Ranking the Nintendo Handhelds and Consoles from best to worst

The whole debate saga is over, but I’m still not done talking about Nintendo in general. Inspired by my debate topics, I wanted to create an entry on what handheld and console Nintendo is at their best and at their worst. As I categorized the systems, there are five families (two handheld families, and three console families). The handheld families are a lot bigger than the console families, but that’s because of the many variations, so I divided the handheld families into groups.

The five families

The five families contain two handheld families (Gameboy Family and DS Family) and three console families (NES Family, Prime Family, and Wii Family). Before I give ranks to all of the consoles, I should explain more about the families.

Gameboy Family:

The Gameboy Family consists of two handheld groups – the Gameboy Group, and the Gameboy Advance Group. Both groups have handhelds where batteries were replaceable, games were simple and pixelated, and the simple feature that automatically loads up the game inside while there are no other apps.

Back in 1989, Nintendo released their first post-1983 handheld called the Gameboy. Original models had the same buttons as an NES controller did, which were the control pad, two action buttons, and a start and select button. Seven years later, they had to make some improvements by making variations. They made units smaller to fit in pockets, a backlight to illuminate the screen, and a color feature to play games with color. Nintendo sure had improved over time by adding new features.

The Gameboy Group was the only group where systems were on two different generations (4th and 5th). As the Gameboy, GB Pocket, and GB Light were 4th generation, the GB Color (or GBC) was in the 5th generation.

In 2000, the Gameboy Family had another handheld (or handheld group) added: Gameboy Advance. The improvements made were smaller cartridges, wide design rather than tall design, and the bumper buttons (L and R). But the systems continue improving. In 2003, Nintendo released their first clamshell handheld with a charging ability, but only as part of the Gameboy Advance group. The Gameboy family has come to an end in 2005 when they released their smallest GBA, the Gameboy Micro.

DS Family:

The DS Family consists of two handheld groups – the DS Group, and the 3DS Group. Both groups have handhelds with brighter screens with better graphics, top screen and touch screens, Wi-Fi connection, thinner cartridges, and rechargeable batteries.

The DS Family really made handhelds worth playing more out of town. With Wi-Fi and better games, it’s more fun to bring them everywhere you go. Plus, it has made trading in-game easier. But, when online services started taking effect, it also opened Pandora’s box on one issue – online suspicious players. Just like the internet on computers and iOS devices, trolls and hackers exist on online communities. They even try to ruin others games, some for pleasure, and others for malevolence.

The Nintendo DS was one handheld, but it was part of the DS Group, which has four variations. The first one is the original DS, which not only retained similar aspects to the GBA SP, but also added other stuff, including the X and Y buttons, a touch screen, a microphone, and home menu options. The second model made the shape more stable with a brighter screen. The third model bridged between both the DS and 3DS with a new system – the DSi. It had a camera, sound recorder, internet connection, and an online store where you can buy apps for your DSi. The last model only had one improvement – size. They made the DSi bigger for those who like bigger screens.

The second group in the DS family started in 2011 when the greatest handheld of all time came out – the Nintendo 3DS. It had more features, including pre-installed software, Streetpass, Mii Maker, and few others. Improvements made were the 3D feature, analog stick, and home button. It really made handheld games worth playing out of town, as it clearly shown how handhelds improved over time, from when they released their first Gameboy system in 1989 to the touchscreen handheld with an analog stick, control pad, and action buttons. Did the Gameboy have joysticks? Were there touchscreens on the pixel game systems? Were batteries rechargeable? Nope. All were true about the 3DS.

Even if the 3DS was as high as Nintendo could go, the 3DS was still improving. The second model was a 3DS XL, just like the DSi XL. There was also a 2DS, which is similar to the 3DS, but with no clamshell or 3D feature. The new 3DS improved the 3DS even further. And the amiibo feature was introduced.

NES Family:

The NES Family (or the Famicom Family) consists of two consoles – the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Both consoles played simplistic and pixelated games, small and simple controllers, and a cartridge based format.

The NES first came out in 1983 as a solution to the gaming industry crash. It made classic arcade games playable at home, with a few new classic games. The controllers first had a control pad, two action buttons, and a Start and Select button.

