We live our lives in the present, but can easily go back to the past in order to have a better future. Gaming in the past used to be very simple, much simpler than we will ever have again. It was a straightforward process where you purchase your console, buy the games, relax in your home and enjoy the games.
Over the years gaming has transformed into a global industry where there are now gaming leagues, allowing people to play their favorite competitive games for real money prizes. Games like Valve’s CS:GO even have an ingame currency known as “skins” which can be equipped in-game, used across CSGO skin gambling sites and even traded for currency which can be used on the Steam platform.
When you consider the fact that these consoles came with no patches to mess with the gameplay or flow, that there were no guides to limit the fun you enjoy at the games, that there was no software or app to download and that no online multiplayer feature existed then, you see why we enjoyed them with more rest of mind.
There has been an attempt by several firms to develop consoles with the simplicity that was found in these olden day consoles.
The machines involved here are the types where you simply plug the boxes at the back of your TV set and play the games through the emulation software. Those are games that you can’t have in physical cartridges. If you find them, they would be very costly.
Now, while the lineup of consoles with retro design is given below, we overcame the temptation of trying to rank them, and that’s because of the nostalgia they bring forth. However, we tried to throw some light on their advantages and disadvantages, so you could be the one to do the ranking after reading about them.
1. SNES Classic Mini
The major positive attributes of the SNES include the cute design and Star Fox 2, while on the downside, the games are very limited and the controller cords are short.
This comes like a reenactment of one of the greatest of all retro games. Now, the Nintendo group has capitalized on the amazing success of the NES Classic Mini to take us back in time with the creation of the SNES Classic Mini. When you have this, you will need to connect the box to your TV through the HDMI outlet. It involves 21 pre-loaded games, including the Star Fox sequel that was never released .To enjoy multiplayer features, this also comes with 2 mini controllers.
Looking at this console from Nintendo, you will immediately understand that the biggest con is that you will be left game-less when you’ve played all the games it comes with, because you can’t get in games from any other source. You can’t download content or use the original cartridges, at least not unless you do a little googling… However, it still comes with enough games in its library that it will take you a lot of time to consume all of them. Some say you would have gotten your retro games satisfaction by the time you exhaust the games in their library.
2. Sega Genesis Mini
People believe that this will give you the highest value for your money. Of course, why won’t it when you are looking at 80 games in one machine? While this offers great value with the huge selection of games and a very light controller, there is no premium feel to it.
The Sega Genesis which was known as Mega Drive outside North America was very popular. In fact, it gave Nintendo’s SNES a run for its money. It contained popular classics like the Earthworm Jim and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. This console is made by At Games of China and it works with any original mega drive cartridge out there, unlike its competitors. Meanwhile, if you don’t have these cartridges, the 80 pre-installed games would be there to satisfy you, and they include the Golden Axe and Mortal Kombat.
The new console could be enjoyed with wireless controllers, unlike the original one. So, those issues with controller cables are completely solved here.
3. NES Classic Mini
This comes with more games than the SNES. In fact, it has a total of 30. The look is iconic, and there are classic games too, but the controller cables are short and, once more – unless you do some googling… – you can’t add more games.
This gives a more retro feel, as it is the first console to be re-released by Nintendo. It is equipped with 30 games, including Castelvania, Mario Bros and the Legend of Zelda. Meanwhile, once these games are played and enjoyed, you can’t enjoy other games from the original cartridges or through downloads. Unfortunately, the brand new edition of this retro console is no longer in stock. Major retailers in the US and UK don’t even have it, but there are still second hand versions for sale in some stores.
4. PlayStation Classic
This may not be the best of the rereleases, though it’s very popular.
Its highpoints are the inbuilt memory cards and the two controllers it’s equipped with, while the downsides are the limited games and lack of key titles.
The classic PlayStation comes with enough fun, but not as much as expected. Sony failed to make its retro console as populist as Nintendo did. They did not add the best games of the era in it, so you won’t have names like the Final Fantasy 8, Tomb Raider, and Cash Bandicoot on it.
While many of the biggest hits of the consoles are not found here, they did pick out some cult classics. So, you will have games like the Jumping Flash, Persona and some others. Because of this, you may not even get to experience the huge nostalgia that retro games are supposed to bring. So, what we have in the NES Classic Mini and the SNES Classic were not replicated here. They couldn’t use it as a show of the best games they’ve been able to put out in the last 20 years.
But some people who had serious attachments to games like the Intelligent Qube, Ridge Racer Type 4 and Destruction Derby will see Sony’s PlayStation classic as the best thing that happened to retro gaming. So, when you take a good look, you will also note that it did not live up to anything expected of it, because of its lackluster interface, poor game selection, and others.
5. ZX Spectrum Vega
When you develop a retro game console and equip it with 100 games, you’ve done well. But when you take this to 1000 games, no word can describe your effort except exceptional. Here, the highpoints are that you have 1000 games to savor and the games are amazingly retro. The only downside is that it is rarely available.
In 1982, the ZX Spectrum was launched in the UK as one of the first ever mainstream computers. It gave the UK a service that was similar to what Commodore 64, (which served as the Trojan horse that made sure that homes had computers), gave to the United States. It was this device that triggered the desire for coding in many people.
The game came with a not too commendable rubber keyboard. But in the library of the console, you have names like the Manic Miner, Kevin Toms’ classic Football Manager, Elite and many others. When you look at the ZX Spectrum Vega from Sinclair, you see everything about the old console.
The only thing is that instead of the QWERTY keyboard for game control, you have the console in a controller with more than 1000 games. You can purchase it for $130, which is about £99.99, but you may have to search for a long time before you see one. If we were to do a rating, none would have taken the first position from this. Just don’t go looking for the ill-fated, scandal-ridden follow up, the Vega+….