You may play video games on your television by using gaming consoles. Because leading manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo introduce new models every five to six years, choosing the perfect console may be challenging. You will be guided through every step of choosing the greatest video game console of 2023 by this in-depth guide.
What to Consider When Buying a Gaming Console
Several key factors go into choosing a video game console:
The games available on a console are a top priority. Evaluate the exclusive game franchises, variety of genres and multiplayer options for each system. Nintendo consoles like the Switch feature popular first-party games like Mario, Zelda and Pokemon you can’t play elsewhere. PlayStation and Xbox consoles battle over blockbuster franchises like Call of Duty and sports games. Make sure your favorite games and genres are supported.
Look at specs like processor speed, memory, internal storage, and graphics capabilities. More power allows consoles to run games with better visuals, frame rates, load times and advanced physics. The PS5 and Xbox Series X represent the cutting edge. Evaluate if you need state-of-the-art power or if a budget console will meet your needs.
Modern consoles do more than just play games. Consider what media apps like Netflix and Spotify are available, if the system supports VR gameplay, and what online services are offered. The Switch lets you game on the go with its handheld mode. The Xbox Series X offers quick resume for multiple games and backwards compatibility. Think about convenience and quality-of-life features.
The controllers you use to play are vital. Look at ergonomics and overall feel in your hands. Nintendo offers innovative controllers like the Joy-Cons with motion controls. Sony’s DualSense controller adds detailed haptic feedback. Make sure standard controllers or options like racing wheels for driving games are available.
Console pricing ranges from $199 to $499. More powerful systems cost more. Evaluate what you can afford now and if it’s worth investing more for advanced capabilities that will carry you through the next several years of gaming. Games are also generally more expensive on newer consoles.
Can the console play games from previous console generations? Backwards compatibility extends the available game library. Xbox has excellent backwards compatibility while Switch and PlayStation are more limited.
By evaluating these factors, you can determine which console best fits your budget, games, features and performance needs.
The Top 5 Gaming Console in 2023
Sony’s newest flagship console has cutting-edge specs, blockbuster exclusives like God of War, stellar third party support and innovative features like 4K video recording and haptic controller feedback.
- Most powerful hardware of any console
- SSD for ultra fast load times
- Amazing exclusives like Spider-Man, Uncharted and Demon’s Souls
- Cutting edge DualSense controller
- 4K gaming at up to 120fps
- Very limited backwards compatibility
- Exclusive games are PlayStation-only
- Often out of stock due to high demand
The PS5 is ideal for players who want the best graphics and performance and must play Sony exclusives like God of War Ragnarok. The $499 price tag is high but delivers a premium next-gen experience.
Microsoft’s flagship console lives up to its name with its 10+ teraflop GPU and gaming performance that rivals many gaming PCs.
- 12 teraflops of power
- Backwards compatible with all Xbox generations
- Quick resume for multiple games
- Game Pass subscription with 100+ games
- Lacks quantity of exclusives found on PlayStation
- Games play best on 4K TV
- Size and design isn’t as sleek as PS5
With impressive horsepower and gaming ecosystems, the $499 Xbox Series X is great for players who want immersive 4K gaming and access to Microsoft franchises like Halo.
The innovative Switch remains the best console for portable gaming on the go and exclusive Nintendo franchises.
- Seamless console and handheld gaming
- Amazing Nintendo exclusives like Breath of the Wild 2
- Affordable $349 price point
- OLED screen for vivid visuals in handheld mode
- More external storage via microSD cards
- Underpowered compared to PS5 and Xbox
- Joy-Con drift remains an issue
- Limited voice chat options
For gamers who love mobile gaming and Nintendo IPs like Mario, Zelda and Smash Bros, the Switch OLED offers versatile gaming at a reasonable price.
4. Rog Ally
The Ally gaming console, from ROG is equipped with a 7 inch display that uses IPS LCD technology. It boasts HD resolution, a 16;9 aspect ratio and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The screen can reach a brightness of 500 nits. Accurately reproduces the entire sRGB color gamut. The display has a quick 7ms response time and complete sRGB colour space coverage. Further, the display comes with a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus.
- Compact, minimalist design
- 7-inch IPS LCD touchscreen featuring FHD resolution, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 120Hz refresh rate.
- 7ms response time
- The processor is paired with AMD Radeon Graphics – offering a graphics performance of 8.6 Teraflops.
- The Z1 Extreme version has an eight-core Zen with sixteen threads and twelve RDNA cores with 24MB cache, with a clock speed of up to 5.10 GHz boost.
- The Asus Gaming Console has a Type-C combo port that supports USB 3.2 Gen2, a slot for external GPUs, a microSD card slot that can handle UHS-II cards and a headphone/mic combo jack.
