For over 40 years video games have been a popular form of entertainment, with many consoles and platforms being released over the years, broken up by generations as hardware improves and consoles get more powerful. As we go through this list it is interesting to see how much gaming has changed in such a short space of time, going from basic games such as Pac-Man to large realistic experiences that can be hundreds of GB in size. I will be skipping the first generation as they were incredibly basic, with some consoles being able to play just a single game, so this list will begin at the second generation. Here are the best consoles from each console generation.
Atari 2600 – Second Generation
The second generation of consoles also included the ColecoVision, Mattel Intellivision, and Magnavox Odyssey 2, but the best console is without a doubt the Atari 2600. It didn’t take long for the Atari 2600 to become the top seller at the time, but it doesn’t deserve all of the praise as a flood of unlicensed third-party titles caused the market to crash as customers lost confidence in gaming due to spending money on very low-quality games. This caused the famous video game crash of 1983 in North America, which very well could have meant that gaming ended in the second generation. Thankfully it didn’t otherwise this would be an incredibly shortlist.
Nintendo Entertainment System – Third Generation
Following the video game crash of 1983, Nintendo helped regain customers’ trust with the NES and their quality assurance. Titles such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend Of Zelda, and Metroid helped reassure customers that the Nintendo Entertainment System won’t be flooded with low-quality titles. The console went on to sell over 70 million consoles, and without it, we may not be gaming today.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Fourth Generation
Following on from the success of the NES, Nintendo released the SNES in 1990, with top titles including Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, and Super Mario Kart. Other consoles in the generation included the Sega Mega Drive, TurboGrafx, and Neo-Geo, but the SNES was without a doubt the King of the fourth generation.
PlayStation – Fifth Generation
The fifth-generation brought 3D gaming to the world, with the PlayStation leading the pack in 1994. Sega released the Saturn and Nintendo released the N64, but none of them could hold a candle to the PlayStation, with it selling over 102 million units thanks to an incredible library that includes Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, and Crash Bandicoot.
PlayStation 2 – Sixth Generation
After being the industry leader in the fifth generation, Sony continued the trend going into the sixth generation with the PS2. The sixth-generation would mark Sega’s last console with the Dreamcast, but also saw Microsoft enter the console space with the original Xbox, and Nintendo also releasing the GameCube. The PS2 has gone on to become the best selling console of all time, with over 155 million units sold, thanks to its incredibly large library of over 2000 titles that were released between 2000 and 2013, with some titles including GTA: San Andreas, Final Fantasy X, Metal Gear Solid 2, Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain, and God of War.
Xbox 360 – Seventh Generation
The seventh-generation would see the lineup go back to …….