Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)
While gaming is ultimately about the games that we play and enjoy, games consoles have a huge impact on how we play those games and also what games we can actually play.
I’ve spent many years switching between the different consoles and I can only hope to one day in a position to just own ALL of the consoles so I can truly pick and choose the games that I want to play when I want to play them.
Putting aside this aspirational future goal, I’ve decided to take a look at MY top 5 games consoles. Now, of course, there will always be disagreements on this and I’ll miss key consoles that everyone else believes are the best, but these are based on my own experiences over the last 26 years.
5) Gameboy Colour
The Gameboy Colour was just ace! It might be a step away from what you were expecting in my console list but the portable nature made shopping trips with my family, long car journeys and lunch breaks at school so much more entertaining. Some of the highlights for me were the various Pokemon games and Mario!
4) PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 was my first sense of ‘realism’ in gaming, and despite looking back at some questionable graphics, at the time it looked amazing! Star Wars Battlefront 2 (the original series of course) was just such a fun game to play on the PS2 and I have a lot of fond memories of playing it. The PS2 also introduced me to Medal of Honour: Rising Sun, my first real FPS game.
3) Xbox One
The Xbox One was a difficult console for me to place and potentially even deserves to be top as my current favourite games console, however, the lack of future thinking and power (I’m talking about the original, not the X), just means it underperforms at times and doesn’t give the performance that it was born to provide.
Having said this, it has brought to life some stunning games over the past 6 years including Halo 5, Ori and the Blind Forest and many iterations of console neutral games such as CoD and FIFA. Forza Horizon has also been a blast. The Xbox One has been great, but it’s time to hang up it’s boots and make way for next year’s beast.
2) Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 beat out the Xbox One for me for one main reason: my introduction to Xbox Live and real online play. I will never forget the day I opened the Xbox 360 box, powered it up for the first time and set up my Xbox Live profile and Gamertag.
I had dabbled with online play on the PS2 but the Xbox 360 was just an absolute triumph for me and really did turn me into the more social gamer that I am today. It also brought my attention to the magical Elder Scrolls series and also allowed me to own my first proper Halo game (Halo 3).
1) PlayStation 1
Ahhhh, the PS1… I have many fond memories of this small grey console (I had a slim PS1 for the most part): Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, SSX, FIFA, Tekken, Croc, Driver, Spiderman, Tomb Raider, Worms, Gran Turismo, Theme Park World, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater… the list goes on.
I have often confessed that the original Crash Bandicoot games, CTR and Crash Bash included are the games that made me a gamer, but in reality, it was this gem of a console that opened me up to the many different types of games that existed and for that reason, it is my top games console.
It might not have been the most powerful, or the best in terms of graphics but for me, it was the most FUN and gave hours and hours of enjoyment with friends and on my own!
Notable consoles that didn’t make the cut
Nintendo Switch – It’s a brilliant console and a lot of fun and if my wife was writing this post, it would have been sure to feature, but at this time, it’s too new to my life to have made a big enough impact.
Sony PSP – I loved my Sony PSP and it made boring school trip coach journeys A LOT more interesting with Need for Speed, Fifa and GTA on the go.
Xbox – I didn’t own an original Xbox console but I played a lot of this console at friends’ houses and it was a great bit of kit and introduced me to the magic that is Halo.