We may be living in a year that still sounds like the future, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look back on the past with fondness. You don’t have to stop with just looking back though, there are plenty of retro game consoles on the market in 2020 that will let you relive the glory days. Let’s dive in to a few of the best ones on the market or coming this year.
Perhaps the most unique proposition on this list, the Evercade is a handheld device that can be plugged into your TV, but it doesn’t just play one console’s library. As of right now, the Evercade library sits at over 130 games, from publishers like Atari and Namco, spread across different consoles. There’s even an Atari Lynx cartridge… and that’s the most interesting part about the Evercade, it uses a cartridge system. So if you’re a collector and you want to display your physical media, the Evercade is the way to go. It’s due to release in May 2020.
SNES Classic Mini
The mother of all retro consoles returns in Mini form, with the SNES Classic Mini. If you’re looking for a pure Nintendo fix, this is the one for you. Not only does it come with two lovely controllers, the library is actually really strong – especially including the previously unreleased StarFox 2. If StarFox isn’t your jam, there’s a generous helping of Mario, Kirby, Zelda and more to keep you happy. Outside of Nintendo, you’ll find a few classic JRPG’s here too, including Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana.
SEGA Mega Drive Mini
The SEGA Mega Drive Mini (Genesis Mini) comes with 42 games, some better than others. But it does have a good variety, and there’ll definitely be something on here for everyone. Obviously the standout entries here are the Sonic games and you’re treated to Sonic 1 and 2. Apart from that you can play the classic, Strider, as well as the infamous Ecco the Dolphin, which remains one of the weirdest games of all time. You’ll get two controllers for your money, but they don’t feel quite as nice as you may remember the Mega Drive controllers feeling back in the day.
NES Classic Mini
Want to go even further back than the SNES? Why not try out the NES Classic Mini, although it’ll be harder to track one down, it’s a great bit of kit. Unlike the SNES Classic Mini, this one only comes with one controller, but it is a full sized one. If you’re still using a Wii or Wii U, you can actually use this controller on the NES virtual console, which is a neat touch. The NES Classic Mini has a lot of the features we’ve come to expect from these 1st party remakes now, including a really cool CRT filter, which makes it look like you’re playing on an older TV. The games selection is incredible for Nintendo fans, featuring Super Mario Bros. 1-3, Donkey Kong, Metroid, The Legend of Zelda and more.
You would expect the PlayStation Classic to have some heavy hitters in its arsenal, but it doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great games on here, but it’s missing a lot of the titles you picture in your head when you think ‘PlayStation’. It’s missing titles like Tomb Raider and Silent Hill for example. There is fun to be had on the console though, and it does come with two controllers. You could spend a quite a bit of time here playing Metal Gear Solid, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Final Fantasy VII. But I don’t think it has quite the same retro nostalgia feel as the other consoles on this list.
Get the PlayStation Classic here!
The C64 is basically a like-for-like recreation of the original Commodore 64. It’s not a mini. It’s full size. This one though is fitted with all the tools you’ll need for 2020 though, with HDMI and USB ports. The C64 comes with 64 titles including Paradroid, but more interestingly allows you to add your own games via USB. There is no disk drive on this one, though. If you’re looking for something that looks the piece, you can’t go wrong with The C64, it’s as close as you’ll get to a modernised Commodore 64, and even lets you do some of the other stuff like BASIC programming, that you could do back in the day.
The Retron Jr is an upcoming device that will let you play you all your GameBoy games on your TV. This goes all the way up to the GBA, and does a similar thing to the GameCube add-on you could get that attached to the bottom of the console. Unlike most others on this list, the console doesn’t come with built-in games, and instead requires you to insert your own cartridges. If you have a collection of GameBoy games who have stood the test of time, this is a great way to play them on the big screen in 2020. The Retron Jr should be out some time this year.
So, which retro console fits your bill in 2020? There’s plenty to choose from. If you’re looking for something focused, the 1st party classics may be the way to go, but if you’re looking for a variety, and some physical media to show off, we’d recommend the Evercade.