When it comes to games, the past is a simpler time. You buy your console, pay for your game, and then you sit and play it.
There is no online multiplayer, no downloadable content, no guide to ruining all the fun, and no patches to prevent you from playing. Sounds good, right?
Over the years, several companies have tried to restore this simplicity with various retro console updates.
These boxes are connected to the back of your TV, and use emulation software to allow you to play a number of games that are otherwise impossible (or at least, very expensive) to find as physical cartridges.
We haven’t yet rated this improvement, as we have done in some of our guidelines, because nostalgia is an important part but we will talk to you through the pros and cons of each. Below are our top choices from the revival of the best retro consoles that you can play now.
SNES Classic Mini
One of the biggest, reimagined
How many games ?: 21
Star Fox 2!
Short control cable
Following the great success of the NES Classic Mini, Nintendo has returned to the 90s in a more concise form with SNES Classic Mini.
The box is connected to your TV via HDMI and comes with 21 pre-loaded games (one of which is Star Fox 2 which hasn’t been released yet) and two mini controllers that allow you to take advantage of multiplayer.
The drawback of Nintendo’s retro console is that once you have run out of a fairly limited library you won’t be able to play anything else. The console does not accept genuine cartridges, nor does it allow you to download more content.
That said, you will need a little time to go through all the titles that are included on SNES Classic Mini that allow you to get your nostalgia.
Read our full review: SNES Classic Mini Reviews
Sega Genesis Mini
Value for money choice
How many games ?: 80
Lots of game choices
Does not feel premium
Everyone remembers Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive as it is known outside North America) which acts as a Nintendo SNES competitor. The console is home to classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Jim Earthworm.
Unlike some of the other hardware on this list, the console, produced by the Chinese company At Games, will play the original Mega Drive cartridge that you have laid down.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an old cartridge, because the console is equipped with 80 pre-installed games, including Mortal Kombat and Golden Ax.
Also unlike the original Mega Drive, this console supports wireless controllers so you don’t need to worry about the clutter of the controller cable used to disturb console gamers.
Read our full review: Review of Sega Genesis Mini
NES Classic Mini
How many games ?: 30
Short control cable
Cannot add more games
If you want a more retro hit, NES Classic Edition is the first rereleased console from Nintendo and comes with 30 onboard games. The games include The Legend of Zelda, Mario Bros and Castlevania.
The bad news is that after you run out of libraries, you won’t be able to play anything else – the console does not accept genuine cartridges, nor does it allow you to download more content.
You might have a hard time finding the NES Classic Edition. At the time of writing, it’s hard to find a brand new retro console from a large retailer in the US or UK.
That said, you might still be able to pick it up and try a retro experience for yourself.
Read our full review: Review of Mini NES Classic
Big name, but not the best reboot
How many games ?: 20
Internal memory card
Game options are limited
Miss the key title
The PlayStation Classic console is of course fun, but we feel like we’re missing a trick. Sony can follow Nintendo’s footsteps by releasing a populist retro console, which has the best undisputed games of the day such as Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy 8 and 9 or Tomb Raider. But that is not PlayStation Classic.
It did not include the majority of the console’s biggest hits and instead chose several sect classics such as Persona and Jumping Flash among several well-received titles. Therefore, using Sony’s retro console is much more similar to running on a memory path, the experience we have with SNES Classic and NES Classic Mini, and more like a plate example of what PlayStation offered 20-a few years ago is strange. .
Of course, some people might develop a real attachment to games like Destruction Derby, Ridge Racer Type 4 and Intelligent Qube – and if it’s you, then PlayStation Classic will be everything you want on a retro console.
However, if not, then you will be disappointed in the choice of the game, not impressed by the lackluster interface and being forced to watch, often horrified, because the late 90’s FMV was turned on like Monster Frankenstein on your 4K or 1080p TV.
Read our full review: PlayStation Classic Reviews
ZX Spectrum Vega
How many games ?: 1000
More than a thousand games
Hard to find
ZX Spectrum was one of the first major home computers released when released in the UK in 1982. In Britain what Commodore 64 was in the US, trojans to bring computers to home, and devices that would inspire a generation of coders.
Yes, the keyboard is a little messy, but with a library of software that includes classics such as Elite, Football Manager, and the original Manic Miner, you can’t blame a small console that can do it.
Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega is not like the original console. Instead of having a full QWERTY keyboard, this console is actually packed into a controller that has 1,000 default games.
This device is available for £ 99.99 (around $ 130), but it’s not hard enough to find so you might have to fight harder to take it than other consoles on this list.