In 1990, the NES had a successor – the SNES. It made even larger games than the NES games, as it also made more classics. The controllers were the same as the NES, but they added two more buttons, as well as the bumper buttons, making it a total of four new buttons.

Prime Family:

The Prime Family consists of two consoles – the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube. Both consoles were revolutionary and/or influential, had four controller ports, and had the greatest of multiplayer gaming.

The Nintendo 64 came out in 1996 as one of the most revolutionary consoles. It was the first 64-bit console, first console with 3D games, and first console with four ports. The controllers are a bit weird, but they did add the analog stick, camera buttons, and a back trigger.

In 2001, the Nintendo GameCube came out as the successor of the Nintendo 64. It was Nintendo’s first disc player, but also one of the most durable disc-player consoles. The controllers were better than the Nintendo 64’s controllers for adding the X and Y buttons, camera stick, and positioning the buttons more correctly.

Wii Family:

The Wii Family consists of two consoles – the Wii and the Wii U. Both consoles were the most innovative systems of Nintendo that had wireless controllers, Blu-ray drive, and online services.

The Wii was Nintendo’s most innovative console of all time. In late 2006, the Wii came out as Nintendo’s first console with wireless controllers, motion controllers, online services, and backwards compatibility and Virtual Console.

The Wii U came out in 2012 as Nintendo’s most recent console (and the first hybrid video game console in world history). It may be behind on a few features, but far ahead on other features.

Best to Worst Handhelds

You now see what the families are like, so you can now read what I think about each handhelds. The ranks are based on the following measures:

  • My opinions – since I’m writing the lists, I would combine the popular opinion with my opinion. It’s my list, so I can order it my way, but only with logic.
  • Popular opinion – due to my parochial experience in video gaming, I would have to throw in the popular opinion as a matter to improve the list.
  • System features – new doesn’t always mean better, but handhelds have improved over time. That means, more features are added, such as streetpass, augmented reality games, and amiibos.
  • System library – the selection of games plays a major role in the system ranks. If one handheld had a better library than the other, it’s more likely that it would rank higher.
  • System design – design of the system matters too. If the buttons are out of place, the layout is confusing, or if they don’t have enough buttons, it will rank lower.
  • Other measures – there are five other measures I use in the ranks. Those are color choice, screens, multiplayer playability, backwards compatibility, and durability.

Since it’s all about handhelds, the highest rank is 1, and the lowest is 4. They have an overall rank and individual ranks. I might give out descriptions on each of those measures.

