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Added by Derron on 10 Sep 2010 12:22
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Top 25 Game Consoles

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Magnavox Odyssey - Game Hardware
The Magnavox was the very first videogame console ever released, predating even the Atari Pong. A hybrid of both analog and digital circuitry, the Odyssey is the absolute starting point for all subsequent gaming platforms. Although lacking color video output or sound, the Magnavox still managed to sell over 300,000 units. The Odyssey used a cartridge system, although the games more closely resembled computer chips than actual games. The controllers were essentially boxes with horizontal and vertical axis knobs on both sides with very dense wires between them and the base console.

The Odyssey also launched the very first home light gun ever produced, called the Shooting Gallery. The games for the Odyssey consisted of straightforward, single-function titles like Baseball, Basketball, Ski, and more. Due to the simplicity of the console, there weren’t any third-party games designed for it. But the precedent established by the Odyssey paved the way for subsequent systems -- a legacy that has secured the console a place in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Notable Games-
Shooting Gallery
Tennis
Baseball
Wipeout
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 4 IMDB Rating 0
Kasumi Ninja - Atari Jaguar
With the failure of the Atari 7800, and with the Atari Lynx on the losing side of the fight against Nintendo's Game Boy, Atari gave the videogame console market one last shot with the Atari Jaguar. The company decided to focus on the numbers game in attracting the gamer: where the Super NES and Genesis were touting the cutting edge of 16-bit technology, the Atari Jaguar surpassed this with whopping 64-bits of raw processing power, the first of its kind in the home market!

Marketing speak aside, the system was, indeed, a capable piece of hardware when compared to the generation it was intended to compete with: it definitely surpassed the Genesis and Super NES in 2D and 3D capabilities. The controller revisited gaming ideals of a previous gaming generation with its keypad and game specific overlays, something familiar to those that grew up on the Intellivision, Atari 5200 or Colecovision. It also offered the potential for CD gaming with a future add-on that seamlessly docked right on top of the main system.

Its claim as the most powerful console was, however, short-lived, as Sony and SEGA were just around the corner with their PlayStation and Saturn consoles. Even 3DO, with its own CD-based gaming hardware, managed to show the market that having 64 bits of processing power doesn't mean much if you don't have the games to back those numbers up.

During its life, the Jaguar managed to make a few cases for a purchase with a couple of solid efforts from id software, Rebellion, and psychedelic visual artist Jeff Minter. Atari's mismanagement of the hardware and company, its lack of internal development teams, its inability to secure key third-party developers, a disastrously terrible pack-in title called Cybermorph, and the fact that the Jaguar system was insanely difficult to program efficiently all played a part in the system's demise.

Notable Games-
Tempest 2000
One of the earliest games on the system was easily one of the best: Jeff Minter gave the Atari arcade classic a psychedelic update and it's one of the most energetic shooters of its time.
Aliens vs. Predator
First-person shooters were slowly advancing with the hardware, and Rebellion managed to come up with one of the eeriest designs that featured three playable characters.
Doom
Another first-person shooter, the Jaguar port produced from iD was almost as good as you could get on the high-end PCs, even featuring network play.
Iron Soldier
Giant mechanized robots are awesome, and so is this game where you could topple entire buildings with the power of your enormously powerful rockets.
Power Drive Rally
Though it didn't show off the 3D power of the Jaguar, this was one of the most technically advanced top-down racers ever created.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 0
Atari 5200 - Game Hardware
The Atari 5200 was designed and marketed as Atari's answer to the Intellivision, but soon after its release in 1982, it became a more direct competitor to the Colecovision instead, which released that same year. The 5200 had some notable feature variations over its competitors, however, such as its analog joystick, four controller ports, and start, pause, and reset buttons. Based off of the Atari 400/800 home computer systems, the Atari 5200 came with a 1.79 MHz processor, 16KB of RAM, and was capable of producing an image with a maximum resolution of 320x192 pixels. While that may not sound like a lot now with consoles like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 boasting high-end processors and video output of 1920x1080 resolution, but at the time it blew away the Intellivision's sub-1MHz processor.

