Best Alternatives to NES Classic Edition iMore 2020

When Nintendo launched the NES Classic Edition, gamers went nuts with nostalgia. They bought the limited edition mini console at an alarming rate, making the NES Classic Edition hard to find. While the mini console is great for any nostalgia or classic game enthusiast, its slate of 30 NES games isn't the only retro gaming solutions out there. Here are our favorite alternatives to the NES Classic Edition

Build your own: Rasberry Pi

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If you want a little more than what the Nintendo Classic consoles offer, and are willing to do some of the work yourself, you can enjoy just about every old game ever right on your television with something called RetroPie. This system uses a Raspberry Pi computer to build your own mini-console, complete with different controller options and thousands of games from multiple console generations. We have a handy guide to help you build it, and you'll need a couple of other items, but it all starts with the Raspberry Pi motherboard!

From $44 at Amazon

New console; old games: Nintendo Switch

Not only is the Nintendo Switch the newest and amazing ultra-portable full-fledged console from Nintendo, but it also is a mini NES game arcade. If you sign up for a Nintendo Online subscription on your Switch, you'll get access to a small but great library of classic NES games. The Nintendo Switch can be difficult to find right now, but keep an eye on the Nintendo site as it lets you know who is in stock online and where you can find them in a store near you.

$300 at Nintendo

Lite console; same old games: Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld only version of the Nintendo Switch, available in several colors. Just like with the Switch, you can get the same Nintendo Online subscription to access NES games. You just won't be able to do so on your TV.

$200 at Amazon

120 Atari games: Atari Flashback 9 Gold

It doesn't get much more old school than Atari, and while some of us still might have a perfectly functional 2600 in storage, these Flashback boxes are much safer to share with your kids without worrying about permanent damage to your mint condition relic. Just plug it into your TVs HDMI port, and instantly you have 120 games, including Missile Command, Breakout, and of course, Pong!

$69 at Amazon

Mini retro arcade games: NEOGEO Mini

NEOGEO's claim to fame was dominating arcades back in the early 90s, and even though there was a home console, the NEOGEO Mini decided to keep the arcade cabinet look for that authentic retro gaming vibe. Don't worry; you can still connect the mini-cabinet to your TV via HDMI and enjoy the likes of Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, and other timeless classics. With 40 titles to choose from, the NEOGEO Mini is a great way to remember all the quarters you spent as a youth!

$60 at Amazon

3 in 1 fun: Retro-Bit Super Retro Trio 3 in 1 Console

Why choose just one console to play your favorite old games on when you could play games for three different systems on one? Enjoy the NES, SNES, and Sega Genisis on this 3 in 1 from Retro-Bit. The system displays games in 720 HD and comes with two controllers so you can enjoy it with a friend. This one is meant for those who still have (or are collecting) the old cartridges and want to play the old fashioned way; no games are downloaded to the system.

$80 at Amazon

Strictly NES: KingRex Classic Games Console

Sometimes nothing quite beats the classic experience. While you can access the NES games on the new consoles, playing with the old school controllers and on the classic look for the console is unbeatable. This KingRex Classic Games Console gives you most of that, just without the cartridges. There are 821 games included in this system, and it comes with 2 controllers. Connect it to your TV with the HDMI cable and enjoy your nostalgia!

$46 at Amazon

Retro your way

If you take anything away from this list, it should be this; it's an amazing time to be a retro gamer. With fantastic retro consoles coming out by tons of different companies, there have never been more ways to play your favorite classic games.

For the most customizable experience with both console look and feel, controller options, and game capability, the Raspberry Pi is going to be your best option. The system itself is very affordable, and how you build it up is totally up to you! If you want to be able to just plug and play, enjoy the 821 games on the KingRex Classic Games Console.

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