Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games Entertainment

What's the Best Game Console of All Time? 479

Posted by Zonk
from the duh-obviously-the-fairchild dept.
The C|Net Crave blog has up an article exploring the history of console gaming, and wonders aloud about the pecking order of the various systems. "Gaming is so subjective that there is no single "greatest" system ever. It might sound like a cop-out, but it really depends on what standards you're using and what generation you grew up in. I loved the SNES, and would personally call it the greatest system of all time. However, the NES and PlayStation could both easily be called the best, based on the standards they set and the advances they presented to gaming." The Guardian follows up this piece, noting that the article's rose-colored recollections of the SNES days may not be entirely accurate. Subjective or not, it's a good question: which consoles have a valid place in history and which ones should be forgotten?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What's the Best Game Console of All Time?

Comments Filter:
  • Hmmmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orange Crush (934731) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:26PM (#22224256)

    I grew up with the NES. My parents refused to buy me a SNES when they came out, but I'm not at all bitter (bastards! *cries*). Aside from playing SNES games at friend's houses, I lost interest fairly quickly. I'd occasionally play a brief game at a friend's house on their playstation and i don't think I ever even touched a PS2 beyond using it to play DVDs back when it was the cheapest DVD player on the market. So I basically skipped the past two console generations alltogether.

    The NES was the "greatest" system for me, simply because that was the one I interacted with the most, however I can definitely agree with this guy's argument that Sony's embrace of third party developers with the PlayStations made the game industry what it is today.

    One minor nitpick, from the article:

    Once you've read David Sheff's Game Over, it's almost impossible to play a Super Mario game without imagining the young Miyamoto gamboling through the woodland close to his boyhood home, discovering hidden caves and lakes.

    I've always heard that was his inspiration for Zelda, not Mario.

    • Re:Hmmmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by flitty (981864) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:47PM (#22224620)
      You are correct, The article is wrong. Zelda, not mario, was inspired by Miyamoto's exploration.

      I do have to say that my old SNES got the most playtime out of a single game for me. I think i've played S.Metroid 6 or 7 times through? Same with Link to the Past. It seemed to be the perfect form for 2d sidescrollers and the kind of games that Nintendo Made. Enough power to allow for Saves and bigger environments, and gameplay that matched; difficult, but not frustrating (the majority of NES games were hard because of controls, not because the games were designed that way, i'm looking at you TMNT). I'll never be able to play the 64 because I couldn't afford one at the time and going back to play it now is almost impossible because the 3d geometry is analogous to the NES:SNES upgrade. However, (this might just be the old man in me) I have no problem going back and playing any SNES game that I missed. I feel the same will hold true for the 360 and ps3, and even the xbox and ps2 (later gen games). The graphics are not intrusive into the enjoyment of the game, even if graphics do get better.
      • Re:Hmmmmm (Score:5, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmail.cFREEBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:59PM (#22224758) Homepage Journal

        You are correct, The article is wrong. Zelda, not mario, was inspired by Miyamoto's exploration.

        Actually, both are correct. Various aspects of Super Mario came from his trips into the woods (e.g. Miyamoto would daydream about climbing a tree high enough to get above the clouds, finding a magical castle, etc.), while the game of Zelda was more of a direct translation of his exploration of the woods and caves around his home. To tie it all together, Miyamoto basically had a very active imagination that he was able to translate into the games he designed. The latter part is a rare gift that is what made him so successful. :-)
      • Re:Hmmmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

        by beckerist (985855) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:00PM (#22224794) Homepage
        I am a social, casual gamer. I submit the N64 as the greatest console of all time. No such thing as calling online play "multiplayer." I remember the days of me, 3 of my best friends, a bottle of JD, a few packages of Penguin mints and a 2-night bender where all we did for 60 hours straight was eat, drink, stay awake (thank you caffeine!) and throw the controllers at each other in fits of rage.

        Goldeneye, Mario Tennis, Smash Brothers, Mario Party 1-3 and Mario Kart...we didn't need anything else.
    • by raehl (609729) <raehl311.yahoo@com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:51PM (#22225550) Homepage
      The greatest video games system of all time is the Wii - it has revolutionized the way people interact with the console.

      The only difference between all the other game systems is graphics and buttons. Difference between an Atari 2600 and NES/Genesis? More graphics and buttons. NES and SNES/Dreamcast/Playstation? Graphics and buttons. SNES/Playstation/Dreamcast and N64/PS2/XBox? Graphics and buttons. N64/PS2/XBox and PS3/XBox360? Graphics and buttons.

      But the Wii is fundamentally different. It's the realization of what the power glove was meant to be. There hasn't been that kind of revolution in gaming since Pong. Maybe the advent of games where you could save your game (with code or battery) from one session to the next. But other than that, it's all graphics and buttons.
      • by raitchison (734047) <robert@aitchison.org> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:08PM (#22225832) Homepage Journal
        We have a Wii and love it, we play it often, along with our Xbox 360 and PS2, The Wii is definitely "revolutionary" (pun intended) but other than introduce a new style of gameplay it's not really that groundbreaking.

