Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Best Video Game Consoles Ever: #15-11

I am a big video game nut. I still own in working condition every system I have ever had except for my PS2, and I’ve played every console available for home use. In purchasing my latest toy, the PS3 Slim the other week, I began a thought process on what console had been my favorite, which was the best in practical use? Well here we go; I done figured it out and ranked the 15 most popular consoles based on five levels of criteria. Each category has a total possible score of 10 points. Consoles 15 through 11 are presented today and I will count down to the next 5, then the top 5 at a later point as soon as well.. I do it.

15. Sega CD
Score: 16
Games: 1
Graphics/Sound: 3

Controller/Interface: 5
Durability: 5

Intangibles: 2

Ah the Sega CD, the only system I ever traded in anything for. I ultimately owned just 3 games for this beast of a console; Silpheed, Tomcat Alley and NBA Jam. The system functioned as an add on to the Sega Genesis. Most of the games developed for it were geared to adults, and they all just sucked. The console was the first to go with an optical disc drive, and the complications of that showed up in spades. Slow read times, flimsy CD tray (replaced for a top load unit later on) and poor capacity for data. Yea that whole saving games thing was an issue. Sega tried to push the envelope here and keep the aging Genesis alive through add ons. The 32x (grouped in with the Genesis for this story) did more for developing greater games than this system ever did. Ultimately there was nothing the Sega CD did that the Sega couldn’t do, outside of video… and lemme tell ya, nobody had a clue what to do with that. Hey it played audio CDs though…

14. Atari Jaguar
Score: 20
Games: 2
Graphics/Sound: 4
Controller/Interface: 2

Durability: 6
Intangibles: 6

A guy I knew had a Jaguar and man did I think it was cool. My first encounter with it was a great game called Dragons Lair, an interactive movie drawn by a famous Disney animator. Titles like that and Alien vs. Predator gave the Atari console some bite, but not enough to ever make a real impact. The controller was a monstrosity, buttons for no reason. Looked a lot more like a phone really. There was no advertising for the thing, which probably makes most people think of the Tiger based handhelds when you bring up a video game system named for an animal. I liked the Jag, but in no sense did it ever compel me to own one.

13. Atari
Score: 25
Games: 3
Graphics/Sound: 1
Controller/Interface: 8

Durability: 7
Intangibles: 6

The Atari was pretty much the start of it all. While not the first commercially available in home system by far, it was the first real mainstream one. This was my first memory of gaming… the gateway drug if you will. I give some major points to the Nintendo for its 8 bit graphics and 8 bit sound later on, because that really generates some saliva from the mouths and minds of gamers when they think of quality, but I don’t give those points to the Atari. It was pretty primitive, bloops and blips. It was replaced for a reason. The games were damn simple; graphing calculators have had better. Basketball was identical to hockey, was identical to tennis. The controller though, man what a beauty. The Atari joystick has come to and will always symbolize gaming.

12. Super Nintendo
Score: 27
Games: 6
Graphics/Sound: 5
Controller/Interface: 6

Durability: 8
Intangibles: 2

So the follow up to the great NES did not quite hold its own for as long and as strong as it should have. The first console war broke out over the SNES and the Sega Genesis, and the SNES just fell short. Graphical power was equal, but the game selection proved mundane. The SNES gave you what Nintendo will be known for forever. Mario, Zelda, and Star Wars. While the Bazooka gun was pretty cool, the gamepad fell far short of the Sega controller. The console was fairly durable, and spit out a lot of solid games, but just not the innovative titles Sega was able to produce on a yearly basis.

11. Nintendo Wii
Score: 30
Games: 2
Graphics/Sound: 3

Controller/Interface: 8
Durability: 7
Intangibles: 10

This will easily be the most controversial ranking on the list. No console has ever sold so fast or created such buzz. No console has ever re-designed how we game faster than the Wii. The controller and whole concept is very innovative, a true game changer leaving Sony and Microsoft running to catch up. It’s a child’s toy however, a lame step back in entertainment. This system is for non-gamers. If you grew up on games and you love challenges and adventure, you laugh at this. Every game put out for it is mundane, simple in execution and scope, and laughable graphically. Step aerobics and swinging cheap peripherals around to simulate what I used to be able to do with a joystick? No thanks. I play sports for a workout, not video games,

Next week I’ll drop 10-6 on ya. Stick around.


Newman said...

I have to respectfully disagree here. I own several systems (and currently have ALL hooked to my big screen TV), including Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, and PS2. The system I come back to time and again is the Super Nintendo! I find myself playing Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart and even games like ActRaiser more than anything except perhaps NCAA Football on the PS2. To have this system ranked so low is disappointing.

Damman said...

Herr Newman is quite right. If you failed to find innovation on the SNES, you sir played the wrong games: Star Fox, Mario Kart, Chrono Trigger, Super Metroid....and if you're talking console wars, I'd say Super Mario World far surpasses any Sonic game. This may call for an official objection soon....

Eric said...

Word - I loved the Super Nintendo.. granted I never owned a Sega. But Jason's right, the only games anyone ever comes back to with Nintendo systems is Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Yoshi & Mario, etc. It is a recurring theme.

However, I always thought the ability to play Game Boy games on the SNES was awesome.

Slick said...

I will agree on game selection for the Sega being better, but quality over quantity, I say, tips the scales in the favor of the SNES.

Mariokart alone was probably better than 98% of all games from both systems!!