After Microsoft and Sony confirmed they will releasing new, more powerful consoles it has encouraged me to look back and rank my top 5 retro consoles from my youth. Check out my list below and if you think different then share your top 5 retro consoles in the comments.
5. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
The SNES was released in 1990 and was a hugely popular console for many years. Nintendo were competing against SEGA and Atari at the time for supremacy in the console market, but the SNES has definitely stood the test of time and many gamers retain fond memories of popular SNES games to this day. If you don’t remember Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Kart plus the long list of other SNES games then you have missed out, without a doubt.
If, like me, you are easily inspired to exchange cash for games, then you will be able to pick up a SNES as cheap as £30 on eBay. If you have never tried this console, pick one up now!
4. SEGA Megadrive
This was the first console that I ever owned and I have very fond memories of playing Sonic, Micro Machines, Streets of Rage and for some obscure reason, Quackshot. Just hearing the console load-up intro provides an elated sense of nostalgia. The console allowed gamers to connect up 4 players through special controller ports on specific cartridges and to stack cartridge on top of each other, for reasons I can’t remember. In some ways, I wish that SEGA were still making video game consoles but after the dismal display from the SEGA Dreamcast, I’m happy to let the Megadrive remain a legendary memory.
If you had one of these before then you should pick one up again. Price vary and will start at approximately £50. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
The Nintendo 64 console was hugely successful over its lifetime and was praised for its colourful 3D graphics. There may not have been many games at launch but any retro gamer knows there are now almost too many great N64 games to name. Super Smash Bros, Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong 64, Goldeneye, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Perfect Dark, Pokemon Colosseum. The list just goes on and this exuberant selection of games is why this console is so fondly remembered. This console was also considered hugely social for you and a group of your friends as the console came with 4 controller ports on the console; something which other consoles of its time did not have.
My recommendation: get an N64 with some games, get 4 controllers, gather your friends round for an evening, have shed loads of fun. Prices range from £40 on eBay.
2. Nintendo Gameboy
When I think about handheld consoles, the only console that comes to mind is the Nintendo Gameboy. When I wasn’t playing on a household console, I would be on the move with a Gameboy playing classic games such as Tetris, Super Mario Bros and Pokemon. As a child, I would relish long car journeys if it meant I could play my Gameboy for a few hours. Nintendo has controlled the handheld market since the launch of the Gameboy but the consoles and the games have massively improved since. Despite this, there is something strangely endearing about the graphics and game play of the Gameboy and that’s why I love it!
Experience this blast from the past for anywhere between £25-£75 and make sure you pick up Tetris, Mario and Pokemon games
1. Sony Playstation
The original Sony Playstation is the best retro console for me. At the time it took gaming to a whole new level. It’s hard to believe that the graphics were considered realistic when you compare them to current gen consoles but it was graphically stunning at the time in comparison to some of its competitors. This console also gave birth of some of Sony’s first exclusive titles such as Tekken and Tomb Raider and became a mainstay in many homes up until the Playstation 2 was released.
Thankfully, original Playstation games are backwards compatible with the PS2 so if you still own a PS2 console, you’re in luck! You won’t need to buy the original Playstation to delve back into some of the best games from the original Sony console.
Have your say…
Do you agree with my list? Maybe I have forgotten an absolute classic? Either way, please make sure to share your favourite retro consoles and share this list to your friends.