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Ranking Every Nintendo Home Console

Jan 20, 2014

Believe it or not, Nintendo has been around for over 100 years. They specialized in making trading cards before eventually switching it up, entering the video game business. Nintendo had experimented with consoles with their 'Color TV Game' machines (just a few hundred were made for Japan only) but it was the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1983 (1985 in North America) that Nintendo and the video game industry would explode.

With the release of the Wii U, Nintendo is now on their 6th home console. All have been good, but which were the best? Keep reading to see how Kidzworld ranked them.

Nintendo has existed for over 100 years.Nintendo has existed for over 100 years.Courtesy of Nintendo

Unranked - Wii U

Release year: 2012
Notable Games: Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, LEGO City Undercover

Wii UWii UCourtesy of Nintendo

The Wii U is still in its infancy as a console on the market so I'm not going to put a number to it just yet. It's been a very slow 14 months for the Wii U after what was a pretty decent launch. With great titles a little to few and far between at the moment. A lack of 3rd party support means a drought in big titles from other developers outside of Nintendo.

Wii U Commercial


Thankfully Nintendo's 1st party teams always deliver great software. So far we have gotten Pikmin 3 and Super Mario 3D World and the new Super Smash Bros and Zelda are being developed as we speak. On top of the great Nintendo titles, the Wii U's 'Miiverse' is an incredible place to connect with other Nintendo gamers. I was stuck on a Super Mario Bros. U boss, so I quickly went into Miiverse, asked a question on the Mario boards, and in seconds another Nintendo fan had replied and given me a tip. Miiverse is easily the Wii U's greatest feature.

The Wii U Gamepad is actually really cool as well. Being able to play most games on the Gamepad with the hit of a button is convenient when another family members wants to watch TV.

Let's give it another year before we officially rank the Wii U, allowing time for its software library to fill out.

#5 - Nintendo Gamecube

Release year: 2001
Notable Games: Super Mario Sunshine, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Metroid Prime

Nintendo GamecubeNintendo GamecubeCourtesy of Nintendo

The 4th home console release for Nintendo, Gamecube often gets a bad rep thanks to its lunch box like design (complete with handle to carry) and the fact that it is also Nintendo's lowest selling home console. But looking past the poor sales you'll find a Nintendo console with some fantastic games.

That list of fantastic games includes The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Eternal Darkness, Resident Evil 4 and arguably the best Super Smash Bros. game in the series. Gamecube's software library may have lacked quantity in the long run, but the quality of titles were high and despite the controllers awkward asthetics, it was actually really comfortable in the hands.

Gamecube Commercial


#4 - Nintendo Entertainment System

Release year: 1985
Notable games: The Legend Of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Metroid, Excitebike

Nintendo Entertainment SystemNintendo Entertainment SystemCourtesy of Nintendo

Nintendo's first true foray into the dedicated home console business, The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), helped rejuvenate a dying video game industry. It didn't hurt that the graphics were eye popping (at the time) and if you were lucky to get a deluxe set, the console came with the greatest pack-in ever; Mario Bros/Duck Hunt Combo (Lightgun included!).

The NES was a smash success with great games being released on a regular basis. I have extremely fond memories of the NES as this was the game console that made me fall in love with video games.

NES Power Glove Commercial


#3 - Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Release year: 1991
Notable games: Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country, A Link To The Past, Final Fantasy VI & every other Squaresoft RPG

Super Nintendo Entertainment SystemSuper Nintendo Entertainment SystemCourtesy of Nintendo

Nintendo couldn't have named their second console any better. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was exactly what you expected from it's title. It was everything we loved about the NES but with twice as much power running through its chips and an improved gamepad upon which to master our games with.

The Snes also features what is possibly the greatest collection of Japanese RPG's out there including titles such as Chrono Cross.

SNES Commercial


#2 - Wii

Release year: 2006
Notable games: Super Mario Galaxy 2, The Last Story, Skyward Sword, Wii Sports

WiiWiiCourtesy of Nintendo

No one expected what was coming from Nintendo after the Gamecube. Code named the Revolution until finally being officially branded as Wii, Nintendo's 5th home console made its debut on the stages of E3 2006 and ushered in a new way to play games.

Motion control, thanks to the new Wii Mote and of course Wii Sports, changed things for gaming. It simplified what was a barrier for many which was the gamepad itself. Gamepads over the years had grown intimidating for newcomers, thanks to dual analog sticks and up to 24 button inputs but because playing Wii Sports was so simple and intuitive, everyone understood how to play in a matter of minutes.

How successful was the Wii at attracting new gamers? My Mom bought a Wii...My Mom! And so did all my friends moms, because they all loved the Bowling in Wii Sports. EVERYONE bought a Wii. The Wii is Nintendo's best selling console which ranks it overall as the 3rd best selling console of all time.

Wii Commercial


#1 - Nintendo 64

Release year: 1996
Notable Games: Wave-Race, Goldeneye, Mario Kart 64, Ocarina Of Time, Super Mario 64, Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, Smash Bros, Blast Corps. Star Fox 64, Turok and more...

Nintendo 64Nintendo 64Courtesy of Nintendo

The day Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64, gamers, journalists and even other game developers were in absolute awe. Nintendo's 3rd home console was such a massive leap in graphical prowess over the Snes, almost to an unexpected level for many. We went from playing games constructed of 2D sprites to suddenly seeing a fully 3D, polygonal Mario. Not only that but Nintendo had the new gamepad which featured an analog stick (The first "useful" one for consoles), allowing characters to be controlled in 3D spaces with ease and grace.

N64 Commercial


The Nintendo 64 with its built-in 4 controller ports was also the first console that emphasized playing with friends with many of its games featuring epic 4 player split-screen, easily one of the best was Goldeneye -- which saw a re-release on Wii -- with its insanely fun, trend setting 4 player local deathmatch. But remember, "No Odd-Job allowed, he's cheap!".

So there you have it, Kidzworld's rankings of every Nintendo home console. Remember, this is just an opinion. There is no real "Best" console in a literal sense. It's all a matter of taste and your preference in the games and applications offered by each console.

Until next time, Game On!

Edit: KW game fan, at_ralph, brought up that some older gen machines featured analog joysticks and he is correct. N64 is often credited with being the first useful one, hence its mention in my rankings. I've updated my wording to be more clear :)

Have Your Say!

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