When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t spend afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for complete US games, including shipping)
Daytona USA: $4
As one of the biggest launch titles and eventual pack-in game, Daytona USA is one of the most common games in the Saturn library. You can get it dirt cheap in its pack-in form as it is commonly thown in as game or system bundles on eBay. You can also find the original full-case version for just a few dollars. This Saturn version isn’t quite as polished as its Dreamcast sibling, but if you are tight on money (or just a collector), you can’t go wrong with the original console version of Daytona USA.
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Sega Rally Championship: $5
Sega Rally is the essential complement to Daytona USA if you are a racing fan. This drifting-filled racer truely is an essential and dirt-cheap classic. But just like Daytona USA, Sega Rally also has a graphically-enhanced sequel on the Dreamcast that is also pricier. But at $5 its hard to go wrong with the Saturn version.
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Virtua Fighter 2: $4
Just like Daytona USA, you can find the plain disk or sleaved (pack-in) version for next to nothing. But collectors will most likely be willing to pay just a few dollars for the full-case retail version. Virtua Fighter 2 actually serves as a great technical demo for the Saturn. The game maxed out the Saturn’s High Resolution 720×575 mode (highest for a console game at that time) while running at a smooth 60fps.
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Virtua Cop : $5
As the last in the trio of pack-in games for the Saturn, Virtua Cop is next to free as well. Virtua Cop 2 is a great follow-up and is and it a bit more if you want to spring for it. Light gun games haven’t progressed a whole lot since the late 1990’s, so the Virtua Cop series still holds up quite well.
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Fighters Megamix: $10
Fighters Megamix took the models from Virtua Fighter 2 and Fighting Vipers and threw in some of Virtua Fighter 3’s new moves. Megamix looked good, but lacked Virtua Fighter 2’s high-resolution feature. Of all of the non-pack-in games, Fighters Megamix is one of the best values today. You still won’t find as much depth as some modern fighters like Soul Calibur, but it’s a great game to give your Saturn some life.
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Virtual On: Cyber Troopers: $6
This excellent conversion of the one-on-one mech fighter is one of the most innovative bargain out of the bunch. Virtual On is essentially a true 3D fighter with super-quick mechs trying to blow each other up while dodging and hiding behind obstacles in the course. However, once again, the Dreamcast also has an enhanced sequel, but this Saturn original passes the savings on to you.
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Street Fighter Alpha 2: $10
As one of my favorite fighting games of all time, I can’t help but put Street Fighter Alpha 2 on this list. At around $10, it can still fit into the smaller budgets. While some may prefer the larger character lineup of the more expensive Street Fighter Zero 3 (Alpha 3), I feel that Alpha 2 has more balanced gameplay and tighter control.
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Panzer Dragoon Zwei: $15
While you probably won’t be able to find this classic under $10, Panzer Dragoon Zwei is one of the more affortable foundations of the Saturn library. You can usually find it to be a better value than the original Panzer Dragoon.
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NiGHTS into Dreams: $20
This crown jewel of the Sega Saturn used to be one of the most afforable games on the system. However, with all the nostolgic talk about the game and the rumors of a sequel on the Wii, the demand for Nights into Dreams for the Saturn has pushed the price up to the $20 range. Even though this is by far the most expensive games on this “bargain” list, it is definately worth the price — especially since it hasn’t been ported to another console.
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Other Cheap Favorites
- Astal: $10 – As one of the most beautiful 2D platformers, you shouldn’t pass up this bargain (eBay)
- Baku Baku: $10 – A relatively unique puzzle game that is worth the small investment (eBay)
- Rayman: $8 – One of the best platformers of the 32-bit era is not only affordable, but is engaging and filled with stunning 2D. (eBay)
- Manx TT Super Bike: $4 – A very nice bike racer that could be thought of as a 3D Super HangOn. (eBay)
- Hercs Adventure: $8 – A quirky little action game from LucasArts that is a nice little thrill for not a lot of money. (eBay)
Cheap Japanese Imports
- Puyo Puyo Sun: $6 – A great version of one of the most timeless puzzle games (eBay)
- Vampire Hunter: $8 – One of the few great fighting imports that can be found under $10 (eBay)
- Dead or Alive: $12 – the beginning of the popular 3D fighting franchise is quite affordable (eBay)
- Pocket Fighter (aka Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix): $10 – a quirky little Street Fighter spinoff that uses the pint-sized character sprites from Super Puzzle Fighter (eBay)
My Started Picks For $50 Budget
If I only had $50 to spend on starting out a Saturn collection, here would be my top picks (in order of priority):
- NiGHTS Into Dreams – $20
- Street Fighter Alpha 2 – $10
- Virtua Fighter 2 – $4
- Daytona USA – $4
- Virtual On – $6
- Sega Rally – $5
- Total = $49