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The Greatest Games Systems Of All Time


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It's a bit early for the Switch, for me. I love it, and it's home to two of the finest games ever made, but it's got a long way to go yet. It's certainly shaping up for topping the next list if it carries on like this. PS4  made my first edit. But nostalgia got in the way.

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1. PS2 (10) - look at the exclusives: Ico, Shadow of the Colosus, Gran Turismo (3&4), Guitar Hero, God of War, Okami, God Hand, Katamari Damacy, Kingdom Hearts, Soul Calibur 3, a load of Jak titles, Suikoden, Tekken... Then it has great versions of basically all the non exclusive stuff. And it played DVD's. And it looked good (though it has aged horribly) so it could live in the lounge.

2. SNES (9) - the definitive 16 bit console, for me. Probably my most played, as well.

3. 360 (8) - this just did everything right, for me. I was very late to the party (partly driven by Gran Turismo, partly driven by a dislike of the Xbox controller), so missed the RROD debacle, and it just had everything I wanted - the big titles, great exclusives, indie games, XBLA and my favorite controller of all time.

4. PlayStation (7) A game changer  THE game changer. Genuinely arcade quality games in your living room. And not just your living room, but also your favorite club. Suddenly gaming was cool and this was the coolest. And such n amazing array of amazing games.

5. PC (6) Home of strategy games and God sims for me

6. C64. (5) Miles better than the Speccy! The computer that got me hooked on gaming.

7.  Dreamcast (4) Poor DC, never stood a chance against the PS2. But had some fabulous games. The controller hurt my hands, though

8.  Megadrive(3) Home of Desert Strike and Road Rash. 

9.  Amiga (2) like a C64, only better. Would have been higher up my list if I'd been able to afford one as a teenager. Only got it as an adult, so it's never had the attention it deserves

10.  PS3 (1) Gran Turismo. Again.

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12 hours ago, wev said:

1. Dreamcast (10) 

2. PlayStation (9)

3. Vita (8)

4. PlayStation 2 (7)

5. XBox 360 (6)

6. Super Nintendo (5)

7. Gameboy (4)

8. GameCube (3)

9. Mega Drive (2)

10. PSP (1)

 

Great to see the Vita getting some love. I was apparently mad to rate it over the PSP!

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2 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

It's a bit early for the Switch, for me. I love it, and it's home to two of the finest games ever made, but it's got a long way to go yet. It's certainly shaping up for topping the next list if it carries on like this. PS4  made my first edit. But nostalgia got in the way.

 

Yeah - Zelda BOTW and Splatoon! 2 and now Mario are showstoppers, but let's see the bigger picture in a year or two.

 

I stuck PS4 in my list because I genuinely think this gen is shaping up to be stunning.

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19 hours ago, Wizcat said:

Fairly amazed no one has listed Nintendo Switch? 

 

I mean, sure, it's barely been out 6 months, but look at the line up and it already has some 'best ever' games. Zelda BOTW, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart... 

 

I'll put some thought into my list, but for sure Switch would be on there

 

Woah woah woah, I did list it :)

 

That said I can see why people wouldn't put it on there just yet. It's very early into it's life. My personal reasons are that it genuinely ticks all the boxes for me and I already have as many games on it as many of my other consoles, and it's not even a year old. It has potential to go higher in the future but thats content / lifespan dependant.

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1. PC (10) - I spent a lot of my teenage years in the mid 90s playing PC games, the home of all the complex FPSs, RPGs and Strategy games. And, crucially, Space Combat Sims. Even today we're getting games on the platform like Divinity: Original Sin 2 that show how far those traditionally PC genres have come. I hate the upgrade nonsense of the format, but it begat so many classics and has spanned so many gaming eras it's always been home to so many of my favourite experiences.

 

2. Dreamcast (9) - when I got my first full time job this was the first format I bought, and treated myself to classic after classic. So many memories from the incredible leap forward in graphics of Soul Calibur to the unique charms of Shenmue. And, of course, Phantasy Star Online.

 

3. Nintendo 64 (8) - almost solely for the Christmas when I first played Ocarina of Time. All other games had to live up to it afterwards. And the controller was so unique.

