When it comes to the evolution of important inventions, things normally progress in a linear fashion. For example, take an automobile from the 1800s and compare it to a vehicle from 2023, and you will find the present product superior in every conceivable way. But when it comes to video games, the logic is completely different.
Every generation of gaming has its own merits. A modern games console will have hyper-realistic graphics and large open worlds – but that represents only a specific genre of gaming. Even in 2024, projects that look like vintage games are developed and released regularly as they intend to capture the feeling of what we used to play on retro consoles.
From the blocky sprites of the NES era – to the arcade-perfect feeling of the PlayStation 1, every retro game console features a different type of experience that has aged like fine wine. The games of today are not a replacement for them and millions of us still go back to them because they are completely different experiences rather than relics of outdated design.
The best way to play old games is of course with the use of retro game consoles. However, dedicated handheld retro gaming consoles are the most ideal and convenient way to enjoy retro gaming in 2024. Not only are they far easier to obtain than classic Atari and Nintendo consoles – but you also get extra features such as save states and the ability to fast forward lengthy segments.
And believe it or not, even the PlayStation 2 is considered retro now, as it came out two decades ago. So, the mini retro consoles have a lot of ground to cover – and not all of them are hits.
A good retro gaming console needs to have a design that suits playing vintage games, a great screen, good battery life, and enough processing power to run games at good frame rates. On top of that, things like HDMI ports, TV compatibility, and pre-loaded games come in handy too.
So, let’s take a look at the best retro gaming consoles in 2024 that can run the best emulators, cover a lot of generations of games, and offer a comfortable experience for your eyes and fingers. It’s time to start the new year by clearing your retro gaming console backlog!
The Best Retro Gaming Consoles in 2024
Mini retro gaming consoles are not a one-and-done type of deal. Every good device from previous years has received many upgrades, with newer models offering better features for a lower price. So, in 2024 things are looking better than ever for retro game consoles, and we’ve created a list of the best ones that you can buy.
With so many great candidates to choose from, giving the number one title to something is extremely difficult. But when it comes to features, design, reliability, and price - the Compact Mini does an excellent job at standing out as an amazing retro mini game console in 2024.
Firstly, this console is not handheld as it does not come with a screen that you can take around with you. However, it’s still portable because it comes with a plug-and-play device that can be inserted into any modern TV or monitor. Furthermore, you can even plug it into a computer if you don’t have a dedicated screen. And let’s be honest - most of these games were made for a large screen to begin with so this is perfect.
Secondly, you get two gamepads with this pre-loaded Nintendo retro console, so you can easily play with your friends at any time - which is a major advantage over handheld retro game consoles as they are normally meant for single play. And if you want to take things to the next level, you can order 4 controllers with this best retro mini game console too.
And now, for the most important part - the Compact Mini is pre-loaded with over 10,000 SNES games, which includes the most iconic titles that the console had. Not only that, but you can add your own games to it too whenever you want as it’s not just limited to what’s preloaded on it. So, you have an unlimited supply of retro Nintendo video games to play at any time and you can easily travel with this device in your pocket too.
It comes with wireless controller support, allows you to save games easily, has full HD 1080p support with crisp scaling, and a large storage that lets you store all the iconic retro games that you can think of. And yes, when you’ve had enough of dear Mario, you can slip in non-Nintendo games too at your leisure.
No matter how good the best emulator-based retro gaming console is - nothing beats holding a real controller in your hands and enjoying everything on a big TV. So, if you want a reliable HDMI-supported game console, the Compact Mini by Iconic DIsk™ is what you need.
When it comes to convenience, we're big believers of providing gamers with a no-nonsense retro gaming console experience. There are many complicated devices that have their merits, as it's great to have tons of extra features that people with enough knowledge can take advantage of. But for someone looking for a casual experience that requires no extra effort in configuration, less is more.
The Iconic Console GameGrip is one of the best handheld retro gaming consoles with built-in games that you can find. It features a beautifully illuminated 3.0-inch TFT screen that is coupled with a 1020mAh battery that lasts up to 6 hours of consecutive gameplay - which is enough to beat three different NES games in a single sitting.
