Rank Nintendo's Home Consoles

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#1 Posted by drekula2 (3349 posts) -

By influence and impact, it's NES > SNES > Wii > N64 > Gamecube > Wii-U.

But I want to go by overall quality, as well as the software. The impact it has now (not what it had back then).

6 - Wii U
A flop so far, made the same mistakes as the Wii. Has some nice features though. May raise the ranks in time.

5 - NES
Was revolutionary back then, but had tons of shovelware and VERY few of it's titles are memorable now

4 - Wii
Sold a lot, caused a craze, and had a few excellent games. But it lacked in online, third-party, and in hardware, so it became a novelty rather than a revolution.

3 - N64
It did not have many games (due to Nintendo's intent of excluding third parties in fear of shovelware). But the 20-odd worthwhile games it did have were all great, and a few killer apps were among them

2 - Gamecube
An affordable games-focused console with an excellent library. It had the best third-party support Nintendo has ever seen in the past 20 years. However, it lost against PS2 and sold poorly.

1 - SNES
It shaped games from arcade challenges to full-on adventures. Whether viewing it from the lens of back then or today, it still has a lot of excellent games and is Nintendo's most memorable console.

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#2 Edited by TTUalumni13 (839 posts) -

Wii > SNES >>> Gamecube >> N64 >>>> NES.

Really silly to rank the Wii U when it's barely into its life cycle...

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#3 Posted by AvatarMan96 (7324 posts) -

Never played the NES, so:

4. SNES (never got to play it enough to fully judge it)

2 (Tie). Wii (great console with landmark innovation)

2 (Tie). GameCube (really underrated one if you ask me, awesome games and memories)

1. N64 (greatest system EVER, IMO)

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#5 Posted by 4myAmuzumament (1791 posts) -

The Wii is the best machine out of all of those. It's not even a contest.

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#6 Posted by wiifan001 (18643 posts) -

@4myAmuzumament said:

The Wii is the best machine out of all of those. It's not even a contest.

Your opinion is correct.

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#7 Posted by KBFloYd (18441 posts) -


i never had a gamecube :P

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#8 Posted by pierst179 (10803 posts) -

1- SNES (Nothing can beat that library. Only the Nintendo DS and the PS2 can compare)

2- Gamecube (It is not a very popular opinion, but I feel like it had great hardware, a perfect controller, and a fantastic balance between Nintendo games and third-party titles)

3- Wii (It may not have introduced motion controls to gaming, but it made them relevant by turning them into the centerpiece of many great games. Although I will agree that the controls only reached their full potential when MotionPlus came out, the Wii remains a major technological leap in terms of gameplay. Plus, it had great first-party titles and quite a few impressive exclusives.)

4- NES (The one that started it all. It has certainly and naturally aged, but back then its titles set so many standards that its influence can still be seen nowadays. It had a solid library, but since many of its great franchises were still developing its qualities, it now pales in comparison to more recent systems.)

5- Nintendo 64 (Being born in 1990, it is the system I played the most during my childhood. However, it was a system mostly sustained by two companies: Rare and Nintendo. While the two of them produced about twenty great games, the system just did not have enough support from other companies. It had a very small library thanks to the whole cartridge debacle.)

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#9 Posted by thetravman (3592 posts) -

The Wii U is not well established yet. Too early to tell.

N64 (4 player mayhem for the first time and amazing games from Nintendo and Rare) > SNES (very solid first and third party games) > Gamecube (great 1st party as usual.Decent third party) > Wii (amazing first party...but barely any quality 3rd party support).

I never owned an NES.

Avatar image for Jag85
#10 Posted by Jag85 (10664 posts) -

My rankings are pretty much the same as the OP:

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

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#11 Edited by spike6958 (6599 posts) -
  1. GameCube
  2. Super Nintendo
  3. N64
  4. NES
  5. Wii
  6. WiiU
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#12 Posted by Madmangamer364 (3716 posts) -

If you really want to talk about impact and influence, there are only two Nintendo consoles that even mean anything in this discussion: the NES and the Wii. Those were the only two Nintendo systems that were able to open doors for new people to experience video games and managed to lead the way during their time on the market. Everything else has been at least a step backwards for Nintendo. The only question here is whether you'd put the NES ahead for introducing so many things that has become an industry standard or the Wii ahead for its popularity and how it managed to reinvigorate a narrow-market industry that didn't believe there was room for something truly unconventional to the norm to be successful, let alone lead the market.

