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Top Five Gaming Consoles

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Posted by: David Sanchez

Gamers often debate which consoles managed to impress the most during their time on the market. We've seen countless video game systems get bashed by some gamers, only to be praised by others. In the end, it's all a matter of opinion. And although we can argue which platforms have the best exclusives, controllers, or hardware features, we also have to take into account the impact they had on the industry. GameZone now presents the top five gaming consoles ever made. To all of the open-minded gamers reading this, feel free to share your personal top five list with us. As for all of you stubborn fanboys, chances are you didn't bother reading this opening paragraph and instead skipped ahead to see the images of the consoles we chose. In case you do read this, though, be sure to let us know what you think. After your heads have stopped exploding, of course.

5. Xbox 360

Microsoft managed to do a number of things right with the Xbox 360. They launched the console a year before its competition, cementing a hardcore fan base early on. They provided one of the best controllers for the FPS genre. And most importantly, they crafted the optimal online gaming component, far outshining every other system with this type of multiplayer feature. Let's not forget about the Achievements, either. By introducing this perks system in a more universal manner, the Xbox 360 has given a lot to completists who need to obtain 100 percent in every one of their games, and it inspired other consoles to follow suit. It might not have the most memorable exclusives (remember: Gears is not Microsoft-owned, people), but it is still one impressive gaming machine.

4. Wii

"ZOMG!!!!111 the wii is above the 360?????" Calm down, fanboys. While there's no denying that games on the Xbox 360 look a hell of a lot better than games on the Wii do and offer much better online functionality, the Wii threw everyone a curve ball by introducing motion controls to the current gen. Nintendo made a huge impact when they announced the direction they'd take their next console, and gamers everywhere were instantly intrigued. And while it's no secret that some Wii games are just plain weak, no one can hide the fact that Nintendo took a major risk that ultimately paid off. They raked in tons of revenue from the casual crowd, and they continued to market to the Nintendo loyal with awesome exclusives such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. In addition to these titles, MadWorld, No More Heroes, Little King's Story and many others provided excellent third-party gaming experiences. And let's ask ourselves something: would Kinect and Move be around if it weren't for the Wii?

3. Genesis

The Sega Master System may have been around at the same time as the Nintendo Entertainment System, but let's be honest--the Sega Genesis was the real console to kick off the console wars. The system featured impressive graphics that rivaled those of the Super Nintendo, and it saw the debut of Sonic the Hedgehog, a memorable hero who gave Mario a run for his money. The Genesis also had three model revisions during its lifespan, something practically every manufacturer does these days with home platforms and handhelds. Influential? No doubt. And the fact that gamers were given a direct competitor to Nintendo, spawning playground debates centered around video games, makes the Genesis a memorable system to say the least.

2. PlayStation 2

God of War, Ico, Katamari Damacy, Indigo Prophecy. Need we say more? OK. Twisted Metal, Shadow of the Colossus, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, Bully. The PlayStation 2 is a console that managed to provide countless memorable gaming experiences thanks to its stellar library, which to this day is considered one of the best in all of gaming. With great exclusives from SCEA and other influential titles that were eventually ported to other consoles, the PlayStation 2 was an impressive gaming machine. The console continues to sell even now, and although its library doesn't get many new titles, during its generation, it was the steady top dog, brutalizing its competitors.

1. Nintendo Entertainment System

Not even the the most stubborn of fanboys can deny the impact of the Nintendo Entertainment system--not just in gaming, but culturally, too. Arcades and early platforms such as the Atari 2600 introduced gaming to the masses, but Nintendo took the world by storm with the launch of the NES, single-handedly saving the the medium after the infamous video game crash of 1983. With a little gray box and a portly plumber, Nintendo managed to win over many individuals and make gamers out of them. Countless amazing games made their way to the NES, and titles such as Battletoads, River City Ransom, Punch-Out!!, Duck Tales, and Mother garnered a massive following and established themselves as some of the best games ever created. Without the NES, it's very likely that we wouldn't be enjoying any of the consoles mentioned here, making it not only the best gaming console ever made, but also the most important.

With every gaming generation that comes and goes, gamers argue about which consoles are the best. There's no true answer because different gamers enjoy the systems that provide the most fun for them. (We're pretty sure there's a lunatic out there who believes in his heart that the Virtual Boy is the unequivocal epitome of gaming.) When it comes to influence and innovation, the Xbox 360, Wii, Genesis, PlayStation 2, and especially the Nintendo Entertainment System stand tall above the rest.

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