With all this talk of Playstation 4’s and Next Xbox/720’s/Durango’s/WHATEVER, this weeks Friday Feeling looks at, in our opinion, the GREATEST CONSOLES OF ALL TIME! Did your favourite make the cut? Read on and find out…
Sega Mega Drive
Known as the Sega Genesis in America and Mega Drive everywhere else, the 16-bit console was first released in 1988 and changed the face of gaming. The Mega Drive, with their now world-famous mascot Sonic, made gaming cool. It also boasted some seriously great games; Sonic, Altered Beast, Outrun, Phantasy Star, Shining Force and more, Sega players were seriously spoilt for choice. While Nintendo’s SNES was just as strong, and this made for great competition and brilliant games for gamers, we think the Mega Drive just edged this particular battle.
Although eclipsed in exposure and sales by Sony’s debut Playstation, the N64 is now looked on as a classic – boasting some of THE greatest games of all time. Here’s just a few: Zelda: Ocarina of Time AND Majora’s Mask, Mario 64, Mario Kart, Banjo-Kazooie, Goldeneye and Perfect Dark are all stone-cold classics, unavailable (at the time) on any other platform. While it’s fair to say Nintendo rested on their laurels in some regards with N64 (cart-based, poor advertising, shocking 3rd party relationships), their 1st-party games made the console essential. If you missed out, download an emulator and get playing!
Poor Dreamcast – the cult favourite that no-one bought. Ignored in favour of the impending PS2, the Dreamcast was the final throw in the hardware space for Sega after a string of failures. People that picked one up weren’t sorry though, in terms of games making the Dreamcast is probably Sega’s golden-era. Never played one? Look at these; Shenmue I and II, Skies of Arcadia, Soul Calibur, Jet Set Radio plus the experimental Seaman and many more – Sega were at the height of their creative powers. Dreamcast was essential in many ways, unfortunately gamers didn’t see it that way at the time.
What was written above for N64 could easily be written for GameCube – a phenomenal line-up of Nintendo games, but Sony’s unstoppable PS2 juggernaut, poor decisions from Nintendo, and new-kid-on-the-block Microsoft with their Xbox meant many people missed out the purple (or black) wonder. Highlights include the fantastic Metroid Prime, astonishing Zelda: Wind Waker, ahead of its time Eternal Darkness and the definitive version of Skies of Arcadia – one of the greatest JRPG’s of all time. Unfortunately, the GameCube’s relative failure led to a sea-change at Nintendo – ushering in the Wii and better sales success; but arguably Nintendo’s gaming output has never topped their ‘Cube era.
We can’t talk about the greatest consoles of all time without mentioning the PS2. Building on a strong foundation from the PSX, Sony took its platform AND gaming to another level, enticing gamers and non-gamers alike with their vision and unparalleled line-up. We could write pages and pages on the stellar games on Ps2 – GTA 3/Vice City/San Andreas, Ico/Shadows of the Colossus – but the 155 million consoles sold worldwide speaks for itself; in fact, the PS2 was still outselling its big-brother PS3 in Japan most weeks a couple of years ago. There’s a reason for this – it really is one of the greatest consoles ever.
People don’t realise how good things are until they’re gone and that’s definitely the case with this generation. After 8 years (the longest ever console generation) fatigue has set in, but there is definitely case to say this generation has been the greatest we’ve seen. This spot on the list could have easily gone to the PS3 but the 360 gets the nod due to its trailblazing in the online space and its superior 3rd party output (the PS3 being notoriously difficult to develop for, leading to many developers putting the 360 as the lead version). You all know the games that we’ve been playing for almost the last decade (GTA IV, Oblivion/Skyrim, Fallout 3/New Vegas, Mass Effect trilogy) and the goods just keep coming – BioShock Infinite has just been released and we have the impressive looking Metro: Last Light and behemoth Grand Theft Auto 5 to come. Next time you look at your 360 (or still fantastic PS3) remember the good times it’s given you and be thankful.
– Dave Green. Tell him your favourite on Twitter @davidpgreen83