NES vs SNES vs N64 vs GameCube vs Wii vs Wii U vs Switch

I made a similar thread to this about Sony consoles, but I learnt so much about them by you discussing it that I thought because Nintendo had such a large number of home consoles, it was worth discussing too. (I did not include the Colour TV Game as it was released in Japan only. Also not including handhelds).

As with the Playstation thread, which do you think was the best for its time and what is your reasoning - taking into consideration the factors at the time of release? Again, you can use any criteria you want (for example, game library, sales, impact on gaming, innovation, effect on you, hardware, etc etc). It doesn't matter how subjective or objective your view is because it's interesting.

The PS2 seemed to be the most popular choice for Sony, with the PS1 being a close second. I would be interested to see what people come up with for Nintendo, although it looks like the Switch is doing pretty well and it may be too early to say for that one. It's up to you though.

I'll go with the SNES. Its the only retro gaming console I keep coming back to again and again. It had some of the best games ever made (Super Metroid, Final Fantasy VI, A Link to the Past, Chrono Trigger) and they all still hold up today. Granted I never owned a gamecube or switch but plenty of friends owned the GC and I played it often, it would probably be #2.

Radically different eras of gaming my friend.

NES and SNES were predominantly 2D Side Scrollers.

Wii is all about the Motion Controls.

Its not that fair to compare each.

Samtemdo8:
Radically different eras of gaming my friend.

NES and SNES were predominantly 2D Side Scrollers.

Wii is all about the Motion Controls.

Its not that fair to compare each.

That is why I said 'for its time' and that you can use any criteria you want (except to take into consideration the factors at the time of release). You can use the impact on gaming, the personal impact on you, hardware, games library, sales, replayability, innovation ...anything - objectively or subjectively. It's just a bit of fun. ;)

NES was decent. Master System was technically superior and a much bigger commercial success in Europe and Latin America but NES destroyed it in North America and Japan. Plus, NES had Mario, Zelda and Kirby among others

SNES was phenomenal but so was it's competition. And said healthy competition gave us an absolute golden age of gaming. Has some absolutely amazing games such as Mario, Zelda and Kirby.

N64 was a continuation of the golden era (now with amazing 3D platformers and 4 player multiplayer games). Smashed by the competition though (or at least one of them). Also played host to some terrific titles like Mario, Zelda and Kirby.

Gamecube had some unbelievable games too but again, was smashed by all but the Dreamcast commercially. Some quality games like Metroid Prime and Resident Evil 4 to compliment games such as Mario, Zelda and Kirby.

Wii brought back the commercial success by pretty much shunning games for gamers in favour of a wider audience. Not all hope was lost though - they did at least start to embrace HD and were good enough to provide us with some traditional games too such as Mario, Zelda and Kirby.

Wii U was a complete 180 from it's predicessor by being a complete commercial flop. But it was a critical success at least - Had some excellent third party titles such as bayonetta to compliment a diverse range of first party stuff including the likes of Mario, Zelda and Kirby.

Personal ranking?

1. SNES
2. N64
3. Gamecube
4. Wii U
5. NES

DNF: Wii

For 2D, NES was a big deal for sure, but I much preferred the SNES. It was the ultimate 2D console, with near CD quality sound and even early 3D effects with the FX chip. Its library was deep and mostly quality.

For 3D, even with its memory limitations I'd personally still have to go with the N64. It revolutionized 3D gameplay and Rare was still at the top of their game churning out some great platforming work, especially at a time when 3D platforming was in its infancy. It was mostly a 1st party console, but still had everything from Mario to Conker's BFD to F-Zero to Blast Corps to Star Fox to KI: Gold. The controller wasn't great for all genres but overall it pioneered 3D gaming more than anyone at the time.

GameCube was a great console but was more of a refined N64. At that point the competition had quite a leg up software-wise.

I won't even comment on everything after as I didn't have much experience with it.

SNES will always be my favorite.

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Well the N64 has a very close place in my heart as being the first 3D console I ever had, and plus it had Turok, so instantly it gains 500,000,000 points.

And everything else I don't really give a toss about unless handhelds count.

Statistically, NES, because it was responsible for opening the flood gates of console gaming after Atari ruined the party for everybody else. They couldn't even call it a video game console because those were stigmatized that bad by Atari. No, it was an "Entertainment System".

Personally though, the N64, hands down.

