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The 6 Best Gaming Consoles in 2023

This isn’t your ordinary best gaming consoles list: we go in depth and discuss the features you won’t see on the Amazon page, like emulation support. We evaluate consoles from both the last and current generations, especially since getting your hands on one of the latest consoles can be quite difficult.

Note: while we are discussing options available through hacking/homebrew/jailbreaking below, please do careful research before buying a console for that purpose or attempting to hack your own! At the time of writing, for instance, only some older Nintendo Switches can actually be hacked.

Read on: check out this interesting read about next-gen consoles changing PC gaming.

1. Best Overall: Sony PlayStation 5 Disc Edition

Price: $499.99


  • CPU: Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores
  • GPU: Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 10.28 TFLOPs
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6 with 448GB/s bandwidth
  • Storage: Custom 825GB NVMe SSD expandable
  • External storage: USB HDD support (PS4 games only)
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

The PlayStation 5 was a major leap from the previous-gen PS4 and PS4 Pro, bringing near-instant loading times, enhanced visuals with 4K 120FPS support, and a beautiful new interface. We’ve picked the PS5 disc edition as the best gaming console overall due to these reasons, plus its unrivaled game library.

Three years after its launch, the PS5 boasts a stellar lineup of first-party titles, such as God of War: Ragnarok, Marvel’s Spider-Man series, The Last of Us series, Horizon series, Ghost of Tsushima, and many more. The remakes and remasters for the PS5 benefit from its powerful hardware, and even the PS4 games that don’t feature a dedicated PS5 version receive enhanced visual fidelity and performance.

Thanks to the revamped PS Plus service, the PS5 can play PS4 games, and even hundreds of titles from PS3 through PS1 and PSP (Extra and Deluxe tiers). The new DualSense controller features advanced haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, something you won’t find on any other console. The disc version of the PS5 allows you to save some money by buying pre-owned discs, something not possible with digital titles.

2. Best High-End: Microsoft Xbox Series X

Price: $499.99


  • CPU: Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores
  • GPU: Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 12 TFLOPs
  • Memory: 16GB GDDR6 with 560GB/s & 336GB/s bandwidth
  • Storage: Custom 1TB NVMe SSD with expansion card slot
  • External storage: USB HDD support
  • Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

The Xbox Series X is perhaps the most powerful high-end console on the market. Featuring a more powerful GPU and memory (at least technically) than the PS5, it promises a smooth 4K 120FPS experience and truly next-gen gaming. Sharing many internals with that of the PS5, the Xbox Series X is Team Green’s answer to the latest round in the console wars.

Exclusive titles might not be the forte of the Xbox consoles, even in 2023, but the incredible value provided by the Xbox Game Pass is hard to ignore. Priced similarly to PS Plus, it provides arguably greater value and variety for gamers who simply want something new to play every day. You get launch-day access to the latest Microsoft games, along with a vast game library to choose from.

The Series X backward compatibility goes all the way back to the original Xbox with a number of upgrades to visuals, making the deal even sweeter. There are even a few standout exclusives to speak of, such as the Forza series, Halo series, and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Sure, they may pale in comparison to the stuff you get on the PS5, but they’re great games, regardless.

3. Best Value: Microsoft Xbox Series S

Price: $349.99


  • CPU: Custom AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores
  • GPU: Custom AMD RDNA 2 GPU with 4 TFLOPs
  • Memory: 10GB GDDR6 with 224GB/s & 56GB/s bandwidth
  • Storage: Custom 512GB SSD with expansion card slot
  • External storage: USB HDD support
  • Optical Drive: N/A

As you may surmise, the Xbox Series S is a cut-down version of the beefier Series X console. You’re getting a less powerful GPU, lesser and slower memory, and a smaller SSD. There’s no disc drive, either, so you’re limited to digital titles only. Lastly, the Series S outputs at 1440p instead of 4K on the Series X. Despite these compromises, the Series S allows you an extremely affordable entry into next-gen console gaming, thanks to the same fundamental improvements seen in its costlier sibling.

There’s access to the same game library as the Series X (no compromises there), courtesy of the Xbox Game Pass. It also upscales the 1440p output to 4K to deliver a decent image quality for your 4K TV. The measly storage is expandable with an SSD expansion card, and you can plug in a USB drive as well, similar to the Series X.

The Xbox Series S is the best gaming console for those who are not concerned with grabbing the most powerful console on the market and simply want an affordable and seamless gaming experience instead.

