Top 5 Most Important Games Consoles!


Outstanding Member
Ok so we've had the top 10 most important console games of all time....I'd be interested to hear what people felt were the most important console's of all time. Obviously this isn't meant to be a "what's the best console" thread but is looking at which machines have been the most influential in developing gaming, bringing it to new markets etc.

My top 5 are ....

Pong machines (and copies) released in 1975 - really the 1st TV games that most people played! Loads of people bought these as they were somehow before and separate from the "geeky" side of computer games that was to soon develop. The official units sold out straight away and people went on waiting lists for the machines!! Many people still have one of these (allbeit copies such as the grandstand version) tucked
away in their attics! Only problem with it was that you couldn't change the games....

Atari VCS 2600- released in 1977 - The first successful cartridge based machine which allowed the changing of games! Although Magnavox released the Odyssey in 1972 it was only to moderate success. The Atari became a runaway hit right from release! Saw off challenges from Intellevision and Colecovision to maintain it's position as top console,e specially in the UK. Classic games such as Combat (contained multiple 2 player games such as the superb Tank), Breakout, Centipede, missile command, Asteroids, Pacman and of course Space Invaders were released for this system.

NES/Famicom - Released in 1983 in Japan - Low price games console which instantly did well in Japan but couldn't get it released in the US due to the Video games crash of 1984. The crash came about through loads of rubbish 3rd party games coming out on the Atari. Shops couldn't shift them and lost loads of cash. Nintendo brought in the "seal of Quality" with the NES. Nintendo searched for a US distributor (even approaching Atari) and eventually found one in 1985. Got a trial release in New York in '85 and went on to revitalise the games industry! Sega and other companies jumped on the bandwaggon with consoles but the NES must take the credit for the gaming revival.

Sega Megadrive - released 1988 Japan/1989 UK - Computers (such as the Amiga and Atarit ST) seemed to have the gaming market fairly well sewen up until this great console emerged! More powerful and cheaper than it's computer counterparts, it became an instant hit and brought gaming back to consoles in a big way! Sega's most successful console continued to be top of the popularity stakes until games such as Street Fighter 2 and Mario Kart on the later released SNES evened up the balance. Still this machine must get the initial credit for the revitalisation of console gaming after the 16 bit Computer boom.

Sony Playstation - released in 1994 - This machine is pretty much responsible for bringing video games to the true mass market! Through brilliant marketing (and a lot of money!) from the electronics giant Sony the machine became the first console that people thought of as cool! They popped up in night clubs, had adverts galore on TV, had games such as wipeout (with tracks from House bands of the time Future Sound of London, chemical Brothers etc) and Tomb Raider (the first heroine based 3d adventure game). The machine blew the Sega Saturn out of the water (essentially setting up the demise of Sega as a hardware manufacturer) and couldn't be touched by the more powerful Nintendo 64.

So those are my top 5 most important console's. I've focused on machines that can be connected to the TV. Obviously if looking further a field the Nintendo Gameboy should well be included but then again what do you leave out??

There are also machines such as the SNES, PC Engine (first 16 bit machine), Neo Geo, PS2, X-Box, Game Cube, N64, Master system, Gameboy Advance, Atari 7800, FM Towns Marty(first 32 bit console), Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast or even the Sony PSX.

Obviously not as much to go at as in the 10 most important games but would be interesting to hear peoples views.


Distinguished Member
I'd include Dreamcast for being the first "online" console, and Xbox as it is the first one with a hd and a properly supported online service. PSX might be worth a mention if we see it internationally due to its attempts at convergence.


Outstanding Member
yeah I was tempted with the Dreamcast myself. The X-Box's HD unfortunately hasn't been used as well as it should have been and it now seems that M$ are going to get rid in favour of flash memory for the XB2. The PSX is a brave move by Sony and I guess only time will tell if that becomes one of the most important machines. I guess if it's the spark of the "convergence" revolution it could be regarded as such. There's a good article in Edge about it this month and it seems Sony are using it to test the water with. I guess development costs are low on it as it's all existing hardware so it could be a shrewd move by Sony.


Established Member
some people really hate to admit it but the PSone is a very important console. maybe up for top spot.

its up there with the forerunners that actually brought games into the home to start with.


Outstanding Member
I agree Nai. To be honest though if Video gaming was to develop into a serious business to rival film and cinema then it needed a console like the PS1 to bring gaming to the masses. It was a great console of it's day, had some fantastic games on it and it gave video games mass appeal. I wouldn't say it was the most important console but it's not far behind.