        The Wii without a doubt is the progenitor to what is to come, the Xbox 720 and the PS4 and the successor to the Wii (which will beat both of the aforementioned future consoles to market) will all take the successes of the Wii and add to it and improve upon it.

        Without a doubt it's a pathfinder for the future but it is in much the same way that the original Xbox with a built in HDD and Ethernet paved the way for Xbox Live and eventually the explosive growth of online gaming.
        • by ContractualObligatio (850987) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @06:49PM (#22228140)
          "other than introduce a new style of gameplay it's not really that groundbreaking." Wow. Tough standard you set there. What's more important to a game than gameplay?
        • Utter disbelief (Score:5, Informative)

          by meringuoid (568297) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @06:54PM (#22228198)
          Yes, I love Wii. But... no, it's not the greatest of all time. It's not even the greatest Nintendo console of all time. Depending on what happens in the future we might improve its ranking, especially if all the next generation copy its control system, but as it stands, no.

          For the greatest console of all time, I have two words:

          GAME BOY.

          Every other console has had credible rivals that did much the same thing. The NES competed with home computers, early on with Spectrums and C64s and later with Acorns and Amigas. SNES faced the Mega Drive. And so on, and so on. Often there's been a clear leader, but there's never been anything else remotely like the Game Boy's dominance. And as pack-in games go, Tetris was an absolute killer.

          The Game Boy lasted a decade and saw off every rival that ever dared try it on. Sega had a good go, they had a colour screen and everything, but the Game Gear sank while Nintendo marched on, and on, and on... I thought it was finally dying off, then Pokemon happened - and suddenly every one of the countless millions of old Game Boys came out of the attic and lit up again, played with by the original owners' younger brothers! And hence a miniaturised Gameboy Pocket made with modern technology, and then colour...

          Its contemporary successor is nearly as crazy. Everyone thought the DS was a stopgap. A cheap gimmick produced to slow down the PSP while Nintendo worked on the real next-gen Game Boy. How very, very wrong we were.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Mordaximus (566304)
            Then again, GAME BOY isn't a console. It deserves to be a part of this conversation as much as the Atari 800XL does.
      • by kisrael (134664) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:08PM (#22225836) Homepage
        Devil's Advocate: the Wii brings 2 independently held motion sensing controls with an option for mouse pointer like capability.

        That's it. Virtual Console's been done, everything else has been done.

        I like the Wii, but it only really counts if it continues to be a success (which it probably will).

        Like, the Eye Toy might have been a revolution in the same way, or Dance Mats. Or like you say, the Power Glove, if it had worked. Or the Amiga Joyboard. (heh, isn't that what Wii Fit uses?)

        I do think the move into 3D, and immersive environments with decent physics, is ultimately a bigger deal, but that was a gradual evolution, and if anything was brought about by 2 systems nearly at once.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fireboy1919 (257783)
          Devil's Advocate: the Wii brings 2 independently held motion sensing controls with an option for mouse pointer like capability.

          That's it. Virtual Console's been done, everything else has been done.


          This is wrong. It has two independent controls that track 3d-position, not merely motion. There is not another game system that includes this functionality. I'm not sure that there's another piece of off-the-shelf hardware that includes this functionality.

          The Wii is an amazing console, and the moment there's a
  • . . . that has Duke Nukem Forever as a game option?
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:26PM (#22224270) Journal

    Gaming is so subjective that there is no single "greatest" system ever.
    Well put. And yet we attempt a discussion.

    What disappoints me massively here is that there is no establishment of values. Have you ever done a trade study? Why weren't the performance parameters isolated and discussed between consoles? Instead, all I saw was opinionated statements often tied to nostalgia with little or no scientific basis.

    It's not even discussed about what the delivery method is (cartridge or disc) or even whether doing something well in 8-bit is more desired than something bad in 32-bit. Hardware maintenance, sound capabilities, exclusive franchise titles, I could probably come up with 10 or so factors in deciding how to rank my consoles. Then I would define the scales and think of a novel way to weight them (probably by year and technological limitations).

    Last but not least, I would need someone with enough time to play through all of them. Most importantly, this subject(s) would need to be non-interested meaning they have no previous gaming experience. And yet, I don't even see an attempt for this article to do the above while trying to forget that Donky Kong Country entertained them for months in their past.

    Why will pong always be better than NES Contra for my dad? Because it was his generation's game. Why is NES Contra always better for me than Souped Up Console Gears of War? Because that was my generation's game. Why will Gears of War always beat Super Lucid Brain Implants Choco Serial Murder Hospital Mystery for my ... well, you see this trend now.

    If you want me to be impressed with a comprehensive study, I expect a cold hard naive matrix and not some subjective highly tailored prose laden essay written by an avid gamer.
    • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:35PM (#22224410) Homepage Journal
      Nah easy answer here. Atari 2600 wins hands down.

      Hell, look at the 'icon' for this article...and see which console controller they picked!!

