Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Video Game Console

Last updated on August 26, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Video Game Consoles and dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Trusted Reviews, The Verge, Engadget, Tech Radar, Tom's Guide and more. The result is a ranking of the best Video Game Consoles.

Best Video Game Console

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Video Game Consoles

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

PlayStation

4 Pro 1TB Console

Overall Take

Lots of FeaturesA top-notch console with 8 GB of RAM, enhanced lighting effects and higher frame rates.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Radar, BestReviews, CNET, The Verge, Engadget and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" Games on the PS4 Pro can also benefit from higher frame rates, improved texture quality, and new lighting effects even if you don’t have a 4K TV."
Cons
"You should also note that Sony's system has a few deficiencies in the home entertainment department: particular in not having an Ultra HD Blu-ray player installed."

Xbox

One X 1TB Console

Overall Take

Fast ConsoleA fast console that makes newer 4K games shine.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Radar, BestReviews, CNET, The Verge, Engadget and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" Updated games might also get other incremental improvements, such as improved frame rates, more detailed textures, or faster load times, but none of those minor improvements are worth the high price of the Xbox One X on their own."
Cons
"Despite not being able to play games in native 4K, these consoles are around half the price and look nearly as good."
  The Best Value

Nintendo

Super NES Classic

Overall Take

Retro ConsoleA retro console that comes with 21 old-school games.

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus PC Magazine, CNET, The Verge, Engadget, Tom’s Guide, Wired and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Target.
Pros
" The Super NES Classic Edition is an incredible retro game system and gaming collectible that strikes the ideal combination of nostalgia and quality."
Cons
"The only thing I don't love is the little plastic flap you need to flip down to access the ports."

PlayStation

4 Slim 1TB Console

Overall Take

Experts Included
DWYM Electronics Experts plus BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, CNET, Engadget, Tech Radar, Digital Trends and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.
Pros
" Bluetooth and plentiful hard drive space make the PS4 Slim a competent media center."
Cons
"The Slim loses its optical audio-out port, killing support for third-party headphones."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the video game consoles available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

88

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: CNET, Trusted Reviews, The Verge, Engadget, Tech Radar.

154,743

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Video Game Consoles and also dug through the reviews from 88 of the most popular review sites including CNET, Trusted Reviews, The Verge, Engadget, Tech Radar, Tom's Guide and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Video Game Consoles.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console

Our Expert Score
8.8
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.5
10,625 user reviews
Our Take

With 8 GB of RAM and a 4.2 teraflop AMD processor, the PS4 Pro is a significant upgrade from the PS4. Most games will benefit from enhanced lighting effects and higher frame rates and even older titles not made for 4K graphics in mind will get an upgrade in looks. Setup for the system is surprisingly easy and quick, even with plenty of online extras.