  • #1 – Nintendo 3DS
    • The grand prize goes to the Nintendo 3DS, the best handheld of the Nintendo Realm. The truth is, the handheld department has greatly improved over time. Cartridges are tiny with a lot of memory stored, graphics were a lot better, online services applied to the 3DS, and there are several other features. Even the library made the system a lot better. This is really worth playing wherever you go, even in the car.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 1
      • The original 3DS had several apps, including Mii Maker, Streetpass games, Augmented Reality games (AR card games), and an app that tracks your activity with it, including hours spent on one game and steps taken. And that’s not all. There are play coins you can earn for walking, an online store where you can buy games digitally, the 3D screen, the newly added analog stick (or circle pad), and reoccurring features from the Nintendo DS (such as a touch screen and rechargeable batteries). Plus, newer models have the amiibo feature built-in the system.
    • System Library – 1
      • Another thing that proves why the 3DS is better. Some of the games on the 3DS include, but not limited to, Pokemon X&Y, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Mario Kart 7, Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS, and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D. There are more games, but this basically proves that the 3DS is the best handheld when it comes to games made for it.
    • System Design – 1
      • Aside to having a circle pad, the 3DS is the best system when it comes to design. The circle pad and control pad are on the left of the touchscreen, the A, B, X, and Y buttons are on the right, there’s a start, home, and select button below the screen, two bumper buttons on a side, and a clamshell model (except for the 2DS).
    • Color Choice – 4
      • Even if it’s the best in terms of many things, it doesn’t take the top rank in every category. The patterns may be unique, but there’s a limited amount of colors in choosing your 3DS, compared to earlier handhelds.
    • Screen – 1
      • The screens are brighter, have better graphics, and more detail than previous handhelds. Plus, there’s the 3D feature.
    • Multiplayer – 1
      • The truth about handhelds is that they never have good multiplayer games. The DS and 3DS seem to do a better job, but even they aren’t the best with multiplayer. Still, the 3DS takes the lead.
    • Backwards Compatibility – 1
      • The 3DS is the most backwards compatible handheld. You can play both DS games and 3DS games. Plus, there’s the Virtual Console, which isn’t really backwards compatibility, but you can download old GB and GBA games to your 3DS.
    • Durability – 4
      • Just like the previous handhelds, the 3DS can last a while. But there’s one problem. It’s the battery. As hardware improves, more data and power are used. Battery life is shorter on the 3DS than previous systems. And after a couple of recharging, the 3DS may have a shorter battery, which means it’s time for replacement.
  • #2 – Nintendo DS
    • Before the 3DS came out, the DS was Nintendo’s best handheld. It was the first gaming handheld to have a touchscreen. It was also Nintendo’s first handheld to have four action buttons, brighter screens, a microphone, and internet connection. I wouldn’t say the same for the clamshell model or battery recharge, but that’s because the Gameboy Advance SP had it. However, it is the first handheld where the original model did so.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 2
      • The first DS was the first Nintendo Handheld to have a load menu without automatically loading up the game. There was also chat rooms with local players, time adjustment for the handheld, and birthday recognition. The DSi, the newer model of the DS, had internet connection, a DS shop, camera, and apps. The DSi was the bridge between the DS and the 3DS.
    • System Library – 2
      • As it’s the first handheld system to have larger games and wireless connection, it also had better games than of the GBA. Games on the DS include, but not limited to, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, Animal Crossing: Wild World, Brain Age, Nintendogs, and Super Mario 64 DS.
    • System Design – 2
