What’s the best console in 2023? Well, for as long as game consoles have existed, there have been arguments over which is best. We’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s potentially the most subjective discussion in technology right now. Despite that, we’re here to help you narrow down exactly what the best console is.
Granted, that will change depending on your gaming priorities, budget, and who you plan to play with. In particular, if you’re looking for a console to play with the whole family, the best console will likely differ from the one for a solo player.
Edging out the competition thanks to some great exclusive games that really push the hardware, the PlayStation 5 also has a unique controller in the DualSense, giving you a feeling of more immersion. The console itself has a divisive look, but its system user interface is a delight to use, refining what worked well for Sony consoles before. If you only want to own one console, this is the one to go for.
Sony retains its reputation for being cool with the PlayStation 5. That exterior takes some getting used to, but there’s no denying it feels futuristic. Alongside that is its DualSense controller, which adds haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, so you feel more in control. It’s a delight to squeeze gently down to fire a gun in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and feel more drawn into the action or leap through the skies of New York as Spider-Man in a more tactile manner.
Other exclusives like God of War: Ragnarok and The Last of Us remind you of the strong storytelling of games, with each looking a delight on the hefty console. Storage could be much better, with only 667GB of usable space, so you’ll have to go through the faff of upgrading the storage yourself. Still, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to usual gaming upgrades.
Xbox Series X and S
The Xbox Series X is far from the most stylish console being a literal giant black box. Nor does its user interface stand out being the same as the Xbox One before it. Still, it’s powerful and has Dolby Vision and Atmos support out of the box if your TV can handle it. It has the advantage of working with almost all your previous Xbox One accessories too, but that can mean you feel like you’re using a refined version of your old console rather than something new.
Xbox Game Pass also offers plenty of Xbox One and back catalog titles, but it’s a fantastic value proposition given you simply pay a monthly fee for dozens of games. Titles like Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 look great, even if exclusives are thin on the ground outside the big hitters. There’s a fond familiarity here that works well for it.
In every way, the Xbox Series S is the Series X’s little sibling. It’s not as powerful, so you won’t get 4K performance from this device, plus it lacks an optical disc drive. Leaving you reliant on internal storage is a brave move when there’s only 364GB to play with. However, you can upgrade it with some pricey proprietary external storage. Despite those issues, it’s an incredibly accessible way of enjoying Xbox Series X games for less with 1440p resolution keeping most people happy.
It’s also tiny, so you can easily take it between locations, while there’s always Xbox Game Pass to keep you entertained with a never-ending wealth of games. If you’re a stickler for the best graphics, you’ll need to spend the extra for the Series X, but the majority will appreciate the cheaper Series S’s charms. Tag on an Xbox controller from the previous generation, and you have the perfect multiplayer setup for less.
Nintendo knows how to flourish while doing something different. The standard Switch is a delight, but the OLED adds even more to it thanks to its large 7-inch display. It’s the perfect size to highlight how bright and vibrant OLED looks with games like Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons looking gorgeous. The console itself can be used either in docked mode, hooked up to your TV, or on the move if you don’t mind some lightweight battery life of around 3-4 hours, depending on what you’re playing.
Other upgrades include enhanced speakers and a better kickstand for those rare times you want to play multiplayer without a TV. It’s far from a powerhouse system, but the games available are the kind to stick in your mind for a long time to come. Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros will divide families in the best way. At the same time, there are immersive experiences in first-party exclusives like The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom, and beloved third-party titles like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the much-acclaimed Persona 5 Royal.
Realized you’ll probably never dock your Nintendo Switch? If you want a pure portable experience, the Nintendo Switch Lite is it. It’s small and lightweight, therefore easy to toss in your bag, with a wide selection of colors to add a personal touch. It won’t dock with your TV, so its controls are built into the unit. You’ll never see 1080p quality here with the screen sticking to 720p, but the games still look sharp.
Do you have anything you’d like to add? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below!