As I mentioned yesterday, I was a huge video game whore when I was a kid. I'm not going to lie... I still am, but only for Nintendo and LEGO. The difference being that when I was a kid I didn't do anything but play video games... whereas now I have things like "responsibilities" that keep getting in the way. Doesn't keep me from loving video games though. Here's a list of consoles that I love most of all...
- Atari 2600.
The first "real" video game system of my generation, the Atari VCS was revolutionary in just about every way possible for the day. Yeah, the graphics were absolute crap, but the imagination and innovation behind the dozens of games released more than made up for it. The downfall of the system came when the games were churned out just to have them out... even if they weren't worth releasing. The original Pac-Man game was complete shit with only a passing nod to the original game. The E.T. disaster is legendary. The list goes on and on. But, still, before we got to that point there were a lot of great games trailblazing the way for everything that was to come.
- Nintendo Wii.
It would be easy to drop a "modern" powerhouse system in this spot like Xbox One or PlayStation 4... perhaps even Wii U... but when it comes to the console that changed the way people play video games, it's the original Wii that turned the industry on it's head. Thanks to the way-cool controller, games became more interactive and collaborative than ever before. Get a group of friends together for Wii Bowling and good times can't help but ensue. Wii also brought forth the advent of the Mii, which gave gamers an identity they could carry through various games in a fun new way.
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
This is probably the favorite gaming system of old, responsible for a slew of games that defined the industry. Taking the massive popularity of the NES one step further, the Super NES gave us gameplay that culminated in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and unleashed some of the best games ever made... including StarFox, Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country, Super Metroid, Super Mario Kart, and Super Mario World.
- Playstation 2.
The original PlayStation attempted to bring more power to the game of video games, but it was Playstation 2 that actually delivered on that ideal. Powerful enough to allow game designers to run wild with their imaginations, PS2 unleashed games that broke the mold and added new depth to the industry. A lot of terrific game franchises that had promising starts on earlier consoles blew up to new heights. So many fun games passed through here... it's no wonder it's the best-selling console of all time.
- Nintendo 64.
Three Nintendo systems on this list may seem like overkill (especially for Sega fans lamenting that none of their systems ended up here), but this was the console that gave us The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, arguably the greatest of the greatest in video games. We also got the first Paper Mario, which is one of my favorite game franchises. Updates to other franchises... Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong 64, StarFox 64, Kirby 64, etc., also pushed gaming into new territory and solidified Nintendo's track record as having the game designers to beat.
HONORABLE MENTION: ColecoVision.
This is a gaming system that rarely appears on people's lists of favorite game consoles. Yes it was underpowered. Yes it had one of the shittiest controllers ever. But it brought home a lot of great arcade games that Atari or Intellivision couldn't match... including the best home-port of Donkey Kong, my all-time favorite arcade title. I spent a huge chunk of my childhood playing ColecoVision, and am more than a little disappointed that it's forgotten by modern gamers.