Best Handheld Gaming System 2020

As if we didn’t already have enough things to keep us distracted all the time.  The best handheld gaming system options just keep getting better and better every day.  With awesome graphics and an endless number of new games being released, what more could you want?  These popular portable game consoles are perfect for forgetting the world around you and jumping into your favorite fantasy, sporting event, or strategy game.  They’re just want the doctor order for long car rides or boring days at home.   

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con

✔ Expandable Memory 
✔ 3+ Ways To Play (TV, Handheld, Desktop) – Click to Read More
✔ Supports Multiplayer
Choose From Blue/Red or Gray Color Options
✔ Slim & Light-weight
✔ 6.2″ LCD Screen
✔ Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Built-in

Sony PlayStation Vita

Sony PlayStation Vita

✔ Thousands of Game Options
✔ Remote Play for PS3 & PS4 Home Consoles
✔ 4-6 Hour Battery-Life
✔ Light & Thin
✔ Can Stream Netflix

✔ 5″ High-Resolution LCD Screen
✔ Wi-Fi & Bluetooth Built-in

Nintendo 2DS XL

Nintendo 2DS XL

✔ Huge Classic Nintendo Game Selection
✔ Great Compromise Between 2DS Price & 3DS Features ✔ Super Mario Cart 7 Pre-Installed

✔ Plays all 3DS Games (in 2-D)
✔ (2) XL Screens are 82% Larger Than Nintendo 2DS
✔ Fast Processor for Short Load Times

Sony PSP3000 Core

Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) 3000

✔ Built-in Wi-FI
✔ Good Value
✔ Can Play MP3s and Full-Length Movies
✔ User Replaceable Battery
✔ Large Screen 

Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo 2DS

✔ Pre-Installed with Mario Kart 7
✔ Plays Nintendo DS and 3DS Games (2-D only)
✔ Wireless Connectivity for Multiplayer & Co-op
✔ Comes in Blue or Red
✔ Lots of Great Games at Low Prices

Razer Phone 2

Razer Phone 2

✔ Phone & Gaming Device
✔ Expensive, But Price Has Come Down!
✔ 8GB RAM / 64GB Memory
✔ Netflix Ready
✔ Phone & Gaming Device
✔ Tons of Games Available

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo Wii U 32GB Mario Kart 8 Bundle 

✔ Can Play Wii Games
✔ Older Technology Now (Released 2012)
✔ Large & Bulky
✔ Comes Loaded w/ Mario Kart 8
✔ Can Be Played Handheld or TV

✔ Requires Large Console Either Way (Handheld, But Not Portable)

Our Proprietary Ranking System Takes The Following Factors Into Consideration

Innovative Technology

Game Options

Feedback/ Reviews

Z

Features Included

Customer Satsifaction

Price Point

Handheld Gaming System Buying Guide 

Fortunately for us, we’ve entered a time where handheld, portable gaming consoles are becoming infinitely better than anything we’ve ever seen in the past.  Gaming systems like the Nintendo Switch have revolutionized how portable (or not so portable if you’re at home) games are played, either solo or with friends.

The ability to play games that are so rich in graphics and devices with processors faster than previous super-computers is just amazing.  There are thousands of different titles to be played, and more being released all the time.  

What to Look For in Portable Gaming Consoles

There are a handful of criteria to keep in mind when you’re trying to decide which handheld gaming system to purchase.  What’s almost more impressive than the technology available is the gap between the top couple players in this industry and the rest of the market.  This should come as no surprise as nearly all the devices on this list are produced by just two manufacturers.  The rest of the available options seem pretty bleak once you start to look beyond the top of our “Best Handheld Gaming System” list.

Best Handheld Gaming System - Nintendo Switch

Brand

The reason brand matters here is because most of the handheld game consoles today include the ability to play on or connect to your TV or home console.  Once you’ve selected and invested in a franchise (namely Nintendo or Sony), and assuming you like it, it may be easier and perhaps cheaper for you in the long run to stay with that brand. 

A case for the opposite could be true as well though.  If you have a PS4 at home and want to play those legacy Nintendo games like Mario and Zelda, heading to the other side of the fence and investing in a handheld Nintendo gaming system will give you the best of both worlds.  This works in both directions of course.    

Solo or Multiplayer

One of the next considerations to make is how you’ll be playing with the console.  Some of handheld devices listed above are just that, portable and handheld games only.  Whereas, others are considerably more versatile and can be played handheld, on a television at home, or even wireless against (or in co-op mode) your friends.  Just something to keep in mind now rather than later.  We encourage your to buy something flexible.

Best Portable Game Console - Game Options

Game Availability

Not all game franchises, or even consoles for that matter, are created equal when it comes to the number of games available.  It seems like more and more companies like Nintendo and Sony are making it so that new gaming systems can play games from their predecessors.  That shouldn’t come as a big surprise as often as they come out with new portable gaming systems.  It might be the only way that they could get enough people to buy them when they become available. 

If you’re going to invest a considerable amount of money, you want to make sure there are plenty of games to play.  The options at the top of our list above all have adequate game availability and should keep you happy for a few years, if not longer. 

Other Features

It’s actually really amazing what some of these handheld devices can do.  Long gone are the days of the original Nintendo Game Boy.  Today’s top portable game consoles are versatile and be played in a multiplayer mode.  In some cases, there’s even more to it than that!  Take for example the case of Android devices that can also function as a mobile phone.  Yes, a “gaming phone”.  

The connectivity is also advancing with the addition of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on some of the latest, higher-end models.  You can stream from one device to another, play against friends, and more.  What’s next?  I can’t wait to see. 

Best Portable Game Console - Versatile Nintendo Switch

Conclusion

Portable gaming devices have been around for many years, but advances in the past 10 have changed the game.  Whether you’re looking for something to do on a long road trip or just need an outlet to relax from time to time, they will help you get your fix and then some.  Young children, teens, and adults can all gain enjoyment out of them.  

If you’re in the market for a handheld game console, there are many choices, but it should be easy to narrow it down to just a few as they stand out from the rest.  Choosing from there isn’t difficult either.  Just follow this formula…

Have a gaming console at home that you love?  If you do and love it, match brands.  

New to the gaming scene all together?  Consider the Nintendo Switch if fun video games are your goal.  It’s flexible, fun, and easy!  If you want to do other things like stream Netflix and/or play any Sony titles, the PlayStation Vita is a great option.  

Last but not least…if the two consoles mentioned above (which are the best by the way), the clear choice on this list as the budget pick is the Nintendo 2DS at only a fraction of the cost of the others.