The 80s were a groundbreaking time in the world of video games. With the release of the first home gaming consoles, people could now play their favorite games from the comfort of their own living room. This list will rank the best gaming consoles from the 80s, based on their impact on the industry and popularity with gamers at the time.
1. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
The NES was released in North America in 1985, and quickly became the most popular gaming console of the era. It came with a variety of games, including the iconic Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. The NES was known for its simple, easy-to-use design and affordable price, making it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.
2. Atari 7800
Atari’s 7800 console, released in 1986, was the company’s attempt to compete with the NES. It was capable of playing both classic Atari games and newer titles, offering gamers a wider selection of games to choose from. However, the 7800 ultimately fell short of the NES in terms of overall popularity, despite its technical capabilities.
3. Sega Master System
The Sega Master System, released in 1986, was Sega’s first home gaming console. It offered impressive graphics and sound for the time, but was ultimately overshadowed by the dominance of the NES. The Master System did, however, gain a loyal following in Europe and Brazil, where it remained popular well into the 90s.
4. Mattel Intellivision
The Mattel Intellivision, released in 1980, offered gamers a more sophisticated gaming experience than previous consoles. It featured better graphics and more complex games, but its higher price tag and complicated controller design made it less accessible than other consoles on the market. Still, the Intellivision has its fans, and is often cited as an early example of a console that tried to appeal to a more mature audience.
Released in 1982, the ColecoVision was another console that tried to offer gamers a more advanced gaming experience. It featured better graphics and sound than its competitors, and even had a unique add-on that allowed players to play Atari 2600 games on the console. However, the ColecoVision was ultimately a commercial failure, as the company went bankrupt in 1985 due to a combination of factors, including poor sales and overspending on licensing deals.
The 80s were a transformative time for gaming, as home consoles became more prevalent and accessible. While the NES remains the most iconic gaming console of the era, there were other consoles that helped shape the industry and push gaming technology forward. Which 80s console was your favorite?