Sega Genesis emulators

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The Sega Genesis

The Sega Genesis is a 16-bit, fourth-generation console released by Sega in 1988. In other regions, it was known as the Mega Drive. It had several add-ons, including the Sega CD (a CD add-on, called Mega CD outside America) and the 32X (a 32-bit, cartridge-based add-on).

Genesis emulation is very good, with high degree of game compatibility (many of them claiming nearly 100% compatibility with commercial games, including Virtua Racing). They are available on many platforms. Many Genesis emulators also feature compatibility with the Sega Master System (SMS), and the Game Gear (GG) as well as earlier Sega consoles. Genesis-based arcade boards and the Sega Pico are still sketchy, however.


Name Operating System(s) Latest Version SMS GG Mega Drive Sega CD 32X Recommended
Kega Fusion Windows, Linux, OS X 3.64
(Genesis Plus GX)
Multi-platform 1.7.5 RC1
Gens/GS Multi-platform r7/Gens/GS II Git Repository
PicoDrive Multi-platform 1.80 ✓*
Regen Windows, Linux 0.972
Gens Windows, Linux, BeOS 2.14
BlastEm Windows, Linux, OS X 0.5.1
Exodus Windows 2.0.1
(Genesis Plus GX)
Windows 1.7.5 RC1
DGen Multi-platform 1.33
Genecyst DOS x.xx

* Only for the 32X as an open-source and cross-plaform alternative to Kega Fusion

Name Operating System(s) Latest Version SMS GG Mega Drive Sega CD 32X Recommended
Genesis Plus GX Wii, Gamecube 1.7.5 RC1
(Genesis Plus GX)
Multi-platform 1.7.5 RC1
PicoDrive PSP 1.80
Virtual Console Wii n/a


  • Genesis Plus GX is a solid emulator that claims 100% compatibility with Sega Genesis, Sega CD, Master System/GG and SG-1000 games. The only thing it lacks is 32X support. The RetroArch port adds shader support, dynamic sync and other enhancements, while the BizHawk port adds features useful for speedrunners.
  • Kega Fusion is a very good emulator with high compatibility, coded by an ex-Sega staffer! It is easy to use and has plugin-based filter support. It has some issues on newer versions of Windows, though.
  • Regen is accuracy-focused with high compatibility, but it lacks 32X and Mega CD support. It also supports overclocking.
  • Exodus is cycle-accurate at the cost of very high system requirements. It is the newest Genesis emulator and is far from complete. It currently only supports the Sega Genesis.
  • Gens is close to Kega Fusion in features and compatibility, but it has been largely surpassed by better emulators. There are many different forks and iterations of Gens, and your experience will differ quite a lot depending on which version you use.
  • BlastEm aims for cycle accuracy but for lower system requirements than Exodus. It has substantially higher compatibility than Exodus but falls short of Genesis Plus GX.

External links[edit]

  • MegaDrive Development Wiki - A Wiki about every technical aspect of the SEGA MegaDrive hardware and software. Its aim is to provide the most detailed, accurate and up to date information, to help homebrew development and repairs.
  • Mega Drive emulators on Sega Retro