It's very difficult I guess to select which one was the overall most important console released as I feel the ones I mentioned along with the Gameboy were all very, very important in their own right. Pong was possibly the most important as it was the first game that people bought to play on a tv set, but then having the ability to change games was another huge leap made popular by the Atari 2600. The NES and Megadrive were both strongly responsible for revitalising flagging Console markets and establishing consoles as THE gaming platforms instead of home computers. The PS1 brought mass market appeal to gaming. As stated by the games Guru the DC brought online gaming to consoles which although ahead of it's time a little, using narrowband technology, still started the revolution. The gameboy made handheld gaming popular and it seems now that every kid comes complete with Gameboy Advance SP!


Distinguished Member
I agree the ps1 is very important!

Deleted member 13294

I don't think you should exclude home computers from the mix.

The ZX81 for instance kicked off the UK home computer market.

The ZX Spectrum directly lead to the formation of several successful UK developers including Rare, and introduced gaming to a new audience.

The C64 saw a big increase in production values, with the rise of dedicated music composers like Martin Galway, Ron Hubbard, etc.

The Amiga took gaming to a new level with the creation of many new genres such as the god game (Populous), RTS (Cannon Fodder), etc.

And the PC of course has driven significant technological change.


Outstanding Member
Indeed Computers have played a massive part in the development of Video gaming. It's interesting to look into the history (I can't believe i'm calling the last 25 or so years history, hmmm makes me feel rather old) of consoles and computers and the struggle for our attentions! I guess the time line goes a little like this :-

Atari 2600
Atari ST
CBM Amiga

Obviously that misses out loads of machines including the handheld side of things but I guess it's a half decent run through of the pattern of consoles & computers that made a difference. I appologise for any glaring relevant omissions there but it's 2:30am and my bed is calling!


Outstanding Member
oh and i've put the PC in several times to show it's continued strong presence in the gaming world I guess really since the demise of the non generic home computers.


Established Member
The PC Engine wasn't a 16 bit console. The first 16 bit system was actually the Intellivision.

Atari VCS 2600 - Probably the first system a lot of people owned and a huge hit in the West. Suffered from the first ever boom and bust console cycle and some serious mismanagement.

Famicom/NES - Not a hit in Europe but massive in the US and Japan, and to think Atari knocked this one back in favour of the 5200/7800. Full of custom hardware and very well supported it laid the foundations for consoles as we know them today.

Megadrive/Genesis - Not too popular in Japan but ruled the roost in Europe and conquered America at the expense of the NES and kept the SNES at bay until the Saturn appeared. Sega's 16 bit system broke Nintedo's stranglehold on the US and brought gaming to a whole new audience in the Europe.

3DO - WTF? you may be thinking. This machine is responsible for more than you think. It was the first system to have 3d games as its staple diet. And probably the only major third party to sign on for the system was EA. They got a great headstart on other companies when it came to making 3d games with expensive prodution values. That's kept them on top of things ever since.
And ruined it for the rest of us.

PlayStation - Through slick marketing (not including SAPS) and tie in's to club culture the PlayStation brand made gaming a mass market proposition. The term Playstation is now synonomous with gaming in the way Nintendo once was. And it's never been the same since. After seeing off 3DO,Jaguar, Saturn,N64 and DC the Playstation brand has continued to dominate and looks likely to do so for some time.

I'm really depressed now, I think I'll go play Layer Section to cheer myself up.


Prominent Member
My top five consoles :-

Atari 2600 - Simply awesome home gaming, I always wanted one but my parents did not want a console so I had a computer instead.

SNES - The 16bit console, this caused the great divide, I am sure many would argue megadrive personally I was a Ninty boy :)

Game Boy Advance - Simply amazing, this has made my daily train journey actually a time to look forward to!

Scramble - This is the little one game machine, I wasted so much time on this!

Playstation - I spent my student grant on this, the best money the government has ever spent, sure it completely knackered up my 2nd year of University. But the amount of good times I had on it until 5am in the morning playing Tekken 2, Tomb Raider, FIFA with mates was worth it. And of course home to one of the greatest games of all time, Final Fantasy Tactics :)

Gthom you don't want to forget all the little hand held machines like Game & Watch etc.


Outstanding Member
lol too right Sinzer...ah the hours I would put into my Donkey Kong 2 game and watch. I would play and play ad the score went past 999 and restared and then do it all again!! Fantastic game! Does anyone remember the Tomytronic 3D games as well, they were a cool idea at the time, I liked the futuristic car racing one but the shark attack one was pants!

