Gaming consoles have exploded in popularity over the last few decades. Nowadays, it’s difficult to find a home that doesn’t have some sort of gaming system.
With many options to choose from, identifying the best gaming consoles comes down to your individual needs. Once you find the right one, you’ll be able to enjoy nonstop gaming sessions.
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Here are some of the top gaming consoles that will allow you to play your favorite video games.
Top Gaming Consoles
When choosing a system, you’ll likely evaluate the price, display, speed and any other specifications that are important to you. With that in mind, here are the best gaming consoles currently on the market.
1. PlayStation 5
The newest console from Sony and the latest iteration of the PlayStation series is the Playstation 5.
Little needs to be said to sell this machine since Playstation is a household name. Nevertheless, it’s worth looking at its features to better understand its popularity.
This gaming console is an enormous leap forward for the series. Whether or not they are Sony fans, gaming enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate the features offered by this device.
One of the most significant upgrades is the jump to a stunning 4K resolution display. This helps games really shine on any of the best 4K gaming TVs.
Incredibly quick load times and an innovative controller also help make games more immersive as well as responsive.
Another great feature is the console’s backward compatibility. It plays most of the PS4 games with only a few exceptions.
Competitive pricing makes this an excellent choice for someone who wants a home entertainment console. While it’s more expensive than some of the other products on our list, it offers much more both in the present and future.
Nevertheless, this device does have its downsides. One of the big issues with the PlayStation 5 is that it’s large. It takes up more space than some other consoles.
It also has a low number of exclusives. This means that PS4 owners are still able to play many of the games the PS5 users can.
Arguably the biggest issue is the fact that it’s incredibly difficult to get your hands on one of these machines. Even long after its launch, problems with the supply chain and chip shortage have made it difficult to find.
If you actually manage to find it in stock somewhere, buying it before someone else does is almost impossible.
Overall, this is a great console, but a bumpy launch has left it with a smudge on its record.
2. Nintendo Switch OLED
The recent release from Nintendo, the Nintendo Switch OLED, is a direct upgrade from the model released a few years ago. There are a huge number of modifications over its predecessor, making it an incredible system.
Compared to the first iteration, this device is built substantially better. The name itself comes from the screen now being an OLED screen, which provides an improved visual experience.
With a faster refresh rate, clearer screen and an overall higher quality than the original Switch’s screen, the Nintendo Switch OLED is exceptional.
This screen also comes with new settings, such as “vivid” and “standard.” Vivid offers more saturation but can underwhelm those that aren’t looking with a keen eye.
Other upgrades to the structure include a better stand for the console to rest on. Additionally, the thermals are better and allow the console to run cooler in order to stop the fans from kicking on repeatedly.
Internally, there are very few upgrades. The OLED has 64GB of space, double the original’s 32GB.
However, that amount of space is still relatively trivial when many AAA titles are pushing 100GB. Most games will be stored on a Micro SD, but AAA titles aren’t why many people are purchasing a Switch.
Instead, one of the biggest perks of the Nintendo Switch is the built-in emulators. Nintendo has released select titles from the NES, SNES and N64 into emulators on the Switch.
With the right membership plan, these are free for anyone to play. Membership may include some of the greatest hits of Nintendo, such as Ocarina of Time or Donkey Kong Country.
Aside from lack of space, the only other drawback is that a better screen doesn’t mean much if you don’t play on the Switch itself. Most users hook their Switches up to their TVs, making the OLED screen a novelty.
If you already own a Switch, upgrading isn’t necessary. But, if you’re in the market for a new console, there’s no reason not to get the OLED version.
3. Xbox Series X
- Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
- For every member of your family, there’s a member of ours
Like PlayStation, Xbox is one of the primary household names in gaming consoles. Their recent release of the Xbox Series X has been met with a positive reaction from most fans.
In fact, if you’re looking for the best console, many gamers would tell you not to look any further than the new Series X.
The many complaints about its predecessor, the Xbox One, are eliminated in this latest iteration. While the Xbox One was more of an entertainment console for movies and streaming, the Series X focuses on gaming.
It also presents itself well when competing against the PlayStation 5. While the PS5 is a dominant and loud piece, the Xbox Series X focuses on minimalism.
However, inside, you still have the same native 4K resolution and incredible speed. Setup is super simple, and it can blend in with the majority of room styles without sticking out.
Quiet, unassuming and powerful, the Series X is a great contender for the best console. But, that isn’t to say that there aren’t any drawbacks.
Like the Playstation 5, this gaming console is notoriously difficult to get your hands on.
The device also has a huge focus on backward compatibility. While this is great for those who want to play older games from their childhood, it doesn’t do much for those looking for new releases.
Additionally, Microsoft has started moving many of its exclusives onto PC. This makes it even harder to justify purchasing a console instead of building a high-quality computer.
