Video Games. I grew up at the start of home video game consoles. I started with playing the Atari 2600 with my brothers. Then we got a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and ever since then I was absolutely hooked. I have owned or someone in my house has owned almost every major console since that time. Here are my Top 5 list of all time consoles.
#5 Playstation 2
The Playstation 2 is the successor to the Sony Playstation. My older boys were younger so at the time we only had a Nintendo Gamecube to play games since most of what they enjoyed had to be family friendly. One game that I was missing out on was Grand Theft Auto 3. Everyone loved the game but with kids in the house I could never play that game. Finally I broke down and purchased a Playstation 2 after the cost came down a little bit. The graphics and games available on the Playstation 2 were just a step above everything else. The controllers were well made and the design was top notch at the time.
#4 Xbox 360
I never really knew a lot of people that owned an original Xbox console. One day I saw an ad for a used one with a ton of games so I purchased it for me and my kids. This console introduced me to Halo and sparked my love for the franchise. But when the Xbox 360 was announced, I knew I had to move to that console. After trying their controllers in the game store it just felt right in your hands. The button configuration was a much welcome improvement on the dual shock. I bought an Xbox 360 with Halo 3 included and never turned back. Halo 3 is one of my all time favorite games and some of the scenes from that game still gives me goosebumps to this day. The couch coop multiplayer provided so many laughs and so much enjoyment with my kids not a lot of other games can compare. We still to this day will play that game together, although on a new console now.
#3 Xbox One
Doesn’t matter if it is the original, the S, or the X. The Xbox One performs well and delivers great graphics and great games. And with the addition of Game Pass finding a good game to play is just a download away. My only hangup with the newer consoles is the download time for updates. I just wish most developers would figure out a way to get you into the game faster while you wait for the game to update or install. Most games that let you in early simply just take you to the main screen and you can’t advance much further. The Xbox One controller also offered an improvement on the already good design of the Xbox 360 controllers. The additional HDMI in/out features and ability to cast to other devices makes it my console of choice. The backwards compatibility is good but would have been great if they didn’t limit what games are backwards compatible.
#2 Sega Genesis
The Sega Genesis was one of the first consoles I bought by myself as a kid. Even before I bought my console I would go to my local video store and rent the console so I could play the latest games. Sonic the Hedgehog and Golden Axe were some of the original games that just wowed me. I was also a big fan of sports games so games like Madden and NHL kept me busy for hours. Also some of the best coin op arcade games started to come to the Genesis. I would spend hundreds of dollars on games like Mortal Kombat and NBA Jam TE in the arcade so it was a no brainer to buy these once they came out on the Genesis. Unfortunately the Super NES also came out at this same time so there were some games from this generation that didn’t make it to the Genesis and were exclusive to the SNES. Midway through the consoles life cycle they introduced a new controller which was a much needed improvement. I always appreciated console makers with forward thinking on design that improves the experience.
#1 Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Nintendo has released several good consoles. But they only released one great console. I know some fans will dislike that statement but I feel after the original they did a really good job of making sequels to games instead of keep pushing new ones. The first NES we had was a combo Super Mario, Duck Hunt with gun, and Gyromite with robot. Gyromite didn’t get much play but man was that thing way ahead of its time. We loved Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers and played countless hours on both of them. Also some of the games we could only play in the arcade started to come to the NES. There was a mall near our house that had an arcade with a game called Pro Wrestling. My brothers and I would play that in the arcade often and when we could get it for the NES it brought a whole new level of trash talk. Final Fantasy was another one of my favorites and I probably invested 500 plus hours into that game trying every combination of characters. With sports games like Blades of Steel, Double Dribble, and Baseball Stars we had every sport imaginable covered. Today it is hard to find a working one for a reasonable price and some of the games are highly collectible.
Even though today we have some great consoles like the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch they didn’t quite make my top 5 video game consoles. I will always be a gamer and it surprises a lot of my kids friends when they come over and see me playing a game. Although these days I am more likely to play a slower paced RPG over a twitch shooter or sports game. Hopefully console makers will keep the pace up but with most of them moving towards a more PC architecture I think the console generation may be heading out the door.
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