What other experts liked
Games on the PS4 Pro can also benefit from higher frame rates, improved texture quality, and new lighting effects even if you don’t have a 4K TV.
- New York Times Wirecutter
July 27, 2018 | Full review
Once you have your new PS4 Pro hooked up, it's time to turn it on and get it set up, and thankfully setting up the PS4 Pro is lightning-fast.
- Tech Radar
February 12, 2019 | Full review
Video auto-upscaling makes everything look spectacular in 4K.
- BestReviews
The PlayStation 4 Pro is essentially a PS4 with better hardware inside that's designed to improve the performance and visuals beyond what's currently possible on a standard PS4.
- CNET
November 21, 2016 | Full review
The CPU and RAM are also running faster, and there's an extra 1GB of RAM available for applications to keep the 8GB of GDDR5 RAM mostly free for games.
- The Verge
November 9, 2016 | Full review
The PS4 Pro packs in a speedier eight-core CPU; a new 4.2-teraflop AMD Polaris GPU that's twice as fast as the original PS4; a 1TB hard drive; and 8GB of RAM.
- Engadget
November 7, 2016 | Full review
It's a lot more sophisticated than the mishmash of glossy and matte materials the original system used.
- Tom's Guide
November 15, 2016 | Full review
It's more powerful, and games optimized to use that power definitely benefit from it.
- PC Magazine
November 7, 2016 | Full review
The PS4 Pro features a 4.20 Teraflop (TFLOP) AMD Radeon graphics card, which is a serious improvement.
- Digital Trends
July 25, 2017 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
These improvements are nice to have, but they’re not worth the extra $100 for most people.
- New York Times Wirecutter
July 27, 2018 | Full review
You should also note that Sony's system has a few deficiencies in the home entertainment department: particular in not having an Ultra HD Blu-ray player installed.
- Tech Radar
February 12, 2019 | Full review
Doesn't play 4K Blu-ray discs, an odd omission at this price point.
- BestReviews
One of the big frustrations of my initial experience with PS4 Pro-compatible games was trying to manage my expectations.
- CNET
November 21, 2016 | Full review
In fact, this is my biggest annoyance about the new PS4: it’s all so mysterious about which games will get which features.
- The Verge
November 9, 2016 | Full review
After excitedly connecting all of the necessary cables, I booted up the PlayStation 4 Pro and honestly I was a bit disappointed just to see the same old PS4 home screen.
- Engadget
November 7, 2016 | Full review
While it's definitely cool that the Pro can game and stream Netflix and Hulu in 4K, I'm still puzzled why Sony made the decision not to support UHD Blu-ray — a feature that the Xbox One S has.
- Tom's Guide
November 15, 2016 | Full review
And the lack of Ultra HD Blu-ray playback is disappointing.
- PC Magazine
November 7, 2016 | Full review
Interestingly, the PS4 Pro’s optical drive is the same one used in the PS4, which means it does not support 4K Blu-ray.
- Digital Trends
July 25, 2017 | Full review

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Nintendo Super NES Classic

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
2,606 user reviews
Our Take

Retro gamers will love the Nintendo Super NES Classic, which comes pre-packed with 21 old school games. All are easy to jump in and play thanks to an equally classic interface. There are also a number of welcome tweaks to the old system, such as a "rewind" function that gives you a do-over on recent gameplay.

What other experts liked
The Super NES Classic Edition is an incredible retro game system and gaming collectible that strikes the ideal combination of nostalgia and quality.
- PC Magazine
September 27, 2017 | Full review
It's fast, easy to navigate and lets you save points in any game you play.
- CNET
June 28, 2018 | Full review
One of the great things about it, though, is its simplicity.
- The Verge
September 27, 2017 | Full review
Navigating the SNES Classic is similar to its predecessor, which is to say, reset button aside, it's a pleasure.
- Engadget
September 27, 2017 | Full review
While the SNES Classic's hardware has some quirks, its 21-game library is almost universally stellar.
- Tom's Guide
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The SNES was the first console that really nailed level design, figured out racing mechanics, and understood how a good fight really goes.
- Wired
September 27, 2017 | Full review
In addition, the SNES Classic adds a new feature called “rewind,” which allows you to look at the last few minutes of your latest gameplay session, and jump in prior to where you stopped (presumably before you messed up and/or died).
- Digital Trends
September 27, 2017 | Full review
But more than half of the SNES Classic’s catalog is fantastic and still a blast to play, and includes some of my personal favorites.
- IGN
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The SNES CE has a good look that will work for most TVs out of the box.
- Tech Crunch
What other experts didn't like
The SNES Classic controllers have slightly longer four-foot cables, but they're still a bit too short if you have a large TV.
- PC Magazine
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The only thing I don't love is the little plastic flap you need to flip down to access the ports.
- CNET
June 28, 2018 | Full review
These range from colorful patterns to faux-wood paneling, but I found them all a bit too distracting to be useful.
- The Verge
September 27, 2017 | Full review
If you want to go back to the menu to change a setting or swap games, you have to get up and press the reset button.
- Engadget
September 27, 2017 | Full review
There's just one problem — the wires are still too damn short.
- Tom's Guide
September 27, 2017 | Full review
Nintendo rightly didn't touch the games, but I wish everything else had been up for discussion.
- Wired
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The short cables and mandatory resets don’t help it fit in a modern living room.
- Digital Trends
September 27, 2017 | Full review
You may have to adjust your gaming setup to sit within reach with the controller’s 4-foot, 7-inch cords, as I did, in order to sit comfortably and play
- IGN
September 27, 2017 | Full review
The only major problem I have is that the front of the device has to flip off in an awkward way to expose the controller ports.
- Tech Crunch