      • While it had a better system design than the other two, it wasn’t necessarily the best. Sure it had the L and R buttons, as well as the action buttons, but there’s no circle pad (or analog stick). Besides, the original model looked like a cruddy clamshell rather than the neater ones like the DSi and DS Lite.
    • Color Choice – 1
      • The original model had the smallest palette of face colors to chose from. However, the DS Lite had a greater palette. It has more colors available than any system in the Gameboy Family, as well as the 3DS Group.
    • Screen – 2
      • It’s the first to have brighter screens and better graphics (as well as the touchscreen and top screen), but it didn’t take the lead thanks to the 3DS.
    • Multiplayer – 2
      • The truth about handhelds is that they never have good multiplayer games. The DS and 3DS seem to do a better job, but even they aren’t the best with multiplayer. The DS almost tied with the 3DS, but with the Nintendo WFC down, it’s only multiplayer or online play is local wireless.
    • Backwards Compatibility – 2
      • Backwards compatibility is a strange one here. The original model and the DS Lite had a GBA slot, but the DSi and DSi XL doesn’t have it, so no GBA games could be played on the DSi Sub-group. Even the DS and DS Lite couldn’t play Gameboy games.
    • Durability – 3
      • It’s the first system to have rechargeable batteries on all models, but also the first system that uses up even more battery. Although it’s not as bad as the 3DS, battery life on the DS isn’t as good as the Gameboy Family’s.
  • #3 – Gameboy Advance
    • As I continue going back in time, I’m exploring the more inferior systems. The Gameboy Advance is a lot better system than the Gameboy Color. The games were a lot bigger, and there were more buttons. Later models also brought Nintendo into the clamshell models with rechargeable batteries. It didn’t revolutionize Nintendo’s handhelds as much, but it brought improvements to Nintendo.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 3
      • The Gameboy Advance is just like the Gameboy and Gameboy Color in terms of system features. Why did the GBA have a better score? It’s because they got better controls and better games. Plus, the newer model (the Gameboy Advance SP) brought Nintendo into the clamshell handhelds with rechargeable batteries, but there was still only one screen with few controls.
    • System Library – 3
      • Sandwiched between the DS and Gameboy, the Gameboy Advance has a couple games that rival with the Gameboy Color’s library. It was the first to play games that are just as big as the early console games (like NES and SNES games). Not only that, but it’s the first handheld to have Mario Kart, which originally came from the consoles.
    • System Design – 3
      • The system designs of both the original GBA and GBA SP inspired the design for the DS. The wide notation is to the GBA, and the clamshell model is to the GBA SP. It was slightly better than the GB and GBC because of the screen was in the center and controls were on both sides of the screen. And did I forget to mention, the bumper buttons on the back?
    • Color Choice – 3
      • I don’t remember too much about the color choice, but it had a better palette to chose from than the 3DS.
    • Screen – 4
      • Yes, it was the first where the original model had color pixels, but the first model removed the backlight that the GBC had. It’s like a downgrade.
    • Multiplayer – N/A
      • Because multiplayer didn’t exist back on the GB Era, there is no score for this feature.
    • Backwards Compatibility – 3
      • It did have backwards compatibility, but its rank is low because only one predecessor existed before the GBA.
    • Durability – 2
      • The durability is tied with the GB and GBC in terms of battery life, but the GBA is more likely to be used than the GB and GBC. Machine life is based on usage, not time.
  • #4 – Gameboy
    • I may be unfair on this rank, but this shows how Nintendo has improved in terms of handhelds. As this is the base, newer handhelds are a lot beter, in both library and features. Because of this, the Gameboy is the worst in this department. There are fewer features, less improved games, and fewer buttons. The design is even weird because it’s more of a tower than a wide notation like today’s handhelds.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 4
    • System Library – 4
    • System Design – 4
    • Color Choice – 2
    • Screen – 3
    • Multiplayer – N/A
    • Backwards Compatibility – N/A
    • Durability – 1

