Best console to play older games?

davidg4781

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Oct 28, 2006
2,238
174
Alice, TX
I'm not a big gamer but used to enjoy playing sometimes in the past. I've been thinking of playing lately but not sure which way I should go.

Right now I'm kind of itching to play some of the older games I used to play on a Sega Genesis or PS2. Unfortunately while I have the Genesis I don't have many games. I don't think I have any games for the PS2 either.

I don't mind paying a little but dealing with eBay and all that gets annoying. I remember the Wii had an online store and I bought a few games on my old roommate's Wii.

Is the Wii the best option to fill what I'm looking for? Anything newer? I have an HDTV and I'm not sure how some of these older games will scale.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,552
2,886
The Wii will play those older games just fine but you're limited to games the store stocks, and that amount won't increase now.

Older systems still work on new TV's. Just last night I found+tidied up my NES and it works great on my Bravia (KDL55HX850). I've also got my SNES hooked up via SCART. Every time you boot the system up you need to change the TV to 4:3 but it's fine from there :)

eBay is a good choice. Everything is cheap now, or super rare and collectible, there's no middle ground. And if the seller does screw you over it's pretty easy to file a complaint and get your money back. (some SNES controllers and GB games I ordered were fake but it got resolved)
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,065
4,349
Denmark
I think the Wii currently has the largest library of old school games. The WiiU is catching up, but is far from where the Wii us at the moment.

You can pick up a Wii for nothing, but I am unsure as to how long the Wii Store will be online for sales.

Most of the old school games look fine on an HD TV, as the graphics are already blocky.
 

VI™

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2010
636
1
Shepherdsturd, WV
A first gen PS3 that has backwards compatibility is a nice option. You get the choice of PS3 and PS2 titles and it will play Blu-Ray disc and allow you to stream Netflix. I really enjoyed mine until it finally died. You could probably find one for a decent price.
 

foobarbazqux

macrumors regular
Apr 17, 2014
124
60
I'd go with a Wii (for its Virtual Console which includes lots of games for non-Nintendo systems) and a PS2 if the Wii isn't enough. That gives you tons of options for old-school gaming and they'll look fine on an HDTV; PS2 component cables make a big difference. Using modern TVs can start to become an issue if you use actual old-school consoles but they're fine for the Wii/PS2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Virtual_Console_games_for_Wii_(North_America)

but I am unsure as to how long the Wii Store will be online for sales.
I doubt they'll take the Wii Shop Channel down anytime soon, especially considering that many of the games available via the Wii Virtual Console are not available via the Wii U Virtual Console.
 
Last edited:

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
5,065
4,349
Denmark
I doubt they'll take the Wii Shop Channel down anytime soon, especially considering that many of the games available via the Wii Virtual Console are not available via the Wii U Virtual Console.
While I do agree with your argument, the resent shut down of most of the Wiis online services has left me quite worried.. :(

At least it is possible to transfer VC games to the WiiU.
 

berthaconners

macrumors member
May 20, 2014
86
3
I would go with the wii. Unless you want to emulate on your computer or something. I do that a little, and it's pretty easy to set up. I'm assuming it's illegal, though. Up to you
 

duncyboy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2008
724
1
I'm in the midst of planning a games room for our house and eBay has plenty on offer for old-school gaming. I'm eyeing an N64 for starters and I'll go from there.

If you're limiting yourself to a single purchase then the Wii does have tons of options on the Virtual Console, not to mention Wii games themselves and backwards compatibility with Gamecube titles too. Just don't get a Wii Mini. Many people think it's a "PS3 Slim" version of the Wii- i.e. same innards, smaller package but it's exclusively for playing Wii titles- nothing else.

Shufty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Virtual_Console_games
 

briannaharbor

macrumors member
May 22, 2014
84
0
I'm in the midst of planning a games room for our house and eBay has plenty on offer for old-school gaming. I'm eyeing an N64 for starters and I'll go from there.

If you're limiting yourself to a single purchase then the Wii does have tons of options on the Virtual Console, not to mention Wii games themselves and backwards compatibility with Gamecube titles too. Just don't get a Wii Mini. Many people think it's a "PS3 Slim" version of the Wii- i.e. same innards, smaller package but it's exclusively for playing Wii titles- nothing else.

