EXPERT INSIGHT & TRUSTED REVIEWS

EXPERT INSIGHT & TRUSTED REVIEWS

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The 5 Best Console-Style PC Cases in 2023

We've reviewed the options available in this unique style

Console Style PC Case

We updated this article in May to cover 2023 releases. After reviewing the new cases on the market, our top choices remain the same. We’ve mentioned a couple of decent new alternatives to certain choices where relevant.

Is anybody else looking for a build that looks a little more…console-y?

In the world of chassis, there’s an overwhelming amount of good-looking cases out there.

But I often find myself being surprised at how large and imposing many designs are. What about those after a more classic gaming aesthetic akin to a PlayStation/Xbox?

In today’s feature, we’ve found the appropriate options and reviewed them to guide you through the best console-sized PC cases for your next gaming build.

1

Fractal Design Node 202

Overall Best Console-Style PC Case

Fractal Design Node 202

Our Rating: 9.5/10

2

SilverStone ML08

Runner-Up Console-Style Pick

SilverStone ML08

Our Rating: 9/10

3

Thermaltake Core V1

Best Budget Console-Style PC Case

Thermaltake Core V1

Our Rating: 8.5/10

4

NZXT H1

Console-Style Premium Pick

NZXT H1

Our Rating: 9.5/10

5

SilverStone ML05

Budget Pick Alternative

SilverStone ML05

Our Rating: 7.5/10

Fractal Design Node 202

Overall Best Console-Style PC Case: Fractal Design Node 202

What a fantastic chassis this is.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to our top premium pick further below, the Node 202 is the perfect choice for creating a console-style aesthetic.

We rank it at the top because of the impressive balance between its tight, slim, Mini-ITX form factor and an intelligent, internal design that allows you to install a powerful mainstream GPU within its size limitations.

Its steel/plastic hybrid design looks very slick, boasting a high-quality finish and sturdiness, giving the chassis a nice premium aesthetic.

Fractal Design Node 202

Source: System48

Inside, there is room for:

  • A separate GPU chamber that can accommodate a video card up to 310 x 147 mm
  • 2 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Room in the GPU chamber for 2 x 120mm fans (impressive for the shape/size, but bear in mind these will have to compete with the GPU dimensions)

The hardware you can install within the Node 202 is really impressive considering its unique, slim form factor.

It doesn’t just look the part, you have room in here for a powerful console-style gaming PC build; with a majority of mainstream graphics cards being installable (please check your dimensions before installing!).

While you’re (of course) not going to get the same airflow as a more extensive “traditional” case (ATX, etc.), the ventilation design in the Node 202 is fantastic. With its separate GPU chamber that segregates cooling, not to mention the optional fan mounts if your build demands them.

Overall, while we love the premium NZXT H1 pick below (and think anyone reading should also consider that chassis), I chose the Node 202 overall as it represents an incredible balance in design, quality, specification, and price. Whether for gaming or other PC builds, this is a fantastic choice.

2023 Update: The Node 202 remains my top Console-Style pick for 2 years running; nothing else better balances price, quality, and inner space while retaining a nice, slim aesthetic.

Our Rating: 9.5/10

SilverStone ML08

Runner-Up Best Console-Style PC Case: SilverStone ML08

Coming in very closely behind the Node 202 is a worthy alternative in the ML08.

Its steel body and reinforced plastic shell look as high quality as they feel. Like the 202, the ML08 easily doubles as a great portable PC case option with its decent durability.

With room inside for:

  • An independent graphics card chamber for a dual-expansion slot card up to 330 x 121mm
  • Oversized vents designed to provide a fanless cooling setup for the tight layout
  • 2 x 2.5″ drive bays
  • Some convenient install features, such as its tool-less drive bays/dual chamber design
SilverStone ML08

Source: phdpepper

The internal dimensions here are still very impressive for the case’s external size, with the GPU slot still being large enough for most popular choices (remember to check!).

Fractal Node 202 vs Silverstone ML08

We rank the ML08 a tad below the Node 202 as its GPU width allowances are slightly less, and there are no optional case fans (though the ML08 performs surprisingly well with its oversized vents).

The GPU length allowance is notably longer, but we expect the width to be the main consideration point for your installation as very few cards are over 310mm (having extended width is also nicer for airflow on most cards).

But all things considered, this is still an excellent option and easily one of the best console-sized cases available. Don’t hesitate if you prefer it over the Node 202.

Our Rating: 9/10

Thermaltake Core V1

Best Budget Console-Style PC Case: Thermaltake Core V1

This pick is a bit of a side-track from the main aesthetic we’ve featured in the rest of the list.

But we thought this pick still deserved a place if your idea of a console PC case is closer to a GameCube (or you’re simply flexible if the budget is right).

The Core V1 is a really impressive case for the price and has been featured many times previously on What in Tech.

The build quality is really quite impressive considering its low cost; with an SPCC steel/tempered glass design, covered with extended ventilation (important in a small case).

Thermaltake Core V1

Source: Seiren2112

Largely considered as one of the best Mini-ITX cases for budget gaming builds, you have great room in here for:

  • 2 expansion slots/GPU lengths up to 285mm
  • 2 x 2.5″ & 2 x 3.5″ hidden drive bays
  • 1 included 200mm fan + space for 2 x 80mm fans

As you can see, the length allowance on the GPU space is a tad lower than the other cases featured (but still good enough for many popular cards if you check pre-purchase).

The Core V1 makes up for this with its additional storage compartments and excellent cooling capability.

While we think the above picks better capture the essence of a console-style computer case, there is no chassis of those styles in the V1’s price range. It really is an excellent budget alternative.

Our Rating: 8.5/10