      • by Pharmboy (216950)
        Every idiot knows that the best system ever was the TurboGrafx-16.

        However, I am not sure what the non-idiots think.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Nah easy answer here. Atari 2600 wins hands down.

        based on this from the summary:
        "However, the NES and PlayStation could both easily be called the best, based on the standards they set and the advances they presented to gaming."

        I would say that argument could be reasonably made within the context of advancing gaming. Obviously NES and Playstation were more advanced in and of themselves, but did they really advance console gaming as much as the 2600 did in its day by comparison? NES maybe, but definetl
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          agree. N64, greatest console ever.
          1) The controller was genius and is still utterly unsurpassed. The only real challenger is the Wii controller, and that's a whole different kettle of fish. A quick overview of the other challengers:
          The playstation controller - it's barely changed from the PS1 to the PS3, it was crap then and it's crap now. The two analogue sticks are too much for one person to control, the buttons are badly placed and the square-cross-circle-triangle keypad is madness! There's no underlyi
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by lord_mike (567148)
          Don't forget that the Atari 2600 was sold in 3 different decades (the 70's, 80's and the 90's) and the last new Atari 2600 was sold 15 years after its first release. No other system had anywhere close to the longevity of the Atari. Yes, the hardware was primitive even by yesterday's standards. Even Atari considered the 2600 obsolete by 1980, but the gaming continued... pushing the limited (but very flexible) hardware to the max!

          The Atari 2600 is too often overlooked in the discussion of classic gaming.
    • by skavenger (1219006) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:45PM (#22224580)
      My thoughts exactly. The article reads like countless conversations I've had with friends over lunch in the school cafeteria. As far as I can tell the author isn't even concerned with consoles, just the games that are played on them. It seems like he unwittingly endorses the PC running emulation software as the greatest system of all time. Pointless.
    • by timster (32400)
      Last but not least, I would need someone with enough time to play through all of them. Most importantly, this subject(s) would need to be non-interested meaning they have no previous gaming experience.

      Why would someone with no experience in gaming be a good judge of video games? Do you like to read movie reviews by people who have never seen a movie before?

      In your obsession with objective metrics, you have lost sight of the nature of art. I give your method a big fat zero, on my own subjective scale (of c
    • by Hellad (691810)
      You are trying to quantify the unquantifiable. The "best" console is limited for those very reasons that you stated and regardless of the cold hard facts, a person is going to love the system that spoke to them. Best system is like best song, it is going to come down to the person and their experience. You have said as much, to bother with the cold hard naive matrix would be a waste of time as it really doesn't mean anything to the world.
    • Slashdot: the place where blaming the article for not doing a rigorous scientific study of the value of different forms of entertainment gets you +4, insightful.
    • You must be a blast at parties
      • You must be a blast at parties
        eldavojohn: Excuse me, ma'am, I couldn't help but notice you chose to wear Crocs [wikipedia.org] to this party.
        Party Goer: Oh yes! Do you like them?
        eldavojohn: Actually, I was wondering if you wanted to take a look at this matrix of quality I recently had an independent group do.
        *pulls out a sheet of paper*
        eldavojohn: You see, while you have some strange perception of them being 'cute' & 'fashionable' my data indicates that they received a 1/10 in both odor and appearance. Which puts them just below wooden clogs.
        *the woman writes 0% on the paper*
        eldavojohn: What's that?
        Party Goer: The odds that I'll sleep with you tonight.
        eldavojohn: Well, that's ok because after further research among my colleagues I've discovered it's also the probability you're STD free.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:27PM (#22224288)
    I have yet to play a game on the Phantom that I hated. No other console can boast that claim.
  • consoles are omprovning all the time - better hardware, better graphics, better peripherals the potential for better games.

    People probably have find memories of a console they used when they were (are?( children, but they're probably just remembering the good old days.

    Consoles are improving the whole time, just don't wait for the "best", because you'll never find it

  • will be judged by the games for it.
    With that in mind, I'd like to nominate the Genesis and the N64 because I think I've whiled away more hours of my life playing games from those 2 consoles than all the others combined.

    Runner Up: Neo Geo, but mostly for the Metal Slug series
  • 'nuff said.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

    by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:32PM (#22224362)
    FTA: "The 8-bit console found dozens of great games, from franchise firsts like Super Mario Brothers,..."

    What exactly is Super Mario Brothers the first of? It's not the first Mario game. In fact, it's a direct sequel to Mario Brothers and arguably it's the 5th Donkey Kong game. It's not even the first 2D platformer as Pac-Land has that locked up. Super Mario Brothers was a great game but it's not the first anything.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      What exactly is Super Mario Brothers the first of?

      It's the first of the "Super" Mario franchise--it's the first game featuring Mario where he could go from regular Mario to Super Mario. This is something that never occurred in any of the Mario games before that, but that occurs in just about every Mario game after that.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ChibiOne (716763) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:55PM (#22224722)
      What exactly is Super Mario Brothers the first of?

