GameSauced

Retro Gaming

There are hundreds of retro gaming devices and handhelds on the market today. Some of them are pretty incredible, while others feel like cheap knockoffs. They often either take a lot of effort to set up, or they come with a disappointing mishmash of games and low-quality crapware.

I’ve tested and played around with the very best of these devices to help you figure out which device works best for you.

miyoo mini
ambernic 351v

Let’s Go Back
In Time…

To a time before there were microtransactions, day-one download patches, and digital deluxe editions. To a time when a six-pack of Surge and a half Weird Al, half Green Day playlist would be the halftime show of a day-long Mario Kart tournament. To a time when it didn’t hurt your back to sit on the floor for hours at a time…

Video games have had an important impact in our lives, and while there are some really great experiences to be had in modern gaming, it’s nice to get back to the roots. Today, over 87% of retro video games aren’t available to purchase or play on modern consoles, and when they are, it’s usually overly convoluted.

 

The Year It All Started

Games Considered "Retro"

Console Generations

Retro Handhelds

AYN ODIN

Details

Specifications:

  • 8.82 inches wide
  • 3.74 inches tall
  • 0.59 inches thick
  • 6-inch 1080p widescreen touchscreen
  • Stereo speakers and headphone jack
  • USB-C charging port, mini HDMI port

Game Consoles it can Play Well:

2nd Generation: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Vectrex

3rd Generation: Nintendo NES, Sega SG-1000, Sega Master System, Atari 7800

4th Generation: Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx, Game Boy, Sega Game Gear

5th Generation: Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, Sega Saturn, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Gameboy Color

6th Generation: Sega Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance, Some Sony Playstation 2, Some Nintendo GameCube

7th Generation: Some Nintendo Wii (but don’t get your hopes up), Playstation Portable, Nintendo DS

Classic Arcade Games from the 80s and 90s

Most Android Games on the Google Play Store

XBox Gamepass Mobile Subscription Games

 

 

Top Pick!

A Premium, Android-Powered Powerhouse

Think of the Odin as an Android tablet with a controller built around it. It takes a minute to wrap your head around it, but with a good front-end interface installed, it will be a snap to play tons of retro games, as well as games on the Google Play Store.

It’s one of the more powerful systems out there, and can play a massive catalog of games, but performs the best as a premium retro handheld.

It’s about the size of a Nintendo Switch Lite, but it only plays Android games you download or purchase from the Google Play Store, and retro games you manage to install on it through the use of emulators.

The AYN Odin’s biggest flaw is how long it takes to ship to the US, which can take about a month.

What It Comes With:

AYN Odin Console, charging cable and power brick, hardcase

What You’ll Need: 

512 GB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card
or 1TB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card

A Google Account

Some Games and Emulators might cost a little money on the Google Play Store. My typical build usually requires a $20 Google Play gift card.

 

Want It Built For You?

I’ll configure it, fully stocked with a 1 TB MicroSD card, storage case, power brick, and throw the necessary apps and software on it with a $20 Google Play gift card. I would just need your help logging into a valid Google account on the device (or we can set one up together). 

 $499

Get it with a Dock and 2 Controllers – then it connects to your television with wireless controllers. Note that some games and apps might require you to map the controllers for games made after the year 2000.

$699 – The Whole Shebang!

Ambernic RG351V

ambernic 351v

Details

Specifications:

  • 3.7 inches wide
  • 5.51 inches tall
  • 1.06 inches thick
  • 3.5 inch IPS screen at a 4:3 ratio (like old TVs from the 90s)
  • Mono speaker and headphone jack
  • USB-C charging port, mini HDMI port

Game Consoles it can Play Well:

2nd Generation: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Vectrex

3rd Generation: Nintendo NES, Sega SG-1000, Sega Master System, Atari 7800

4th Generation: Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx, Game Boy, Sega Game Gear

5th Generation: Sony Playstation, Gameboy Color

6th Generation: Gameboy Advance

 

Classic Arcade Games from the 80s and 90s

 

 

Top Pick!

It’s Just Like You Remember

A Simple, Nostalgic Handheld Experience

The Ambernic RG351V (or it’s newer brother, the RG353VS) is a simple, pick-up-and-play console with a custom operating system that makes it easy for you to get right into the game. It can’t play as many games as some of the others, but trust me, you’ll never have time to play everything that this guy can run.

It might look like something out of the late 80’s, especially with it’s optional wood-print design, but this device plays over 40,000 games, and sports a great Linux-based OS that is a joy to use.

What It Comes With:

RG351V, charging cable

What You’ll Need: 

32 GB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card (for the operating system)

512 GB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card
or 1TB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card

Want It Built For You?

I’ll configure it, install an optimized operating system on it, pack it with more games than you can ever play, and hundreds of hours awesome video game remixes that play while you are sitting on the menu deciding what game to play.