Then we have the sleek design which takes advantage of the reliable build quality of the outer shell, complete with responsive buttons that are addictive to press. And it's available in multiple colors, so you can get the one that best suits your personality.
The GameGrip comes with over 500 unique games with no repetition, so you will be getting hundreds of hours’ worth of adventures at the convenience of your fingertips. There is such a large library of amazing retro games to play through, and they are emulated to perfection. From shooting down aliens in Contra, to saving an entire kingdom in The Legend of Zelda - you will experience decades of gaming like never before.
Last but not least - you can take things to the next level by connecting the GameGrip to a TV at any time, which will let you enjoy things on a large screen. And it offers you the same progress both on the handheld device and on TV connectivity, so you can always alternate between playing on the go and playing on a couch. It does not get any better than this.
The GameGrip admittedly lacks the fanciness of some of the other options on this list, but for those who just want a fun and convenient gaming experience without having to overthink options - this is arguably the best option that money can buy.
No matter what retro gaming console you see, a consistent aspect of their design is providing the player a sense of authenticity in their experience. After all, if we just wanted to play the best retro game emulators, we can even do that on our smartphones. So, the point of using the best retro gaming consoles is to have an experience that lets us relive our glory days in a way that was meant to be played.
The 8-Bit Innovator by IconicDisk™ is a retro gaming console that is designed to provide an authentic NES experience that will fulfill all of your nostalgic needs. The 8-bit Innovator looks like a replica of the original NES console, designed to look, feel, and play just like the original thing - but with necessary modern-day additions that enhance the experience in many ways.
It's pre-loaded with over 650 unique retro Nintendo games, which covers a mix of 8-bit and 16-bit libraries. And you can easily attach the console to any screen, so that means you can experience these classic retro games the way they were meant to be played - on a TV. And thanks to the fact that it's a modern console, it works perfectly on everything and looks gorgeous thanks to emulation scaling.
Finally, it comes with two beautiful NES-themed gamepads that let you share the joy with another person next to you. Which is a major advantage over generic handheld retro mini gaming consoles, as they don't let you play games with other people.
If you're looking for an authentic retro gaming console that looks and plays just like the real thing, then it's time to bring the 8-Bit Innovator home. And it's a great gift to give to others too, especially to children who never got to experience these classics before.
4. Arcade1Up Arcade Cabinets
It’s true that retro home consoles have been the introduction to gaming for millions of people all over the world. But for just as many people, the very first time that we laid our eyes on a video game was in the form of an arcade cabinet. Whether it’s a vintage video game like Pac-Man, or something modern that came out decades later like TEKKEN 5 – it’s hard to deny that playing these video games on a cabinet was the ideal experience. Playing outside got you better graphics, better controls, and tons of competition.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to find an arcade cabinet in public these days as they have all been replaced by things like extra furniture because the trend eventually died out. But there are still millions of gamers who prefer playing retro 16 and 32-bit Arcade video games on an authentic cabinet due to its unique feeling.
If you’re one of those people, then you’re in for a treat because the Arcade1Up cabinets are here to bridge the gap between a home console and an arcade cabinet that you’d find outside. These cabinets are built as close to the originals as possible, featuring gorgeous 17” inch displays, controls for two players (and more), multiple video games that we all know and love, and a coin-operated system that lets you take a trip down memory lane.
And that’s not everything, these cabinets include modern-day additions too that make the experience even better. We have Wi-Fi leaderboards that let you connect with thousands of other players, and Online Multiplayer is available too – so you don’t even always have to wait for your friends to visit you to be able to play against them.
They come in very different shapes and forms, which means that you can always find something that is best suited to your preferences, especially in terms of price. And yes, those who are tech enthusiasts can mod these machines to add thousands of new games too, which means that you won’t even have to buy more of these cabinets unless you really want to build a collection.
It’s the perfect retro arcade game console that you can get, especially since the games it includes are licensed.
