The Big Question: SNES Or Mega Drive?

Alright, I'm thinking about making this a regular feature. Every Wednesday 11.15 we post 'a big question' — the kind of question we've been arguing about since the dawn of time — and we settle it via referendum! Are people keen for this? Let me know in the comments below. Today I want to answer the above question: SNES or Mega Drive?

This was inspired by an article by the Kotaku Community's Doc What. He wrote about the playground shenanigans of the early 90s, when the console wars were fervent. At that time you generally only had one console — a SNES or a Mega Drive. The debates were intense.

I was always a Super Nintendo guy, but I'll never forget how jealous I was when Sonic 2 came out. I actually felt physical pain!

Anyways — cast your vote in the poll below. Let's settle this!

SNES Or Mega Drive?


    Super Mario World, Super Metroid, A Link to the Past.
    Need I say more?

      There's no need to say more, but you may as well: Starfox, SSF2T (playable with the original controller), DKC, Final Fantasy, F-Zero, Mario Kart...

      You sure do.

      Megaman X, Donkey Kong Country, and Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss.

    Heart says megadrive

    Brain says snes


      I need 2 separate votes for this. 1 as 10 yr old me and the other for me now. My first console was a Mega Drive - got it for my 8th birthday. I had played Atari, NES and SNES way before this at my cousins house. I spent most of my weekends and holidays with my cousins. When I finally got a console, I asked for a Mega Drive so we had the best of both worlds. Over the next couple years I grew to love it more than the SNES. But, eventually I got a SNES too. It was late in the cycle but played it all the way up until the N64 launch. I was lucky to get an N64 a few months after they came out. Sega then disappeared off the map for me until I got a Dreamcast (when they were dying off and being sold dirt cheap). As an adult I still bring the SNES out probably once a year for a retro session. I think I've only ever hooked the Mega Drive up once, just to play the gorier version of MKII.

      I loved the Mega Drive, but the SNES has stood the test of time and still has some of the best video games made on the system. Thanks to Nintendo VC on Wii/Wii U, I can now relive the experiences I treasured as a child on both consoles. That being said, nothing beats getting the old SNES out to use the original game pads. (A selection of Mega Drive games are on the Wii VC for those who may not know).

    At the time = mega drive
    Now = Snes


      i grew up a sega kid... but looking back on things now... SNES FTW!

    SNES, I played very little of the Mega drive/Mega CD so I'm probably a little biased.

    I ended up having both, but I think objectively the SNES had a better catalogue (though I have and enjoy the Megadrive collection at home). This is a major shift for me: I was on Team Sega during the Sega wars. War is a bit of a stretch - in my town their was only one side. For whatever reason, no one in my town owned a SNES. I don't know why. I've often wondered if it wasn't stocked at the local Harvey Norman or something.

      From memory more people seemed to own a Master System to an NES because they were cheaper.

      Not sure about Mega Drive, Ive never seen one in the wild (ie: in somebody's house) ive only ever played it in the stores

        That would make sense. I remember a lot of Master Systems at the time, but I think I've only seen one NES in the wild. It was my cousin who lived in Brisbane. I only saw it once, but we played Duck Hunt.

    Other than Sonic and Wonder Boy I can't name another title off the top of my head. SNES on the other hand I could be here all day...

      Mortal Kombat

        Altered beast, strider, shadow dancer, sonic 2, Mutant league football, streetfighter 2 champ. Edition (way better than the normal snes version until it got turbo edition). Mortal kombat (blood kode ftw!) chakan... shit I could go on all day.

        Problem is I can also match that with a snes list equally as amazing...

          Shining Force, Phantasy Star, Streets of Rage, Shinobi...

          Dang, there's a lot of S in there

          EDIT: Oh, you already said Shinobi :)

          Last edited 29/05/13 1:25 pm

        Mortal Combat, how can I forget this one! Shame on me *sits in naughty corner*

        EDIT: Altered Beast, Of course! *Sits in naughty corner for double time*

        Last edited 29/05/13 5:01 pm

        A B A C A B B.

        FATALITY! blood enabled. Wow I still remember that!! First game I got on mega drive!

      Jurassic Park was better on MD, SNES was the better console with higher quality games.

        Wait, what?? The MD Jurassic Park was a train wreck of terrible, despite it's decent graphics. The Super version had some really great open-world gameplay, first-person areas for indoors (although admittedly, this doesn't hold up that well today) and best of all... You could use the Super NES mouse!

          Are you kidding?
          You can be a Raptor on MegaDrive...A RAPTOR!!!

          (clearly a preference thing)

    Well, I never really played either. But the SNES is Super, but then the Mega Drive is Mega.

    Which is better, Mega, or Super? Well, Megaman is cooler than Superman. But then, I've never been to a MegaMarket, but I go to Super ones all the time.

    I can't decide, guys, I can't decide!

      But just imagine what would happen if you *did* go to a MegaMarket. Your brain would, like, whoah, *explodes*

        Imagine if you went to a Super Mega Market.

