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360 Sunday Games Top 10: Best Game Consoles

5 April 2009 by: Alex St-Amour 8 Comments


Last week we counted down the top 10 worst game consoles of all time. If for some reason you missed it follow the link here.

If you ever find yourself on a videogaming website odds are your going to stumble into a raging debate about what console truly is the best, with forums filled to the brim with fans proclaiming why their consoles of choice is superior. This is called the Console Wars and it has been going since before the days of the internet, in fact it started with the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis going head to head way back in the early 90’s. This list presents the winners of all those console wars, the ones who are remembered to this day.

They might not all have burned up the sales charts, but we couldn’t put a price on all the those afternoons playing with our friends.

10 – Sega Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast

  • Year Released: 1999
  • Launch Price: 199$
  • Games Released: 325 (+)
  • Units Sold: 10.6 million

By the time Sega had learned from its mistakes with the Sega CD, 32X and Saturn, it was just about too late. The Dreamcast was designed to be the next generation console, sporting an impressive 128-bit processor, online play, great exclusives and the best graphics available at the time, the system was positioned to take the gaming world by storm. Unfortunately for Sega the release of Sony’s Playstation 2 cut the legs out from under the Dreamcast and Sega bowed out of the consoles race in 2001. It might not have the most games, or the longest shelf life but most gamers have nothing but fond memories of Sega’s swane song.

9 – Nintendo 64

Nintendo 64

  • Year Released: 1996
  • Launch Price: 199$
  • Games Released: 387
  • Units Sold: 32.93 million

Nintendo rarely does the expected. The Wii and DS are living proof of this. Way back in 1996 everybody figured Nintendo would follow Sony and Sega, and release a CD based console. They didn’t. Instead Nintendo decided to stick with cartridges for their 64-bit console. This eliminated load times but made games extremely expensive to produce for the N64. Despite this, the system still managed to have an amazing software lineup. Great titles like Super Mario 64 and The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time helped the industry transition into 3D while a little company called Rare became a household name with games like Goldeneye 007 and Donkey Kong 64.

8 – Atari 2600

Atari 2600

  • Year Released: 1977
  • Launch Price: 199$
  • Games Released: 900 (Approximately)
  • Units Sold: 30 million

If you were a gamer around in the early 80’s odds are you remember the Atari 2600. The system sported many innovations like the use of cartridges to swap games and different controller designs. The system also featured a ton games that have since become industry staples, like Space Invaders and Pitfall. Unfortunately for Atari in 1983 the floor fell out from under the video game industry, mostly due to a lack of quality control on software and heavy competition from the growing home computer market, this is referred to as the video game crash of ’83 which put an end to the 2600 and Atari as a main player in the console race.

7 – Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS

  • Year Released: 2004 (DS) – 2006 (DS Lite) – 2009 (DSi)
  • Launch Price: 149$ (DS) – 129$ (DS Lite) – 179$ (DSi)
  • Games Released: 600 (And counting)
  • Units Sold: 101 million (And counting)

Back when Nintendo announced the DS it seemed like a bad idea. The Sony PSP was on it’s way and featured multimedia capabilities and console level graphics. In comparison the DS was underpowered, gimmicky and had an odd 2 dual screen design, not to forget that the Game Boy Advance was still selling amazingly and no one could see why Nintendo would bother releasing another handheld. How wrong they were. The DS went on to be a massive success for Nintendo, just this past month crossing the 100 million units sold barrier. Developers have found ways to release innovative and fun games for the two screen handheld and Nintendo continues to count the cash.

6 – Nintendo Game Boy

Game Boy

  • Year Released: 1989 (GB) – 1996 (GBP)
  • Launch Price: 109$ (GB)
  • Games Released: 626
  • Units Sold: 70 million (Approximately)

Nintendo has been the king of the portable world ever since 1989 and the launch of the original Game Boy. Sure it’s competitors at Atari and Sega used full color displays and back-lit screens but they drained batteries at an alarming rate. The Game Boy only displayed in black and green but the batteries lasted into double digit hours. Couple this with the brilliant pack-in game Tetris and it’s no wonder this system sold like nothing before it. And just when it looked like the Game Boy’s best days were behind it, along came Pokémon and a color upgrade to give the original Game Boy a shelf life lasting from 1989 to 2001.

