The best video game console of each generation

For over 40 years, video games have been a popular form of entertainment, with many consoles and platforms released over the years, split by generations as hardware improves and consoles become more powerful. As we go through this list, it’s interesting to see how much gaming has changed in such a short time, from basic games like Pac-Man to large, realistic experiences that can run into hundreds of GBs. I’m going to skip gen one as they were incredibly basic with some consoles only being able to play one game, so this list will start at gen two. 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 undoubtedly the Atari 2600. It didn’t take long for the Atari 2600 to become the top seller in the era, but it doesn’t deserve all the praise as a flood of unlicensed third-party titles caused the market to collapse as customers lost faith in games due to spending on very poor quality games. This caused the famous video game crash of 1983 in North America, which could very well have meant that the game stopped in the second generation. Luckily, that wouldn’t be the case, otherwise it would be an incredibly shortlist.

Nintendo Entertainment System – Third Generation

After the video game crash of 1983, Nintendo helped regain customer trust with the NES and their quality assurance. Titles such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend Of Zelda, and Metroid have helped reassure customers that the Nintendo Entertainment System won’t be flooded with shoddy titles. The console has sold over 70 million consoles, and without it we might not be playing today.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System – Fourth Generation

After the success of the NES, Nintendo released the SNES in 1990, with such seminal titles as Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past, and Super Mario Kart. Other consoles of the generation included the Sega Mega Drive, TurboGrafx and Neo-Geo, but the SNES was undoubtedly 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 neither of them could compete with the PlayStation, with over 102 million units sold 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 leading the industry in the fifth generation, Sony continued the trend by stepping up to 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 released the GameCube. The PS2 has become the best-selling console of all time, with over 155 million units sold, thanks to its incredibly large library of over 2000 titles released between 2000 and 2013, with some titles like 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 return to three consoles, with the PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Despite a slight drop in sales, thanks to the low market share in Japan, the Xbox 360 was the big winner this generation, helping to mainstream online gaming thanks to games such as Halo 3 and Call of Duty: Modern. Warfare 2’s console achievements feature would become standard in gaming, with many platforms such as PlayStation and Steam adding their own version. The Xbox 360 will forever remain iconic as it is the bridge between classic gaming and modern gaming, with many features introduced to games during this period still being standard today.

PlayStation 4 – Eighth Generation

Sony dominated the eighth generation with the PS4, selling over 110 million units, and that number continues to rise. This generation also marks the first time that Nintendo released two consoles of the same generation, with the release of the Wii U in 2012 and the Nintendo Switch in 2017. The PS4 had an incredible library of games, with many first-party titles including God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spiderman and The Last Of Us.

Ninth generation?

The ninth generation kicked off in November 2020 when the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S were released. Right now, both consoles are incredibly hard to find, with most gamers still stuck in the previous generation. Because of this, many games are still being released across both generations, and Nintendo is still focusing on its second eighth-generation console, the Nintendo Switch, so it’s too early to pick a winner for this generation as Nintendo will likely release a new console. . also during this generation. But, the power of the PS5 and Xbox Series X brings the consoles much closer to the PC and opens up an almost endless amount of possibilities when it comes to game development, so we’re likely to see big leaps in quality over this coming generation. , with titles such as God of War: Ragnarok, Marvel’s Spiderman 2, Halo Infinite, Fable, Avowed, Elder Scrolls 6 and GTA 6 currently in development.