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What Would Be Your Desert Island Console?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | If you were stuck with only one console for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Article by USgamer Team, .

Imagine you're trapped on an island; an island with internet access and electricity, miraculously. On this island, your only company is a video game console. Any video game console, and its entire library of games.

So, in this hypothetical, impossible scenario, what console (and its library) would you choose?

Kat Bailey Editor-in-Chief

Realistically, I could probably get the best mix of modern and retro games on the PlayStation 3. But to have a little bit of fun with this question, I think I would bring a Sega Genesis with me. I never owned a Genesis when I was growing up, so I missed a lot of the classics: Phantasy Star IV, Shining Force, NHL 94. At a minimum, I would have time to delve into my backlog.

And if I were allowed to bring along a Sega CD attachment, my library would grow exponentially. Lunar! Popful Mail! Sewer Shark! And I haven't even mentioned the abundance of high-quality shoot 'em ups that would be at my fingertips. I could spend the rest of my life mastering Thunder Force 3.

The Sega Genesis wouldn't be able to match the depth and breadth of other libraries, but it would be the champion of replayability. And on a hypothetical desert island, replayability is king.

Matt Kim News Editor

Joke answer? The Ouya. Realistically? I'd probably go with the PlayStation 4. Not only is my PS4 backlog so large that I'd actually love a chance to be stranded on a desert island to catch up, but having the complete library of PS4 games means I'll finally get a chance to own P.T. on my console.

Also, I'll have a copy of Bloodborne, which honestly speaking is probably the only game I'll ever want or need on a desert island.

Caty McCarthy Features Editor

PlayStation 2, easily. Why? Because the majority of my all-time favorite games are PS2 games. I'll even list them exhaustively: Persona 3 FES, Okami, Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari, Rez, Shadow of the Colossus, Tony Hawk's Underground, Dark Cloud 2, The Jak & Daxter and Sly Cooper trilogies, Silent Hill 3, Guitar Hero, Fatal Frame 2, and heck, even arguably my most-played game ever (that doesn't really hold up, to be honest), Kingdom Hearts. (Give me a break; it was one of the only few games I owned for years, and I got really into speeding through it and synthesizing new keyblades and whatnot. I had a journal dedicated to tracking enemy spawns and drops. It was an obsession.)

I often call the PlayStation 2 the greatest console, and that's not because it was a huge technological leap from the original PlayStation. It's my favorite console because of how it was home to so many of my favorite experiences of all-time in games, and it was home to some of the most inventive experiences too—ideas that weren't yet the norm for mainstream console games. I think a lot of that was born from the seeds of niche titles from the previous generation, where games like Vib-Ribbon and LSD were able to exist. PlayStation 2 only amplified the weird, and best of all, the ambitious. Game makers like Keita Takahashi and Fumito Ueda are household names because of it. If I were stuck on a desert island with miraculous electricity, I can think of no better console to keep me company until the end of time.

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Comments 50

  • Avatar for Vanderdulpp #1 Vanderdulpp 6 months ago
    Aw man, that's a tough one! I guess I'd go with the GameCube, because I've always fantasized tossing out everything except the 'cube, living in the woods, and playing through the backlog of stuff I never got to try- Cubivore, Eternal Darkness, Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Doshin the Giant. Plus, I'd finally be able to 100% Sunshine and Timesplitters 2/FP.

    And then there's Animal Crossing. Wiiith unlockable NES content. There it is.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #2 jeremy.parish 6 months ago
    I'd go with a jailbroken Analogue Nt Mini. It's like… every 8-bit console. That's pretty boss.
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  • Avatar for Wakkawipeout #3 Wakkawipeout 6 months ago
    I was about to say 3DS since I can game all over the island (DS games too!) but then I'd be sad because I'd have no one to Street Pass with. So I'll pick PS2 and it's bajillion games (PS1 games too!).
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  • Avatar for SkywardShadow #4 SkywardShadow 6 months ago
    It feels weird to pick, but a PSP, so I have Tactics Ogre, FFT, the Persona games, and a bunch of weird strategy games I always meant to spend more time with. I currently dream of a bunch of these games getting Switch releases.

    If it's hacked, I get the PSX library too.
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  • Avatar for WiIIyTheAntelope #5 WiIIyTheAntelope 6 months ago
    I know it was said in jest but Ouya would be a damn fine desert island machine. No not to play Ouya games, I own an Ouya and I wouldn't wish that on anyone...buttt..since this island has internet access for some reason, I can use that piece of junk to emulate everything from the 2600 all the way to the PS1/N64/PSP.

