From Atari to PlayStation: The Must-Have Retro Gaming Consoles for Every Collector

From Atari to PlayStation: The Must-Have Retro Gaming Consoles for Every Collector

Posted by Dave M on

Are you a gaming enthusiast who yearns for the nostalgic bliss of retro consoles? Well, get ready to embark on an exhilarating journey through gaming history! From the iconic Atari 2600 to the groundbreaking PlayStation, we're about to unveil a definitive list of must-have retro gaming consoles that will make every collector's heart race. So dust off your old cartridges, grab some snacks, and let's dive into the world of classic gaming that shaped our love for pixels and adventures!

Why Collect Retro Gaming Consoles?

There are many reasons why collecting retro gaming consoles has become a popular hobby among gamers and nostalgia enthusiasts alike. From the sense of nostalgia it brings to the unique gaming experiences, there are plenty of reasons why people are drawn to these classic consoles.

  1. Nostalgia

One of the main reasons for collecting retro gaming consoles is the strong sense of nostalgia they evoke. Many people who grew up playing these games have fond memories attached to them, and owning the original console can bring back those nostalgic feelings. It's like owning a piece of your childhood and reliving those cherished moments.

  1. Historical Significance

Retro gaming consoles hold a significant place in video game history. They were some of the first gaming systems to hit the market and paved the way for modern-day consoles. Owning these iconic devices allows collectors to appreciate how far technology has come in terms of video games and also serves as a reminder of where it all began.

  1. Unique Gaming Experience

Another reason why collectors love retro gaming consoles is that they offer a completely different gaming experience compared to modern systems. The simplicity and charm of these old-school games cannot be replicated by today's advanced graphics and gameplay. From pixelated graphics to 8-bit soundtracks, playing on these vintage systems transports players back in time.

  1. Collector's Item

With advancements in technology, older gaming systems become more obsolete, making them rare collectibles for avid gamers looking for something unique to add to their collection. As time passes, it  becomes harder to find these consoles in good condition, making them even more valuable to collectors.

  1. Affordable

Retro gaming consoles are often more affordable than modern systems, making them accessible to a wider range of people. This affordability allows collectors to build their collection over time without breaking the bank.

  1. Connection with Others

Collecting retro gaming consoles can also bring people together who share a love for these classic games. Whether it's through online forums, conventions, or local meetups, there are plenty of opportunities for collectors to connect and share their passion for these vintage systems.

Collecting retro gaming consoles offers a sense of nostalgia, historical significance, unique gaming experiences, and the opportunity to connect with others who share the same interest. These factors make it a fulfilling and enjoyable hobby for many avid gamers.

We’ve picked 4 of our favourites that we think are essential to begin your console collection

Atari 2600

The Atari 2600, also known as the Atari Video Computer System (VCS), is arguably one of the most iconic and influential retro gaming consoles of all time. Released in 1977 by Atari, Inc., it was the first console to popularise home video game systems and kickstart the golden age of gaming.


The design of the Atari 2600 was simple yet innovative for its time. It consisted of a black plastic casing with wood-grain panelling on top, giving it a sleek and modern look. The console featured two joystick controllers, a cartridge slot, power switch, and difficulty switches for select games. Its design allowed users to easily set up and play games without any complicated instructions.


Atari 2600's hardware may seem primitive compared to today's advanced gaming technology, but at that time it was groundbreaking. The console had an 8-bit MOS Technology 6507 microprocessor with a speed of 1.19 MHz and only 128 bytes of RAM memory. It was also equipped with custom chips that enabled graphics and sound processing capabilities.


The success of any gaming console depends on its library of games, and the Atari 2600 did not disappoint. With over 500 titles available during its production run from 1977 to 1992, gamers were spoilt for choice. Some notable games include Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Pitfall!, Donkey Kong, and Frogger - all considered classics in their own right

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is arguably one of the most iconic and beloved retro gaming consoles of all time. Released in 1983, it quickly became a household name and set the standard for home video game systems for decades to come.

Designed by Japanese video game giant Nintendo, the NES was originally called the Family Computer (or Famicom for short) in Japan. It was then introduced to the North American market as the NES, accompanied by a catchy marketing slogan - "Now you're playing with power!"

One of the main reasons why the NES was such a huge success was its impressive library of games. From classics like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid, to lesser-known gems like Duck Hunt and Excitebike, there was something for everyone on this console.