    I had a MD to start (since I had a MS2 it was natural progression)
    And I spent way too much time on Sonic1,2 and Forgotten Worlds, I was a huge Sega fanboy and defended them to the nth degree until that fateful day I got a SNES for xmas, the conflicting feelings were real and deep-seated but eventually I realized I was one of the lucky ones who had both.

    Right now I dont think I could pick between the two, so many memories from both consoles....

    But the console that had the biggest impact on me - Sega Master System 2, WonderboyIII : The Dragons Trap, never has a game since left such an imprint on my heart......

    That SNES MK2.. damn... it was HOT

    And SNES Sunset Riders, Lethal Enforcers, NBA Jam, Samurai Shodown, Art of Fighting, Alien V Predator, Street Fighter 2...

    Arcade versions were so much better on the SNES (eh... except Final Fight - but CD loads.. ugh...) than the MD

      i always preferred MK2 on megadrive. I liked the sound and also the "picture" like animations. while the snes had smoother animations something about the megadrive version just clicked with me

    What is the question? Which one you wanted more as a kid? Or which one, with the benefit of retrospect, had the best games lineup? Because as a kid I wanted a Mega Drive really badly, but if I was to pick one out of them now, I'd grab a SNES. But I'd want a US-region one because the PAL SNES lineup is piss poor in comparison.

    SNES. For sure. The great sound, the colourful graphics and the classic games...

    I own both and I find myself playing my SNES way more than my Mega Drive.

    SNES. Megadrive had a few really amazing games absolutely worth playing. SNES to this day has one of the greatest libraries of any console ever. With no disrespect to Sega, it's a no brainer for me.

    "The Big Question: SNES Or Mega Drive?"

    Ask yourself what games you would like to play first. Then you will know your answer.

    Me, I currently have both. Found them second hand and enjoying every moment from the two.

    SNES hands down, not even a serious question.

    I got a MegaDrive and my friend got SNES so we could play a larger array of games. I felt great about Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition but I missed out on most of the SNES classics which makes a little sad. I will be getting a snes set up for my son for sure. Being diplomatic about it all, I've always loved any device that played games.

    SNES ... it had more buttons, therefore it was the better system

      That logic woud make the Atari Jaguar the best system EVER!

    Megadrive for me. My parents never gave me a choice, it was just a surprise on Xmas morning, along with Sonic 1 and Echo The Dolphin. Me and my sister took 30 minute turns, making very little progress in each game all day.

    Next survey: "Mega Drive" or "Genesis". Which was the better name?

    I had both. I wasn't a kid when they were out so it wasn't an issue for me to have to choose. Missing out on either system is doing anyone who appreciates classic games a disservice. This was one of the greatest times for diversity of gaming libraries and exclusives between systems, back when game companies couldn't just be multiformat.

    It was funny, back then, how a game would come out, or a genre, which would then be associated primarily with that system. The MD was the shooter's paradise and it wasn't until Super Aleste/Space Megaforce came out that SFC was seen as a contender in that genre. Arcade ports were always a great battle ground, especially with the quality/accuracy of the port when they were ported to both. But it always seemed to be the SFC that got the big guns from the big arcade game manufacturers, while the MD traded on the SEGA arcade brands a great deal, until it got the Strider exclusive from Capcom which blew everyone's minds.

    The 16Bit era was a great time to be an import gamer too, so many great titles came out on regular basis that pushed the systems and were full of great ideas. Well, until the glut of mascot platformers (the FPS's of the 90s) started dilute the quality terribly, anyway.

    One mustn't forget the TurboGrafx/PC Engine and Neo Geo from this era too, as even though they weren't as overall successful they were no less important for making an identity for themselves that appealed to gamers and had created (still!) very passionate niche markets.

    I was a Sega boy back in the day, but then I got a Snes and learned to love them both equally.

    But if both were dangling off a cliff and I could only save one of them I'd probably pick the Megadrive. All those (good) Sonic games, a non-neutered Mortal Kombat, World of Illusion, Aladdin, Ecco. It may have had a lower colour palette but it still did good.

    Now I feel like playing my megadrive, too bad my controllers are stuffed.

      Non-neutered Mortal Kombat: I think that is more to do with Nintendo's content guidelines back at the time.

      Stuffed Controllers: Try taking them apart and clean the button contacts/pads/etc with rubbing alcohol. It doesn't always work but it can sometime revive a non-responsive pad. This I know when I tried on two stuffed SNES controllers. One worked better but the other remained the same.

      I prefer the SNES version of Aladdin. It was Capcom.

    I got the Megadrive because I was a big fan of arcade games at the time and many of the biggest arcade games at the time were by Sega (Golden Axe, Afterburner, Super Monaco GP, etc), so they were all exclusive to Megadrive. Over time, though, as my tastes have become less arcade-y, I've leaned more towards SNES. So yeah, if I was buying one now it'd be SNES, but at the time it was Megadrive.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now