Before the PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One there were other consoles. These retro gaming consoles meant the world to kids growing up in the ’80s or ‘90s. This is our list of 10 awesome retro video game consoles. Enjoy.
1. Sony PlayStation 1
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The original PlayStation was launched in 1995. Even though the PlayStation is considered a lot more popular than the Nintendo 64, it was just a 32-bit video game console. Nintendo 64 was a 64-bit console. The idea of the PlayStation can be traced way back in 1986 when Nintendo was working with Sony on a new video game console. Nintendo back out of the deal but Sony went ahead with the project.
Popular Games: Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto, Tekken 3 and Gran Turismo
2. Nintendo 64
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The Nintendo 64 was released in 1996. The name of the console comes from the fact that it uses a 64-bit processor. Unlike other consoles at the time such as the Sega Saturn and the Sony PlayStation 1, the Nintendo 64 used cartridges instead of discs. The controller of the system was quite innovative at the time, being the first one to introduce the analogue stick.
Popular Games: Super Mario 64, Super Smash Bros, Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
3. Sega Saturn
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The Sega Saturn was launched in 1995. It faced very tough rivalry and competed with the Sony PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 at the time it launched. The Saturn was the next major console from Sega after the well-known Mega Drive.
Popular Games: Guardian Heroes, Sega Rally Championship, Nights into Dreams, Virtua Fighter 2 and Panzer Dragoon
4. Sega Master System
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The Sega Master System was launched in 1986. At the time the video game console was released, The Sega Master System and the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) were rival video game consoles and because of this you were either a Sega kid or Nintendo kid. Sega even adopted the slogan: Sega does what Nintendon’t.
Popular Games: Wonder Boy in Monster Land, Phantasy Star, Fantasy Zone, Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Ghostbusters
5. Sega Mega Drive
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The Sega Mega Drive was released in 1990. Depending on where you lived, this video game console was either known as the Sega Genesis (launched in 1989 in North America) or the Sega Mega Drive. To this day retro game collectors are still buying game cartridges for the console and many games can be bought on the Virtual Console channel on the Nintendo Wii.
Popular Games: Mortal Kombat, Streets of Rage, Disney’s the Lion King, Golden Axe and Sonic the Hedgehog
6. Game Boy
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The original Game Boy was released in 1989. The handheld video game console used an 8-bit processor and while this may not seem like a big deal nowadays, back then the system was pretty amazing. The most appealing idea regarding the video game console was that it was portable, which meant you could play all your favorite games on the go. In fact, you could even battle your friends by using a link cable to connect your systems together.
Popular Games: Final Fantasy Adventure, Dr. Mario, Donkey Kong, Tetris and Super Mario Land
7. Super Nintendo Entertainment System – SNES
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The Super Nintendo Entertainment System was launched in 1991. This was the second biggest video game console launched by Nintendo. The SNES quickly became the bestselling video game console of the 16-bit age.
Popular Games: Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Mega Man X and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
8. Sega Dreamcast
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The Sega Dreamcast was launched in 1999. This console meant the end of Sega as a hardware manufacturer but we wouldn’t necessarily call it a failure. Even though it’s considered retro, the fact is that it was the first sixth generation console on the market. The console only lasted for 2 years on the market and was Sega’s last video game console.
Popular Games: Crazy Taxi, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Soul Calibur, Shenmue and Sonic Adventure
9. Nintendo Entertainment System – NES
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The Nintendo Entertainment System was launched in 1985. Nintendo branded the video game console as a Family Computer (its official name in Japan) and was indeed a system on which the whole family could have enjoyed playing games. The console revived the video game industry after plummeting because of low consumer confidence.
Popular Games: Duck Hunt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 3 and Legend of Zelda
10. Atari 2600
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The Atari 2600 was launched in 1977. This is the perfect example that you don’t necessarily need great graphics to enjoy an amazing game. The Atari 2600 used an 8-bit processor and is now being considered as the best retro video game console in history. The system used a joystick as a gamepad and most of its games were based on bigger arcade versions.
Popular Games: E.T., Pitfall!, Demon Attack, Missile Command and Pac-Man