(Note: When considering Wii and WiiWare, I am not taking into account Virtual Console or Wii's GCN backward compatibility.)
I suppose I'm asking the question from the point of view of: which one has the games you enjoyed most? and why is that system your favorite?
I... am having a tough time with this. But I vote SNES. It was a golden era in gaming history when you had the very best developers from first party AND third party, all creating high quality games on a single platform. I would argue Nintendo has not been able to recover that third-party support to the fullest degree since that era.
No, some of my favorite games are on the N64: -Blast Corps -Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask -Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time -Mario Kart 64 -Mario Party -Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber -Star Fox 64 -Star Wars: Rogue Squadron -Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey (I think its this and not '98) -WCW vs. nWo: World Tour -WCW/nWo: Revenge -WWF No Mercy -WWF Wrestlemania 2000
I own some games that are alright: -GoldenEye 007 -Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. -Mario Golf -NFL Blitz -NFL Quarterback Club '98 -NFL Quarterback Club '99 -Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire -Super Mario 64 -Super Smash Bros.
And then there are games I could definitely do without: -Body Harvest -Donkey Kong 64 (DOWN from Donkey Kong Country. For shame!) -ECW: Hardcore Revolution -Quest 64 -WCW Backstage Assault -WCW Mayhem -WCW Nitro -WWF Attitude -WWF Warzone (I'm aware this list is hugely wrestling-based; a bunch of these could hit the "alright" category, too)
How do you figure? Are you at all familiar with the Nintendo Seal of Approval? When that went out the window, "shovelware" came in.
And off of this list (on a quick skim), I just counted up 117 titles I DISTINCTLY remember having a notable amount of fun with. (I left off games like TMNT, the wrestling games, Super Pitfall, Monster Party, etc. because that would be a lie.)
The NES is getting underrated. To add to the above list...
Kid Icarus Zelda 2 Mega Man 4 Mega Man 5 Castlevania 1 Castlevania 3 Little Nemo Ducktales Chip & Dale Duck Hunt Super C Final Fantasy Dragon Warrior 4 Kirby's Adventure Faxanadu TMNT 2 TMNT 3 Ninja Gaiden 1, 2, 3 Battletoads Metroid River City Ransom
...are all fine games and most of them don't feel too dated.
Let's not forget that more great, original series and IPs started in the NES gen than any other...BY FAR. There were a lot of sequels, yes, but this is also the system that introduced the world to Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man, Castlevania, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Ninja Gaiden, Punch-Out, Contra, and Kid Icarus. No other system has the claim of creating this plethora of new worlds and characters during gaming's most prolific and original time.
That said, I voted the SNES. Some of the best games ever were all on one system, bringing the ultimate best of both Nintendo itself (LttP, Super Mario World, EarthBound, Super Metroid) and its third-parties (Final Fantasy III, Chrono Trigger, Super Castlevania IV, Turtles in Time). We got the DKC games, Lufia 2, Super Mario Kart, Kirby Super Star, Mario All-Stars, Mario Paint, Contra 3, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy II, Harvest Moon...the quality was only matched by the variety; established NES genres were being mastered, and it was a nice time before FPSes barged in and became pretty much the only real high-budget moneymakers companies could attempt.
Some N64 games haven't aged all that well, but Nintendo's own stuff is as playable today as it ever was. The one-two punch of the Zelda games instantly makes it a worthy system, as well as other super-greats like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark. Games like StarFox 64, Goldeneye, and Paper Mario were all very strong too, as well as Harvest Moon 64, Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Kart 64, fan-favorite Super Smash Bros., Rayman 2, Blast Corps, Banjo-Tooie, Jet Force Gemini, Conker's Bad Fur Day, and the Mario Party trilogy (hey, all are quite good). Unfortunately, with hardly anything to write about from any company that wasn't Nintendo or Rare, the N64 had far less games total and not as many ones worth playing as a result...but the good stuff is still rock solid in my eyes.
I have close to 40 GCN games, more than any other system, and while this may be partly due to having an expendable income (for the first time) when it released, it's also because the GCN just had a lot of great, quirky games worth playing. The best titles really stick out for me: Wind Waker, SSBM, RE4, Metroid Prime, Skies of Arcadia Legends, Viewtiful Joe and Paper Mario TTYD are the seven really amazing games for the system, but I was also a big fan of the REmake, Eternal Darkness, Timesplitters 2 and 3, Ikaruga, Soul Calibur 2, F-Zero GX, Mario Kart Double Dash, Mario Power Tennis, Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Kirby Air Ride, the Zelda Collection, Four Swords Adventures, Tales of Symphonia, Pikmin 1 and 2, Mega Man and Mega Man X Collections, Sonic Mega Collection, Luigi's Mansion, Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Mario DDR, Donkey Konga, and Animal Crossing.