The controller design also played a significant role in making the NES popular. Featuring a simple yet functional rectangular shape with two buttons and a directional pad, it set a standard that many modern controllers still follow today.

But perhaps what truly made the NES stand out from its competitors at that time was its revolutionary hardware capabilities. It featured an 8-bit processor that allowed for more complex graphics and gameplay compared to other consoles on the market. This gave developers more creative freedom to create immersive gaming experiences that captured players' imaginations.

Another key factor in the success of the NES was its third-party support. Nintendo actively encouraged developers outside of their company to create games for their system, leading to an even larger catalogue of games.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is a 16-bit home video game console released by Nintendo in 1990. It was the successor to the popular NES and quickly became one of the most beloved consoles of its time, selling over 49 million units worldwide.

One of the main reasons for the SNES's success was its vast library of games, which included iconic titles such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Super Metroid. These games not only pushed the boundaries of graphics and gameplay but also solidified Nintendo's dominance in the gaming industry.

In terms of hardware, the SNES featured an improved processor and better graphics capabilities compared to its predecessor. This allowed for more detailed and colourful visuals, making it a significant upgrade from previous consoles. The controller also underwent some changes, with added shoulder buttons for more control options.

One unique feature that set the SNES apart from other consoles at the time was its Mode 7 graphics mode. This allowed for a pseudo-3D effect in certain games, giving players a glimpse into what could be possible in future gaming technology.

Another factor that contributed to the SNES's popularity was its wide range of third-party support. Many developers were eager to create games for this new system due to its powerful hardware capabilities and established fan base. This resulted in an impressive lineup of games from both first-party and third-party developers.

Sony PlayStation

Sony PlayStation revolutionised the world of gaming when it was first introduced in 1994. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, this console quickly became a household name and a must-have for any gaming enthusiast. With its sleek design, powerful graphics, and vast library of games, the Sony PlayStation took the gaming industry by storm and paved the way for future generations of consoles.

The Original PlayStation, also known as PS One or PSX, was released in Japan in December 1994 and then globally in September 1995. It featured a 32-bit RISC processor and used CD-ROMs for game storage, allowing for larger game worlds and more complex gameplay compared to its competitors at the time. The console's success can be attributed to its iconic controller design which included two shoulder buttons, four face buttons (triangle, square, circle, X), and an analog stick – a feature that had never been seen before in a home console.

One of the most significant factors contributing to PlayStation's success was its impressive library of games. From action-adventure classics like "Metal Gear Solid" and "Crash Bandicoot" to sports games like "FIFA" and racing games like "Gran Turismo," there was something for every type of gamer. The console also introduced iconic franchises such as "Final Fantasy" and "Resident Evil," which are still popular today.

The Future of Retro

The world of retro gaming is constantly evolving, with new technologies and advancements changing the landscape every day. As we look to the future, one question remains on the minds of avid collectors and gamers alike: what does the future hold for retro gaming? Will these classic consoles continue to hold their value and popularity, or will they eventually become outdated relics?

One thing is for sure: retro gaming is here to stay. With a devoted fan base and a sense of nostalgia that cannot be replicated, retro games and consoles are cherished by many generations. And as technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, there are several exciting possibilities for the future of retro gaming.

One trend that has emerged in recent years is the rise of mini versions of classic consoles. These miniature versions offer a convenient and compact way to play some of the most beloved titles from past decades. With features like HDMI connectivity and pre-loaded games, these mini consoles have been hugely popular among both hardcore collectors and casual gamers who want to relive their favourite childhood memories.

Another possibility for the future of retro gaming is virtual reality (VR). While this technology may still be in its early stages, it has already shown great promise in immersing players into nostalgic worlds. Imagine being able to step into your favourite 8-bit game or explore a virtual arcade filled with classic cabinets - VR could take retro gaming to a whole new level.

But perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects about the future of retro gaming is how it will intersect with modern technologies.

What’s your favourite console?

← Older Post Newer Post →


Preserving the Past: Restoring and Protecting Retro Video Games

Preserving the Past: Restoring and Protecting Retro Video Games

By Dave M

In an age where digital content often seems ephemeral, the preservation of retro video games has become a vital endeavor. These vintage treasures hold not...

Read more
The Legacy of Retro Video Games: Why They Still Matter

The Legacy of Retro Video Games: Why They Still Matter

By Dave M

In an industry defined by constant innovation and technological advancement, it's easy to overlook the humble beginnings of video gaming. Yet, the legacy of retro...

Read more