 

4. Amstrad CPC464 (7) - the microcomputer I grew up with, and started me on the path to gaming with Chuckie Egg among others. It had so many unique little foibles and I used to love the ethereal noise of the tape deck and the chunky keyboard. Games like Lords of Chaos instilled a deep love for strategy titles that would soon only be sated on the PC

 

5. PlayStation 2 (6) - I got one a bit later in its life after the Xbox had been released, but by then the format was so fit to bursting with so many great titles it was like owning the keys to a sweet shop. No less than two Ueda classics, games like Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy XII, and a rhythm action explosion in the form of Frequency, Amplitude, Guitarooman and Guitar Hero, and of course, Okami. It was a format that just kept on giving, even in the last years of its life.

 

6. Game Boy Advance (5) - the lack of backlight made playing on it a absolute pain in the arse and I'm sure it gave me cramps and back problems as a result, but as I'd never owned a SNES this was the way to play so many classics that I had missed, as well as truly amazing new ones like Advance Wars and Metroid Fusion. It was a gateway for me to worlds I had not explored before and I took it literally everywhere.

 

7. PlayStation 1 (4) - I never had one myself growing up, but a friend had one and I probably spent more time at his playing on it than in my own home. When the logo first comes up with the background sounds it felt like you were about to step into the future, and all of the games at the time were the most amazing thing I'd ever seen, making PC games look dated. WipEout probably got played the most. Interestingly, many years later when I was enjoying Dreamcast games I got hold of a second hand one and played a lot of classic RPGs that I'd never played like many of the Final Fantasy series and Suikoden among other classics, and I fell in love with it all over again.

 

8. Sega Megadrive (3) - this was my 16 bit era format, and curiously I never played on a SNES growing up, so it was my only introduction to games of that time. And it was brilliant. Sonic was played to death, and there were so many great games on the system. Streets of Rage 2 of course solidifies its place.

 

9. PlayStation 4 (2) - I haven't owned one for very long so it's only just sneaked onto my list, but I've already played so many great games on it and as a library of classics it's extremely comprehensive. But the main reason is because it's given me my first proper look into stable VR with the PSVR, and it's been one of the most amazing things I've experienced in gaming.

 

10. Gamecube (1) - because Resident Evil 4. Basically. It was going to be this or the original Xbox, for much the same reasons (Halo), but I loved the aesthetic design of the Gamecube and the controller was lovely.

 

 

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1. Mega Drive - To be this good takes ages. Nuff said. It's more for nostalgia these days, but to this day I'm still discovering new games to play that are genuinely fun. Combine it with the best D-Pad, best retro sound chip and plenty of attitude and it still stands strong today.

2. DS/3DS - Combined, you have a library of legends, basically. I also genuinely enjoy stylus based games, which helps. The format will be missed if Nintendo don't make another. Shame about the easily breakable thumb pad when playing Smash, though.

3. N64 - Changed gaming. The library may be missing plenty of genre variety, but what's here is arguably still the best local multiplayer console. Along with titles you genuinely wouldn't get anywhere else.

4. Game Boy - Another that's just so varied I'll probably never run out of new games to discover. The grey screen these days just gives it some extra charm.

5. Dreamcast - Changed gaming, though not many noticed. Online gaming and amazing amount of new IP's. SEGA went out with a bang. No regrets.

6. Nintendo Entertainment System - Not that I owned one, not that I ever intend to own one. But having played many a re-released Nintendo classic over the years, alongside hearing countless American YouTuber stories on the console, it's undeniable (and kind of crazy for it not to be) on best systems lists. Zelda. Mario. Metroid. It all started here, and is stupidly loved by the rest of the world.

7. Xbox 360 - If nothing else it gave Sony a kick up the arse it needed for some proper competition in the market. Stupidly large library. Excellent online community in the early years. Xbox Live Arcade. And I'll still try to get 1million on Geometry Wars with 1 life till I'm dead myself. Shame we can't officially change the dashboard to something more nostalgic, mind.

