The PlayStation 2 (deservedly) won its generation- it was far and away the best console of its generation. But what was the next in line?
The GameCube and Xbox were both incredible consoles, packing powerful hardware, unique controllers, an emphasis on multiplayer gaming, some incredible, quirky exclusives, and just a general approach to gaming that has since been largely lost. The question is... which one of them was better?
These were both incredible machines. Both were far and away more powerful than either the PlayStation 2 or Dreamcast, both had an emphasis on multiplayer gaming (Xbox emphasized online gaming, GameCube favored local multiplayer); the Xbox emphasized heavy multimedia support (it was the first system to come with a hard drive included), while the Gamecube was probably the first instance of a company trying to build an 'ecosystem' for its products (with its emphasis on Gameboy Advance-GameCube interactivity and connectivity). Both had some great controllers (the original Duke controller for the Xbox was a monstrosity, but the later 'S' design was a thing of beauty, and would go on to evolve into the Xbox 360 controller, arguably the greatest controller ever made; meanwhile, the GameCube controller and the pioneering wireless Wavebird controllers are probably the greatest controllers ever made).
Both had tons of quirky games (Jet Set Radio Future, Shenmue, Killer 7, Ikagura), incredible exclusives, and both were gems of systems. Time has been kind to both of them- while the PS2 completely dominated the mindshare and discussion in its era, the Xbox and GameCube are now more 'mysterious,' and they are remembered for their incredible libraries holistically, as well as their achievements, instead of for their struggling sales and droughts.
Here's a list of twenty best games on each system (games available on both the systems are not listed), in my opinion (not in ranked order):
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Shenmue II
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
- Forza Motorsport
- Halo 2
- Project Gotham Racing
- Jet Set Radio Future
- Conker Live and Reloaded
- Doom 3
- Dead or Alive 3
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Ninja Gaiden Black
- Panzer Dragoon Orta
- Crimson Skies
- Star Wars Battlefront 2
- Jade Empire
- The Chronicles of Riddick
- Metroid Prime
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
- Resident Evil 4
- Viewtiful Joe
- Tales of Symphonia
- Super Smash Bros. Melee
- F-Zero GX
- Pikmin 2
- Mario Kart: Double Dash
- Resident Evil Remake
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron: Rogue Leader
- Baten Kaitos
- Animal Crossing
- Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
- Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- Timesplitters 2
- Phantasy Star Online
Of course, none of these lists even do justice to the full libraries- so many more games (Midtown Madness 3, Star Fox Assault, Super Monkey Ball) aren't even listed here. But it's just a snapshot of what these consoles were like.
So, which one of these two consoles do you think was the better one? Ultimately both were great, but if you had to pick just one, which one would it be? And why?