The Nintendo Switch and Xbox 360 are among today’s most advanced gaming consoles. Still, there is something to be said for some of the best retro video game consoles and classic game consoles, also making a comeback despite the new and improved technology. You might remember your old Sega Genesis or Sony PlayStation from childhood fondly, and for good reason! Currently, retro game systems are trending, and you can still get your hands on them. Here are some of the best retro game consoles of 2020.
Nintendo Super NES Classic
Nintendo diehards will appreciate this Nintendo retro console, a 16-bit follow-up of the NES Mini Classic. It’s even designed to mimic the classic aesthetic of the original SNES, a blast from the past that is sure to bring on the nostalgia. The Nintendo Super NES Classic comes with 21 built-in SNES games, a library of SNES essentials, and classic Nintendo menu and software design.
Players can enjoy some of the game changers — literally — of the gaming world, including Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Punch-Out! You can choose different display options, too, from CRT emulation to a smooth HD output. There also are rewind and suspend options. Perhaps the best retro game console on the market, the Super NES Classic can be found on Nintendo’s website or bought through major retailers like GameStop, Amazon, and Walmart.
Sega Genesis Mini
You’ll find another blast from the past in the Sega Genesis Mini. The retro game console with built-in games boasts a whopping 42 of them, including the likes of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Powerball, Super Fantasy Zone, and Gunstar Heroes. Not only does it have a classic cartridge slot, it even has original menu music by Yuzo Koshiro.
What’s more, the Genesis Mini is importing the Japanese version of Tetris and Monster World IV. These games never made it stateside but pack an extra punch to the little console, which is nearly a perfect replica of the original console. It even comes with a nostalgic Batarang-shaped controller. You can find the system on Sega’s website or at major retailers such as GameStop, Amazon, and BestBuy.
When it comes to a retro game console, you can’t go wrong with the PlayStation Classic. The Sony favorite comes loaded with 20 PlayStation 1 games and is nearly a perfect replica of the original, 3D games and all. Although it’s missing some cult favorites, such as Grand Turismo, iconic games such as Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil are both included.
The impact the PlayStation had on the gaming industry is next to none, and anyone looking to relive the nostalgia of the ‘90s or play a beloved series of games is sure to want to get their hands on it. Grab a Classic PlayStation on PlayStation’s website or through sites like Amazon and GameStop.
If you enjoy arcade-style games, you’re hard pressed to find a better retro video game console than the Neo-Geo Mini. With 40 built-in games and a 3.5-inch LCD screen, the retro arcade of the past is encapsulated in this compact, joystick-controlled system. It can be played by itself, or you can plug it into a TV via HDMI. Combine with stereo speakers and arcade controls, and you’ve essentially got a classic arcade in your living room.
Crowd-favorite games included are Fatal Fury Special, Super Tag Battle, a ream of Metal Slug and The King of Fighters versions, Top Player’s Golf, and Shock Troopers. You can grab one at GameStop, Walmart, or on SNK’s website.
Perhaps the best retro video game console for PC, the C64 Mini boasts a whopping 64 built-in games. It will take fans of the Commodore 64 hurtling back into the past, although it is missing cult classics such as Elite and Skate or Die. It can use modern USB keyboards and looks fairly sharp on today’s screens.
Players can take their gaming PC keyboard, plug it in, and play games. You can also program BASIC or use the controller included in the box. Regardless of which way you play, you can grab a C64 Mini via Walmart or Amazon.
Newer Consoles, Retro Games
While kids these days are walking around with the new Nintendo Switch and the like, just because technology has advanced since before their time doesn’t mean retro games have to stay in the past. In fact, many of the glory-day games of the ‘80s and ‘90s still can be played today on newer consoles.
You can purchase a classic or last-generation video game console, like the PlayStation 3, to have access to your favorites. And many older titles can be played digitally via the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, or Nintendo Eshop. Microsoft’s Xbox One plays some of the Xbox 360 games, and Nintendo’s Wii U is compatible with nearly all classic Wii games. Even Nintendo Switch Online members have access to a library of more than 60 NES and Super NES classic games like Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and more.
To find out if your gaming console is compatible with your favorite older games, a quick online search will tell you all you need to know. Of course, you can also purchase one of the “new” retro video game consoles above to relive the glory days in all their 16-bit majesty.
Everyone loves a good dose of nostalgia every now and then, and these retro video game consoles are the best on the market to cater to gamers who love the classics. Most of these systems can be quick purchases via GameStop, BestBuy, Amazon, Walmart, and the console manufacturers as well. Moreover, they can be delivered to your door — a modern-day perk with a traditional twist. You can find out more about how to play your classic games on modern-day consoles by taking CNET’s advice on how to keep the classics alive and well or reading our guide about best selling video game consoles.