It feels like a distant memory by now, but right before the Nintendo Switch launched in 2017, it seemed like portable gaming was on its last life. Mobile games had gobbled up huge portions of the market, and most modern games required a lot of power to run on devices like the Nintendo 3DS. Fast-forward to today, and there are more ways to take your games outside the living room than ever.
This is a bit of an odd category because, to be quite frank, many of the devices currently on the market aren’t very good. Valve’s Steam Deck kicked off a wave of manufacturers looking to compete with the Nintendo Switch, but many of their offerings are rushed, buggy, or just not a great way to play games. A few have risen to the challenge, and I’m comfortable saying that there are finally some good options to choose from. I’ve spent dozens of hours testing as many gaming handhelds as I could get my grubby hands on—these are the best.
Be sure to check out our other gaming buying guides, including the Best Retro Gaming Consoles, Best Mobile Game Controllers, Best Steam Deck Accessories, and Best Switch Accessories.
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