The Wii is no slouch and feels more like the GCN's follow-up to me. Zelda's been kind of lacking this gen (here's hoping Skyward Sword blows me away), but Mario picked up the slack with two of my favorite platformers ever, Galaxy 1 and 2. Also great was Brawl, Little King's Story, Prime 3 (and the Trilogy), Twilight Princess, Mario Kart Wii, NSMBW, Boom Blox, Shattered Memories, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Wario Land Shake It, Sin and Punishment 2, Mega Man 9 and 10, and My Life as a Darklord! But where've the titles gone...?
Whew. Okay, so to rank them...ummm...
SNES > GCN > NES > Wii > N64
Hm, the middle three are all very close though. NES and GC might switch depending on the day you ask me.
Good entry, dude. Check out that link to that masterlist of NES games. I'm sure there are a bunch in there that you remember playing that you didn't put up there immediately.
I logged massive hours on Mario Bros. (not SMB), R.C. Pro-Am, Cobra Triangle, and a bunch of other games that you haven't mentioned. I mean, Wizards and Warriors hasn't been mentioned at all. The two first games are VERY GOOD at worst, and the III'rd game isn't horrible..just different. I'm not a Disney fan at all, but we never saw games on Nintendo again like we did with Ducktales, Chip & Dale, or even Darkwing Duck. Those games are awesome. Have you had the pleasure of using the Power Pad ever? We used to have feverish battles in my garage way back when to the tune of World Class Track Meet. Pure insanity.
I think my rankings are close to yours...but I've got that 300+ hour Monster Hunter deal pushing to take this thing higher.. Plus, the Wii is the first time we really saw online stuff on a broad, readily accessible spectrum. Tough call.
I'm stuck between the SNES and N64 but I might be leaning towards the N64 more because of -Mario Party (we all had blisters on our palm because of the game) -Perfect Dark -LOZ MM and OoT -Harvest Moon 64 (whatever I liked it) -Mario 64 -Mario kart -Starfox 64 -Jetforce Gemini -Smash bros. -Banjo-Kazooie -Killer Instinct
but on the other hand SNES has -LOZ ALTTP -Turtles in Time -Mario Paint (I had a blast killing bees and flies when I was a kid) -Earthbound -Donkey Kong Country 123
SNES by a landslide, then N64, then NES.... yes I know the NES was technically a much better system for the time with its obvious influence yet by today's standards (and for the time I guess) the N64 had immensely enjoyable titles. Some of the best games of all time, underrated classics, etc.
Wii is also a great system as well. It gets too much flack (no shit, it's a Nintendo console) when it actually does a hell of a lot, and has many, many good games.
I'd have to say the GC is the worst, but it's also still a great system with great games. And again, some of the best of all time. Prime and RE4 alone earn it a spot.
Realistically (as in objectively with the most quality and quantity) speaking the list should read (for everyone) 1. NES 2. SNES 3. Wii 4. N64 5. Gamecube
But there's a difference between NES invented Megaman, Castlevania, DPad, brought gaming back to life, etc, etc, and personal taste in videogames.
So my personal list reads as 1.SNES 2. N64 3. Wii/NES 4. GC
These polls are never fair. Its really too hard to pick one. Sure, the SNES is when I really got into videogaming, bigtime. I loved Super Mario World. I loved the echoing sound in those caves. Then I experienced Castlevania IV, man the music was sooo cool and there was several layers to the game that scrolled at different speeds, very immersive. Then came Super R-Type, and one of my all time favs...Contra III-The Alien Wars...played that sucker till I 100% all difficulty levels! Super Ghouls and Ghosts, man this game was sooo pretty, but so Goddamned hard! and making me go through it twice...shame on you Capcom! And I will never forget my favorite, DONKEY KONG COUNTRY!!! Man, the graphics were sooo sweet! Loved the sequel as well...never played the 3rd one, but I did 101% and 102% the first 2 games. Games like Earthworm Jim was different and really cool. Please forgive me for games I did not mention, cause I can't remember them all off the top of my head.
But man, I sure did love the 3D worlds on the N64, Mario64, BanjoKazooie, OH Man, Ocarina of Time, that is still like the most awesome Zelda game, probably cause it was my first experience with a Zelda game. Mario Kart 64 was my first time with a Mario Kart games. Loved it...actually I went back to play the SNES one cause all the reviews kept saying how the SNES version was superior. So, I got it for my SNES and thought it SUCKED! That 2D aspect in no way can match the 3D greatness of Mario Kart on the N64 and later systems. Loved Diddy Kong Racing, 100% that game, Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini....I know this will come as a shocker, I bought Goldeneye for the N64 and I actually never ended up taking that came out of the box until about a year or so later and even then I was like, yea, the game is good, but I just couldn't get into it. I think some of you may remember me saying I am not a big FPS fan, so I guess thats why I never could get into Goldeneye. I probably put about 1 or 2 hours into that game and just thought it was boring. And forgive me for not mentioning all the other titles I loved.