Inevitably, the Atari 5200 was crushed beneath the technological weight of the ColecoVision, which boasted a jaw-dropping 3.58MHz processor, but when it went the way of the dinosaur, the Atari 5200 left behind the its legacy of four controller ports console design and, of course, the analog joystick. Sure, the Atari 5200 analog stick may have been terrible, but every great idea has to start somewhere, and in the case of the analog controller, it was here.

Notable Games-
Montezuma's Revenge
A labyrinthian puzzle game, wherein players collect jewels and avoid traps.
Super Breakout
The classic basis for what would become a BlackBerry user's favorite game: Brick Breaker.
Space Invaders
A timeless port, but made all the better by the 3DO's analog joystick.
Zaxxon
The first game ever to employ multiple, semi-three dimensional perspectives.
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
Narrowly escape the clutches of crocodiles, scorpions, and snakes as you romp through the jungle.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 0
Panasonic 3DO - Game Hardware
The 3DO may not be regarded as one of the most monetarily successful systems in gaming history, but it left its mark on the industry all the same. Released by Panasonic in 1993, the 3DO (aka 3DO Interactive Multiplayer) was a 32-bit, disc-based system that had the technological grit to compete with the leading consoles of its time -- the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, etc -- but was inevitably stifled by its lack of third-party support and high launch price (nearly $700). The system could support up to eight controllers and console expansions such as memory cards, modems, video cartridges and more.

Despite its astronomical asking price, however, the 3DO boasted an impressive library of games and a wide variety of peripherals. Although the system was lacking in the exclusive games department, it did offer some of the most popular iterations of many big-franchise ports, such as Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. The 3DO was also among one of the first systems to undergo several hardware iterations, produced independently by several big name manufacturers, such as Sanyo and Goldstar. Other innovations of the 3DO include daisy-chainable controllers, and surround sound audio support.

Notable Games-
GEX
Side scrolling gecko adventure. What's not to like?
Star Control 2
One of the earliest and most popular console-based sci-fi RPGs.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Although not the most popular Street Fighter games, SSF2T sold the most copies on the 3DO.
Road Rash
Sweet motorcycle thrashing goodness.
John Madden Football
A port from the Apple II, John Madden Football changed the face of console sports games forever.
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Magnavox Odyssey 2 - Game Hardware
Ralph Baer's original Odyssey is the machine that started the home videogame industry. Others may have popularized it beyond measure, such as the Atari 2600 and NES, but the Odyssey series is truly the genesis. The Odyssey was limited, though (all games were onboard, the paddle-like controller was clumsy compared to the joystick), and so Magnavox, the manufacturer of the console, pressed forward with the Odyssey 2. It aped the blockbuster Atari 2600 -- now its chief rival in 1978 -- in many ways, such as using the then-traditional one-button joystick and interchangeable cartridges. While the Odyssey 2's resolution is lower than the 2600, the console surpassed Atari’s in a handful of technical areas -- such as the out-of-the-box inclusion of a full keyboard for easy programming and edutainment software and the availability of an optional speech synthesizer.

The Odyssey 2 hosted more games that the Odyssey, too. Magnavox produced just over 50 titles for the machine, including the Pac-Man clone KC Munchkin, one of the system's top-sellers. Far more intriguing, though, are the Master Strategy games which shipped with board game accessories that were actually quite decorative.

Despite the improvements, the Odyssey 2 never quite caught on like the Atari 2600. Even so, the brand did enable Magnavox to move approximately one million systems in North America with approximately one million more sold overseas in markets like Europe and South America.

Although the Odyssey 2 has neither the influence cachet of the original Odyssey nor the runaway popularity of the Atari 2600, it remains an important machine because of its general legacy. Without Baer's original invention, it is likely that an entire industry would never have happened.

