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The 7 Best Retro Gaming Consoles You Can Buy This Year

Looking for some retro gaming action, but don't have an old game console? Don't worry:all the big game console companies of the past are churning out new, compact versions of their classic game systems.

Not sure which one to try? Let's take a look at the revived retro gaming systems from Nintendo, Sega, Sony and others.

What retro game consoles can you buy?

Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario, Manic Miner... video game characters from the past that send pains of nostalgia through the bones of many gamers.

Retro gaming is so popular that there are now dedicated books and magazines on the subject. There are t-shirts too; Likewise, Pixel Art has become a recognized artistic discipline..

People love retro games. While emulating retro systems on your PC is an option, you may prefer to buy original hardware. But what if this is not possible?

Well, various game console manufacturers and license holders have taken steps to revive old hardware. As of this writing, you can buy:

  1. Sony PlayStation Classic
  2. Nintendo NES Classic
  3. Nintendo Super NES Classic
  4. Sega Genesis Flashback
  5. Atari Flashback 8 Gold
  6. C64 Mini
  7. NEOGEO Mini

These machines come with built-in games, and usually ship with two controllers. There is also often a way to copy your own collection of retro game ROMs, expanding the game library even further.

1. Sony PlayStation Classic

PlayStation Classic Console PlayStation Classic Console Buy Now On Amazon $65.96

One of the greatest consoles of all time, Sony's PlayStation opened the door to gaming for so many while starting a legacy that continues to this day.

Why wouldn't you want to revisit those classic games from the late 90s and early 2000s?

About 45 percent smaller than the original Sony PlayStation, the PlayStation Classic comes with the original controllers (pre-Rumblepack) and 20 games.

These include Tekken 3, Final Fantasy VII, and Ridge Racer Type 4. Compatible with HDTV, the console ships with a virtual memory card, HDMI cable, and USB cable. No power adapter included, because a standard smartphone charger will do the job.

Unlike the other consoles on this list, you'll only be able to pre-order Sony's PlayStation Classic as it won't be available until December.

2. Nintendo NES Classic

Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda... the memories keep coming. Looking just like the original NES from 1985 (unlike the Famicom before it), the Nintendo NES classic is actually much smaller and comes with 30 preloaded games.

Two modern original-style controllers are included, along with an HDMI cable.

Other games on this hugely popular retro console include PAC-MAN, Dr. Mario, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, and Metroid.

First released in 2016, the NES Classic's supply has been unreliable; as a result, buying now can mean a significant wait. However, it is known that Nintendo is producing more units, so your order must be fulfilled. However, if you can't get your hands on one, there are some solid retro gaming alternatives out there.

3. Nintendo Super NES Classic

Introduced in 1991, the 16-bit Nintendo SNES system took the gaming world by storm and built on the success of its predecessor. In 2017, history repeated itself..

Featuring legendary games like Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo:Hyper Fighting, the Nintendo Super NES Classic includes a total of 21 games and two authentic game controllers.

HDMI and USB power cables are also included, and the console is compatible with classic controllers for hardcore retro gaming.

4. Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) Flashback

Sega Genesis Flashback HD 2017 Console 85 Games Included Sega Genesis Flashback HD 2017 Console 85 Games Included Buy Now On Amazon $82.40

Also known as the Mega Drive, the Sega Genesis hit US stores in 1989 and was the main rival to the Nintendo SNES. Several versions were released during its original release, each one slightly smaller than the other.

Unlike the other console versions, the Sega Genesis Flashback is not significantly smaller than the original. It has 85 video games, including Mortal Combat, Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, Golden Ax and many other Sega classics.

Two wireless controllers are included, along with an HDMI cable and AC power adapter. What's especially special about this system is the inclusion of a cartridge slot, for playing classic Genesis games. You can even connect a couple of classic wired game controllers if you find wireless controllers unreliable.

5. Atari Flashback 8 Gold

Atari Flashback 8 Gold Console HDMI 120 Games 2 Wireless Controllers Atari Flashback 8 Gold Console HDMI 120 Games 2 Wireless Controllers Buy Now On Amazon $69.99

Inside the Atari Flashback 8 Gold is a stunning Atari 2600-style console, complete with a faux wood finish, including an AC adapter, HDMI cable, and two wireless game controllers. There's even room for two (wired) paddles, for a truly authentic Atari gaming experience.

Among the Atari classics in this pack are Outlaw, Indy 500, International Soccer, Asteroids, all-time classic Space Invaders, and more. While the Atari 2600 represents the beginning of the 8-bit console era, it may not hold as much appeal as the NES Classic or C64 Mini.

However, be careful. The Atari Flashback 8 series has been plagued by faulty hardware (such as drivers not working), and Pac-Man is not included. While ATGames, the licensee, appears to have made some corrections, the quality of the Atari Flashback 8 Gold may not match your expectations.

6. C64 Mini

The C64 Mini The C64 Mini Buy now on Amazon $49.99

While not strictly a console (although it did have a console version, the C64GS), the Commodore 64 was an incredibly popular home gaming system after its release in 1982.

Properly featuring 64 classic titles, the C64 Mini is a 50% scale replica of the C64. Although you don't have a working keyboard, you can connect one via USB. The box includes a classic joystick, an HDMI cable (720p upscaling is available), and a USB power cable.

A second C64 joystick can be purchased separately.

Among the titles included here are the classics like Uridium, Cybernoid, Speedball 2, California Games, Pitstop 2 and many more. Reviews have been mixed on this device, but it is possible to copy your own game ROMs onto the C64 Mini. This makes it a must have for any hardcore C64 fan.

7. NEOGEO Mini International

NEOGEO Mini International NEOGEO Mini International Buy Now On Amazon $93.45

New for 2018, the NEOGEO Mini is a handheld gaming system that resembles a miniature arcade cabinet. Inside is hardware that recreates the NEOGEO game console, bringing games like Metal Slug, The King of Fighters, Fatal Fury and more to life.

Based on the 1990 Neo Geo console and arcade machine, 40 titles are bundled with this classic console remake, which comes with a built-in 3.5-inch LCD screen, stereo speakers, and a four-button controller and joystick.

Two USB-C ports are included for external controllers, there's a headphone jack and an HDMI-out jack. (External cables and controllers are sold separately.)

Requiring a USB power source, the NEOGEO Mini can also run from a portable power source (such as a phone charger). It also has a save game feature, allowing you to save and load game progress.

Do I need anything else for your retro love of gaming?

How much do you like retro games? If none of these seven retro console and computer devices suits you, you may need a different approach.

We already mentioned emulation, and this might be what you need to play from other platforms. Maybe you are a fan of Nintendo N64, or want to play Sega Dreamcast games? In either case, emulation software is available and capable of running on most computer systems.

There are several options available. Why not start by looking at the cross-platform Lakka emulation platform Create a Retro Arcade on your PC with Lakka Make a Retro Arcade on your PC with Lakka Lakka is a Linux-based retro gaming solution that is easy to install and use, yet complete and customizable. Read more ?