      The first in the "Super" Mario Brothers franchise? Others before were not "Super", or were "Donkey Kong something", no?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)
      I'd call it the first Mario game, at least where "Mario game" means the Mario platformers. I've played Mario Bros, and it's so different from Super Mario Bros that you can't seriously call them the same series. Completely different.
  • No technical reasons, just the games.

    And screw "rose tinted glasses", I played it today.
    I beat half a dozen Contra levels, I played some Blaster Master and Iron Tank, I watched a movie "100 NES games in 10 minutes", I'm working on a port of Fire 'n' Ice so I spent a while romhacking and screenshotting it, I played a few levels of Lolo and Wario's Woods, and I played through the first two levels of Super Mario Bros in order to compare something against the Java remake/mod of it I'm working on translating.

    NES
    • by joggle (594025)

      If you're basing it off of games then I would pick the Sega Saturn. That game system has some awsome games, including Radiant Silvergun [wikipedia.org] and many, many others. It's a system I didn't grow up with. A roommate of mine in college had a Sega Saturn and probably over 100 games for it (many he downloaded from FTP sites I think) and they were generally very fun to play.

      Side note for Radiant Silvergun fans: There's rumors that it will soon be available on Xbox Arcade with high-def visuals. I really hope that's tr

  • I'd go with the SNES as well, but like the summary said, there's a lot going on for the NES. I just don't see the Playstation there however. I'd give a shout to the PS2 who, IMHO was the first totally mainstream console. It's EVERYWHERE. Nintendo's handhelds should not be dismissed either, if they fit in your definition of 'video game console.'
  • by Draconix (653959) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:36PM (#22224430)
    I'd have to say it's pretty much a tie between the NES and the PSX. Why? Because both essentially saved console gaming in their times. The NES pulled gaming out of a hell of utter lack of game production standards, and it introduced one of the greatest controller innovations ever: the D-Pad. The PSX was moderately priced and used CD-ROM media, which let its games be inexpensive and contain more content than cartridge-based games. This combined what would grow to be possibly the largest library of games ever, with many truly wonderful games (Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, etc.) that brought console gaming into the mainstream. And after the N64 introduced analog sticks on controllers, Sony trumped it with the best-designed controller ever, the Dual Shock. Ever since then, with the exception of the Wii, controllers have primarily tended to be some variation of the Dual Shock, and that's a good thing.
    • And after the N64 introduced analog sticks on controllers, Sony trumped it with the best-designed controller ever, the Dual Shock.
      You're so lucky that bad taste is not a crime.
  • Nintendo Wii (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KillerBob (217953) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:36PM (#22224432)
    People prolly won't like me saying this. Seems the obvious choice to me, though... Plays Wii and Gamecube games out of the box, and the virtual console plays games from the NES, SNES, N64, Sega Genesis, Neo Geo, etc.... It doesn't play games for XBox or Playstation, but the library it brings to the table is much bigger, and covers a much wider array of playstyles. There's simply more variety with the Wii.

    The Wiimote is also the only *fun* controller that I've run across in years. Actually changes the gameplay significantly. Some people hate it, some people love it. I love it.

    So that'd be my vote. *shrugs*
  • Playstation Not It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmail.cFREEBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:37PM (#22224458) Homepage Journal
    The Playstation was definitely not the greatest console of all time. Its philosophy was, "Let's throw a bunch of crud against the wall and see what sticks." As a standardized platform for home entertainment it was highly successful. (In part, due to the low cost of its CD media.) However, if you want to actually look at a system that captured the hearts and minds of the market, the NES is probably IT.

    The NES drug the console market out of a complete collapse into a thriving and expansive market. The quality was kept reasonably high through careful controls on the number of games that could be produced by each licensee. (To prevent the "game dumping" problem that occurred in the Atari generation.) It set the stage for the modern video game market, brought the arcade home in ways that even the Colecovision couldn't, introduced the idea of story-driven action games rather than arcade console games, reorganized the market around a control scheme that lives on even today (i.e. the venerable gamepad), and is fondly remembered by nearly every generation of gamer.

    There simply has never been a console that has had the impact on the market that the original NES had. In its time it was without equal. I love the SNES as well, but the title for the "greatest" always has been and always will be on the NES.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by phillymjs (234426)
      ...brought the arcade home in ways that even the Colecovision couldn't...

      If I had points, I'd mod you up for this nod to the Colecovision. Definitely the best home conversions of arcade games available until the NES came along.

      ~Philly
    • The Playstation was definitely not the greatest console of all time. Its philosophy was, "Let's throw a bunch of crud against the wall and see what sticks." As a standardized platform for home entertainment it was highly successful. (In part, due to the low cost of its CD media.) However, if you want to actually look at a system that captured the hearts and minds of the market, the NES is probably IT.