Notable Games-
K.C. Munchkin
A Pac-Man clone so superior to the Atari 2600 port that it was sued right off shelves.
K.C. Krazy Chase!
Mixing Pac-Man with Centipede, this Crazy Chase was just different enough to avoid Atari's ire.
Quest for the Rings
Magnavox's videogame-integrated board game experiment was a bold idea and this "Lord of the Rings" riff was easily the best.
Freedom Fighters!
This manic space shooter was a serious thumb-number that took advantage of all the Ody 2 had to offer.
Pick Axe Pete!
Every system needed a Donkey Kong-like game and so Pete's ascendancy to the top of the screen became the Ody 2's very playable Jumpman clone.
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People who added this item 35 Average listal rating (21 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0
SEGA Master System - Game Hardware
The SEGA Master System is the videogame console that almost could. Despite its technical superiority to the dominant NES, the machine lacked just one critical thing: Mario. Without this icon and the emergence of Sonic the Hedgehog still five years on the horizon, the Master System ran a far distant second to the NES during the 8-bit generation -- the phoenix-like resurrection of videogames following the Atari 2600-lead industry crash.

The Master System was essentially a conduit for SEGA to get its arcade hits into the home. Even though the Master System did not have the horsepower to completely replicate the experience of SEGA's enviable stable of arcade smashes like OutRun and Space Harrier, there was no other place to play these games outside of an arcade. But SEGA also released plenty of great, original games for the console over its lifespan, including Alex Kidd in Miracle World and one of the greatest role-playing games of all-time, Phantasy Star. However, thanks to Nintendo's iron-grip agreements, few third-party publishers ever supported the machine and software came out at a very frustrating pace. Months could go by between major releases and that made a dud on the Master System feel even more painful.

One of the Master System's quirkiest (and coolest) features, though, was the 3D Glasses peripheral. The thick, wraparound shades may have looked a little clunky from the outside, but the effect was positively stunning. Sadly, like the Master System itself, the peripheral was under-supported with just over a half-dozen games, including Maze Hunter 3D and Space Harrier 3D.

Despite its narrow mass audience, the Master System had -- and still has -- a very loyal fan base. Thankfully, the thumping SEGA received with the Master System did not daunt its quest for the living room, leading to the Genesis, which corrected most of the Master System's mistakes and gave Nintendo a run for its money for the majority of the 16-bit generation.

Notable Games-
Phantasy Star
SEGA's answer to Final Fantasy took gamers across the universe and launched an enduring RPG franchise.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
For Master System fans, Alex Kidd was just as good as Mario. History's proven otherwise, but Miracle World is still a wonderful hop-and-bop play.
Wonder Boy in Monster Land
Wonder Boy was recast as the hero of a sprawling action-adventure that looked (then) like a zillion bucks.
Fantasy Zone
SEGA's lighthearted shooter remains one of the best side-scrolling blasters thanks to inventive bosses and a then-innovative shop system.
Space Harrier
People bought the Master System for ports of SEGA's arcade games and none of them shined on the SMS like Space Harrier.
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People who added this item 9 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 4.8 IMDB Rating 0
NeoGeo - NEOGEO
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(List made by IGN.com)
We all remember our first videogame console -- the moment we brought it home, the first time we powered it on, and the instant we first played a game that radiated our screen with beautiful graphic goodness. If you're anything like us, your first console was only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and what began as a one-system household quickly evolved into a gamer's Mecca with consoles littering your living room. In the spirit of our healthy gaming obsession, IGN has forged a list of the Top 25 Videogame Consoles of All Time, where we have selected and ranked the most influential systems in the history of gaming to be revealed five consoles at a time for five straight days. While it may seem like a simple task on paper, sifting through 37+ years of console history for the best and brightest, while getting IGN's editorial staff to agree on one comprehensive list was an undertaking for the ages.

Each console on the list ahead was selected for its influence on the industry and the gaming culture as a whole, with special consideration for their benchmark titles, peripherals, monetary success, and total hardware sold. But beyond sales figures and critical reception, one of the biggest contributing factors in our ranking process was our lasting impressions of each console, and how it contributed to our love for gaming and inspired us to become involved in the industry.

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