Video game consoles have come a long way. First starting with Atari’s PONG in 1972, a game where you just bounced a white dot back and forth, we now have hyper-realistic 3D graphics, online play, and virtual reality headsets. In 1972, it’s unlikely anyone could have imagined what video games would be like today. Throughout the past few decades, consoles have come and gone with great virtues and some even worse flaws. Some systems were great but flopped in the market, while others succeeded beyond everyone’s wildest expectations.So, how do these systems rank? You’re about to find out. Here are 25 Best Video Game Consoles Of All Time.
Released in 1972, the Magnavox Odyssey was one of the first video game consoles ever released. It had just entered the market months before Atari released the run-away success of Pong. Despite the Odyssey being arguably superior, it only sold 300,000 units and was not a commercial success.
Created by Mattel in 1979, Intellivision saw a relatively considerable amount of success at the time, selling over three million units and releasing 125 games. It boasted superior graphics to its rivals in a major ad campaign and secured a solid footing in the industry. But, by 1983, its successor, the Intellivision II, saw major losses and increased competition from Atari. It eventually was forced out of the market in 1984.
If it weren’t for the video game market collapse in 1984, it’s quite possible ColecoVision would have become one of the most popular video game consoles and Nintendo Entertainment System wouldn’t have even become a thing. By copying a lot of Atari’s tech and finding a way to make partnerships with a number of game developers, it dominated the market for a short period. The other thing that made it a success was its expansion modules, but that model later backfired.
The Atari Jaguar was Atari’s last foray into the console business and unfortunately, it flopped hard. With a high price tag, a poor gaming library, and a deceptive ad campaign that backfired, the Atari Jaguar didn’t last long among the dominance of the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. Despite some of its major flaws, it was a relatively powerful system and foresaw the emergence of CDs as a format to play video games. If executed correctly, it might have snuck up on its competitors, and that’s exactly what Sega’s president was scared of.
During its heyday, Atari unleashed the Atari 5200 in 1982 with the hopes of crushing Intellivision and countering ColecoVision. While it certainly had stellar graphics at the time, both its horribly designed controller and rehashed games gave people a bad taste in their mouth. Despite that, it outsold its competitors but likely also brought about the great video game crash in 1984.