8. Wii U - Have you seen that library? Taken all at once, it's actually breathtaking the exclusives this console had.

9. Saturn - Because if I ever get one and a decent joystick, that's my beat em up fix sorted forever.

10. Neo Geo (AVS? MVS? Whichever one is the home console) - It has METAL SLUG.

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1. PS4 

As I guess this is supposed to be "of all time" and not "with rose tinted glasses". Much as I love Manic Miner, Chucky Egg and Dizzy, as games I feel their greatness has been bettered by Bloodbourne and Fallout 4. Then there's GTA Online, Dark Souls 3, Resident Evil 7 - gamers have never had it so good as they have it now. 

 

2. PC

Surprised a lot of people haven't included this, maybe because it almost seems unfair as it isn't a "games system", its a system which does everything including playing games. But as a gaming platform it's unparalleled - from emulators to the native classics - Ultima, Lucasarts, Sierra, Westwood Studios - to turbo-charged, mod-enhanced versions of the best games of the modern generation. There is a good reason I've put it at number two though - despite its undoubted technological superiority, to me, it has always played second fiddle to whichever console has been my primary gameplaying machine at the time. I just find console gaming far more comfortable and convenient. 

 

3. Xbox 360

So many amazing games over it's long, long lifespan. And was really the first machine to do multiplayer console gaming in a way that in any way lived up to its potential. 

 

4. Amiga

First proper "retro" platform in my list and for good reason, it was groundbreaking in ways that very few machines have been since.

 

5. Spectrum

Pretty much kicked off the 80s home computer craze in this country, which is what got me into gaming in the first place. 

 

6. SNES

Arcade perfect (or so we thought at the time) Street Fighter 2, Final Fight, Mario World, Mario Kart, Zelda. Final Fantasy. A lot of them seemed foreign and esoteric to me when I first heard of them, and then expensive once they made their way over here. I had great fun playing SF2 with friends back in the day but most of the others I enjoyed later through emulation, and there are a lot of brilliant, classic games which are in many ways light years ahead of the UK and US games we were playing at the time. 

 

7. Megadrive

This seemed more familiar to me, back in the day, as a western gamer, and most of the popular computer games seemed to end up on it. Definitely an all-time classic machine but with retrospect, its catalogue, although it included some bona fide classics like the Shinobi series, leaned a little too heavily on somewhat shallow arcade conversions and licensed games. Which is why in the light of 2017 I would put the SNES above it in a "greatest games machine" list. 

 

8. PS1 

University days machine for me, came at a great time too, with stuff like Wipeout and Tekken for parties, and Final Fantasy 7 and Resident Evil for late-night solo sessions when I was supposed to be revising. 

 

9. N64

As above, really, but substitute Goldeneye and Zelda for the games I mentioned. 

 

10. Nintendo GBA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, strider said:

Great to see the Vita getting some love. I was apparently mad to rate it over the PSP!

 

I love them both, although my PSP was mostly a Tactics Ogre machine :lol: Vita covers almost every single one of favourite games of the past few years and of those it doesn't host, a good chunk of them I can play on remote play

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Definitely more of a favourites slant to my list rather than necessarily better - like, I know the C64's games library trounces the Beeb's and does infinitely better sound-wise, but the Beeb resonates a lot more with me personally. Honestly, I could rearrange the machines on this list all day for different reasons, but this is what *feels* best for me at the moment:

 

1. PC (10)

2. Mega Drive (9)

3. BBC Micro (8)

4. Master System (7)

5. Game Boy (6)

6. Saturn (5)

7. Nintendo 64 (4)

8. Amiga (3)

9. C64 (2)

10. Acorn Archimedes (1)

 

Just missing out are SNES, Playstation 2, Spectrum, Xbox 360 and Dreamcast. The Switch is making a good go for itself so far, though...

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14 hours ago, Anne Summers said:

PC

Surprised a lot of people haven't included this, maybe because it almost seems unfair as it isn't a "games system", its a system which does everything including playing games. But as a gaming platform it's unparalleled - from emulators to the native classics - Ultima, Lucasarts, Sierra, Westwood Studios - to turbo-charged, mod-enhanced versions of the best games of the modern generation. There is a good reason I've put it at number two though - despite its undoubted technological superiority, to me, it has always played second fiddle to whichever console has been my primary gameplaying machine at the time. I just find console gaming far more comfortable and convenient.