Overall Product Rankings

1. PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 12

2. Xbox One X 1TB Console

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 12

3. Nintendo Super NES Classic

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

4. PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB Console

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

5. Nintendo Switch

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

6. Xbox One S 500GB Console

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 12

7. Nintendo New 2DS XL

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 12

8. Nintendo New 3DS XL

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 12

9. Nintendo 2DS

Overall Score: 8.1
Reviews Included: 12

10. Playstation Classic Console

Overall Score: 6.4
Reviews Included: 12

Our Findings

PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console

Best Overall

PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB Console (Video Game)


List Price: $399.99 USD
New From: $363.97 USD In Stock
Used from: $346.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: With 8 GB of RAM and a 4.2 teraflop AMD processor, the PS4 Pro is a significant upgrade from the PS4. Most games will benefit from enhanced lighting effects and higher frame rates and even older titles not made for 4K graphics in mind will get an upgrade in looks. Setup for the system is surprisingly easy and quick, even with plenty of online extras.

Nintendo Super NES Classic

Best Value

What We Liked: Retro gamers will love the Nintendo Super NES Classic, which comes pre-packed with 21 old school games. All are easy to jump in and play thanks to an equally classic interface. There are also a number of welcome tweaks to the old system, such as a “rewind” function that gives you a do-over on recent gameplay.

Xbox One X 1TB Console

Also Consider

Microsoft Xbox One X 1Tb Console With Wireless Controller: Xbox One X Enhanced, Hdr, Native 4K, Ultra Hd (Discontinued) (Video Game)


Manufacturer:  Microsoft
ESRB Rating:  Rating Pending
Platform:  Xbox One
Genre:  action-games
List Price: $499.99 USD
New From: $419.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $395.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The Xbox One X is more than four times faster than its predecessor, and the difference shows up best in newer 4K games for the console. Thanks to upscaling, even games played on a 1080p TV will get a boost in looks. While not all of its games can take full advantage of it yet, this is the most powerful piece of hardware in terms of raw numbers.

Our Video Game Console Buying Guide

In the market for a new video game console? If you’re buying it for a savvy gamer, let us save you some time right now: Just ask them which one they want. While the console wars are intense between the three major companies (Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo), they’ve managed to keep their products fairly distinct so far. Currently, each company’s system has a rabid fanbase that loves their hardware and games for completely different reasons — and none of them are wrong. It’s about entertainment, after all, and there are more ways to capture someone’s imagination than fantastic graphics and sound.

That said, let’s start by explaining graphics capability quickly. All video game consoles display their games on your existing television by hooking up to it via HDMI or AV cable — although some devices can also display games on their own screen. The processing power of a console has a lot to do with how those games look when they’re displayed on your TV, though it can have just as much to do with the individual game you’re playing. The graphics capability of the TV itself also plays a factor. If graphics is your benchmark for quality, the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are far and away the best options. But to truly see the difference, you’re going to need to use them with a TV with 4K capability — preferably one that also has HDR (high dynamic range).

Got one? Great. Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X are going to be able to take full advantage of all that resolution. In terms of raw power, the Xbox One X might have a slight advantage here with its 6-teraflop AMD processor and 12 gigabytes of GDDR5 RAM. For those who we lost after the word “teraflop,” allow us to translate: Games on this system look great and run smooth. For that matter, so do the ones on the PS4 Pro. Both systems can even “upscale” older games that were made to display in 1080p resolution, essentially filling in pixels to approximate 4K. And when these systems are running on all cylinders, which is to say playing games that were made in native 4K on an HDR screen, the results are beautiful. That said, graphics capability is reaching a bit of an event horizon. If you’re sitting 10 feet away from a 70″ TV, you might not even notice a difference between the quality in 4K display versus 1080p.

Luckily, graphics are just one feature of a video game system, and they don’t necessarily make the games more fun. Hardcore gamers tend to buy systems based on the games that are available to play. While most games are cross-platform (meaning they can be played on multiple consoles), there are a few exclusive titles that can only be played on certain systems. The PS4 Pro boasts tentpole exclusives, like “Spider-Man” and “God of War.” The Xbox has “Forza Motorsport 7” and “Gears of War 4.” The retro Super NES comes pre-loaded with “Mega Man X,” “Final Fantasy III” and 19 other classic games.