- 512GB storage fills up fast
- Janky Windows interface
- Relatively short battery life
- More expensive than Steam Deck
- No LTE option
- Not as ergonomic as the Steam Deck
- The powerful processor still struggles to run Windows on a handheld
- Many games require lower graphics settings for smooth performance
5. Xbox Series S
Microsoft’s budget next-gen console gives you seamless access to the Xbox ecosystem at an affordable price.
- Compact, minimalist design
- Silent, fanless operation
- Instant game play via Quick Resume
- Affordable at $299
- Backwards compatible with all Xbox generations
- Less powerful than Series X
- No disc drive
- 512GB storage fills up fast
- No 4K gaming
The Xbox Series S is the best choice for affordability and Xbox exclusives if you game predominantly in 1080p. Digital-only game purchases help keep costs down.
5. PlayStation 4 Pro
Sony’s last-gen high powered flagship allows you to play PS4 exclusives at 4K resolution.
- Often discounted below $300
- Huge PS4 game library
- 4K gaming resolution
- PS+ Collection gives 20 free PS4 games
- Backwards compatible with most PS4 games
- Dated specs compared to PS5
- No disc drive on Digital Edition
- Won’t play PS3 or older games
- Uses outdated spinning hard drive
While dated compared to the PS5, the PS4 Pro lets you play PS4 exclusives like Spider-Man, God of War and The Last of Us Part II at a budget price.
What’s the Best Gaming Console for Exclusive Games?
Nintendo Switch Has the Best Exclusives for Nintendo IPs
The Switch is the only place you can play new 3D Mario games, Zelda adventures, Smash Bros fighters, Animal Crossing life simulators and more Nintendo franchise favorites. Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Metroid Dread are considered some of the best exclusives on any system.
PlayStation Has the Most Exclusive Franchises
Sony has nurtured popular exclusives you can only play on PlayStation like God of War, Spider-Man, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Ratchet & Clank, Horizon Forbidden West and Demon’s Souls. Sequels for these blockbuster franchises are coming.
Xbox Offers the Best Backwards Compatibility
Xbox consoles support gaming from the original Xbox and Xbox 360 in addition to new titles. You can replay classics like Knights of the Old Republic along with Master Chief Collection and Forza Horizon 5. PlayStation back compat is limited to select PS4 games.
When it comes to must-play exclusive franchises, PlayStation currently has the deepest bench of system-selling exclusives spanning many genres while Nintendo wins on first-party family-friendly fun. Xbox has invested heavily into growing their exclusives like Forza and Halo while leveraging backwards compatibility.
The Most Powerful Gaming Hardware in 2023
Sony PlayStation 5
The PS5’s custom 8-core AMD Zen CPU running at 3.5Ghz and high speed SSD storage allow it to reach a blistering 2.23GHz with 10.3 teraflops from its RDNA 2-based GPU. Features like hardware ray tracing acceleration, 3D spatial audio and 4K at up to 120fps give it the graphical edge over any other console.
Microsoft Xbox Series X
Microsoft’s 12 teraflop powerhouse has their fastest CPU at 3.8GHz and patented Velocity Architecture to allow over 100GB of game assets to stream directly from the SSD. Auto Low Latency Mode and support for up to 8K resolution allow it to rival many gaming PCs.
Upcoming Intel Arc Dedicated Gaming GPUs
Intel’s new lineup of discrete Arc GPUs will offer ray tracing and AI-powered upscaling to enhance gaming visuals. Built on the Xe architecture, the high end models promise performance approaching Nvidia’s RTX 3070 but at more affordable pricing. They could enable budget gaming PCs capable of playing the latest games at solid frame rates.
For uncompromising gaming power in 2023, PlayStation 5 is the clear winner, but the Xbox Series X also impresses with how it can approach high end gaming PCs. Upcoming GPUs from Intel Arc could shake up the budget end of the market.
Most Immersive Gaming Experience in 2023
Sony’s next-gen virtual reality system displays 2000×2040 per eye with advanced headset tracking and haptic feedback controllers. Eye tracking, 3D audio and120Hz refresh rate promise major leaps in immersion and realism. Horizon Call of the Mountain as an exclusive launch game has huge potential.
Xbox Series X Paired With LG OLED TV
Microsoft promotes the Xbox Series X as the ideal companion for 4K OLED TVs. Features like Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and up to 120fps make games feel cinematic. Auto Low Latency Mode minimizes input lag. Pairing a 77-inch LG OLED TV with a Series X showcases the visuals and responsiveness at their best.
ROG Huracan G21 Gaming Console
Asus’s concept Huracan console has a built-in 144Hz 4K mini LED display and steam punk design. With rumored 3080-equivalent power, it could offer high end PC gaming visuals right on the console. The integrated screen and compact form factor provide a premium all-in-one system.
