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11 Best Retro Gaming Devices of 2024

Retro consoles and handhelds are making a comeback, with affordable prices, a nostalgic selection of games, there’s never been a better time to jump on the bandwagon and take a trip down memory lane. However there’s no shortage of choices, and so to make things a little simpler for you, here is our round up of what we consider the top 11 Retro Handhelds and Consoles you can get your hands on in 2024.

The first decision you will probably want to come to, is whether to choose a cartridge playing handheld (or console), that plays games or a handheld emulator / Android device that plays digital downloads.

1

Switch OLED + Nintendo Online

Access Library of Retro games with Nintendo Switch Online

So hear us out first ok? This might not be the first console you would expect to see in the lineup of top retro gaming devices of 2024. However, the Nintendo Switch OLED (with a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online) should satisfy even the most ardent of retro gamers.

Many of the big brands have realised the growing demand for games from yesteryear and as such 2024 has seen the launch of number of retro classic titles on the ‘Nintendo Switch Online’. Memberships include access to a curated library of classic games, some of which include added online functionality so you can compete or cooperate with friends.

There are two membership tiers here that Nintendo offer. Nintendo Switch Online members get access to NES™, Super NES™ and Game Boy™ games. While Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members also get access to NES, Super NES and Game Boy games, plus Nintendo 64™ and SEGA Genesis™ and Game Boy Advance titles. Find out more here at Nintendos official website.

While this might be the least complicated way to access a wide library of Retro games almost instantly on your Switch, you’re looking at an annual subscription to get a dose of Nostalgia.

In the long run while one could argue you may be better off buying an original retro Nintendo console (or third party device that plays original cartridges) on the second hand market.

While these cartridges aren’t necessarily cheap (e.g SNES, NES or Gameboy games), they could well turn out to be a good investment and most can be resold once you’ve tired of the games, something you definitely can’t do with a digital library or cloud subscription.

That being said the advantage of buying a Switch (if you don’t already have one) to access the library of old retro games with a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, is that you can also play all the latest Switch games on your modern day TV without having to switch device (no pun intended!).

2

Analogue Pocket

Limited Edition device that plays Gameboy & GBA cartridges

The Analogue Pocket is also worth a mention, as it plays both official Gameboy, Gameboy color and GBA cartridges and can now also act as an emulator. Despite shortages when the Pocket first launched in 2021, things have somewhat improved of late, with the launch of a number of ‘limited edition’ translucent coloured models of the Pocket in September 2023. However these also soon sold out so your best bet may be to get on the email list of Analogue to stay up to date when the next version launches or consider Ebay or CEX for a second hand unit although expect to pay a premium to any reseller.

At the time of writing (Jan 2024 Analogue had stock of both the White and Black Pockets on their website store for shipping in Feb 2024) so always worth checking with them first.

Analogue Pocket Official Website

3

MOD / Upgraded Gameboy

Revitalise your old GBC or GBA with an upgraded screen or shell
Gameboy Mod IPS Upgraded Screen Funnyplaying

Another option you may want to consider is a modded Gameboy Colour or GBA, with a little tinkering you can even do this yourself, upgrade kits are available for the displays (to replace them with fully backlit IPS screens), speakers, and even shells of these classic handhelds giving them a new burst of life.

Here you just have to decide if you will upgrade a gameboy yourself and buy an upgrade kit from a company like Funnyplaying, AliExpress or Ebay. Or if you will buy an already modded gameboy from someone who specialises in these upgrades. Sellers of upgraded gameboys can be found on Ebay, Etsy and AliExpress.

It ultimately comes down to how comfortable you are at the thought of taking an old gameboy apart, and potentially doing a little bit of soldering, although many of the newer iterations of these mod kits require little to no soldering at all. You would just have to get your hands on some special screwdrivers to open up the old gameboys (Available at online sellers eg Amazon). There are plenty of guides on Youtube on how to do this.

If you don’t fancy any soldering or are happy with an original screen that is not backlit, you can always buy an original Nintendo gameboy that is not modded, or jump to the next item in our list for a solder free modded gameboy solution.

Funnyplaying Official Website

4

Funnyplaying FPGBC Kit

An alternative to the Analogue Pocket that won’t break the bank

Simulating real hardware using FPGA the Funnyplaying FPGBC Kit had us on the edges of our seats when it was announced. For those who don’t know, FPGA stands for ‘field programmable gate array’ and in this case it refers to a system capable of cycle-accurate emulation to play original Game Boy games from their original cartridges, so no ROM’s here.

Like the original gameboy this device has a cartridge slot at the back, and the solder free solution is pretty neat, allowing you to assemble the device pretty quickly before popping in your original Nintendo gameboy cartridges. What’s more you can custom choose your housing shell, buttons and membranes all on the funny playing site.

