The Nintendo Entertainment System: The Greatest and Why

In the history of home video game consoles there have been many good systems but only one stands above all. Here is the list I considered to be some of the greats.

The Magnavox Odyssey

The Fairchild Channel F

The RCA Studio III

The Atari (all versions)

The Intellivision

The Vectrex

The Colecovision

The NES

The Sega Master System

The Turbo Grafx 16

The Genesis (32X and Sega CD)

Neo Geo

Super Nintendo

3D0

Phillips CDi

Atari Jaguar

Sega Saturn

Sony Play Station

Nintendo 64

Sega Dreamcast

Playstation 2

XBOX

Gamecube

Xbox 360

I realize this is a long list with a lot of systems on it, and a few old school ones missing, but my criteria to be considered was as follows. Was it a console system (eliminates early computers and computer games), Have I personally played it. (At some point or another I have either owned or laid hands on all of these systems) how fair would it be to judge a system I have never played? How has the system contributed to gaming (If it was just an upgrade to a previous system with no real advancements it didn’t make the cut.)? Now on to how I made my choice.

O.k., let us start with the latest generation. The Xbox 360, Gamecube, Xbox and PS2. While I personally love the PS2 and Gamecube, and I do have to admit some really cool games came out for the two Xbox systems, these guys just didn’t stand up. Yes their graphics are all amazing, yes the games are far more intelligent, but lets face it, all the systems came out so close together, one right after another that the main goal of the developers was competition. Being the most advanced, the newest and controlling the biggest share of the market. Most of the fun charm of the games has been lost to making a game that looks slick. Most games don’t even have very good story lines unless it is something it borrowed from a popular movie. While the systems are beautiful, they just don’t stand up to the golden generation of video games.

So what is the golden generation? The golden generation of console systems was back when going to the arcade was still a cool thing to do. The home consoles tried to capture the magic of the arcade games because yes all the quarters kids pumped in the machines were good, but those same kids getting their parents to spend $50 at a clip to buy a game was better. The consoles of the Golden Generation were…

The NES

The Sega Master System

The Turbo Grafx 16

The Genesis (32X and Sega CD)

Neo Geo

Super Nintendo

3D0

Phillips CDi

Atari Jaguar

Sega Saturn

Sony Play Station

Nintendo 64

Sega Dreamcast

This is by far the largest chunk of the list, and the toughest competition. There were a lot of great systems here. So lets start eliminating them. The Neo Geo was one of my favorite concepts because it used both 8 bit and 16 bit processors, and because it was 3rd party and the rules were a little different then, it would port games from all the other systems. It was like an all in one. The problem was that it cost over 600 to buy new and the games were like $200. t is still a great system to pick up if you can find one cheap, and it had the right idea, one platform, that allows all games, let the game manufacturers compete, but it didn’t make it. So long Neo Geo.

The next to go is the Turbo Grafx 16. This is also a great system, and built by NEC if I am not mistaken. Please don’t let this fall by the way side. The TG-16 was amazing and had it been managed properly NEC would probably be the number one video game company in the country. This was the first system to utilize 256 and a c.d. rom drive. As well as its Turbo Chip games which were a lot less bulky then the Nintendo’s cartridges, plus it also had a huge library of Japanese games at its disposal. So why did it fall out of this competition? Well first, NEC was slow to translate their Japanese titles in to English, which really limited their game library, second the c.d. rom drive was nearly impossible to find outside of major cities, and even where you could find them there were never enough shipped to make it easy to get your hands on. Basically the Sega Genesis was released during the same Christmas and stomped all over it in the coming months.

The Phillips CDi, the Atari Jaguar, and the 3D0 were all great systems as well, and while they were all hugely popular in Japan, they were just flashes in the pan here. The CDi had some really cool games though and shouldn’t be over looked. The major contribution of these systems was proving that CD Based games were the next big thing.

The Sega Saturn, N64 and Playstation are all big names in the video game world. Some of the best games in history came out on these systems. They were the first MAJOR advancements in graphics and sound and were hugely popular. To be honest, I almost considered the N64  to be the winner of the greatest system in history. The only down fall with these systems was that titles were all way to expensive when they first came out, and there really weren’t enough peripherals for any of them. They were all cool but there wasn’t a lot of room for anything out side of what the systems were originally set up to do.

The Genesis and the Super Nintendo. If you were a kid growing up while these systems were out, it was almost required to own both of them. The games that came out for these two systems were AMAZING. No, don’t get confused, they were absolutely wonderful games. The reason you had to have both was because a lot of the titles were only released on one or the other, and they were almost all great. The SNES was a little bit better than the Genesis because Nintendo chose to wait to develop the technology a little more and Sega jumped on it right a way.

The games were entertaining an well designed. But lets face it, the games weren’t really that much of an advancement over the 8 bit NES games. They were great, but basically just an up grade. It wasn’t until Sega put out the 32x and Sega c.d that you saw a major advancement, The downfall was you had to own both of them to really take advantage of their power.

The Sega master system deserves an honorable mention, but again, out side of the major cities, this system wasn’t widely available. On top of it most of the games were pretty lame and available on other systems.

So, that leaves us with the 8 bit wonder the NES and the Sega Dreamcast. Technically the Dreamcast belongs with the PS2 and Xbox I know, but it is far superior to them for one reason. It required no mods to play burnt games. On top of that you could play roms for ANY OTHER SYSTEM. This was an amazing concept. The Dreamcast could not only have been the greatest system of all time, but it could have been the savior of Sega and made them the biggest system developer in the world.

Another cool feature were the memory packs, you could continue to develop character for certain games on it like a hand held system, and play little mini games on it during long road trips or boring classes. The down sides were a bulky controller, a limted selection of games, and the fact that it was only C.D. based and not DVD. Had the Dreamcast utilized both, the Dreamcast 2 and 3 would not only be around today, but they would be the systems to have. Dreamcast was also the first system to allow online play. So why does the NES Beat it? When the NES came out it smacked the pants off its Atari rival graphically, The system came prepackaged with two games, Duck Hunt, and perhaps the greatest video game ever coded, Super Mario Brothers. It came with the system, two controllers and the Light Zapper, and was an affordable $100.00 in most places. It was available in almost any store that sold electronics, and it had one of the largest game libraries to this day.

The games themselves were easy to develop so creators could focus a lot more and developing great levels and amazing enthralling story lines. The colors on al the games were bright and really captivated the players. There were enough peripherals to fill a dump truck. Some of the most notable were the Zapper, the NES Advantage, the Power Glove, The Power Pad, R.O.B. and the Game Genie. Go ahead, think back to some of the greatest games you ever played, I promise you most of them will be on this system.

The following systems all deserve a place of honor among video game history.

The Magnavox Odyssey

The Fairchild Channel F

The RCA Studio III

The Atari (all versions)

The Intellivision

The Vectrex

The Colecovision

These were the old school systems. The originators, but lets face it, the games were good, and a lot of memorable ones came from these systems, but the programmers and people involved were more about developing the systems and technologies than about the games themselves.

Well there you have it kids. That is why the Nintendo Entertainment System is the greatest home video game console ever created.

E-Rokk

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