Overall, the Xbox Series X is the best iteration of the Xbox brand in years. Many feel that the system is returning to the glory days of the Xbox 360 but with fewer red rings of death.
Microsoft enthusiasts have a solid, affordable, powerful system in the Xbox Series X.
4. Nintendo Switch Lite
- Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
- For every member of your family, there's a member of ours
The Nintendo Switch lite is the strongest example of a system that fits a more specific market due to its enormous differences from the Switch OLED.
One of the main things setting this device apart is how users play it. The OLED version is made with a television mode in mind and is primarily set up for a home entertainment system.
However, the Switch Lite is the opposite. This console is only usable on mobile. It cannot hook up to a television using an HDMI cable or other connection method.
Additionally, the cloud saves have a limit on them. This means that the device cannot store the same amount of games and saves as its predecessors.
Of course, one can expect missing features from the “lite” version of a console, but that doesn’t make the problems less bothersome.
Fortunately, in terms of benefits, there’s plenty to love. Since the console is made for handheld use, its build focuses on this. It’s a bit more sturdy in your hands with handles that stay in place rather than wiggly JoyCons.
Better yet, it also has a directional pad. This is preferred over the four buttons on the left JoyCon of the original Switch.
Since you hold the Lite the entire time you play, it also is built for comfort. It’s smaller and lighter than using a Switch console in handheld mode, which can sometimes prove bulky and heavy.
Overall, this gaming console is portable, sturdy and great for mobile use.
5. Xbox Series S
The Xbox Series S is the system that the Series X made an improvement on, but it’s still a great device. This console’s 1440p resolution is respectable and was a shining standard for quite some time.
It’s a fantastic system if you intend to focus on gaming, especially if you play many Microsoft titles on PC.
Overall, there isn’t a huge amount to say about the Series S that the Series X doesn’t do better. It has lower performance, lower storage, lower resolution and is generally not quite as good.
Fortunately, “lower” doesn’t mean bad. 512GB SSD storage is amazing, and 1440p resolution paired with 120 FPS is incredible. Needless to say, the Series S is still an excellent system.
If you’re shopping on a budget, picking up a Series S will help you start gaming quickly.
Ultimately, Microsoft enthusiasts still have a lot to benefit from with the Series S.
6. PS4 Pro
- Heighten your experiences. Enrich your adventures. Let the super charged PS4 Pro lead the way
- 4K TV Gaming : PS4 Pro outputs gameplay to your 4K TV
The PS4 Pro is to the PS5 what the Series S is to the Series X. It isn’t quite as good, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad.
One of the greatest benefits of a PS4 is a lightning-fast start-up. It also provides a 2160p resolution and HDR gaming that’s undoubtedly above what the Series S grants.
Smooth, fast and arguably stronger than competitors of its generation, the PS4 is a solid option for Sony gamers. That said, the current generations are already outperforming it.
One of the strongest selling points for the PS4 Pro is that it provides PC performance at a fraction of the cost. You can actually get a PS4 Pro for cheaper than the average decent GPU.
This is an effective alternative for gamers on a budget who want to play the Sony exclusives the PS4 Pro still holds.
7. Xbox One S
The Xbox One S fixed many of the problems of the Xbox One. However, there is a great amount of functionality missing for most gaming enthusiasts.
This console focuses on streaming and entertainment in addition to gaming. Unfortunately, this can make it underwhelming for gamers.
That said, it’s a great choice if you want a console that works as a home entertainment system. Streaming, movies, music and other media options are excellent uses for this system.
The main drawback is that you may struggle to get a hold of the system. Microsoft discontinued production for the Xbox One S back in 2020, but there’s still an active market for older consoles.
If you’re shopping on a budget and don’t have gaming as your main focus, this console is a great option.
Honorable Mention: Upcoming Steam Deck
An honorable mention goes to the upcoming Steam Deck, Valve’s soon-to-be-released system. The Steam Deck is set to compete with the Nintendo Switch as a mobile console that provides high performance and portability in one.
Three systems are scheduled for release, including a 64GB eMMC, a 256GB NVMe SSD and a 512GB NVMe SSD version.
Early releases of these consoles for review purposes have been met with positive reactions. Overall, it’s shaping up to be a great release.
Users will have their full Steam libraries in their Steam Decks. While created for mobile, it’s also built for comfortable long-term gaming sessions.
The internals are even strong enough to run the latest AAA releases without struggling.
Once it’s released, this gaming console will offer some solid competition against the Nintendo Switch in the mobile gaming market.
The best gaming consoles can help take your entertainment options to the next level.
Remember that the ideal system is the one that fits your usage habits better than others. As a result, it’s important to consider your daily gaming tendencies before making a purchase.
Evaluate factors like price, display, connectivity, storage and more as you research your options.
Once you know exactly how you intend to use your gaming console, you’ll be able to choose the right device for your needs. Whichever device you pick, you’re sure to be happy with any of the options on this list.