Official Nintendo Magazine

Log in to access exclusive Nintendo content, win prizes and post on our forums. Not a member yet? Join for free

The best Nintendo consoles of all time

What is your number one console?

A few weeks ago, Nintendo revealed the list of the best and worst selling Nintendo consoles and there were some surprises. While we expected DS to be on top, it was sad to see GameCube languishing in last place. To redress the balance, we asked you what your best Nintendo console of all time is and we now have the results of our poll.

So as we approach the release of the Wii U, what has been the Nintendo console you enjoyed playing on the most? We wonder if Wii U will be on top in five years time.

10. Game Boy

Click to view larger image
We say: We're rather shocked to see the console that really launched handheld gaming in last place. With iconic games such as Tetris and Pokemon Red and Blue plus the classic Mario Land games and Link's Awakening, you'd think that it would deserve more than 1% of the vote. But then, if you've downloaded Side Pocket recently on 3DS, it's easy to see why you'd be put off.

You say: For me, I'd say the Game Boy is the best in terms of nostalgia - playing and trading Pokemon in the playground was the absolute bomb. N64 was a close second for all the multiplayer classics like Mario Party 2, Battletanks, Bomberman 64, Mario Kart, Lylat Wars, Smash Bros, Goldeneye, Turok Rage Wars and Snowboard Kids which seemed incredible when I was 7. Jonnyjazz

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next page

Comments

47 comments so far...
Add a comment

  1. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 13:32

    No Game Boy Micro? That was clearly the best. Portable SNES with backlight and a battery that lasts for months.

  2. toffeeman30 Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 13:34

    n64 is ok but the best nintendo console of all time? no chance

  3. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 13:36

    The N64 did have the best Nintendo game of all time though, so at least you can give it that.

  4. tomonm Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 13:37

    But that would be like including 3DS XL as a separate console to 3DS. Game Boy Micro is just a small Game Boy Advance.

  5. reeesy Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 13:39

    Put the SNES in second place, and the GameCube in third, and i would pretty much agree with this order.
    But at the end of the day they are all awesome in their own way.

  6. tomonm Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 13:43

    The N64 did have the best Nintendo game of all time though, so at least you can give it that.

    What game is that?

  7. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 14:06

    The N64 did have the best Nintendo game of all time though, so at least you can give it that.

    What game is that?

    Mario 64 of course!

  8. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 14:06

    But that would be like including 3DS XL as a separate console to 3DS. Game Boy Micro is just a small Game Boy Advance.

    I suppose, but it is so, so much better.

  9. tomonm Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 14:09

    We agree! Mario 64 is also my favourite game of all time!

  10. King Slazo Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 14:14

    Gamecube and N64 at the top? Fine with this.

    Nope, no tirades from me today. N64 pioneered a ridiculous amount of memorable Nintendo franchises (Paper Mario, Smash Bros etc) , which the Gamecube iterations then built and improved upon (TTYD, Melee) while bringing its own set of new classic games to the mix (Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, Chibi Robo).

  11. sciqueen Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 14:17

    I love the N64 but the SNES definitely should be first, followed by the Game Boy and then the N64.

  12. jawafour Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 15:16

    It's great to the the N64 claim first spot. Zelda Ocarina, GoldenEye and ISS64 stand as some of my personal "wow" moments in videogaming. Alongside cult classics such as Road Rash 64, Robotron 64 and WCW/NWO Revenge, it's the reason why my N64 machine has been in use since I got it in '98.

    It was massively under-rated as the PlayStation took the spotlight, but those in the know recognised the wealth of diamonds that could be found. There were some awful ports and misjudged releases as not many developers had the skill to get the best from the machine. Even so, there were a large number of gaming experiences that just weren't available on other platforms.

    Right, I'm going to have a quick blast of Robotron to celebrate :-)

  13. 3DSRulesO.K Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 16:17

    They quoted me, Hooray! :mrgreen:

    All these consoles are truly amazing, I really find it hard to choose, I picked NES because we wouldent have games today without it. I had a dream the other night when I went back to several different points in time and bought every single Nintendo console on launch day, then went back to the present and kept them as a collection.
    IF ONLY THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED! :cry:

  14. 3DSRulesO.K Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 16:22

    Nope, no tirades from me today.

    THE APOCOLYPSE IS UPON US, WE ARE ALL DOOMED!
    PIGS ARE FLYING AS WE SPEAK! SATAN IS ICE SKATING TO WORK!

