Too bad that two of the best retro game consoles of recent years, the NES Classic Mini and the SNES Classic Mini, were discontinued. Both feature great designs with a miniaturized look true to the originals, silky-smooth performance, and solid lineups of games from Nintendo’s greatest hits. You can still buy them online (usually from third-party resellers), but the prices are seriously inflated. The SNES Classic Mini, for example, was $80 at launch, but a retailer has it for $300 on Amazon right now. You may have more luck to buy one used.
Nintendo fans craving classic gaming action might be better served snagging a Switch and picking up a Nintendo Switch Online subscription ($20 for one year) to access over 100 NES and SNES titles (here is the full list). Add the Expansion pack ($50 for one year) and you can get those N64 games Also. If you’re craving a bit of old-school pocket Nintendo fun, check out the revived Game and Watch ($50) double. They are limited to a few games each, but when those games are Super Mario Or Zelda titles, that can be enough for hours of fun.
THE Analog Mega SG ($200) (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is expensive, and it doesn’t come with games or controllers (they cost $25 each). But it can play old Sega Genesis cartridges, so it’s a solid choice if you have a box of them in the basement. Thanks to an FPGA chip, this console runs the original games as you remember them.
There is a lot of classic arcade games available on PlayStation 4 or 5. If you opt for a PS Plus Premium subscription ($18 for a month or $120 for a year)you get the Classics Catalogfilled with old PlayStation games.
Xbox Series X|S offers the best backwards compatibility, as Microsoft’s latest consoles can play Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Original Xbox titles. You can also find classic titles included in our favorite gaming subscription, the excellent Xbox Game Pass Ultimate ($15 per month).
If you have Valve’s Steam Deck, check out the full list EmuDeck to imitate a wide variety of old systems in style.
PC gamers also have a huge choice of emulators. I like RetroArch because it emulates multiple systems, but if you have a favorite old console and want to get closer to that original experience, you can probably find a bespoke emulator to take that itch away.