It’s always a good idea to plan ahead when it comes to buying presents for friends, loved ones, or yourself, which is why we’ve made a list of the 10 best retro games consoles to take some of the stress off your shoulders.
It’s not often that you find a list on the internet where you could scroll down and pick the perfect item at random, but all of the consoles in this list are superb and would put a smile on anyone’s face.
Whether you’re planning ahead for a Birthday, Christmas, Oseibo, Nintendo Day (I just made that up), or just want to splash out and add an extra console into your collection, this list of the best retro games consoles has got every occasion covered.
How Does This List Work?
If you have checked out any of our previous ‘best of’ articles, then you’re bound to know the score.
If you’re new to Retro Dodo or have just found the internet (congratulations), then here’s how this list works.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favourite retro games consoles below. Simply click on the title of each console, the picture, the ‘Buy Here’ button, or search for the hyperlinked name in the text for each section.
Once you’ve clicked, you’ll be transported to a virtual supermarket where you can add the console into your shopping basket or wish list.
Are All Of The Best Retro Games Consoles Second Hand?
Not all of them are; some are new products that come pre-installed with classic games, allowing you to plug them into HD TVs or experience updated graphics and colours.
Some, like Number 4 on our list, are second hand. But the retro gaming community look after their equipment, and we’ve highlighted some of the best deals on the internet.
Just remember to check seller feedback and always follow the correct payment guidelines.
Which Of These Best Retro Games Consoles Does Retro Dodo Recommend?
Choosing 10 of the best retro games consoles was very hard, so believe me when I say that you can’t go wrong with any of the items chosen by the Retro Dodo team below.
If I had a seal of approval, I’d stamp it right here.
Ok, let’s crack on with the main event!
If you haven’t heard about Mario’s 30th Anniversary celebrations, then you must have either been living in a Warp Pipe or have 1-Up Mushrooms jammed into your ears.
Alongside some Super Mario Shoes, the epic Super Mario 64 remake, and a whole host of other Mazza-related goodies, Nintendo has brought out this new Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros 30th Anniversary Edition handheld!
Players can now relive one of the best Super Mario adventures in glorious colour! If that’s not worth the price alone, then you also get two more games thrown in too!
The new Super Mario Bros Game & Watch handheld features the original Super Mario Bros adventure that we all know and love, as well as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Ball (Mario version).
It also comes with an updated digital clock too with cool colour graphics. Ditch your boring clock and prop this up on your nightstand instead!
And with talk of a new Sonic game on the horizon, there has never been a better time to revisit some of the classic games that have made Sega such a force to be reckoned with.
The Sega Mega Drive Mini includes the original Sonic the Hedgehog game as well as 41 other epic titles from Sega’s back catalgoue.
Just look at that box too; the whole thing looks like a proper retro product, and the marketing team has perfectly recreated those late 80s vibes.
The console comes with two controllers, and you can upgrade it with some of the best Mega Drive accessories too!
The RG315P takes the Number 3 spot on our list of the best retro games consoles. It’s a new handheld that emulates all of your favourite games from yesteryear, and it’s a cracking console!
With a 3.5″ IPS Display, a 3500MAH battery, and vibration features, this handheld provides the perfect retro gaming experience on the go.
It has some unmistakeable GBA vibes about it, which makes it perfect for working your way through the best GameBoy Advance games on a rainy afternoon.
We really like the analog sticks with L3 capabilities too, letting you play PS1 games on the bus or in the park.
With emulation for all of your favourite SNES titles, PC-Engine, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, N64, and more besides, this handheld would make the perfect gift for a gamer in your life.
4. Nintendo 64
While we’re waiting for the N64 Mini or the exciting Nintendo 64 Handheld to drop into our laps, we’re more than happy kicking back with one of the best retro games consoles of all time – the Nintendo 64.
When I think back at the games that I had for this console, there were so many that made it such an iconic and groundbreaking unit.
Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64…
… and who could forget Ocarina of Time!
With talk of a new Zelda game filtering down from Nintendo, it would be rude not to go back and try what in my opinion is one of the best video games ever made!
