The best gaming handhelds for 2024

The landscape of gaming handhelds is brimming with exciting options in 2024, catering to diverse preferences and budgets. Picking the “best” one relies on understanding your needs and priorities. Here’s a breakdown to help you narrow down your search:

For Overall Versatility:

  • Steam Deck: The Steam Deck remains the king of handheld powerhouses, running your entire PC game library (albeit with some tweaks), including AAA titles, on the go. Its extensive game library, customization options, and docking capabilities offer unparalleled flexibility, but its size and price might not suit everyone.

For Nintendo Enthusiasts:

  • Nintendo Switch OLED: This classic handheld keeps getting better. The OLED model boasts a vibrant screen, comfortable Joy-Cons, and access to Nintendo’s stellar library of exclusives like Zelda, Mario, and Pokémon. Its hybrid nature lets you switch between TV and handheld play effortlessly. For a cheaper option, the Switch Lite sacrifices TV out but retains most of the charm.

For Cloud Gaming:

  • Logitech G Cloud: This all-new device prioritizes access to cloud gaming services like Xbox Game Pass and Nvidia GeForce Now. Its sleek design, comfortable controls, and cloud-focused features make it perfect for streaming your favorite games anywhere with a solid internet connection.

For Budget-Conscious Gamers:

  • Retroid Pocket 3+: This handheld packs a punch for its price, running countless retro and indie games flawlessly. Its emulation capabilities let you relive classics from various consoles, making it a nostalgic treasure trove for budget-minded gamers.

For Unique Experiences:

  • Playdate: This quirky handheld stands out with its crank-controlled games, monochromatic screen, and unique seasonal content drops. It’s a charming experiment for those seeking a different kind of gaming experience.

For Premium Retro:

  • Analogue Pocket: This sleek device caters to retro enthusiasts, playing original Game Boy, Color, and Advance cartridges with pixel-perfect accuracy. Its premium build and additional features like save states and rewind make it a dream for classic game lovers.

Bonus Picks:

  • Asus ROG Ally: A powerful Windows-based alternative to the Steam Deck, offering more raw performance at a premium price.
  • AYN Odin 2: A sleek Android-powered handheld focusing on mobile gaming and emulation.

Remember: Before making your decision, consider your:

  • Budget: Prices range from budget-friendly to high-end.
  • Game preferences: Do you prefer AAA titles, retro classics, or cloud gaming?
  • Portability: Consider the size and weight of the device.
  • Features: Is screen quality, battery life, or online play important to you?

Research your options, watch reviews, and compare features to find the gaming handheld that perfectly complements your gaming lifestyle!