    (Actually, I shouldn't be rude to a mod, I respect your opinion always)

  15. Pyron12 Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 16:40

    No Game Boy Micro? That was clearly the best. Portable SNES with backlight and a battery that lasts for months.


    *insane laugh* The GB Micro? That was the most pointless handheld since the VB existed! The GBA was already a portable SNES so that is a stupid point to make. The N64 deserved to win. :)

  16. JoeOdranDoran Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 17:05

    Nice, one of my comments was featured! :D

  17. gabrieljrc1 Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 18:05

    3DS has got to be the best of all time atleast way better than Wii :evil: :( :evil: :( :evil: :( :evil:

  18. wiill 64 Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 18:16

    Hard to argue against most the list there.
    N64 was great with Mario 64, Zelda: OoT, Lylat Wars, F-Zero X, Smash Bros, Goldeneye and more but for me the Gamecube bettered it with Zelda: Wind Waker, Smash Bros Melee, Metroid Prime, Pikmin, F-Zero GX, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and much more.
    The DS should be higher I mean, Pokemon Diamond/Pearl, HG/SS, Black/White and B2/W2 as well as Animal Crossing, Custom Robo, 2 Advance Wars, 2 Zeldas, Elite Beat Agents, Golden Sun, the Professor Layton series and loads more.

  19. 3DDCaptinJ Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 18:19

    Interesting list - for me this is more accurate list.

    10. DS
    9. Game Boy Colour
    8. N64
    7. Wii
    6. Game Boy
    5. Gamecube
    4. Game Boy Advance
    3. 3DS
    2. Super Nintendo
    1. NES

    The NES is the best for me as it basically resurrected the entire gaming industry.

  20. thenintendoer Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 18:33

    to me i feel the 3ds may have been lpaced a bit too high mainly coz of it being the new handheld console but i must agree it has some fantastic games from tons of franchises with more to come, im starting to fall behind with all these great games being relased

  21. ledreppe Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 18:42

    Gamecube and N64 at the top? Fine with this.

    Nope, no tirades from me today. N64 pioneered a ridiculous amount of memorable Nintendo franchises (Paper Mario, Smash Bros etc) , which the Gamecube iterations then built and improved upon (TTYD, Melee) while bringing its own set of new classic games to the mix (Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, Chibi Robo).

    You say the N64 pioneered a ridiculous amount of memorable Nintendo franchises, but I'm guessing you're maybe too young to remember the NES and SNES. Because otherwise you'd be saying the best console was either the NES or SNES. Just think of all the games that debuted on the NES; Mario, Zelda, Metroid to name a few and then there's the SNES; Pilotwings, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart I could go on. No, the N64 (and I have all the home consoles) is definitley not the best home console of all time, I am split between the NES and SNES.

  22. TheVelvetRoom Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 19:07

    I really think N64 and NES are the weakest systems at holding up well today. Sure they were the start for a lot of things, but the majority of their games were baby steps for a lot of developers and while they had ambition, they lacked the sheer polish and attention to detail which gave the SNES an incredible amount of classics that feel like they haven't aged a bit.

  23. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 19:24

    No Game Boy Micro? That was clearly the best. Portable SNES with backlight and a battery that lasts for months.


    *insane laugh* The GB Micro? That was the most pointless handheld since the VB existed! The GBA was already a portable SNES so that is a stupid point to make. The N64 deserved to win. :)

    If you owned a GBM (and I have a GBA and three GBA SPs too) then you'd see how not pointless they were. So small, with a fantastic screen and perfect controls, and a battery that just never seemed to run out. It was a bigger difference from (and improvement over) the GBA than the DS Lite was over the DS, and that was a massive leap in terms of comfort, style, screen, and so on.

  24. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 19:26

    We agree! Mario 64 is also my favourite game of all time!

    It's my top game-released-on-a-Nintendo-console of all time, not my favourite game of all time ;)

    That goes to the little known but still played regularly to this day (albeit on my DS or phone now) Spectrum game called Run Baby Run.

    Mario 64 is top three though, yes.

  25. me4ndubz Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 19:28

    lol brawl and melee were written the wrong way round

  26. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 19:31

    Gamecube and N64 at the top? Fine with this.

    Nope, no tirades from me today. N64 pioneered a ridiculous amount of memorable Nintendo franchises (Paper Mario, Smash Bros etc) , which the Gamecube iterations then built and improved upon (TTYD, Melee) while bringing its own set of new classic games to the mix (Metroid Prime, Animal Crossing, Chibi Robo).

    Animal Crossing was originally an N64 game though - it just never came it over here.

