Best 6 SNES Consoles for Playing Retro Super Nintendo Games | TechTrifle
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Best 6 SNES Consoles for Playing Retro Super Nintendo Games


Nintendo Classic Mini: Super NES

Petite form of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System

There are a number of ways to play SNES games these days, one of the most popular in recent years has been via Nintendo’s Super NES Classic Edition, a mini version of the classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). This console packs a punch with twenty-one pre-installed Super NES titles, including the previously unreleased Star Fox 2. It was released on September 29, 2017, and quickly became a fan favorite in North America and Europe.

However one of the downsides of the Super NES Classic Edition is that it doesn’t play SNES cartridges and with no Wi-Fi access there is no way to add additional games to the console other than those 21 games which are preloaded on the device. *

Of course this makes sense for Nintendo as they make no money from the resale of SNES games on the second hand market although eBay and CEX remain excellent sources of retro SNES cartridges. However it woild have been a nice touch had Nintendo added this capability.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Super NES MINI SNES

Official reboot, preloaded with 21 Games
No option to play SNES cartridges.

Correction: * although the Classic Mini won’t play cartridges out the box, there is a third party ‘add on’ that allows you to play cartridges via the Nintendo classic mini. This is the C2M ‘Classic to Magic’ device which appears to have been discontinued and can be found on Ebay and AliExpress. Although it may be more cost effective to just purchase one of other devices on this list which does play SNES cartridges.

There are a couple of other options if playing original snes cartridges is important to you, in which case you might want to read on..


Original Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Get your hands on an original unit from the 90’s

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), released in 1991, remains an iconic gaming console cherished by enthusiasts worldwide. Its 16-bit graphics and timeless classics like “Super Mario World” and “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” continue to captivate gamers, delivering a nostalgic gaming experience like no other. With its enduring legacy and library of memorable titles, the SNES stands as a testament to the golden era of gaming, etching itself into the hearts of both veteran and new gamers alike.

There remains a large number of original units for sale on the second hand market. EBay, Amazon and CEX are good places to pick these up. Some may show signs of yellowing of the plastic shells as a result of UV exposure on the +30 year old console, others can be found in much better condition, and third party replacement shells can be found online if you look hard enough.

Expect to pay anywhere from £80 – £120 for an original unboxed SNES. Bear in mind you may want to pick up a RCA Component to HDMI Converter to connect the console more easily to your television, these are available online for anywhere between £10-£30.

Super Nintendo Console ORIGINAL SNES

Still available (CEX, Amazon UK)
No HDMI out so extra converter required.

Amtake RCA to HDMI 1080P Composite AV to HDMI Converter 

Use your old game system on your HDTV
Requires power / Picture not Perfect
Retroscaler for SNES

Bitfunx RetroScaler2x Best UPSCALER FOR PICTURE

Much better image for upscaling
Works with multiple gaming consoles
Disclaimer text….


A Third party console that plays original SNES games

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 (which is what we did).

SUPER HD SFC   plays SNES games from all regions

Compatible SNES® (NTSC and PAL
Not widely available in stores

Analogue Super Nt

A Limited Edition third party console that plays OG SNES games

Analogue SNES The analogue snes will play original snes cartridges but is priced at a premium and unless you happen to get in early analogue products tend to sell out as soon as they announce a preorder of a new product. As such you are most likely to find one of these on a second hand marketplace.

Engineered with an FPGA the Super NT outputs at 1080p with zero lag. Considered by Analogue as the ‘definitive way’ to explore Nintendo’s 16-bit era. It is compatible with the 2,200+ SNES and Super Famicom game cartridge library. Sold out on Analogues website, look to Ebay if you are determined to get your hands on one.

Analogue Super NT FPGA Snes console

Super Design
Sold Out / Poor Availability

Retro-Bit Super Retro Trio Plus

This device plays original NES & SNES cartridges

The Retro-Bit Super Retro Trio Plus Game Console is a gamer’s dream come true, a console that plays both classic 8-bit NES and 16-bit SNES cartridges as well as Super Genesis cartridges. Allowing you to tap in to your old collection of NES & SNES cartridges without having to swap devices.

Sporting a white and red colour scheme more akin to the original Japanese Famicom console, the device comes equipped with two game controllers and six controller ports (two for each console the device supports) and an HDMI out for seamless connectivity to modern TVs, it’s a versatile powerhouse.

Fans of the OG SNES will be happy to see original-sized controller ports for both NES and SNES controllers. So you can either dust off those classic gamepads or opt for the convenience of more modern 8bitdo bluetooth ones. It’s a retro gaming haven for all generations of gamers.

Retro-Bit Super Retro Trio Plus Best OF BOTH WORLDS

NES, SNES + Super Genesis cartridges
Design a little different

RetroAD 5+ HD Pocket SNES

A Handheld that plays original SNES cartridges, sign us up!
RetroAD 5 Plus HD SNES

It’s not every day you probably get to go through your old collection of SNES Games. With kids taking over the tv room in our home, I was happy to hear about a handheld game console that plays original SNES Cartridges – No Roms here! Meaning you can play all your old titles (if you still have them), and begin collecting new ones again and play them whenever and wherever you want.

Enter the RetroAd 5 Plus Pocket HD Ultra SNES , a handheld gaming console that promises to reignite the flames of nostalgia for Super Nintendo enthusiasts. Offering a generous 7-inch LCD screen, this portable powerhouse allows you to delve back into the glory days of 16-bit gaming with the added convenience of modern portability. But what sets this device apart from mere emulators is its ability to play original SNES cartridges, giving fans a genuine and authentic gaming experience.

Read the full breakdown of the 5+ HD Ultra SNES by RetroAd here

RetroAD 5+ Pocket HD Ultra SNES Best for Portability

Play original SNES Cartridges on the go with this handheld console by RetroAd.

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