Best video game consoles and systems of all time
We’re surprised to be kicking off the list with a such a young console, honestly. However, the Switch elegantly realises the concept of being both a handheld and home console, and it’s impossible to deny the quality of games like The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Splatoon 2 and Super Mario Odyssey.
The first ever colour handheld console was a real powerhouse, boasting features like sprite scaling that weren’t even possible on most home consoles. Though it lost out in the marketplace, the Lynx makes it into your list thanks to a series of amazing arcade conversions and some impressive original games.
Amstrad CPC 464
Despite being an all-in-one answer to the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum, Lord Sugar’s (for the benefit of younger readers, that’s Alan Sugar, presenter of the UK version of The Apprentice) machine still found itself trailing behind its peers, which explains why it’s so low down on your list.
The unique selling point of the 3DS, its stereoscopic display, was so inessential that Nintendo could release the 3D-free 2DS without much fuss. That hardly matters, though – the 3DS overcame a slow launch with games like Mario Kart 7and Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and its fantastic library alone earns its place on your list.
The first true handheld from Sony was a stylish and highly capable portable machine, and it’s easy to see why you love it. Though its release schedule was sometimes patchy and UMD films were always doomed, it boasted amazing bespoke versions of home hits, like WipEout and God Of War, as well as unique originals, such as LocoRoco.
Legendary for both its price and power, SNK’s luxury machine achieved mythical status due to its arcade-perfect games, including a huge number of one-on-one fighting games. Few can afford to seriously collect Neo-Geo games, but those that do take the plunge quickly become devotees, explaining the machine’s appearance here.
This tiny console designed, by Hudson Soft, boasted amazing arcade conversions and many excellent shoot-’em-ups, as well as the first CD-ROM add-on. If its American release as the Turbografx-16 had met success, it could well have done on this list, but importers were more than sufficiently impressed to vote the system in.
It’s easy to forget just how poor the launch of the PlayStation 3 was. It was like buying a house and discovering half the rooms still hadn’t been built. Despite the shaky foundations that the console was built on, Sony eventually turned things around in impressive style, paving the way for the success of PS4.
Microsoft’s debut console was powerful and had incredible financial backing, but never became a market leader. Regardless, the console found an audience that champions it to this day, thanks to the allure of gaming over broadband on Xbox Live and games like Halo, Fable, Ninja Gaiden and Project Gotham Racing.