As this gaming generation comes to a close, and as we find our selves stuck at home, it’s time to reflect on which console was the best. While each system still has a fair amount of games scheduled for release, their real appeal is the massive library they already have. However, if you’re just now looking to purchase a current-gen console, it can be overwhelming to find which platform is the best video game console for you.
The criteria for which gaming console is best is a mixture of exclusive games, performance, features and fidelity. A powerful system isn’t much use if it doesn’t have great games to play, and no matter how many titles a console has, it doesn’t matter if they’re all stuttery and low fidelity. But, let’s be honest, this isn’t a purely objective matter. You could ask a dozen gamers to rank the best video game consoles available in 2020 and get completely different answers.
That being said, the video game market isn’t the crowded, sometimes messy, market it was in the 1990s. There are only a few companies that manufacture game consoles, so there aren’t a ton of choices out there. However, these systems do more than ever, so you’ll want to make sure you pick one that will keep you entertained until the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X come out later this year.
Until then, here is our list of the best gaming consoles from the latest generation.
1. PlayStation 4 Pro
Sorry, Xbox fans. The PlayStation 4 Pro wins out on our list of the best gaming consoles because it has the best library of exclusives. The Pro outshines the base model PS4 because it can achieve 4K. PS4 games look and perform better on the PS4 Pro, and it’s the system you should get if you have a 4K TV.
The PS4 Pro isn’t perfect, though. The Xbox One X is a more powerful console overall but doesn’t have an extensive library of exclusives like the PS4 does. Also, the PS4 Pro doesn’t include a 4K Blu-ray drive, which makes it a less versatile media player than it could have been.
2. Nintendo Switch
BEST SECONDARY CONSOLE
Nintendo tends to do its own thing, which means it offers experiences that you won’t be able to get elsewhere. Nintendo owns some of the most iconic video game characters, and the Switch is the only place you’re going to catch game series like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokémon, Animal Crossing and more.
Unfortunately, the Switch isn’t nearly as powerful as the PS4 or Xbox One. Of course, it’s really not meant to be. Yes, it misses out on a lot of great titles. However, it makes up for this with exclusives and the fact that it’s the only portable console on the market. The Switch makes a great second console since you can take it on the go and get a chance to check out all those awesome Nintendo-only games.
3. Xbox One X
MOST POWERFUL CONSOLE
The Xbox One X is a powerhouse of a console that can output games in true 4K. For devoted Xbox players, there’s no question that this is the best gaming console, full stop. And it does have a lot of features to brag about. It’s the first system to take full advantage of 4K and includes a UHD Blu-ray drive that adds a lot of value to the console. Unfortunately, Microsoft just didn’t secure the exclusive games to really put the Xbox One X to work. However, you can pick up the majority of AAA games for Xbox, and there’s no doubt they’ll look amazing on the One X.
The Xbox One X is a massive improvement over the original Xbox One, which performed a bit worse than the base PS4. So, if you played the Xbox One when it first released and weren’t impressed, you might want to give the One X a try.
4. PlayStation 4 Slim
BEST FOR 1080p GAMING
The PlayStation 4 Slim packs all the hardware of the original PS4 in a 30% smaller package. If you’re still gaming on a 1080p TV, you’re not going to get most of the benefits the PlayStation 4 Pro offers, so you might want to consider picking up the PS4 Slim instead.
The PS4 Slim has completely replaced the base PS4 in Sony’s current PlayStation lineup. Its design uses less power, generating less heat, which means it’s more reliable. So, if you want a bare-bones PS4, pick up the Slim. For the money, this is still one of the best video game consoles ever made, even if it appears last on our list.