It’s worth noting the kit only supports the dedicated housing funny playing also shell, but this is near identical to the original GBC shell short of the IR sensor which the FPGBC kit does not include.

It also doesn’t use AA Batteries but supports a rechargeable lithium battery instead which also is included with the kit. In our eyes this is a massive plus, as you can easily recharge your device with any USB-C charger.

FPGA Kit – Funnyplaying Official Website

5

Evercade EXP

Standalone retro gaming device that plays own cartridges.

Evercade EXP

This is the newest handheld from the makers of Evercade. With 18 built in games and the option of playing existing Overcame cartridges too, this retro gaming device is pretty much ready to go as soon as you get it out of the box.

full support for the Evercade Physical cartridge ecosystem (which has over 380 games available). From Atari to Arcade, 8-bit to 32-bit, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Some of the more popular arcade titles available for the Evercade EXP include classics like “Namco Museum,” featuring games like Pac-Man and Dig Dug, as well as “Atari Lynx Collection” with titles such as “California Games” and “Robotron: 2084.” Additionally, collections like “Interplay Collection” bring iconic arcade-style games like “Earthworm Jim” to the Evercade.

Personally growing up we loved the games created by French publisher Delphine Software, so it was refreshing to see that a Delphine cartridge is now available for the Evercade EXP too. This includes classic titles like Flashback, Another World, Future Wars & Operation Stealth. A must buy for retro gamers!

6

Atari 2600+

Reboot of the original Atari 2600

The Atari 2600+ isn’t just a blast from the past; it’s an enhanced experience for today’s gamers. It’s your gateway to revisiting classic Atari 2600 and 7800 titles, thanks to its compatibility with both cartridge types. Whether it’s the thrill of Missile Command or the adventures of Yars’ Revenge, these classics are ready to be rediscovered.

But that’s not all! The enlarged cartridge socket means no more frustrating cartridge sticking, ensuring a seamless gaming experience. And for that extra dose of nostalgia, the iconic Atari logo even lights up when you play, adding a touch of retro charm to your gaming setup.

With HDMI output and widescreen mode, you can connect the Atari 2600+ to your modern TV, immersing yourself in pixelated glory like never before. The games may be old, but the experience is refreshingly new.

Speaking of games, the 10-in-1 game cartridge included in the bundle is a treasure trove of Atari classics. From the challenging Adventure® to the heart-pounding action of Missile Command, and the intergalactic battles of Yars’ Revenge®, this cartridge ensures you’re never short of gaming options.

7

AYN Odin 2

Evolution in the world of handheld gaming consoles

The AYN Odin 2 represents the latest evolution in the world of handheld gaming consoles. AYN, a well-known name in the handheld gaming industry, has made significant strides with its Android and Windows-based gaming consoles in the past. While the previous models, Odin and Loki, received mixed reviews, the Odin 2 is poised to be a game-changer in the world of affordable Android-powered portable gaming.

This handheld console packs a punch with its powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU and Android 13 operating system. The 1080p 6-inch touch screen ensures crisp visuals, and the inclusion of hall sticks adds to the gaming experience. But perhaps the most compelling feature is its 8000mAh battery, promising extended gaming sessions on the go.

AYN is leaving no stone unturned to offer top-notch performance at an affordable price. The original Odin and Odin Pro were reasonably priced, but the Odin 2 takes it a step further, starting at just $299. The base model offers 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, with other configurations available.

With its Android platform, the Odin 2 grants access to a wide range of mobile games and opens doors to game streaming services, making it versatile for a variety of gaming experiences. A crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo is on the horizon, signaling that AYN is ready to bring this powerful handheld gaming console to the masses. With its competitive pricing and impressive hardware, the AYN Odin 2 could potentially be a strong contender in the portable gaming market.

Ayn Odin 2

Brand: Ayn. Platform: Android 13
Free Bag / Ayn Odin 2 Pro Upgraded
6″ IPS Screen 16G 512G Wifi Bluetooth Portable Console. Multiple Colours Available. 8000 mAh. Qualcomm 8 Gen processor.

8

Retroid Pocket 2S

A thrilling and refined gem In the world of handheld gaming

In the world of handheld gaming, the Retroid Pocket 2S has emerged as a thrilling and refined gem, encapsulating the very essence of nostalgia and modernity. This isn’t just a device; it’s a gaming experience that promises to transport you back to the golden era of handheld consoles while packing the power of cutting-edge tech.

At first glance, the Retroid Pocket 2S retains the charming retro design that its predecessor was celebrated for. With a vintage-inspired button layout reminiscent of the Game Boy era, it’s a heartwarming nod to our gaming past. However, beneath its classic exterior lies a technological powerhouse.

