The Best Sega CD Games Under $10

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For my next revision to the Cheapest Games series, I wanted to revisit the Sega CD (the last revision was in 2007, so it was very due for an update).  While they haven’t been as drastic of an increase in price as the Sega Saturn games, it is getting harder to find low prices on complete copies of Sega CD games.   This is probably due to more collectors holding onto their complete copies and more collectors joining the scene.   Also, just like the Sega Saturn game, it gets harder to keep those non-standard and fragile jewel cases in good condition.  Because of this change in the market, I’m going to change the criteria for this guide to be disc-only games under $10. I will also list the complete price so you can be aware of  those prices as well.

Cheap Classics

Sonic CD Cover Sonic CD: $10 disc / $20 complete
Many long-time Sonic fans (myself included) will argue that Sonic CDis actually one of the best Sonic the Hedgehog games to date and will probably remain that way. The time-travel element (which adds replay value) and enhanced sound quality make Sonic CD a real winner. Sonic CD was also one of the more common games for the system (next to Sewer Shark).For a little while, Sonic CD had a bit of a premium on it as it remained a Sega CD (and PC) exclusive.  Eventually, it made its way to the Gamecube and then ports to PSN, XBLA, iOS, and Android.
Shop For Sonic CD at eBay
Shop For Sonic CD at Amazon.com
Silpheed Cover Silpheed: $6 disc / $18 complete
Silpheed combines gameplay reminiscent of Galaga, pleasing polygon graphics, and excellent interstellar backdrops resulting in an classic that was simply ahead of its time. If you like vertical shooters, this will not disappoint. Silpheed’s shooting action is very good, and the stages offer a nice variety of challenges. And having huge asteroids and missiles whiz by in the foreground gives you a sense of speed lacking in most shooters.Although somewhat simplistic, Silpheed’s rapid-fire shooting action is fun and addictive.  I think Silpheed holds up quite well to this day and is a good change of pace compared to standard 2D shmups.   It also remains a Sega CD exclusive, so this is one of my top recommendations for people starting a Sega CD collection.
Shop For Silpheed at eBay
Shop For Silpheed at Amazon.com
Ecco Cover Ecco The Dolphin & Ecco: Tides of Time: $5 disc / $12 complete
Once you dive into the Ecco games, you will immediately find out that they are full of challenging puzzles and adventures. These critically acclaimed titles also featured spectacular water effects and a brilliantly colorful undersea world. The goal of each of stage is not immediately apparent, but you’ll find hints by “talking” to other sea creatures you run encounter. Action-oriented gamers may find Ecco a bit tedious, but this is a very satisfying game.The most noticeable improvement in the Sega CD versions is the music. Instead of just a remix or an enhancement of the Genesis games, the Sega CD releases feature a full CD quality soundtrack that far exceeds the original.
Shop For Ecco Series at eBay
Shop For Ecco Series at Amazon.com
Eternal Champions Sega CD Cover Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side:  $7 disc / $20 complete
The original Eternal Champions was Sega’s relatively successful attempt at creating a new fighting franchise that would have more a deeper fighting system, more interesting storyline, and even more gore than the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat powerhouses. On the surface, it looked like Sega was merely doing another quick Genesis-to-Sega CD port with Eternal Champions, but they actually did a number of improvements to resolve many of the complaints about the original game.So if you are looking for the best version of a 2D fighter that is often forgotton almost 20 years later, you can find a decent bargain on this game for the Sega CD.
Shop For Eternal Champions at eBay
Shop For Eternal Champions at Amazon.com
Flashback Sega CD Cover Flashback: $7 disc / $28 complete
If you want one of the finest adventure games on the Sega CD, take a look at Flashback. The game features fully hand-drawn backdrops and for its time remarkably fluid rotoscoped animation of walking, running and jumping movements, reminiscent of the earlier Prince of Persia. In addition to is beautiful graphics, Flashback has some of the most engrossing gameplay and puzzles that you will find on the Sega CD.
Shop For Flashback at eBay
Shop For Flashback at Amazon.com
Rise of the Dragon Sega CD Cover Rise of the Dragon: $5 disc / $10 complete
While the side-scrolling adventure had a good showing with Flashback and Heart of the Alien, Rise of the Dragon is the only one under $10. Rise of the Dragon is set in a dark cyberpunk version of Los Angeles in 2053 which is very reminiscent of the cult-classic Sega CD game, Snatcher and the film Blade Runner. Many Sega CD owners don’t know about this gem, so I would pick up now on the cheap while you still can.
Shop For Rise of the Dragon at eBay
Shop For Rise of the Dragon at Amazon.com
Mickey Mania Sega CD Cover Mickey Mania: $6 disc / $22 complete
If you’re more familiar with the recent Epic Mickey series, think of Mickey Mania as the old-school 2D version.  It’s a great 2D platformer that takes you through the lengthy career of Disney’s trademark character.  The game is also availible on the Genesis and the Super Nintendo, so it isn’t as a high of a priority.   This game is pretty easy to find as a disc, but it has a relatively high premium on a complete copy. Shop For Mickey Mania at eBay
Shop For Mickey Mania at Amazon.com
Sewer Shark Sega CD Cover Sewer Shark: $5 disc / $35
Sewer Shark isn’t a deep game by any means, but it is a good test of your reflexes and/or memory and is an interesting look back at the short-lived FMV game genre.   Personally, I think it’s the most interesting FMV game from a pure gamplay standpoint — I would actually put it in the same league of quality as one of the better cheap iOS or Android game.  It’s a fun way to spend some time, but nothing deep that will change your life ;)   This game was orignally a pack-in game with the Sega CD system, so the game discs are super-common.   On the flip side, it did see a normal retail release as one of the early titles that came in cardboard long-boxes.  So a complete copy is quite hard to find — especially in good condition.
Shop For Sewer Shark at eBay
Shop For Sewer Shark at Amazon.com
Ground Zero Texas Sega CD Cover Ground Zero Texas: $5 disc / $11 complete
If you prefer a FMV game that has more of a story to it, Ground Zero Texas is a light-gun style shooter (think Mad Dog McCree) that has a sci-fi spin on it.  Even though it shares the grainy video of the rest of its peers, Ground Zero Texas also has higher production values than the rest of the FMV library.  Overall, Ground Zero Texas is a good value if you want a decent game that represents what the Sega CD was like.
Shop For Ground Zero Texas at eBay
Shop For Ground Zero Texas at Amazon.com
Monkey Island Sega CD Cover Secret of Monkey Island: $10 disc / $26 complete
The Monkey Island series is most popular as a PC game (and also a revived franchise on new platforms), you can also play the original game in the series on the Sega CD.  It may not be the ideal platform, but if you are a diehard console person that enjoys their game on retro hardware, this is a relatively good value.   It is also worth mentioning that this was an early Sega CD release, so it came in the cardboard longboxes so it can be a bit of challenge to find a complete copy in good condition.
Shop For Secret of Monkey Island at eBay
Shop For Secret of Monkey Island at Amazon.com