Best to Worst Consoles

Now I’m done with the evaluation of handhelds, so let’s move onto the consoles. The ranks are based on the following measures:

  • My opinions – just like what I did with the handhelds, I rank the consoles based on my opinions. If I like something more, it’s going to move up a spot.
  • Popular opinion – like I said before, I don’t have enough gaming experience, so I combine my opinion with the popular opinion. Yes, I played Super Mario 64 and Ocarina of Time, but it doesn’t mean I played every game (or even every popular game).
  • System features – just like the handhelds, consoles have improved on features. The first three were the same like the Gameboy family, but the other three started to have menus besides the DS and 3DS.
  • System library – the selection of games plays a major role in the system ranks. If one console had a better library than the other, it’s more likely that it would rank higher.
  • Controller design – design of the controller matters too. If the buttons are out of place, the layout is confusing, or if they don’t have good parts, it will rank lower.
  • Other measures – there are five other measures I use in the ranks. Those are color choice, graphics, multiplayer, sales, and durability.

Since it’s all about consoles, the highest rank is 1, and the lowest is 6. They have an overall rank and individual ranks. I might give out descriptions on each of those measures.

  • #1 – Nintendo 64
    • The first is the king of all consoles. Debuting in 1996, the Nintendo 64 has been one of the best consoles ever made. It was the first to have 3D games, four controller ports, analog stick on controller, and 64-bit graphics. Even if more improved consoles come out later, Nintendo 64 will always sit on top of the others.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 4
      • The Nintendo 64 may be the king of all consoles, but not in this field. Even the more inferior consoles are superior in this part. Nintendo 64 only loads up games automatically. But what made this system better than its predecessors is that the controllers had more buttons, they had better multiplayer games, and that most games were saved onto the cartridge.
    • System Library – 1
      • This is the Nintendo 64’s strongest point that proved it to be better than both its predecessors and all three of its successors. The Nintendo 64 had the best video games of all time (in my opinion). Examples include Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (original version), Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Snap, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (original version), Hey You Pikachu, Mario Kart 64, and Paper Mario. It was also when two new franchises were born: Super Smash Bros, and Mario Party. And did I forget to mention, Rareware? Yes. Back in the Nintendo 64 era, Rare used to work for them. Along with Donkey Kong 64, Rare made other games for them, such as Goldeneye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. It’s too bad that Rare no longer works for Nintendo, but it helped make Nintendo 64 have the best library. The only weakness to the Nintendo 64’s library is that they have a very small library. There are only 388 games (296 in the United States). Also, it was home to the worst game ever (Superman 64). Even still, that won’t hurt Nintendo 64’s grade on library. The N64 is to consoles as the 3DS is to handhelds.
    • Controller Design – 6
      • Now this is one field where the Nintendo 64 is in serious trouble. Yes, it was the first to have an analog stick and a back trigger, as well as the multicolor option, but the design is horrible. First of all, there are three prongs. Why would you have three prongs for a controller? Also, the control stick is too far from the edges where you should hold your controller. That’s like finger yoga here. Other problems include poor rotation problem, hard plastic stick, camera buttons rather than a camera stick, and just the A and B buttons without the X and Y buttons.
    • Color Choice – 1
      • This is another thing that proves that Nintendo 64 is the best console. Most systems come in only black or white now. Nintendo 64 is more than just dark gray and light gray. It came in many colors, including red, green, yellow, and blue. And it’s not just the controllers that come in many colors, but the CPU as well.
    • Graphics – 4
      • I honestly prefer modern graphics more than old graphics, but graphics doesn’t not create a negative impact on games, at least to my opinion.
    • Multiplayer – 1
      • Nintendo 64 is a prime example of how multiplayer games were a lot better a long time ago than they are now. And it’s not just the multicolored controllers. Games with a good multiplayer feature include Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Stadium 2, Mario Kart 64, Mario Party series, and believe it or not, Donkey Kong 64.
    • Sales – 4
      • The Nintendo 64 sold about 33 million units total. Compared to the other Nintendo consoles, this system is in fourth place. And unfortunately, it didn’t outsell the PlayStation 1, but it has a much better legacy than any PlayStation system (even more than Sony’s best console, the PS2).
    • Durability – 1 (tied with NES and SNES)
      • Nintendo 64 is in first, second, and third place in terms of durability. People still have working Nintendo 64 systems. It’s sturdy, energy efficient, and a cartridge player, which all make this system very durable.
  • #2 – Nintendo GameCube