(As for the impact most of the systems have now, it's totally subjective. Only two of the systems are on the current market, and both of them struggling to stay relevant for their own reason. It's strictly nostalgia beyond that point.)

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#13 Posted by roboccs (7847 posts) -

@Pierst179: I agree with this list almost completely... The only thing I would switch is the wii and NES. Probably an age thing, I grew up with NES and I feel a lot of the games are still playable and enjoyable today.

GameCube to me is still the most underrated console out there.

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#14 Posted by metswonin69 (1094 posts) -

1. Super NES- Tons of dominant games with lots of third party support. Really improved upon the flaws that were in NES games.

2. NES- Tons of classic games and had the best third party support of any Nintendo system. Innovations that were made on this system continue to exist today.

3. Gamecube - A decent system, although definitely the red-headed stepchild of its own generation. Decent third party support and a few dominant games in its library.

4. N64- The end of the golden age for Nintendo. While a few of the best games of all time can be found on this platform, it really pales in comparison to its predecessors. Third party support quickly evaporated and Nintendo still has not and probably will never recover to its golden days of the NES and SNES.

5. Wii- A system with a mediocre controller and an even worse library of games. Before the release of the system, I would have thought the N64 would have been the lowest point of Nintendo's history, but the Wii managed to prove me wrong. There were strong games for the system, but it was deeply out shined by both of its competitors during its lifecycle.

6. Wii U- It is totally unfair to rank the Wii U considering it is merely a year old, however it is currently the worst of all the Nintendo consoles. Perhaps it could rise to the level of the N64, but anything better than that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness.

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#15 Posted by pierst179 (10803 posts) -
@roboccs said:

@Pierst179: I agree with this list almost completely... The only thing I would switch is the wii and NES. Probably an age thing, I grew up with NES and I feel a lot of the games are still playable and enjoyable today.

GameCube to me is still the most underrated console out there.

Like I said, I was born in 1990 so when I got to play NES games they were already a last generation thing at best, so that's probably why I put the Wii ahead of it.

I am glad we mostly agree, though.

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#16 Edited by YoshiYogurt (6008 posts) -

1. SNES(Obviously)

2. Gamecube(just amazing)

3. NES(There are tons of great games if you weed out shovelware)

4. N64(Not a whole ton of games, but still a damn amazing console)

5. wii(LOVE the wii but it just has less good games than they above, IMO)

wiiU is not included since it's still just starting out. I have a feeling it will be last or at least close unless a miracle happens

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#17 Edited by juboner (1183 posts) -

1: snes - Like somebody said earlier fixed the flaws of nes type games and so many great games, golden era of nintendo imo.

2: n64 - U just cant explain the feelings of seeing and playing mario in 3d for the first time. and also zelda mind blowing. I know there were other 3d games out before it but not the same. For anyone who did not get to experience the leap from 2d snes to 3d n64 u missed out on probably the biggest jump in gaming history so far.

3:nes - got me into gaming.

4:wii - great local mp fun with friends

5: gamecube - not much to say my friend had it I did not, by this time I was saying fare well to nintendo went with xbox.

Its way to early to place the wii U But man it was my first time playing wind waker and I loved playing it on the wii U. 3d world is good but I got a little bored on the last half, but bowser world and mushroom world are getting me back into it with the diffuculty.

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#18 Posted by starwolf474 (983 posts) -

1. N64


3. NES

4. Wii

5. GameCube

I think that it is too early to rank the Wii U.

