In this article we are going to be discussing in my opinion the worst to the best Nintendo Consoles of all time. This list will include home consoles and handhelds as well.
I also want to say that I’ve enjoyed everyone of these consoles. Just because it is ranked as the worst doesn’t mean I think its a bad system. There are more than 10 Nintendo Consoles but I wanted to rank only 10 not the whole collection. (i.e. VirtualBoy, Wii U..)
Anyways Let’s get started…
10.) Nintendo GameCube
The Nintendo GameCube comes ranked number 10 for me for several reasons, I thought it was a cool console, with a nice ATi logo on it. But, there are only so many games I’ve truly enjoyed on it.
One of my favorite memories of playing this console was playing Final Fantasy Chronicles with 3 other friends. But, being able to do so you had to buy a cable, and a gameboy advanced to do so. This was a very expensive thing to do to play a single game. It was a blast though if you could get it the equipment required.
The small discs always annoyed me, I’m not sure what it was with Nintendo at this time wanting to make such a compact system. I think this limited it resources quite a bit and made it underwhelming.
Super Mario Sunshine wasn’t the Mario game I don’t think anyone wished for and was a terrible Sequel to Super Mario 64 in my opinion.
9.) Nintendo DS
Coming in at #9 is the Nintendo DS.
I’ve plenty countless hours on the DS so it was a little hard to put the system this low. The problem with the original DS is it had some of the worst Zelda titles I’ve ever played.
When it comes down to it the Original DS just didn’t have enough awesome games for at least me. New Super Mario bros. Was the best selling game on the handheld. What was in 2nd place?
That’s right Nintendogs.
Brain Age was awesome at the time at least. Then of course my favorite Dragon Quest game of all time is on there IX.
Other than that if you didn’t have the original DS you couldn’t play your older games from the GBA. The introduced the DS Lite which was smaller but no longer supported Gameboy Advanced.
DS was a good system but it felt like this system ended up being just full of junk and shovelware in the end.
This design was also a throwback to one of nintendo’s oldest handheld gaming devices, the game and watch. Featuring 2 screens.
8.) Nintendo 64
The Nintendo 64, the first step into the console market featuring full 3D graphics.
The biggest problem with the Nintendo 64 era was that terrible controller, and well the 3D camera system.
Mario 64 was probably the first game to remotely do the 3D camera correctly but the N64 sure produced some flops.
I love Ocarina of time but I despise Mask of Majora. Zelda was not meant to be a timed game ever… just no.
The Nintendo 64 was the console that finally started bringing some of the PC First Person Shooters to life. Quake, Doom, Turok, and the infamous Goldeneye. Console players got their first experience or taste of what its like playing first person shooters, at least a decent port of them.
7.) Nintendo 3DS
I almost wanted to put this below the original Nintendo DS. Because, lets face it the 3D was totally a gimmick that never stuck… well with anything. Anyone remember 3D Movies and TVs?
Zelda Link Between Worlds at least done the 3D stuff correct. It never done anything to interfere with the gameplay.
Later, in the 3DS lifecycle they fixed the 3DS by releasing a ‘New’ Nintendo 3DS. (Starting the trend of terrible Nintendo Named Products.).
This fixed tons of the issues with the original 3DS, and was also much faster and still supported all the original games and Nintendo DS games.
What a system, it might’ve been higher without the terrible name and gimmick he tried to use.
6.) The Original Gameboy
The Nintendo Gameboy was almost everyone’s favorite console in 90s. For some reason my mom decided to get me the Sega Game Gear cause someone at the store told her it was going to be better.
Man was they ever wrong. I felt so left out not being able to play Tetris or all the awesome Mario games like Super Mario Land 2.
Just imagine everyone else in the world was playing Tetris on their couch, bathrooms, and on the go. Here I was stuck with Sonic Triple Trouble and 1 hour of battery life.
Tetris alone made everyone play this. I mean EVERYONE knows what tetris is. The Russian Puzzle game and the Gameboy sold like hotcakes.
To bad it doesn’t have a backlight and the screen was green. But, it didn’t matter the games and the battery life kept this thing alive for years! I believe a certain model came out that had a backlight but it was rare and not available in the US.
Amazing system, really was.
5.) The Nintendo Wii
Everyone has a Nintendo Wii Right?
Gimmicky Motion Controls barely worked, easy to manipulate with a slight of hand shake.
Somehow it worked though, and the games on it that didn’t focus totally on the worthless controls where FUN.
Both Mario Galaxy Games are tons of fun, and not to mention this finally featured the Wii Virtual Console, and online gaming finally happened for Nintendo.
Today it has to be one of the easiest softmods to do to a console, and people sell these thing dirt cheap. Why, you might ask? Because EVERYONE always has one. You can get one gave to you and find some games for dirt cheap.