5. Evercade EXP
Handheld retro gaming consoles are no longer a new thing in the market, as the design has been perfected for over a decade. Some of them focus solely on NES games, others are more Arcade-themed. And some even go as far as to include the PlayStation 2 in the playable library – which makes them among the best retro gaming consoles without a doubt.
So, when so much choice is available – it’s hard to be impressed anymore because you have already seen it all. Yet sometimes, something like the Evercade EXP can still take you by surprise and show you that things can always get better when the right people are behind the product.
Let’s start off with the retro gaming console itself. Evercade EXP heas a beautiful design with a smooth finish that is very comfortable to hold. The buttons are very responsive, and their quantity is more than enough to cover every retro console and arcade video game.
The display is a crisp 4.3” inch IPS screen that has an 800x480 resolution, which is great for a handheld device. And it has a 720p HDMI output too so you can comfortably attach it to a TV if you’re not in the mood for using a small device. Its 3000mA battery gives you up to 5 hours of uninterrupted gaming, which is enough to beat multiple Arcade games in one sitting since they are usually short.
The retro gaming console Evercade EXP comes with 18 built-in video games, which include tons of CAPCOM Arcade titles, emulated to perfection. And one of the best parts about the Evercade EXP is that it comes with a ‘TATE’ mode that lets you use the device vertically for games like Atari’s Centipede and CAPCOM’s 1942. There are two strategically placed buttons next to the D-PAD that make the experience feel just like playing in the arcades.
So far, so good – right? It’s a device that looks great, plays great, and lets you relive the glorious days of retro arcade gaming. But wait, there’s more.
The most incredible gimmick of the Evercade EXP is that it supports game cartridges. And Evercade has over 380 licensed video games that are released in collection-based cartridges that the player can buy – which gives you a huge library to play around with once you’re done playing the pre-loaded games.
Not only does this make the device feel authentic and far better than the usual emulation-based experiences that we normally get – but it’s also something that is genuinely handled beautifully by the creators of the EXP. And the library itself is pretty decent as it includes collections centered around classics like the Duke Nukem and Worms franchises too.
The only downside to getting a Evercade EXP is that their focus is centered more around Arcade experiences. So, you will be missing out on console exclusive retro video games such as The Legend of Zelda and Sonic The Hedgehog. But as usual, those who know how to hack things can end up filling the device with homebrew games and retro home console emulators – so it depends on the person buying the device.
All in all, the Evercade EXP is one of the best retro gaming consoles in 2024 and the ability to buy cartridges for it makes it one of my personal favorites as a veteran gamer.
6. Miyoo Mini+
If you’re looking for a straightforward retro gaming console that lets you play everything from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the PlayStation 1 – then look no further than the Miyoo Mini+. It has a very simple but attractive design with a sharp 3.5” IPS display, which has a standard TV resolution of 640x480. It may sound a bit less than what we normally have these days, but it’s perfect for this small screen since it’s actually the same resolution as the PlayStation 2 on a TV.
The console perfectly emulates every retro gaming console that you can think of, and its display does a great job at showing proper aspect ratios for 4:3 games even though it’s a little wide. Its processor runs at a clock speed of up to 1.2Ghz and it has 128MB RAM, which makes most PS1 games run really well. So, if you ever wanted to catch up on retro 3D video games, then this device is here to save the day.
All of this is complemented by a 3000 mAh battery that lets you play up to 4-5 hours consecutively – and it even lets you play multiplayer with other people who also have a Miyoo Mini+. For example, you can play games that were released on handheld consoles like the Game Boy Advance with other people, which is a great experience for titles like Pokémon.
The build is pretty good too and easy to hold. It has a few buttons on its back which let you enjoy titles that require more than 4 buttons with ease, so you won’t run into any awkward situations.
This retro gaming console also comes with thousands of pre-loaded games if you choose a big memory card bundled with the device. Which means that even if you’re new to retro gaming, you will find hundreds of games that you’ll enjoy once you start trying them out. But as usual, you can use your custom memory cards too and change what games are there, which means that you’ll never run out of things to play.
