The Definitive List of the Top 54 US Videogame Systems of All Time

Bill Loguidice's picture

In the spirit of the umpteenth tedious and unnecessary "Top whatever" list, this time from IGN with their Top 25 Game Consoles of All Time, I present The Definitive List of the Top 54 US Videogame Systems of All Time, which is based off of my classic System Ranking Matrix, which factors in Visuals; Audio; Controller Options and Quality; Add-Ons, Peripherals, Expandability, Features; Software Lineup Diversity and Complexity; Software Density and Raw Number of Mainstream Titles; Ease to Set Up Optimal Game Playing System; and Initial (first run) Popularity to come up with an overall score. It's about as scientific as you can make a decidedly opinion-based concept be. Of course this list focuses only on those videogame systems that actually had a wide release in the US (really, North America), and omits computer systems for the sake of clarity, as well as, for now, platforms like the iPhone. Enjoy v.09 of the list (and no, I don't feel like showing my work at this time), and let's pray we get at least a few days break before the next "Best of whatever" comes out!:

Ranking - System - Release Year - AA Overall Score
54 - RCA Studio II - 1977 - 12.5
53 - Fairchild Video Entertainment System/Channel F/Zircon - 1976 - 18
52 - Milton Bradley Microvision - 1979 - 18
51 - APF M1000, MP1000 and Imagination Machine - 1978 - 20
50 - Emerson Arcadia 2001 - 1982 - 23.5
49 - Coleco Telstar Arcade - 1977 - 26.5
48 - Memorex Video Information System (VIS) - 1992 - 28
47 - Bally Astrocade (and brand variations) - 1978 - 29
46 - Magnavox Odyssey2 with Voice Module - 1978 - 29
45 - Watara Supervision - 1992 - 29
44 - Nintendo Virtual Boy - 1995 - 32
43 - Tiger Game.com - 1997 - 32
42 - NUON DVD Platform - 2000 - 32.5
41 - Nokia N-Gage/QD - 2003 - 34
40 - Atari 5200 SuperSystem - 1982 - 34.5
39 - Sega 32X - 1994 - 36.5
38 - GCE Vectrex - 1982 - 38
37 - SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color - 2000 - 38.5
36 - Philips CD-I with Digital Video (DV) add-on - 1991 - 39.5
35 - Atari Lynx - 1989 - 41
34 - Tapwave Zodiac - 2003 - 45
33 - Commodore Amiga CD32 - 1993 - 46
32 - SNK Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (AES) and Neo Geo CD - 1990 - 46
31 - Mattel Intellivision - 1980 - 46.5
30 - NEC Turbo-Grafx 16, Turbo Express - 1989 - 46.5
29 - NEC Turbo-Grafx 16 CD/Super CD - 1992 - 48
28 - Coleco ColecoVision - 1982 - 48.5
27 - Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD - 1993 - 49
26 - Sega CD - 1992 - 49
25 - Sega Game Gear - 1991 - 50
24 - 3DO Multiplayer - 1993 - 52
23 - Atari 7800 ProSystem - 1986 - 55.5
22 - Sega Master System (SMS) - 1986 - 55.5
21 - Nintendo GameBoy* - 1989 - 56
20 - Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) - 2005 - 56.5
19 - Nintendo GameBoy Color* - 1998 - 57
18 - Sega Saturn - 1994 - 58.5
17 - Nintendo 64 (N64) - 1996 - 60
16 - Nintendo GameBoy Advance/SP* - 2001 - 60.5
15 - Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) - Standard Unit* - 1977 - 61.5
14 - Commodore Amiga Series - OCS Chipset, Amiga CDTV - 1985 - 62.5
13 - Atari 8-bit Computers/XEGS* - 48K - 64K - 1979 - 63
12 - Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)* - 1985 - 64.5
11 - Sega Genesis* - 1989 - 66.5
10 - Nintendo DS/DSi* - 2004 - 69
09 - Nintendo Super Nintendo (SNES)* - 1991 - 69.5
08 - Nintendo GameCube - 2001 - 70
07 - Sega Dreamcast - 1999 - 70
06 - Microsoft Xbox - 2001 - 73.5
05 - Sony PlayStation 1 (PSX/PS1/PSOne)* - 1995 - 74
04 - Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2/PStwo)* - 2000 - 77.5
03 - Nintendo Wii* - 2006 - 78
02 - Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) - 2006 - 78.5
01 - Microsoft Xbox 360* - 2005 - 79

*Indicates dominant platform for its era and class

Comments

Michael McCourt
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Joined: 01/17/2007
Magnavox Odyssey?

Not to fault a most excellent list, but isn't it missing Odyssey? Even if it doesn't have a CPU to speak of, it did have a library of games using different hardware configurations. In terms of rank I would probably rank it at 54, just behind the Fairchild Channel F.

I would bump the RCA Studio II down to 56.

Yes, this omits the rank of 55 because I consider the RCA Studio II so bad that it ties with itself for the last two positions. :D

Anyway, just my 10 bits.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
These are all programmable

These are all programmable systems, Michael. The Odyssey was not programmable. The "cartridges" were merely selector switches that turned the built-in features on and off. That's why Pong and other systems with fixed games weren't included. There's an interesting case to be made, but I believe that the first system to meet that qualification was 1976's Fairchild VES. I also don't like to count kit systems, particularly kit computers and computers without proper displays, which is why the first home computer systems don't start on my list until 1977.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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