More and more gamers are discovering the delights of retro consoles thanks to the best mini consoles on the market.
All the big names are releasing mini versions of their most beloved devices, packaging them with some of the best games pre-installed for your convenience..
While we’re all excited about the Dreamcast Mini and the GameCube Mini dropping into our laps, there are still plenty of other incredible mini consoles out there to keep us entertained for the time being.
Here’s a list of the best mini consoles on the market right now and we’ve tested most of them!
1. SNES Classic Mini
It had to be, didn’t it? The SNES Classic Mini takes the top spot in our list of the best mini consoles, a console with 21 of my favourite-ever games pre-installed.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of The Seven Stars, Star Fox, Yoshi’s Island, F-Zero, Earthbound; they’re all here and more!
It even comes with Star Fox 2, a previously unreleased game!
The SNES Mini comes with two controllers for ultimate multiplayer fun. You can save your games using suspend points and come back to difficult levels without having to leave your console on all night.
The mini unit looks exactly like the classic SNES, just a heck of a lot smaller, and you can stick it in a carry case for safe transport.
2. PlayStation Classic
It was a tough choice to make between Numbers 2 and 1 on this list of the best mini consoles, but I’ve put the PlayStation Classic in the second spot.
The console comes with 20 games pre-installed, but users can buy a Tru Blu Mini pack to boost that number by 101 games. That’s more than I ever had for the original PlayStation in the first place!
Even without the expansion pack, the PlayStation classic comes with some incredible titles including Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil Director’s Cut.
The classic controller still feels great even now, and the unit itself is a perfect mini replica of the original PS1. You get two wired controllers in the pack, and the console uses virtual memory for saving games.
3. Game Gear Micro
In at number 10 on our list of the best mini consoles is the Game Gear Micro, Sega’s upcoming console release. The Game Gear Micro marks 60 years of Sega, and it comes in four different colours, each with different games.
If you’re the kind of person that loves collecting the best retro handhelds, then this release will be right up your street. The new micro handheld can even be used with a micro version of the Big Window magnifier that the original Game Gear used.
Here’s what we know about the different console colours –
- Black: Out Run, Puyo Puyo Tsu, Royal Stone, Sonic the Hedgehog
- Blue: Baku Baku Animal: Sekai Shiikugakari Senshuken, Gunstar Heroes, Sonic & Tails, Sylvan Tale
- Yellow: Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux, Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining Force: Final Conflict
- Red: Columns, The G.G. Shinobi, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
There’s no word as to when or if this console will be launched outside of Japan. Pre-orders are now running for the various coloured units, so click the link above to put in on order through Amazon Japan.
4. SEGA Mega Drive Mini 2
The SEGA Mega Drive Mini 2 was launched in October 2022, and it gave gamers across the globe a look at even more SEGA games, preloaded on a miniature version of the popular Mega Drive Mini 2 and SEGA Genesis.
This is certainly one of the best mini consoles for SEGA fans who want a large selection of classic SEGA games.
For example, of the 60 games included there are: Sonic The Hedgehog 3D, Earthworm Jim 2, Ecco The Dolphin, Shining Force 2, Streets of Rage 3 and lots more.
The user interface is silky smooth, it’s incredibly easy to setup as it uses HDMI in and a USB port for power. It also features a exact sized Mega Drive 2 controller, making it feel like the real deal.
However, we wish the 2 meter cable was a bit longer as we our TV is quite literally 2m away so at times we found ourselves having to stretch!
It’s the perfect SEGA mini console.
5. NES Classic Mini
The console that started it all and propelled Nintendo to greatness. This NES Classic Mini console fits in the palm of your hand and is super portable.
It comes with 30 of the best games ever made including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, and PAC-MAN.
Each game has the opportunity for you to utilise four game suspension spots, giving you the ability to pick up exactly where you left off.
The console looks superb, as do the games in crisp HD. Two different controllers can be used, and they also work with certain classic games on the WIi-U too!
6. Sega Mega Drive Mini
Just look at that box! Sega have kept everything as close to the original packaging as possible for their Sega Mega Drive Mini console. American readers will know this as the Sega Genesis Mini, but it will always be the Mega Drive to me.
