I consider myself very lucky to have grown up in the golden age of video games. I took an interest in video games right as the industry was about to explode. I got to enjoy the ride that the industry took to get where it is today. I will be able to tell my kids and grandkids stories about old video game systems much like past generations can tell me about the birth of television.
These are my top five video game systems.
5. Xbox 360
I will admit right off the bat that I am a Sony/Nintendo guy, but I cannot shy away from the huge amounts of success that the Xbox360 has had. Right from its launch, the 360 became the most popular game console on the market. For most of its life cycle, it really left its two major competitors in the dust (Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii).
I feel that this console had a huge impact on today's gaming industry. It really popularized a big part of what gaming is today: Multiplayer. Microsoft dominated this area of the market for a long time and it took Sony a while to catch up. Nintendo never really competed and sort of just found its own niche market.
There is no denying that the Xbox360 was an extremely dominant system during its time in the sun. The Playstation 3 was actually a more advanced machine without an online subscription fee. The 360 costed 50$ a year to play online, but still had more members than the Playstation Network. Microsoft did an excellent job marketing its system and launching before the PS3.
4. Nintendo Gameboy
The entire Nintendo Gameboy cycle takes the number 4 spot on my list. The handheld Gameboy changed everything people knew about video games. All of a sudden, you could take your game on the road with you. Where ever you were, you could play anytime you wanted to. Every kid had a Gameboy, or begged their parents for one.
A slimmed down version and a color version were also released and people flocked to buy them up. The Pokemon franchise played a big role in the Gameboy's success and was by far the most popular game to play at the time.
The Gameboy will live on forever as the first handheld gaming system beloved by everyone.
3. Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64 sure was odd when it first came out. The controller was so strange and foreign to anyone who had played video games in the past. N64 also had four ports for those weird controllers. It may not seem like much, but this was amazing at the time. You could play up to four people, in the same place, on the same tv, all together! The N64 was THE sleepover party machine for kids all across the globe. Nothing else compared to the multiplayer factor that Nintendo brought to the table here.
One of the biggest selling factors for the N64 was its game library. Some of the greatest and most enjoyable titles of all time were spawned and or perfected on this console. To name a few: Mario 64, Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Brothers, Zelda, Donkey Kong. This list literally goes on and on. People still talk about the fun times they had playing with their buddies on a Nintendo 64.
2. Sony Playstation 2
This was the grand daddy of them all. The greatest thing ever and the last video game system you would ever need..or so I thought when I finally got mine. In all seriousness, this thing was a BEAST. Not only did it play games in stunning, ground breaking fashion, but it also played CDs and DVDs. This was unheard of at the time. It was the first true entertainment system and was the stepping stone for what a video game consoles are expected to be today.
Like the Nintendo 64, the PS2 had a massive library of games to choose from. In fact, it has THE largest video game library of all the consoles ever. It was also the first system to support online play through the internet. This was perhaps the most amazing thing to a kid growing up at the time and it meant that I could play my friend in another state without either of us leaving the house. This was earth-shattering at the time and really paved the way for the consoles of today.
Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the Playstation 2 was its life cycle. Sony produced playstation 2s for OVER 12 YEARS! This is by far, the longest life cycle for a game console and unheard of today. Even after systems were no longer being made, game companies still would put out games for it for 2 years after production.
1. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Did you really expect anything else? While I cannot say that the NES started it all, it did certainly popularize it all. This is considered by most people to be the best video game system of all time with out question. All of the classic games that we love today were a product of this game console.
It is still worth dusting off to play some nostalgic games from the past that we fell in love with long ago. There is even a booming market right now for retro video games and this system is at the center of that industry.
There is not much to say about the Nintendo Entertainment system. Everyone who has played video games knows about it and definitely appreciates it for what it is: The crown-jewel of video game systems.
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I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Leave a comment and let me know what your favorite video game system of all time is.