What are the best gaming systems of all time?
Video game has been a favorite means of entertainment for decades. As a result, the video game industry has also been a very lucrative business. Hence, it is no wonder that new gaming systems with more enhanced features hit the market every year.
With technological advancement, the gaming systems have also seen revolutionary changes giving the gamers a more in-depth, realistic experience.
Moreover, most homes now own a gaming system.
However, as the gaming system gets better every year, some gamers prefer the vintage, old-school gaming systems. These old gaming systems are a part of their childhood to many gamers, making them timeless games.
Keeping in mind the nostalgic feel of the newer experience, we list the best gaming systems. So let us explore the list together without any further delay.
Top 12 Best Gaming Systems Of All Time
We have prepared the list from various trusted sources on the internet like The Guardian. Let us take a quick peek at the table before getting into the details.
|12. Xbox One||2013|
|11. Nintendo DS||2004|
|9. Sega Dreamcast||1998|
|8. Nintendo Wii||2006|
|7. Sega Mega Drive / Genesis||1988|
|6. Nintendo Switch||2017|
|4. Xbox 360||2005|
|3. PlayStation 4||2013|
|2. PlayStation 2||2000|
|1. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)||1990|
12. Xbox One
The first gaming system on our list is the Xbox One, released in 2013. Microsoft is the system developer and is the eighth generation of video game consoles.
When the console was first released, it was marketed as an “all-in-one entertainment system.” Xbox One’s design was quieter and cooler. Similarly, it had a more refined controller design, multimedia features, and voice navigation.
The Xbox One had its exclusive Xbox One system software as its operating system.
Likewise, it consists of a non-replaceable hard drive with a Blu-ray Disc optical drive. Additionally, the system supported 1080p and 720p video output.
Microsoft’s last official sales figure for units sold was in 2014. There, they announced the system sold 10 million units at the time.
The Xbox One was succeeded by the Xbox One S in 2016. Since the end of 2020, production of the system has ceased. However, as of 2021, 51 million system units have been sold.
11. Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS was first released in 2004. Developed by Nintendo, the system is a handheld game console. The DS is the initialism for “Developers’ System” or “Dual Screen.”
Before the release of the Nintendo DS, the system was marketed as an experimental “third pillar” in Nintendo’s console lineup. Similarly, the game is the seventh generation of home game consoles.
However, the most distinctive feature of this handheld gaming system is that it has two LCD screens working in tandem. Moreover, the bottom screen is a touchscreen.
Another notable feature was that multiple DS consoles could interact within a short range over Wi-Fi. In addition, the console has other features like speech recognition, online chatting, game card slot ROM cartridge for media, etc.
Nintendo DS sold 154.02 million worldwide, becoming the third-highest sold gaming console. In 2011, the DS line was succeeded by the Nintendo 3DS family. The DS and its later models became the best-selling Nintendo system.
The Xbox is the first installment in the Xbox series of video game consoles. Microsoft is the manufacturer of the system and is a sixth-generation console.
The Xbox used variations of Microsoft Windows and DirectX as its operating system. The system was technically more powerful, with a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor than its rivals.
When Microsoft launched the Xbox in North America, it had a record-breaking unit sold. Since the system was built around standard personal computer components, it was trendy among gamers.
Likewise, the system supported the internet, and the fee-based online gaming service was available through Xbox Live. Some popular games like Halo 2, Project Gotham Racing, Grand Theft Auto series, etc., further contributed to the console’s popularity.
Although the system was popular in the Western market, it underperformed in the Japanese market. Still, Xbox sold 24 million units worldwide.
The Xbox succeeded the Xbox 360, launched in 2005, and the production for Xbox was discontinued the same year. Nevertheless, this first installment system of Microsoft paved the way for future series of brand’s home consoles.
9. Sega Dreamcast
The Sega Dreamcast was the first in the sixth generation of video game consoles released by Sega in 1998. The Dreamcast was the successor of the Sega Saturn that was released in 1994.
Its predecessor, the Sega Saturn, could not perform due to its complex dual CPU architecture, making it more challenging to program. Therefore, the Dreamcast was designed with “off-the-shelf” components to reduce costs.
Backed by an extensive marketing campaign, the Dreamcast successfully launched in the North American market. Many considered that the system was ahead of its time. It was the first console with a built-in modem for internet access and online pay.
Similarly, the system’s library contained many innovative games like Crazy Taxi, Phantasy Star Online, and Shenmue. Likewise, it also had high-quality ports from Sega’s NAOMI arcade system board.
Although the system had a successful launch, at the time, Sony still held the majority of the overall video game market in North America. Hence, the system soon saw a decline in sales, and the company incurred significant financial losses.
Dreamcast sold 9.13 million units, and Sega discontinued the system in 2001. It was the last home console that marketed Sega’s eighteen years console market’s end.
8. Nintendo Wii
Nintendo Wii is one of the unique gaming systems among other consoles launched in the market. It was first released in 2006 and is a seventh-generation home console. Nintendo is the developer and marketer of Wii.
The Nintendo Wii was the first Nintendo console that directly supported Internet connectivity, supports online games, and digital distribution of games. It was developed under the codename Revolution.
Moreover, the system integrated a wireless controller with motion sensing and traditional controls. It uses the Wii system software as the operating system and has 512 MB NAND flash memory storage.
Similarly, like the Xbox had the Xbox Live, the Nintendo Wii has media applications and online games distribution through the Wii Shop Channel.
The system was so popular that it sold out in a short time when launched. Hence, it became the sales leader against the other seventh-generation consoles.
The system sold 101.63 million units worldwide, making the Nintendo Wii Nintendo’s best-selling home console. The system is one of the world’s best-selling home consoles.
7. Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
The Sega Genesis, also known as the Mega Drive, is a 16-bit fourth-generation home video game console manufactured by sold. It was released in 1988 and is one of the successful systems developed by Sega.
The system was Sega’s third console and succeeded the Master System, a third-generation home video game console. The plan was adapted from Sega’s System 16 arcade board and centered on a Motorola 68000 processor as the CPU.
The other notable features include a Zilog Z80 as a sound controller, video system, and ROM-based cartridges. Likewise, two network services support the plan: Sega Meganet and Sega Chanel.
The Genesis had a library of arcade game ports and high-profile games like Sonic Hedgehog, Dinsey’s Aladdin, Mortal Kombat, Ecco the Dolphin, etc.
The first-party Genesis sold 30.75 million units worldwide. Additional 4.5 million licensed variants were sold in Brazil, the United States, Russia, etc. In 1994, the Sega Saturn succeeded the Genesis.
6. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console that can be docked as a home console and used as a portable device. Developed by Nintendo, it was released worldwide in 2017.
The switch is the eighth generation of video game consoles. It uses its own Nintendo Switch system software for its operating system.
Similarly, its software supports internet and local wireless ad hoc connectivity with other consoles. Therefore, the system promotes online gaming that gamers can purchase from Nintendo eShop.
Switch also supports physical flash-based ROM cartridges. The best-selling game on the console is the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokémon Sword and Shield, etc.
Likewise, the system has wireless Joy-Con controllers with standard buttons and directional analog sticks for user input and motion sensing.
The Nintendo Switch is one of the best-sold game consoles of all time. It has shipped 92.87 million units as of September 30, 2021.
On our number 5 of the best gaming systems of all time is PlayStation. PlayStation was released in 1994 first time in Japan. Sony Computer Entertainment is the developer and manufacturer of this system.
The PlayStation was the first PlayStation family of the video gaming console. It is the fifth generation of video gaming consoles.
The system has been a massive success since its first release. The system topped everyone, given its extensive game library and various franchises, unlike its competitors.
Moreover, it was the first console that used compact discs for gaming in an era of cartridges. Likewise, the other notable features were:
- The memory card storage.
- PlayStation controller.
- Dual analog controller.
- Dualshock for control and input.
Sony’s place was solidified in the video gaming industry with the release of this system. So, naturally, the game is one of the most sold gaming systems, with 102.49 million units sold worldwide.
4. Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is the seventh-generation home video console and the second console in the Xbox series. Microsoft is the developer of the system.
The Xbox 360 uses the Xbox 360 system software as an operating system. It is a successor to the original Xbox. In addition, the system has an online multimedia feature. Gamers can stream and purchase music, TV programs, and movies through Xbox Live.
The system’s original user interface was the Xbox 360 Dashboard. However, Microsoft updated the Dashboard software several times after the system’s release.
Additional to its online multimedia features, the system also popularized HD visuals. Its game library consists of some high-profile games like Call of Duty, Halo, GTA, etc. The Xbox 360 strengthened Microsoft’s position in the gaming system market.
In 2013, the Xbox One was released as the Xbox 360’s successor. Three years after that, Microsoft announced the end of th production of new Xbox 360 hardware.
3. PlayStation 4
We have another Playstation series system on our number 3. First released in 2013, PlayStation 4 is the eighth-generation video game console. The system is a successor to the PlayStation 3.
The system emphasized social interaction and integration with other devices than its predecessors. It also features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built upon the x86-64 architecture.
The PlayStation 4 allowed players to play games off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices. It also could stream gameplay online.
Similarly, the PlayStation 4 used Orbis OS as an operating system. In addition, the system introduced a customizable menu interface called the “PlayStation Dynamic Menu.” Another notable feature of the system was the addition of shareplay.
This feature enabled the player to control gameplay remotely. Likewise, the system has more improved buttons, analog sticks, an integrated touchpad, and multimedia features.
2. PlayStation 2
Yet another gaming system from the PlayStation family series made on our list is the PlayStation 2. The game was released in 2000 in Japan and is the sixth generation of the video gaming console.
The PlayStation 2 is the most sold gaming console of all time. A total of 155 units of the console were sold worldwide. The game is the second installment on the PlayStation console.
Sony took over two decades to design, build, and release the PlayStation 2. Moreover, they worked to eliminate the problems of the previous console and capitalized on the best elements to make PlayStation 2.
Although the system retains the same functions as the PlayStation, the analog pressure sensitivity was added. Likewise, it also allowed the players to play games over the internet, using dial-up or a broadband Internet connection.
However, the system did not have a subscription-based online service like Xbox Live; it offered some high-profile games like Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, etc. The PlayStation 2 is one of the best gaming systems manufactured by Sony.
1. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
We have made it to the top of our list. The number 1 best gaming system of all time is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Developed by Nintendo and released in 1990, the system is a 16-bit home video game console.
The system sold 49.10 million units worldwide. As a result, SNES experienced global success, becoming the best-selling console of the 16-bit era.
Like its predecessor, the SNES was Nintendo’s second programmable home console. In addition, it introduced more advanced graphics and sound capabilities compared to its competitors.
Moreover, the system had game cartridges, making it competitive into the next generation. Although the SNES was launched with a few games like Super Mario World and F-Zero, the games were well received in the market.
The system was an instant hit among the public when launched. Therefore, the initial shipment of the 300,000 units sold out within hours. The success helped Nintendo to assert its dominance in the Japanese console market.
Similarly, the system was also popular, especially in North America, selling 23.35 million units. Moreover, the beloved gaming system is still considered the best gaming system of all time by the video game connoisseur.
Some of the gaming systems listed above are those many of us grew up playing with. Despite the technological advancement in the video gaming sector, these gaming systems are part of the nostalgic feeling of childhood and will remain an all-time favorite.