Join Me as I explore ten of the best retro console remakes you can buy and revisit legendary games that built the foundation of the biggest entertainment industry on Earth.
Consoles of years gone by, once the stuff of legend and sleepless nights, have been confined to most people’s dust bin’s. And for that reason, there is a Call of Duty generation that has grown up having never played the scalpel sharp gameplay of Mario or Sonic. I feel sorry for you! But help is at hand. You can redeem yourself. And I have just the things to help you do it.
Below, I have put together a list of 10 retro console remakes that will give you get an education on gaming greats from the past. No need to go on ebay and buy a dodgy fake from a dodgy dealer! Just grab some old cartridges, brush them down, give the connections a good blow, and take a trip back in time and play games that shaped childhoods and destroyed high school grades. It’s time to revisit gamings magnificent past. So read on and discover your gateway to retro gaming.
Born in an age when computers had about the same computing power as a wind up toy car, The intelliVision console, made by Mattel electronic in 1979, was released to the public to much fanfare. The console, which looked like it had been carved from a tree with its wooden front, went on to sell 3 million units over 5 years..
This remake, still sporting the Oak tree look, comes packed with 60 games built straight into the box and includes greats such as Major League Baseball and Astrosmash. However, there is a trade-off for this convenience and unfortunately it means there is no compatibility with original cartridges.
But, the games that are available play exactly as they would on the original console due to the inclusion of a direct copy of the original CPU. And to keep that authentic feel going, the remake comes with 2 original controllers and multiple game controller overlays.
Finally, the console only ships with a basic AV cable, no HDMI here, so you can see what the games would have looked like in all their 70’s, blurry glory. For this reason, you should check to see if your TV is compatible before buying or you will need a AV to HDMI converter.
On the whole, the Add to dictionary remake is a great opportunity to take a glimpse at how far games have come in 30 years. Just imagine where we will be in another 30.
The ColecoVision, released in 1982, was a direct descendant of the Intellivision. Unlike its lumber like counterpart, the Coleco sported a far sexier, far more 80s body. However, even with its sexy black look, the ColecoVision was never as commercially successful as the Intellivision, selling only 2 million units until its discontinuation in 1985.
This remake, not including the stunning ‘they don’t make them like that anymore’ color logo, comes with 60 classic Coleco games pre-installed including Zaxxon and Space Panic. However, the Coleco suffers from the same shortfall as the IntelliVision: It can’t play original game cartridges.
Similarities to the IntelliVision don’t end there. The Coleco remake comes with the original CPU, so the games run at the proper frame rate and suffer no emulation lag. Also Bundled with the Coleco is 2 close to original controllers. I say close to original as they have been improved with sturdier plastic used throughout. Additionally, the controllers come complete with a selection of interchangeable number pad overlays. Therefore allowing the player to customise the look of the controller for each game.
Finally, the console ships with only basic AV output with no HDMI output to be found. Therefore it would be best to check compatibility with your TV or you will need a AV to HDMI converter.
For the most part, the Coleco remake is a well made homage to a console that, along with the intellivision, ushered in the beginning of the games industry and, without a doubt, would be a worthy addition to any retro gamer’s collection.
The Retro Bit Trio was designed to do one thing: Play games from 3 of the most iconic Consoles in gaming history. Together, the Super Nintendo (SNES), The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and the Sega Genesis shaped the gaming landscape selling a combined 145 million units worldwide. As a result of these massive sales, they introduced the world to gaming greats such as Mario, Sonic and Zelda. And without them, we would not have the great game we have today.
The Trio is a custom made solution that every retro gamer dreams of for underneath the sporty looking black and red lines are three slots to plug in your own SNES, NES and Genesis cartridges. There is No messing around with different wires and constantly moving your beloved original consoles around. Put them away in there boxes, it’s ok, the Trio has got them covered.
Not only is the console a god send for multi console owners it’s the machine to have for multi region gaming. The Retro Bit comes with ‘Region Switch’ so you can play games from all over the world. SNES fans will be happy they can turn on ‘Japan’ mode and play all the JRPGs they can get hold of.
In addition, the Trio is not an emulator so the games run as they would on the original hardware, with all the same frame rates, slow down and all. I am convinced that by combining the 3 CPUs the engineers at Retro-Bit have created the 8th wonder of the modern world. How they achieved such a miracle is beyond me, but i did hear something about ‘system on a chip’ and ‘All CPUs combined’. Whatever it is, It’s beautiful, it’s elegant, and it does exactly what you want it to do.
