From the retro age to the modern age, here I present to you my personal top 5 consoles! In this list I’m not focusing on the internal specs nor the performance, but rather how they captured their respective audiences with their stellar games, and kept us entertained for hours on end! Let’s do this!
5) Sega Megadrive (Or Genesis, if you’re American)
To start off this list, I’ve chosen to begin with the console that brought me into the world of gaming – Known as the Genesis in North America, Sega originally brought out the console over in Japan in 1988, and a year later the console released out in North American markets – This was then followed by the launch in Europe, where the console was rebranded from the Sega Genesis to the Sega Megadrive; due to the competition in Japan with the Super Famicom, the Megadrive’s sales weren’t too successful, outside of Japan and across north America and Europe, however, sales were booming, leading to the console later being dubbed as the ‘cool’ and ‘more mature’ console for teenagers and adolescents.
For me personally I have fond memories of little me with a cup of apple juice in hand playing on what was my first ever console; to me this was an amazing, jaw dropping experience which I will never forget. For me. due to my age, I was brought up on mainly Disney games such as Mickey’s House of Illusions and Quackshot starring Donald Duck; other such gems included Dynamite Headdy, Ren & Stimpy: Stimpy’s Invention, Shining Force, Golden Axe and of course my personal favourite, Sonic the Hedgehog.
In total there were an astonishing 897 games released on the console during it’s lifecycle, meaning there wasn’t a single day gone by that you could say “I have nothing to play” (Provided you had the money to buy games, which I didn’t…). To me I wouldn’t be the gamer who I am if it wasn’t for the Megadrive as it initially got me into games, and to this day I am still a gamer and will always be a gamer at heart thanks to it.
4) Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 was what felt like the console that set the ever expanding trend of Pokemon game after Pokemon game into stone – Great titles ranging from such classics as Pokemon Snap to Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2, and of course the infamous Hey You Pikachu star-studded the console – The N64 was also home to amazing franchises such as The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, Banjo-Kazooie, and the Super Mario Series featuring Super Mario 64, Mario Party, and Paper Mario; the N64 was the console that brought to light 3D gaming that we know and love today, and provided us with a whole new experience that felt more realistic and even brought families and friendships together (Or should I say tore them apart..?) with it’s signature family friendly styled titles such as Mario Kart 64 and Mario Party 64.
The N64 was released in Japan and North America in 1996 and Europe, Australia, France and Brazil in 1997 and sold an impressive 32.93 Million units worldwide, and although the controller was a bit funky (Even to this day I have no idea how to hold that bloody thing), Nintendo 64 was the pinnacle in family friendly consoles, and reigned supreme during it’s time in the spotlight.
3) Nintendo DS
The Nintendo DS (The DS meaning dual screens), was the first system in its generation (And even to this day, including the DS Lite, DSi and 3DS) to combine two LCD screens, one being a touchscreen and the other being a flat LCD display, and was meant to compliment the system’s predecessor, the Gameboy Advance SP – In my personal opinion they took the criticisms of all the previous Nintendo handheld consoles and created one of the bestselling, best performing handheld consoles of the century. The reasons as to why the DS was so successful included points such as the lineup of titles released for it, wide support, and the ability of backwards compatibility; a trend that began with the Gameboy Advance being able to play Gameboy and Gameboy Colour games – The Nintendo DS retained the cartridge slot allowing for Gameboy Advance games to be played on the system, bringing both old and new games to one single handheld.
The Nintendo DS didn’t release in Europe until the following year of 2005 where as our Japanese and North American brothers and sisters were able to receive the console in late 2004 which was pretty unfair. One of the main highlights for the launch of the Nintendo DS was the re-release of Super Mario 64 making the title somewhat backwards compatible with an N64 title, but also they care for the fans of previous games and brought them into a newer generation of handheld consoles.
For me I’ve grown up with the original Gameboy, and I have watched it evolve into what it is today; when they announced the Nintendo DS, immediately I was stunned and impressed by not only having two screens, but the incorporation of a microphone which allows for more immersion, being predominantly advertised with the release of Nintendogs.
