Consoles:

Best Video Game Consoles of 2014

Updated

The "next-generation" game consoles are here -- but until their game library hits critical mass, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are still worthy deals.

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Sony PlayStation 3 Super Slim (250GB) Uncharted 3 Limited Edition Bundle

The latest PS3 slims down to its smallest size ever while retaining everything we like -- and a few things we don't -- about the PlayStation 3 gaming console.

4 stars Excellent

Sony PlayStation Vita

The powerful PlayStation Vita offers dual-analogue controls and a big, bright screen. It's very bulky though, with unimpressive battery life, and the high price of console and games means that all but the most hardcore gaming nuts would be better served by something like the iPod touch.

3 stars Good

Microsoft Xbox 360 E

The Xbox 360 remains a great video and gaming console, but fans will be better served by older 360 bundles -- or waiting for the Xbox One.

3.5 stars Very good

Nintendo 3DS XL

While it's no surprise Nintendo is super-sizing its 3D portable system, we're shocked it doesn't have a right stick.

Nintendo 2DS

At $130, the 2DS offers a huge array of compelling software and makes for a great entry-level gaming system to the uninitiated first-time gamer. Just be sure to buy a protective case along with it, too.

3.5 stars Very good

Nintendo Wii U - Basic Set - Game console - 8 GB flash - white

The Nintendo Wii U is the follow-up to the hugely popular Wii, and introduces a quirky GamePad controller with a second screen. The system is more complicated than the Wii, which may alienate casual players, and doesn't offer the power or game selection to turn the heads of long-time gamers. The controller can be a lot of fun, but it's questionable whether future games will really make use of this interesting hardware.

3 stars Good
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