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What are your 3 favorite gaming consoles of all time... and why?


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Figured this would be a good thread to give some more insight on what everyone here truly likes, even if it isn't Atari-related (gasp) ;-)

 

For me and in order:

 

1. Sega Dreamcast - never have I owned before or since, a gaming console with so many great multi-player games. The Dreamcast has done something no other console has ever done and that's consistently bring a party of friends to want to play the many games that actually utilized the 4-controller ports of the Dreamcast. This was basically the poor man's LAN party gaming PC console at the time and it did it all amazingly well.

 

I admit that when the Dreamcast first launched, I was still in my heavy uproarish collecting for the Jaguar and even though I would end up with a PS2 for the sole reason of Grand Theft Auto, the Jaguar and tracking down prototypes was my main goal and Sega hadn't really impressed me much with the Saturn (I did have 4 of those at one point and collected briefly in-between my Jaguar collecting days but ridded it all soon after). Then a friend who introduced me to Mister Mosquito - the same friend who actually introduced me to Grand Theft Auto (causing me to go out and purchase a PS2 basically the same week) and while playing and beating that game at his place (I would bring my PS2 over), I noticed he had about 90 Dreamcast games and was talking about trading them in to get a PlayStation2 again.

 

I knew that he was about to get ripped off - because that's what the game trading stores do. He was going to offload his entire Dreamcast collection all for a PS2 because of some game he wanted to play at the time outside of GTA, hard telling what it was. I quickly went through a lot of the games he had and was amazed at just how many titles stood out and then after playing several of them, was completely sold. I decided to trade him my PS2 and games and even gave him some money for his entire Dreamcast collection and then my own collecting for the Dreamcast would then kind of get out of control. Within the course of less than a year, I had amassed almost 200 titles and was pretty close to owning the complete Dreamcast library. Mind you this is shortly after Sega had dropped support for the Dreamcast and you could find tons of things discounted - what an amazing time to collect for the machine and it's never been the same since. Very rare window of opportunity you get sometimes to collect for certain consoles without paying 10x the actual price.

 

I would have really liked to see Vapor Trax make it to the Dreamcast but it was never to be. Cosmic Smash still remains to this day to be one of my all time favorites alongside with Virtua Tennis. A friend of mine and I actually won the Virtua Tennis tournament sometime in early 2000 at one of the Midwest Gaming Classic shows - such a blast and it goes to show just how much we actually played the Dreamcast back then.

 

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Unfortunately as it stands today, I only have a few titles for the Dreamcast and it hasn't really gotten much play like the days when friends would come over, sometimes spending entire weekends playing Dreamcast games- staying up all night, and eating amazing pizza. I really miss those days.

 

2. Atari Jaguar - The Jaguar was and probably still is the most interesting console to me personally that was full of hope and broken promises, all while probably the real last console I would consider as actually being made in the U.S. It was the 90's next generation console that would introduce the next technological step of multimedia gaming at an affordable price or at least, that was Atari's attempt. Around this time you have to remember just how expensive a multimedia computer was and how fascinating Virtual Reality was and the idea that this gaming company based in California was going to be able to deliver so many amazing things really captivated my imagination.

 

While most of the games on this system are mediocre at best, many being hand-me-down titles from a previous 16-bit generation tossed on a console screaming 64-bits, the few titles that really shined did nothing but give it even that much more hope. Take away a lot of the stellar games actually available for the Jaguar like Tempest 2000, Iron Soldier, Battlemorph and Alien vs. Predator, you almost definitely would have had just a dud for a gaming console all-around, but that wasn't the case - those titles gave this console great hope, as would many of the unreleased titles, or at least it did in my eyes. Even more evidence the system as being a truly capable machine would be realized once Iron Solider 2, Skyhammer and Battlesphere was finally released.

 

As mentioned above, my love for this system would lead me to track down and collect a ton of unreleased prototypes and unreleased games, most of which would later find their ways into other peoples hands - with many of the unreleased games finding their way online for others to enjoy, mainly through JS-II through another person. So overall a very fascinating system with so much promise. A way to talk and play games with other gamers through the Voice Modem, and to play VR games with the Jaguar VR and even surf the web before even the WebTV boxes become popular and soon died out, Atari really was doing many things well before the competition even attempted it. They really pushed the envelope and others would eventually truly succeed - the Dreamcast with its online gameplay with voice over modem or dial-up and now the PS4 with the PSVR.

