It is quite funny to me that the console wars are still going on as strong as they ever did. In fact, even in the office at my day job, there are constant discussions and disagreements about whether the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One is the better machine. The console wars just seem to be something that will live on forever.
However, now that I have grown up and matured from the bratty little kid and annoying teenager that I was, I’ve come to accept pretty much every console. After all, they all have some great games on them and that’s really all that matters. There are, of course, consoles that I prefer more than others… But that’s almost entirely down to the games that appear on them. So, I have decided to put together a list of my personal favourite consoles of all time.
Disclaimer: This list is based entirely on personal preference. Everyone will have different opinions and this is, by no means, me claiming that these are the best consoles in the world.
Okay, so now that we have that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a look, shall we? Oh, but before we start, here are a few rules;
- We’re only looking at home consoles, so handhelds won’t be featured. I’ll do a list of those another time.
- As this is specifically covering consoles, I won’t be including Personal Computers that have a focus on gaming (e.g Commodore 64). Again, this will be a separate list in the future.
- I will only be looking at the original iterations of consoles, so I won’t be taking into account any “Mini” re-releases.
Right, now we can get started! So here we are; my personal top 7 consoles of all-time.
We’re going to start off this list with Sony’s first ever finished product in the video game industry; the mighty PlayStation. Born from a failed deal with Nintendo (you can learn more about that here), the PlayStation was released in the mid-90s to huge success. The move away from 16-bit consoles like the SNES and MegaDrive to 32-bit meant that the games became bigger and bolder. 3D gaming was suddenly the norm and the industry was revolutionised. Add to the this the fact that the PlayStation game us our first taste of FMV (full motion video) in games and it is clear to see how important the console is.
In terms of games, the console had one of the best collections of RPGs, as well as introducing the world to the Survival Horror genre. Games like Command & Conquer were released, along with classics like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot. The original PlayStation had such a brilliant collection of games!
6. Xbox (Original)
Whilst I may have stuck with Sony’s consoles are I grew up, I did own an original Xbox as well. And I must say, I loved every minute I spent on the console. The controller felt very comfortable and the console itself looked amazing.
In terms of games, I’ll never forget the fun I had playing Halo and Halo 2. Microsoft’s first foray into the gaming industry also saw the director’s cut version of Silent Hill 2, the re-release of Shenmue 2 and great racing games like Project Gotham Racing.
Sega really hit the mark when they released the Dreamcast, a console that was way ahead of its time. As the first real console with online capabilities, as well as their own disc system, the Dreamcast was a technical marvel at the time. However, it also had one major flaw; it was very easy to pirate games. This meant that sales figures and revenue for both Sega and the developers were very low, leading to the demise of this brilliant console.
In terms of the games released on the Dreamcast, there were some absolutely outstanding titles! To begin with, we have to mention Shenmue and Shenmue II, don’t we? But on top of that, we got the original version of Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Skies of Arcadia, Sonic Adventure and the incredibly entertaining Phantasy Star Online. The Dreamcast was an awesome console that deserved to be a lot more successful than it was. Thankfully, the retro gaming community is breathing delayed life back into the console, preserving both it and its games.
It may come as a surprise to some that my second favourite Nintendo console ever isn’t the Nintendo 64. Whilst that was a great console and would have made a top 10 list for definite, the Nintendo Gamecube just resonated with me far more. The controller was a vast improvement over the very unique, yet odd, controller for the N64. On top of this, the console itself was compact and small, meaning I could fit it almost anywhere.
It also brought us three of my favourite Resident Evil games (4, REmake and Zero). On top of this, the Gamecube had Wind Waker and Twilight Princess from the Legend of Zelda series, Super Smash Bros Melee, Metroid Prime and a whole host of other amazing games. It was so popular that when the Nintendo Wii came out, Nintendo actually included backwards compatibility in that console, so that it could play Gamecube games as well!
The Sega MegaDrive was the console that started it all for me. My Mum bought me one when I was a young child and I still remember how amazing Sonic The Hedgehog was for me. I can also remember going around to a friend’s house and spending ages playing Dungeons and Dragons on it as well. The MegaDrive holds huge nostalgia for me, but that’s not the only reason why I love it so much.
The console had some truly awesome games on it, such as Streets of Rage and the aforementioned Sonic games. Whilst it may not hold the same worldwide value as the Super Nintendo, it is still an awesome console in my eyes – truly one of Sega’s best creations!
Come on, it was pretty obvious that the Super Nintendo was going to make this list, wasn’t it? I mean, how could it not? Whilst it may not have been quite as big with my circle of friends here in the UK upon release, that doesn’t change the fact that it was a huge console. Whilst the original NES helped to revitalise the gaming industry, it was the SNES that pushed it back to the forefront of people’s minds.
With absolute classics like Super Mario World, Final Fantasy VI (or II depending on where you live) and Secret of Mana, the SNES had some of the best 16-Bit games ever released. To this day it is sought after by almost all collectors. The love and admiration for the console just go to show how important it is and how amazing it really was.
1. PlayStation 2
And so we come to my favourite console of all time, and we have sort of come full circle… If you have been reading this blog for a while now, it should come as no surprise that this position goes to the PlayStation 2. The console came at the perfect time, just as we were reaching the epitome of quality for the original PlayStation. On top of that, it launched with a DVD drive that made it the cheapest way to enjoy DVDs at the game. The backwards compatibility meant that you could play all 1,800+ PSX games as well as all of the new ones that would come out on the PS2.
In total, the PS2 gained 2,500+ games over the course of its lifespan. Oh, and that lifespan was insanely long for a console. The fact that the PS2 was first released in November 2000 but was still receiving new games until 2014 shows just how popular the console was. It continued the original PlayStation’s legacy of great RPGs, had amazing Survival Horror and Racing games, and generally just had something for everyone. Because of all of this, the PlayStation 2 is my personal all-time favourite console.
And That’s All Folks
Well, there we have it; those are my personal top 7 video game consoles ever released. The list is based on my opinions and is, by no means, a definitive guide. However, I thought it would be fun to put them all down like this.
What is your favourite console ever? Let me know in the comments below!