For so many households in Canada, video game consoles are a common fixture. Consoles provide high quality entertainment for both kids and adults. Alongside video games, consoles can be used for streaming videos, movies, and TV and in this way, they often become mini entertainment centers for everyone in the family. Luckily, all the top console options are available on the Canadian market.

With an array of options available, now is an optimal time to buy a video game console. Current models are highly advanced and designed for continuously better games. Playing is more immersive and interactive than ever before. After having studied the top consoles to have ever been created, we wrote this guide to help you choose the best options for you and your family.

Key Facts

  • All leading manufacturers design top quality video game consoles. Console functions are diverse, often focusing on different types of players and interests.
  • Flexibility, mobility and audio-visual quality are key functions to consider
  • Player age is important to keep in mind when deciding on a console.  It is important to understand the parental control functions these platforms provide.

Ranking: The best game consoles in Canada

In the next section, we discuss the best game consoles currently available in Canada. We will introduce you to the most important features of each model in order to help you make the best decision. Here is our top 5 ranking:

No. 1: PlayStation 4 Pro (PS4)

The PlayStation 4 is one of the leading consoles currently available. It includes 4K, HDR 10 compatibility alongside an extensive and increasingly exclusive range of games. To a large extent, PlayStation and XBOX games are available on each platform. PlayStation 4 games include a wide array of themes providing something of interest for different users.  Additionally the PlayStation 4 also has many indie and niche games that other consoles don’t have.

This console is home based. It can be used different screens within the home such as TVs, your computer, or on a PlayStation Vita, the brand’s handheld console.  Last the Play Station 4 enables you to use PlayStation VR headset which is both one of the most advanced and affordable VR options.

No. 2: Xbox One X

Xbox One X by Microsoft is an excellent console.  It integrates a 4k Blu-ray player and enables gamers access to a range of excellent gaming options alongside high-resolution video. It serves as a multi-use entertainment system,for users who want to both play games and watch movies.  For example, the console integrates with Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video, and so can be used as a viewing system.

Other key features of the Xbox One are its audio and graphic quality. It integrates 4K Blu-ray and HDR video playback. However, there doesn’t seem to be any plans for VR integration. That said, there are a wide range of gaming options and a growing number of last-generation console games are becoming compatible with Xbox One.

No. 3: Nintendo Switch

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The Nintendo Switch console is a unique gaming option that is unparalleled in terms of gamer flexibility. Nintendo Switch provides high-level features of a home console.  However, it can be used as a handheld device. This flexibility makes it exceedingly simple to travel with the device and play where ever you like.

Nintendo Switch integrates detachable controls and motion detection systems. Additionally, the game selection is diverse – with access to the newest games such from Yoshi’s Crafted World, and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to older games that have now become retro such as the Stardew Valley and Dead Cells.

No. 4: SUPER NES Classic Mini

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The SUPER NES Classic is a miniaturized recreation of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System, that was released in the early 80s.  The console comes with 30 classic retro games. Older players will be transported back to their childhood years as they enjoy Super Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda and more.

Mini retro consoles are relatively popular amongst adults and children.  However, the controller is cord based, and the chord is short. Additionally, many of the games it has will be coming to Switch. That said, Nintendo no longer produces the Classic Mini, so if you are especially interested in a retro console, we advise buying one while these products are still available.

No. 5: New Nintendo 3DS XL

The New Nintendo console is an advanced handheld console.  Some of its most important features: a powerful 3D screen and a built-in analogue pad. Game selection is diverse including Nintendo Classics and newer options such as Monster Hunter 4 as well as the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.  The console operates in some ways like an iPad with internet access.

This console is great for long commutes, as it is light, exceedingly portable and can be played in any environment.  Its interface, design and game selection all but ensure your journeys to be much more exciting. This console can be purchased in either black or blue.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about game consoles

With so many options on the market, buying the best console for you and your family requires careful research. Naturally, most parents want to know which console is best for their children. In this section, we answer some of the most important questions to help you make the right decision.

Most modern video game consoles are connected to the internet.
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Can I supervise my children while they play?

All the products we featured offer different levels of parental control. While you can’t know exactly what your child is doing on the console, parental supervision functions give you the possibility to authorize certain games and block others. You can also set a limit on game time, and pick at which hours your children can play.

The parental control features of the Nintendo Switch, for instance, are excellent. You can put a different time limit for each day of the week, and the system will send a notification to your child when it’s time to stop. You will even receive a monthly report with information on which games your kid most enjoys and how many hours per month he spends on playing.

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Did you know that Iwatani and his team created Pacman while eating pizza?

At what age can my child start playing video games?

Opinions diverge significantly regarding the minimum age required to play video games. Throughout childhood, it is important to prioritize outdoor play. Screen time should be monitored and limited, especially among children under the age of five.

Age ratings are essential when you’re deciding which games your children can play, but don’t rely on them alone. It is important to conduct your own research, and follow your own judgement and common sense. Parental control functions are an invaluable tool to make sure your kid plays safely.

Take a look at the game genres offered by each console before settling for a specific model.
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What are the benefits of video games?