 

For quite some time, the PC had more of the games I liked, or the best games I liked (flight sims, space flight games, strategy games) - in the 80s, the consoles and home computers had the better graphics and sound, but once you started getting the 3D accelerators in the 90s, the situations reversed.

 

But like you said, consoles have seemed more convenient - buy one box, stick it under the telly and wait until they stop making games for it (by which time developers will be doing Really Amazing Things with it), rinse and repeat.

 

So while I've considered dropping back to PC gaming, I've never quite bothered - the closest I came was this gen, but plumped for a PS4 instead. I just don't play games on my Mac.

 

And I agree with @Sureshot - I could rearrange the list all day, most of the machines are that close. I love the fact I lived through the Heroic phase of gaming, to give some perspective to the marvels I get to play these days.

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01.  Sega Saturn

02.  Playstation 1

03.  Xbox 360

04.  Dreamcast

05.  PSP

06.  Neo Geo AES

07.  PS2

08.  SNES

09.  PC Engine

10.  Mega Drive

 

 

So this really turned into a ramble...

 

It’s really tough doing this list nowadays, as you can buy a PS4, say, or a bone and play pretty much all the games that defined any given retro console. Just buy them from whatever their marketplace is, and Bob’s your Auntie’s live-in lover.  So I’ve gone in order of the most unique and not-easily-replicable experiences you get from the machines themselves, and nothing says ‘unique’ more than the Saturn. You can’t even really emulate it properly, and very few of its better games have had sequels... or even good ports.

 

The likes of Burning Rangers, NiGHTS and Panzer Dragoon Saga make it essential immediately, then the fighting game ports (with the expanded RAM) like Darkstalkers, Marvel Super Heroes and X-Men vs. Street Fighter made the PSX equivalents look laughable. It had Radiant Silvergun and 10-player Bomberman. It had a fantastic Quake II port. Ports of AM2 stuff like SEGA Rally, HotD, Virtua Cop and Virtua Fighter 2 were just stunning. It was a triumph of talent in the face of huge technological restrictions.

Random cool stuff: 360 pad! Virtual On with Twin Sticks! Unlockable Death Tank! Amazing pad! Guardian Heroes!

 

The PSX also has a bunch of stuff that gets forgotten, either because it was plundered for sequels (some better, some far more mediocre) and many of the greatest exclusives to stand the test of time were hardly played, or never released in the EU.  Where to start? Well, ignoring the big stuff like GT and MGS, you had a little UK studio called Psygnosis producing a landscape-altering racing game in WipEout, then perfecting the genre right at the end of its life with Wip3out: Special Edition. You got the first PES; you got the first polygonal Final Fantasy; you got Vagrant Story taking stuff in unusual directions. It was a powerful machine, dirt cheap after a couple of years, and hosted every game type you could ever want. And introduced many you never thought could exist.

Random cool stuff: Vib Ribbon! Pocket Station! The LCD screen! Time Crisis and the Namco GunCon! System link! Einhander! Dualshock!

 

X360: Microsoft’s second console gets my nod for the sheer breadth of quality it had, and the (now evaporated) commitment to world-class exclusives. These were spread over the physical releases and the online store, and it’s that latter thing – the popularisation of stuff like downloadable games, indie titles, and a great online infrastructure in general – that gives it the edge. The first, say, Gears of War was great on its own, but the ability to play online with a friend? Amazing. And Achievements! They’ve lost their lustre and importance over the years, but you still get a little dopamine rush when you hear that POP, no matter which console you’re on. For those reasons and stuff like Forza, the Halo games (especially Halo 3 online), Alan Wake and generally having far better versions of stuff than the PS3 did, it defined much of the core stuff you expect a console to do today.  

Random cool stuff: Geometry Wars! Expandable hard drives! HD-DVD! Party chat! OS with Blades! Best analogue pad possibly ever!

 

Dreamcast: Never has so much quality been seen by so few in such a small amount of time. Sega’s ill-fated curtain call pretty much had everything: reasonable power, lovely looks, a modem (!) and innovation coming out the wazoo. Along with some really fun games, there were a tidal wave of cool peripherals that came out for it. You had the gun and the fabulous HotD2, VMUs for your saves, a cracking arcade stick for fighting games. Games-wise, you had arcade-perfect versions of Street Fighter III and tons of others, a fresh Sonic Adventure, unclassifiable stuff like Jet Set Radio, Shenmue and Cosmic Smash. Soul Calibur with THAT attract sequence. Then there was more Western-centric stuff like the online Quake III Arena, MSR and Headhunter. Also, let’s not forget many people’s intro to online RPGs: Phantasy Star Online.

