0 comments

Best Handheld Gaming System for Playing On-The-Go

By 

Certified Awkward Tech Guy™

Last Updated 23 Sep 2021


One of the ways you can relax and unwind after a long day is through gaming. Unfortunately, a home console is quite limiting since it's tied to a specific location. But what if there was a way to carry your game with you? Introducing the best handheld gaming system, which can allow you to access and enjoy your game from almost anywhere.

Finding a suitable pick can be a time and energy-consuming task, so we've gone ahead to assemble the top five options for you. Plus, this article also contains the factors to consider when you want to make your choice.

Let's get started!


1. Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
88,870 Reviews
Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
  • 3 Play Styles: TV Mode, Tabletop Mode, Handheld Mode
  • 6.2-inch, multi-touch capacitive touch screen
  • 4.5-9+ Hours of Battery Life will vary depending on software usage conditions
  • Connects over Wi-Fi for multiplayer gaming; Up to 8 consoles can be connected...

First place on our list of the best handheld gaming system is the Nintendo Switch gaming console. It's designed to meet your gaming needs more conveniently than other handheld consoles since it can work with your TV to let you play games like a regular console. Once you are done, you can take it out of the dock and keep playing the games on the go, thanks to the big screen it comes with.

Like a home console, this handheld device allows you to play classic titles like Super Mario Odyssey from literally anywhere. You can also use it for multiplayer titles, which is why it's among the best game consoles you can buy. In addition, the Nintendo eShop offers excellent games that you can play using the Nintendo Switch.

With a battery life of 7 hours, you can enjoy great value from this handheld system since you can play several levels before you need to plug it in for power. 

  • Pros
  • Light build
  • Great for multiplayer games
  • Compact design
  • Large display screen
  • Long battery life
  • Cons
  • Pricey

2. Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite - Turquoise
64,422 Reviews
Nintendo Switch Lite - Turquoise
  • Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
  • For every member of your family, there’s a member of ours
  • Optimized for personal, handheld play, Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and light...
  • Features a sleek, unibody design with fully integrated controls and a built-in...

If you'd rather go with something more pocketable, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a perfect choice. It features a sleek and lightweight design that makes it the ideal console for playing on the go. This travel-friendly has a matte finish that makes it resistant to fingerprints or smudge. You don't have to worry about spending too much on this model since it comes at a budget price, making it a more affordable option than other game consoles.

The Joy-Cons are detachable, and the display screen is large enough to deliver an immersive gaming experience. The controls and inputs are designed to enhance your performance by making it easier to make different combos. Unfortunately, the smaller build means that the buttons are crowded together, which won't feel great for large fingers.

The battery can last anywhere between 3 to 7 hours which is okay for dedicated gaming handhelds. So rest assured, the Nintendo Switch Lite is an excellent choice for your gaming needs.

  • Pros
  • Lightweight build
  • Compact design
  • 7 hours of battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Cons
  • Not comfortable for users with large hands

3. New Nintendo 2DS XL

Nintendo New 2DS XL - Black + Turquoise
2,330 Reviews
Nintendo New 2DS XL - Black + Turquoise
  • Colorful accents add style, while the sleek clamshell design makes it...
  • A fast processor offers short loading times, so you can start playing in a snap;...
  • The C Stick brings enhanced controls (like intuitive camera control) to...
  • Tap an amiibo figure to the near field communication (NFC) reader on the lower...

The third best handheld gaming system is the New Nintendo 2DS XL, featuring a unique clamshell design that keeps the screen safe from scratches and direct impact. In your hands, this gaming console feels comfortable to handle, making it easier to play games without hassle. Plus, the body is accentuated with various colors, which add interest to its design.

You can say goodbye to lagging and long loading times since it has a powerful processor that ensures smooth and responsive performance. This means you can pause and play your game as you need without waiting too long. For retro games compatible with advanced controls, you can use the C-Stick, ZL, and ZR buttons.

If you are a fan of amiibo, you'll be glad to know that you can tap the amiibo figure on the lower screen to access those features. 

  • Pros
  • Powerful processing capabilities
  • Feels light
  • Big screen
  • Clamshell style
  • Enhanced controls
  • Cons
  • Short and stubby look
  • Hard to use the cameras

4. Sony PlayStation Vita

Sony PlayStation Vita WiFi
1,860 Reviews
Sony PlayStation Vita WiFi
  • Over 1000 Games: Many PlayStation Vita games, such as Final Fantasy X, God of...
  • Remote Play: Stream a wide range of your PS4 games on your PS Vita system over a...
  • PlayStation Now: Play over 150 PS3 games directly on your PS Vita system with...
  • Entertainment and Apps: Search funny videos, check your friend's status, watch...

The Sony Playstation Vita is another excellent handheld console for the fun games you love to play. It's designed slightly smaller than its predecessor to make it more convenient to carry with you wherever you are headed. You can enjoy up to 6 hours of gaming thanks to the improved battery life of this system.

The visuals are exceptionally clear, thanks to the high-resolution LCD. This means you'll see everything vividly without straining your eyes or getting too close. Another reason many people consider it the best handheld gaming console is the huge library of 1000+ mobile games available for you to download.

It's a versatile console that you can use for more than just gaming. You can use it to watch videos, tv shows, movies, and more which makes it worth every penny. Everything from the appearance of this gaming system to the functionality demonstrates that it's made for superior gameplay.

You'll need a strong Wi-Fi connection close by, but you are sure to get immersed into the great games this console can play.

  • Pros
  • Multifunctional
  • Light, sleek design
  • Wide game selection
  • Stylish look
  • Cons
  • A bit expensive

5. Game & Watch Super Mario Bros Nintendo

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros (Nintendo)
6,039 Reviews
Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros (Nintendo)
  • The classic system that changed gaming history is back!
  • Get into spirit for the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. with Game & Watch:...
  • This special system includes: Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost...
  • The original Game & Watch system was released in Japan in 1980 and was the very...