7. Analogue Pocket
A lot of the retro gaming consoles that you’ll see on this list emulate a combination of different consoles and arcade systems. Which means that they cover both handheld and TV-based libraries of video games, so they don’t focus solely on either of the two options.
The Analogue Pocket, however, is a notable exception because it is meant to be the ideal way to play retro handheld video games, especially Nintendo ones. It can run everything from the first Game Boy - and all the way to the Neo Geo Pocket Color in perfect emulation, giving the player an experience that is just like the original.
But what truly sets it apart is that it supports original cartridges of every console that it can run. This is not a drill; you can really just slide in any Game Boy or Sega Game Gear cartridge in this handheld retro game console, and it will immediately run it like it was the actual console. Except the difference is that with its 3.5” inch LCD that has a resolution of 1600x1440 - the games will look better than they ever did before.
The gorgeous LCD is attached to a gorgeous and durable body that is designed to be played for hours without pause. And that is made possible with a powerful 4300mAh battery that can last up to 10 hours of life. All of its buttons are mappable too, which lets you customize your experience to your preferences.
To make the experience even more authentic, this device can pair with others to provide a multiplayer experience. And it features a ‘TATE’ mode that lets you rotate the display for games that suit portrait displays better too. Lastly, you can get an Analogue Dock to enjoy all these games on a TV too if you’re in the mood for it.
Since this is meant to be a console rather than just an emulation device, the Analogue Pocket has tons of homebrew games too as it’s very easy to develop for with the use of programs like GB Studio. And it comes with a program called Nanoloop that lets you create music, for some reason.
Lastly, it features full multiplayer support both for handheld form and for the docked form of the retro gaming console. It’s undeniable that the Analogue Pocket sets the bar very high for handheld retro gaming consoles because it establishes an entire brand for itself at a very affordable price. Whereas most other emulation-only handheld consoles in the market only have the advantage of buttons being attached to them, as otherwise they play very similar to a smartphone with RetroArch.
8. Ambernic RG405M
It can still feel jarring to consider the fact that consoles like the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 are retro consoles now. But it’s certainly the truth when you look at how many decades ago these consoles came out, even if the games still look gorgeous in 2024. So, when you’re looking for a bit of 6th-generation goodness in your handheld retro gaming console - you’re not expecting too much. You just have to make sure that you’re buying something like the Ambernic RG405M, which lets you play games from the rich libraries of everything from the NES to the PS2. And if you know how to tweak enough settings, you can even get some Nintendo Wii games to be playable.
The Ambernic RG405M comes with an octa-core processor and 4GB RAM, which immediately makes it one of the most powerful handheld retro gaming consoles in the market. It has Wi-Fi support and comes with Android support right outside the box, with tons of retro gaming emulators installed for you to use. And its battery is 4500 mAh, which gives you up to 7 hours of consistent battery life based on what console you’re emulating at the time.
As for the display, it has a crisp 4-inch IPS touch-screen with a standard TV resolution of 640x480 - which is pleasantly wide for a 4:9 display. And I personally prefer this over widescreen handheld retro consoles because let’s be honest, these games were designed for portrait gameplay in mind.
The build could have been a bit better, but it’s still good enough for what it is - especially since it has two analog sticks and four shoulder buttons, so you won’t be missing out on any important keys for semi-modern games.
Now, let’s talk about what you can do with this amazing retro handheld gaming console. Everything from the NES and up to the Nintendo 64 runs really well, which isn’t a surprise for these devices. But what sets the Ambernic RG405M apart from other consoles in the market is that it can even run Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2 games.
Before you get excited, remember that this is a small and affordable device that emulates these games. So, you won’t be able to emulate the entire libraries of either of those two 6th-generation consoles. But you can run a surprisingly large number of games in a playable state, which even includes major titles like God of War 2, Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and so on. And as I briefly mentioned before, you can even run some Nintendo Wii games on the console such as Mario Kart Wii, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Resident Evil 4, and more.
