrant a second printing meaning originals now go for around $230 complete and in good condition.
Megami Tanjou: Dahna
A platform action game in a fantasy vein, you are Dahna who must save her village from the machinations of an evil sorceress. On the way you ride on the back of mythical beasts and cast spells. Yes, similar to Golden Axe but with less choice in your avatar movement.
The title was a release only in Japan and South Korea, thus making it rare in the west. It is also a fairly decent game with some great in game opponents. However very little is known about it which is probably part of the appeal. Expect to pay $240 for a complete one.
Bloodlines was the only Castlevania game released on the Mega Drive/Genesis. Get that in perspective. The worlds biggest console and it only had one title from one of the most popular adventure horror franchises.
On top of that, the US version has become more collectable as the European and Australian versions were heavily censored. The word ‘Blood’ was dropped from the title and dripping gore scenes on the intro were replaced for water…..yes, in a game about vampires. All this makes the Genesis version much more sought after. In one utterly absurd turn, Zombies were turned from pink to green to make them less gruesome. How does that work?
Since the games release Castlevania has had it’s own TV series and numerous other titles, just adding to the popularity. Again it was released fairly late in the life of the console so you are looking at $190 complete.
Gaiares is one of the most difficult games to ever grace the console. Many collectors of rare Sega Genesis games seek out the title just for the challenge.
A space based shooter in the vein of R Type, it features excellent Battle of the Planets style anime cut scenes that add real depth to what could be a standard genre run out. On top of this, the combat system for weapon changing allows you to steal the weapons of opponents making it very unique.
Another Japan and North America only release, so competition from European collectors is high. Complete you can look at paying $135 with the Japanese cover art. The North American release box does not look half as good.
Elemental Master follows in the vein of Gaiares and M.U.S.H.A with it’s Japanime come shooter gameplay. Introducing a fantasy element, Master plays a bit more strangely as your character is a moving person who continually scrolls. You can choose to shoot forward or back.
Release in 1990 in Japan and 93 in the US, yet again it was in a hoard of games for the console in this genre. Of them, it could be classified as one of the weakest. Recently, one sold for $150.
Part of the Splatterhouse series of horror genre games that were lambasted for video game violence, this outing does not differ that much from the first. You are Rick, who must side scroll his way through eight horror filled stages in an attempt to rescue your love Jennifer.
Prices on this game have risen pretty quickly. Not only is it wanted by Genesis collectors, it is one of the iconic horror games that garnered a reputation in the media as an example of ‘video games gone violent’. This appeal means for a complete one you can be looking at $135.
The almost made it….
Ristar Card Box with Poster
Contra Hard Corps