PC Mag has a rundown of what analyst Jeff Wilson believes are the 10 best video game consoles of all time – not necessarily the ones most fanatically loved by their owners or the ones that were the most hyped when they were released or available – the best, as in the ones most loved overall, the ones where gamers today still heave a wistful sigh when they think about them, and the ones that pushed the gaming industry forward by leaps and bounds.
Not everyone’s going to agree on the list, or agree on some of the inclusions and omissions, but I found it a really well rounded collection of consoles, and with excellent justifications for all of them. For example, the inclusion of the iPhone as a gaming platform may be startling, but it’s by far one of the most popular gaming devices in the market today, even though it’s clearly a smartphone and you won’t find it in your local electronics store with all of the other consoles and games – and you certainly won’t find an iPhone in your local game store. Still – the iPhone as a platform has pushed gaming forward in a way that can’t be denied, and put more games in the hands of more people and raking in more money to publishers and gave developers who put out their titles for it than ever before.
Some of the inclusions to the list are more obvious, like the XBox 360 and the revolution in online and voice-enabled play that it brought to our living rooms – it literally took multiplayer games out of the PC-only realm and brought it to our couches, and the PlayStation 2, still one of the most popular consoles of all time with a game library that dwarfs even the current generation of consoles.
The venerable Atari 2600 – the console that started it all – is on the list, as is the original Game Boy, which made gaming portable for the first time. It’s a great list, but head over and check out the others yourself, and let me know what you think, either in the comments here or over there!