You can pick up N64 consoles for relatively cheap these days, and here is a list of the best N64 games that you can pair with your new purchase!
5. PiBoy DMG
The PiBoy DMG is a powerful console with a nostalgic vibe that blows us away.
For starters, it looks like a souped-up version of the original Grey GameBoy DMG, one of the most pioneering consoles in the history of gaming.
Twinned with a Nintendo Switch joystick with R3 capabilities and a host of new buttons on both the front and back, this handheld is capable of playing everything from your favourite N64 games right through to the best PSP games!
I told you it was powerful!
All of your best-loved games are ready and waiting for you to play at the touch of a button. Which one will you go for first?
The PlayStation Mini takes the next spot in our list of the best retro games consoles!
Where do we start with the PS1?
It’s a truly legendary console. There were almost 8,000 games released for this system, and Sony has managed to whittle that down to 20 of the most iconic games ever made.
Right out of the box, players can load up amazing titles such as Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto, Resident Evil Director’s Cut, and many more.
Plus, you can also buy a Tru Blu Mini pack to boost that number by 101 extra games!
The console feels nice, the controller takes us back to our childhood days in a flash, and the whole package would make a great gift for any gamer.
Now that Sega has officially used the phrase ‘Dreamcast Mini‘ in an interview, we may be about to see the fabled remake dropping in the next year or two.
In the meantime, you owe it to yourself, your family, and the strangers around you to buy a Sega Dreamcast and relive some of the greatest Dreamcast games ever made.
This console could have gone on to greater heights had it come out a little later. Now, retro enthusiasts like Retro Fighters and devoted Sega gamers have helped it to finally achieve greatness.
With titles such as Phantasy Star Online and Sonic Adventure, this console is undoubtedly one of the best retro games consoles in existence.
That’s not just my opinon – it’s a fact!
Check out some of the best Dreamcast games for the console and grab a classic today!
The GameCube still remains one of the most played consoles of my childhood and teen years, and this little purple box played host to some of the greatest games ever made.
I had to buy a couple of these when I was younger as I burnt the motors in the disc drives out by playing on my favourite games so much!
From Super Mario Sunshine and Wind Waker through to Mario Party 4 and Metroid Prime, this console had all of the great Nintendo names in one place.
I can still remember playing Mario Smash Football with my mates and mashing the C-Stick on Super Smash Bros!
If you’re thinking of buying a GameCube, then check out our list of the best GameCube games for some present-purchasing inspiration!
Up next in our list of the best retro games consoles is the Game Gear Micro!
Sega has released five new Game Gear Micros as part of their seemingly endless celebrations. The consoles are only out in Japan at the moment, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can still purchase them no matter where you are.
All five consoles have different games on them, so if you want to play on the best Sega Game Gear games, then you’ll need to ‘collect ’em all’!
Here’s a full lowdown of which games come pre-installed on the various coloured consoles.
- 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
- White (Limited Edition) – Aleste, GG Aleste, GG Aleste 2, Powerstrike 2, GG Aleste 3.
And you can check out our Game Gear Micro review for more info!
10. Playstation 2
The PlayStation 2 still holds the title of the best selling console of all time with 159-million sales over its lifetime.
What a way to end our list of the best retro games consoles!
We’re still waiting on the PS2 Mini to drop, but there are plenty of incredible games to play on this console in the meantime.
There were over 3,800 titles released for the PS2, so there’s definitely plenty for you choose from.
You could even pick up some of these rare PS2 games for an extra-special surprise!
BONUS: 11. SNES Classic Mini
I couldn’t end this list without sticking the SNES Classic Mini into the mix.
The SNES was one of the first consoles that I ever bought myself. I picked one up at a second-hand gaming store with a load of games, and I never looked back.
There were some great titles made for this console, many of which started off their lives in the golden age of gaming!
Super Metroid, Earthbound, Donkey Kong Country; all classics, and all games that new generations of gamers should experience.
It even has the previously unreleased Star Fox 2 on it as well!
Heck, it’s worth buying the console just for that!