 

It’s incredible to think the DC’s in the West was a mere 2 years... the quality in that time was stunning. No wonder it has a special place in many of our hearts, eh?

Random cool stuff: Fishing rod! VGA adapter! Power Stone! Chu Chu Rocket… for free! Maracas! Seaman! Under Defeat!

 

The PSP is possibly the most underrated console on this list, but is a true gamer’s machine. Hampered by its poor choice of button layout and a rubbish analogue nubbin (nubette?) it nonetheless carried the day with a huge library of excellent originals and surprisingly nifty ports.  

 

Ok, so it fluffed things by failing to have a Resident Evil game appear, or then-huge franchises Onimusha or Devil May Cry. And the least said about Gran Turismo, the better.  But who needed them when you could play Outrun C2C on the move? Or lose days of your life to Lumines? It also had some great offshoots of big franchises, like MGS Peace Walker and Metal Gear Ac!d, Wipeouts Pure and Pulse, Taiko no Tatsujin, two God of War spinoffs and a couple of great Tekken ports. Along with some lovely little exclusives like Patapon, LocoRoco and the definitive Ridge Racer game, it was a console you shouldn’t live without. Pro tip: buy a Vita and download all the best games for both that machine and the PSP.

Random cool stuff: UMDs! Encoding movies to play off SD! Awesome CFW! Every Extend Extra! Playstation Minis! J’eanne D’arc!

 

An arcade in your home - that’s what the Neo Geo AES was. Oh my, how much I desired one of these when it was released. I worked out I could afford a game once every 18 months if I spent none of my allowance on ANYTHING else, and for a time was considering it. It does one thing and one thing only: plays arcade games. If that’s for you, just try denying you want one. Go on, just try. In your living room you could be clamping your mitts around that joystick and playing Last Blade, Top Hunter, Metal Slug, Garou or any of another, what, 50 good games?

 

There are a stunningly low number of duffers on the Neo Geo, there are some weird outlier types that are worth a pop and the hardware has a chunky tangibility that’s impossible to resist. Sell the house, the dog, the first born… buy an AES.

 

Random cool stuff: memory cards! Microswitched pads! Universal BIOS! Mai’s bounce! Dat stick!

 

PS2: As per the PSone entry above, I’ve ‘marked down’ the PS2 slightly, as there were countless ports of titles that should have stayed exclusive on DC and GC, plus many of its successes were sequels to its smaller predecessor’s games. That doesn’t mean they weren’t game changers though, or marvellous in their own right. The Gran Turismo series arguably peaked with GT3; Metal Gear Solids 2 and 3 broke ground with fabulous innovation and better storytelling, and Silent Hill 2 was also the pinnacle of the ‘old style’ SH games.

 

The lineup of on the bugger was amazing, though. ICO and SOTC have ‘inspired’ a billion indie games, Okami is probably the best non-Link Zelda games ever made, the Onimusha series could be a bit wobbly but were often brilliant fun, and there were a cascade of Japanese releases like Taiko no Tatsujin and Katamari Damacy. Let's not forget Dante's 2 best games either: Devil May Cry 1 and 3

 

Also, who didn’t buy one and a copy of The Matrix on DVD? No-one, that’s who.

 

Random cool stuff: God Hand! Taiko drums! Dualshock 2!

 

Just some vignettes for the rest:

SNES: an amazing amount of quality, beautifully compact, home to some of the greatest franchises of all time. Seminal moment with the Street Fighter II release. Best d-pad ever!

 

PC Engine: So many arcade games! How did they make arcade-perfect games on an 8-bit system?!

 

Mega Drive:  The best all-rounder of the 16-bit era; an essential console worth owning for Treasure’s stuff alone, never mind Sega’s.

 

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On 10/31/2017 at 18:09, Wizcat said:

Fairly amazed no one has listed Nintendo Switch? 

