The six best retro consoles for modern gamers

22-04-2017 15:12 - Geschreven door davidhill

People often make the mistake of thinking that video games are a relentlessly forward-looking medium. It's all about the next big release, the next console generation, the next PC graphics card technology. Except it isn't really. Games are, like most other artforms these days, obsessively self-referential. They are constantly mining the past for successful ideas, merging old genres to create strange new ones, or simply borrowing the aesthetics of past generations. If modern games have one fault (they probably have more, but let's not go there), it's that they can seem intimidating to newcomers because they rely so much on age-old conventions and traditions. 

Also, old consoles are nice. They look weird and thrilling, with their chunky plastic bodies and their gigantic cartridge ports. They are relics of fun, nostalgic artifacts that remind us of childhoods spent waiting patiently for games to load from cassettes, or blowing the dust out of old carts. Obviously, there are hundreds of online emulators that let you experience classic titles from the comfort of your PC, but that's sort of missing the point – much like listening to the MP3 of an old 78 record. Part of the pleasure is in the ritual of the vintage hardware: plugging in a cartridge, sliding in a diskette, or hitting the button that sends a CD lid flipping up like an old ghetto blaster. It's faintly fetishistic, of course, but you know, fetish is about pleasure, and old games machines certainly provide that.

Anyway, for those interested in trying old consoles first-hand, here are six classics that I'd recommend starting with. I deliberately chose machines that are easy to get hold of on eBay or at car boot sales and that won't break the bank. They all have very large gaming libraries and again, the games are easily available. These are all relatively reliable too so even if you buy one that looks like it has been driven over by a Ford Mondeo, it should still function.

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