The 7 Best Video Game Consoles To Buy in 2024

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

At a Glance: The Best Video Game Consoles

More from Rolling Stone

In This Article

  • What Are the Best Video Game Consoles?

  • Buying Guide: How to Pick a Video Game Console

With gaming on the rise over the last few years, more and more people are buying their first video game consoles or returning to gaming after years away from sitting on a couch, firing up a game, gripping a controller, and getting ready to enter a new digital world. Video games are more accessible and fun, while consoles are easier to setup and get started.

Although Nintendo and Sony are the most popular gaming consoles, there are others that are more powerful and suit different types of gamers. There are even consoles that can access and play multiple platforms for a richer and well-rounded experience. In fact, some systems can be all-in-one entertainment centers for gaming, watching 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and streaming movies, TV shows, and music on a big-screen 4K TV.

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite video game consoles, including picks we’ve tried ourselves, along with 4.0+ star-rated systems from top brands. Here are our top choices below.

What Are the Best Video Game Consoles?

If you’re looking to pick up a new gaming console, here are seven of the best ones to get in 2024, based on hands-on use, consumer reviews, performance, graphics, and extensive library of games and franchises.

1. Sony PlayStation 5

Sony PlayStation 5 Slim Disc Edition in white
Sony PlayStation 5 Slim Disc Edition in white


Buy Now On Amazon

Although there might be some debate, the Sony PlayStation 5 is the best overall video game console you can buy in 2024. It has true 4K gaming with HDR (High Dynamic Range) picture quality for bright and vivid colors with darker and deeper black levels, up to 120 frames per second with 120Hz video output for buttery smooth action and motion, backwards compatibility with PS4 games, and much more. Additionally, the “slim” version of the console is more than 30 percent smaller by volume and 18 percent lighter compared to the original iteration released in 2020.

The disc edition of the console comes with a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray drive that’s detachable to make it even slimmer when not in use, while it retains its white look and feel — but with a new four-panel design. The top two panels of the console are glossy, while the bottom two have a matte finish.

The Sony PS5 is designed with two front-facing USB-C and two rear USB-A for expansion, inputs and peripherals, as well as HDMI out and Ethernet ports. It includes 1TB of on-board storage and comes with a single Sony PS5 DualSense wireless controller, an HDMI cable, a horizontal stand, and an AC power cable.

It also has one of the best lineup of exclusive games and franchises, including The Last of Us, Uncharted, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Final Fantasy, Ratchet & Clank, God of War, Gran Turismo, and more.

Meanwhile, the Sony PS5 comes in a disc edition for $499 and an all-digital edition for $449.

“As a complete package, there is no question that PlayStation 5 is the best option for gamers today. It has everything: multi-platform hits, a deep back catalog through PlayStation Plus, and an incredible lineup of exclusive first-party IP. Starting 2024 with games like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth and Helldivers 2, it’s the console you need for the year’s buzziest titles.” —Chris Cruz, Executive Producer of Content Studio at Rolling Stone.

Promising Customer Feedback: “I’m blown away by the incredible gaming experience it delivers. The graphics are stunning, the loading times are practically non-existent, and the overall performance is nothing short of phenomenal. The exclusive titles available showcase the true power of this console, making each game a captivating adventure.” —King

2. Xbox Series X

Lifestyle photo of Xbox Series X in carbon black
Lifestyle photo of Xbox Series X in carbon black


Buy Now On Amazon

The Xbox Series X is a speedy and powerful gaming console from Microsoft. This console delivers true 4K gaming with Dolby Vision support, frame rates up to 120 frames per second for buttery smooth gaming, advance graphics, excellent sound and up to 1TB of on-board storage. It also has one of the best, if not the best, gaming controllers ever made.

While Xbox doesn’t have as many exclusives as PlayStation 5, Microsoft has its own library of AAA franchises, like Halo, Forza, Gears of War, Fallout, World of Warcraft, and much more, and top-tier studios, such as Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, Activision Blizzard, and others. The console even doubles as a formidable 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc player.

