The Hottest Retro Game Consoles

by Marshal M. Rosenthal

Have you looked at a video game controller lately? What’s with all those buttons, knobs, joysticks, tabs…’s crazy! That’s why so many of us prefer 8 and 16-bit games: the graphics might not be super-realistic, but the gameplay is always fun and you don’t need the reflexes of a 15-year-old or the memory of an elephant to remember which button does what. Ready to play old school? Then here are the consoles you’ll need.

NES Retron 1 Gaming System/$29

NES RetroN 1

Credit: Tomee

Because NES is good enough, this console is good enough. And the two red-infused NES controllers included are good enough too. Top loading so none of that push-in-the-tray nonsense.

RDP Portable Handheld Console/$89

RDP Portable Handheld Console

Credit: RDP

You can’t lose the controller…because it’s part of the portable console. And the lithium battery provides plenty of juice before a recharge is needed (up to 8 hours). So pop in that SNES cart (or an NES using the included adapter) and get gaming right in your face — thanks to that color LCD screen at the center. Or plug it into the TV for a bigger view. Get the Retrogen adapter and Genesis carts come along for the ride too.

SR3 – Super Retro Trio/$69

SR3 - Super Retro Trio

Credit: Retro-Bit

Place this by the TV, plug it in and hook it up for pretty much every NES, SNES and Genesis game that’s out there (there’s even a Genesis/Mega Drive cart region switch). Six controller ports built-in and two controllers included. Add the SRA (Super Retro Adapter) and Game Boy Advance carts say “Hi” and let you link up to 3 Gameboy systems for 4-way gaming (Mario Kart anyone?).

Retron 2 Gaming Console/$44

Retron 2

Credit: Tomee

Want to stick NES and SNES carts in the slot and play all day on your TV? This is the console for that, and it even comes in assorted colors and with one each NES and SNES wired controllers.

Atari Flashback 4/$69

Atari Flashback 4 Classic Game Console

Credit: At Games

Yeah Atari gets represented too. Just wrap some tape around your thumb so that joystick won’t hurt all that much. Plus it’s wireless and you get two. Bet that faux wood grain-looking console will make you nostalgic for basements of the 1970s. But it’s what inside that counts once the TV is plugged in: 75 classic games pre-loaded and ready for 8-bit madness, like Battlezone or Asteroids. Or start with Centipede to see how your reflexes have degraded through the years….

SupaBoy Portable Pocket SNES Console/$79


Credit: Hyperkin

Look, up in the sky — it’s SupaBoy! And like the honking big SNES controller it resembles, carts go in and the 3.5” color LCD takes over as your fingers/thumbs remember what they’re there for. USB rechargeable battery means you play where you want, and the stereo output means listening is way better than it used to be on a TV back in the day (which can be used if you want). Connects to the two included SNES controllers too.

Retron 5/TBA

Retron 5

Credit: Tomee

Like the name says, it plays 5 kinds of carts: NES, SNES, Genesis, GBA and Famicon (that’s the Japanese). Which also means Super Famicon, Mega Drive, Game Boy and Game Boy Color. But if that wasn’t enough, add game saving, audio interpolation to clean up the crackling, aspect ratio control and overclocking and an HDMI out for upconverting to 720p. And if all that wasn’t enough, how about two controllers for each platform (total of 6) and a Bluetooth wireless controller tossed in?

jxd5000 The Hottest Retro Game Consoles

This. You need this.

Still not retro enough for you? Then get off the couch and grab these —  Cartridge Refill: 7 Retro-Game Handhelds

The Entertainment Consumers Association seeks to elevate the reactionary monologue in DC to an adult discussion.

The Entertainment Consumers Association seeks to elevate the reactionary monologue in DC to an adult discussion.

Marshal Rosenthal is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer specializing in technology, consumer electronics and pop culture. Visit his website.
Mark Setrakian in exo-suit with training robot used in the time challenge featured in the premiere episode.

Mark Setrakian in exo-suit with training robot used in the time challenge featured in the premiere episode.

Marshal interviewed the future of video game legal defense with Don’t Tread On Gaming and build his own battle bot when he interviewed Sy-Fy’s Mark Setrakian in Slaughterbots: Roll Out!

More from Marshal Rosenthal

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