Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Custom Retro Consoles That Are Better Than The Real Thing

No matter how far technology comes and how advanced graphics may be, there is an undeniable charm in retro gaming. The old-school imagery, the simple controls, the brutal difficulty — it's all so inherently charming. In fact, there are some things that old gaming consoles could do that newer ones can't, such as allowing you to reset your game with the press of a button.

There are tons of classic games that people wish they could play again for the first time. If you've been exclusively gaming on the cutting edge throughout the years, returning to a retro game might feel like playing it with fresh eyes.

For anyone interested in digging up some gems from the past, the good news is you don't necessarily have to buy an old console just to play them. There are plenty of new systems on the market that run old games, but for those who like to get extra creative, some custom retro consoles are even better than the originals. Take a look and see what a little customization can do!

An even smaller Game Boy Advance SP

For many gamers, the Game Boy Advance SP was the ultimate way to enjoy Game Boy games. With its backlit screen and flippable case, it was convenient and small, and its design was closer to the original than the previous model. While some may have liked the flip screen, others might have found it cumbersome, yearning for the simplicity of the classic Game Boy. That's where the Game Boy Advance SP Mini comes in.

YouTuber GPeter7 created a version of the Game Boy Advance SP that is not only an inch shorter than the original, but its thin, lightweight construction makes it more comfortable to hold. Removing the separate closable screen and mounting it closer to the controls creates a more even weight distribution. GPeter7 also designed this model to have smoother edges, so it's easier on your hands. Ergonomics aside, this custom SP comes in a slick two-tone color scheme, so it's just as pleasing to look at as it is to play.

If you love the GBA library but miss the standard shape and design of the original Game Boy systems, this custom is perfect for you.

A better way to dock your Switch

The GameCube controller is a favorite among gamers. If nothing else, it's generally considered the definitive way to play "Super Smash Bros." These controllers are so beloved that an adapter came out to make them compatible with the Nintendo Switch — a system that launched 16 years after the GameCube. But wouldn't it be nice if you didn't need an adapter?

That's why YouTuber Rated-e Mods decided to transform a GameCube into a dock for the Switch. Or rather, convert a Switch dock into a GameCube. This nifty upgrade has a built-in controller adapter that allows you to plug GameCube controllers right into the ports of their proper console. The custom dock even lights up as if it were running one of those signature mini-discs.

Sure, this will take up a little more space than if you were using what you got out of the box, but it cuts down on the extra wires and bulk from the adapter. Plus, the inputs are left exposed on the back of the system, eliminating the cumbersome back cover of the original Switch dock.

All in all, not only is this a very cool mod, but functionally, it's more streamlined than the Switch's pack-in equipment.

A Virtual Boy that won't send you to the doctor

The Virtual Boy was a curious system, to say the least. To some, it was one of Nintendo's biggest mistakes. However, there's a determined group of enthusiasts who are willing to undergo headaches, blurred vision, and ruined posture just to enjoy the black-and-red nightmare that awaits inside that foreboding visor. If you love the limited Virtual Boy library but can no longer afford the medical bills that come with it, then a modder called Shank has just the solution for you.

It only took 26 years for someone to figure out how to make this Nintendo console portable, but the result is truly a sight to behold. Dubbed the "Real Boy," this small handheld Virtual Boy eliminates the 3D gimmick, but in its place you get the comfort and convenience of playing the system in any position and from any distance, your arm's the limit. While this alone is enough to make it an improvement, the Real Boy has a few other notable features not present in the original, such as adjustable monochromatic colors and HDMI connectivity.

Perhaps if this was the original design, the Virtual Boy wouldn't have been a complete failure.