It’s easily one of the best retro gaming consoles of 2024 thanks to its affordable price and heavy power. And it’s a great way to experience many 3D classics in a playable state, which is something that most retro gaming handheld consoles on this list cannot offer you as they normally don’t emulate anything besides the PlayStation Portable.
9. SEGA Genesis Mini 2
The SEGA Genesis is one of the greatest video game consoles ever made, and that’s something that even those who sided with the SNES admit at the end of the day. The console wars of today don’t come anywhere close to the old days because the competition back then was intense. After all, SEGA’s headline was ‘Sega does what Nintendon’t!’ - and it was true because both consoles lacked a lot of the library of the other one.
The SEGA Genesis Mini 2 features a beautiful design that serves as a replica of the original console. And it’s an upgraded version of their previous attempt at making a ‘classic’ console. It comes pre-loaded with many classics, such as After Burner 2, Earthworm Jim, Fatal Fury 2, Golden Axe 2, OutRun, Phantasy Star 2, Splatterhouse 2, Super Street Fighter 2, Streets of Rage 3,
And what sets the retro gaming console SEGA Genesis Mini 2 apart from the first one is that it includes SEGA CD games, such as Sonic CD, Shining Force CD, Final Fight, Night Trap, and more. The library is a bit questionable with the lack of many Sonic games - but the SEGA CD additions do make it an appealing purchase.
The console is fairly small, but it still captures the nostalgic value that we’re all looking for. And it comes with a 6-button gamepad, which is the ideal way to play Genesis games, especially when it comes to titles like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2. There isn’t much to be said about the specifications as it’s not meant to do anything other than emulating SEGA games, but it does feature a nice operating system that is easy to navigate through.
And just like the first SEGA Genesis Mini, there will be mods for it that will let you add your own games to enhance its library too. Which will then make it the ideal SEGA machine that you’re looking for which runs everything besides the Saturn and Dreamcast. Which is fair, as the Dreamcast especially deserves a Mini/Classic version of it in itself.
All in all, this isn’t a console that you can get to catch up on generations of retro video games. And even when it comes to the SEGA Genesis itself, you will be limited in terms of the library. But it’s a fun way to experience a few great games of this great retro gaming console, especially in terms of reliving the nostalgia.
On a final note, if you don’t feel like waiting for a good mod for the Sega Genesis Mini 2, you can just get the first one instead. It’s still a great machine and you can add hundreds of ROMs inside it if you want with simple hacks.
10. RetroGames C64 Mini
While most of us started their gaming journey on retro gaming console brands like the Atari, Nintendo, Sega, or PlayStation - there are those who started with a computer instead. The Commodore 64, released four decades ago, had a large library of video games that felt like a bridge between the Atari and the NES home consoles. It wasn’t the era of breakthrough PC games like DOOM just yet, but there are still many iconic names that went on to receive ports later on.
The RetroGames C64 Mini console is the perfect way to experience a part of gaming history that we often leave out. With classics such as Attack of the Mutant Camels, Everyone’s a Wally, Impossible Mission II, Pitstop II, Trailblazer, Who Dares Wins II, and more - you’ll have up to 64 unique games to play.
The device is designed beautifully to represent what the real Commodore 64 looks like. And it comes with a joystick too which is what we used to have back in the days. It connects with every modern-day TV and features necessary additions such as multiple USB ports and saving your progress.
What makes this device more special than the average retro gaming console is that it functions properly as a computer too. You can write your own programs on it and save them onto a USB stick. And you can use its DOS capabilities to load your own ROMs inside too, which means that you’ll never run out of games to play.
If you’re old enough, you can use this device as a trip down memory lane. And if you’re young and grew up on modern gaming, then this can serve as a great way to experience a crucial moment in gaming history too. Plus, it looks great visually, so it enhances your collection naturally.
If you’re looking for an authentic retro gaming computer, then look no further than the C64 Mini.
In the realm of handheld retro gaming consoles, power is normally not a big priority. Almost every retro game up to the PlayStation 1 era runs on anything with an acceptable GPU and a small bit of RAM. But there are a few exceptions that are powerhouses, and the KTR1 is one of them. This device comes with a MediaTek 699 processor, 8GB RAM, a 4.5” IPS display and a massive 5000mAh battery.
