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The Most Important Consoles Ever Made | LRM’s Top 5

With the pending release of the first images of the PlayStation 5 set to hit tomorrow (June 11th), I figured we should take a trip down memory lane and look at what I think are the most important consoles in history. Be sure to check out LRM‘s coverage of the PS5 debut and a discussion on Friday’s LRMornings about the system.

Consoles have been a part of our lives for a long time. Since the ’70s actually. There have been dozens of systems from dozens of companies, but most people think about Atari as being the beginning. Yes, it’s true they really brought the console into the home like none before it, but are there more important consoles? Are there consoles that changed the game more? Let’s take a look at the top five most important consoles ever. Oh, by the way… no handhelds included.

Number 5: PlayStation 2

Ah yes, the PS2. The console that I believe sealed Nintendo’s fate as the Apple of consoles. I mean that Nintendo basically became a niche company. It has a small but dedicated fan base, but everyone else moved on to Sony and Microsoft.

The PS2 came out in 2000, ahead of Nintendo’s Gamecube and Microsoft’s Xbox. It was a huge step up graphically from the PS1 and eventually had one of the most diverse and large game libraries ever. Additionally, it had a built-in DVD player, which was a huge selling point given the massive visual improvements of movies on DVD versus VHS.

It’s this DVD player that helps the PS2 make the Top 5. Yes, destroying Sega and minimizing Nintendo are big deals, so is becoming the top-selling console of all time, but the DVD was a game-changer for a lot of entertainment. Think of all of the commentaries, blooper reels, and behind the scenes extras you’ve enjoyed because of them. The PS2 dominated and innovated, putting it easily at my number five spot.

Number 4: Nintendo Wii

Nintendo may have become a niche company, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hold influence over the gaming world. The Wii brought with it innovative motion controls and made playing games together in the same room cool again. Its backward compatibility with Gamecube games and controllers made it popular and cemented the Gamecube controller as the choice controller for Super Smash Bros. Players.

The Wii actually forced Sony and Microsoft to offer their own version of motion controls with the Move and Kinect add-ons respectively. Sony and Microsoft’s attempts would not be very successful and would see Sony use theirs with their VR offering and Microsoft end support of then Kinect entirely.

The Wii saved Nintendo’s life and preserved for us great titles like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Smash Bros. This helps it make the list.

Number 3: Xbox

I hate doing this. Many of you may know that I am a PlayStation fanboy, but the Xbox was a big deal. Now, to be fair I am (was) more of a PC gamer than consoles, but my fealty doth belong to Sony. Now, allow a Microsoft hater to tell you why the Xbox is so important.

The Xbox helped bring about the era of online console gaming. Halo was a big factor in that. It also brought Sony a real competitor on the graphics front and led Sony and Microsoft to push each other to aim for the best in graphics for each console generation.

Number 2: PlayStation

The Sony PlayStation may have started out as an add on CD-ROM drive for Nintendo but it would end up being the biggest mistake Nintendo ever made… sorta. Yes, Nintendo would continue to exist, but it would never be the same powerhouse as it was before 1997. The original PlayStation brought us CD-quality sound and voices to our games along with the ability for full-motion videos. Polygon counts were up and real 3D graphics versus simulated ones seen in the past.

The system also brought to life Final Fantasy VII and reintroduced JRPGs to North America. Do you understand the significance of that? Sony unleashed a massive ad campaign using Crash Bandicoot, a character from a game series by the same name. This included Crash calling out Mario and Sonic in a comedic fashion. Everything came together and the PSX/PS1/PlayStation not only pushed the gaming world into the next generation, Sony went there with a bloodthirst not seen in years.

Number 1: Nintendo Entertainment System

Was there any doubt as to the most important console in gaming history? Yeah, we wouldn’t get to this small grey box without Atari and Pong machines, but this is the console that actually saved the gaming industry. Seriously, before the Nintendo Entertainment System, the gaming industry had collapsed from the over-saturation of too many systems and really shitty games. Ever hear of the E.T. game and the landfill?

It’s funny that Nintendo is older than its predecessors by a long time. It was founded in 1889 and was a playing card manufacturer. When they got into the console business they really focused on the North American market and knocked it out of the ballpark with the OG Super Mario Bros. Without this box and the Plumbers, we may be a PC gaming only society. The huge success of the System knocked out all competitors and desaturated the market. Thank you, Nintendo… for the PlayStation… Boom!

I love gaming and due to my health, I’ve been playing more consoles than my PC games. I am looking forward to the PS5, although I hope it doesn’t look like the dev kit, and hopeful exclusive sequels to Horizon: Zero DawnSpider-Man, and hopefully a God of War that allows jumping. Here’s to the next generation and may the war begin!

ALSO SEE: PlayStation 5 Reveal Event Confirmed For This Thursday — And PS5 Stans Are Already Touting Death Of Xbox

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