Shufty: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Virtual_Console_games
I've always wanted a "game" room with all the older ones. That would be so much fun. But I'll usually start a collection, then get busy for a few months, and like not even care anymore. All the power to you, if you have the patience to collect all that stuff.
 

duncyboy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2008
724
1
I've always wanted a "game" room with all the older ones. That would be so much fun. But I'll usually start a collection, then get busy for a few months, and like not even care anymore. All the power to you, if you have the patience to collect all that stuff.
In all honesty "Games" room might be a bit of an exaggeration. It's basically gonna be a spare bedroom with a coupla old consoles and a sofa bed. I don't have the money or space for a full-on collection and Mancave, but I'm always up for a few old classics- especially from the Gamecube/N64 era.

One piece of advice is to avoid retro game stores online. I always find they're overpriced and the service isn't too good. You get just as good a service on eBay and at least you can leave feedback if you're not happy.
 

berthaconners

macrumors member
May 20, 2014
86
3
In all honesty "Games" room might be a bit of an exaggeration. It's basically gonna be a spare bedroom with a coupla old consoles and a sofa bed. I don't have the money or space for a full-on collection and Mancave, but I'm always up for a few old classics- especially from the Gamecube/N64 era.

One piece of advice is to avoid retro game stores online. I always find they're overpriced and the service isn't too good. You get just as good a service on eBay and at least you can leave feedback if you're not happy.
I agree. I too, like most people, have a nostalgia for those older games. The people who sell them in stores and stuff dramatically over price everything. I take my phone with me, and scan the bar codes on the games (if they have one) and I can usually find them for at least a few dollars cheaper online. I know that there is an added expense to own a brick and mortar, but I think they need to do a better job competing with their online competition. If they don't, they wont last.
 

crzdcolombian

macrumors 6502a
Nov 16, 2010
756
113
buy a nintendo Wii for 20-30 bucks. Mod it for free online. Buy a 2gb SD card or bigger or find it in your closet. You can play every sega, super neS, NEs game ever.

If you want to play actually Wii, Gamecube games then you need a external HD. Tho not many good games on either of those systems that don't have Mario, Link or Samus in them. Tho Metroid Prime is legit.

I had basically every game on my Wii then sold it because grad school and didn't want to be distracted
 

briannaharbor

macrumors member
May 22, 2014
84
0
buy a nintendo Wii for 20-30 bucks. Mod it for free online. Buy a 2gb SD card or bigger or find it in your closet. You can play every sega, super neS, NEs game ever.

If you want to play actually Wii, Gamecube games then you need a external HD. Tho not many good games on either of those systems that don't have Mario, Link or Samus in them. Tho Metroid Prime is legit.

I had basically every game on my Wii then sold it because grad school and didn't want to be distracted
So you can just put roms on the sd card and play through the wii?? That's pretty cool
 

datamonger128

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2010
148
22
Newport News, Virginia
The Retron 5 is pretty good for playing older games.....provided you can find one. The system supports Famicom/NES, Super Famicom/SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and I believe Sega Master System (through the use of the Power Base Converter) cartridges. There's a total of six controller ports (two NES, two SFC/SNES, two Genesis/MD) and the console comes with one Bluetooth controller.
 

mandoman

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2005
391
72
Probably a pc. Maybe a Mac. Emulators galore
I'd second this recommendation. You can play pretty much anything PS1 and older full quality nowadays. There are even xbox/ps2 emulators now, but don't know how good they are.

I don't know about you, but I love old coin-op arcade games from the early 80's, and a good Mame set-up is just killer, especially with an x-arcade controller:http://www.xgaming.com

Playing on a controller with identical feel as the original goes a long way towards bringing on full nostalgia. If console games are your bag, than there are plenty of USB options of remakes of those old classic controllers. Here are a just a couple of examples:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_videogames?_encoding=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Retro-Link&node=468642

Although you originally asked which 'console' is best to play on. Modded original xbox is excellent at playing N64 and older, all they way back to Atari 2800. Newer modded consoles I think only go back to NES, but my modding days are long over, so don't know what is best now.

If the legality of playing emulated roms from scrupulous sources bothers you, I'd still recommend emulators and buy the IOS version or similar if available of that game to cover licensing. If game is not available for purchase, than don't feel guilty, you are helping preserve those games. Otherwise, the recommendation to buy a used Wii original and buy games from the Wii store is a good one, though no telling how long that store will be open. I also like the recommendation to buy a retro console that plays the original carts. Unlike other posters, I say buy games from your local used video-game shop that sells them. Yes, it might be a tad higher priced than ebay, but you are supporting a small local business that is probably making diddly squat and can really use your business. Those guys are hard-corps gamers, usually very cool and worth supporting.
 

briannaharbor

macrumors member
May 22, 2014
84
0
I'd second this recommendation. You can play pretty much anything PS1 and older full quality nowadays. There are even xbox/ps2 emulators now, but don't know how good they are.

