I have been thinking back on all the names video game consoles have had, and I have been completely underwhelmed with nearly all of them. So, I thought it would be fun to rank them from worst to best. As there are quite a few consoles, I am only going to list the big brands that have popped up over the decades, Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Sony and Microsoft and only their main home consoles. Nevertheless, there are plenty to talk about, so let’s go!
Fun fact- All Nintendo consoles are in red text, Atari in orange, Sony in black, Sega in blue, and Microsoft in green…How fun!
#22 Wii U
I remember when they first started talking about this console, but before they announced the name, I was thrilled to stop having to call Nintendo’s most current console “Wii.” Imagine my disappointment when they revealed another letter to an already horrible name… Though the name does serve a purpose, implying “we all can play,” or “you can play.” It still is terrible, and the worst name on this list.
#21 Atari 7800
What the heck Atari? This isn’t even remotely easy to say. 9 syllables the way I say it. Who wants to puke that out? Wii U at least is super fast and easy to say. I guess 7800 is where Atari draw the line with these weird numbers. The Atari 10400 for their next console would just be too much. This name was probably why the console did very poorly.
#20 PlayStation 4
Really? PS4? You guys are so lazy that you just keep adding numbers to your system names? While this saves on confusing everyone I guess, making it well known that this is an updated system, but crikey it just makes their systems seem so less exciting. Instead of a new system, you always feel like you are getting a really expensive update on something you already spent a ton of money on, and the games are all useless now though. Even the controllers are always more or less the same, as well as the central theme of each system. The worst part is, it’s too late to go back, they have to keep numbering them. It would just be stupid now to stop numbering them. I can’t wait for PlayStation 12!
#19 Atari 5200
This is just a mouthful to say. I don’t know why they doubled the numbers from their last poorly named system. Was everything double the power, double the fun?
This means “we all can play.” It was a clever name I guess, representing the central theme of what the console was all about, but it took me like a year to get used to saying, “Hey guys, let’s go to my house and play my Wii!”
#17 PlayStation 3
I already said how lazy Sony was with the PS4 name, but when this came out, I lost all hope of them trying to be a bit creative, so by the time PS4 came out, nobody was surprised by the name.
#16 Xbox One
First they jump to a very high number, then they regress back all the way to the number 1? I guess it is supposed to mean something like “all of your entertainment rolled into one” since it does so much cool stuff. But jeez, between this, Wii U and PS4, it is by far the worst named console generation of all time.
#15 Atari 2600
We all wonder what these numbers mean. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of long nonsensical names for Atari.
#14 Nintendo 64
Now this is a lazy name if I ever saw one, (next to all the PlayStation consoles besides the first). The only reason this is this high on the list is because it was a smart marketing idea when this came out back in 1996 during the whole “bit wars” era. Sega and Nintendo fans clashed about bits all the time, so to name a console after how many bits it had was pretty genius, so kids could rub it in Sega fans faces.
#13 Xbox 360
What the heck does that mean? Does it imply gaming has come full circle? If so, how? Was it HD graphics? The only circle I recall from this console is the “red ring of death.”
#12 PlayStation 2
Okay, as we get into the top 12, I can say these are all good names. PlayStation 2 was an okay name, hence it being number 12 in the top 12. It just let everyone know the successor to the hugely popular PlayStation had come to town. PS2 also had the advantage of being unable to drive the numbering consoles thing into the ground.
#11 Nintendo Switch
The name makes sense, since you can basically switch from playing on the TV to playing it outside like a handheld in a flash, but I just feel like it’s kind of a lazy name. Though since it is original and doesn’t have any weird numbers or letters after it, it gets a fairly high ranking.
#10 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Talk about long names. Luckily SNES or Super Nintendo were enough for people to realize what you were talking about. After the NES changed gaming forever, when something new came out with the same name, but with “Super” in front of it, it really was impressive, not to mention crapping your own pants exciting. Even now, “Super” sounds so much cooler than if it was just called NES 2. It really made you feel like you were playing with power.
#9 Atari Jaguar
This is an interesting name. Why is it named after a menacing cat? I have no idea, but after all the other names in the Atari family tree, this one is awesome especially because this would have been the Atari 10,400. There was even a handheld aptly named “Lynx,” to continue the cat theme.
#8 Sega Saturn
This is obviously named after a planet, and I don’t know why, but it’s just an awesome name. When you say “Sega Saturn,” it just flows so nicely. The canceled “Sega Neptune” was a really cool name too. Kind of makes me wish someone else would name a console after a planet, or a handheld called the “Pluto!”
#7 Sega Master System
This is a good name, telling everyone who the boss is, though it does come across rather cocky, but it had the games to back it up.
This console was a box with an X on it, so it was named as such. Pretty simple stuff. I don’t know what the X means though…but it is a cool name for a gaming console anyway.
#5 Sega Genesis
Genesis is defined as “an origin, creation or beginning.” This would have been a great name for Sega’s first console, but hey, it’s still awesome. It ushered in 16-bit gaming and started one of the best console wars of all time. So I guess it grew into it’s name.
#4 Nintendo Entertainment System
It’s name was somewhat self explanatory. It was a system that brought you entertainment, much more so than anything seen so far at the point of its release.
#3 Sega Dreamcast
I love this name. I don’t know why, I don’t know what they are implying, but it is awesome nonetheless. It was so far ahead of its time that perhaps it felt like the system “cast you into a dream.”
This is the most bad ass name in gaming history. It is a cube (though technically a rectangular prism) and plays games and is named as such. Can’t get more to the point than that. Plus it is oddly fun to say.
And here is the best named console of all time. The PlayStation is just like GameCube’s blunt name, it’s a station you play on, but this just sounded cooler. The word station makes you feel like you are not just limited to the console itself, but instead it draws in everything around you somehow. It’s a very colorful word I guess, at least in my mind! It’s not as bad ass as the GameCube, but it’s more of an awe inspiring name.
So there you have it. If the consoles were to have a war for best names, Sony take best name, but I would say the true winner would have to have the most names in the top 10.
So in last place would be Microsoft, Sony and Atari with 1 console each in the top ten.
Nintendo is the runner up with three names.
Sega comes in first with four! That’s right, of the four consoles they have on this list, every single one of them made it into the top 8!
Sega congratulations, you win the Console Name War!
Come check out next week, when the Console War will move on to controllers!