As we sit on the cusp of two new console launches in the coming months, with the Xbox One set for a release in November and the PlayStation 4 to release something this fall, it’s due time we reflect back on previous console launches and discuss which one was our favorite of all time. Not the actual launches mind you, but the consoles themselves. From fan favorites like the NES, PlayStation 2, the Xbox 360 and even handhelds like the original Game Boy. Each was awesome for its own reason, and so we ask a handful of GotGame staffers to tell us which console was their favorite and why.
Adam Larck: Super NES – The system had it all, even today. It had a great library that had titles for everyone, with many games even standing the test of time and still being fun to play today. In addition, The system was great to play with friends, whether the title was a one-player title or multiplayer. The SNES represented a time when it was just as fun to pass a controller around as it was to take on games together, something that you seldom find anymore.
John Curry: For me, my favorite console was the Nintendo Virtual Boy. Growing up poor,the only console I remember being in our house was the original NES system. I remember earning enough money mowing grass to buy a something, anything game related. I went to the mall and in to Toys-R-Us’s black sheep cousin, KB Toy Store whee they had two systems on clearance, the Jaguar and the amazingly futuristic look Virtual Boy. I bought it, brought it home and set it up on our table and proceeded to play Mario Tennis for hours on end. Yeah, the graphics were junk and the headset hurt to sit tucked in to for hours (Would have been better if it had a head strap) but the fact that I finally had something “better” and by better I mean newer than the NES in our house and that I bought it, was an amazing feeling I have yet to replicate. I know the Virtual Boy is honestly one of the biggest failures in gaming, but to me it stood for more than gaming. It is because of this almost 20 years later, that I look past my 360, PS3, my preordered PS4 and my computer with the fondest memories going to the Virtual Boy.
Ryan Bates: I guess it would have to be the Super Nintendo. Without trying to be A Grumpy Old Man over here, today’s games worry so damn much about DEM GRAFIXX and how realistic and pretty everything looks. While we were concerned about that in the SNES era (Mode 7 y’all!), games only had 16 bits to work with in that department, and game developers had to compensate with great gameplay and stories. So many iconic games that are still fun and playable today: Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy 3 (now known as VI), Earthbound, ActRaiser, SimCity, Zombies Ate My Neighbors… I could go on and on, but just take that list and remove the graphics aspect. Would you still buy them? I would.
Todd Vote: My favorite console of all time was a lot harder to nail down than I initially thought it would be. When Ramon asked the question, my first thought was “pfft, piece of cake, NES, hands down.” But when I started actually thinking about it. While the NES will always have a fond spot for me as being the one that made me a gamer, I’m not sure it is my favorite anymore. What goes into making a console someone’s favorite ever? Do you consider the fond memories only? Does how much time you spend with a console hold weight? Maybe it is the console that brings the most memorable gaming experience.
I managed to narrow the list down to 3 consoles. The NES, The Genesis, and the Playstation 2. While the NES was essentially the first, I never really spent a lot of time with it. I was a kid, and the prospect of being outside usually trumped any idea of sitting inside and playing video games. The SEGA Genesis was the console that offered a more mature flavor, which was perfect as my gaming tastes were changing. It was like the Genesis knew I wanted something deeper before I knew I did.
Ultimately, I decided that the PlayStation 2 was my favorite console of all time. It offered the mature flavor I had come to enjoy, as well as many many gaming memories. None perhaps as important than the release of GTAIII. GTAIII changed everything about gaming. From there, the PS2 offered great game after great game. The Smackdown wrestling series, which at the time was heads and shoulders above the WWE games being released for the Xbox or the Gamecube. Finally, the PS2 was my introduction to one of my favorite modern franchises in God of War. Yup, I can safely say the PS2 is probably my favorite console of all time.
Patrick Brickhouse: This is the most difficult question anyone can ask a gamer, but if I had to choose, I’d say the Super Nintendo. Not only did it take what the NES did and amplify it to friggin’ 11, it had better games that were just more fun to play. Seriously, look back at the catalog of games on SNES and you’ll be up to your buttcheeks in 5 star titles. It was graphically superior to the Genesis and had a better sound chip. It paved the way for stellar RPG titles like some of the best in the Final Fantasy series as well as games like Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Mega Man X and Star Fox. The NES got me into gaming when I was young, but the SNES is the reason I embraced it. I became a gamer because of it. To me, it’s the best ever.
Ultimately, I decided that the PS2 was my favorite console of all time. It offered the mature flavor I had come to enjoy, as well as many many gaming memories. None perhaps as important than the release of GTAIII. GTAIII changed everything about gaming. From there, the PS2 offered great game after great game. The Smackdown wrestling series, which at the time was heads and shoulders above the WWE games being released for the Xbox or the Gamecube. Finally, the PS2 was my introduction to one of my favorite modern franchises in God of War. Yup, I can safely say the PS2 is probably my favorite console of all time.
Ramon Aranda: I had to do some serious thinking about this one too. Some of my overall favorites were the NES (my first console), the Xbox 360, Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64. And while I started to lean towards the Nintendo 64, thanks in large part to all-time great games like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Goldeneye 007, I ultimately decided that the one to beat is still the Super Nintendo. Long story short, I still to this day sit down and fire up the ol’ SNES and play titles that I don’t have available or just haven’t decided to download via the Virtual Console. Maybe it’s because I just like the idea of playing the original cartridge on my system as I prefer to download games I don’t already have. But there are some fantastic titles that have aged quite well, such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mega Man X, Actraiser, Super Mario RPG, Earthbound, Super Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat III and Earthworm Jim, just to name a few. Quite honestly, that list could go on and on and on, and to be frank, I feel the SNES probably had the best overall library of games that I’ve ever seen. First party titles and third party titles were aplenty and I still love the SNES controller, which introduced shoulder buttons. Yes, I still play my NES and N64, along with a few others, but the SNES is still the one I go back to time and time again. It really was “super”.