  27. me4ndubz Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 19:32

    i would have been quite surprised if the n64 wasn't at the top

  28. Scirm Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 20:05

    For me on the top is Wii. I absolutely love this console. I can play on this one games form NES, SNES, N64, GC even DS!(not so much, I mean Ace Attorney)and of course Wii. The only thing I am dreaming is Skyward Sword instead of Twilight Princess. It would be so amazing if Nintendo had showed what this little, white baby can back in 2006. And for me, best Zelda and Mario are Wii ones. Same goes even for RESIV, and Wii has is so full of ideas. I really want to see another Dead Space game on Niny's console.
    Second place goes for 3DS XL. It should be DS, but I can play my all games on the 3DS, and I think most of 'em looks pretty, damn good - Layton for example. And 3D has so much potential. I love how Nintendo used 3D in 3DLand, and how beautiful Traverse Town looks! Simply amazing.

  29. Dan-the-Wii-man Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 20:15

    Wii's the best :D and my comment made it into the article :3

  30. vtheyoshi Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 20:30

    I'm pretty happy that Gamecube's second, though in my heart, it will always be first, even if the Wii has Okami.

  31. the_yoshimaster Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 20:31

    i agree with most of this

  32. CraigEmberson Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 20:41

    No Game Boy Micro? That was clearly the best. Portable SNES with backlight and a battery that lasts for months.


    Game Boy Micro is a GBA remake in a very different style - these are summing up the main consoles of each generation (handheld and home).

    NES
    SNES + Game & Watch (Generation 4)
    Game Boy + N64 (Generation 5)
    Game Boy Advance + Gamecube (Generation 6)
    DS + Wii (Generation 7)
    3DS + Wii U (Generation 8 )

  33. Xenobladeperson Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 21:00

    SNES + Game & Watch (Generation 4)


    That's not how it went.

  34. King Slazo Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 21:36

    You say the N64 pioneered a ridiculous amount of memorable Nintendo franchises, but I'm guessing you're maybe too young to remember the NES and SNES.

    Ha.

    Because otherwise you'd be saying the best console was either the NES or SNES.

    Alternatively I've had far, far, faaaaaar better gameplay experiences on the N64 and Gamecube.

    Just think of all the games that debuted on the NES; Mario, Zelda, Metroid to name a few

    Nintendo pioneered franchises on their first(ish) home console? Really? I'd never have guessed.

    and then there's the SNES; Pilotwings, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart I could go on.

    Two of which have had the sum total of one original game in half a decade (no, a 3D port doesn't count). And it was the N64 version of Mario Kart that would set the standard we're used to today, not the SNES version.

    No, the N64 and Gamecube were the definition of Nintendo at their creative peak. The conversion to 3D of numerous Nintendo franchises, taking them to heights not yet known (even if I think OoT sucks and SM64 wasn't all that, I'm not going to deny the huge effect they have and the popularity they've attained, and their GC counterparts more than made up for any disappointments I had). The pioneering of new spins on their IPs, like Mario Golf / Tennis / Party and Paper Mario (man they loved milking that guy). The connectivity between console and handheld games, mainly brought to life by Pokémon. And then of course you have a bunch of amazing third party games, including Resident Evil 4, Tales of Symphonia, Super Monkey Ball, Billy Hatcher (well, maybe that ones just me), Banjo Kazooie, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Goldeneye, Turok, Custom Robo...

    Y'see where this is going? I admit, I don't own a NES or SNES, but I've played the "best" they have to offer, and while there's definitely some good games (SMB2 and World I loved), they just can't even begin to hold a candle to the sheer joy I had playing on my Gamecube and N64.

    Oh, and...

    Animal Crossing was originally an N64 game though - it just never came it over here.

    I know. In a surprising twist, I live in the UK, as do probably 100% of the users who voted on this, so for us, the Gamecube was our first taste of Animal Crossing. And that point's even more mute when I'm praising both consoles in question.

  35. Commandervideo Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 22:01

    My favourite is DS so I was suprised to see DS/3DS is only 6/5, they should be way further up, like top 4 or 3.

    And I'm even more suprised the Gamecube was so high, the Wii beats it at everything I can think of, well... for me anyway

  36. mercury9 Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 22:45

    I vote SNES.

    Not only for being the best Nintendo console but frankly, It's one of the best consoles ever made and it's game library still shines all these years later. Absolute perfection.

  37. deKay Friday 9th Nov 2012 at 22:59

    Animal Crossing was originally an N64 game though - it just never came it over here.

    I know. In a surprising twist, I live in the UK, as do probably 100% of the users who voted on this, so for us, the Gamecube was our first taste of Animal Crossing. And that point's even more mute when I'm praising both consoles in question.

