The Top Ten Video Game Consoles of All Time

By James Hawkins in Lists!
Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 9:00 am
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The Best Consoles
Without the console, gaming as we know it may have never come about. Without it, the market would be under the tyrannical rule of the PC. Since the early 1970s, video game consoles have taken over the media and entertainment with rapidly expanding fan bases and innovation in technology.

Now, over a quarter century later, video game manufacturers and console companies make up one of the largest industries on the planet. No longer can video games be called anything but a mainstream cultural and financial juggernaut.

With all the joys they've brought us, we feel like it's time to give the best some recognition. We present to you Joystick Division's shortlist for the most awesome video game consoles of all time!

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10. Sega Dreamcast
Sixth Generation
The Sega Dreamcast got a big jump on the competition when it debuted in 1998. For a year or so, it managed to succeed at a high level, outselling the Nintendo 64 for a bit, while racking up a number of solid games to bolster its already strong selection. It featured a totally unique controller with a visual memory unit (VMU), which could display game related images and animations while the games were being played.

However, when the hugely-hyped PlayStaion 2 dropped in 2000, the Dreamcast fell behind. By 2001, it could not compete with the game selection of the Nintendo 64 or the technical aspects of the rest of the sixth generation consoles that were soon to be released.

It will, however, be remembered as a cult favorite and a pioneer in the sixth generation of home video game consoles. Look for some Dreamcast revival in the near future, as many of the games will be coming to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.

Top Games: Soul Calibur, Resident Evil: Code Veronica X, Shenmue, Phantasy Star Online, NFL 2k1

9. Nintendo 64
Fifth Generation
The most beautiful thing about the Nintendo 64 for gamers was watching the their favorite Nintendo heroes rendered in new three dimensional worlds. From Mario to Legend of Zelda, it seemed like each classic franchise made the jump into the lush worlds without a hitch -- and they have provided us with some of the best gaming experiences to date.

There was a lot of innovation on the creative side of video game development, because the N64 could not perform great feats with its graphics card. Instead of shooting for crispness and realism, many games took on a lighter, more cartoonish look. The effect made some of the most memorable worlds and unique characters in video game history.

The Nintendo 64 was also the launch point for some of the most important games in video gaming. GoldenEye 007 kick-started the multiplayer FPS genre on consoles while Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64 brought some of gaming's best-loved characters into the new generation.

Top Games: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario 64, GoldenEye 64, Super Smash Bros., Wave Race 64

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8. Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)
Fourth Generation
When it first released, the Sega Genesis was a total dud in every country outside of Europe. There were fewer than half a million total sold in the inaugural year. The rest of the world just seemed focused on the Nintendo products that had been out for years already.

However, it boasted better technical aspects than the Nintendo Entertainment System, which was its direct competitor, and after a long smear campaign from Sega's marketing department, the Genesis began to gain sales in the US. By the time the SNES came out, the Genesis had a huge game selection and, for the time, there was no competition.

But now the Sega Genesis games have made a big comeback in the retro gaming world. A collector favorite, the Genesis games have been released in giant 'collectors packs' on nearly every system since. Good games stand the test of time, and the Genesis was chock full of them.

Top Games: Super Street Figheter II, Earthworm Jim, Mortal Kombat II, Sonic the Hedgehog, Castlevania

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