5 – Sega Genesis / Mega Drive

Sega Genesis

  • Year Released: 1989
  • Launch Price: 189$
  • Games Released: 700 (Approximately)
  • Units Sold: 29 million

Genesis does was Nintendon’t! This bold advertising campaign proudly proclaimed how superior the Genesis was to the 8-bit N.E.S.. Games like Sonic, Ecco, Vectorman and Ristar were showcases for what the Genesis could do and how 16-bit gaming was superior to it’s predecessors. The Genesis was also marketed as the more mature console when compared to the S.N.E.S., the bloody fatalities in Mortal Kombat weren’t censored, N.H.L. ’94 had blood on the ice and Night Trap featured scantily clad female heroes. This led to the formation of the E.S.R.B. (Entertainment Software Rating Board) and earned the Genesis’ place in history. Because you can’t do this on Nintendo.

4 – Sony Playstation 2

Sony Playstation 2

  • Year Released: 2000
  • Launch Price: 299$
  • Games Released: 1800 (And counting)
  • Units Sold: 140 million (And counting)

There is no denying the Playstation 2. Even nine years after it’s release it’s still racking up sales. Which is not surprising considering the amazing game lineup the system was able to accumulate over it’s lifespan. No matter what genre you were into the PS2 had you covered. From sports, to action, to platformers, to RPG’s to everything in between you could find it here. And if you still haven’t taken the dive, just last week Sony lowered the M.S.R.P. on the system to 99$.

3 – Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Year Released: 1985
  • Launch Price: 199$
  • Games Released: 789
  • Units Sold: 61.91 million

In all of history there has never been a video game console as important as the Nintendo Entertainment System. After the video game crash of 1983 it looked like games were a thing of the past. The home console market was no more and arcades were saturated. Until a plumber came along. The N.E.S. revolutionized gaming with it’s accessible titles, quality control standards (although Nintendo was pretty severe with these), D-pad imput, smooth scrolling graphics and games with actual stories and not just high scores to beat over and over. If it weren’t for the N.E.S. we wouldn’t be playing today.

2 – Sony Playstation

Sony Playstation

  • Year Released: 1995
  • Launch Price: 299$
  • Games Released: 1800 (+)
  • Units Sold: 102 million

Today video games are big business. In fact bigger then both the music and movie industries. But this wouldn’t be so without the original Playstation. The system made video games a mass market medium and helped expand the industry in ways not seen again till the Nintendo Wii and DS tag team. The console also had games to boot like fan favorites Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid.

1 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Year Released: 1991
  • Launch Price: 199$
  • Games Released: 914
  • Units Sold: 49.10 million

The true strength of any console is the games and the Super Nintendo’s game library is simply second to none, with titles like: Super Mario World, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, Super Metroid, Yoshi’s Island, Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy III, Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Mega Man X, Star Fox and the list goes on. Couple this with an excellent controller, great graphics, amazing sound chip and your left with no doubt that the Super Nintendo is the best console of all time. Now you’re playing with power, Super Power.

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  • 360 Sunday Games Top 10: Best Game Consoles | 360 BLOG : PlanetTalk.net - Learn the truth , no more lies said:

    […] Read the original here: 360 Sunday Games Top 10: Best Game Consoles | 360 BLOG […]

  • Joe said:

    Pretty good list, though not too sure about PSX being better than PS2. I'd probably have them swapped around.

  • English isn't that difficult said:

    “. . . and your left with no doubt that the Super Nintendo is the best console of all time. Now your playing with power, “

    One more time folks. “Your” is possessive, learn this. When contracting “you are,” it is “you're”. Likewise, “their” is possessive, while “they are” is contracted “they're”.

  • Alex St-Amour (author) said:

    Thanks for pointing that out, sorry but I write so much in a day to try to keep up with deadlines that sometimes little things like that get past me. I'll try to be more careful in the future.

  • dave said:

    ahhhhhhhh Alex!! how goes it? BTW love the article (s) plural. …
    but for this one, I have to disagree!!! Sorry dude, but the xbox 360 needs to be there, and the nintendo 64 should def. be higher up man! especially with mario kart IN the console, on the pic. come onnnn!!!

    ppl that are here with me agree!!!

    Dave-im out

  • WWII said:

    ” Joe 1 day ago
    Pretty good list, though not too sure about PSX being better than PS2. I'd probably have them swapped around.”

    That's so true…

  • fredcarle said:

    its a great list but I think the PS1 should have been number one.

  • J-DOG said:

    I liked the genesis, nhl 1990 forever man.

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