Console Tier List: Best Consoles Of All Time [2024]

Our console tier list ranks all handheld and home console releases of all times including industry-leading Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo.

Video Game consoles have always been the easiest way to play video games. There is a much better medium called the PC to play your favorite games but looking at the current market scenario, gaming consoles are the best bang for your buck. Our Console Tier List will help you choose the best video gaming console for your needs.

Console Tier List Ranking Table 
Tiers All Consoles 
S-Tier NES, PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 4, PS2, Xbox, Nintendo 64, Atari 2600, Sega Genesis, SNES, 3DO, Intellivision, Sega Saturn, Sega Master System, GameCube, SNK Neo-Geo, and Colecovision
A-Tier Dream Cast, Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Switch
B-Tier  Atari Jaguar, Vectrex, Magnavox Odyssey, Atari 7800, Atari 5200, Xbox Series X/S, and PS5
C-Tier  SG-1000, Intellivision, Coleco Vision, Bally Astrocade, and Atari Lynx
D-Tier  Virtual Boy, Gizmondo, Mega Drive 32x, Pippin, CD-i, and N-Gage

S-Tier Consoles

Best consoles of all time
S Tier

The S Tier consists of the best consoles of all time that are highly regarded by critics, gamers, and the mass media. They have shattered sales records and are still being sold in the third-party market at a good rate. You can keep these consoles as an item to sell at a profit. They are at the top position on the best console tier list.

Console Released (USA) Manufacturer  Units Sold (Millions)
PS2 2000 Sony 155
Playstation 4 2013 Sony 106
Nintendo Wii 2006 Nintendo 102
PlayStation 1994 Sony 102
NES 1983 Nintendo 61.91
SNES 1991 Nintendo 49.1
Sega Genesis 1988 Sega 31
Atari 2600 1977 Atari, Inc 30
Nintendo 64 1996 Nintendo 30
Xbox  2001 Microsoft 24
GameCube 2001 Nintendo 21.75
Sega Master System 1985 Sega 12.5
Sega Saturn 1994 Sega 9.26
Intellivision 1979 Mattel 3
3DO 1993 Panasonic, Sanyo, Goldstar 2
Colecovision 1982 Coleco 2
SNK Neo-Geo 1990 SNK  1.18

A-Tier Consoles

Console Tier List
A Tier

The A Tier of our console tier list consists of video gaming consoles that were very good but fell short of the S Tier. By no means, they were useless or have no value in the market today and they are legendary in their own right. They just lack a few sales, and a little good marketing or initial blunders that deprives them of the S Tier. They are at the second position on the best console tier list.

Console Release (USA) Manufacturer Units Sold (Millions)
Nintendo Switch 2017 Nintendo 103.54
PS3 2006 Sony 87.4
Xbox 360 2005 Microsoft 84
Dream Cast 2001 Sega 9.13

B-Tier Consoles

B Tier Consoles
B Tier

These consoles are average and they hold up well. You can play them and get good use out of them or you can just skip them altogether. But investing in them is not that bad of an idea as they do have a bunch of good and bad titles and it is easy to point out the good ones and have tons of fun with them.

Console Release (USA) Manufacturer Units Sold (Millions)
Atari 5200 1984 Atari 1
Atari 7800 1986 Atari Less than a million
Magnavox Odyssey 1972 Sander Associates Less than a million
Vectrex 1982 Smith Engineering Less than a million
Atari Jaguar 1993 IBM Less than a million
PS5 2020 Sony 10
Xbox Series X/S 2020 Microsoft 8

C-Tier Consoles

Console Tier List
C Tier

The consoles in the C tier of our console tier list are below average. They did not sell well but are on the C Tier because they did something creative but weren’t able to innovate. They do deserve acknowledgment for this.

Console Release (USA) Manufacturer Units Sold (Millions)
Atari Lynx 1989 Atari 3
Bally Astrocade 1983 Astrovision Less than a million
Coleco Vision 1982 Coleco 2
Intellivision 1984 Mattel 3
SG-1000 1983 Sega 1.5

D-Tier Consoles

Worst consoles of all time
D Tier

The consoles in this tier are the lowest-ranked and there are plenty of reasons for it. First of all the main reasons were the health hazard they posed, the terrible specs for the time and the dreadful marketing campaigns. These all add up with secondary reasons like a bad collection of games and not understanding the demand of the customers well.

