What was the best game console of all time?

In an era of ultra-realistic games simulations and superfast interactive sports games, old technology can seem very quaint. All the same we all have a place in our heart for the best game console to grip our attention at an early age. From Sega to Atari, Sony to Nintendo, we look at the consoles that stole our time.

  1. The Atari was the games console that captured the attention of all those nerds who went on to become IT multi-millionaires. Appearing in 1977, its blocky graphics look prehistoric these days, but it was revolutionary. Maybe not the best, but the first game console.
  2. The Nintendo NES, released in 1985, introduced us to a tubby Italian plumber called Mario. His habit of hopping on mushrooms became addictive, gripping at least two generations of games fanatics.
  3. The Sega Megadrive (known as the Genesis in the USA) was a snappy riposte to the NES, with Sonic the Hedgehog its feisty answer to Mario. Who can forget the misery of seeing Sonic landing on a spike and all his gold rings go flying as his ghost headed up to the top of the screen?
  4. The Sony Playstation 2 had a difficult start on its launch in 2000, with demand outstripping supply, resulting in frustrating waits for many gamers. The number of excellent games that were developed for the console made it a solid favourite.
  5. Launched in 2006, the Nintendo Wii (nintendo.com) was a game-changer, literally. Its unique (at the time) infrared controller, using bodily movements to interact with a game, made it an instant best-seller. The Wii has been the best game console for all-round family entertainment to date.

The future of the console market looks fragmented these days, with wireless and infrared technology and internet multi-gaming replacing the traditional plug-in box. As the way we play games changes though, the more our nostalgic affection will increase for the best game console of our youth. Maybe it's still up there in the attic...

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