Other Cheap Favorites

  • Spiderman vs. The Kingpin – $8 disc / $12 complete
  • Batman Returns – $9 disc / $35 complete
  • Dark Wizard – $11 disc / $17 complete
  • Dungeon Master II: Skullkeep – $10 disc / $13 complete
  • Eye of the Beholder – $8 disc / $32 complete
  • Heimdall – $10 disc / $15 complete
  • Night Trap – $8 disc / $25 complete

19 Comments

  1. grittykitty says:

    YES! rise of the dragon is a game i beat recently and it was hard to pull myself away from it, much like snatcher was

  2. bonefish says:

    http://www.gametrailers.com/player.php?id=19089&type=mov

    Angry Videogame Nerd review of the sega cd

  3. nonesuch says:

    I’d just like to point out that Sega CD has no copy protection mechanism whatsoever. None. Zero. Draw your own conclusions from this fact.

  4. titanium says:

    Lunar the Silver Star: $17, hmmm???

    Where do you regularly see that game for under $20??? The game cd only maybe, but complete it sells more around $25-45.

  5. racketboy says:

    I guess I missed that some of the auctions were disc only.
    I hate it when they use stock photos for their auctions. Oh well…

  6. Caleb says:

    As a recent Sega CD owner (two weeks ago) this was a Godsend.

    I paid $.80 for Sewer Shark and I felt it was worth it just for the starting video:

    “DOGMEAT!”

    …but I have no idea how to play the game since it came with no manual. How the hell do you steer the ship? I know how to shoot the little sewer rats, but I can’t seem to steer at all.

    As for Slipheed I have a copy but it will not work…poop. Maybe I can try to make a copy or clean it again.

    Again Racketboy you rock. This is another valuable little article for the retro gamers.

  7. racketboy says:

    It’s been a little while since I’ve played it, but IIRC, you only control the ship itself when you see the little arrow things at junctions. I think you have to hold down one of the buttons and the direction you want to go or something like that. I know the directional pad by itself is just for shooting.