      Are you certain that is not nostalgia speaking? I started with the intellivision and grew up a gamer. If you look at penetration the PS2 is the "greatest of all time" by number of games, number of great games, number of consoles out there etc... The NES revived the industry after Atari killed it through mis management, the SNEs wa sgreat as well, but you write off the PSX and PS2's contributions which were significant as well. I'm not sure if you remember but 99% of the NES library would be unplayable to g

      • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmail.cFREEBSDom minus bsd> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:09PM (#22224956) Homepage Journal
        It's not nostalgia. I'm an avid collector of classic consoles and I can tell you from both history and the consoles sitting in my living room that the Playstation's impact was nowhere near that of the NES. The majority of the games for the PSX were, in fact, quite poor. The achievement of the Playstation was that it succeeded where the 3DO and the CD-i failed. It brought a standard multimedia computer platform* to the market in the form of a console, and succeeded in providing a "standard" base for developers to work from.

        From a market perspective, it built heavily on the market that Nintendo and Sega had already built. Had the Playstation been introduced in the wake of the market crash it would have never succeeded. Instead, the market was already excited about the possibility of a multimedia console that catered to all ages. The Playstation was the first to deliver the right mixture of technology to meet demand, ergo it won by default.

        * A multimedia computer platform at the time was considered a computer with a sound card, high resolution graphics, mpeg decoding, and a CD-ROM drive. Bit of a misnomer in modern terms, but it was high-tech stuff back then.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DrEldarion (114072)

          The majority of the games for the PSX were, in fact, quite poor.
          So were the majority of the games for the NES.
    • by bogjobber (880402)

      The quality was kept reasonably high through careful controls on the number of games that could be produced by each licensee.

      Uh...obviously you don't remember the NES days that well. Even during the Playstation's worst days they couldn't match the NES for the complete mass of shitty games foisted on the public. By my memory, and through browsing other people's collections, approximately 95% of all NES games made were movie/TV tie-ins and EXTREME!!! games. Obviously there were plenty of classics too,

  • NES went from Atari2600 and arcades to a home system that finally allowed developers to do a full 2d game. If you were born before 1980 and you were a video game fanatic, you'd know the advances that the NES brought. Some NES games are fun today still, but people tend to walk away from the Atari 2600. Some people went from Intellivision,Colleco, or even the early days of the C64 to NES. Even so, NES was a huge jump forward in technology. If you want to argue, let me bring down the hammer: Today people
  • Coolest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:40PM (#22224502) Homepage Journal

    All platforms had good and bad games, it's useless to compare them. BUT -- in terms of technical coolness and uniqueness, I have to give it to my good ol' Vectrex [wikipedia.org]. Clearly vector graphics don't work for every type of game, but for the games it did work with, it was awesome.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BunnyClaws (753889)

      All platforms had good and bad games, it's useless to compare them. BUT -- in terms of technical coolness and uniqueness, I have to give it to my good ol' Vectrex [wikipedia.org]. Clearly vector graphics don't work for every type of game, but for the games it did work with, it was awesome.

      I was going to say NES is the best console of all time. Mainly because I remember the dry period of console gaming that occurred between the Atari 2600 and NES.

      Then you mentioned Vectrex! Vectrex was awesome for its time.

    • I didn't carry mine around that much, but I could have -- the original controller snapped right onto the front of the unit under the screen, and of course the screen was part of the unit itself (no TV required). The fact that it had Minestorm built in meant you didn't even have to bring a cartridge along to impress your friends, and in those days it didn't take much to make an impression! :-)
  • and yes to Vectrex [wikipedia.org]!

    Seriously, TFA seems concerned with a presentist understanding of "The greatest machine of all time", as in "Which consoles make the greatest advancement." Who cares about advancement? It's about the games, dude.
  • Nintendo DS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _xeno_ (155264) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:44PM (#22224572) Homepage Journal

    I was originally going to say it would be the GameBoy Advance SP, but then I remembered that the DS can play GameBoy Advance games too.

    It's a nicely-sized portable, which I've found means that I can actually play the game instead of requiring a TV. Many of the great SNES games were re-released for the GBA (like The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, basically all the Final Fantasy games before VII, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Donkey Kong Country 2).

    Unfortunately Nintendo took the time to screw with some of them (Link shouldn't be yelling "Ha!" all the time in Link to the Past!), and not all of them translated quite as well as I might like (the music in Final Fantasy VI Advance was screwed up in some places, but on the plus side the bugs were fixed).

    Add in original DS games and other original GBA games, and you've got a very nice portable handheld console, which in my mind at least makes it the Best Game Console of All Time, So Far.