Speaking of Nintendo, both of its primary consoles have a very distinct appeal. The Super NES Classic features the most games bundled with any of the four major systems: 21 ports of titles that hooked gamers back on the original Super NES. For retro gamers, this is a huge value, and the console comes party-ready with two controllers.

The cost of games on these systems varies, from $60 for brand new titles down to $5 or so for some used or indie games. Increasingly, these can be bought in digital format on the console’s online store, so you never have to leave the house — provided your rig has enough storage. (This is a particular highlight for the 1TB PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.) And if you’ve got games from older versions of these systems, like the PS3 or Xbox 360? You can still play many of them on the Xbox One X. While the PS4 Pro isn’t as compatible with older discs, you can buy upgraded versions of its older titles on the PlayStation Store.

DWYM Fun Fact

People often think of Atari as the pioneer of home video gaming, and in many ways, they were. The company’s PONG arcade game was wildly popular, and Atari parlayed that success into a home-game version in 1975. But Magnavox actually beat Atari to the punch by three years with its Magnavox Odyssey, the first commercially available gaming console. It even included the world’s first light gun — an innovation that was then unheard of. But it was actually a prototype device called the Brown Box that inspired Magnavox. Created by Ralph Baer in 1967, the system treated those lucky few players that saw it to blocky versions of tennis, handball and ping-pong.

Think your kids spend all day gaming? They’ve got a ways to go to beat Carrie Swidecki of the United States, who at least got in some exercise while setting the record for longest video game marathon. In 2017, she spent more than 138 hours playing the rhythm game, Just Dance 2015.

The Video Game Console Tips and Advice

  • Most of the systems spotlighted here won’t come with games you can play right out of the box, although there are bundles that do include some popular titles for an additional cost. The exception is the Super NES Classic, which is possibly the most user-friendly console. It comes pre-loaded with 21 games from Nintendo’s golden age, including “Super Punch-Out!!” and “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” While you can’t buy additional games for that self-contained system, those titles should keep any retro fan busy for years.
  • Game prices vary for the rest of the systems, ranging greatly in price. You can buy physical game discs (or game cards, in the case of some devices) or download them digitally through each console’s online store. Bear in mind that storing the games this way takes up more storage space. Both the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X pack 1 TB of space for new games and save data. In all cases, upgrades are available.
  • Exclusive games are a big draw for any console, and for many, it’s the main reason to buy. Popular titles that are only playable on the Xbox One X include “Gears of War 4,” “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” “Forza Horizon 4,” “Forza Motorsport 7” and “Sea of Thieves.”
  • PS4 Pro exclusives include highlights like “God of War,” “Bloodborne,” “Detroit: Become Human,” “The Last of Us,” “Spider-Man” and “Horizon: Zero Dawn.”
  • Once again, consider the TV you own before buying the more graphics-intensive systems (PS4 Pro or Xbox One X). If your television doesn’t have 4K capability, you won’t be able to take full advantage of the console’s main feature.
  • Most homes these days have some form of internet package, but it’s worth noting that it will probably figure into your gaming experience. Apart from the Super NES Classic, all modern consoles incorporate online functionality to some degree. In most cases, you’ll have to sign up for a gaming profile and online membership that will allow you to buy anything from movies to games to enhancements for your existing games. Some games, such as multiplayer shooters, are not even playable offline.
  • Game interface is another frequently overlooked part of the experience. If you’ve played extensively on previous versions of any of these consoles, you probably have a favorite controller. PS controllers tend to be slimmer while those for the Xbox have a fuller, heavier feel. And many gamers still swear by the simple, two-button elegance of the Super NES.
  • The PS4 Pro is a powerful piece of hardware, and you can use them to do much more than just play games. On all three, you can download movies, music or apps, and watch your favorite shows through Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. If physical media is still your thing, you can watch Blu-Ray discs on the Xbox One X, although movie-watching on the PS4 is limited to downloads or streaming.

About The Author

Avatar
Tod Caviness 

As a homeowner of seven years and a journalist for the past 20, Tod Caviness had to learn to be a handyman quick — or at least stock a garage like one. He's happy if he can log as many weekly hours on his stationary bike as he does on PS4 strategy games, but how-to sites on the internet win out over both of them.