The Definitive List of the Top 88 Games-capable US Home Videogame and Computer Systems of All Time

Bill Loguidice's picture

In the spirit of the umpteenth tedious and unnecessary "Top whatever" list, which I first railed against here, I present The Definitive List of the Top 88 Games-capable US Home Videogame and Computer 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. This is the combination of the two previous, separated lists. It's about as scientific as you can make a decidedly opinion-based concept be. Of course this list focuses only on those games-capable videogame and computer systems that actually had a wide release in the US (really, North America), and omits - for now - certain platforms like the iPhone. Enjoy v.09 of the list (and no, I don't feel like showing my work at this time):

Ranking - System - Release Year - AA Overall Score
88 - RCA Studio II - 1977 - 12.5
87 - CP/M Compatible Systems (pre-built) - 1981 - 16
86 - Fairchild Video Entertainment System/Channel F/Zircon - 1976 - 18
85 - Milton Bradley Microvision - 1979 - 18
84 - Timex Sinclair 1000/1500 with 16K Memory Expansion - 1982 - 18
83 - Commodore PET Series - 1977 - 19.5
82 - APF M1000, MP1000 and Imagination Machine - 1978 - 20
81 - Mattel Aquarius with Mini Expander and 16K Memory Cartridge - 1983 - 20
80 - Timex Sinclair 2068 - 1983 - 20.5
79 - Spectravideo SV-series - 1983 - 21.5
78 - Tandy TRS-80 Model I, III, 4 - 1977 - 23
77 - Emerson Arcadia 2001 - 1982 - 23.5
76 - Commodore 16 (C-16) and Plus/4 - 1984 - 25.5
75 - Coleco Telstar Arcade - 1977 - 26.5
74 - Tomy Tutor - 1983 - 26.5
73 - Memorex Video Information System (VIS) - 1992 - 28
72 - Bally Astrocade (and brand variations) - 1978 - 29
71 - Magnavox Odyssey2 with Voice Module - 1978 - 29
70 - Watara Supervision - 1992 - 29
69 - Nintendo Virtual Boy - 1995 - 32
68 - Tiger Game.com - 1997 - 32
67 - NUON DVD Platform - 2000 - 32.5
66 - Nokia N-Gage/QD - 2003 - 34
65 - Atari 5200 SuperSystem - 1982 - 34.5
64 - Commodore VIC 20 (Vic-20) - 1981 - 35.5
63 - Pocket PC Platform - 1996 - 35.5
62 - Sega 32X - 1994 - 36.5
61 - Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 1/2 (CoCo1 or CoCo2) - Up to 64K - 1980 - 37
60 - Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer 3 (CoCo3) - 128K Unit - 1986 - 37.5
59 - GCE Vectrex - 1982 - 38
58 - PalmOS Platform - 1996 - 38
57 - IBM PCjr - 1984 - 38.5
56 - SNK Neo Geo Pocket Color - 2000 - 38.5
55 - IBM and Compatible PC's up to 286's with CGA graphics and PC speaker sound (DOS) - 1981 - 39.5
54 - Philips CD-I with Digital Video (DV) add-on - 1991 - 39.5
53 - Atari Lynx - 1989 - 41
52 - Texas Instruments TI-994/A - 1981 - 43.5
51 - Apple Macintosh up to 16 color 680x0-based - 1984 - 44.5
50 - Tapwave Zodiac - 2003 - 45
49 - SNK Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (AES) and Neo Geo CD - 1990 - 46
48 - Commodore Amiga CD32 - 1993 - 46
47 - Mattel Intellivision - 1980 - 46.5
46 - NEC Turbo-Grafx 16, Turbo Express - 1989 - 46.5
45 - Tandy 1000 Series - 1984 - 48
44 - NEC Turbo-Grafx 16 CD/Super CD - 1992 - 48
43 - Coleco ColecoVision - 1982 - 48.5
42 - Sega CD - 1992 - 49
41 - Atari Jaguar and Jaguar CD - 1993 - 49
40 - Sega Game Gear - 1991 - 50
39 - Coleco Adam - 1983 - 50.5
38 - IBM and Compatible PC's up to 386's with EGA graphics and Ad Lib sound (DOS)* - 1985 - 51
37 - 3DO Multiplayer - 1993 - 52
36 - Apple Macintosh pre-iMac PowerPC-based, Full Color - 1994 - 52
35 - Atari 7800 ProSystem - 1986 - 55.5
34 - Sega Master System (SMS) - 1986 - 55.5
33 - Nintendo GameBoy* - 1989 - 56