Lastly, we have the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros gaming console, first launched in 1980 as the original Nintendo handheld console. As such, this pocket-sized device can give you a classic gaming experience that could feel like a trip back in time.

It also works as a digital clock, displaying the time on the screen in different animations, making it a giftable pick for a gaming enthusiast. One reason it's among the best handheld consoles is the straightforward controls that you can use intuitively for smooth gameplay.

This compact handheld console is travel-friendly, thanks to its convenient size and design. This means you can play Super Mario while on the subway, bus, or your car. The LCD screen is well-lit to ensure you can see clearly, and you can enjoy three exclusive games, including Super Mario Bros, The Lost Levels, and Ball. 

  • Pros
  • Compact form
  • Easy to use
  • Classic feel 
  • Cons
  • Can't play third party games 

Why is a Handheld Gaming Console Better than a Home Console?

1. Portability

One of the primary advantages a handheld console provides is that they are easy to carry. Since home consoles require power connections, wires, and more, it's impossible to take them with you as you move about. That's why retro gaming on a handheld console is a more convenient choice.

These devices are built to fit in small spaces like your bag or pocket and use batteries that ensure they can function without a power connection. So, if you are a fan of on-the-g0 gaming, you'll want to get the best handheld gaming system for a travel-friendly gaming experience.

2. Affordability

Another reason you should choose handheld consoles over home consoles is their price. Home consoles are high-priced and require the purchase of necessary tools and accessories like headsets, controllers, and high-speed internet. While they do offer immersive gameplay, you'll spend a lot of cash to enjoy your games.

Handheld consoles are much cheaper to buy and often won't require any additional purchases. Plus, since they don't use electricity, you can cut power costs and save some cash. If you are on a budget, it's definitely better to go with handheld consoles than a home console.

3. Ease of Use

Home consoles are considerably demanding since they require electricity, a stable internet connection, and controllers. Fortunately, handheld gaming systems have minimal requirements since you can use them as long as you have access to a local Wi-Fi network. This makes it easier to use a handheld console than a home gaming system.

Additionally, handheld systems feature intuitive controls that make them more convenient to use. While a controller with analog sticks offers a classic experience, the simple design of the handheld models makes them easier to hold and control without tiring your hands.

What are the Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Handheld Consoles?

1. Graphics

When looking for the best gaming console, the first factor to keep in mind is the visuals. Your performance is partly determined by your ability to identify and overcome obstacles. If the gaming console delivers low-resolution images, your effectiveness will be reduced, and you'll probably lose more games.

If you want to see better, you can choose a device with a big screen that allows you to view everything without straining your sight. Additionally, brightness control can also help enhance your gaming experience.

2. Game Selection

You shouldn't buy a handheld console without finding out the types and number of games it can play. If you don't consider the games it offers, you could find yourself with a gaming console that doesn't play the games you like. There are some models that can play hundreds of different games, while others are limited to two or three.

You should go for the console that meets most of your desires at a go. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of a specific game, you can buy a console that's specially designed for it, like Super Mario Bros.

3. Controls

Next, you'll need to look at the control options available with the model. Are the buttons easily accessible and well-sized? One of the problems people face with game consoles is finding that the controls are designed for small hands. With compact models, you'll want to ensure the buttons aren't closely grouped since this could make it harder to maintain a smooth gameplay.

There are versatile consoles that can work as handheld devices or home consoles when connected to your TV. These often come with Joy-Con controllers designed to be comfortable and responsive to a seamless gaming experience.

4. Price

The best handheld gaming system could range anywhere between $300 to $700 depending on the features it comes with. The more affordable options might limit your experience since they might have poor visuals or lower performance. However, if you add a few hundred dollars, you could go home with a device that offers a 4K gameplay, among other benefits.

It's crucial to stay within your budget without taking a low-quality option. The most expensive isn't always the most suitable choice since they could come with features that you don't need.

5. Additional Functions

These days, handheld gaming consoles are designed to handle more than just games. They can be used to access social media, stream music, watch movies and TV shows. However, not all consoles can automatically perform these functions, which is why you should ensure your model has this feature before you spend your cash.

Unfortunately, features like media access might mean you'll pay extra since it's not a function found on standard handheld consoles. Alternatively, there are consoles that are also designed to work as clocks. Such systems allow you to keep track of time as you delve into the game.

6. Weight and Design

Finally, you'll want to consider the comfort you experience while using the console. The level of comfort is determined by the size and shape of the device, which is why most handhelds are designed with a compact form. It's easier to hold and control a lightweight console for hours than a bulky one. On the other hand, a large model can cause fatigue in your hands, limiting the amount of time you can spend playing.

If you choose a sleek model, you can easily slip it inside your pocket or bag for playing on the go. This can be a huge advantage, especially if you need an activity to pass the time as you wait for something.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best handheld console of all time?

The Nintendo Switch is the overall best handheld gaming system that you can buy.

2. Does PlayStation have a handheld game system?

Yes, the Sony PlayStation Vita is a handheld game system that's one of the best consoles on the market.

3. What is the latest Nintendo handheld?

The New Nintendo 2DS XL is the latest Nintendo model, which was released back in 2017. 

About the author

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

Anton is the founder of 25pc. He is a huge gaming tech nerd and loves helping people save money. To find out more about him read his about me page.

You might also like

Best Zombie Games for PS4 to Play Now
Best Apex Legends Settings to Boost Competitiveness and FPS
Best Games on Game Pass Monthly Xbox Subscription
Best Dragon Quest Game Ranked In Order of Popularity
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}