Best of ND 2013: Ranking Nintendo’s Systems

An undefinitive evaluation of the company’s consoles and handhelds.

By Joshua A. Johnston. Posted 12/26/2013 15:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

This story was selected as one of our best from 2013. It was originally published on October 25, during Issue 176.

Everyone loves a good ranking list, especially the people composing it. Not only does it put things in some sort of order, but it creates great fodder for coffee talk. Nintendo has been in the console and handheld markets for long enough that there are no fewer than 11 current and former Nintendo systems, including the current entrants, Wii U and 3DS.

I’ve set out here to rank all of Nintendo’s systems from top to bottom. In evaluating each system comparatively, I tried to look at how good the system was in the context of its time, but I also considered how the systems have held up over time. Hardware gets some mention, but obviously games are a big driver, since quality games ultimately determine how much we really take to a system.

A few notes about this list. One, revisions that use a common cartridge or disc (such as the Game Boy and Game Boy Color) are treated collectively, since they operated with the same family of games. Two, I excluded some systems that might qualify as peripherals or novelties, such as Panasonic Q (which was a GameCube with DVD functionality) or Game and Watch (which were self-contained single-game devices rather than a console with a library). Three, I’ve excluded Wii U and 3DS / 2DS simply because they are far too young to have enough to properly grade them on.

Finally, as with all rankings, they will ultimately be subject to debate. People are liable to take issue with how high or low something is or even the rationale behind the ranking. That is the nature of such lists. Feel free to offer your own take in the comments.

Pages: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In 0 points Log in or register to grow your Ninja Score while interacting with our site.
Nintendojo's RSS Feeds

All Updates Podcast
News Comments
Like and follow usFacebookTwitter Friend Code Exchange + Game with Us Join the Team!