4. Best Portable Handheld: Nintendo Switch OLED

Price: $349.99


  • CPU: Custom Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC
  • GPU: Part of the SoC
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC, expandable with microSD card
  • External storage: N/A
  • Optical Drive: N/A

The Nintendo Switch was the original modern handheld console when it launched back in 2017. Nintendo’s Wii U lost relevance a long time ago, but with the Switch, the company was back in the console conversation. We’re picking the updated Nintendo Switch OLED model as the best gaming console in the portable handheld space due to several key advantages it has over the original.

The Switch OLED features the same core specs as its predecessor, such as the 1.02GHz CPU and 768MHz GPU. But the display and audio are where it truly outshines the original. The Switch OLED features a 7-inch OLED screen instead of the 6.2-inch LCD display seen on the original, making it perfect for on-the-go use. The audio setup on the OLED model is also improved over the previous model, delivering a richer and stronger sound.

The Joy-Con controllers are “switchable” between the standard and OLED models. You can also connect your Switch to a 1080p TV to enjoy large-screen gaming. For fans of Nintendo titles, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there’s no better console. Plus, you can even enjoy ports of games, like Resident Evil 4, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Doom 3, and Dark Souls: Remastered.

The 4310mAh battery is good for around 3 to 7 hours of use, but you can get longer battery life on your Nintendo Switch with a few popular tricks.

5. Best PC replacement: Valve Steam Deck 256GB

Price: $599.99


  • CPU: Custom AMD Zen 2 APU with 4 cores/8 threads
  • GPU: 8 RDNA 2 CUs with 1.6 TFLOPS
  • Memory: 16 GB LPDDR5 with 88GB/s bandwidth
  • Storage: 256GB NVMe SSD expandable
  • External storage: USB drive through USB-C port (only desktop mode)
  • Optical Drive: N/A

Valve is one of the titans in the PC gaming industry, with Steam being the digital distribution platform of choice for the majority of gamers. When Valve decided to bring the desktop PC experience to the handheld form factor, the Steam Deck was born. Surprisingly powerful for its size, the Steam Deck gave PC gamers a new way to play their favorite Steam games when they were away from their beloved PCs.

The Steam Deck allows you to play full-fledged, big-budget PC games on a handheld console for the first time. Some of the best games for Steam Deck are the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, Elden Ring, Days Gone, and Spider-Man: Miles Morales. “Steam Deck Verified” games carry an official stamp of performance and stability, providing a high-end PC experience on a handheld.

While its battery life and relatively larger size make it less than ideal for traveling, it’s one of the best devices for a few couch gaming sessions, when you just don’t feel like confining yourself to a chair in front of a desktop. The 256GB is the best choice, as the cheaper 64GB model features slower eMMC storage, while the price for a 512GB console is unnecessary, unless you get it on a sale.

6. Best for Retro Gaming: Evercade VS Premium Pack

Price: $129.99


  • CPU: 1.4Ghz Quad-Core CPU
  • GPU: N/A
  • Memory: 512MB DDR3
  • Storage: 4GB
  • External storage: N/A
  • Optical Drive: N/A

Sometimes nothing can fill the nostalgic hole in your life other than the real deal. If you’re looking for a retro gaming fix to relive the glory days, the Evercade VS may be the best gaming console for you. It’s priced right for what it offers and is convenient enough to plug in and start playing.

Getting your hands on retro games legally is kind of a pain – and an expensive one at that. But with Evercade VS, you get eight Technos-developed arcade games (plus ten more Data East games in the Premium Pack) bundled with the console and controllers. It connects with an HDMI cable to your display and is powered by a micro USB port. You even get built-in Wi-Fi.

The Premium Pack nets you a total of 18 arcade games, like Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Burger Time, and Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja. It also includes two USB-C controllers that are serviceable. It does support some of the best retro gaming controllers if you want to swap them out.

Which Console Will You Buy in 2023?

In terms of pure hardware power, systems like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 simply can’t be beaten by other consoles. However, you don’t need to buy these consoles to have a great gaming experience. The cheaper Series S is still a great value, and Nintendo Switch is a great choice to play Nintendo-exclusive titles. The Steam Deck will appeal to PC gamers looking for a powerful handheld, and retro game lovers will not be disappointed with the Evercade VS. The best gaming console for you is the one that works best for you.

Image credit: Unsplash

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Tanveer Singh

After a 7-year corporate stint, Tanveer found his love for writing and tech too much to resist. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he writes on PC hardware, technology, video games, and Windows. When not scouring the web for ideas, he can be found building PCs, watching anime, or playing Smash Karts on his RTX 3080 (sigh).

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