Poll: What's The Best Handheld Of All Time? 1
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

While home consoles tend to be at the vanguard of video game technology, the humble handheld occupies a slightly different position.

Seen by some as a way of filling the time between sessions on the couch with a PS5, the humble portable perhaps doesn't get enough credit – the fact you can take them with you everywhere means that a stronger bond is often forged with handheld systems, and this amplified by the gloriously tactile experience of cradling a system in your hands while you're on the bus home from work.

This fusion of mobility and physical connection means that many of us will have very fond memories of playing our handheld consoles as kids, but, with powerful devices like the Steam Deck now available, it means that you're not giving up power for portability; AAA gaming on the go has been possible since the days of the PS Vita (and, later, Switch), so it's perfectly possible only to own a handheld system these days and not feel like you're being treated as a second-class citizen.

Given the deep affection players have for their portable gaming platforms, we thought it might be a good idea to rank them. Below, you'll find all of the significant handheld systems from the past few decades. Now, we're not for one second suggesting that the humble Game Boy should be compared to its vastly more powerful successor, the Switch, but we're asking you to vote for the system which had the most impact on you personally.

Cast your vote, and we'll use the results to build our definitive list of the best handhelds ever. Think we've left off a system which deserves a place? Let us know by posting a comment below.

What's the best handheld of all time? (1,892 votes)

  1. Game Boy / Game Boy Color15%
  2. Atari Lynx1%
  3. Sega Game Gear2%
  4. PC Engine GT / TurboExpress1%
  5. Bitcorp Gamate  0%
  6. Watara Supervision  0%
  7. Sega Nomad1%
  8. Neo Geo Pocket / NGP Color1%
  9. WonderSwan / WS Color / Swan Crystal  0%
  10. Tiger Game.com  0%
  11. Game Boy Advance / GBA SP / GB Micro18%
  12. Nokia N-Gage  0%
  13. Gizmondo  0%
  14. Nintendo DS / DSi9%
  15. Sony PlayStation Portable / PSP Go7%
  16. Nintendo 3DS / 2DS10%
  17. Sony PS Vita6%
  18. Nintendo Switch / Switch Lite16%
  19. Valve Steam Deck8%
  20. Blaze Evercade  0%
  21. Analogue Pocket2%
  22. Playdate1%