“2024 is the year to invest in Xbox, with major exclusives like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II and Indiana Jones and the Great Circle creating a ton of hype and – most importantly – launching day one on Game Pass. With a seamless user experience and instant access to new and classic games through Game Pass, the Xbox Series X may offer the best deal in gaming.” —Chris Cruz

Promising Customer Feedback: “Step into the realm of gaming greatness with the Xbox Series X, the Hercules of consoles – muscular, powerful, and ready to elevate your gaming experience to celestial heights! Assembling this gaming marvel was simpler than beating level one of a classic arcade game. Unbox, plug in, power up, and voila! I was transported into a world of immersive gaming splendor.” —PrimingFX

3. Xbox Series S

Xbox Series S in carbon black 1TB
Xbox Series S in carbon black 1TB

$349 $379.99 8% off

Buy Now On Amazon

While gaming can get really expensive really quickly, pairing the Xbox Series S with a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate — which grants you access to hundreds of streaming games and online multiplayer at $16.99 per month — is an incredible value for get more bang for your buck.

The Xbox Series S is the digital-only version of the Xbox Series X, but a slightly less powerful at four teraflops of performance instead of 12 teraflops and a lower 2K video resolution at 1440p Quad HD instead of true 4K Ultra HD. However, you can play the same games, on-board storage, and comfortable and grippy gaming controller as the Xbox Series X at a lower price.

“As a more affordable entry console, the Xbox Series S offers the same stellar user experience as the Series X in a sleeker plug-and-play package. It still delivers 1440p visuals and is home to every day one exclusive and multi-platform game you’ll want. As a digital-only device, it is the perfect way to take advantage of Game Pass to experience the joys of modern gaming without the fuss.” —Chris Cruz

Promising Customer Feedback: “I’m playing Assassin’s Creed Mirage right now in beautiful 1440p. It was definitely worth the buy with the 1TB storage over the Series S base model. For those worried about quality vs. a Series X or PS5, well, most games are gonna give you the option of 1080p, 60fps or 1440p, 30fps. It’s a really good deal. If you want to jump into next-gen gaming without spending a ridiculous amount of money this is your ticket. Small, quiet, and fast.” —Justin Bowman

4. Nintendo Switch OLED

Lifestyle photo of Nintendo Switch OLED in white with plastic case
Lifestyle photo of Nintendo Switch OLED in white with plastic case

$311.95 $349 11% off

Buy Now At Walmart

The Nintendo Switch OLED is the famous game company’s gaming handheld that can be played portably on a sharp 7-inch 720p OLED display with up to five hours of battery life per charge, while it can also be connected to a TV with its included dock. It’s really a hybrid system that brings the best of portable gaming with a traditional home console.

The Joy-Con controllers are detachable, while the Switch has a kickstand, so you can play on a table or desk. There’s also a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller that’s a more traditional gaming controller. However, it’s sold separately.

It comes with 64GB of on-board storage, which is more than enough to storage about a dozen or so games, while the handheld is designed with an expansion microSD slot for additional storage up to 256GB.

Meanwhile, one of the Nintendo Switch OLED’s best features is its exclusive titles of iconic game franchises, including Super Mario Bros. Wonder, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Pokémon Violet and Pokémon Scarlet, Detective Pikachu, Pikmin 4, Metroid Dread, and much more.

“Nobody does it like Nintendo, with their historic library of iconic IP. The best way to experience modern classics like Tears of the Kingdom on-the-go is through the Nintendo Switch OLED, whose larger screen size and rich color reproduction make worlds pop as beautifully in handheld as they do with the console docked to your home TV. And with games like Princess Peach: Showtime! on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to join the party.” —Chris Cruz

Promising Customer Feedback: “I was a little skeptical about how much we would really like this device, however the Nintendo Switch has brought so much joy to our home and relationship! So many good games to pick from, wonderful graphics, and with the purchase of a good case it’s so easy to transport and play at other homes! We even took it on vacation with us to Germany.” —Joshua

5. Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch


Buy Now On Amazon

On a tight budget? The original Nintendo Switch still offers a great value in gaming with exclusive titles, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 3, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Mario Odyssey, and others, and three modes of gaming for TVs, handheld, and tabletops. It’s very similar to the Nintendo Switch OLED, only with a smaller 6.2-inch LCD, wider display bezels, colorful red and blue Joy-Con controllers, and less on-board storage at 32GB.

Aside from that, the Nintendo Switch is pretty much the same console with the same games as the Nintendo Switch OLED, but at a much cheaper price.

“Despite having a slightly smaller LCD screen than the highest end Switch model, the OG Nintendo Switch is no slouch. It has the exact same interface and games, with an array of Joy-Con colors available to customize to your tastes. Great on the go, it’s also perfect for players who may want to spend most of their time gaming on their home television screen – delivering the same 1080p resolution as the OLED model when docked, at a friendlier price point.” —Chris Cruz

Promising Customer Feedback: “I recently acquired the Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con, and I am thrilled to share my overwhelmingly positive experience with this versatile gaming console. The Nintendo Switch offers a truly unique and captivating gaming experience that has exceeded my expectations.” —Liubov H.

6. Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite in turquoise
Nintendo Switch Lite in turquoise


Buy Now ON Amazon

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more compact, lightweight, and inexpensive version of the Nintendo Switch console proper. It’s smaller design with a 5.5-inch LCD display is great for kids, while the Nintendo Switch Lite’s unibody design is durable and tough — which is also ideal for kid use. Its Joy-Con controllers are not detachable, so kids won’t be in danger of losing one during gameplay.

While the Nintendo Switch Lite plays the same games as its two bigger siblings, the handheld console doesn’t come with a TV dock, so you can’s connect to a TV for larger at-home gaming. And since its controllers aren’t detachable, you can’t play with friends in-person, or play a few games that exclusively use the Joy-Con controllers, like WarioWare: Move It!, Nintendo Switch Sports, 1-2-Switch, and others. However, one of the best things about the handheld is that it actually includes a proper D-pad instead of four separate direction buttons like on the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch OLED.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite comes in four colors, such as turquoise, gray (pictured above), coral, blue, and yellow.

“The beauty of the Nintendo Switch Lite is that it does everything the other models do while having an even more mobile-friendly build. It’s a great fit for people who focus mostly on single-player games, or for traveling and playing on the commute. As the most affordable Switch option, it’s perfect for kids or anyone looking to relive the days of the Game Boy with a modern touch. Subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack to access classic games and literally make it a Game Boy.” —Chris Cruz

Promising Customer Feedback: “Bought this for my kids 10th birthday. Its sleek design and vibrant display make gaming on the go a delight. The lightweight feel and comfortable controls provide an immersive experience. The extensive game library ensures endless entertainment. The battery life is impressive, lasting through long journeys. The Lite’s affordability compared to the original Switch is a huge plus since she doesn’t need detachable Joy-Cons. I love and appreciate Nintendo for making this more affordable option.” —JD

7. Asus ROG Ally

Asus ROG Ally on
Asus ROG Ally on


Buy Now On

The Asus ROG Ally is a powerful handheld gaming PC that’s surprisingly lightweight with a premium feel in the hand, especially when it comes to its clicky triggers and action buttons. However, don’t let its small and portable size fool you. This handheld is a beast with a powerful and speedy AMD Ryzen Z1 or AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, a crisp and clear 7-inch touchscreen display, and 16GB of memory paired with up to 1TB of on-board storage (expandable with microSD card).

The Asus ROG Ally runs a full version of Windows 11, so you can play gaming from various platforms, including Steam, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Epic, RetroArch and much more.

Promising Customer Feedback: “I’ve never been a PC player, always console. But I travel a lot. And this thing has been able to handle any game I have thrown at it. I’m extremely impressed.” —Satisfied shopper

Buying Guide: How to Pick a Video Game Console

There are many factors to think about when choosing the best video game console for you. Ahead, you’ll find a few important factors that we considered when putting this list together.

Function: Although a good gaming console allows you to play your favorite video games, there are a few different ways you can play. Consoles, like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X lets you play on your big screen TV in your home, while handheld systems, like the Nintendo Switch Lite and Asus ROG Ally, allow you to play games on-the-go. However, options, like the Nintendo Switch OLED lets you play both ways. In addition, PS5 and Xbox Series X are also powerful streaming devices and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc players.

Game Library: What good is the console without great games to play? From first-person shooters to platformers and role playing games to open world adventures, one of the reasons why people are so devoted to their consoles is the extensive library of exclusive games they offer. For example: If you want to play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you have to get a Nintendo Switch. You can’t play Zelda on PS5 or Xbox. Each console platform has their own exclusive games, so figuring out what looks like fun to play is a good place to start.

Storage: Once you figure out which games to buy, then you have to consider storage size for all of your games. Most modern gaming consoles tap out at 1TB of on-board storage. It might sound like a lot of space, but 1TB is enough storage for about 10 games or so. You’ll need additional storage, or delete older games that you don’t play anymore, if you want more games. Most handheld consoles have a set limit of storage too, but come with built-in microSD card slots or USB ports for more storage space.

Price: Getting a new video game console can be expensive with prices upwards of more than $700. However, if you take care of it, the system should last you around 10 years of use. But, you don’t have to break the bank, if you want an amazing console for less than $200.

Customer reviews have been edited for length and clarityand size availability is posted at the time of publication.

Best of Rolling Stone