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.
|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: $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 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: 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: $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: $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: $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: $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: $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
|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