    I was just pointing out it wasn't a new, original, game series that the GC brought. That's all.

  38. Pyron12 Saturday 10th Nov 2012 at 08:53


    If you owned a GBM (and I have a GBA and three GBA SPs too) then you'd see how not pointless they were. So small, with a fantastic screen and perfect controls, and a battery that just never seemed to run out. It was a bigger difference from (and improvement over) the GBA than the DS Lite was over the DS, and that was a massive leap in terms of comfort, style, screen, and so on.


    I don't own one but I borrowed one from a friend for 3 months (along with the charger). It wasn't very impressive to me and, honestly, the GBM had no reason for its existence because the DS was taking over from the GBA, SP and Micro and those arguments could apply to any handheld (including the 3DS XL). It just felt like a smaller version of a GBA SP and it deserved to be dwarfed by the DS.

  39. epiclink Saturday 10th Nov 2012 at 10:33

    the N64 had amazing game play, the snes and ds had brilliant rpg's, but my favorite would have to be the N64 :D

  40. deKay Saturday 10th Nov 2012 at 12:48


    If you owned a GBM (and I have a GBA and three GBA SPs too) then you'd see how not pointless they were. So small, with a fantastic screen and perfect controls, and a battery that just never seemed to run out. It was a bigger difference from (and improvement over) the GBA than the DS Lite was over the DS, and that was a massive leap in terms of comfort, style, screen, and so on.


    I don't own one but I borrowed one from a friend for 3 months (along with the charger). It wasn't very impressive to me and, honestly, the GBM had no reason for its existence because the DS was taking over from the GBA, SP and Micro and those arguments could apply to any handheld (including the 3DS XL). It just felt like a smaller version of a GBA SP and it deserved to be dwarfed by the DS.

    The DS hasn't really got anything to do with it. The best way to play GBA games is on a GBM.

  41. Herbert_Rarr Saturday 10th Nov 2012 at 13:27

    The Gameboy Advance and the Gamecube are my favourite consoles of all time, just because of the sound they make when you turn them on :mrgreen:
    What happened to cool jingles?

  42. TheAlex Saturday 10th Nov 2012 at 14:27

    I've owned Nintendo consoles since the NES; I would have voted for the SNES. Whereas graphics on the NES, N64 and Gamecube have dated due to advances in 3D, many of the best SNES games are timeless in both playability and looks. The likes of Yoshi's Island, Secret of Mana, Terranigma, Super Mario World, DKC, Super Probotector, Tetris Attack and so on still look good today. They're also easy to pick up and play, but often difficult to master. And not until the Wii was the SNES usurped for pick-up-and-play multiplayer fun.

  43. cengirl Sunday 11th Nov 2012 at 14:18

    I definitely agree, the n64 is the best nintendo console. I cherish the memories I have of playing it. :D

  44. SM3DL2 Sunday 11th Nov 2012 at 20:35

    Despite the fact that I voted for the DS, I knew the N64 was always going to win and it is a worthy winner.

    1% of the votes for the Game Boy? I suppose the games were good, but the console wasn't that advanced.

  45. madlink Monday 12th Nov 2012 at 09:18

    I completely agree with the number one choice. Although I've owned every home console and every hand-held since GBASP, for me Mario64, goldeneye and ocarina were second to none.

  46. CraigEmberson Tuesday 13th Nov 2012 at 03:36

    SNES + Game & Watch (Generation 4)


    That's not how it went.


    I'll give you that but I just put it there because it came before Game Boy, even though it wasn't technically a console as such. I know different ones came out between 1980 and 1991.

  47. PikachuKJ Friday 1st Mar 2013 at 00:38

    noticed a slight mistake when you were talking about the gamecube. I think melee and brawl got mixed up. Good article and I couldn't choose as I have enjoyed most of these consoles.

Register or log in to commment
Add a comment
Nintendo Co., Ltd. is the owner of certain copyright which subsists and trade marks and other intellectual property rights in certain content, characters, artwork, logos, scripts and representations used in this publication. All rights are expressly recognised and they are used by Future Publishing Limited under licence © 2006 Nintendo Co., Ltd. All rights reserved. "Nintendo", "International Nintendo Licensed Product" "Nintendo DS", "Nintendo DS Lite", "Nintendo DSi", "Nintendo 3DS", "Nintendo DSi XL", "Nintendo 3DS XL", "Wii" and "Wii U" and the associated logos are the trademarks of Nintendo Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.