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#19 Posted by FFCYAN (4964 posts) -


2. NES

3. Wii

4. GC

5. N64

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#20 Edited by trugs26 (7456 posts) -

GCN > SNES > N64 > Wii > NES

I'm leaving Wii U off the list because it is too new. Tough list to make, this will probably change if you ask me tomorrow.

EDIT: I just noticed that everyone abbreviated the console names except for the GameCube. You guys don't know that "GCN" is the shorthand for it or something?

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#21 Edited by elbcen (25 posts) -

Very interesting to rank the home consoles, not by the impact or one's personal preference, but by the quality of its software.

I would have to agree that SNES and N64 were the best library-wise due to having only limited amounts of shovelware, but I was really surprised to see the Gamecube be ranked as high as it by OP. I had to think about it, but you made a great argument and convinced me of its significance.

From that perspective and absolutely disregarding my own taste, I absolutely agree with your ranking.

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#23 Posted by Grieverr (2835 posts) -

1. NES - This is, by far, the most influential console ever. It revived home gaming. It established the game controller as the standard (as opposed to joysticks, and controllers with interchangeable inserts), it created the model for publishing and 3rd party games. Simply put, even today, gaming standards can be traced to being done first on the NES.

2. SNES - You know that rare movie sequel that is much better than the first? That's the SNES. It's The Empire Strikes Back to the NES' A New Hope.

3. Wii - Like it or not, it revitalized a market that was getting stale with GTA, CoD, and countless wannabe's. Once again, Nintendo created a new standard that everyone felt they had to follow or sink. Whether motion controls are good or not is another topic, but MS and Sony both felt that if they did not develop motion controls, they'd be out of business. That's how influential the Wii was.

4. N64 - Nintendo was still riding so high on the SNES's success that it decided to skip the 32-bit thing and go straight to 64. It brought analog controls to the forefront. It popularized 4 controller ports. It also introduced a lot of technical wizardry with anti aliasing, perspective correction, trilinear mip mapping, and environment mapping (mostly used for reflections).

5. GCN - I believe the Gamecube was Nintendo's least influential console. Basically, it was just the next generation of hardware. It was fairly powerful (more so than the PS2) and they finally moved to some form of optical media. As others have posted here, it also has some great games. But I think it's impact on the gaming scene was non-existent.

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#24 Posted by Soulreavercross (19890 posts) -

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

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#25 Edited by matthova (196 posts) -

1) N64


3) Wii

4) NES

5) Wii U

6)Gamecube(sucked a**)

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#26 Edited by Pikminmaniac (11185 posts) -

I will not place Wii U on this list as it is just over 1 year old. I also never had much experience with NES so I'll omit that as well.

1) SNES: It had almost all the 3rd party support and most of the defining games in all of gaming's biggest franchises. I'd say it's the strongest console ever made

2) Gamecube: a veritable masterpiece machine. It had solid 3rd party support (much better than Wii, N64, Wii U) and perhaps Nintendo's strongest first party offering of any Nintendo console. With games like Pikmin, Metroid Prime, Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros. Melee, F Zero GX, REmake. You had some of the best games ever made.

3) Wii: A solid machine with the best first party games of its generation. The most notable being Donkey Kong Country Returns.

4) N64: It had some great games, but its library was rather small and games were just beginning to learn how to cope in a 3D environment. There are some good memories there, but it isn't hard for me to call it Nintendo's least enjoyable console.

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#27 Edited by PiscesAnimeGirl (234 posts) -

Never played SNES or NES so can't comment on those. I tried the Wii and didn't like it. Too complicated. The GameCube was awesome but the N64 is the best to me. It was my very first console and brings back a lot of nostalgia for me.

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#28 Edited by tocool340 (21105 posts) -

1. N54

2. Gamecube


4. Wii

5. NES

NES would probably be higher if it didn't take a god awful amount of time to get a game working by needing to blow on the cartridge constantly...