Cutting edge VR tech like PSVR 2 appears extremely promising for next level immersion. OLED TVs can unlock a new level of gaming enjoyment from the Xbox Series X. Unique designs like the premium ROG Huracan could shake up expectations.
Most Portable Gaming Experience
Nintendo Switch OLED
With its 6.2-inch 720p OLED screen, the updated Nintendo Switch allows high quality gaming anywhere without sacrificing graphics or performance in handheld mode. Games like Breath of the Wild look amazing on the go. The improved kickstand and larger screen enhance the portable experience.
Valve’s Linux-based handheld runs your Steam library at up to 800p resolution and 60fps frame rate on its 7-inch screen. You can play thousands of games designed for PC on this compact, affordable device with options for external monitors. It’s bulkier but more versatile than the Switch.
Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld
This upcoming Android cloud gaming device streams Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now and Google Play Store games. With its 7-inch screen, tactile buttons and Bluetooth controller support, it provides flexibility for playing Xbox, PC and mobile games untethered from a television.
For on-the-go gaming, the Nintendo Switch OLED is hard to beat with its optimized controls, sharp screen and exclusive franchises. The Steam Deck unlocks PC gaming away from your desk. Cloud gaming handhelds like Logitech’s have huge potential to stream high end games anywhere.
Most Affordable Gaming Console
Xbox Series S – $299
Microsoft’s budget next-gen powerhouse delivers 1440p at 60fps or 120fps gaming for under $300. While not as powerful as Series X, the Series S still provides speedy load times, Quick Resume, and ray tracing. Xbox Game Pass included opens the door to 100+ games.
Nintendo Switch Lite – $199
The Switch Lite ditches the docking station and detachable Joy-Cons of the regular Switch for a compact, true handheld perfect for travel and kids. Access to the amazing Nintendo game library at just $199 can’t be beat. Lack of TV output limits it.
PlayStation 4 Slim – $249
Sony’s last-gen console remains great for exclusives like God of War and Spider-Man if you don’t need 4K. Often discounted below $200, the PS4 Slim plays PS4 games via disc or digital download. You can build a large game library cheaply.
The Xbox Series S stands out for next-gen power at just $299. Nintendo Switch Lite dominates handheld gaming on a budget. PlayStation 4 Slim plays tons of PS4 exclusives at a low price. For affordability, current generation consoles beat out more expensive new models.
The Most Friendly Console for Young Kids
Nintendo consoles have always been the best for family-friendly games appropriate for young kids. Iconic series like Super Mario, Animal Crossing and Pokemon as well as a huge library of E-rated games make the Switch a perfect choice for ages 5-12. Parental controls let you restrict content.
Xbox Series X|S
Xbox consoles get kids gaming sooner with the integrated Easy Mode providing simplified controller layouts in supported games. Xbox Family Settings give parents granular control over screen time, content filters, spending limits and who they can interact with online. Accessible games like Minecraft are kid-approved.
While better suited for teens, the PS5 can still provide appropriate, engaging games for young kids through the Family section of the PlayStation Store. This highlights titles rated E for Everyone or E10+ for Everyone 10 and up. Parental controls are less robust than Xbox though.
From the intuitive controllers to the exclusive franchises, Nintendo consoles continue to be the best choice for getting pre-teens into gaming. Xbox provides the most well-rounded experience for younger kids who want to play games like Minecraft with siblings and friends.
Which Console Has the Best Online Services?
Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate
Microsoft has invested heavily into value-added services like Xbox Live Gold for multiplayer, chat and free monthly games as well as Game Pass Ultimate which provides access to over 100 downloadable games. These subscriptions add tremendous value at a reasonable cost.
PlayStation Plus Collection
Sony built up a compelling catalog of flagship PS4 games that PS5 owners can download and play for free via the PlayStation Plus Collection addon including God of War, The Last of Guardian and more. PlayStation Plus itself lacks Xbox’s multiplayer and free games value.
Nintendo Switch Online
Nintendo’s online service offers competitive and co-op online play as well as cloud save backup for your game progress. The benefit is limited compared to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus. The retro game library is disappointing with missing Nintendo classics.
When it comes to services that enhance the gaming experience, Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate add the most value on top of multiplayer access. PlayStation lags behind slightly. Nintendo needs to continue improving its online ecosystem.
While there is no definitive “best” console that’s right for everyone, evaluating your gaming priorities helps narrow down the choices. PlayStation 5 leads in graphics power and exclusives. Xbox Series X offers advanced performance and ecosystem perks like Game Pass. The Nintendo Switch remains unmatched for portable play and Nintendo magic. Any of these consoles will provide thousands of hours of entertainment. Compare the pros and cons and features that matter most for your needs to decide where to spend your hard-earned money. Game on!