And the good stuff doesn’t stop there as the machine comes with 6 controller port: 2 for each console type. And to place a very large cherry on a very tasty cake, Retro-bit was good enough to include 2 of its own controllers that are compatible with all 3 consoles.
I’m struggling to find a negative about this console. I really am, but the one thing that may bother a few people is the lack of HDMI output. Yes it only has AV output. But with a package this good, you would be mad to pass it up.
Another console from retro bit, The Generations is a small, modern take on a retro console. Taking cues from other Retro-bit consoles, the machine is all black with small red accents. But the most striking thing about the Generations is its size: It’s small enough to be held in the palm of the user’s hand.
In keeping with the modern design is the inclusion of 2 front USB ports for the controllers. The console comes with 2 Genesis like controllers which feel sturdy in the hand but, because of the USB connection, you can use any compatible controller you like. Time to break out the retro SNES pad then!
In keeping with its plug and play nature the console uniquely comes with 90 games pre installed. However, they are not all originals with a select few from Capcom and the rest retro remakes that rip off Sega and Nintendo games.
Equally important for ease of use sake is the addition of a HDMI connection which adds to the plug and play aspect of the console. Just plug it in, turn it on, select a game and off you go. Even my Gran could use it. And just so your gran can keep on playing after she takes nap, there is even the ability to save your progress in every single game.
So in conclusion, though the lack of original games on offer it is unlikely to satisfy purists, the Generations is still well positioned to give the newcomer a great feel for what retro gaming is all about.
The Retro Bit Duo is the Trio’s little brother and a Nintendo fan’s dream come true. The Duo was built for one purpose: to be the ultimate retro Nintendo games console.
Staying with the Nintendo design ethos, from a shape viewpoint, it is very reminiscent of the original SNES. But there is one outstanding design problem. You see, Retro-bit in all their wisdom, thought to themselves, “You know what, console gamers love shiny graphics. So why not make it shiny to! Yes, that will sell more.” Wrong! We don’t want are plastic to reflect anything. It might suddenly reflect are tired, over gamed faces’ when we change cartridge. Nobody wants that!
However, underneath the mirror like outer shell beats the heart of a thorough bread Nintendo console. On top are two slots to plug SNES, NES cartridges into. The top loading NES cartridges make it easier to put in and take out games so there is less wear and tear which your games will thank you for in 30 years time when they are worth thousands of dollars.
Duo will also play Cartridges from any region with a handy ‘region selector’ button located near the cartridge slots. Great for gamers with cartridges from all over the world. Or even better for gits like me that like to change from 50hz to 60hz to put my friend’s timing off in Street Fighter.
The consoles comes with some pretty solid hardware with the inclusion of 2 SNES like controllers and the ability to use all your original controllers. And the original CPU from both consoles ensures the games run as they would on original hardware. The only thing that detracts from the construction of this console, outside of the super shiny surface, is the lack of HDMI. I see a pattern here!
The Duo is great if you’re a Nintendo fan and have no use, nor desire, for the genesis aspect of the console, skip the Trio and opt for the Duo. You won’t be disappointed.
The Hyperkin Retron 5 is a monster of a console. A modern wonder boxed in matte black plastic, the Retron 5 is designed to play nearly every game from every retro console worth playing! A Behemoth that looks like it was sent down by god to answer all are gaming prayers.
The Hyperkin has the ability to play original cartridges from 9 different consoles. These include: The SNES, NES, Famicom, Sega Master System and Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and the Game Boy Advance. Wow, let me catch my breath! In a word, that is a huge list of consoles for just one system. How did they cram all that into one box?
The simple answer is the Retron emulates all these consoles. This is achieved with a custom version of Google’s android operating system which comes complete with a custom menu system and the emulation software. Consequently, the games are easily accessible and come with a large amount of options to change their look and feel and additionally, because of the emulated nature of the system, every game ever made is compatible. So no crashing, no black screens, just great gameplay every time.
Equally important to the internal hardware is the external hardware and the Retron 5 does not disappoint. It comes complete with a universal controller that is linked via Bluetooth for lag free gaming and with multiple buttons on the face of the controller and shoulder buttons on top, every game is catered for. And unlike most retro consoles, the Hyperkin outputs at 720p via HDMI making the console compatible with all modern TVs.
By combining so many great consoles into one, the Hyperkin 5 is a one-of-a-kind super console that finally lets you to put your original consoles safely into storage. Yes it’s expensive, but by god, it is worth every penny and I can’t recommend it enough. If you want the best for your retro collection. You have found it: The Hyperkin Retron 5