Inside the box, you get the Sega Mega Drive Mini itself, two classic wired controllers, a power cable, and your HDMI cable.
What could be better than playing your favourite classic Sega games in beautiful HD? It comes with 40 classic titles including the Shinobi Series; Sonic 1, 2, and Spinball; Ecco the Dolphin; Street Fighter 2; and many more!
7. C64 Mini
Next up on our list of the best mini consoles is the Commodore 64 mini, now with a 720p HD output! Who would’ve thought it!
This mini console differs from the others in this list as it can be used as both a home computer and a games console. That’s two devices for the price of one!
The C64 Mini can also be updated using a flash drive. There are 64 games preinstalled, and players can either use the keyboard or two USB Joysticks for multiplayer action.
This console works at 4:3 ratio and full-width ratios and even has European and American display mode options (whatever those are!
8. Astro City Mini
Another Japanese release, the Sega Astro City Mini is a table-top sized version of the classic Astro City arcade cabinet. The full-sized cabinet one of Sega’s proudest achievements and can still be found running in arcades today!
Like the NeoGeo, the original Astro City had some games that were only available in arcades, but now you can play them at home in your pants.
It comes with 36 games in total, putting it on a par with many of the other units in this list of the best mini consoles.
As well as a few exclusives including Dark Edge, you’ll be able to choose from titles such as Alien Syndrome, Columns II and Virtua Fighter!
9. TurboGrafix-16 Mini
Konami are to thank for the next entry on our list of the best mini consoles.
The PC Engine never gets enough of a feature, so I’m glad that we get to include this TurboGrafix-16 Mini in this article. Modelled on the original TurboGrafix-16, this unit comes with 59 games.
This new mini console is half the size of the original unit and has space to plug two controllers in instead of just one.
Relive games such as Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, Fantasy Zone, New Adventure, Island, Victory Run, and loads more. You can even ditch the wired controller and go for this 8Bitdo wireless one instead!
10. NeoGeo Mini International
40 games in one miniature handheld cabinet. This NeoGeo Mini International is absolutely epic and oozes with retro arcade goodness.
It comes with a 3.5 inch LCD screen, so there’s no need to plug it into your TV. If you do want to see your favourite games up on the big screen, however, then there is an HDMI out.
Like the Astro City Mini, there’s a joystick controller and stereo speakers built-in.
You can save and load games too; no more having to leave your progress when you leave the arcade! Speaking of games, you can relive classics such as King of Fighters, Fatal Fury and Metal Slug!
11. Atari Flashback 8 Gold
The Atari Flashback 8 Gold comes with a whopping 120 built-in games. If you want to relive some of those great games from the golden age of gaming twinned with classic Joystick action, then this could be the mini console for you.
What could be better than playing games such as Pitfall, Desert Falcon, River Raid, and Jungle Hunt in 720p HD up on your TV?
Many of the best MAME games that you know and love are included in this bundle, and thanks to the wireless controllers, you can kick back on the sofa and play in comfort!
12. Game Boy Mini
Ok, so the Game Boy Mini might not be a console available on Amazon, though popularity for these handhelds is gaining traction through the retro gaming world.
These mini Game Boy Color handhelds from Burger King are seeing a new lease of life thanks to modders and RaspberryPi brain boxes, and we’re loving the outcome.
The Game Boy Color Mini stands at just 9cm high, with many including preloaded ROMs from the DMG, GBC, GBA, and some home consoles such as the NES.
Those who know where to look for modded consoles (it rhymes with ‘betsy’) should be able to pick one of these little beauties up easily.
13. Atari Mini Arcade
The Atari Mini Arcade takes the 12th spot on this list of the best mini consoles of all time. Look how swish it looks; a miniature blast from sweaty arcade hall past!
Anyone lucky enough to receive one of these as a gift or who fancies treating themselves will find five games preinstalled, including the mighty centipede!
This is an officially licensed Atari product, so there’s no worries about buying a knock-off product that will break the first time you use it.
With a 2.8″ screen and removable joystick, it provides the ultimate excuse not to check your work emails.
Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.