What is the best handheld console ever? Though the majority of the big-budget, “triple-A” games launch on home console or PC, over the years there have been a number of excellent games that you can take with you on your morning commute. The debut of the Switch, and now the handheld-only Switch Lite, has only increased this library of excellent on-the-go games.
So what is your favorite portable console of all time? Let us know in the comments below!
Paul Tamburro, executive editor: “I’ve never fallen head over heels for a handheld console until the Switch. While I’ve loved many handheld games on the likes of the 3DS, Game Boy, and even the damn PSP, most of their “big” games always felt like home console releases but worse. With the Switch, it’s the exact opposite — despite many of its multiplatform games being technically poorer than their equivalents on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, being able to play them while on the go is a huge selling point. That’s without even mentioning its incredible line-up of exclusives.”
Jason Faulkner, senior editor: “The best handheld is the PlayStation Vita model 1 with the OLED screen. The Vita’s library is… OK, but once you “free” it to live up to its full potential it becomes a mean machine. I hate taking my Switch with me when I travel since it’s a bit expensive, but with the Vita, I can load up an SD card full of entertainment and if it gets lost or stolen I’m only out $100 or so. It’s got a great form factor, excellent screen, and Sony really should have done more with it. My only qualms with the Vita are that it lacks physical R2/L2 and R3/L3 buttons which makes remote play a big pain. Not sure why Sony didn’t add those to the design knowing that remote play was going to be a major feature.”
Michael Leri, features editor: “While I’m still tinkering with my Switch Lite, no handheld has been as awesome as the Vita. Its library of bigger games was decent in the beginning, but its pivot to indie games is what sealed it for me. Many of those experiences were better suited to handheld bursts so most titles that didn’t hold up on console ended up grabbing me on the handheld. Being able to earn trophies, have cross-save, and have everything under one profile — your overall PlayStation profile — was also the cohesive ecosystem I’d been wanting for quite some time. It may have been an easy industry punchline and come out at a bad time, but I’ll always love that thing and continue to play it until I finish every game I have on it.”