 

I mean, sure, it's barely been out 6 months, but look at the line up and it already has some 'best ever' games. Zelda BOTW, Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart... 

 

I'll put some thought into my list, but for sure Switch would be on there


I put it at #8, above the 360 and PS2.

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1. SNES (10)

2. N64 (9)

3. Amiga (8)

4. Wii (7)

5. Switch (6)

6. DS/3DS (5)

7. Megadrive (4)

8. WiiU (3)

9. GameCube (2)

10. Gameboy (1)

 

Yeah, mostly Nintendo, but my highlights of every gen have been Nintendo games. 

 

Switch could well end up challenging the N64 and SNES in the next couple of years. 

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Really thinking I should swap something out and slot the NES into my list.Objectively speaking it's definitely one of the "greats", if not the greatest. Trouble is I love every machine I've listed in a personal way, and it's a love I just don't feel for the NES (to the same extent) having never owned one. 

For the first few years of its life the only place I ever saw one was in shops, where they often had those Play Choice 10 (or whatever) machines set up, that let you play for about a minute or two, before resetting.  

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1. Super Nintendo

2. Dreamcast

3. PS2

4. XBox 360

5. Amiga

6. PSP

7. PS3

8. WiiU

9. C64

10. Tomytronic 3D series

 

I would have loved to have included the NEO GEO, it would probably have taken the number 6 spot, but I only played the games in the arcade and on MAME, so I don't think it really counts. The Tomytronic 3D games - despite being standalone - should count, so I'm including them all as my number 10 system. I got my ex-brother in law one for his birthday a couple of years ago from ebay, and it was still badass.

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1. Xbox 360 (10)

2. PlayStation 2

3. Dreamcast

4. N64

5. PC

6. Mega Drive

7. PlayStation

8. Xbox

9. Sega Saturn

10. Amiga (1)

(Honorable mentions: Master System, Game Boy Advance)

 

PS2 above DC based on their game libraries at the end of their respective lives. But I still maintain that the PS2's range took a long time to surpass DC's! Just over two years after the DC's Japanese launch (November 1998 to end of December 2000) the exclusive-at-the-time games with PAL releases that I wanted to play included: Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Power Stone, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Metropolis Street Racer, Shenmue, Ecco the Dolphin, Crazy Taxi, NBA 2K, F355 Challenge, and Jet Set Radio. I struggle to think of any other console that racked up as many exclusives I was interested in playing so quickly (the Xbox One and PS4 still haven't done enough to persuade me to buy one).

 

The two on the list I've never owned myself are the PS1 and Amiga. But both were really common among friends so I played a decent number of games across both of them.

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This is my shot:

 

1. C64 (10pts)

2. Original XBOX (9pts)

3. Dreamcast (8pts)

4. PS Vita (7pts)

5. Amiga (6pts)

6. Wii (5pts)

7. Wii U (4pts)

8. PS1 (3pts)

9. Xbox 360 (2pts)

10. PS3 (1pts)

 

The C64 was a like a Lion in it's domain, it was an apex predator - fast, smooth, colourful games with breathtaking symphonic sounds. Amazing!

 

I would have liked the Amiga to come higher but the reality is that it hasn't aged well. 

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On ‎09‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 11:35, gunrock said:

This is my shot:

 

1. C64 (10pts)

2. Original XBOX (9pts)

3. Dreamcast (8pts)

4. PS Vita (7pts)

5. Amiga (6pts)

6. Wii (5pts)

7. Wii U (4pts)

8. PS1 (3pts)

9. Xbox 360 (2pts)

10. PS3 (1pts)

 

The C64 was a like a Lion in it's domain, it was an apex predator - fast, smooth, colourful games with breathtaking symphonic sounds. Amazing!

 

I would have liked the Amiga to come higher but the reality is that it hasn't aged well. 

 

And a palette of mostly browns and beiges meant it was camouflaged on the dusty savannah?

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@SeanR yeah well the graphics could be kind of chunky but then again, something like Last Ninja, Dropzone and Thrust had quite a lot of finesse and color. At the time, whilst I loved the detail of Spectrum graphics, the colour clash was for me, hard to get past and coupled with the piezo beeper, the C64 was the machine for me.

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