I don't know about you, but I love old coin-op arcade games from the early 80's, and a good Mame set-up is just killer, especially with an x-arcade controller:http://www.xgaming.com

Playing on a controller with identical feel as the original goes a long way towards bringing on full nostalgia. If console games are your bag, than there are plenty of USB options of remakes of those old classic controllers. Here are a just a couple of examples:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_videogames?_encoding=UTF8&field-brandtextbin=Retro-Link&node=468642

Although you originally asked which 'console' is best to play on. Modded original xbox is excellent at playing N64 and older, all they way back to Atari 2800. Newer modded consoles I think only go back to NES, but my modding days are long over, so don't know what is best now.

If the legality of playing emulated roms from scrupulous sources bothers you, I'd still recommend emulators and buy the IOS version or similar if available of that game to cover licensing. If game is not available for purchase, than don't feel guilty, you are helping preserve those games. Otherwise, the recommendation to buy a used Wii original and buy games from the Wii store is a good one, though no telling how long that store will be open. I also like the recommendation to buy a retro console that plays the original carts. Unlike other posters, I say buy games from your local used video-game shop that sells them. Yes, it might be a tad higher priced than ebay, but you are supporting a small local business that is probably making diddly squat and can really use your business. Those guys are hard-corps gamers, usually very cool and worth supporting.
A very useful post. I would have to agree with buying from local guys, but the problem is that you might be getting defective games that might not work all the way. I have a Nexus 7, and I have an xbox 360 controller hooked up to it. I can emulate tons of old games, and its awesome in terms of playback. I would vote for that, most definitely.
 

mandoman

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2005
391
72
I'm not a big gamer but used to enjoy playing sometimes in the past. I've been thinking of playing lately but not sure which way I should go.

Right now I'm kind of itching to play some of the older games I used to play on a Sega Genesis or PS2. Unfortunately while I have the Genesis I don't have many games. I don't think I have any games for the PS2 either.

I don't mind paying a little but dealing with eBay and all that gets annoying. I remember the Wii had an online store and I bought a few games on my old roommate's Wii.

Is the Wii the best option to fill what I'm looking for? Anything newer? I have an HDTV and I'm not sure how some of these older games will scale.
Here's a good 16bit emulator for mac (since this is a mac forum) I forgot to post earlier:
http://openemu.org/

I also forgot to address the PS2 side of your question. I'd recommend a PS3 of all things actually. Sony has a fantastic collection of old ps1 and ps2 classics available for sale on the PSN store:

https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com/#!/en-us/classics/cid=STORE-MSF77008-CLASSICS?emcid=ps-ga-872&utm_medium=Paid_Search_{ps}&utm_campaign=Games&utm_source=Google&utm_term=ps-ga-872&utm_content=Brand

This on top a great selection of AAA PS3 titles. Once you start playing some of those newer modern games, you may find it hard to go back to the old stuff.

PS4 does not have PS1/PS2 games (yet), and if they come, they will be likely be 'streamed', so it's hard to recommend that. PS3 is still great with new titles still coming out for it for the next year or so, cheap now, doubles as a blu-ray player and has TONS of games. You can even play a few Sega games on it, but no Nintendo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic's_Ultimate_Genesis_Collection

Finally, PS3 has alot of great Indy titles, many which are very retro and are as good as anything vintage. Worth checking out.

Best question to ask youself is which games you want to play?

Good luck
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
I'm not a big gamer but used to enjoy playing sometimes in the past. I've been thinking of playing lately but not sure which way I should go.

Right now I'm kind of itching to play some of the older games I used to play on a Sega Genesis or PS2. Unfortunately while I have the Genesis I don't have many games. I don't think I have any games for the PS2 either.

I don't mind paying a little but dealing with eBay and all that gets annoying. I remember the Wii had an online store and I bought a few games on my old roommate's Wii.

Is the Wii the best option to fill what I'm looking for? Anything newer? I have an HDTV and I'm not sure how some of these older games will scale.
PS Vita. You get all Vita games, as well as all PSP games (download) as well as all PSOne (download) games.

Or PS3, where you get PS1, PS2 (download) and PS3 games
 

musicjunky

macrumors regular
Sep 20, 2013
200
0
The Wii is great for emulating most of the retro systems up to SNES. And you also get the Gamecube and Wii library.
 

berthaconners

macrumors member
May 20, 2014
86
3
The Wii is great for emulating most of the retro systems up to SNES. And you also get the Gamecube and Wii library.
Yeah, but those games on there are probably really expensive, no? And do they offer all the games that were for that console?