For starters, this runs everything from the NES to the PlayStation 1 perfectly. And then when we get to the sixth generation of gaming, this is one of the most impressive handheld retro gaming consoles that I’ve seen. Out of all the devices that we’ve tested with PlayStation 2 emulation, this one has the highest success rate in running most games in a playable state. And some of them are incredibly smooth too.
It’s still emulation at the end of the day, so we do have some games that are incompatible. But compared to other devices that can only run a handful of games properly from the PS2 era, the KT-R1 is nothing short of a beast.
Then we have the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo GameCube too in systems that it can emulate. Admittedly, it runs PS2 games far better than it runs sixth generation Nintendo consoles. But you can still find some Mario games that run really well. And spin-offs such as Smash Bros. and Mario Kart run excellently too. What really surprised me though is that Metroid Prime seems to run almost flawlessly on this device, which is something that other devices don’t manage to pull off.
Lastly, something that makes this device stand out even further is that it runs a lot of Nintendo 3DS games too if you manage to get the settings right. A lack of a second display does hurt the experience, but there are many 3DS games that you can comfortably enjoy without the second screen.
The build of the console is not my favorite on this list, but it still feels comfortable to hold. And the buttons include two analogs and four shoulder buttons, so you won’t experience any difficulty in mapping your controls for different types of games. It’s a very customizable handheld retro gaming console in more ways than one. So, it’s safe to say that you’ll be able to shape it to your preferences if you’re not satisfied with the out-of-the-box experience.
Almost every single handheld retro gaming console on this list is something that you can play older generations of gaming with. But something that people often forget is that the vintage style of gaming is not dead, nor is it limited to the old days. The visual and gameplay style of those games are celebrated by millions even today and there are many modern-day original games that capture that experience, mainly in the indie genre.
The PlayDate is a handheld gaming console that is not afraid to be different. And it does not rely on the retro gaming consoles created by other companies decades ago to have an identity of its own.
It’s a unique device that has a 400x240 black-and-white display that has no backlight, yet it’s very reflective so you don’t have any trouble in seeing what’s on-screen. It features a beautiful build that is very comfortable to hold, and other than the D-Pad and usual buttons - it features a Crank that serves as its unique gimmick. Not every game uses it, but those that do make great use of this extra feature.
The idea behind this device is to contain unique games that you won’t find anywhere else. Once you purchase the device, you receive 24 free games that belong to different genres, and you get them as free downloads spread throughout multiple weeks so that it feels like a surprise when you finally get to play them.
The library of games is constantly expanding, both from the developers’ side and the community. The PlayDate is easy to develop games for, so there are tons of indie games that you can find, download, and play. Some are free, and some are not. Which makes this one of the only handheld retro gaming consoles that is still getting new and original video games.
Although it's a fairly weak device in terms of hardware - it does not need to be stronger anyway since the here games rely more on creativity than they do on power. But it does feature some modern-day features, such as Wi-Fi, bluetooth, a headphone jack, and the ability to stream its games on a computer.
It’s not a device for everyone, and not a way for you to play classic games from your childhood either. But if you’re looking for something unique that will let you play all-new experiences that maintain what we love about retro gaming, then it’s something that you should invest into.
13. PocketGO S30
A wonderful thing about handheld retro gaming consoles is that there is something for everyone. And that is not just applicable to the body or hardware - but the price as well. A lot of them cost well over $100 dollars, and it’s justified since some of them even run PlayStation 2 games.
But if you’re looking for something on the affordable side, then I have to admit that the PocketGO S30 is a personal favorite of mine. It comes with a handy Quad Core 1.2ghz processor, a decent 3.5” inch IPS screen, 512MB of ram, and a 2600mAh battery which gives you up to 4 hours of gameplay.
Its build quality is durable, and it feels very comfortable in your hands because it’s looks and feels like an SNES controller. Which is an interesting choice since this console perfectly runs PS1 games as well. But I can’t say that it’s a bad decision because the SNES controller works perfectly for retro games. Fortunately, it does include an analog stick, so you don’t have to rely on the D-Pad exclusively.