I'm kind of limited in experience here, as the N64 was the last console I seriously gamed on, but I have to go with the SNES. Not only because it hosted Final Fantasy 2 and 3, two of my favorite games of all time, but because it proved so versatile as developers managed to push its hardware in ways even Nintendo didn't seem to imagine possible in the beginning.

On the question of "which do you think was the best for its time"

6) Wii U (a flop)
5) Gamecube (similar to the 64 - good console, but completely overwhelmed by the PS2, in hindsight feels archaic due to the lack of media support)
4) Nintendo 64 (played second fiddle to the PS1, but at least represented a big shift from the previous era)
3) NES (historical role post-Atari)
2) SNES (built on what the NES did)
1) Nintendo Wii (because of its sheer market penetration)

Too early to rank the Switch.

On the question of personal ranking:

4) Wii (bleh)
3) SNES (never owned, but did play at a friend's house, and has some games I've played in recent years)
2) N64
1) Gamecube

Can't comment on the others.

A Nintendo thread without Yoshi? He must be sleeping.

Anyway, for me it's hard to argue that SNES isn't the best Nintendo console ever. Now don't get me wrong, every system has it's gems. But SNES was a powerhouse of gems. All that system did was shit diamonds for god's sake.

From great RPGs like Earthbound, Chrono trigger, FF 4 & 6. To amazing platformers from the Mario Worlds to the Donkey Kong Countries. To great racing title's like OG Mario Kart and F-Zero. IMO the only good Starfox game.

I sadly can't say the same from any other Nintendo system.

I thought the N64 was a trash heap compared to Playstation. Gamecube was a joke compared to PS2. And then Nintendo lost it's fucking mind.

I honestly think the only reason we got the Wii and everything that came afterwards was because Nintendo realized it wasn't going to match up or directly compete with Sony or Microsoft anymore, especially in terms of raw gaming power. So since Nintendo started as a toy company, they decide to go back to their roots and make video games into toys again. That's were I believe the Wii really came from, a motion controlled gimmicky-toy of a console designed to take things in a different direction.

Ever since the Wii, Nintendo has relied on gimmicks over gaming efforts for their systems. Even today, the Switch is by far the weakest power console on the market and relies on the portability gimmick to stand out. So far it seems to be working, but I wonder if the Switch would have had nearly as good of a public reception if Zelda hadn't been a launch title.

It's like discussing which of your kids you love more. Each one has a place in my heart... except the second Wii model (why no backward compatibility!?).

Commanderfantasy:
A Nintendo thread without Yoshi? He must be sleeping.

Quick! Keep the thread in a positive tone before he awakens!

I would definitely need to go SNES. Out of the Nintendo consoles, I only had NES and SNES until the Wii came out and I picked up one of those. While I had far more games for the NES, the SNES just had better games. I got to play stuff on the N64 and GameCube, and there were some real standout titles, but to me the SNES had an overall better library of games than any of Nintendo's other offerings.

CaitSeith:

Commanderfantasy:
A Nintendo thread without Yoshi? He must be sleeping.

Quick! Keep the thread in a positive tone before he awakens!

You act as though I might be invoking Cthulu. :D

Commanderfantasy:

CaitSeith:

Commanderfantasy:
A Nintendo thread without Yoshi? He must be sleeping.

Quick! Keep the thread in a positive tone before he awakens!

You act as though I might be invoking Cthulu. :D

image

Yoshi178:
snip

I?m surprised you don?t have an opinion on this if you love Nintendo a lot - or are they all equally good in your eyes?

dscross:

Yoshi178:
snip

I?m surprised you don?t have an opinion on this if you love Nintendo a lot - or are they all equally good in your eyes?

Ever tried to choose a favorite puppy?

dscross:

Yoshi178:
snip

I?m surprised you don?t have an opinion on this if you love Nintendo a lot - or are they all equally good in your eyes?

they are good for different reasons.

for example, N64 imo, probably had the highest quality games library but the library was really small. but what was there was fantastic.

Wii had some great games and is even home to one of my favourite games of all time, Xenoblade Chronicles. however the quality of other Nintendo platforms is better than the Wii library imo. that said, the Wii also has the highest quantity of great games imo.

i own more games for my Wii than i do for any other platform.

currently, the Gamecube has the best mixture of both N64 type quality games, but also has a pretty high quantity of great games.