    Of course, that's probably because I'm getting older and have less free time to play games. It's easier to sneak some game time when you can just drop the console in your pocket or man-purs-- I mean, laptop bag. It's a laptop bag.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by antifoidulus (807088)
      Not to mention the DS has a great combo of innovative inputs while still having all the old-school inputs.(ie d-pad and plenty of well placed buttons). I think the DS, more than the Wii, has really opened up gaming to a much wider audience. When I'm at home, my mom uses my DS more than I do. She loves puzzles and can't get enough of the brain age games. My cousins cannot be pried away from theirs. Plus, the ability to go almost anywhere(save an airplane) and be able to play multi-player games is really
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I actually agree, though for different reasons. I own probably twice as many DS games as I own for any other systems (barring perhaps PC) and I've been buying systems and games for 20 years. DS just has an excellent mix of completely wacky innovation type games, and traditional old-school style gameplay (including the rebirth of some genres I like, such as text adventures), and games I can show to my grandmother at social gatherings and catch her interest. For that matter, DS is also well on its way to b
  • Playstation? Bah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by el_munkie (145510) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:45PM (#22224584)
    That piece of junk's only innovation was the introduction of ridiculous load times and boring cutscenes to gaming, and we've been cursed with them even since.
  • Sega Master System (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LazyPhoenix (773952) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:45PM (#22224590)
    I was the odd-ball without an NES, but oh the love I had for my Sega Master System -- Phantasy Star, Ys, Miracle Warriors, Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Zillion, Walter Payton Football, Quartet, Space Harrier -- oh the hours of my mis-spent youth
    • by MrSteveSD (801820)
      I had the Sega Master System too. I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It was the first computer gaming system I had that felt like it was as good as going to the arcades. There's a good emulator for it which I downloaded a while back. I've been playing all my old favourites, including "The Ninja", which is the first game I had.
    • by tmalone (534172) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:16PM (#22225966)
      I recently played Phantasy Star 1 in emulation and I was amazed at how good it was, and how good it looked. It stands the test of time much better than any NES RPG I've ever played. Pity Sega didn't keep it up with RPGs. The past few systems they've made have had one or two really good RPGs, a few crap titles, and not much else. When I finished Skies of Arcade for the Dreamcast I looked around for another good RPG, but all I found was Grandia 2 which is fun but is also the most linear game I've ever played. They don't even disguise it. You literally travel from one place to the next, forced along by the game, never to return to previous locations.

      Sega has for me alwasy been a company that had some really great ideas but either bad luck or bad management. The Genesis was pretty popular, but beyond that they've really been a bit player for most of their existence, except in the arcades.
  • In my game room I have the following set up and ready to play:
    Sega Master, NES, Genesis, SNES, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS2, Wii
    Between 30-70 games each for the others, and about 8 for the Wii
    Based on those options, the SNES gets the most play time by far. Followed closely by the Wii, then NES, then Genesis.

    My household includes me (the kook who collected all these systems), My non-gamer (Wii or Ducktails on NES only), and my two children (who keep the SNES warm for me).
  • by Generic Guy (678542) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:48PM (#22224632)

    Even though it isn't really covered in the article, I'd have to pick the original Xbox as the greatest system. Wait! Before you mod me into oblivion let me explain: I claim that a lot of interest in a particular console seems to be how well you can modify it for other purposes. In other words, versatility can be of great importance.

    Xbox (original): Once you easily softmod the machine, and possible install a larger internal hardrive, the Xbox is a self-sufficient machine with excellent graphics capabilities and emulation ability. Even by today's console standards, on any 'regular' standard-definition TV, the Xbox games are surprising good looking and perform well. Yeah, a lot of Xbox titles are cross-platform. But even so, usually the Xbox edition of any title was as good or superior to the others. Plus, with UnleashX or other dashboard replacement, you have customizable menus from which to launch programs or games stored on the hard drive. It's also reliable as hell, almost impossible to kill.

    Emulation. The Xbox can run those precious SNES games listed in the article. It can also run NES, Genesis, Atari, and even some PSone games. There's even a working Daphne emulator for those old laserdisc titles such as Space Ace and Dragon's Lair. You can also run a number of select N64 titles, although not a complete list.

    Multi-Media. Xbox has the famous XBMC, XBoxMediaCenter from which you can play movies, music, photos and the like from local or network storage. XBMC can also be used as a game launcher instead of other dashboards if you prefer. The only caveat is that newer H264 and other Hi-Def high-bandwidth material is a bit too much for the 700MHx intel CPU on the aging beast.

    Computing. That's right, the Xbox is a 700MHz intel PC in a console case. You can use it to run Linux as a basic computing platform if you like. This is Slashdot, is it not? Nothing can be taken seriously here until it runs linux. :)

    Don't get me wrong... I loved the SNES as well in its day. You could even use pliers to break away the little plastic tabs in the cartridge slot to play those Ranma 1/2 import games. But any other utility was pretty much non-existant. Ans let's face it, there were a ton of crappy platformer clones (maybe not as many as the infamous NES).

    P.S.What I find most amusing is how much I *hated* the big and heavy XBox when it first came out, and conversely how much I love it today.

  • Nintendo 64 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:51PM (#22224668)
    My vote has to go to the Nintendo 64. Watching Super Mario 64, and later Zelda Ocarina of Time, run around in 3 dimensions was just such a quantum leap from Pong and Tank (yes I go back to the very beginning) that there is no way to say anyone else ever brought such a leap to gaming.
    • Re:Nintendo 64 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Sciros (986030) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:18PM (#22225128) Journal
      For me it would be N64, followed by SNES, followed by NES, but all 3 being close.