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#29 Posted by AmazonTreeBoa (16745 posts) -





Wii U


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#30 Edited by Ovirew (8090 posts) -

6. Wii

I feel that the Wii, while undeniably successful, was more than a bit underwhelming with its software line-up. I think the biggest kick to the groin was the way we got not one, but two Mario Galaxy games - and I didn't actually care for them that much back when I tried them. Honestly there were some very good games on this system, but the control for most games didn't feel natural or enjoyable for me, and the offerings paled in comparison to Nintendo's line-ups on all of their other consoles.

5. N64

I didn't own an N64, and part of me regrets that, because the system did have some very good games. Smash Bros. was pretty much groundbreaking, and did a great job of giving all of Nintendo's major first and second-party IPs a connected identity. There were two very different but both fantastic Zelda games, a fun 3D Mario game, a 2.5D Mario game, and even the ultimate arena expansion for Pokémon. But the problem was, the N64 actually had a pretty small library of hit games. And for as groundbreaking and memorable as many of the system's games were, it seems to me that the console was a bit overhyped.

4. NES

I think for most of us, the NES was our first game system. I think it may have been mine, though it may have been an old PC. Either way, I played some of my earliest games on the NES. Despite the technology of the times, the NES managed to pump out a wide variety of genres - there were top-down games, side-scrolling games, platformers, puzzle games, sports games, arcade games, RPGs, shooters, beat 'em ups, fighting games, even racing games and games with first-person perspective. One game I owned actually let you play as a big-shot Wall Street exec and deal with stocks. And it is the very system where both Fire Emblem and Nintendo Wars originated. But we will remember the NES for the roots it gave to many of these genres. The precise control and fun gameplay of Super Mario and Kirby, the exploration of Zelda, the frantic shooting of Contra, or the heroic quests of Dragon Warrior. There's a reason why this console was around for so long.

3. Wii-U

Despite having not played the Wii-U thus far, and having little interest in buying one, I think everything's gonna be okay. It may be a bit too much like the Wii for my liking, but I can't help appreciating the changes that have been made to make the Wii a little more like a system for gamers - while still doing something different. Indeed, the Wii-U was made for...'You'. "We and You" Maybe Nintendo missed the point entirely and created a Frankenstein of a machine that confuses everyone, but one can't deny the fact that Nintendo has found a pretty fair middle-ground between different kinds of gamers with the Wii-U. There's also the sense that, after the whole console war kicked off between the PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo is still the fairest company of them all, and the one that actually cares the most about games. The Wii-U might not be the best Nintendo console ever, but I think most of us can agree that it isn't the worst. And it may not have the renown of these other systems, but it represents a brand loyalty that runs deep despite the odds. Plus, I think there is potential with that tablet controller, somewhere.


The SNES improved quite a lot from the NES era, breathing new life into sequels with clearer images, more vibrant and colorful graphics, and impressive audio. The Super NES, quite simply, was a leap. That's not to say that the N64 wasn't, but the SNES was able to take Rorschach blots and R2-D2 noises and turn them into something much more defined and immersive. I did not own an SNES, but I did play one regularly as a kid, and I can see why the system is so beloved. That isn't to say that the SNES isn't overrated - in fact the SNES also seems to have a game library that seems like it could have been given more time to flourish. I think the problem is that there was an arms race developing to see who could make the first successful 3D home game console, and the 16-bit game became a lost art. ...But not entirely, if the still-thriving handheld industry, indie games and New Super Mario Bros. are any indication.

1. Gamecube

I know a lot of people aren't going to agree with this, and I admit that back in 2004 I probably wouldn't have, but man... The Gamecube was a decent console. I saw tons of originality on the Gamecube - Pikmin, Luigi's Mansion, Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime, Odama, Super Mario Sunshine, even Geist was pretty original. I never played Doshin the Giant, but it seemed like Black and White, and there aren't many games quite like that. StarFox Adventures and Windwaker did something different with their properties, and Smash Bros. and Paper Mario had great sequels. There was just something about the energy Nintendo had then, and all of the creativity that was flowing around then. Even though they weren't making a major graphical jump like they did with the SNES or N64, they still found new and interesting concepts to put into games. And that, to me, is a big part of making a good game. So for me personally, I'd say that the Gamecube was the best Nintendo console.