The 3.5-inch touch screen, set at a 4:3 aspect ratio and delivering 640×480@60fps, ensures your gaming adventures are visually captivating. And for those who prefer a larger screen, the 480p HDMI support offers an opportunity to take the action to the big screen.

The device comes in two configurations, 3+32GB and 4+128GB eMCP, providing ample storage for your gaming library. With analogue L2/R2 buttons and 3D hall sticks, precise control is at your fingertips.

The Retroid Pocket 2S houses a robust 4000mAh battery, allowing for extended gaming sessions without the worry of frequent recharges. Moreover, it includes the newest official game launcher and emulator frontend, offering an array of gaming possibilities.

Official OTA support ensures that incremental software upgrades are a breeze, keeping your device up-to-date with the latest enhancements. In a pocket-sized form factor and a price point that won’t break the bank, the Retroid Pocket 2S is a formidable contender in the handheld gaming world, offering a thrilling journey through gaming history and beyond.

Retroid Pocket 2s Handheld

Brand: GoRetroid Platform : Android 11
3.5 inch touch screen (4:3), 640×480@60fps SupportS 480p HDMI
Analogue L2/R2 and 3D hall sticks
4000mAh battery 

9

POWKIDDY RGB30 

Be There or Be Square

The Powkiddy RGB30 is a groundbreaking addition to the world of handheld emulators, and its unique features are causing quite a stir among retro gaming enthusiasts. In a market dominated by landscape-oriented screens, the RGB30 takes a bold step with its 4-inch square display, a format that resonates with the classic gaming community.

The square one-to-one proportion display is a game-changer for those seeking the ideal platform to relive the glory days of the Nintendo Game Boy. It maximises your viewing area and delivers an authentic gaming experience reminiscent of the Game Boy’s iconic screen. Running on open source Linux software, the RGB30 also includes WIFI 5G , Bluetooth, and an 8 Hour 4100 MAH Built in Lithium Battery with Type C charging (taking 2 hours to fully charge).

We have to say the RGB30 in Yellow looks awesome, but it is also available in a multitude of other colours including White, Black, Blue, Purple, Red and Green.

While powerful handheld emulators have flooded the market, the RGB30 prioritizes the nostalgia and simplicity of classics like Tetris. It’s a tribute to the enduring appeal of the Game Boy and a testament to the timeless charm of retro gaming.

POWKIDDY RGB30

Brand: POWKIDDY Platform : Open Source Linux
The RGB30 takes a bold step with its 4-inch square display, a format that resonates with the classic gaming community.

POWKIDDY RGB30 in Purple Best colour

Purple POWKIDDY RGB30 720*720 4 Inch Ips Screen Built-in WIFI RK3566 
10

Miyoo Mini Plus

Revitalise your old Gameboy with an upgraded screen or shell
Miyoo Mini Plus handheld

The Miyoo Mini Plus builds on the original’s success, addressing availability issues. Its enhancements include a larger 3.5-inch screen, a robust 3000mAh battery, and Wi-Fi, improving gaming and connectivity.

While its internal hardware remains akin to the original, it excels in running retro games, reaching up to PlayStation classics. Emulation via ROM files facilitates this capability. The community-created OnionOS adds value through free customization, elevating the user experience.

The Miyoo Mini Plus offers a compact, enriching gaming experience. For retro enthusiasts who missed its predecessor due to scarcity, this device is a worthy investment. Its pocket-sized design, vibrant screen, and seamless performance make it an ideal choice for reliving nostalgic gaming moments.

Miyoo Mini Plus

Brand: Miyoo Platform : Open Source Linux
Portable Retro Handheld Game Console 3.5-inch IPS HD Screen, robust 3000mAh battery, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

11

Super HD for Snes Retro

Revitalise your old Gameboy with an upgraded screen or shell

The Super Retro HD is a third party console that plays original SNES cartridges. The benefit of this unit vs an original SNES from the 90’s is that the Super Retro HD includes an HDMI output so no converter is needed for a modern TV. The design is also very similar to the original European SNES and Japanese SFC, but as a relatively new product, there is no yellowing plastic to be seen here!

It will also play SNES cartridges from Japan, USA and EU and includes the option to switch the display from 4:3 to 16:9 when playing. While we weren’t blown away by the design quality of the controllers that come with the unit, you can replace these relatively cheaply with either original wired SNES controllers or 8Bitdos excellent range of wireless SNES controllers.

Super HD for SNES Retro

Brand: SuperHD
HDMI 720P output and RCA NTSC and PAL switch between 16:9 and 4:3 video output.
Cartridge slot for original games
2 wireless gamepads

Another great option for playing original SNES cartridges is the pocket handheld by RetroAD. This is the 5+ Pocket HD SNES

Read our full breakdown after the jump and find out more – RetroAd 5+ Pocket HD SNES

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