While playing outdoors is key for child development, video games also offer benefits when it comes to your child’s cognitive, motor and social development. Here is a quick list of the key advantages of video games:

  • They test analytical and problem-solving skills: Video games push players to constantly make decisions. Many games – in particular those that immerse players in deep narratives – require analysis and planning. Children are also taught to follow rules.
  • They teach how to focus on several activities at once: Most video games demand alertness and attention – especially adventure games. Children have to solve problems without losing sight of their energy level or other obstacles.
  • They contribute to the development of social skills: Your child can learn about healthy competition when playing against others.  Additionally, co-operation games train for teamwork.

Should I invest in a last-gen game console?

The latest home consoles offer greater technical capabilities. The Xbox One X, for instance, gives you the possibility to play games and watch movies in 4K resolution. In that regard, it is completely worth investing in the latest console if you already have a 4K TV: the gaming experience will be all the more immersive.

Older consoles are more affordable. However, you have to consider that manufacturers eventually stop producing games compatible with them. If you want to enjoy the latest games, we encourage you to choose a relatively new console. That way, the selection of games available to you will keep expanding.

Remember to pay attention to age ratings when buying games for your kids.
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Can you surf the internet with a game console?

The majority of modern consoles offer an access to internet. Several products in our selection are designed for online gaming, like the PlayStation 4. Video game consoles can be used in a similar way to tablets or smartphones once connected.

This connection gives you the ability to access new function and applications. It allows multiplayer gaming with players from all around the world. However, this quick access to browsing the internet means it is important for you to monitor your children.

Shopping Criteria

The leading manufacturers in the video game console industry are continuously reinventing themselves to offer very the best platforms possible. This is great news for us, as it means that all consoles are top quality devices, each bringing a little something different to the table. The following section will introduce you to key aspects that you should take into account if you want to buy the console that’s just right for your needs:

  • Age of your child
  • Playing context
  • Game selection
  • Additional uses
  • Technical demands

Age of your child

The game selection is diverse; therefore, all consoles can truly be enjoyed by children, teenagers and adults alike. That said, certain characteristics makes different models tailored for more specific age groups.

Age group Needs Most appropriate consoles
Children (6-10 years of age) Fun and simple games designed for short periods of play. Flexibility of use and mobility. Strict parental control. Nintendo Switch
Preteens (9-12 years of age) More elaborate games, but still suitable for children. Consoles that allow family games. Xbox One S, PlayStation 4
Teenagers and adults More complex games, with captivating plots. Consoles with more powerful technical capabilities, tailored for avid players. Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, Super NES Classic Mini

Playing context

Leading console manufacturers are committed to flexibility and mobility. Your kid’s gaming tastes, as well as your own, should be considered when choosing the right console for your family.

Handheld models will be your best option if you want to entertain your children during long trips. For versatility, you can opt for the recent hybrid console, the Switch; or you can stick to a purely portable device like the Nintendo 3DS.

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A home console like the PlayStation 4 is ideal if you’re looking for something that the whole family can enjoy.

Game selection

We’ve briefly discussed this earlier, but we want to emphasize: study game selection of the consoles before choosing a specific model. It’s always good to have an idea of the themes or specific games that your child and you will be interested in playing. While the majority of games now have versions for each platform, there is a slight variation from one console to the next.

Home consoles that offer greater audiovisual power and capacity tend to have more intense games with more mature content: this is the case of PlayStation 4, for example. The Nintendo Switch, on the other hand, features a larger selection of games for younger children. Certain iconic games are also exclusive to specific consoles – the Mario games are only available on Nintendo devices.

Children, teens and adults can play all video game consoles.
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Additional uses

Your whole family will have endless hours of fun with a powerful console and a good selection of video games. Keep in mind that most consoles sold right now can provide other types of entertainment too. If you want everyone in your household to enjoy your new device, think about a console that is a true entertainment hub.

You can watch your favorite series and movies on Netflix– both of which are at your disposal on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One X, for example. The Nintendo Switch is ideal for your child to watch their favorite videos on YouTube, which is especially handy while travelling.

Entertainment apps are available on both home and portable consoles.
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Technical demands

The console you’ll need to buy for your family will also be determined by the overall technical quality you want. It is recommended to opt for a powerful console like the Xbox One X or PS4 if you want top quality graphics. You’ll be able to reap all the benefits of your 4K TV or Blu-Ray movie collection.

On the other hand, if you’re only worried about game content or if your child and yourself are simply casual players, you can opt for simpler consoles. Older console versions like the PlayStation 3 are more affordable than the PlayStation 4 Pro, for example. With a similar game repertoire, the main difference will reside in the power and resolution they offer.

Summary

Video game consoles are no longer tailored just to gamers. Every family member can truly benefit from a quality console. Modern consoles are designed to be home entertainment devices.

Keep in mind the age of your child and the game genres available when you’re looking for a console for your household. This will help you protect your child and also enable you to make the right purchasing decision. All game consoles now feature parental control functions, so make sure you use them to determine what content your little one can have access to.

If you liked our guide on video game consoles, feel free to recommend this article on your social media, and leave us a comment in the section below!

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