  8. racketboy says:

    Ahh… I found some notes in a review:
    “Catfish will signal you on the com line and give you navigational directions to target locations. Catfish will let you know the path where he’s opened the hatch doors by calling out clock face directions Twelve, Three, Six and Niner.

    His directions are the Tube Jumps you need to make to follow him.

    Catfish’s directions will require you to make three consecutive tube Jumps.

    For example, he’ll call Out: ”Three, Niner, Six.” You must then take Tube Jumps at the three intersections immediately following his directions first RIGHT (Three), then LEFT (Niner), then DOWN (Six).

    For Example, if Catfish calls out, ”Twelve, Niner, Niner,” your controls would be:

    B BUTTON to activate Steering, then D PAD UP when you See the UP Arrow on the Tube Jump Indicator flashing; then

    B BUTTON to activate Steering, then D PAD LEFT when you See the LEFT Arrow on the Tube jump Indicator flashing; then

    B BUTTON to activate Steering, then D PAD LEFT when you See the LEFT Arrow on the Tube Jump Indicator flashing. You know a turn is locked-in when the arrow turns yellow.

    If you do not follow Catfish’s directions exactly, he’ll try his best to find you and open hatch doors ahead of your new course but he won’t always make it… and neither will you.

    A flashing green light means you have an option to jump to another tube-you don’t have to take it. TO make a Tube Jump, you’ll need to engage the Hole Hawg’s Steering Controls, then Steer into the Tube you want. lf, following a jump, the lights change to yellow, your jump is locked. If that light turns red, you’ve made the wrong turn or missed the correct turn.

    The recharge station is just a left or right jump depending which side is green.

    When the hydrogen level ( line indicator ) gets red hit your C button to fire a flare.”

  9. gnome says:

    Another excellent piece. Damn, I’m gonna get me a Mega CD even if I have to use PayPal (i.e. a bad thing). Oh, and Rise of the Dragon is the best Dynamix adventure ever and one of the few atmospheric and mature available. Definitely a must buy.

  10. Who cares what the Angry Video Game Nerd has to say about the Sega CD. His review of that, although funny, was utter shit. Almost all of the games he reviewed were FMV games. He claims The Terminator was hard and cheap, yet I managed to get up to the last level with very few problems. Just like in his review of Top Gun where he claims it’s impossible to land the ship, I did it on my first try.

    I have played quite a bit of Sega CD games and I still have not played even one FMV game. Why is that? Because there’s a plethora of high quality games out for it. Everyone thinks it’s cluttered with horrible FMV games. PSX and Saturn had their share of FMV games. I don’t see anybody shizzling those consoles.

    The video game nerd didn’t even brush on Lunar, Snatcher, Rise Of The Dragon, Flashback, Shining Force, etc. The Sega CD is an underrated system with a fine selection of games.

  11. gnome says:

    And it wasn’t that funny to boot either. Just the same non-joke repeated for the Nth year in a row. Still, ‘t was well produced.

    Bashing a point a click adventure just for being one is kind of silly too…

  12. Sturat says:

    Nobody has mentioned Popful Mail and Robo Aleste, which are both must-have Sega CD games. I don’t know how cheaply you can get them now, but we got them new for $20 and $8 back in the day.

  13. racketboy says:

    Yeah, those are both great games, but significantly more expensive. Robo Aleste is actually getting rather hard to find.

  14. pasi says:

    The entire library of the Sega CD can be had for the cost of blank CDs, as the console has no copy protection.

  15. Zandengoff says:

    Seriously everyone knows that. It is in the article for Sega CD 101. Telling people that want to buy the games that they should pirate just pisses them off. If that is how you want to “collect” then that is your choice, but there are people that actually want to collect the originals.

  16. Rev says:

    Popful Mail goes for $100+ on the average eBay auction while Robo Aleste is around the $50-60 price mark (both complete). I own most of the games on the list, love my Sega Cd. I wouldn’t recommend Sewer Shark though. Honestly, the load times for most of the games isn’t that bad. At least for the good games.

    Anyway, good article. Enjoyed the update.

  17. Alex says:

    Batman Returns is horrible.
    Theres so many great games on here but they cost too much and I dont know how to burn them yet.
    All I have is Sonic CD, 5 in 1 or 6 in 1 , Spiderman vs Kingpin (crap) Road Avenger, Night Trap, Dark Wizard (anyone play this?)

  18. Patrick BBE says:

    Robo Aleste makes me wet! Love me some top down shooters.

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