 $199

Or get two for $375 (and yes, they can play wireless multiplayer)

 

Retroid Pocket 2s

Details

Specifications:

  • 6 inches wide
  • 3.1 inches tall
  • 1 inch thick
  • 3.5-inch 3:4 touchscreen
  • Stereo speakers and headphone jack
  • USB-C charging port, mini HDMI port

Game Consoles it can Play Well:

2nd Generation: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Vectrex

3rd Generation: Nintendo NES, Sega SG-1000, Sega Master System, Atari 7800

4th Generation: Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, TurboGrafx, Game Boy, Sega Game Gear

5th Generation: Some Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Gameboy Color

6th Generation: Sega Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance

Classic Arcade Games from the 80s and 90s

Most Android Games on the Google Play Store

XBox Gamepass Mobile Subscription Games (but the smaller screen doesn’t do these games justice)

 

 

Top Pick!

small, Affordable, But Very Capable

The Retroid Pocket 2 is another Android device. That means it’s more or less a tablet (although this time, it’s a very small tablet) with a controller built around it. It’s small, affordable, and boasts some really capable specs that make it a great retro gaming device. If the Ambernic 351V is a little too chunky for you, and you don’t mind having an Android interface, this one is a great pick.

What It Comes With:

Retroid Pocket Console, charging cable

What You’ll Need: 

512 GB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card

A Google Account

Some Games and Emulators might cost a little money on the Google Play Store.

 

Want It Built For You?

I’ll configure it, fully stocked with a 512 GB MicroSD card, and throw the necessary apps and software on it with a $20 Google Play gift card. I would just need your help logging into a valid Google account on the device (or we can set one up together). 

 $179

 

Raspberry Pi Game Console

Details

Specifications:

  • About 4.5 inches wide
  • USB inputs for controllers
  • Bluetooth for wireless controllers
  • HDMI Mini to connect to any modern TV

Game Consoles it can Play Well:

2nd Generation: Atari 2600, Atari 5200, ColecoVision, Vectrex

3rd Generation: Nintendo NES, Sega SG-1000, Sega Master System, Atari 7800

4th Generation: Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, Game Boy, Sega Game Gear

5th Generation: Some Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, Gameboy Color

6th Generation: Sega Dreamcast, Gameboy Advance

Classic Arcade Games from the 80s and 90s 

 

Top Pick!

small, Affordable, But Very Capable

The Retroid Pocket 2 is another Android device. That means it’s more or less a tablet (although this time, it’s a very small tablet) with a controller built around it. It’s small, affordable, and boasts some really capable specs that make it a great retro gaming device. If the Ambernic 351V is a little too chunky for you, and you don’t mind having an Android interface, this one is a great pick.

What You Need:

Raspberry Pi 4+ or the new Raspberry Pi 5

Raspberry Pi power cable

HDMI mini to HDMI cable

512 GB Sandisk Ultra MicroSD Card

Recommended Controllers: 

8BitDo Ultimate Wired Controller

8BitDo Ultimate Wireless Controller

Want It Built For You?

I’ll configure it, install an optimized operating system on it, pack it with more games than you can ever play, and hundreds of hours awesome video game remixes that play while you are sitting on the menu deciding what game to play. Includes two wireless controllers.

 $250

 

AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Cabinet

Details

Specifications:

  • 29.53 inches wide
  • 66.44 inches tall
  • 21.65 inches thick
  • 24-inch 1080p widescreen
  • Stereo speakers
  • Supports 1-2 players

Game Consoles it can Play Well:

 200+ built-in licensed games

1200+ Classic Arcade Games from the 80s and 90s

A bunch of pinball tables and other arcade games can be purchased from their e-store.

 Music videos/retro commercials/nostalgic videos when not in use!

 

Top Pick!

An All-in-One Home Arcade

You’ve probably seen the small arcade cabinets in the Walmart electronics section that come with a small handful of games. As cool as they are, their tiny size makes them really awkward, especially if adults are going to use them.

The AtGames Legends Ultimate is much closer to a full-size arcade cabinet (it’s a little shorter, but you can purchase a riser for it to give it a little more height). It supports two players, although there is an addon kit if you want to support up to four.

Right out of the box, this is a cool device. The build quality is great, and while the interface is a little sluggish, it gets the job done.

What makes this an incredible option is the ability to load your own arcade games on it. It comes with hundreds of classics, but with a little effort, you can put two decades of arcade games on this guy, and let people go to town!

When sitting idle, you can have it shuffle through videos. Throwing hundreds of music videos on it will turn it into a fun jukebox while it’s not in use.

What It Comes With:

Legends Ultimate cabinet

What You’ll Need: 

Two USB Flash Drives (the faster, the better) – one around 32 GB and the other should be about 512 GB.

Some additional games might cost a little money on the AtGames Store

 

Want It Built For You?

I’ll build it, load it up with games, set up a screen saver that plays hundreds and hundreds of music videos, 90s tv commercials, and other fun nostalgia while it’s idle, and you’ll be playing your favorite arcade games without needing a single quarter.

My build includes the device and a built in Raspberry Pi like the one mentioned above, minus the wireless controllers.

 $999 (but check with me, because the cabinet goes on sale all the time!)

Ask a Question

I’m here to answer any questions you might have. Hit me up on social media or shoot me a message at the link below!

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