What Is the Best TV for Retro Gaming?

Retro gaming has become exceedingly popular over the last few years. Many gamers enjoy exploring older titles they might have missed during their childhood or games they weren't old enough to play at the time. However, many retro consoles don’t work on modern televisions, making it difficult to return to the classics without buying converters.

Fortunately, Fair Game Retro put together some of the best TVs for retro gaming so gamers can experience the classics without overpaying for subpar televisions.

Fair Game Retro has been one of Sacramento’s leading retro video game stores for over 20 years. We specialize in retro video games, consoles, and accessories that take you back in time and provide the dose of nostalgia only classic gaming can offer. Whether you need an old gaming tv or a retro title for your favorite 16-bit console, Fair Game Retro is here for you.

Retro Gaming TVs: CRT Vs. PVM

Again, many modern televisions don’t play retro consoles since they don’t support classic formats like S-video and composite. Although some plasma TVs have older inputs, many gamers have to find an alternative if they want the true retro experience.

CRT TelevisionsW

Most retro video game consoles were designed specifically for classic CRT televisions. CRT TVs are older televisions commonly used during the 1980s and 90s. Today, many gamers view them as old TVs for video games and strictly use them to play retro titles.

CRT televisions come in two primary varieties:

  • Consumer-grade CRTs

  • Professional Video Monitors (PVM)

Consumer-grade CRTs are the most common and utilize cathode ray tubes to display pictures. High-end models feature up to 480 horizontal screen lines and support component, composite, and S-video.

Traditional CRT televisions are still relatively common and don’t carry expensive price tags. They are some of the best TVs for retro gaming and support nearly all classic consoles without converters or upscalers.

Professional video monitors (PVMs) are premium versions of CRT televisions used in old broadcast studios, video editing suites, and other places needing pristine image quality. Professional video monitors feature up to 1,000 horizontal picture lines and support all classic imports necessary for retro gaming.

Unlike traditional consumer-grade CRTs, professional video monitors are very expensive and often hard to find. Many cost hundreds, with some high-end models selling for thousands of dollars. However, many hardcore retro gaming enthusiasts believe PVM models are the best retro gaming TVs on the market and are worth the price.

It’s important to note that old console televisions don’t support retro video game consoles as well as consumer-grade CRTs and PVMs. These televisions are much older and produce a less quality picture in most cases. It’s best to stick with consumer-grade CRTs and PVMs when shopping for retro video game TVs.

Best CRT TVs for Video Games

Now that you understand CRT televisions, we can explore some of the best models for retro gaming. Below are some of the best CRT TVs for video games.

Sony Trinitron KV-27FS120

The Sony Trinitron KV-27FS120 is a fantastic consumer-grade CRT featuring component, composite, and S-video inputs. It can handle numerous 240p signals and has a 27-inch screen that displays retro games beautifully.

However, the Sony Trinitron KV-27FS120 is bigger than other CRT televisions and weighs around 98 pounds. That said, it’s one of the best TVs for retro gaming and will provide countless hours of nostalgic entertainment.

JVC D-Series

The JVC D-Series is a common consumer-grade television that comes in several sizes. They support component, composite, and S-video formats, making them ideal for nearly all the popular retro gaming consoles. A 32-inch JVC D-Series (the largest model) are relatively cheap and display classic titles in pristine condition.

Sony KV-40XBR800

The Sony KV-40XBR800 is a high-end CRT television that was cutting edge for its time. It features 4:3, an advanced 16:9 viewing mode, and a gorgeous 40-inch screen. It supports nearly all classic game consoles and will take your retro gaming experience to the next level.

However, the Sony KV-40XBR800 is very expensive and often costs hundreds or more. It also weighs around 300 pounds, making it difficult to move without help. However, if you want a high-quality CRT TV for your retro gaming consoles, you can’t go wrong with the Sony KV-40XBR800.

Ikegami TM

Ikegami TM televisions are high-performance monitors that don’t demand incredibly high prices. They support composite video, RGB, and S-video without requiring additional supplies. Many models have over 600 TVL, making them one of the best TVs for video games from the 80s and 90s.

Modern TVs for Retro Video Games

Although most modern televisions don’t support retro gaming consoles without additional devices, you can still play classic games on them with converters. However, some still support retro formats.

For example, an older HD TV might support component cables but not SCART.

You must check the television’s inputs to ensure it supports your retro gaming consoles if you don't have the required converter.

Fortunately, there are several high-quality converters that allow you to play classic video game consoles on modern televisions. They convert retro formats like composite and S-video into HDMI, enabling gamers to play their NES, Genesis, and more on modern televisions.

Quality converters typically cost between $100 to $500 and are must-haves for any hardcore gaming enthusiast.

best tv for retro gaming

Best Modern TVs for Retro Gaming

Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA Flat 32” QLE 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV

Although the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA Flat 32” QLE 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV requires a converter to support retro consoles, they display classic games in pristine quality. In fact, many gamers believe they present retro titles better than CRT television.

This modern Samsung television features a fantastic high contrast ratio that displays bold colors and deeper blacks better than other popular 4K TVs. However, the screen is very reflective and doesn’t work well in well-lit areas. Despite its reflective nature, the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA Flat 32” QLE 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV is a great contemporary TV for retro games as long as you have a high-quality converter.

Hisense 40-Inch Class H4 Series LED Roku Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility

The Hisense 40-Inch Class H4 Series LED Roku Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility is another outstanding modern TV for retro gaming if you have a converter. These televisions feature 32”, 40”, and 43” screens with 1080p picture quality. The enhanced picture displays video games wonderfully, making it perfect for gamers wanting stellar graphics.

One of the best aspects of the Hisense 40-Inch Class H4 Series LED Roku Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility is its modern capabilities. It supports streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, allowing gamers to watch their favorite shows without switching televisions. If you have a high-quality converter and want a modern TV to play retro games on, consider the Hisense 40-Inch Class H4 Series LED Roku Smart TV with Alexa Compatibility.

TCL 32-Inch 3-Series 720p Roku Smart TV

The TCL 32-Inch 3-Series 720p Roku Smart TV is one of the more affordable modern TVs for retro gaming. However, like most modern televisions, the TCL 32-Inch 3-Series 720p Roku Smart TV requires a converter to support classic video game consoles.

These televisions have a 32” or 40” screen with 720 resolutions. It also supports most modern smart TV features like streaming services and Amazon Alexa, giving gamers first-class retro and contemporary entertainment. Although the TCL 32-Inch 3-Series 720p Roku Smart TV doesn’t have the highest-quality screen resolution, it’s a terrific modern TV that allows you to play all your favorite retro titles through a line-doubling converter.

Contact Fair Game Retro for All Your Classic Gaming Needs in Sacramento, CA

If you want to relive your favorite retro video games but can’t find your beloved titles or consoles, contact Fair Game Retro. We’ve been Sacramento, CA’s premier retro gaming destination for over two decades and have thousands of classic titles spanning all console generations. We will help you find the best TV for retro gaming so you can fall in love with your favorite classic video games all over again.

If you want retro video games in Sacramento, CA, at fair and affordable prices, contact Fair Game Retro. Give us a call at (916) 944-4263 today!

1 comment



What converter would be best to hook 4-5 old systems up at once? Struggling for a good pi for my ps2/n64/cube/dc

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