Top 5: Gaming Consoles of All Time
Well this is it – the big one. My list of my top consoles of all time, in celebration of the new additions to the history books which are being released this week from Microsoft and Sony.
Now this topic is certainly dear to all our hearts, and definitely could be a bit challenging for any readers out there. I understand we all have our first loves and even the best of us can be a fan boy at heart. But try to understand that I’m not actively trying to insult you with my opinion, I’m just outlining my thoughts on which places where. That being said, everything is ofcourse my opinion and unfortunately is based on the consoles I have enjoyed first hand – so I’m taking this part to apologise about the lack of any ‘classic era’ consoles on this list. I simply don’t have the experience with them I wish I did.
Well now that that’s out of the way, onto the unadulterated opinions:
5. PlayStation 3 – Sony
Year Released: 2006
Notable Games: Uncharted: Drakes Fortune, Heavy Rain, The Last of Us
I know, right? What am I doing placing one of the current gen systems in last place and with such great games supporting?! Maybe it’s nostalgia talking but in terms of consoles, I just don’t feel the PlayStation 3 was much of a risk. Admittedly it had a much better launch the Xbox 360, and roughly equal life time sales despite that, but mainly I just feel it was a solid upgrade on the PS2 – while really reinventing the wheel doing so. It was a smart move up and its performed well against its peers, if not necessarily pulling into the lead; and mainly, it’s had some really memorable titles built for the system so it deserves to be on this list.
4. Xbox – Microsoft
Year Released: 2001
Notable Games: Halo: Combat Evolved, Jet Set Radio Future, Fable
The main reason I had to put the Xbox on this list is because it was a scrappy little console that had to battle every minute to get into the ring and properly contend with industry established giants PlayStation and Nintendo (and Sega I guess) – and yet it still managed to do so, to the extent that it’s one of the most popular game brands in the world today. It captured me right away with its slick FPS rendering in Halo and its chunky but inspired controllers and its steady roll out of solid titles from launch onward kept me entertained for years on end.
3. Nintendo DS – Nintendo
Year Released: 2004
Notable Games: Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Ghost Trick, New Super Mario Bros.
Alright I didn’t really want to have to put the DS on this list. But as the most popular console of all time (according to sales), it deserves its place here. Basically Nintendo finally cracked the Gameboy code on the day they forged the DS, because it would go on to see years of unparalleled success which Sony could only hope to try and challenge with their PSP and PS Vita. It was a solid little console, could take a beating and had a superb battery life along with its other portable features and basically just made gaming on the go something which was actually possible. I hate to say it, but the DS deserves some respect for what its accomplished. Handheld is where Nintendo thrives.
2. Nintendo Wii – Nintendo
Year Released: 2006
Notable Games: Wii Sports, Zelda: Skyward Sword, Super Mario Galaxy
I know doubling up on manufacturers in a row is not cool but I had to put these two together (both because they deserved to be and) to show the duality of Nintendo’s approach to consoles. On the one hand you have the DS, tried and true with solid results and long term appeal. On the other, you have the biggest fluke in gaming history – the Nintendo Wii. This is the console which tore apart the sales charts for its first couple years, outselling everyone, and also introduced a whole new market to gaming – making family and party friendly fun a lot more possible. Unfortunately a lack of games in the long term and a lack of game purchasers in its new markets (not many people bought more than 2 games or so per Wii) led to displeasing sales over time, averaging out to be behind in the end for this console race. Still the incredibly insight to creating this motion-gaming system and the profound effect it had on gaming in general is more than enough to secure it the silver medal.
1. PlayStation 2 – Sony
Year Released: 2000
Notable Games: Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Tekken Tag Tournament
And (oddly since I’m an Xbox fan) the top spot goes to… the PlayStation 2. Sure, much of the comparisons I made in my PS3 break down are somewhat applicable to PS2 – but you have to simply sit back and be amazed at this consoles longevity as well as its versatility. Its featured some of the greatest, weirdest and best games of any generation – but even more than this, it just had so many great titles to choose from over its 11 odd years of being in production. Sincerely this console, which also doubled as a DVD player(!), struck that perfect combination of accessibility and longevity – carrying it easily to the top spot on my list just out of respect for how long it was playing the game and playing it well. The game being whatever you wanted it to play – these things were pretty damn sturdy as well.