During the last months I’ve been looking with more interest for compilation of games. I know that most of the compilations are just a cheap way to sell a set of games that usually are difficult to sell alone, but in the past I think there were as well some remarkable compilations that were more than just a mere commercial expedient.
I consider the PS2 a key console because it was probably the first “modern” console (after the positive “experiment” od the PS1), released in a period when the gaming industry was becoming something mainstream and, most important for the developers, a hotbed of dollars, but it was also somehow sometimes “tied” to the past, to the old arcade games, to the early examples of the video ludi entertainment. That’s probably the reason why on PS2 there are a lot of retro inspired collection (the SNK Collection, Taito Legends, Namco Museum, Capcom Classic and more) and one that caught my eye, even becasue it wasn’t a single disc with X games, was Sega AGES 2500.
The name of the compilation comes from the price of the games in japan (2500¥) and includes 33 volumes released from 2003 till 2008. Being in most cases standalone games and not 4 or 5 games crammed onto one disc the quality of the games itself is easily better and they represent an improvement on the old Sega games using modern techniques, mainly switching from 2D to 3D.
The bad news for non-japanese players is that due to some legal issues the games couldn’t be released in Europe and America, even though 9 of them were included in the compilation Sega Classics Collection (that I luckily own), so the only way to enjoy them is using a region free PS2 (rather easy to find) or an authentic japanese console (not that hard to find as well).
Sega Ages compilation was first released on Sega Saturn but the best version is probably the PS2 one. Some year after the compilation landed also on Xbox 360 and PS3 as Sega Ages Online and last year, in 2018 it landed also on the Switch, simply as Sega Ages.
To have an entire collection will be probably very difficult: the games that show up online are almost always the same 9-10, so for the remaining 20-something the only way is buying them from Japan with the probalem of the high import and shipping costs. But if you have a friend that travels a lot in Japan and you love old games ask him to bring back some Sega Ages, they’re surely worth their price!