The biggest problems with this system was whenever everyone let the gimmicky motion control fad die down people finally stopped buying Wiis, at least they where left with a solid gaming console that had tons of replayability.
To to mention it could play GameCube games. There is also an adapter for HDMI which is really cheap on amazon.
4.) The Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Wii U, had to crash and burn for Nintendo to finally realize they need to get their act together.
Basically the Nintendo Switch is everything that was done right for the Wii U, and subtracted all the crap and terrible name of it.
There it is, you have the Nintendo Switch.
Tons of indie game support, Tons of Awesome Nintendo 1st party games. Then they combined Portable and docking!
Most of all the Nintendo tiles have been AMAZING. I’m not a HUGE fan of Breath of the Wild, but its a solid game.
I loved Mario odyssey I thought it was a terrific title to the Mario franchise.
Nintendo still tries their silly gimmicks with this console but no where near the effect of the Wii and Wii U. Motion controls are available, but I’ve never seen anyone use them.
Honestly, the only thing “WRONG” with this console is it still can’t compete in the power that an original PS4 (not pro) and Xbox 1 (not x) bring you. But, as always Nintendo has always fit into the right slot at the right time. This is a great portable device and it gives you the option to play on your TV.
Which is perfect.
3.) Nintendo Game Boy Advance
If you are a 90s kid like myself and you love the Super Nintendo… just image for a 2nd you could play every single one of your favorite titles and more on a handheld device.
I present you the Game Boy Advance system.
It has it all, all the Mario Games, most of all the great JRPGs for the Super Nintendo have ported over to this tiny system!
Simply incredible right? Too bad before the Gameboy Advance SP there of course was no BACKLIGHT again. 3rd party companies was selling aftermarket component for this thing like crazy.
Nintendo finally wised up and said, oh maybe we should include a backlight in the newest model.
To bad they decided to drop the headphone jack… sigh. (Luckily you can buy an adapter but its annoying.)
Remakes of Metroid, Arcade ports and reimagines of Donkey Kong. This system really had it all and literally fits in your pocket.
2.) The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
It’s hard not to put the NES as the number 1 best Nintendo Console.
If it wasn’t for the little grey toaster box that we all know and love in the United States. Many of these consoles would have never even been made.
Nintendo Card Company to Arcade game Developer to Console maker. What Super Mario Bros. did to the gaming scene in the US was nothing but awesome.
The Video Game crash came to a halt as everyone was buying their first Nintendo Entertainment System. Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, and many…many more!
This 8-bit console alone should be in the history books alone as a crazy piece of technology, that was limited to what all it could do, but with Nintendo’s top notch developers was able to bring some of the best games to life.
The bad things about the NES has always been to me was the stupid 72-pin connector. Been taught to blow on a cartridge to magically get it to work. (We all know now that did nothing, and I mean nothing but maybe damage the contacts a little.)
Trying to get the pins to touch each other from the Cart to the System was a process. Seeing the screen flip back and fourth, only showing blue, freezing cause you touched it. It was all mind numbing but it made you stick with a game longer I suppose.
Many other tricks I learned at least in Eastern Kentucky was placing a Skoal Can (Smokeless Tobacco/Chew) on top of the cart and into the slot. This made the system press down even harder before and almost worked every time. The skoal can was the perfect size for this trick and something I’ll never forget.
1.) The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
It’s so hard to put into words what the SNES the Super Nintendo Entertainment System means to me.
This was my first console I actually ever owned myself as a kid.
I’d seen my cousins, and other family members playing NES, Sega Genesis, and Atari for a few years.
Growing up my parents didn’t have much but some how they scrapped enough together to get me a system, with 1 controller. I didn’t even have a video game to play for the longest time!
I eventually saved enough money or birthday money or something and ended up getting Ninja Turtle in Time for the SNES. That game was awesome. I still wish I had a copy of it to this day, or at least that original copy… that story is for another day.
The SNES done everything the NES did, except it was bigger, faster, and well better.
Playing Super Mario World in 16-bit was truly remarkable at the time, flying around the screen, dropping Yoshi into a bottomless pit.
The SNES controller was also much better than the NES rectangle controller. It today is what most systems still kind of base their controllers on, shoulder buttons, and more.
The SNES was just that the NES but SUPER. More, More More…
Whenever I look back on my video gaming as a childhood this is the only system I can say that I probably enjoyed more playing than a computer, and that my friends is a hard accomplishment.
I hope you enjoyed this list, leave a comment or join up in the discord and we can discuss our favorite Nintendo Systems together!
As always you can follow me on twitter where I’ll be tweeting about Retro and Classic games let me know and I’ll give a follow back!