An example would be the virtual boy. We would have included it in the C Tier because of the creativity it had but it lacked innovation. We can ignore the part of innovation but the serious health threat it posed couldn’t be forgiven. Nintendo had a blunder with this one and had to incur a big loss. Thus consoles like the Virtual Boy are part of the worst tier of our console tier list.

Console Release (USA) Manufacturer Units Sold (Millions)
N-Gage 2003 Nokia 3
CD-i 1990 Phillips/Sony Less than a million
Pippin 1996 Apple Less than a million
Mega Drive 32x 1994 Sega Less than a million
Gizmondo 2005 Tiger Telematics Less than a million
Virtual Boy 1995 Nintendo Less than a million

Nintendo Console Tier List

Nitendo Console Tier List Ranking Table 
Tiers All Nitendo Consoles 
S-Tier Nintendo 64, Gameboy, DS, NES, and SNES
A-Tier GBA, 3DS, Wii, GameCube, Switch, and GBA Color
B-Tier  Virtual Boy and Wii U

Nintendo is one of the biggest companies in the history of video gaming. They defined, refined, and reintroduced the console gaming that we know. Before it was called home gaming but over the years it has been called console gaming. The prime of Nintendo started with the NES

Here are all the consoles Nintendo ranked for you in tiers.

S-Tier Nintendo Consoles

These are the most iconic consoles from Nintendo in our opinion. The defined the console and has played a big role in why and where Nintendo stands today as a company.

SNES/NES

These include the ones like SNES and NES that gave a new definition to video gaming and cemented the efforts of the likes of ATARI by truly bringing video gaming from arcades to the homes.

DS and Gameboy

Then there are the likes of DS and Gameboy which are perhaps the two most iconic handheld video gaming consoles and were sold in millions around the globe till this day people are buying it in the second-hand market. 

Nintendo 64

The Nintendo 64 in our opinion is one underrated console in current gamers and this has not been given the plaudits it deserves it was a truly unique system with some unforgettable games. Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 6, Super Smash Bros, and Pokemon Stadium, are some games that you just can’t miss.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
SNES 49.1
NES 61.91
DS 154.02
Gameboy 118.68
Nintendo 64 32.93

A-Tier Nintendo Consoles

The A Tier of our Nintendo Console Tier List consists of consoles that are very good and certainly, you can’t skip them because of these reasons. They have little flaws here and there but are not worthy of being on the flawless S Tier.

Switch

The first console on our list is the switch. With the rate it is selling, we might have considered it for the first spot but we do have some problems with it. Which are the newer versions of Switch and they didn’t improve the performance of it unlike the new versions of the competition, for example, the Xbox One X was a massive improvement on the basic Xbox One. It is one of the major reasons for it is in the A Tier and also the game library can be improved massively.

Gamecube

The GameCube was a console that had a lot of promise but was not exactly crushed by the competition between Sony and Xbox but it fared really well. There is this misconception that it didn’t do well but it did fairly well. The only reason it is on this tier is that it lacked third-party support unlike the Playstation and Xbox and it still haunts Nintendo to this day.

Wii

Nintendo Wii had amazing sales, it was one of the most iconic and hot selling items at its time but till this day I find it a little overrated and many people can question my choice but I always found that the gyroscopes used were very bad and the strap with the controllers made playing games a very hard task. The game library is awesome on this one though and you will not get bored if you can somehow with third-party support improve the comfortability of the controllers.

3DS

The 3DS was a very good console and on the software side, it was way ahead of its time. But the sudden boom in the smartphone market caused a lot of damage. The boom happened to divert the attention of people from a handheld console with a touch screen to mobile gaming that was freely available or at a minimal cost on the Playstore or the Appstore. Above that, it was not able to distinguish itself and had strong identity issues but despite that, it had a very strong gaming library, and thus it had to be part of our A-Tier.

Gameboy

On the other hand, the Gameboy Color and the Gameboy advanced were great consoles and till this day people are crazy for them. The Gameboy Advance was the last Gameboy, after this the Gameboy Micro came but we categorized them together as it was not a major launch and is more of a collectible item.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
Switch 103.54
GameCube 21.75
Wii 102
3DS 75.94
GBA 81.51
GBA Color 118.69

You might be interested: Risk of Rain 2 Tier List

B-Tier Nintendo Consoles

The Weakest Tier of our Nintendo Console Tier List has two consoles and both were a commercial disaster for Nintendo. The reason the B Tier is the worst tier of Nintendo Console is that it is a very big company and it has let down fans very few times.

