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Nintendo game consoles have a great history dating back to the 1980s. Since then, there have been a number of great Nintendo game consoles of various shapes and sizes that have been among the finest in console history. Nintendo game consoles have had the advantage of having a plethora of great exclusive Nintendo games such as the Mario game series, Zelda, Metroid, and Mario Kart to name a few, but in addition to this they have offered some sparkling innovations. These are the top five Nintendo game consoles.
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Five: The Super NES
The Super NES (otherwise known as the SNES) was a 16-bit game console that was a successor to the NES. It was undoubtedly the best 16-bit game console with superior hardware to the other alternatives such as the Sega Genesis. It was also one of the first game consoles that could support 3D games thanks to its super FX chip that was used for exciting 3D games such as Star Fox.
Donkey Kong Country was one of the console’s outstanding game titles. It revived Donkey Kong games, and showcased what the console could do with its pre-rendered 3D graphics, more comparable to 32-bit game consoles such as the PlayStation. Near perfect arcade conversions of hit arcade games such as Street Fighter 2 also further highlighted that the SNES was the most exciting game console of its time. Aside from this, most of the old Nintendo favorites such as Mario, Zelda and Metroid were included on the console with some great games such as Super Mario World and Zelda Link to the Past being among the best on the SNES.
Had it not been for some of the console’s overpriced game cartridges, which in dollars today might have amounted to something like $90, the SNES may even have been included higher on this list.
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Four: The Game Boy
In 1989 the original Game Boy arrived as the first handheld game console that supported multiple game titles. It was also the first handheld game console that really emerged as a genuine alternative to non-handheld consoles. The Game Boy was a great portable game console that had an extensive library of games, but it was Tetris that was the console’s killer app. Having been developed in the USSR Tetris was not even Nintendo’s own game, but as Nintendo had gained handheld rights for the game it was included with the Game Boy and many still regard it to be one of the best console games ever.
Other great Nintendo games such as Super Mario Land, Super Mario Land 2 and Metroid 2 were also some of the highlights of the Game Boy’s game library. Although the Game Boy’s more limited hardware with its non-color display was quickly eclipsed by alternative color handheld consoles, the Game Boy remained the longest lasting and most durable portable game console with the longest battery support. This longer battery support ensured that the Game Boy did not fizzle out after an hour or two. As such, it remained the foremost portable game console up until the late 1990s when Nintendo replaced it with the Game Boy Color.
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Three: The Nintendo DS
The Game Boy was a great handheld, but the Nintendo DS is Nintendo’s best handheld game console. As has been noted, the Game Boy had its limitations and it was the Nintendo DS that made some of the best progress at bridging the gap with non-portable game consoles. The touch screen and stylus pen were the console’s great innovations, and its 3D hardware also took handheld gaming to exciting new heights. As such, it had a number of great games such as Nintendogs, New Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart DS.
The Nintendo DS phenomenon has been furthered with a number of redesigned models such as the Nintendo DS Lite and Nintendo DSi which have more multimedia feature such as digital cameras and audio players, as well as hardware enhancements. Today the Nintendo DS has eclipsed the Game Boy as the highest grossing handheld in history, and is also one of the most popular game consoles generally.
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Two: The Wii
The Nintendo Wii has revived Nintendo game consoles after the somewhat lightweight GameCube. Although the Wii does not have the best hardware of the current generation of game consoles, the Wii Remote has been one of the outstanding console innovations of recent times. This wireless controller has indeed been something of a revolution, which was the original codename for the Wii, adding a new dimension to the console.
The Wii Remote has given the console an extra dimension which combined with some of the console’s great game titles such as Wii Sport, Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, New Super Mario Bros Wii and Mario Kart Wii has ensured the Wii has continued the great legacy of Nintendo game consoles. Forget about the PS3 or Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii has emerged as the game console of choice.
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One: The NES
And the best Nintendo game console is, drum roll please… the NES! The NES is one of the most historically significant game consoles, and was also Nintendo’s first big console breakthrough. The NES arrived in the 1980s after a period when game consoles were in decline in the United States, but with its debut Mario game title Super Mario Bros the NES began to revitalize console gaming.
Super Mario Bros was the first home console game to star the plucky plumber just over 25 years ago, and the Super Mario platform game series is still going strong today. Further to this, a number of the great Nintendo game series that have been continued on more advanced Nintendo game consoles, such as Legend of Zelda and Metroid, first began on the NES. As such, the NES dominated the 1980s until it was succeeded by the Super NES. Overall, the NES was not just Nintendo’s finest game console, but is perhaps the best game console of any generation.
28 years on from the NES Nintendo has remained at the forefront of console gaming. This is in no small part due to these five great Nintendo game consoles. For further details on Nintendo consoles the Bright Hub Guide to Nintendo Consoles is worth noting.
- Images from publisher websites.