Mega-CD games

From Sega Retro

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With 262 known titles, the library of Mega-CD games proved to be more than just an "add-on"—gaining a quarter of titles the Sega Mega Drive itself would receive before the end of its life cycle. The Sega CD was released in November 1992 in the U.S. and looked very much like the Japanese Mega-CD counterpart. Several pack-in titles were included: the Sega Classics 4-in-1 CD (Shinobi, Columns, Streets of Rage, and Golden Axe), Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective Vol. I, Sol Feace, and two CD+G/music CD samplers. The second U.S. production run after the initial 50,000 units had the Sega Classics 5-game CD instead of the four-game CD above. There were five Sega CD titles available at the time of launch: Cobra Command, Night Trap, Black Hole Assault, Sewer Shark and Chuck Rock.


Action (66) (29.46%)
Adventure (26) (11.61%)
Educational (2) (0.89%)
Fighting (1) (0.45%)
Racing (8) (3.57%)
RPG (25) (11.16%)
Shoot-'em-up (31) (13.84%)
Simulation (20) (8.93%)
Sports (27) (12.05%)
Table (8) (3.57%)
Miscellaneous (10) (4.46%)
Mega-CD games by genre.


Early Mega-CD titles were packaged inside a cardboard box with the instructions, and CD in a regular jewel case inside. Examples include Wonder Dog, Jaguar XJ220, and all the "Make My Video" titles except C+C Music Factory. In 1993, Sega of America began packaging them in large plastic jewel cases, about 8¼ x 5¾ inches and about three quarters of an inch thick. These are the same jewel cases used by Saturn games and some early Playstation titles. One title, Rise of the Dragon, was released both ways.

Sega of Japan continued to use regular-sized jewel cases for all Mega-CD games, with small instructions to fit inside, just like a music CD. European Mega-CD games used the jewel case quad variation, where one half would be used to store the often large multi-language instruction manuals. Sega would use a similar format for European Dreamcast games, though the casing would be designed by Sega themselves and would be slightly smaller in size.

Unreleased games

Main article: List of unreleased Mega-CD games.

When the Mega-CD was announced for a Western release, it attracted a new set of third-party publishers, keen on bringing their PC CD-ROM projects to the console. However, many of these titles were full motion video games, a genre the Mega-CD was likely not designed for, and early FMV attempts on the console were mixed. It would take a couple of years for the technology to catch up, but the limited colour palette was always an issue (until the Mega-CD 32X); it is likely therefore that many Mega-CD games transferred to newer hardware (namely the 3DO, Sega Saturn and PlayStation) when options became available.

An example of this is the cancelled Mega-CD version of Myst, which despite being nearly completed, would have arrived in early 1995, when more powerful machines were either known about, or already on the market. Myst was a very popular game on PC and most CD-ROM-based platforms wanted a version, but the game is comprised entirely of pre-rendered 3D assets and full motion video clips, neither of which transfer well to 64 colours.

In many cases, Mega-CD games were seen as an afterthought; release a Sega Mega Drive game on cartridge, then an enhanced CD edition, whose only additions might have been a Red Book audio soundtrack and some FMV sequences. If the Mega Drive version was cancelled, the Mega-CD port would be too, though by the time third-parties had reached a stage where were able to publish on both platforms, the Mega-CD had already peaked in sales, and was being treated as an expensive novelty than the future of gaming.

Several late Mega-CD projects, particularly those which dealt with full motion video, would be turned into Mega-CD 32X or Sega Saturn titles.



1991 (6) (2.84%)
1992 (30) (14.22%)
1993 (71) (33.65%)
1994 (82) (38.86%)
1995 (20) (9.48%)
1996 (2) (0.95%)
Mega-CD games by release date (not including aftermarket games).

Launch titles


North America

United Kingdom







Sega Mega-CD
Topics Technical specifications | History | Magazine articles | Promotional material
Hardware Mega CD (Asia | North America | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | South America | Australasia | Africa)
Sega Multi-Mega (Asia | North America | Europe | South America | Australasia)
Wondermega | LaserActive | CSD-G1M
Misc. hardware CD BackUp RAM Cart | Mega-CD Karaoke | Pro CDX
Development tools SNASM Mega-CD | PsyQ Mega-CD SDK | PSY-Q CD Emulation System (Mega-CD)
Unreleased hardware Game Genie