Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Best Video Game Consoles Ever: #10-6

So the first 5 consoles of my top 15 ranking drew up a little debate on the ‘ol blog and on the export of the article to Facebook… exxxcellent. I cannot tell you how much I love that you hate that I put the SNES so low. If you missed numbers 15 through 11, you can see them here. Now it is time to show you who was just a pixel above the worst of the best, I guess you could say.

10. Microsoft Xbox
Score: 31
Games: 7

Graphics/Sound: 7
Controller/Interface: 5
Durability: 6
Intangibles: 6

I hear another wave of complaints coming, but I don’t think I’ll be able to find and read them. See this giant, no; behemoth console is blocking my view. We get it Microsoft, you are monsters. You create everything that is good and powerful. I recommend next time you don’t make a console that won’t fit inside the door of a home. For real though, this was a big machine. The Xbox never got a foothold to go up against the PS2; it simply came out way to late in the generational war to combat Sony. The hardware issues could be called petty, but they existed. The box consumed more power than Zeus, the controller was too big for anyone not named Gigantor, and I defy you to name a console exclusive title outside of Halo: CE and Halo 2 that anyone would look at today with fond memories. A good start Microsoft, but a middle of the road machine.

9. Sega Dreamcast
Score: 32
Games: 8

Graphics/Sound: 5
Controller/Interface: 6
Durability: 7
Intangibles: 6

So many people have the Dreamcast as their favorite console. So few of you actually ever owned one. Those that did, myself not included, considered it a gem. The last Sega console ever was a beauty. The controller was beyond innovative, comfortable and futuristic, the on-line network ahead of its time. The failure of the last great Sega unit is as perplexing as it is sad. Titles like Phantasy Star On-line, Shenmue, Jet Grind Radio, Sonic Adventure and Grandia 2 provided ample chances for the Dreamcast to grab attention as exclusive titles, but the propaganda and advertisement war against Sony and Microsoft was not powerful enough. At the end of the day, many see the Dreamcast as another NES, a system you keep for life and cherish memories with; it just didn’t live long enough.

8. Sony Playstation
Score: 33
Games: 8
Graphics/Sound: 4
Controller/Interface: 5
Durability: 8
Intangibles: 8

The first Sony brought the first massive game library on optical discs. Chances are if you owned an original PS, you still do, because it really didn’t break down. The PS brought us our first appearance of the innovative Dualshock controller, our first play of Crash Bandicoot, and who can forget Final Fantasy VII… seriously, get over it, it happened like 34 years ago. The PS had new games out every damn day, any title you wanted to play that wasn’t named Mario, you had it. Grand Theft Auto, Persona and Star Ocean all provided innovation still copied today. The PS was revolutionary for giving the industry a viable reason and method to go optical, while it’s contemporary the N64 was still slugging along with solid state cartridges. 100 million consoles worldwide are not ever wrong.

7. Nintendo Gamecube
Score: 34
Games: 6
Graphics/Sound: 6
Controller/Interface: 8
Durability: 9
Intangibles: 5

Oh Gamecube, I loved you so much. You were so cute and cuddly for a cube. All tiny and cubey and colorful. It was a console to be loved, and one with some really shining examples of Nintendo game design. While a lot of the games you played on the ‘cube were third generations of SNES and N64 titles, they provided explicit reasons to purchase the console, even late in its life. Zelda Windwaker and Twilight Princess, Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Mario Kart Double Dash and any of the 80 versions of Mario Party. This was a fun console to play with friends, and the portability of a tiny lil cube, especially when compared to the monster Xbox or fragile PS2, was nice. The controllers, the last great controller Nintendo ever made, were real joys to hold, and it is no mistake Wii players today still crave the feel of an old Gamecube controller.

6. Sony Playstation 3
Score: 35
Games: 6
Graphics/Sound: 9
Controller/Interface: 6
Durability: 7
Intangibles: 7

And here we go; the first major console of the current generation. Yea the Wii was ranked really low, but I don’t consider the Wii to be current generation gaming at all. So the PS3 falls at least lower than the Xbox 360, and several other units. Graphically, it’s a great machine, top of the line and worth playing new games on. The Blu-ray disc drive is nice for the new movies and such, but the longevity of Blu-ray is still far from determined. Let’s go over some real down points though. The third generation of the Dualshock controller, the Sony “Sixaxis” blows. It feels so light and weak, and the “six axis motion control” is a pointless gimmick and very annoying when you are forced to use it in games. The games themselves are fine a lot are great fun. Console exclusives Killzone 2, Little Big Planet, Metal Gear Solid 4, Uncharted, and soon to be Uncharted 2, are all fantastic. The big issue is that is all there is. The exclusives on the 360, and the downloadable content of this new generation for the 360 games surpasses what is found on the PS3. The dashboard and whole console navigation scheme is clunky, slow and confusing. The real downfall though is the network, it just sucks. Nobody wants to play PS Home, and finding and playing with friends on the PSN is nothing when compared to Xbox Live. Yes the PSN is free, but you get what you pay for in this scenario.

So there we go, another 5 charted and scored, another 5 to be digested and spat back out with your own opinion. That is what is so fantastic about these machines though; so many people had unique and impactful experiences on a particular device, that they still feel the joy of it today. Next week I bring you numbers 5 through the king console of them all, so till then I say bleep bloop.