A Definitive Ranking Of Every Nintendo System
Virtual Boy (1995)
If you never played the Virtual Boy, consider yourself lucky. You’d put your face into this thing and play some vaguely 3D, black and red game until you felt like throwing up. The world wasn’t read for video games you strapped to your head.
Nintendo Wii U (2012)
Listen, I know some people who love the Wii U. I have played the Wii U and even had fun doing so. Splatoon (below) is great, but this system is just another example of late-era Nintendo’s reliance on gimmickry. How many people do you know who bought a Wii U? Exactly.
Game Boy (1989)
The original Game Boy was a revolutionary machine, but be honest, the screen was so bad you couldn’t see wtf you were doing unless the light was justtt right.
Game Boy Pocket (1996)
Seven years later Nintendo finally released a slimmed-down Game Boy with a much improved screen. Thank the lordt.
Game Boy Color (1998)
Now we’re getting serious. Nintendo finally brought color to its handhelds and also let you be the coolest kid on the school bus with this trippy transparent version.
Nintendo DS (2004) and DS Lite (2006)
Nintendo changed the game with this one, incorporating a touch screen into the handheld environment, which opened up tons of innovative possibilities for games that required, uh, tapping on a screen with a stylus.
Nintendo DSi (2008)
Wait, this looks the same as the last DS? Look closer bud. This thing’s got wifi. Oh Shit! And a camera. It was like a smartphone. Okay not really but you could download games for the first time, which would become one of the best features of the DS line.
NES Classic Edition (2016)
The NES Classic Edition was another great idea from Nintendo’s resurgent 2016 (remember Pokémon Go and Mario Run?). But it only comes with 30 games and is not expandable, which is kind of a bummer. If you happen to have a bunch of old NES and SNES games laying around you can always just buy a Retro Duo.
Nintendo Switch (2017)
Game Boy Advance (2001)
Yooooo, the GBA was sick. For the younger kids who never had the original, big rectangular Game Boy, this thing was a godsend. It’s hard to remember that systems haven’t always had shoulder buttons.
Game Boy Advance SP (2003)
After a bunch of clunky handhelds, this thing was slick. It was the beginning of the handheld renaissance for Nintendo.
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) (1985)
The original and (almost) best, this is what most adults think of when we hear Nintendo used as a noun. This is the system that made Mario and Luigi household names and got so many 8-bit anthems permanently stuck in our heads. Really the only knock is that those rigid-ass rectangular controllers would hurt your hands after playing for too long.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) (1991)
::Whispering:: “Super Nintendo is overrated.” But hey, that’s just my opinion. For a certain age group, the SNES is THE Nintendo. It was the first Nintendo to have a true rival (Sega Genesis,) which it thoroughly outmatched on the strength of games like Super Mario World, Yoshi’s Island, and Super Castlevania IV.
Nintendo 3DS (and subsequent iterations) (2011—2015)
Phew, okay, that’s a lot of DS’s, but the 3DS (and the 3DS XL, AND the “New 3DS” AND the “New 3DS XL”) is basically handheld gaming perfected. It’s got N64-level graphics, innovative games and weird-but-cool features like “street pass,” which lets you unlock bonuses when you pass other people with the systemin the street. No wonder Nintendo has sold more than 60 million of these bad boys.
Nintendo 64 (1996)
The N64 might be the most universally loved Nintendo. Like, real gamers love the SNES, but when you’re talking to a diverse group of people, of varying ages and genders, they will all get hyped about Mario Kart. The N64 was accessible, powerful, and had a great range of games. It basically defined the lives of many millenials during the second half of the ’90s.
Nintendo GameCube (2001)
That’s right jabronis, it’s GameCube. Let me tell you a story. I had a GameCube, and it was great. Metroid Prime is an all-timer, Mario Strikers is an underrated classic and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was pure joy. Then I, stupidly, traded my GameCube for a Dreamcast. Dreamcast is incredible, don’t get me wrong, but after a year or so I was bored. What did I do? I sold the Dreamcast and bought another GameCube. The pull of the cube is that strong. The system is compact, the games are adorably tiny CDs, and it has THE BEST video game controller of all time. Gamecube is the best. Sorry, I’m not sorry.