32 - Atari ST Series - 1985 - 56.5
31 - Apple IIgs - 1986 - 56.5
30 - Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) - 2005 - 56.5
29 - Nintendo GameBoy Color* - 1998 - 57
28 - Apple II Series* - 48K - 128K - 1977 - 58.5
27 - Sega Saturn - 1994 - 58.5
26 - Commodore Amiga Series - AGA Chipset - 1992 - 59.5
25 - Nintendo 64 (N64) - 1996 - 60
24 - Nintendo GameBoy Advance/SP* - 2001 - 60.5
23 - Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS) - Standard Unit* - 1977 - 61.5
22 - IBM and Compatible PC's up to Pentiums with VGA/SVGA graphics and Soundblaster sound (DOS)* - 1994 - 61.5
21 - Commodore Amiga Series - OCS Chipset, Amiga CDTV - 1985 - 62.5
20 - Atari 8-bit Computers/XEGS* - 48K - 64K - 1979 - 63
19 - Commodore 64/128* (C-64/C-128) - 64K Software - 1982 - 64
18 - Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)* - 1985 - 64.5
17 - IBM and Compatible PC's up to Pentium II's with First Generation 3D (Monster 3D equivalent) graphics and Soundblaster Pro sound (DOS/Windows)* - 1996 - 66
16 - Sega Genesis* - 1989 - 66.5
15 - Apple Macintosh up to G4 or better with Current Generation 3D graphics - 1999 - 68
14 - Nintendo DS/DSi* - 2004 - 69
13 - Nintendo Super Nintendo (SNES)* - 1991 - 69.5
12 - Sega Dreamcast - 1999 - 70
11 - Nintendo GameCube - 2001 - 70
10 - Apple Macintosh with Dual Core Intel and beyond - 2006 - 72
09 - Microsoft Xbox - 2001 - 73.5
08 - Sony PlayStation 1 (PSX/PS1/PSOne)* - 1995 - 74
06 - Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2/PStwo)* - 2000 - 77.5
05 - Nintendo Wii* - 2006 - 78
04 - Windows-based PC's up to Pentium 4's with Third Generation 3D graphics and Soundblaster Audigy-level sound* - 2000 - 78.5
03 - Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) - 2006 - 78.5
02 - Microsoft Xbox 360* - 2005 - 79
01 - Windows-based PC's starting with Dual Core and DirectX 10 and beyond* - 2006 - 80

*Indicates dominant platform for its era and class

Comments

Rowdy Rob
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Joined: 09/04/2006
System Ranking Matrix

Cool list(s).

Is there any possibility of the "System Ranking Matrix" being reborn under the new AA system? I know it's still there on the old site, but the comments are deactivated, plus it's missing the newer generation of videogame systems.

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
I'd love to see a new SRM born
Rowdy Rob wrote:

Cool list(s).

Is there any possibility of the "System Ranking Matrix" being reborn under the new AA system? I know it's still there on the old site, but the comments are deactivated, plus it's missing the newer generation of videogame systems.

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

I'd love to, but honestly, I wouldn't know how to do it. We had a gentleman for a brief time working with us on the old site who programmed a database to house the thing and generate the output. It was buggy and beta, but for a quick attempt, it was very, very nice and could have been refined into something special. We'd need something not necessarily as robust as that, but something with reasonable functionality. The Web 2.0 concept is perfect for it, it's just a matter of being able to do it. Any thoughts are welcome, of course.

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

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
At this stage of the game, I

At this stage of the game, I see no reason to custom code anything...Just too many free things out there you could use for it.

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