Each Nintendo console could be considered "the best" for different reasons. The Switch hasn't been out long enough to be worth involving in this conversation imo though.

SNES in my heart is always going to be my favorite console. Personally, I think that the DS library is stronger (if I'm trying to be objective) and the DS mostly built on the best parts of the SNES.

But here's my case for the SNES:

The controller - It's the basis for all modern controllers. Comfy where the NES pad was not. You can say that the NES is, but it's not. It made the D-pad an essential part of all controllers, but the SNES is a modern controller built for 2D.

Games - Every franchise that made the NES popular was basically better on the SNES. I might argue Kirby peaked on NES though. UN Squadron was the first time I remember that an arcade game was actually BETTER on console than in arcade. Also, the launch window months were pretty solid.

Price - Same as the NES but better in every way.

Art styles - It was just the right amount of resolution and colors to allow many different, complex art styles to depending on the game including Chrono Trigger's DBZ art direction. The many art styles were so strong that it's the basis of virtually all pixel art today.

Music - Just enough channels to open fidelity from the NES with enough restrictions to demand creative solutions. Miles ahead of the clanging of the Genesis and noise channel rhythm section of the NES, it has some of the best chip tunes to this day. Like the art styles, it's the basis of all chip tunes and retro style gaming music we here today.
Even Undertale which pulls its art style more from the Commodore, pulls its tunes from the SNES era.

NES is the framework for modern consoles but the SNES was the refinement of home consoles into things that still persist today through GBA and DS eras and into PC indies.

Yoshi178:

dscross:

Yoshi178:
snip

I?m surprised you don?t have an opinion on this if you love Nintendo a lot - or are they all equally good in your eyes?

they are good for different reasons.

for example, N64 imo, probably had the highest quality games library but the library was really small. but what was there was fantastic.

Wii had some great games and is even home to one of my favourite games of all time, Xenoblade Chronicles. however the quality of other Nintendo platforms is better than the Wii library imo. that said, the Wii also has the highest quantity of great games imo.

i own more games for my Wii than i do for any other platform.

currently, the Gamecube has the best mixture of both N64 type quality games, but also has a pretty high quantity of great games.

Each Nintendo console could be considered "the best" for different reasons. The Switch hasn't been out long enough to be worth involving in this conversation imo though.

I loved the N64, GameCube, SNES and NES games. I feel like the Wii and Wii U games I can take or leave mostly, except the Mario games and Sonic Colours which were pretty decent (I never played Xenoblade - I have it on 3DS but I haven't got around to it. Most of the Wii Zelda games I didn't like as much as the older stuff). It seems like the Switch could have a good library from the trend we're seeing at the mo. Do you have an opinion on the 2D consoles?

dscross:

Yoshi178:

dscross:

I?m surprised you don?t have an opinion on this if you love Nintendo a lot - or are they all equally good in your eyes?

they are good for different reasons.

for example, N64 imo, probably had the highest quality games library but the library was really small. but what was there was fantastic.

Wii had some great games and is even home to one of my favourite games of all time, Xenoblade Chronicles. however the quality of other Nintendo platforms is better than the Wii library imo. that said, the Wii also has the highest quantity of great games imo.

i own more games for my Wii than i do for any other platform.

currently, the Gamecube has the best mixture of both N64 type quality games, but also has a pretty high quantity of great games.

Each Nintendo console could be considered "the best" for different reasons. The Switch hasn't been out long enough to be worth involving in this conversation imo though.

I loved the N64, GameCube, SNES and NES games. I feel like the Wii and Wii U games I can take or leave mostly, except the Mario games and Sonic Colours which were pretty decent (I never played Xenoblade - I have it on 3DS but I haven't got around to it. Most of the Wii Zelda games I didn't like as much as the older stuff). It seems like the Switch could have a good library from the trend we're seeing at the mo. Do you have an opinion on the 2D consoles?

i was too little to appreciate the NES and SNES. my first consoles were my PS1, N64 and Game Boy Color.

the Switch, even though I don't own one. But I can sense some sort of childhood memory trying to force a decision here for me that does not add up at all, and that can fuck right off into a multi-lane pile-up of fuel tankers and school buses

it has successfully modernised and combined Nintendo's strengths, while giving access to their past libraries. So it has been very impressive so far and i feel confident in guessing the future of its' prosperity, because I don't care enough to worry about being perceived as wrong

Yoshi178:
i was too little to appreciate the NES and SNES. my first consoles were my PS1, N64 and Game Boy Color.

