Help Relive Your Childhood With the Best Retro Game Consoles
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Finding Your Next Retro Game Console: A Buyer’s Guide
If you used to spend a ton of hours at arcades, on your bulky home computer, or using a game console, you’d probably love to revisit some classic games.Retro game consoles let you play your favorite childhood games without having to deal with awkward analog video connections and low-resolution graphics. From game-specific consoles to multi-game retro versions, a good-quality console can take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane — and the updated versions can really be worth your time and money!Retro gaming consoles are not super mainstream, and finding a quality system can be challenging. Take a look at some of the top-notch retro gaming consoles for 2023 that can get you blooping and bleeping like back in the good old days.
Jamswall Handheld Retro Game Console
Sega Genesis Retro Game Console
Ideal for Extended Play
Nintendo Game Console
Kinhank Classic Retro Game Console
Diswoe&e Retro Game Console
What Is Retro Gaming?Retro gaming is simply playing a classic, older game on a current-generation console. It’s a great way of playing old games on new, old, or current hardware using emulators. The fanatics in this space still hunt for and enjoy original hardware, too.You can also find small-scale craftspeople to huge manufacturers developing consoles for retro gaming lovers. The idea is simply to enjoy old or obsolete games on modern hardware using emulation, which involves simulating older systems.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Retro Game ConsoleRetro gaming consoles have paved the way for a new market niche recently. If you’re confused about how to find the right console though, here are some questions you should ask yourself:
Do you like to play co-op?Some retro game consoles come with two controllers, either wired or wireless, letting you enjoy some co-op action in classic games. Consider if you’ll be playing with someone or by yourself before you commit buying a co-op console.
Do you want a single-game or multi-game retro console?If you were a fan of a particular classic game, you would probably prefer rediscovering it in depth. Some people loved a lot of games on PC, PlayStation, or SNES as a kid, and would like to revisit them all. So, comb your memory banks and make sure your purchase will be worthwhile and fits with what you really want to play.
Do you like 2D games?Most games on retro consoles in the market today include some 2D games — these are from a time when 3D polygons weren’t as popular. So, if you are not into 2D games, there isn’t much point in getting a retro console that includes them.
What’s the storage capacity?Another thing to consider is internal storage. Some very old consoles cannot save your progress after you exit a game. If you plan on storing saves or games on a console, look for devices that have enough capacity to do so.
Tips to Remember When Shopping for Retro Game ConsolesHere are a few points to remember:
- To avoid ending up with a knockoff product, you need to get your machine from a dedicated retro retailer instead of a random seller on the internet. You can also check out our suggestions for authentic retro gaming consoles.
- Although wireless controllers are easier to use and seem to attract a lot of people, try to avoid them when buying retro game consoles. An all-in-one, plug-and-play style retro console might support a wireless controller, but chances are that you will experience lag while using them.
Reasons to Get a Retro Game ConsoleVideo game enthusiasts don’t really need a reason to invest in a retro console to replay their favorite games. But if you’re thinking about introducing your kids to these gaming products, here are a few benefits of retro game consoles and reasons to get one:
- You probably won’t experience any software compatibility issues
- Retro game consoles are plug-and-play, so they offer a quick and hassle-free source of nearly instant entertainment
- Most consoles support multiple players and let kids enjoy competitive gameplay
- Console gaming can help with improving focus and hand-to-eye coordination, and it can help build a healthy competitive spirit when playing on a team
Travel back to your childhood with this handheld option from Jamswall that comes with 400 classic and popular games. From sports, action, puzzles, and racing to shooting, fighting, and other retro arcade games, this console can keep you entertained for hours. It can also make a great birthday present for kids too, and playing these games can even help promote better hand-eye coordination. The package also includes a gamepad that connects to this console, letting you play two-player games. This pick’s compact body also helps you or your child carry it easily while traveling, camping, at the beach, or basically almost anywhere, anytime. The rechargeable battery, portability, and multiplayer modes helped earn this product the best overall spot on this list.
- Large capacity battery for extended play
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Connectable to TVs
- Doesn’t save game progress
This plug-and-play gaming console from Sega comes with 40 popular games and two bonus games that can help keep you or your child busy. The slick, miniaturized body is easy to carry around, pack for picnics or while traveling, and it’s also ready for play right out of the box. This option also includes an HDMI cable and USB adapter that you can use to project the screen onto a TV. There also are two wired controllers too, so you and your friends can play multiplayer mode and double the fun almost anywhere you go.
- Lightweight and portable
- The sleek design enhances the appearance
- Quick charging time
- Long-lasting battery life
- Poor packaging and shipping
Nintendo, the creators of the most popular gaming system that changed the gaming world, comes back with a new entry for the “Game & Watch” series. It includes the original Super Mario Bros and a lot of fun options to keep you entertained for hours. You can enjoy jumping, stomping, running, and whatnot — and you get even tighter controls using the enhanced control pad. This retro game console lets you play alone, or you can take on a friend in two-player mode for a competitive session. This pick also includes a digital clock that can play 35 kinds of animations. The small and simple design also lets you conveniently carry it around, and this device is always ready to go.
- Features a digital clock
- Saves games during breaks
- Highly responsive buttons
- Might seem too small for adults
This product from Kinhank comes equipped with an upgraded S905X chip, enabling it to run multiple emulators smoothly. This can help save you from encountering low frame rates and lag. You can also get hours of uninterrupted gameplay using this console — and there are more than 62,000 classic games on it that’ll help revive some of your childhood memories.This option supports 26 languages too, and it lets you enjoy all its games on bigger 4K TV screens. The 1080p output and stable Wi-Fi connectivity also allow you to enjoy watching TV online.
- Wide-range controllers for comfortable play
- Supports wireless connection for more entertainment options
- Long-lasting, rechargeable batteries
- Durable controllers
- Slightly tricky to upgrade
Featuring 400 plus classic games, this retro console can help take you back to the golden days of your childhood. You can connect the 2.8-inch LCD screen to your TV using AV output, and then you can enjoy your video games to the fullest on a big screen. There’s also an additional gamepad included, so you can play two-player games with your buddies.This option has a small, super lightweight body that you can carry around on train rides, buses, airplanes, or any other place you need help keeping you or your child occupied. The built-in, 800mAh battery can also run for more than five hours on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry too much about the power running out.
- Simple and easy arcade-style design
- Supports multiple players and TV connections
- Convenient to carry
- Very giftable for birthdays
- The screen is not shatterproof
People Also Asked
Can I connect my retro game console to a newer TV?
Yes, almost all modern TVs can work with retro consoles. You might need to take a few extra steps to set up and get the systems on your screen though.
Will my retro game console damage my TV?
No, video game systems were known for messing up TV sets in the past, but that is no longer much of an issue with newer HDTVs.
Which consoles are considered retro?
A console that is around 15-years-old is considered retro.
Are retro games worth the money? Should I get one?
Nostalgia is a great feeling sometimes. Retro game consoles can help you experience the same rush of adrenaline you did in the old days, and they come with improved game design and functionality. They can be a good investment if you are a big fan of older, classic games.