    • Before 2012 when the Wii U game out, lot of people think the GameCube was the worst console Nintendo made, but there’s just as many people who think it’s the best. I honestly think it’s one of the best. When I was a kid, I thought it was better than the 64. Not anymore. But there’s a reason why I called the console family with the N64 and GC the “Prime Family”. It’s because both the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube had the best video game libraries, along with the 3DS. And besides, AC Spinoffs is an Animal Crossing fansite. Where do you think the original came from? I called the GC version of Animal Crossing the “GameCube Version” because it appeared on the GameCube and had no subtitle.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 3
      • It was Nintendo’s first disc player, but it had a few more features besides the Nintendo 64. The GameCube was Nintendo’s first system to have an internal clock, as well as a memory card management and audio preferences on the main menu. With no game, you go to the menu. But with a game inside, there’s an auto-load feature just like the three predecessors. Plus, the controller has analog triggers, where buttons are sensitive based on how hard you press them (like how the control stick makes running in Animal Crossing faster). And it had memory cards, where you can store a lot of data on.
    • System Library – 2
      • To be honest, the GameCube’s library is inferior in comparison to Nintendo 64’s library, as well as the 3DS’s library, but it’s still one of the best. In my opinion, the only game the GameCube’s library is better than its N64 counterpart is Super Mario Sunshine, which people believed to be the worst 3D collectathon of the Mario Series. Even if it is, the GameCube still had one of the best video game libraries (including SMS, which I just named). Other games that proved this system to be one of the best include Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Super Smash Bros Melee, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Luigi’s Mansion, and Paper Mario: The Thousand-year Door. It was also the system that the Animal Crossing franchise has started. Granted, it’s not as good as Animal Crossing’s 3DS games, but it was good at the time. Add to all of what I said here, the GameCube was part of the 6th generation, where third-party gaming was at its best. It’s not just limited to Activision, EA, and Capcom, but also others. A lot of the games I enjoyed playing on the GameCube and PlayStation 2 are based after TV shows. THQ was in operation at the time too. It turns out that those days are over, but memories last forever.
    • Controller Design – 5
      • Just like the Nintendo 64, the GameCube had a bad controller design. People thought it was one of the best, but I disagree. The edges for the Camera Stick and Control stick were octagonal rather than round (which is a mistake the Nintendo 64 made). The camera stick and control stick are not at the best placement. There are three bumpers rather than four (L, R, and Z). And the buttons on the right, look like a Golgi Body with a nucleus rather than the four buttons we’re used to. Sorry GameCube, but you don’t even get silver for the controller design.
    • Color Choice – 2
      • It turns out that the Nintendo 64 was the only console to have multi-colored units and multi-colored controllers, but the GameCube had more options than the Wii and Wii U (where both only come in black or white). You can get black, silver, or purple. The most recognized GC color is purple.
    • Graphics – 3
      • The graphics for the GameCube are a lot better than the Nintendo 64’s, but they are still not in HD. I won’t let graphics decide that a game is good or bad, but the graphics still have a rank.
    • Multiplayer – 3
      • Even though there are less memorable multiplayer games, the GameCube still has some charms. I felt that there was a lack of multiplayer games, but multiplayer is still better on the GameCube than other consoles by Nintendo.
    • Sales – 5
      • The GameCube sold 22 million units. Compared to the other consoles, this is not good. I can see why the sales are so poor, but it’s still one of the better consoles.
    • Durability – 4
      • Ever since Nintendo moved to the disc format, Nintendo is starting to go downhill in the durability issue. But with the GameCube, it’s not really a problem. Here’s why: Nintendo is known to make their consoles more energy efficient. The GameCube might outlive the PS2 and PS1, though the Blu-Ray players really hurt the durability score. At least the GameCube isn’t a Blu-Ray Player like the Wii and Wii U.
  • #3 – Super Nintendo Entertainment System
    • I never really played any game for the SNES, but after hearing about how great the library is, I decided to place a spot for the SNES closer to the top. Since it’s more simplistic than the Nintendo 64, and more advanced than the NES, the SNES might be one of the best consoles. But I don’t necessarily agree with that.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 5
      • The SNES, just like the Nintendo 64 and NES, had few features. And this one is worse than the primitive N64. There are fewer buttons, poor multiplayer games, and not too many features.
    • System Library – 3
      • The SNES may have been dwarved by several predecessors, but one thing remains: their library. The console has a lot of charms. It introduced more elements to the Super Mario series and Legend of Zelda series (which started from the NES), started the Donkey Kong Country series, and created the Mario Kart series, the first racing game series where you fight on track. Since then, there are several racing games that want to imitate this feature.
    • Controller Design – 2
      • Another strength of the SNES was their simple controller designs. It’s similar to the NES controller, but has four buttons on one side and a control pad on the other. It also had the two bumper buttons on the top side (L and R buttons). The Japanese version of the SNES had four colored buttons on the right opposed to the two-toned color buttons of the North American SNES.
    • Color Choice – 5 (tied with NES)