Surely you must have played some of the games on the Nintendo Virtual Console or brought out as games on the newer consoles? Like some of the amazing SNES RPGs like Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Earthbound, Terranigma or FF6 - for example?

dscross:

Yoshi178:
i was too little to appreciate the NES and SNES. my first consoles were my PS1, N64 and Game Boy Color.

Surely you must have played some of the games on the Nintendo Virtual Console or brought out as games on the newer consoles? Like some of the amazing SNES RPGs like Chrono Trigger, Secret Of Mana, Earthbound, Terranigma or FF6 - for example?

started Earthbound but i'm only up to the 2nd town. haven't touched the others.

i have played stuff like Mario World, DKC and Super Metroid though.

The NES is the only Nintendo console I have ever owned.

I was born in '92 so I missed the NES just about. Just as I was old enough to start gaming, my dad had moved on from his NES and was super into the SNES. Some of my best memories in gaming are from the SNES. Super Mario World; Yoshi's Island; TLOZ: A Link to the Past; Harvest Moon; Mario Kart; Donkey Kong Country; Zombies Ate My Neighbours; Mega Man X and Super Metroid. Hell I played Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 on All Stars before I played the originals on NES. The only console coming close for me was the GameCube. It had a phenomenal library and I really got into a lot of the GBA cross play features for Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles; Pok?mon Colosseum; TLOZ: Four Swords Adventures. Not to mention hours I spent with friends playing Super Smash Bros. Melee; Kirby Air Ride or Mario Kart: Double Dash.

It's really close at the top but, here goes:

1. GameCube - When the GameCube launched my school holidays were spent with a group of my close friends and we just went crazy on four player titles. Some of the best times I ever had on a home console.
2. SNES - My first console. It's like a childhood sweetheart, whatever bad there was I've blocked out over time. It was colourful, it was smooth and it introduced me to RPGs.
3. Wii - I feel like I liked the Wii for a lot of the reasons I liked the GameCube, but it also had Metroid 3, Super Smash Bros. Brawl and functioned as two consoles.
4. N64 - I like my N64, I'd go as far as to say I loved it. I was never into Goldeneye because most of my playtime at this age was solo. But it was here that I played Ocarina of Time; Mario 64; Star Fox Lylat Wars; Banjo-Kazooie and F-Zero X.
5. NES - I feel like if I played it first, I'd probably rank it higher. But after only ever having played it after getting an N64, I feel like I can't judge it accurately. But personally, this is where it ranks.

I never bought into the WiiU and I won't have a Switch until June, so I've left them out of the rankings.

Out of the ones I've used, Wii U>Original vertical Wii>GameCube>N64>SNES>Switch>NES>Wii Family>Wii mini.

I think my favorites will always be the GameCube and SNES followed closely by the N64 and NES. I haven't had the opportunity to try a Switch yet.

For me, this is really a case of SNES vs N64.

The NES, while important to the history of videogames, isn't worth going back to today. The games on it are far too primitive to be considered "the best", IMO.

The GameCube is...alright. I know some of you guys love it, but I just can't. Not after seeing the competition.

The Wii had a fantastic library. It's just a shame the actual system was a pile of shit.

Buying a Wii U might be my biggest mistake as a consumer so far in my life. And I bought a classic car that needs major restoration, so that's saying something.

Obligatory "It's too soon to comment on the Switch" noises.

So yeah. The SNES vs the N64.

The SNES definitely has the best controller of the two. And the best third-party support. And some awesome games to. Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country 1&2, Earthbound, Final Fantasy IV-VI, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Zelda: ALttP, F-Zero...the list goes on and on. Logically it's the best system...

...but at the same time, there's just something...special about the N64. Maybe it's because of how different it is. I mean the SNES is fantastic and well designed. The N64 isn't. At all. The controller is a joke and it was still stuck on cartridges FFS. The library is tiny as well. Yet the games it has just brilliant. Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, Paper Mario, F-Zero X, Star Fox, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, etc. Not only that but there's just...something about the N64 that makes it feel warm and welcoming.

So I'm gonna go with...the N64. And if you've skipped everything I just wrote because all anyone wants to see is a top ten (or top six in this case):

  1. N64
  2. SNES
  3. Wii
  4. GameCube
  5. NES
  6. Wii U

There you go. Peace out!

 

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