When it comes to playing classic video games in 2022, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s no need to buy specialized hardware when you can satisfy your nostalgia with a PC, Android smartphone, Mac (particularly the latest Apple Silicon models), or Raspberry Pi.
However, there are advantages to purchasing (or developing) something specifically designed for gaming. This is particularly true if you want to play on the move, with pocket emulators and portable gaming systems gaining popularity with the release of the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
You may even be able to retrofit some of your current gaming devices. This provides you the option of playing new releases or revisiting old favorites, all on a single piece of gear. As a result, you’ll always have one primary device to play on, whether it’s portable or linked to your living room TV.
There are other possibilities for collectors who like to possess games in their original format, whether a cartridge or a CD. In general, these media outlive the technology on which they were created to be played. The sands of time are not kind to old silicon, and repairs may be expensive and beyond of reach for many owners.
Hardware emulation is one area purists may want to investigate. There are DIY and ready-built projects intended just for you if you seek a genuine experience that mimics the original hardware to the point where software emulation simply isn’t good enough. The only constraints are your budget, supply availability, and aptitude to tackle a DIY project.
Finally, don’t forget about Nintendo’s, SEGA’s, and Commodore’s officially licensed “tiny” systems (among others). These should not be overlooked if you want a plug-and-play gaming experience, but they often provide limited customization and fall short of what the platforms mentioned above are capable of.
Now, with the build-up out of the way, let’s talk about the 3 BEST retro gaming consoles to buy in 2022.