      IMO the two *best-made games ever* are Ocarina and SM64. They're the games that I judge all others against in all sorts of respects.

      The N64 was to me the silver age of gaming. You had the best Zelda/Mario games ever, IMO the best Mario Kart, a revolution in console FPS games with Goldeneye, the first Smash Bros, etc. 3D gaming at its most memorable and finest. Many games on the N64 are yet to be outdone in their respective genres.

      The SNES was the golden age. Link to the Past, Super Mario World, DKC and DKC2 setting new standards in side-scrolling platformers, Killer Instinct revolutionizing fighting games, Super Mario Kart popularizing a new genre, Final Fantasy III (VI in Japan), Super Metroid, the Super Star Wars games, the list goes on and on. The SNES had so many good games to play every year it's scary.

      NES did so much for console gaming it's hard to put it in scope. With Super Mario Bros. it took things to a whole new level right away. Add the Zelda games, Gradius shootemups, co-op Ninja Turtles games, Metroid, the Castlevanias, the Ninja Gaidens, and you are talking about a system with the predecessors to the majority of franchises anyone cares about.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    At any given time, individual consoles have had particular examples that were superior to the wealth of options on the PC, but over time the PC has established itself as king.

    The graphics options are superior to the speciality boxes. The keyboard/mouse reigns in fps, and the rumble controllers are now common on the PC. The noob wii controller I would say now owns the PC, but time will tell.

    And online play is still far ahead on the PC, though that may change.
  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:52PM (#22224688) Homepage Journal
    If the whole premise of this is the best "game machine" of all time, I have to argue that the Commodore 64 was the best game console of all time.

    Yes, yes, I know. It's not a dedicated gaming system like a true "console" is, but you will be hard-pressed to find people who used it for more than a gaming system. Even when the NES came out, the C64 was the king of the gaming machines with a ton of top-notch games out for it. When C64 users got together, very few cared about GEOS or MultiCALC. It was all about the games, from Mail Order Monsters to Space Taxi to the original Castle Wolfenstein to the Ultima series to The Last Ninja. Gaming was what made the C64 as popular as it was.

    So, you can debate about the best "console" of all time, but as far as I'm concerned the best gaming platform was the C64.
  • Wait, wrong argument. Sorry.
  • by indros13 (531405) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @02:57PM (#22224744) Homepage Journal
    "The [console name] is the best one, because I played it when I was 12."
  • The next one.
  • PLATO (Score:4, Informative)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:01PM (#22224808) Homepage Journal
    512x512 monochrome amber plasma display. Programmable keyboard. Online chat during multiplayer dungeon games, chess, etc., with users from across town or across the ocean.

    In 1978.
  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:03PM (#22224836)
    It's sorta like debating which movie studio makes the best movies. Does total count? High signal to noise ratio? Do we adjust for overall popularity? Our feelings as they've changed with time?

    I had a TV with a pong-like game built into it in the 70's. Then a 2600. Odyssey. Intellivison. Coleco (really an Adam). Sega Master System. TurboGrafx 16. SNES. PS. N64. PS2. Xbox. Gamecube. 360. Wii.

    I bet that's more hands on then most people who comment on such things. But even still it's worthless to me. The 2600 came when I was so young that I just longed to do things grown ups could. It was the first to make major headway into homes. The SMS was those 7th-8th grade type years. The SMS probably wins in signal to noise. Alex Kidd, Phantasy Star, Miracle Warriors, Zillion, Shinobi, After Burner, Califnornia games, MK, Ninja Gaiden, Space Harrier. And I'm sure I'm missing a bunch. But compared to the low number of total games for the system, that's a huge amount of A list games.

    Then agian, The TurboGrafx 16 and Bonks and Slaughterhouse. 2 great games for a system that only had like 10 games total.
    The NES to me was the clear winner as far as the system that brought home gaming back after fading away after the 2600. Probably had the most "great" games of any system. Even more then the followup SNES had IMO.

    I don't know. I like being nostalgic here. But the arguement as to which was the best really can't be won.
    • by vrmlguy (120854)

      It's sorta like debating which movie studio makes the best movies. Does total count? High signal to noise ratio? Do we adjust for overall popularity? Our feelings as they've changed with time?

      One word: Pixar
  • To start it off, I love the control inputs for Battlezone!
  • No contest.
    Well, except probably the Amiga a few years later.
    • by JustNiz (692889)
      woops just realised this probably doesn't fit into being a console.
      In which case, I'll change my vote to Atari 2600.
      Man I wasted so many hours on that thing playing Adventure.
  • by Zebraheaded (1229302) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:10PM (#22224972)
    Sorry, but Dreamcast has to win. If for no other reason than the (sad) realization that more alcohol was consumed in college in front of Virtua Tennis than in front of tits. :(
  • A very well-designed machine, an excellent controller, and (if you play imports) the finest game library ever. Shameless plug time: check out the Propeller Arena Fan Site. [gametribute.com]
    • Additional reasons (Score:5, Informative)

