games / Columns

The Top 8 Worst Consoles (That I’ve Played)

February 22, 2022 | Posted by Marc Morrison
Nintendo Virtual Boy Image Credit: Nintendo

Welcome all to another edition of The 8 Ball! This week I’m here to talk about some bad consoles, but specifically the bad consoles that I’ve actually played. There are certainly worse consoles out there, the N-Gage or Gizmondo certainly apply but I’ve never even seen those before, let alone played with them. Below is a list of consoles/handhelds that I’ve actually played and either weren’t impressed by, dislike, or actively hate. Enjoy:

#8: PlayStation 3

The PS3 era of Sony was a weird one. I think the PS3 itself was a capable console but it was highly dependent on being able to actually know how to utilize it correctly. Most multiplatform games didn’t take full advantage so games generally performed better on the Xbox 360 than the PS3, outside of a few specific outliers. The real problem, outside of a lot of initial PS3’s not being built well, is the linage of the system. The PS3 started franchises like Uncharted, Resistance, Infamous, Killzone and The Last of Us. And of those, only Uncharted and TLOU is still going. Even some PS3 inventive games like Trash Panic, Tokyo Jungle, 3D Dot Game Heroes are great, but weren’t able to continue and that’s a real shame. I’d say of the five “main” PlayStation consoles, the PS3 is definitely the weakest of the bunch.

#7: Sega Saturn

The Sega Saturn is good for very specific genres, mainly 2D games or shoot’em ups. That’s…about it. And considering the gaming world was trending more toward 3D games instead of 2D games, it didn’t bode well for the Saturn. The Saturn even does have some interesting 3D games, like Fighters Megamix but they were few and far between. The two games I like on the Saturn are the arcade port of X-Men vs. Street Fighter and the Japanese port of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which doesn’t play well at all but is still interesting. A lot of the Saturn games I’ve played just didn’t impress me though and seeing all the nostalgia for the system now is weird.

#6: Neo Geo Pocket Color

There are about five half-decent games for the NGPC and that’s about it. And considering some of the other consoles on this list, 5 is a big number, since some of them have like one or two good games, only. The handful of good Pocket Color games are either Sonic games or are of the Neo Geo variety (fighting or card battling). It’s not that the NGPC is strictly “bad”, it just barely ever came out in America, so even if there were more good games for it, I wouldn’t have known, since they weren’t actually in stores. I actually bought my NGPC at a Best Buy back in the day, and the fact they were seven selling it, was really odd. Mine broke after like 3 months, and they didn’t have anymore, so I got a CDRW drive instead. And considering this was late 1999/early 2000, that was much more useful to me.

#5: Nintendo Virtual Boy

I’ve had not one but TWO of these when I was growing up as a kid. I got one near launch and I’m not sure what happened to it. I then got another one, years later, at a toy liquidation store (more on that later), when they were selling it for like $20. I typically played mine when laying on my back or against a couch with the headset leaning against my face, which was way more comfortable than setting it on a table and playing it that way. The actual games for the Virtual Boy aren’t “bad”, Mario Tennis is solid, Red Alarm is neat, Wario Land is good. The problem is, obviously, the monochromatic red screen. If they were able to release a Virtual Boy 2 now, with something like the Oculus Quest tech and Nintendo-made games, it would sell like gangbusters.

#4: Sega 32X

A console with only one or two good games for it? Hello Sega 32X. Now, the 32X does have a handful of good ported games like NBA Jam TE, Doom and Mortal Kombat 2. Aside from that? Knuckles Chaotix…and that’s about it. Now, even if you discount the bad game library, the 32X was a nightmare to even get into Genesis consoles or working. It came with these two, flimsy but somewhat required metal clips, to hold the 32X into place and make it more stable. You can just use a 32X regularly, but the clips were kind of needed to actually get a good grip, and make it so if it’s jostled, it won’t freak out. Getting these clips in was a nightmare, and that’s why most used 32X’s these days don’t have them at all.

#3: GameCube

I know there are a lot of GameCube fans out there who love the system. You all are high on dust if you think it’s good. Even if you want to ignore the travesty of the controller, most of even Nintendo’s own games weren’t great on it. Twilight Princess? Nope. Mario Sunshine? Nope. Star Fox Adventures (or Assault)? Hell no. Now, the GameCube obviously does have some good games, Wind Waker, Smash Bros Melee, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, but like half of Nintendo’s games were good and the other half (like that I listed above) are garbage fires. People generally say that the Wii U is the worst of the “main” Nintendo consoles and that’s not true. That would be the GameCube.

#2: Panasonic 3D0

No one I knew actually had a 3D0 and my only limited exposure to it was playing it in various demo stations when I was a kid. At the time, Gex, Soccer Kid and Road Rash weren’t awful but trying playing those games today. The controller itself just felt kind of mushy, and having to daisy chain controllers for multiple players is borderline stupid. It’s real race to the bottom between this and the CDi, but I’ve at least played this hunk of trash, so it actually makes the list. Outside of one or two used game stores I’ve never actually seen a CDi in the wild before.

#1: Atari Jaguar

The Jaguar, my god. I did own this at one point, I got it at a toy liquidation store (same one I got my Virtual Boy, I think), new, for $20. I also got a handful of games: Kasumi Ninja, Zool 2, Checkered Flag, Flashback, and Cybermorph (the pack-in title), each game was $5. Each game was also garbage and the fact that Cybermorph with the bald blue lady was the pack-in, is extra insulting. The Jaguar only had one good game on it, Alien vs. Predator, and the fact that Rebellion made it, and then made two subpar Alien vs. Predator games in 1999 and 2010, the mind reels at how inept they really are. If you lost the little card that went over the number pad on the Jaguar controller, that told you what the buttons did, you were screwed since games didn’t tell you that stuff at all. The fact that morons are buying these consoles for $400 now on ebay proves how dumb certain people are. Believe me, the Jaguar is NOT worth $400. Hell, it’s not even worth $40. Earthbound and Suikoden 2 are worth their expensive prices online. Jaguar? Not in a million years.

For comments, list which consoles are the worst (that you’ve played) and why.

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Top 8 Dungeon Crawler RPGs

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The 8 Ball (Games), Marc Morrison