      • It wasn’t an issue at the time, but after the multi-colored units in the future, the SNES and NES are beginning to look bland. It makes perfect sense that all NESs and SNESs look exactly the same. Most consoles do that nowadays, but not Nintendo.
    • Graphics – 5
      • Even the best consoles can have the worst graphics. The SNES games were still pixelated like the NES, but the graphics began to look more beautiful. The rank may seem unfair since they were pixelated like arcade games, but simple arcade graphics aren’t good for today’s time.
    • Multiplayer – 5
      • Although it had the first version of Mario Kart, the SNES is one of the few consoles that is better for just only single-player rather than two-player.
    • Sales – 3
      • The SNES sold 49 million units. That’s not bad for a gaming console at the time, but it’s still low by today’s standards.
    • Durability – 1 (tied with NES and Nintendo 64)
      • The SNES is just as durable as the Nintendo 64. It’s sturdy, energy efficient, and a cartridge player.
  • #4 – Nintendo Entertainment System
    • As this is Nintendo’s first home console, it was a really good idea at the time. Nowadays, it’s not as good as it once was. The games are better off if played at a public arcade or on Virtual Console. It served its purpose already. The reason why I choose not to rank this system in last place is because it’s Nintendo’s first console, so it should keep its honor.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 6
      • Since the consoles improved over time on system features, the NES sits in the back of the train.
    • System Library – 6
      • At the time, it was a good idea to be just home console games. Because of its 8-bit nature in graphics and sound, as well as the simple gameplay, these games are better off if played at public arcades, including Super Mario Bros, the game that started the Mario franchise. Also, notice how if you lose all of your lives in-game, the whole thing starts over, just like if you delete a town in Animal Crossing.
    • Controller Design – 4
      • Simple, basic, perfect for the games on the system.
    • Color Choice – 5 (tied with SNES)
      • Just like what I said eariler, it wasn’t an issue at the time, and it still isn’t. But it still gets a spot since other Nintendo consoles have different color options.
    • Graphics – 6
      • More like Graphics – Retro. They are great for arcade games. However, due to improvements on graphics, this console has fallen behind.
    • Multiplayer – 6
      • The multiplayer issue was not good at the time. There were so few games with multiplayer. The only kind of multiplayer there is: high score competition.
    • Sales – 2
      • This was Nintendo’s highest selling console until the Wii came out.
    • Durability – 1 (tied with SNES and Nintendo 64)
      • The NES was the largest Nintendo console in size, and played the smallest games in data size. It’s a very durable console. Plus, it’s a cartridge player.
  • #5 – Nintendo Wii
    • Coming in fifth place is Nintendo’s most innovative console o fall time. It really has changed the gaming industry around by incorporating exercise to video games. However, Nintendo has been going downhill since the end of the N64 era, especially with this console. But it’s still the best of the generation.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 2
      • After the GameCube era, Nintendo has greatly improved on their system features. The Wii was Nintendo’s first home console to have online services, backwards compatibility, and the Mii Maker. Plus, the Virtual Console was introduced.
    • System Library – 4
      • The problem with Nintendo’s newer consoles is that the games made for them are not as good as their earlier ones. The handhelds appear to have the opposite trend in library improvement than the consoles. The Wiiknesses of this console’s library: There are too many sports games, Mario Kart is the most complicated at this version, and City Folk is Animal Crossing’s worst main series game (and in my opinion, the worst game of the whole AC franchise). Some games I would be interested to play are Super Mario Galaxy, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, none of them being games I played within my life. I’ll probably give a try in the future, perhaps beat the entire games. Mario Party may be interesting, but it was only good back in the earlier versions. The same is true for Smash. Another problem is that the Wii’s library is their Virtual Console library. In the N64 section of the Wii’s VC, Donkey Kong 64 is not one of the games (though it is in Wii U’s Virtual Console library).
    • Controller Design – 3
      • I kinda don’t like the idea of having two sticks instead of one, but the N64 and GameCube are pretty cheesy, and the NES controller isn’t that good anymore, so the Wii-mote is a couple steps ahead. I still don’t understand what the “1” and “2” buttons are.
    • Color Choice – 3 (tied with Wii U)
      • At this point, all Nintendo consoles (Wii or Wii U) come in only two different colors: black or white. I kinda miss the multi-colored consoles like what they had during the Nintendo 64 era, but two neutral colors is better than just only one color. I wonder: what happened to the red, green, yellow, and blue consoles and controllers?
    • Graphics – 2
      • The games have much better graphics than before. As the systems kept improving, HD has been taken advantage of. There are more HD games than any other system.
    • Multiplayer – 4
      • The game does have a good multiplayer feature. Especially with wireless controllers. But the games aren’t as good. Since the controls are so complicated, I don’t think this system’s multiplayer library is as good.
    • Sales – 1
      • Notice how every new console of Nintendo’s sell less than their predecessors. The Wii appears to be an anomaly to this pattern. It is Nintendo’s highest selling console, and the only Nintendo console to sell over 100 million units. This is unusual with Nintendo, since they rarely sell that many.
