The leading brands that make consoles have been trying for years to make the best console out there. It seems like every time one brand improves on their design, it is only a matter of time before another makes even more extensive improvements. With all of the amazing models out there, it is not only difficult to find one console that reigns supreme above all the rest, it is impossible to make an unbiased decision about the best console. What it really comes down to is personal preference, and, in many ways, a nostalgic connection to the consoles that we have always used. Let’s embark on a trip down memory lane and look into the way our early gaming experiences impact our opinions of which are the best consoles.
When I was a kid, my siblings and I would huddle together around the Xbox (the first Xbox) and immerse ourselves in the worlds of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, Shrek, Halo, and, once we were a bit older, Grand Theft Auto. My outlook on gaming was shaped by these initial adventures in the gaming world, and to be completely honest, even though I’m currently using a Switch Lite, I still have a preference for Xbox. Sadly, that first console doesn’t work the way it used to anymore (it’s in a box somewhere in the garage), but the memories and the introduction into gaming it gave me will live on forever.
This attachment I feel towards Xbox isn’t entirely rational; even though I remember that console being a good one, I’m sure it had its faults, and because of my prejudice, I still think of Xbox as being a cut above the rest. This type of nostalgic prejudice in the gaming industry is often the reason people only buy one brand of console for their whole lives. Whether you grew up with an Xbox, the Nintendo NES, or a PlayStation, those connections you made with your first console will stick with you for the rest of your life.
To start with my personal favorite, the original Xbox is quite a clunky contraption, and is not without its issues, but it remains beloved by many in the gaming community, especially those who started out playing on this console at the beginning of their gaming days. Even seeing a picture of it is enough to bring back memories for me; for one Reddit user, an image of their original collection of games brought up a wave of nostalgia, and they commented, “My original Xbox collection… Most are original.. lots of memories.” This wave of memories shows that even with its issues, the original Xbox remains a favorite console of so many people because of the nostalgia it invokes.
The Nintendo NES is perhaps even more of a nostalgic reminder of the past than the Xbox, as it is seen by many as the technology behind many of the consoles that came later. One reviewer on dkoldies.com said it best when they stated, “What’s better than original Nintendo games?
Seriously? [Do] you want time travel? Here it is. Step back 35 years into the glorious golden age of gaming. Where the fun factor of a game reigned SUPREME…REPLAY value was INFINITE…and all a person needed was a Nintendo and a few games. Fast Forward 35 years and the Fun factor, replay value, still make the original NES an infinite Champion. It took this many years to realize, it’s a classic system, because it has class. Still in a class of its own…The Original NES stands forever as the original breakthrough home entertainment device. All technologies, consoles, and further developments, will FOREVER owe the Nintendo Entertainment System Homage for such classy clean quality consistent entertainment, that still entertains and makes me giddy inside with joy!” The level of energy in this review shows just how much a console from 1985 can still bring so much joy to its fans.
The original PlayStation is an interesting example of these nostalgic consoles because, often, if people are choosing to buy an older PlayStation, they choose to go with the PS2 instead of the PS1 because the PS2 can play PS1 games and is of a slightly higher quality. That being said, there are still many people out there who hold onto the love of the PS1 simply because it was the first of the PlayStations. As Shane F. said after purchasing a PS1 off of dkoldies.com, “I used to play this all the time as a kid and I can’t believe I got one in such amazing condition and was able to relive the past with all of these games and the playstation itself.” The love surrounding the PS1 really proves that even if there are newer and better consoles available, the affection we have for the originals will never fade.
Whether you grew up with a PlayStation, an Xbox, or anything in between, the bond that grows with that first console certainly lasts forever, even as we move on to using newer and more advanced options, we can’t ever shake that attachment to what we were first introduced to. This nostalgic attachment is the reason that even though I love playing on my Switch, and I know that PlayStations are really exceptional, at heart, I still believe that the original Xbox is the best console. Our favorite consoles might not actually be the best, but to us individually, they will always be the best and part of our favorite memories in gaming.