      by joeflies (529536) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:02PM (#22225744)
      1) Dreamcast was legitimately ahead of its time - you can compare Tony Hawk/Dead or Alive on Dreamcast vs Playstation and see a world of difference. 2) The games were ahead of its time - many of the XBOX-generation games were largely ports of Dreamcast original games, including Metropolis Street Racer, among others. 3) No mod chip required for home brew - probably one of the easiest ways to enjoy console emulation on the home tv. The only downside is learning how to burn the roms to the CD. I'm not sure though, but it seemed like the CDs caused the drive to fail early though. 4) Features - built-in networking for online gaming, with some degree success in Phantasy Star. VMU minigames/screen and Rumble controller (which is just starting to arrive in next gen platforms as in the PSP->PS3 plugin). The VMU could communicate to users when there was player-private information without having to broadcast it on the screen and show other players, plus it could also do standalone play. 5) Games - Skies of Arcadia is still probably my favorite RPG ever - more fun in tone and atmosphere than many of the Final Fantasy's. Soul Caliber - extremely deep game play but deceptively simple to get started. It is unfortunate though that there weren't more games, which is a major downside 6) No Region lock - unlike most consoles, Dreamcast didn't burp when you played games from Japan.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hiryuu (125210)
        1) Dreamcast was legitimately ahead of its time - you can compare Tony Hawk/Dead or Alive on Dreamcast vs Playstation and see a world of difference.

        2) The games were ahead of its time - many of the XBOX-generation games were largely ports of Dreamcast original games, including Metropolis Street Racer, among others.


        These two points tend to indicate, to me, that you've misunderstood or misremembered the timelines involved. The Dreamcast wasn't a member of the same generation of the original Sony PSX
  • Not trolling, but I think MAME and MESS are the best gaming platform via emulation :-)

    http://mamedev.org/ [mamedev.org]

    http://mess.org/ [mess.org]
  • The most influential have to be the Atari 2600, NES, PlayStation 2, and Wii.

    The 'best', well... Best at what? I would argue that the PlayStation 3 is the 'best' game console ever, as it has the most powerful processor and graphics, Blu-ray, and the controller contains most of the capabilities of the Wii-mote, while retaining the best of previous generation controllers. (Well, with the Japanese DualShock 3, anyway.) Even so, it hasn't been very influential. (Other than maybe the slight benefit it has gi
  • Wiith its wiinning design and wiifi capability, wii think it is the best.
  • Everyone knows that the best gaming console was the Apple Pippin [wikipedia.org]! I mean, it was designed by the same company as the Quadra and the Performa, so it has to be great!
  • Sega Dreamcast (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:23PM (#22225186) Journal
    I'm probably the real odd-man out here, but I think of all the different systems I've owned, the Sega Dreamcast was my favorite. I've owned several different consoles & handhelds. We currently have a PS, PS2 & XBox in my home, and none of them get the same use for gaming as my Dreamcast did. We use the PS2 mainly as a DVD player, the PS isn't even plugged in, and the XBox sits idle. My favorite controller of all time though is the Dual Shock 2.
  • by dtolman (688781) <dtolman@yahoo.com> on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @03:23PM (#22225196) Homepage
    C'mon - all these console's are flashes in the pan compared to the Intellivision - it lasted in the market for over a decade, had lots of industry firsts (1st person dungeon crawl, RTS, speech in game, etc) plus a ton of fantastic and innovative games. The keypad, while a bit awkward, also meant that more complex games could be played properly on it as well. Mine's lasted over 25 years, and it still plays just great.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nbvb (32836)
      Agreed.

      Not to mention, the Intellivision had the first game with a theme song! (Snafu) ... Which is one of the ringtones on my phone now ....
  • I'd argue that the NES is the best console so far. Since we haven't reached the end of time claiming it's the best of all time is a bit stupid.

    Anyway, the NES really established the modern console era. Atari, Coleco and others were certainly immensely important but I believe the NES had a more profound impact on gaming. The graphics were a significant leap from what had been previously available and the system introduced the control pad, something still in use today. And I'd argue it is a more universal con
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:07PM (#22225826)
    Come on! The headaches weren't THAT bad.
  • Chrono Trigger (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:35PM (#22226248) Homepage Journal
    Chrono Trigger, hands down the best console RPG of all time, with only FF7 and Earthbound coming anywhere close. I've spent more hours playing and replaying Chrono Trigger than any other video game, including the modern FPSes that I tend to prefer these days. Chrono Trigger's blend of humor, flirtatious characters, intense drama, fantastic graphics for a 16-bit system, but most of all: the most compelling, appropriate music ever in a game. I can listen to the music from the game and feel like I'm playing it.
  • by Dirtside (91468) on Tuesday January 29, 2008 @04:43PM (#22226372) Journal
    Well, clearly the best game console of all time is the Playstation 7. Since we'll reach the limit of Moore's Law right around then, all subsequent consoles will just be cheap imitations.
     
    ...but perhaps I've said too much.

If you think the system is working, ask someone who's waiting for a prompt.

Working...