Best gaming handhelds 2024

Someone with pink painted nails playing a black handheld gaming device with a bright OLED screen.
Credit: Valve

Someone with pink painted nails playing a black handheld gaming device with a bright OLED screen.
Credit: Valve

The best gaming handheld is a great way to change your gaming habits and sneak in sessions on the move.

While it used to be that only Nintendo really tried in this field, everyone's getting in on it now. That means you can get handheld gaming PCs like the Steam Deck, companion handhelds like the PlayStation Portal, and plenty of retro and unique options too.

To help you sift through the noise, we've put together a list of the best handheld game consoles available right now and split them into different categories so, no matter what you're looking for, there's a handheld here for you. Based on price, reviews, specs, and general performance, here are our top picks...

Best gaming handhelds

  1. PlayStation Portal - best for console gaming
  2. Steam Deck OLED - take your PC library on the road
  3. Nintendo Switch OLED - a classic gaming handheld
  4. ASUS ROG Ally - a great but premium option
  5. Miyoo Mini+ - for retro gaming
PlayStation Portal product image of two sides to a white DualSense controller between a screen.
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Credit: Sony

1. PlayStation Portal

Best console gaming handheld

Brand: Sony
Game Library:

Our first pick is sort of an odd one. While the PlayStation Portal is technically a handheld games console, it's also one that requires you to have your PlayStation 5 on to use it.

That's because this doesn't have games on it as such but instead uses remote play to access your entire PlayStation game library, allowing you to play console favourites on the go.

It's quite cheap compared to other handhelds as a result, and in terms of graphical fidelity and game choice, it does very well seeing as it uses PlayStation's already extensive selection of titles (that's not a bad thing, by the way).

The result is a very good handheld, but one that will require you to already own a PS5 to use it. It's a nice choice for those with partners or family members who want to use the TV though.

Reasons to buy:

  • Amazing for PS5 players who want to lay in bed and game
  • Relatively cheap compared to other handhelds

Read More: Best gaming laptop deals

Steam Deck OLED product image of two hands controlling a black handheld console.
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Credit: Valve

2. Steam Deck OLED

Best PC gaming handheld

Brand: Valve
Games Library: Steam, Emulation

The brand-new Steam Deck OLED brings all of the incredible power and flexibility of the Steam Deck and upgrades it with a larger battery, and a far nicer screen.

The Steam Deck is primarily designed to allow players to take their massive Steam libraries around with them. As many of us have huge back catalogues, it's a good way to chip away at games you might not normally play while you're on a bus or train.

Along with all of those games, the Steam Deck can also be set up for emulation fairly handily, making it a great way to take retro games you own out with you too.

It's just an exceptional handheld gaming console in every right, making it the best for PC gaming without a shadow of a doubt.

Reasons to buy:

  • Great performance all-around
  • Can be used for retro gaming too

Read More: Best Steam deck docks

Nintendo Switch OLED product image of a black handheld screen between two white controllers.
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Credit: Nintendo

3. Nintendo Switch OLED

Best family gaming handheld

Brand: Nintendo
Games Library:
Nintendo Switch games, Nintendo Online Retro Games

The Nintendo Switch OLED is a serious bit of kit that upgrades significantly on its predecessor. Nintendo has strapped a brand-new and much-improved screen onto the amazing handheld console for great detail and clarity in games.

Due to the sheer brilliance of many first-party Nintendo titles, if you want to enjoy some of the best handheld games out there, you sort of have to own a Switch. And, with its accompanying docking station, you can even hook it up to your TV if you wish to play Nintendo favourites like Mario Kart on a much larger screen.

This is particularly handy if you're buying it for a family because it comes with two controllers, and the multiplayer offerings are unrivalled when you've got games like Mario Party and Snipperclips available to you.

Reasons to buy:

  • Easy to use
  • Great for younger gamers and families thanks to the Nintendo game library

Read More: Best Switch docks

ASUS ROG Ally product image of a white handheld console with pink trim around the thumbsticks.
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Credit: ASUS

4. ASUS ROG Ally

Best premium gaming handheld

Brand: ASUS
Games Library: PC, Emulation

The ASUS ROG Ally is an absolute monster of a handheld games console, with so much power on offer it's hard to get your head around.

Aside from having a huge amount of RAM and a giant SSD, this thing runs games smoother than most other options could even dream of doing. And it has access to more games than the Steam Deck because it runs on Windows rather than Linux - great news for Genshin Impact fans.

While the price is a fair bit higher than anything else on our list, its cost is justified when you consider just how powerful it is thanks to its unique AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme Processor.

So, if you want the newest games to look great and run well, then the ASUS ROG Ally is the best way to do that without being tied to a gaming laptop or PC.

Reasons to buy:

  • Amazing screen
  • Plenty of power thanks to its unique processor

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Miyoo Mini+ product image of a black retro handheld console with blue, red, yellow, and green buttons on the right.
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Credit: Miyoo

5. Miyoo Mini+

Best retro gaming handheld

Brand: Miyoo
Games Library: Emulation

Emulation is great if you've got loads of retro games and don't mind putting the contents onto your computer to use emulators properly.

While you can use the ASUS ROG Ally or the Steam Deck, if you want something smaller, substantially cheaper, and, let's be honest, a lot cuter, then the Miyoo Mini+ is an incredible choice.

This tiny console has a 3.5" screen that stunningly displays colours, thus bringing that old-school feel back without the retro graphics. The design is very recognisable as inspired by the Game Boy too, and it has hidden shoulder buttons behind it for improved functionality in-game.

The whole package means you can play a huge number of different retro games on it with no issue, and the size and price make it great for kids, or just to carry around next to your phone.

Reasons to buy:

  • It's incredibly portable
  • Amazing for older games

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Don't worry if you've got a few questions. We've answered some of the most commonly asked queries below.

Which handheld games console is the best?

There isn't one. Yay! Handheld gaming consoles are so competitive that which is best changes based on so many different factors that are nearly impossible to track.

We've listed five great picks above, all of which cover different needs. Take the Steam Deck as an example, which is great if you want to play PC-based titles on the road. If you want Nintendo games though, or retro games only, then something like the Nintendo Switch is going to be the best console for you.

What is the best-selling handheld games console?

The best-selling handheld gaming console of all time is also the second best-selling console overall of all time, which is the Nintendo DS. A lot of that's helped with the sheer number of versions the consoles got, but there's also no denying the sheer appeal of the device at the time of its initial release.

Is the ASUS ROG Ally more powerful than the Steam Deck?

Yes, basically. The ASUS ROG Ally does boast some incredibly impressive stats, and is also generally considered to have better sound quality too. It runs on Windows instead of Linux, which is what most people are used to, and has a higher refresh rate on its screen too.

However, it's not quite as user-friendly in some respects, and is more expensive too. As a result, it's hard to say if one is better than the other definitively. It comes down to what you're after and what you're willing to spend.

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