 

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Like my Dreamcast collection, I am now down to only a handful of Jaguar items and games but will cherish the memories, experiences and interactions with other people as a result of owning the Jaguar.

 

3 - Xbox 360 - I hated the original Xbox. Being nothing other than a cheap PC in a console shell is what I took away from it at the time and I just didn't like it. I'm not sure where exactly or why my hatred for the original Xbox originated from but it never changed. At least not until the Xbox 360 came around. And you know? Microsoft finally got it right this time... well, almost.

 

There were so many determining factors as to why the Xbox 360 was such an incredible system which had more to do with the people behind it than the actual console itself. Jeff Minter making the music visualizer for an actual mass marketed system? Peter Moore from the Dreamcast scene lending his expertise in the matters with the marketing presenter who fell off the map completely after moving to the MS Zune - J Allard. Then you had the Xbox Arcade which is what I really wanted - an easy way to access older and newer, modernized arcade gaming titles.

 

Needless to say, I was riddle with their RROD issues multiple times before I finally gave up completely, 4 to be exact. At least with the original NES you could blow into the cartridges or place the NES in the freezer for it to work briefly afterwards but not with the 360. It was toast, always. I really loved Rockstar's Table Tennis and of course the slew of arcade titles actually hitting the Xbox Arcade store. Such a cool idea to be able to play against friends and compare high scores on a modern platform. I even went as far as to mod one controller with a 2600 joystick so I could obtain a higher score in Galaga. Worked great for the hack job that it was!

 

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What's strange is how backwards feeling the Xbox One seems in comparison and while I don't own or plan to own an Xbox One, from everything that I know the Xbox has just evolved into something completely different with my eyes on a PS4, if for anything else, the PSVR alone.

 

Looking forward to reading everyone's stories!

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

cerka.weebly.com

 

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1.  Intellivision:   It was my first console, and in its age it offered a lot more of the type of games I liked!  (AD&D series, Tron series, Utopia, Tower of Doom, etc)  It will always be my favorite.

2.  Atari 2600:   Again, this was part of my childhood.  The games I grew up with.  Also, I really love how they were able to do so much with such a weak system.  Quality of the unit is also top notch.

3. Playstation 2   This is the last console I really got obsessed with.   When I met my wife, we had 2 of them and we played games together....a LOT.   The system feels solid, well designed, and it has one of the most huge, diverse libraries of any system.  My favorite disc based system that slightly edges out the original Playstation. 

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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3. Playstation 2   This is the last console I really got obsessed with.   When I met my wife, we had 2 of them and we played games together....a LOT.   The system feels solid, well designed, and it has one of the most huge, diverse libraries of any system.  My favorite disc based system that slightly edges out the original Playstation. 

 

Outside of GTA, Hypercube and the Burnout series were incredibly fun! I never really ventured out much more than about a dozen or so titles on the PS2. Think I had Virtua Fighter as well but maybe I'm getting it confused with some other system. Do you have a PS4 now?

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

cerka.weebly.com

 

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Outside of GTA, Hypercube and the Burnout series were incredibly fun! I never really ventured out much more than about a dozen or so titles on the PS2. Think I had Virtua Fighter as well but maybe I'm getting it confused with some other system. Do you have a PS4 now?

Actually no, the last console I bought  near release was the XBox 360.  I mostly PC game these days.

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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I don't think I've ever played a Dreamcast, real or emulated.  Think I'm going to have to look into what I've been missing.

 

I'm largely a PC-only gamer these days (and before that, I was the guy looking around in every Babbage's and Electronics Boutique for the 1/4 shelf of Macintosh games) but I've certainly played on enough consoles to have a top 3.

 

1 - Vectrex - I don't care if loving the Vectrex has become somewhat of a hipster-like thing to do -- it's without a doubt the #1 choice for me.  I've only had one for about a year, and for me, no other console gives me the same kind of sensation as flipping on the Vectrex, hearing the buzz and startup jingle, and being mesmerized by crisp, blazing vector graphics.  Its joystick leaves much to be desired, and its game library isn't the greatest by any means, but if I'm considering which console makes me *feel* something, the Vectrex is far and away my favorite.

 

I don't want to get hyperbolic here, but when I turn on the Vectrex I feel like I'm suddenly using something that fell out of a wormhole from the past, but it made a pit stop in the future before arriving in the present time.  It manages to be simultaneously novel and nostalgic.  I think it's a combination of 1) the monochrome graphics, 2) that sweet buzz/hum reminiscent of other vintage electronics, 3) the monolithic, black, all-in-one form factor -- "my God, it's full of stars!" -- and 4) the vector graphics themselves.