I saw some people say that the device can run some PSP games too - but that’s not something that worked out really well when we tested it. Lighter games like GTA: Chinatown Wars and LocoRoco ran okay, but anything that is properly 3D struggles greatly - so don’t buy it with that in mind. But for everything from the NES to PS1, this device is ideal both in terms of price and effectiveness.
14. Funkey S
There is something about flip designs that is hard not to love. Whether it’s one of those classic Motorola phones or the Game Boy Advance, it’s always so much fun to fold your screen. And it works great as a screen-protective measure too when you put something like this in your pockets.
The Funkey S is an incredibly tiny retro handheld gaming console that comes with a crisp 1.54” inch 240x240 IPS display, a decent battery that lasts a couple of hours, and a foldable design that is optimized for convenience. What we mean by the last part is that when you fold it down, it automatically saves your game at that exact moment and loads it back when you open the screen again. And this also happens when your battery dies in the middle of gameplay, so you can quickly put it back to charge and your progress will load again.
This adorable retro handheld gaming console can run everything from the NES up to the PlayStation 1. And surprisingly, the Playstation 1 emulation on the device is pretty good, which just reminds you of how far technology has come now.
One thing to note about the Funkey S is that it’s a bit too tiny for optimal 3D gameplay. If you just want to catch a daily dose of nostalgia for your favorite PS1 games, it’s fun to emulate them on this device and have fun. But it’s certainly not something that I’d recommend for playing masterpieces like Metal Gear Solid for the first time.
That being said, it’s perfect for playing older video games, especially those released on the Game Boy series of consoles since they were developed for small screens anyway. It’s a great device for using on the go since it’s as small as an average keychain that we use these days. And it’s a cute thing to gift to fellow gamers as well.
15. Atari 2600+
You don’t have to play the Magnavox Odyssey to call yourself a true retro gamer. But we have to admit that the Atari generation of video games are an incredibly important part of gaming history. While they were incredibly simple, they set the groundwork of what games would be in the future. And not only that, but the Atari home consoles were the first time when people truly wanted to bring a retro gaming console home.
The Atari 2600+ console is officially published by the real Atari themselves, rather than a third-party company with a license. It looks exactly like the original console did and serves as a perfect replica for those who want to have an authentic experience. And the joystick is accurate too, so you can play the games the way they should be.
The best part about this console is that unlike the SEGA Genesis Mini or the PlayStation Classic, the Atari 2600+ runs the actual Atari 2600 and 7800 cartridges. So, you don’t have to resort to pre-loaded libraries that can’t be updated. You can find and use original and knock-off cartridges, which gives you an unlimited library. Of course, with the purchase of this retro gaming console, you do get a 10-in-1 game cartridge too that includes several classics such as Missile Command and Yars’ Revenge.
Fortunately, some modern-day changes are present, so you don’t have to worry about the design flaws of the original Atari 2600. The cartridge socket is larger than before, so the cartridges don’t get stuck anymore. And it has easy HDMI support so all modern-day TVs and monitors can run it. It also has Widescreen support which helps the games adjust to today’s technology. We can’t say too many good things about how it looks on massive LCDs, but to be fair the Atari isn't popular for its graphics.
And if you ever have enough of the original library or find the games too hard to find, you can try out homebrew games developed for the original Atari hardware too. This even includes a Halo demake called Halo 2600 - developed by none other than the former vice president of game publishing at Microsoft, Ed Fries.
That’s a wrap on our list of the best retro gaming consoles in 2024. We have included 15 amazing options that cover multiple generations of gaming history, including handheld, standard, and even Arcade goodness. Every device caters to a different preference, so you can choose based on whether you wish to play very old games or something more specific from the early 3D days.
And for those who aren’t big fans of emulation, we included officially licensed products that support cartridges too – so this list will get you through this year with ease.
We hope that you found the retro gaming companion that you’re looking for. And if we missed your favorites, feel free to let us know!