The Best Retro Gaming Stores Online

The video game industry is bigger than ever, with major publishers pumping millions of dollars into triple-A titles. Still, many players are returning to simpler times through retro gaming. If you’re plugged into the video game scene, you’ve likely noticed that old school gaming is undergoing a revival. Collectors are flocking to online stores to buy retro games and consoles. If you’re in that camp and are considering starting or adding to your classic game collection, read on.

Where (and how) to buy retro games online

Shopping for retro games online can get pricey. To make things worse, many bootleg retro games are floating around, so there’s a risk you could buy a fake. Bootleg game manufacturers are happy to cash in on the retro gaming craze. Some dealers might even be selling counterfeit cartridges without realizing it. To avoid this, shop at trusted online game stores with a strong reputation for selling authentic products.

Online retro gaming stores

All of these on our list carry a wide selection of classic games and hardware from Nintendo, Sony, Sega and other brands. Some also carry retro gaming–inspired merchandise, toys and imported collectibles.

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Auction websites

Because sellers on auction sites like eBay are independent, you don’t always know who you’re buying from—or whether a game is authentic. Check a seller’s feedback ratings and do your due diligence before you buy.

One major advantage of shopping on eBay is that you can usually see photos of the actual item you’re buying or bidding on to help verify the condition of a game, console or accessory. Another advantage is eBay’s buyer protection program. This guarantees you get your money back if someone sells you a counterfeit item.


You can find many sellers who offer retro games and hardware for sale on Amazon. However, the prices here are not likely to be great. Furthermore, these third-party sellers often don’t have great feedback ratings. Large retailers like Walmart and Best Buy are also not the best stores to buy retro games online. Your best bet is to stick with the trusted stores above and top-rated eBay sellers.

What makes a game retro?

There’s a long-running debate about what counts as retro gaming. The consensus is that games from the early 2000s and earlier are retro. A more specific cutoff could be sixth-generation platforms such as the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Sony PlayStation 2. Some insist that fifth-generation systems, which include the Nintendo 64 and the original PlayStation, were the last truly old school platforms.

You can safely consider games from around the year 2000 (popularly known as the “Y2K era”) and before as retro. If it’s a system that uses plastic cartridge-based games, you can be sure it counts as a retro platform. This even extends to the Nintendo DS. This handheld, launched in 2004, uses plastic cartridges and features Nintendo 64–like vibrant graphics. Classic disc-based PC titles also fall under the retro gaming umbrella. However, these are not quite as popular among collectors.

Why are retro games so popular?

Retro gaming is a big trend right now. Collectors are hunting (and paying high prices) for old games even while new triple-A titles are so immersive and popular. In an age of subscription-based gaming, virtual reality and AI, many players yearn for the days when games were simple. This shows that not all gamers think realism and cutting-edge graphics are essential.

Retro console libraries feature many excellent underrated video games. These hidden gems can offer classic experiences that are missing from modern franchises.

Among some of today’s most popular new series—”Super Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” “Final Fantasy” and “Street Fighter”—are all based on retro games. It’s clear that gamers still adore these decades-old franchises. For example, the new “Street Fighter 6” was a hit upon its 2023 release. Yet the 1991 classic “Street Fighter II” has an active and dedicated online player base to this day.

Due to their scarcity, physical copies of retro games are expensive, and this is not likely to slow down. Thankfully, plenty of retro games are being re-released for playing on PC and the Nintendo Switch. Digital storefronts like GOG (Good Old Games) make old school gaming more accessible. You can play old school games on GOG Galaxy, a great option if you don’t want to pay a premium to play with the old originals.

Retro gaming is here to stay

Retro gaming isn’t going anywhere soon. Nostalgia for the Golden Age of gaming continues to inspire amazing indie titles with retro-styled art and gameplay. It’s a great time to be an old school gamer, as you’re never short of new things to enjoy.

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