 

One shouldn't sell the games short, either -- many of them are quite good.  I think there's a tendency to try to compare Vectrex games directly to arcade vector games, but their respective processors are worlds apart.  Mine Storm is one of the coolest "pack-in" games ever released.  Cosmic Chasm and Star Castle are both really enjoyable.  Hyperchase is fairly difficult with the joystick but looks fantastic.  Pole Position and Scramble are both worthy arcade ports.  Clean Sweep is more than a serviceable Pac-Man clone.  Certainly there are stinkers on every system and the Vectrex is no exception.  But fortunately the homebrew community is both loyal and prolific, and in many cases generous with ROM releases.

 

I'm not regretting my decision to skip collecting for the system, but the screen overlays are super cool and the one thing that I wish it *were* possible to easily collect without buying CIB games.  May the world beat a path to the door of the person who creates quality, affordable reproduction overlays!

 

 

2 - Atari 5200 - I admit, this choice is largely because it's what I grew up with.  It's not an amazing system by any means, but it's also not at all the steaming pile that so many seem to think it is.  The stock joysticks make some games more difficult than they should be, yes, but I think people mostly hate them these days because they don't have the time/patience to get used to using them.  That's not meant as a criticism of the frustrated people -- if your hardware takes some getting used to, it's arguably not great hardware.  But it was a super rare occasion that, playing a 5200 game as a kid, I thought "man, this joystick just screwed me".

 

The SuperSystem -- with its Super Star Destroyer form factor -- demanded ones attention.  I feel like the 2600 was made to blend in with a room, while the 5200 was made to take over a room.  It was obviously unnecessarily large, but the 5200 always felt like it was a big thing to me.  Bigger cartridges, bigger joysticks, bigger games in general.  Bigger price tag, sure, but thankfully Santa Claus made sure I didn't need to worry about that!

 

Anyway.... Star Raiders, Star Raiders, Star Raiders!  Joust, Ballblazer, Rescue on Fractalus, Moon Patrol, Mountain King, Missile Command.  A great port of Pac-Man.  So many winners, and I'm only taking into account the half of the library I owned as a kid.

 

When AtariAge hooked up with Keithen Hayenga to release his (never finished/released back in the day) version of Tempest in 2013, it was a dream come true -- finally, my favorite arcade game playable on the console that meant the most to me as a kid.  And what's more, it's fantastic!

 

 

3 - PlayStation 3 - When I finally bought a PS3 in mid-2008 it had already been out for about a year-and-a-half.  I was glad to get on board before they totally took the PS2 backwards compatibility away -- I ended up with an 80GB "fat" model sold bundled with MSG4.  It's funny, I ultimately never owned more than a few PS2 games while I still owned the 80GB (I eventually upgraded to a slim 320GB) -- but it was the principle of the thing, for me.  Backwards compatibility exists, and you're just going to discontinue it because you can?  Not cool, Sony.  Same thing with their firmware upgrade that eliminated OtherOS -- super annoying.  But let me get back on track here...

 

At the time, I'd been holding out on buying a new console until I was 100% sure Blu-Ray was going to defeat HD-DVD in the HD format war.  I had recently purchased my first HDTV, and I couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't want their content in the highest resolution possible.  I knew I'd never buy another DVD video unless it was the only format available, and I was very pleased to learn that, by many accounts, the PS3 was the best Blu-Ray player for your money at the time.

 

So, suddenly I can have a console that can get the most out of my HDTV *and* play some cool games?  Sign me up.  I realize that this makes me one of *those* consumers -- someone who buys a console for more than just the games -- but I saw no reason to buy any more equipment than I needed to at this point.  The PS3 covered both bases.  Why not?

 

In addition to the usual multi-platform titles, it's got some great exclusives: Katamari Forever, The Last of Us, Ico/Shadow of the Colossus Collection, Wipeout HD.

 

I'm positive that if I'd ever owned an NES or a Genesis they'd have made my list instead.  But for all that it offered, the PS3 was an easy choice and one that I don't regret at all.

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1. Atari 2600 - My very first system ever, and my only system basically until I was an adult. I still enjoy playing it today (obviously!).

 

2. Super NES - I got one as a wedding present from my wife, and once I started collecting for the 2600, I played both of these systems the most. With this one though, I played far fewer games than the other 2 systems on the list, but the quality was exponentially better.