    • Durability – 5 (tied with Wii U)
      • Just like the GameCube, the Wii is a disc player. And this is when Nintendo is beginning to go downhill in durability. It’s not that they aren’t as energy efficient as they used to be. It’s because the Wii is a Blu-Ray player, and Blu-Ray players burn a lot harder, and are more prone to overheating. Those are the types of players that stop working after a few years of continued usage.
  • #6 – Nintendo Wii U
    • Before the Wii U came out, the GameCube was considered to be the worst Nintendo console. Now this shame goes to the Wii U. It’s a real disappointment because Nintendo was more creative than ever before on this system, and gamers don’t really like it. Granted, even the competitors aren’t doing as well, but the Wii U was the most scorned of the three. The main reason was the lack of third-party games. The handheld-console hybrid concept scares most game developers from making games for it. Now that it’s a poorly-selling system, third party developers don’t want to make games for it anymore, adding insult to injury. I do like this system, but I only bought it for the Virtual Console. I felt it was worth it for the VC, but to fully make it worth playing (to me, not to the others), they must release Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Snap, and Super Mario Galaxy 1 to the US Virtual Console, and remake Super Mario Sunshine as a Wii U game. To make it worth playing to the others, they need to satisfy the gamers’ demands, which are many different reasons.
    • System Ranks:
    • System Features – 1
      • The system features for the Wii U make this console the king. It is compatible with a Wii mote (or Wii U motion controller), a Wii U Pro Controller, and the gamepad. Speaking of the gamepad, it’s the console where you don’t need to use the TV to play on the gamepad. Plus, there are more online services for the Wii U than the Wii. I really find this system very impressive.
    • System Library – 5
      • The only Wii U exclusive games that are worth playing are Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, and Super Mario Maker. The Wii U has the worst system library after the SNES era. Smash for Wii U is worth playing, but that’s for the 3DS too. Other than that, the rest is bad. Mario’s 3D platformer series is at its worst, Mario Party is at its worst, there is no canon Zelda game or canon Animal Crossing game, the library is full of remakes and spin-offs (though I do want a Super Mario Sunshine remake), and other games on the Wii U were critical failures. I know there’s Xenoblade Chronicles X, but even that got criticized. Basically, the average Wii U library is the Jar Jar Binks of all of Nintendo’s libraries. If you don’t have any Nintendo console prior to the GameCube, and if you’re looking forward to playing the Wii U, I suggest buying it for the Virtual Console. You can get it for Splatoon or Mario Maker too, but the best games I played on the Wii U were only part of the Virtual Console (older games), and not the Wii U.
    • Controller Design – 1
      • I’m not talking about the gamepad. I’m referring to the pro controllers on the Wii U. I have to say, they are finally looking good, just like the PlayStation controllers.
    • Color Choice – 3 (tied with Wii)
      • Just like the Wii, all Wii U units are either white or black. Not everyone has the same color if Wii U, but the palette is still limited, more limited than the GameCube’s.
    • Graphics – 1
      • As the Wii U is the most advanced Nintendo console out there, the graphics are much better on the Wii U than all of the predecessors. All of the Wii U games (not VC games or other eShop exclusives) are in HD. The two Zelda HD remakes even prove this point.
    • Multiplayer – 2
      • Thanks to Splatoon, Nintendo is finally regaining its multiplayer charm. But it’s still far from getting back up to Nintendo 64. They had three failed party games. And yet, there’s no modern Pokemon Stadium game for it (the classic Pokemon Stadium games were for the Nintendo 64).
    • Sales – 6
      • The Wii U continues Nintendo’s trend of declining console sales after the interruption done by the Wii. It is the lowest selling Nintendo console, and the lowest selling console of the generation. What’s really embarrassing is that it sold even more poorly than the Dreamcast. When the Dreamcast was almost three years old, it was discontinued, and Sega stopped making consoles. It sold a little over 10 million units. When the Wii U was that age, it sold less than 10 million units. And their efforts to attempt saving the console isn’t really working. The fact that they’re trying to alienate third-party games is what’s killing the system. And third-party developers don’t want to develop games for some console that has higher production costs than the others.
    • Durability – 5 (tied with Wii)
      • Like I said on the Wii, Nintendo has been slacking a bit on the durability issue, but that’s because of the Blu-Ray drive. Even if they are more energy efficient, it’s not going to keep it alive for a long time. But at least it’s doing better than its competitors. I feel like it’s time to go back to the cartridge format on the next platform. And let’s go to only handhelds/gamepads. No more plug-in consoles.

It seems that I have broken my promise I made a while ago when it comes to long entries. Sorry about that, but I wanted to show my full evaluation of the handhelds and consoles, and their comparisons to the others.


One thought on “Ranking the Nintendo Handhelds and Consoles from best to worst

  1. I blog quite often and I really thank you for your information. This article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


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