Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive – Game Comparisons

The Super Nintendo and the Sega Mega Drive may be entirely different consoles, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t share some of the same titles. The question is, which version of that title is the better? Super Nintendo or Sega Mega Drive? Today I will be looking at some of these shared titles and how they compare.



One of these shared titles that sticks out for me is perhaps my all time favourite puzzle game, Lemmings. It’s just about on every gaming platform known to man and rightfully so. It’s no surprise that you will find this game on both the Super Nintendo and the Sega Mega Drive. This game is amazing and an easy way to kill time but what console are you going to get more enjoyment from this game on.Lemmings Mega Drive VS SNES

Well as far as I’m concerned the gameplay on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive is exactly the same. Same levels, same screen layout, same objective and so forth. 2 noticeable differences however is the graphics and sound in the game. On the super Nintendo Version of the game, the graphics seem sharper (and therefore more cartoony) and the soundtrack differs from the Sega Mega Drive version of the game having more sound effects and the music sounding more ‘elaborate’. By that I mean it seems to have many different pitches and effects added into it, and generally just sounds of a higher quality. There’s also a score as well as lemming count after each level but it’s nothing too important.

So the Super Nintendo version is better right? Well I suppose to anyone else that is the case, but to me the differences do not matter in the slightest. Of all the times I have played Lemmings, most of the time I was playing it on a Sega Mega Drive and for that reason I would personally stick to the Mega Drive version of the game. It’s the version I am used to and have the most memories with. Lets not forget graphics don’t make a better game as well. If you haven’t heard of Lemmings before I will suggest for the one and only time you stop reading my article and look it up because it is a puzzle game to not be missed out on.



Alladin SNES Vs Mega Drive

Wow well it’s been a while since I played this one, however I have not forgotten how much enjoyment I used to get out of this game. Aladdin for both 16-bit consoles are side-scrolling games with the odd bit of variation in the way the game is played between levels to keep you going.

Now some may argue that I cannot say that same ‘Aladdin’ was produced on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Mega Drive as the Aladdin game for the Super Nintendo was made by Capcom and the Aladdin Game for the Sega Mega Drive was made by Virgin games, 2 seperate game developers. On the other hand you can look at it in the way that these Aladdin games have exactly the same title on 2 competing 16-bit consoles and fall into the same game genre (2D side-scrolling), but just made by different companies. Anyhow once again the graphics and sound effects are different in both games. But that’s not all, so is the level layout, gameplay mechanics, collectibles, bonus stages, enemies and yeah, you get the picture. It is evident that the Super Nintendo Version has far much more to offer in every aspect of 16-bit Aladdin. It’s a bit of a stretch to say that these 2 versions of the game are the same game, just on different consoles because to me they are completly different games.

Once again it is the case that I have played more of the Mega Drive version of the game than the Super Nintendo version of the game and for that reason I have respect for the more basic Mega Drive version of Aladdin in terms of not only gameplay but nostalgic values. Despite this, I wouldn’t mind playing the Super Nintendo version of the game every now and then. As I said earlier it’s like a completly different game and I suppose in a way I look at it as an improvement over the Sega Mega Drive version.


Earthworm Jim

Earth Worm JimI’m going to end this article with another favourite of mine. I have spent countless hours playing this game and I don’t regret that in the slightest because this is truly a 16-bit gem.

This game is another side-scroller where you play as an earthworm but not just any earthworm, an earthworm in a ‘super suit’. This game has a lot of ‘off the wall humor’ and the game was actually quite successful given a sequel was made a year later and it was ported to many different video game consoles. Now as far as the differences between the Super Nintendo and the Sega Mega Drive version of the game go, there are none. All the levels are the same, the graphics are identical and the music is also identical. The only thing these 2 versions of the game have going for them in terms of differences is a different controller to play them with, which is due to the console they are on and not the game itself.

Now why would I bother mentioning this game if it has no differences betwen either version? Well this game can be used as an example of how ports of games can be exactly the same depsite being on different consoles and that sometimes it doesn’t matter what console you play a game on.


Mega Drive and Super Nintendo

In these games I’ve looked at it seems the Super Nintendo always had the better version of the game. However being someone who grew up with a Sega Mega Drive, The Mega Drive versions will always have a nostalgic value to me. Can you think of any other games that are on multiple consoles and how they may differ?

What console do you prefer to play those games on? If you’re a Super Nintendo gamer or a Sega Mega Drive gamer, I wish you happy gaming!

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  • Russ Sheller

    This author clearly doesn’t pay attention or knows nothing about these games. I own both consoles and can say Aladdin is much better on Mega Drive as you have a sword (No sword in the Snes version) plus the graphics and levels are better. Also they say there is no differnce in Earthworm Jim. The Sega one has an extra 2 levels. check out the console wars video on youtube.

  • Ricky Van Kroonenburg BSc

    RE Lemmings- You state that the SNES and Megadrive versions have “the same levels”, but that’s not actually true. The two versions are drastically different in terms of levels and that’s one of the main things that distinguishes the two. On the SNES, most of the levels are ported very faithfully from the Amiga version with only a few differences (due to hardware limitations as well as “Disneyfication”) and also includes 5 extra Sunsoft levels. The Megadrive version, on the other hand, has many levels replaced with new ones and some of the original ones shortened due to having a much smaller play field (hardware limitations, of course), and also includes two other ratings called Present and Sunsoft following the original 4 with 30 new levels each (including an extra ‘special graphics’ level from Sunsoft). Some of the said levels are actually from Oh No! More Lemmings but use original Lemmings graphics and have different names.
    I find the graphics are similar though due to both being 16-bit consoles, but I agree that the SNES version graphics are a bit more polished (especially the skills panel), and I believe some of the level objects (namely entrances and exits) have been redrawn. I also agree the two consoles did differ in the way the they handled the sound. I personally think the SNES did a better job with with sound effects whereas I prefer the FM-synthesized music of the MD version (I find the SNES music a bit tinny) but don’t go for the SFX as much.
    It’s hard for me to say which version of Lemmings is “better”, to be frank, whether comparing just the two above or looking at all the ports. I do think the MD version has one of the largest degrees of “uniqueness” about it due to the levels. There have been so many ports, however, that I just come to the conclusion that Lemmings to me is a fantastic and addictive game to play in general and that each port I have played has its pros and cons and has something unique about it.
    That’s my two cents on Lemmings, and correct me if I’ve missed anything vital. Unfortunately I don’t have enough experience with the other games analysed here to give any criticism 🙂