 

3. NES - This was my sister's Christmas gift when I was 18, I had no interest in it until I started playing it with her. I loved playing the games back in the 80s and 90s (especially Zelda), but many of the games haven't aged well for me. I was actually surprised by this, and I wondered if it was because I haven't really played any NES games for years. I bought an adapter for my SNES to check this theory out.

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  1. Atari 2600 - So many fun memories.  The games just got better and better over time.
  2. Atari 8-bit computers (lumping in the 5200 here as well) - an improved 2600 -- great games with great graphics and sounds.  Loved these machines.
  3. NES - Nothing spectacular here hardware wise (other than that revolutionary gamepad).   Honestly, the hardware was just a logical advance of Atari and Colecovision.  But that software.  So many great games.  So many great series started here.  Nintendo ran the business like Atari never did. 

4th place = tie between my other favorites:  PS2, Vectrex, Virtual Boy, Colecovision, Intellivision.  All mere millimeters away from grabbing 3rd place. 

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1. Atari Jaguar - The Jaguar is the only systems for which I have a complete retail collection. I also have a the majority of post-JTS merger releases. As Clint mentioned, it really is fascinating as Atari's last foray into home consoles and of promise unfulfilled. For me, the good games outweigh the bad and the exclusives - Iron Soldier 1 & 2, Zero 5, Missile Command 3D, Skyhammer, AVP, Battlemorph, etc. - are games I return to over and over again. I also appreciate the somewhat rabid cult following the system has. We're not all like that.

 

2. Sega Saturn - I guess that I'm a fan of the underdog as I've always loved Sega's maligned 32-bit entry. I'm a big fan of Sega's 90s arcade games and Saturn delivers these in spades with Virtual Cop 1&2, Virtua Fighter 2, Last Bronx, VSega Rally and House of the Dead. The original first party content - Nights, Panzer Dragoon trilogy, Shining Holy Ark, Bug!, etc. - also do not disappoint. It also had great third party games like Iron Storm, Dragon Force, and Enemy Zero, that you couldn't get anywhere else. Finally, it's a freakin' 2d powerhouse. The Capcom fighters are almost arcade perfect and I love X-Men Children of the Atom, Marvel Superheroes and Night Warriors. I'm in the process of rebuilding a collection I sold in 1998 and I'm thoroughly enjoying experiencing these games again after 18 years.

 

3. Atari 2600 - This is where gaming started for me (by way of the Coleco Gemini). Most games lack depth but as a busy adult I can more easily find 10 minutes for Demon Attack or Jr. Pac-Man than I can 40-80 hours for the newest Dragon Age game. Sure, a lot of it is nostalgia but I find a lot to appreciate in the simplicity of the games and the creativity of the programmers who push the system to do WAY more than what was intended. The thriving homebrew scene is a big plus too.

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1.) Vectrex - I asked for the right video game console for Christmas 1983!

2.) Atari 2600 Jr. - I've had my since Christmas 1986 - still a classic!

3.) Xbox (original - Halo edition) - This was the first console I bought when I got back into gaming in 2007.

Brian Matherne - owner/curator of "The MOST comprehensive list of Atari VCS/2600 homebrews ever compiled." http://tiny.cc/Atari2600Homebrew

author of "The Atari 2600 Homebrew Companion" book series available on Amazon! www.amazon.com/author/brianmatherne

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1. Atari 2600 - The one that started it all for me. Just looking at a cartridge or box art or hearing sounds from games transports me back to 1981 as an 8 year-old without a care in the world.

 

2. NES - Reinvigorated my love for gaming that started with the 2600. I haven't looked back since.

 

3. Xbox 360 - At first, it was just the natural progression of consoles for me (2600 -> NES -> Genesis -> N64 -> PS1 -> Dreamcast -> PS2 -> 360) but it quickly became so much more. Playing games online with friends became much easier than it was on the PS2 & so many great games came out. But the tipping point was the achievement system. Such a silly little inclusion that has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of playing video games. (I can't wait to earn achievements on 2600 games when the Flashback Classics come out in the fall! 

 

Being able to see my entire gaming history, along with progress on each game, for the life of the console, is amazing to me. I spend way too much time obsessing over my stats.

 

http://www.trueachievements.com/gamergames.aspx?gamerid=18308#

 

The Xbox One is expanding on all of that & the 360 backwards compatibility is fantastic, but I can't see the XBO surpassing the 11 years (& counting!) that the 360 has given me.

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