Wii U

The Wii U per se was not that bad a console but the strategy of Nintendo let it down. First of all, they waited for more than a year to drop any major titles, that were worth paying for a new console. This makes us question their release date and my conclusion is that they prematurely released the console on the other hand the arrival of the iPad and the touch screen handheld devices also dented Wii U’s sale.

Virtual Boy

Virtual Boy as a concept was way ahead of its time but the implementation was not right. It is considered the worst failure of Nintendo in its grand history. Gunpei Yokoi was the developer of the console and he is referred to as the father of all handheld video gaming consoles him going wrong was seriously a big dent in his illustrious career. 

Console Units Sold (Millions)
Wii U 13.56
Virtual Boy Less than 1 Million 

Xbox Console Tier List 

Xbox Console Tier List Ranking Table 
Tiers All Xbox Consoles 
S-Tier Xbox, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X
A-Tier Xbox 360
B-Tier  Xbox One

I feel Xbox has always been a company with an identity crisis and hasn’t cemented itself like Sony’s Playstation or Nintendo. But over the years with the right management decisions and the bad launch of the Xbox One they have bounced back and they are trying to make a brand image for themselves that is distinct and ends the identity crisis once and for all. We will begin our Xbox Console Tier List with the S Tier.

S-Tier Xbox Consoles

These consoles shaped Xbox’s history and for us, they were fair to the gamers and they deserve to be on the S Tier. On our main tier list, the Xbox Series X/S were on a lower-tier but over here they are on the S Tier as the context is different. 

Xbox Series X/S

First, let’s talk about the Xbox Series X/S. These two consoles have proved that Microsoft finally wants to improve its image. In the last generation after the bad launch event of Xbox One, Microsoft was losing its grip and was portrayed as a money-grabbing company not made for gamers. But with the release of the Xbox Series S for budget gamers and udner$300 you can play games at 1440p they truly showed to the world that they are ready to be more gamer-friendly.

Xbox

I would have put the original Xbox on the S Tier just because of its dashboard alone, just kidding! This console was the start of all this. From the Rock popping up, in the launch ceremony to so many other surprises. It was a powerful machine and would have blown PS2 out of the water if only it had the third-party support that the Playstation had. The data was stored in blocks on the console and it was an awesome concept. The memory didn’t seem to run out very easily and to this day it can be used as a great emulation machine because of its insane memory.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
Xbox Series X 12 (combined X and S)
Xbox Series S 12 (combined X and S)
Xbox 24

A-Tier Xbox Consoles

The A Tier of the Xbox Console Tier List includes only one console, and that is the Xbox 360. This console is the darling of many gamers and it might offend many to see it in this tier but there are good reasons for it. Let’s discuss them.

Xbox 360

The console was released in 2005 and became the talk of the town instantly. With the HDMI and the new super DVD concept, it was loved by the masses until we saw the manufacturing faults in the consoles. It was a major blow for Microsoft and the fanbase. For a majority of its life cycle was plagued with issues until the last version the Slim and the e-slim versions were released.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
Xbox 360 85.8

B-Tier Xbox Consoles

The B Tier includes one console and it is perhaps the worse console of Microsoft’s history in regards to the gap it increased between Sony and Microsoft in the gaming industry as well as the dent in the image of Xbox it had. Let’s talk about it.

Xbox One

When you are trying to be way ahead of the time you are more often than not bound to fail. Maybe the vision that Microsoft had with the Xbox One might not have been particularly bad in today’s era but at the time it was the equivalent of suicide. The launch event of Xbox One is probably one of the biggest disasters in the history of video gaming and on that very day, the console war of the last generation was lost.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
Xbox One 50.55

PlayStation Console Tier List

PlayStation Console Tier List Ranking Table 
Tiers All PlayStation Consoles 
S-Tier PlayStation 2
A-Tier PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 4
B-Tier  PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 3

The undisputed king of video game consoles is the Playstation and all of us perhaps have owned one at some point in life. With the majestic exclusives, the mascots, and the aura associated with these consoles from Sony, it is part of our childhood and it shaped our adulthood as well. This is the PlayStation Console Tier list where we rank the best Playstation Consoles for you.