Yep sorry my mistake CMcK, the PC Engine had a custome 8 bit processor (although it still churned out games at least as good as the Megadrive versions). The reason for this was that it employed 16 bit graphics and sound chips. An even better achievement to release a machine with an 8 bit processor that was capable of outperforming a sixteen bit console released a year or 2 after.

Interesting about the Intellevision, didn't know it had a 16 bit CPU, top bit of knowledge that CMcK!! Just looked it up now and it seems that although to all intents and purposes it is a 16 bit CPU it actually only only has 10 bit instructions....Sounds a most bizzare chip. But yes this was infact the first 16 bit console (if we are just looking at the CPU anyhow).


Outstanding Member
Ahh... Sinzer, my uni days were too spent sat infront of firstly a Megadrive and then the PS1! Years 1 & 2 involved playing day long epic PGA Tour games on the MD with my flatmates. Year 3 involved the PS1 being on almost permanent rent from Blockbusters, playing such gems as Battle Arena Toshinden, Tekken and Ridge Racer! Hmmmm maybe that's why I got a 2:2.


Ex Member
1. N64
2. NES
3. PS2


Distinguished Member
Interesting you put the abjectly obscure N64 in there. Also I wouldn't consider the PS2 in the top 5. Compared to the PS1 at least. The amount of hype and frankly ******** that sony said about their ps2 still makes me :rolleyes: They said it will be over 3 times as powerful as the dreamcast and frankly on some games looks worse than the DC.


Prominent Member
Probably would be:-

NES - The Grandady of it me-thinks.
SNES - NES's more fun and beautiful son
PS1 - great games on this, shame it turned gaming to the masses
Atari 2600 - mucho's fun, I still love the simplicity of this machine.
Gameboy - well you know


Prominent Member
i only like 2 consoles
1. NES - come awwwn !!!! you never played Teenage mutant ninja turtles ?
2. SNES - the king of kings

i would chose these to play on above ps2, xbox and gc, today !

if your thinking the way im thinking crispy then your right
the PS1 was a great console with great games but in my opinion it ruined gaming. I prefered it when there was just little groups of elite gamers with their segas and nintendos battling to be first place in finishing a game. Much more exiting in those days.


Outstanding Member
Yep, not sure why the N64 has made an appearence myself as although it was a decent console with some great games (the 2 Zelda games, Goldeneye, Mario64, MarioKart64 etc) it wasn't reallt important in pushing gaming forward. Infact all it did was show Nintendo that they really should scrap carts for their next machine.

The PS2, hmmm interesting one this. I guess there has never really been a situation where one developer has stayed top of the pile through 2 consequtive console releases and the PS2 enabled Sony to do just this. The closest I guess was the NES and SNES but the SNES wasn't the top console as it was easily beaten by the MD to start with and only got to be as popular as Sega's machine at best. I guess it's more the playstation brand that's important as opposed to the machines.

I too sat and wondered what all the hype had been about when the PS2 was released. I sat smugly back with my Dreamcast but even though, in reality, both consoles turned out to be able to shift a similar amount of polygons, the Sony Marketing machine won. Sony's initial claims of 70 mill polygons per/sec were outrageous, especially when Sega told the truth and said 3 million. It turns out that Sega had actually under estimated with 5-6 million being more like it in games such as Le-mans 24 hrs. On the other hand Sony had vastly exagerated the PS2's performance. Due to a lack of graphics memory (only 4 mb compared to 8 mb in the DC) the system bottlenecked only allowing around 5-6 million polygons in reality (10 million absolute tops with some very clever programing that speaded up bus to deliver information every half sec as opposed to every sec.

On top of this the PS2 can't do texturing on the fly like the DC can so was it really the better console...

Anyway I guess this thread isn't about being the best, but rather the most important and for my reason above the PS2 consoles (perhaps going together under the brand of playstation) are very important indeed.


Originally posted by gthom3
Yep, not sure why the N64 has made an appearence myself as although it was a decent console with some great games (the 2 Zelda games, Goldeneye, Mario64, MarioKart64 etc) it wasn't reallt important in pushing gaming forward.

Originally posted by gthom3
Yep, not sure why the N64 has made an appearence myself as although it was a decent console with some great games (the 2 Zelda games, Goldeneye, Mario64, MarioKart64 etc) it wasn't reallt important in pushing gaming forward.

you mean it was a stagnant machine or it pushed gaming backwards? :D

It had the highest percentage of 9-10 rated games from Edge magazine (when Edge was good), this was the machine that let Shiggy really strut his stuff.
It may not have been that successful, or that grown up, but it was certainly important.
Actually, it sold more units on the first day than the Playstation did in 3 months in the US!
Once you'd got Tekken, Ridge Racer and Wipeout out of your system Mario64 was a breath of fresh air, ohhh and the control with that stick.

