PC gaming can be tiring. If you want to play ultra HD multiplayer games without spending thousands of dollars on a gaming computer, then gaming consoles are the best way to go. As it turns out, there’s a console to suit every type of gamer.
There are the legacy gaming consoles everyone knows about, mainly the Playstation and Xbox. There are also a number of other gaming consoles, like the highly portable Nintendo or the affordable newcomer Amazon Fire Gaming Edition. You can choose the console depending on your needs, style, and budget.
It should be noted that not all games are available on every gaming console. Popular games like Halo are only available for Xbox consoles. If there is a particular game you like to play, buy the console best suited for playing that game. With this in mind, here is a brief list of the best gaming consoles you can buy anywhere:
1. Sony PlayStation 4
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Why we like it: The fourth rendition of the PlayStation more than lives up to the original legacy console’s name. You can play 4k Ultra HD games on this and enjoy exclusive titles.
The PlayStation is not just another console, it’s the classic gaming console. While Xbox has emerged as a major contender for the top spot, it’s hard to beat the Playstation’s appeal. The PS 4 does not disappoint, unlike the bulky PS 3 did when it was first released. Right out of the box, the PS 4 is capable of 4k Ultra HD gaming! It comes with high dynamic range graphics. If you want to upgrade the graphics of older games, use the “boost” mode on the PS 4. Now you can play games with the PlayStation VR headset for a truly immersive experience.
The hardware specs are stellar, as expected from Sony. The controller is great too. We got the DualShock 4 controllers that have been improved from the previous design. It’s actually hailed as one of the top gamepads ever designed. You can use the DualShock 4 controller as a PC controller too if needed. The PS 4 has an exclusive title library that will not disappoint a devout gamer. The lineup includes a number of legacy titles and even some indie games. Major titles like “The Last of Us” are PlayStation exclusive. With the great library of games, impressive controller, and super duper graphics, this is one of the best gaming consoles to own.
2. Microsoft Xbox One
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Why we like it: The Xbox One is the latest upgrade to the Xbox line. Not only does this console run Ultra HD games, it can even stream movies.
Xbox One is the latest upgraded version of the Xbox. It showcases multiple improvements from the 360, such as a slim profile, super stylish exterior design and some hardware upgrades. It’s more expensive than the older 360 but you can only play Ultra HD games on Xbox One. It competes closely with the PS 4. Unlike PS 4, Xbox One can play Blu Ray discs. It’s a major plus for those with Blu Rays of triple-A games. What’s more, you can stream movies and TV shows using the console as well. You can definitely connect this to your Netflix account.
The Xbox One even upgrades the famous controller. It now has Bluetooth connectivity and works with Windows 10 without the need for an adapter. If you are a PC gamer, this would be a major bonus feature. Of course, you can enjoy exclusive Xbox titles like the megastar Halo franchise, which you can play in 4k. The console is backward compatible with all Xbox games. The Xbox One definitely stands out for its multimedia capabilities. It’s not just a gaming console but a fully-fledged entertainment center. It’s something both hardcore and casual gamers can love.
3. Nintendo Switch
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Why we like it: With Switch, Nintendo has really upped the console wars. Switch is a unique hybrid console that functions as both an at-home gaming system as well as a portable console.
Nintendo is reinventing the brand’s consoles with Switch. Think of Switch as a combination of a conventional console and the Nintendo DS. In that, it’s a gaming console that is also highly portable but is better than either a conventional or a portable console. The Switch has its own library, which is already filled with excellent titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2. The Switch is arguably the best family-friendly gaming console released after 2016. It’s affordable, portable, and offers a unique gaming experience regardless of age. You can use it at home or take it with you to school or work.
The hybrid design system of the Switch isn’t a gimmick. You can plug the Switch to a TV, unlike any other portable console that came before. Once plugged in, you can play multiplayer games like the ever amazing Mario Kart. The control paddles are removable, so you can use it as a conventional gaming console. Plus, multiple people can join in on the play with a single console. You will have to pay for Nintendo’s online multiplayer games, but it’s far cheaper than what the Xbox Live offers. The Switch is really a one of a kind gaming console you can own and there’s none other like it in the market right now.
4. Xbox 360 500GB Console
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Why we like it: Possibly the most famous Xbox Microsoft ever produced, 360 is a classic console that offers great things to ardent gamers.
The Xbox is the closest contender up to the PlayStation as the best gaming console ever made. The main reason many players migrated to Microsoft’s platform was to play exclusive titles such as Halo, Forza, and Gears of War. The 360 is a major improvement on the previous Xbox. It’s much cheaper, for one. Also, it’s less bulky and more appealingly designed. Microsoft has also boosted hardware capabilities and you can play games with better graphics. It also reduces the need for cables. If the Xbox One S is too expensive for you, 360 is still a great choice.
The Xbox 360 has a special place in the hearts of many gamers as the console that really boosted the Xbox brand. The console comes with the famed black wireless controller which you can directly connect to the internet. There’s no need for cable issues like with the Playstations of yore. Also, this console has a whopping 500GB of memory. That’s as much memory as a some laptops. You can definitely store dozens of titles and still never run out of memory. The 360 is well designed for hardcore gamers. It’s affordable and you will definitely not regret your purchase.
