Best Game Console 2021 • 7 Game Consoles Reviews
Now is a good time to buy a home video game console. Current models are highly advanced, allowing you to connect to the internet, and are designed for continuously higher-quality games. We’ve created the following guide to help you choose the best console for your children and family.
Game Console Leaderboard 2021
What is a game console and how does it work?
Video game consoles are highly entertaining for kids and adults alike. A good console allows you to play a variety of games and often becomes an entertainment hub for the whole family. The U.S. market has the top products from major console manufacturers.
What types of game consoles are there?
Game Console for Traveling
Game consoles for traveling such as the Nintendo Switch provide all the regular high-level technology of a home console. Additionally, it can also be used as a handheld device. This versatility not only enhances the gaming experience but also makes it very easy to transport and play wherever you go.
Classic Game Console
The classic game consoles, such as the classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was released in the early 1980s, allow older players to enjoy the best games from their childhood years such as Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, and more.
Mini retro consoles are increasing considering both the opinions of adults and children. Sega plans to release its own version, while Sony already has the PlayStation Classic on the market. Nintendo no longer produces the Classic Mini, so we suggest purchasing one while these products are still available.
Handheld Game Console
The handheld game console is especially compatible with travelers and individuals who have long commutes. Its interface, design, and game selection ensure that your journeys will be much more exciting. Additionally, the consoles can also be used almost like an iPad with access to the internet and regular applications.
Game Console That Doubles as a Family Entertainment System
As the title suggests, game consoles that double as a family entertainment system usually serve as a multifunctional family entertainment system, rather than just a gaming console. In addition to a wide range of games, the console can also be integrated with Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video; it can also be used as a high-quality viewing system.
Shopping Criteria for Game Consoles
The leading manufacturers in the video game console industry are constantly reinventing themselves to offer very the best platforms possible. This is great news for us, as it means that most consoles are top-quality devices, each bringing something a little different to the table. The next section will introduce you to key aspects to consider if you want to buy the console that’s just right for your needs; they are broken into the following subcategories.
- Child’s age
- Playing context
- Game selection
- Additional uses
- Technical demand
Game selection is diverse; therefore, all consoles can truly be enjoyed by children, teenagers, and adults alike. That said, comparing a full range of facts, certain characteristics tailor different models for more specific age groups.
Leading console manufacturers are committed to flexibility and mobility. Your child’s playing routine—as well as your own if it applies—should be considered when choosing the right console for your family.
Handheld models will become your best ally if you want to entertain your children during long trips. For versatility, you can test the recent hybrid console, the Switch, or you can stick to a purely portable device like the Nintendo 3DS.
Our opinion regarding game selection must be emphasized: Research each console’s game selection well before settling on a specific model. It’s always good to have an idea of the genres or specific games that you and your child will be interested in playing. While the majority of games now have versions for each platform, there is a slight variation from one console to the next.
Home consoles that offer greater audiovisual power and capacity tend to have more intense games with more mature content: This is the case of the PlayStation 4, for one. The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, features a larger selection of games for younger children. Certain iconic games are also exclusive to specific consoles—for example, Super Mario games are only available on Nintendo devices.
Your whole family will have endless hours of fun with a powerful console and the best selection of video games. Keep in mind that most new consoles on the market now can provide other types of entertainment, too. If you want everyone in your household to enjoy your new device, you will not regret testing a console that is a true entertainment hub.
This will come in the form of various applications. As we mentioned, you can watch your favorite series and movies on Netflix—both of which are at your disposal on a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One X. The Nintendo Switch is ideal for your child to watch their favorite YouTube videos, which is especially handy while traveling.
The console you’ll need for your family will also be determined by the desired overall technical quality. It is recommended to opt for a powerful console like the Xbox One X or the PlayStation 4 if you want top-quality graphics. This way, you’ll be able to reap all the benefits of your 4K TV or Blu-ray movie collection.
On the other hand, if you’re only worried about game content or if you and your child are casual players, you can opt for simpler consoles. Older console versions like the PlayStation 3 are more affordable than the PlayStation 4 Pro, for example. With a similar game repertoire, the main difference will reside in the power and resolution they offer.
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Can I supervise my children while they play?
All the products we featured in our selection offer different options for parental control. While you naturally can’t know exactly what your child is doing on the console, parental supervision functions give you the possibility to authorize certain games and block others. You can even set a limit on game time, and pick at which hours your children can play.
The parental control features on the Nintendo Switch, for instance, are excellent. You can put a different time limit for each day of the week, and the system will send a notification to your child when it’s time to stop. You will even receive a monthly report with information about which games your kid most enjoys and how many hours per month they spend playing.
At what age can my child start playing video games?
There is no clear answer to this question. Opinions diverge significantly regarding the minimum age required to play video games. Throughout childhood and adolescence, it is very important to prioritize outdoor play. Screen time should also be closely monitored and limited, particularly with children under the age of five.
Age ratings are essential when you’re deciding which games your children can play, but don’t rely on them alone. Do your own research, and follow your own judgment and common sense. As we detailed earlier, parental control functions are an invaluable tool to make sure your child plays safely.
Should I invest in a last-gen game console?
The latest home consoles offer greater technical capabilities. The Xbox One X, for instance, gives you the possibility to play games and watch movies in 4K resolution. In that regard, it is completely worth investing in the latest console if you already have a 4K TV: the gaming experience will be all the more immersive.
In comparison with new consoles, older consoles are more affordable. However, you have to consider that manufacturers eventually stop producing games that are compatible with them. If you want to enjoy the latest games, we encourage you to follow the opinion of the majority and to choose a relatively new console. That way, the selection of games available to you will keep expanding.
Can you surf the internet with a game console?
Yes, the majority of modern consoles offer access to the internet. As a matter of fact, several products in our selection are designed in part for online gaming, such as the PlayStation 4. Once connected, video game consoles can be used in a very similar way to tablets or smartphones.
This connection gives you the ability to access new functions and applications. It allows for multiplayer gaming with players from all around the world. You can also subscribe to online services that give you access to exclusive content, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. This quick access to internet browsing means it is important to monitor your children.
The product recommendations in this article are made solely by the sponsor and are not recommendations made by VentureBeat.