My list would be:

1. Atari 2600
2. Super Famicom/SNES (dont forget the FX chip) (This is John Romero's fav machine)
3. Mega Drive/Genesis (this was actually considered Playstation cool in the US with its Madden games)
4. Playstation
5. Nintendo 64

Looking at this list makes me think we are still early days in gaming, and what happened to Virtual Reality? I thought we were supposed to be living there by now :devil:


Prominent Member
I remember those TOMY handheld ones, you used to put them up to your eyes and play them. I rememeber playing the racer one of them. Couldnt play it in the dark though as it required some light from above saying that standing under my light in my bedroom did the trick.

Out of all my consoles and computers i have had through the years the PS1 has to be my favorite and then my Amiga 500 comes a close second.

They gave me so much fun, and kept me off the streets causing hassel.



Outstanding Member
Yep the Tomytronic 3D games were cool especially the car racing one!

My personal fave consoles are the Megadrive & Dreamcast. The SNES comes in just after with class games such as Super Tennis, Bomberman, SFII, FZero and Starfox. I remember paying £80 quid for a US Starfox and converter when it came out!

I agree the N64 was a superb console, I bought one on release day with Mario and loved it!! It was let down by a complete lack of games in the early days though, so while it sold like hot cakes initially, people got fed up of the lack of games and stopped buying. I agree that the games that were released were of a very high quality and I actually owned 2 of these consoles over it's life span. I ended up buying another when Zelda - Majora's Mask came out as i'd sold my first one :rolleyes:

It is important in it's own way but IMO not to the level of say the PS1, Pong, Atari 2600, NES. Megadrive or Gameboy. Those machines really made a difference to console gaming in that they made the format popular again or they brought gaming to new, wider markets. The N64 didn't try to do any of this, it simply set out to be a great console, with fantastic games that appealed to younger and older gamers alike. It did this very, very well and to be honest Nintendo have always done this very well.


Prominent Member
Originally posted by gthom3
The N64 didn't try to do any of this, it simply set out to be a great console, with fantastic games that appealed to younger and older gamers alike. It did this very, very well and to be honest Nintendo have always done this very well.
very true, it was just a pity about the lack of games.
The ps1 however did make a massive difference on the gaming world, but in all the wrong ways. The day this was released, the whole world sat back in amazement at the console and it exited everyone SO damn much they have now grown bored of newer consoles. When i seen the PS2 for the first time i thought, pfft a ps1 with a new graphics card !!
Microsoft also knew this and something had to be done, xbox live is their way of escaping people shrugging off the console and they have done that very well. But is that it ?
Nintendo how ever, well nothing is going to touch them on the handheld market for a long time so they are safe for a while.

How long will it be before sony and microsoft realise people are starting to get bored with whos better than who and nintendo will survive once again with the GAMES and not the machine ?


Outstanding Member
Yep, unfortunatelly whilst the PS1 brought mainstream credibility to gaming it also brought mainstream, often shallow, easy to pick up, throwaway games. Admitidly there was still a fair amount of quality produced but a lot of it was just geared at getting as much cash out of people as possible.

I often used to wish that gaming could be recognised as the fantastic media form that it is but I guess along with a wider acceptance comes the development of a larger business opportunity for large developers. The sheer creativity and genius of the one man bedroom developer has it's place we have the likes of EA developing multi million pound games with a staff of 50 people or more. This sounds ok but in reality there is no room for much creativity anymore as the employees end up designing a game to a fairly strict brief. Because of the investment in the games development, the developers do not want to take large risks and the games tend to be built around what they see as their "winning formula". These leads to a lot of generic looking/playing games and a lot of money spinning Annual updates.

We've seen similar happen in the Automobile sector. Such is the investment in a new car, that the manufacturers can not afford to take a huge risk in designing something to different as it has to appeal to as many people as possible. If it offends (through it's radical styling) as many people as it attracts then it has issolated half of the market straight away. The Auto sector realised that all cars were (and in many cases still are) looking almost the same with a different badge on the front. There has therefore been a reaction to this (as you would expect) with cars such as the Ford Ka, Renault Megane, Chrysler's PT Cruiser (the ZZ top looking one) hitting the streets.

I really miss the excitement that used to surround the gaming industry as although it's still around in dribs and drabs, the industry seems very sterile now on the whole. Thankfully Sega and Nintendo are still doing it and producing some superb games!


I would love to see Sega and Nintendo semi join forces and design a console between them or would that just be a double disaster? :rolleyes:

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