I. Was. Hooked.
I begged and begged my parents for one and when Christmas of 2005 finally rolled around I was pleasantly surprised as to receive not only a Nintendo DS but the bundle version that came with Nintendogs, and from then onwards I had an even deeper obsession with handheld consoles, and continue to this day to attempt to collect every Nintendo Handheld console out there. So you may be thinking as to why the DS isn’t my number one slot? Well you are about to find out!
2) Sony PlayStation 2
Now here I will start to seem like a bit of a Sony Fangirl, but I can honestly say that Sony have produced some amazing and awe aspiring consoles in their lifetime – The Playstation 2, or PS2, came out in Japan on March 4th 2000, North American on October 26th 2000, Europe on November 24th 2000 and finally Australia November 30th 2000 – This was 6 years after the original Playstation was released, and already Sony had created another spectacular console with some memorable franchises such as Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City and San Andreas, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Crash Bandicoot and many more. The PlayStation 2 at the time (in my opinion) had some of the best games out there, and the stories and memories I had with friends and the tales that were told will always be treasured.
The PlayStation 2 although wasn’t completely backwards compatible with every PlayStation game, however; it was still able to play the majority of PS1 titles, however it depends on the model and make of your PS2. The Playstation was also able to play DVDs and music CDs, making this at the time one of the best entertainment and multimedia systems due to its versatility. The PS2 also permanently added in analogue sticks for both comfort with the DualShock 2, and as a result more games didn’t need to rely on grid movement – On top of this, analogue sticks gave much more freedom for more precise actions and movements, especially when it came to racing games and FPS titles (First Person Shooters).
The PlayStation 2 was an all-rounder for every type of gamer and gave a platform for more games to become much more popular, as was the case for games like GTA (Grand Theft Auto), this game started out on the PS1 with a top down viewpoint, and as the PlayStation 2 came along it blossomed into its first 3D action packed, controversial game that was known simply as Grand Theft Auto 3; this then developed into Vice City and then along came what some players would praise as the best GTA game, San Andreas.
The PS2, much like the DS, was the console that got me through my childhood, and I still revisit the old titles even nowadays!
1) Sony PlayStation 4
After months and months of playing my PS3 near-religiously, spending hours upon hours on LittleBigPlanet, inFamous and Bayonetta, I finally got the gracious opportunity to finally play Joe’s PS4 at any time I liked (Thanks for moving in Jojo!); this was when I was truely introduced to the ‘next generation of gaming’ – Playing Rocket League on our 32″ inch TV really did feel like the next step up, with other early titles like Killzone Shadow Fall and inFamous: Second Son keeping the iron hot for the beginning phase of the PS4. The PS4 released November 15, 2013 in the United States and Canada; by the end of 2013, the PS4 was launched in more European, Asian and South American countries, and in Japan on February 22, 2014.
Later on the PS4, being pitched against the Xbox One, was in a sticky situation – Both had a similar issue with good games, services and prices, however Sony decided to take their game up to 11, and release excellent exclusive after excellent exclusive – Some of the best we’ve ever seen on a console since the PS2 era with games like Bloodborne, Horizon Zero Dawn, LittleBigPlanet 3, Persona 5 and the WipeOut Omega Collection, bringing some of the best, exclusive experiences to the system. Not only this, but the console has returned many childhood favourites such as Crash Bandicoot, (Soon to be releasing) Shadow of the Colossus, Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank.
Whilst the console did have some issues with weak PS+ titles, this soon got resolved, with this month’s PS+ titles including Just Cause 3, of all games; the social aspects and graphical prowess of the PS4 are now beaten only by the PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and of course, custom gaming PC’s and Laptops, with still a massive number of titles being released for the console despite it being nearly 5 years old.
The PS4 is my favourite gaming console of all time, not only for the memories I’ve made with it, but the adventures I’ve yet to go on.
Remember however that these are just my opinions in the end of the day – Take them with a grain of salt! I wanted to share with you my favourite memories and consoles, and my reasons, however if you disagree feel free to debate with me down in the comments!! Thank you so much for reading – Have a lovely day!