A quick mention that the N64 was the coolest looking Nintendo console out of all of them!
Then the Gamcube came out, finally the 3D worlds looked really, really alive! Loved Luigi's Mansion and StarWars game and even Super Monkey Ball and WaveRace were great fun. Then games like Eternal Darkness, the REmake and I must mention it NOW, RE4, my favorite RE game of all time! Then there is Zelda Wind Waker and getting to play OoT in 480p, it made that game look so much better. Metroid Prime, great game and my irst Metroid game Evar! I loved Super Mario Sunshine, never had major problems with the camera like so many complained about. I never do have issues with the camera in alot of games people complaining about the camera. I think its because I am the gamewizard and I know how to tenderly treat these games and I have the patience that one needs to show tender loving care when it comes to the camera. And the game can feel my love for it through the controller, thus, fixing itself and not giving me a heard time like alot of the whiners out there who complain about the camera.
Sorry, I got off topic there for a moment. And then the Wii, which in a way was just an extension of the Gamecube in my opinion. Zelda TP was a most awesome first came to be able to play on a new system. The Mario Galaxy games, in my opinion are the best Mario games out there, even better than SMB3, but only by a hair. New Super Mario Bros for the Wii, DKCR, Kirby's Epic Yarn, RE4 for the Wii(a great game made even better by new awesome controls) Wii Sports,(had sooo much fun with my family with this one). Games I have but not played yet and I know I will love them, Sin and Punishment 2, Dead Space Extraction and Muramasa. While I enjoyed some of the new Wii Ware games, nothing really excited me until the Bit Trip games, esp. Beat and Runner. Lost Winds was fun, but too short. Again sorry for not mentioning games I forgot about..oh wait, Excite Truck, my first experience with an excite game. LOVED it and 100%'ed it!
So, I hate having to pick one, but if I really had to pick just one, thinking of the over all fun I had from all the games that I played on that particular system, I would have to pick the........drumroll......
Yes, the Nintendo Gamecube, and I liked the purple one. I was actually worried I would have to settle for a black one. Silly me. It was the first time ever that I camped out for a system. Plus it was with my 2 sons who were about 8 and 6 at the time. Of course, it wasn't a long campout, we went to walmart around 10pm at night and only had to wait a couple hours, but man, there was probably about 50 or so people in from of me. I think they got in 100 systems though. I had actually already bought all the games and extra controllers. Not sure if it was this way everywhwere in the US, but the games and accessories went on sale a few days before the actual console was to be sold. Not sure if that was a first for something like that, but at least in my experience it was. And to me the games were just awesome, cause they had alot od detail now, not just squarish polygons and the Gamecube displayed in 480p.
Yea, thinking back, I would have to say I had the most fun with the Gamecube and the games that came out for that system over the next 5 years.
So, thats my quick summary of Nintendo. I did own a NES, but only about a year or so before the SNES was released. I was into arcade gaming bigtime and I had an Atari 2600 and 5200 with a ton of games for both systems. I was really hooked into videogaming. I was 16 back when I got the Atari 2600 for Xmas and I still remember my mom saying, enjoy it now, you will outgrow those games in a few years....
Ha,ha ha...the joke is one her, 30 years later and I am more into gaming than I was at 16! And then I had a Commodore 64 and then Amiga and a ton of games for those. But my gaming kindof died down for awhile during the NES era. I remember looking at the Zelda boxes and thinking, this looks like a 2-bit game. Seriously, I was down on Zelda back then. Had no idea what it was about and never knew how popular it was. I only owned about 4 or 5 games for the NES, but I will say when Super Mario Bros 3 came out I was all over that game and played it till I 100%'ed that game. I will never forget going to see the movie "The Wizard" with my wife, I had only been married for maybe a year or 2 when that movie came out and I remember going nuts at the end of the movie when SMB3 was revealed. I will admit that SMB3 was probably the game that re-ignited my videogame craze and the flame has not died since then.
@Mr_Mustache The "Seal of Approval" never has, and never will, have anything to do with "shovelware". There was definitely shovelware on the NES; most any successful system will have shovelware in its library. The Seal of Approval just meant that the company making the game had Nintendo's approval to release the game, since at the time the Atari 2600 was suffering from having tons of poor-quality game releases, as no one had to actually go through Atari themselves to release a game for it.
The N64 was so much more than those 2 games though. Mario Kart 64, Goldeneye, Mario Tennis and Smash Bros were each games that you could play every day for months and never get tired of. And it's not like those games are chopped liver now. Get the right group of people together and they're just as fun as they ever were.