Mod Loser here to discuss the beauty, the majesty, and the absolute shit heaps of game consoles! Now, I won’t be discussing anything from the Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3 and onward, and Portables may be for another article. However, I’m going to discuss my Top 5 Best and Worst Classic Game Consoles. Let’s start on a good note with the best!
# 5 Best: Sega Genesis
Lets be real here, if I placed this list purely on my own opinions and nothing else, Genesis would have made at least Top 3. The action based beat em ups, the racing games, the more teen audience for the Genesis, and let’s not forget Sonic-The-Fucking-Hedgehog, I loved this console, its library and its early attempt at online connectivity. But I have to be honest in that while it was a great system, it was dwarfed by the library and selection of the next console. Well, except for the Mortal Kombat port.
#4 Best: Super Nintendo
Pretend you didn’t see this one coming, but the SNES coming out the gate with Mario Kart, Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario World, not to mention a more ergonomic controller with drastically enhanced color pallets and a sound card no console had ever seen at the time, is amazing. The Super Nintendo was a fucking marvel, and it deserved all of the praise that it got throughout the years! For many gamers of our generation, this was their first console, and understandably so! It’s a timeless classic that can still be played to this day. Also Super Mario RPG.
#3 Best: Nintendo Gamecube
Again, if this were personal preference alone, Gamecube would have been my Number 1. It was the most powerful console of its generation, it had a controller design that, to this day, people still scream for. And the sheer number of exclusive titles that helped shape Nintendo for the coming years was ridiculous. Metroid Prime, Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion, Pikmin, take your pick and you’ll find titles that are amazing. Hell, I even played Godzilla, Tales of Symphonia, and many, many more on this console. It was a shame it lacked internet capability and DVD support, and a lot of us remember the dreaded Memory Card drought of the early 2000’s, but it didn’t stop the Gamecube from being stellar.
#2 Best: Atari 2600
Yes, Atari flooding the market in the late 70’s nearly killed the gaming market forever. However, Atari also helped it excel! I never owned an Atari 2600, so I give it the second slot on sheer principle. Atari brought gaming into the mainstream for children, it marketed and warred with other consoles, it created competition at first, and for the time, it changed how everyone considered media. I could have easily put the Classic Nintendo here and I know some will argue it’s a better choice; however, I will say this: I value the Nintendo Entertainment System more than any other console on this list. It saved the market, and I will always hail it for that.
#1 Best: Playstation 2
However as much as I love the NES, in my actual “best” list, I will gladly say Playstation 2. Free online multiplayer (despite how primitive), a great DVD player built in; it started to question the idea that gaming wasn’t art, and the games released on it made that very clear. It also started making two analog sticks the mainstream, as well as popularizing the idea that a console’s raw power doesn’t always sell it, but what the console can do for the gamer can sell it. The PS2 sold over 150 million units worldwide, and deserves respect.
Even so, these next consoles were other such shit that they mar the very history of gaming, or they get on this list for being underrated and as such, selling poorly. Time for the worst/worst performing consoles. Don’t worry, you’ll know which is which.
#5 Worst: Dreamcast
Oh, Dreamcast. You got on this list for being treated more poorly than you deserved. The Dreamcast was not as graphically advanced as the PS2, Gamecube, or Xbox, and the controller was certainly wonky, and the marketing was nothing compared to the other consoles. The Dreamcast was underrated and undersold, despite having the potential to be a great fucking console. On the plus side, the cult following grew as the years went on, and I wish it could have had a better ending.
#4 Worst: Atari 5200
See, this console was just bad. Atari’s attempt to rival the Sega Master System and the NES. With almost no graphical upgrade, a controller that had a higher failure rating than first generation Xbox 360’s, and a game library that, to this day, I have little to no memory of, the 5200 was objectively a bad console. It marked the upcoming fall of Atari that would only cement itself in the next console on the list, one that makes gamers from the N64 and PS1 era say “Wait, that console existed?”
#3 Worst: Atari Jaguar
With a marketing platform that literally insulted gamers, lying about their “64 bit” processor, games that were buggy and glitchy on the same scale as Sonic 2006? This console not only is laughably lackluster, but the controller looks like it came out of a goddamn South Park episode. I’ve seen shitty rip off consoles meant to rake in cheap cash that were more intuitively designed than the Jaguar. “Where did you learn to fly?” Oh really? Where did you learn how to make a fucking console?
#2 Worst: Sega Saturn
From the same time frame as the Jaguar, the Saturn wasn’t a bad console, but was handled terribly by Sega. No real main series Sonic game was released, the controller was shoddy in comparison to the very first Dualshock that had already been released, and the console itself suffered from a terribly rushed development cycle in hopes to beat Nintendo to the next big console race. The Sega Saturn could have really changed the outcome of Sega, I think, had they put enough work into the system to make it as memorable as previous ones. But alas, it shaped the coffin for Sega’s console market.
`#1 Worst: Virtual Boy
Ugh, I hate being so predictable guys, I really do. I just could not honestly see any other console making the number one section of this list. Virtual reality is a novel idea, but this console wasn’t even virtual reality. It was shoddy 3D with red wire frame graphics that caused migraines, and really bad episodes for people suffering from epilepsy. It had thirteen games in its total library, and Nintendo realized what a shitty idea the console was the minute the reviews came out. It was a bad idea and I really, really wish people were exaggerating when they say it’s the worst console they’ve ever played.
These were my Top 5 best and Worst consoles of all time. If you get pissy, fuck off; this is my personal list. Remember that, guys, the internet has varying opinions. Please feel free to comment your own list and thoughts in a polite way. This has been Mod Loser, signing off!