5. Nintendo Wii Console
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Why we like it: Wii is one of the most unique gaming consoles. Instead of sitting down and playing, you can get up and enjoy games with the whole family.
The Wii was a huge hit when it was originally introduced. It’s still one of the most fun gaming consoles to own. You know all the bad rep gaming consoles get because everyone is sitting down and pushing buttons on a controller? Well, the Wii lets you get up and play video games. It’s highly interactive. For example, you can use the Wii controller as a tennis racket to play virtual tennis in front of your TV screen. There are games specifically designed for the Wii to play as close to real-life as possible. It’s almost like augmented reality in a sense.
The Wii console is highly family friendly. So it’s one of the best consoles to enjoy playing games with kids. Wii has many exclusive titles, and the controller comes with different variations. You can buy different types of controllers to improve the interactivity of games. For example, you can get a controller shaped like a steering wheel to play racing games. You even get free games with an original purchase. Wii is super fun to use and the whole family can join in. It’s still one of the few consoles that promote physical activity with games.
6. PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console
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Why we like it: This amazing games console features 4K gaming with amazing graphics and lots of storage space for all of your gaming needs.
The Playstation 4 Pro is an amazing gaming machine that offers some of the best graphics in the gaming industry. With amazing 4K output, you can fully immerse yourself into the gaming world in one of the most realistic ways possible. With extra HD power, you can turn on boost mode to give your Playstation 4 games access to the increased power of the Playstation 4 Pro. It also features HDR technology, so with a HDR TV and compatible Playstation 4 games, you can display an unbelievably lifelike and vibrant range of colors.
This is the most advanced Playstation system in history. It is designed to take your favorite Playstation 4 games and add more power for graphics, performance, and features – leveling up your gaming experience.
Not only is the Playstation 4 Pro system great for gaming, but, it also offers a whole host of extra apps including 4K video streaming services, music apps, and many more exciting things to keep you entertained for hours.
If you are looking for a machine that offers a huge range of games with incredible graphics and extra features then the Playstation 4 Pro is definitely the right choice for you.
7. Nintendo Wii U Console
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Why we like it: Wii U has a rad gamepad with a touchscreen and is backward compatible with all the Nintendo classics like Mario and Zelda.
The Wii U is the gaming console between the classic Wii and the latest Nintendo Switch. It’s one of those consoles that you might love or hate. Most people prefer to wait for the Switch, but Wii U has some features that Switch notably lacks. It’s better than the Wii and has backward compatibility Switch lacks. Also, as the older console, Wii U is more affordable than the Switch. That being said, as all Wiis go, the Wii U is highly family friendly. This is the best gaming console if you want to enjoy an interactive game with kids.
Like the Wii, the Wii U comes with its own set of exclusive games designed especially for the console. It plays all Wii classics and works seamlessly with older Wii accessories. If you want a faster and better looking Wii that still plays all your favorite games like Mario and Zelda, then Wii U is a great option. If you are a Mario fan, then Wii U is definitely the best console to own. The console is also unique because the Wii U gamepad has its own touchscreen. So it’s like a Nintendo DS, but not as portable. Wii U is pretty great for playing the kid-friendly classics.
8. Sony PlayStation 3
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Why we like it: Forget all the original bad reviews. This is the new and improved PS 3 that is affordable!
The PlayStation 3 got a bad rep when it was originally released. But Sony re-released a more affordable, slimmed-down version of the PS 3, later. PS 3 is still a great console to own when you want more juice than what the PS 2 offers, but cannot really afford the PS 4. You can get a PS 3 new for not all that much money these days. That’s a major bargain considering all the games you will be able to play on this console. It’s backward compatible with PS 2 and original PS titles.
The PS 3 was the first Sony console to introduce connected gaming. You can definitely play online multiplayer games on the console and even connect the console to various streaming services. The PS 3 has its own Blu Ray disc player. So you can play HD games and also movies without buying a separate Blu Ray player. It comes with solid internal memory as well, ranging from 16 GB to 500 GB. We pitch this mainly as an affordable gaming console with streaming. You can definitely get more with PS 4 in terms of gaming, but if you are cash-strapped, then the PS 3 is the way to go.
9. Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition
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Why we like it: It’s affordable and includes two award-winning games for free. It supports Alexa voice control and you can play 4k games.
We know, it isn’t exactly a legacy name in the gaming industry. But we’d like to point out the Fire TV gaming edition as a great pick for those looking for an affordable console. Keep in mind that this works only with the Amazon Fire TV. So if you already own one, then this is probably the best console you can own. If not, you will get an Amazon Fire TV, a game controller, and a 32GB microSD card with the package. Right off the shelf, the Gaming Edition includes two critically acclaimed games! So that’s a major plus.
You can enjoy console-style gaming just like you do on a Playstation or an Xbox. The console is powered by a 2 GHz quad-core processor and has a dedicated GPU. So it’s quite powerful. It’s supported by Alexa, Amazon’s own voice-controlled personal assistant. You can easily say something like “Alexa, play Shovel Knight,” and the game will be ready to play. The console and the accompanying smart TV supports Ultra HD and 4k gaming. Plus, the Fire TV supports over 15,000 apps and games you can install. Overall, it’s a great option for those who want a multimedia experience including gaming.