S-Tier PlayStation Consoles

The S Tier includes one console, the one which shattered all records and is the benchmark for all consoles to this date. The Playstation 2, was a craze and if you didn’t own one then you were missing out. Let’s know why.

PlayStation 2

There must be genuine reasons for this to be considered the greatest console of all time by people and it is backed by its numbers, it is the most selling console of all time. More than a billion copies of games were sold on this console and the library of games is unmatched no console to this date has matched that gigantic library of games. 

Console Units Sold (Millions)
PlayStation 2 157.68

A-Tier PlayStation Consoles

The A Tier includes two consoles that hold a special place in the heart of video gamers. They are very good in their own right and some might argue they deserved a place in the highest tier but I had a different opinion and it was that no matter what both do, they just couldn’t reach the heights of the Playstation 2. Yes one started it all and the other gave Sony a lead they can never forget but it is still a tad below the Playstation 2.

PlayStation 

The PlayStation 1 like the PS2 changed the entire landscape of video gaming. PS2 introduced the DVD Rom while the Playstation 1 introduced the CD Rom and suddenly games could be much more. Now we take even the GB for granted at that time an increase in MBs meant a lot and it boosted games to a level that was not seen before and the era of polygons reaching the sheer brilliance of realism was on its way.

PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 was the highest-selling videogame console of the last generation and the 4th highest console on the list of highest-selling video gaming consoles. It cashed on the success of the PS3 at its end of the cycle, with great exclusives and being more gamers friendly.  The Playstation cashed in on that and they made a console whose games were exclusive to it and were released years after the release date on the PC to milk them more.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
PlayStation 4 116.9
PlayStation 1 102.49

B-Tier PlayStation Consoles

This was a tough one, we have two consoles on this tier list of our Playstation Tier List. The first one is the PlayStation 5 which is fair enough, the sample size is less to derive a meaningful conclusion with respect to the Playstation 5 but the Playstation 3 had made me indifferent for a long period of time and after thoughtful consideration, I included it on the B Tier. The B Tier doesn’t mean bad in this case and it can be placed in the upper tiers because it was a very tough decision on my part.

PlayStation 3

First of all, we all know now why the Playstation 3 was one of the best and most loved consoles of all time and thus I will come straight to the point of why it is placed low on our modern console tier list and the major reasons are big. First is the security breach that was associated with the PlayStation 3, for over 2 years the PSN was constantly having issues and it was down for 1.5 months due to a hacking scare. Imagine losing your personal data? Very scary, I picked an Xbox 360 at that time over the PlayStation 3 because of this reason.

PlayStation 5

The Playstation 5 is a promising console, that is yet to be unleashed. The only true current-gen that we have seen so far is the Horizon Forbidden west and the PlayStation is slowly doing tweaks to reach a good level. There are games expected to be released for it and it has sold well despite this and the global shortage due to the disruption in the supply chain due to COVID 19. This is a console that we can’t really rate so far thus placing it on this tier is a safe bet.

Console Units Sold (Millions)
PlayStation 3 87.41
PlayStation 5 17.3

Our Console Tier List Criteria

We have taken many factors into play before coming up with the tier list. The historical figures, the creativity and innovation, the number of consoles sold, and above all the quality of video games released on the consoles before ranking them. The important factor that stands out as gamers for us was to check if a company was sincere to the gamers or not.

It is a very important factor for most gamers, as many gamers have an emotional attachment to the video gaming companies and their exploitation is not welcomed. We have applied the same criteria on all modern console tier lists above and the old consoles tier list and came up with the best information for you guys.

Why Trust Us?

The Console Tier List at Exputer is fully researched and input was taken from veteran gamers, collectors, hardcore gamers, fanboys, and also casual gamers. Then we came up with this tier list. Our team has been playing consoles since they found out what video gaming is and we had many people who were familiar with and had first-hand experience with the majority of the consoles on the tier list.

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Muhammad Sanan Khan is a Tier List expert on eXputer who loves to talk and write about everything related to video games. He has half a decade's worth of experience writing for video games and is also the founder of TopTierList, a website dedicated to Tier Lists and rankings only. For some reason, Sanan is obsessed with ranking things, and researching what's best. Learn some more about Sanan's gaming journey on his Steam profile.

Experience: 5+ Years || Founder at TopTierList || Mainly Covers Tier Lists on eXputer

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