    I could also download kik or something and send a message to someone saying "help, I'm stuck on an island"
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  • Avatar for Pandalulz #6 Pandalulz 6 months ago
    Honestly, probably the PS1. I played a billion RPGs on the PS1, and staring at the PS1 Classics I've bought and not played on PSN, there's a billion more I haven't gotten to.
    So the question is, would it be cheating to bring a PS3 and play those PS1 games on that, and still have the PS3's library as well?Edited February 2018 by Pandalulz
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #7 AstroDemon 6 months ago
    @jeremy.parish Let's hope Analogue produces another run of those. I want one.

    My instinct is to choose the Genesis, but as much as I love it, the controller isn't great anymore. I honestly think the Xbox One may be my desert island console of choice these days since it has most of the games I care about and the backwards compatibility catalog includes a bunch of Genesis and PS1 games that were re-released on the 360.

    Tied for that might be the 3DS because it also plays the huge DS catalog and many Virtual Console games.
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  • Avatar for RushDawg #8 RushDawg 6 months ago
    I think Kat is right. A PS3 with PS2 backwards compatibility would probably be the ideal choice. You could also make a case for a Wii U with a ton of Wii and Virtual Console games.

    Any chance of a Phantasy Star IV report for Axe of the Blood God?Edited February 2018 by RushDawg
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  • Avatar for Captain-Gonru #9 Captain-Gonru 6 months ago
    I probably go with 3DS, if for no other reason than pretty much every Dragon Quest game (there would be time now!) in one place.
    Though, a PS2 for MVP Baseball 2005 would be a good time filled, too.
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #10 LBD_Nytetrayn 6 months ago
    Raspberry Pi, loaded with everything that would fit.

    Not something I normally go for, but if I'm on a desert island, I'm pretty sure the usual rules don't apply, so might as well be resourceful.

    Barring that (YOUR LAWS HOLD NO SWAY HERE, but anyway), I'd have to think on it.
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  • Avatar for PreposterousWhitey #11 PreposterousWhitey 6 months ago
    A Wii U modded to play GameCube games would be my ideal choice. Missed out on quite a few classics between those three platforms, and I could finally find time to play the Baten Kaitos duology again.
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  • Avatar for Damn_Skippy #12 Damn_Skippy 6 months ago
    Softmodded PSP with Valkeryia Chronicles 2 and 3, Mother 1-3, Minnish Cap, Link's Awakening, Everybody's Golf Portable 1-2, Metroid Fusion, Yakuza Black Panther 1 & 2, Mario Golf Advance, Mario Kart Advance, Tetris (Minis version)...actually may as well go a modded Vita while I'm at it.
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #13 chaoticBeat 6 months ago
    A Dreamcast for all of the amazing fighting games and shmups it had: Tech Romancer, MvC2, SF 3 3rd Strike, Giga Wing 1 +2, Bangai - O, Power Stone, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Capcom vs. SNK 2, Mars Matrix, Ikaruga, Soulcaliber etc etc etc.

    And so I could play Crazy Taxi, listen to the Offspring soundtrack, and remember why I hate humanity and chose to live on a desert island.
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  • Avatar for IPA #14 IPA 6 months ago
    Head: SNES
    Heart: Dreamcast
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  • Avatar for InsertTokenz #15 InsertTokenz 6 months ago
    Straight up Super Nintendo. Can't beat so many excellent games which have stood the test of time still to this day and have helped shaped so much of the medium.

    However, a New 3DS system would be an extremely close second pick. :)Edited February 2018 by InsertTokenz
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #16 VotesForCows 6 months ago
    Probably PS4 - it has all my favourite series either with new entries or ports (Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, Dark Souls 1-3, Street Fighter). And really, I'd be hard pressed to be bored with both Final Fantasy XIV and Street Fighter V to play!

    Also, the noise of the goddamn fan wouldn't annoy anyone if I was on a desert island, which would be nice for a change.Edited February 2018 by VotesForCows
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #17 BulkSlash 6 months ago
    I honestly can’t pick between the Super Famicom and the Dreamcast. I’d probably have to just flip a coin before being deposited on my desert island paradise where I don’t need to do anything but play games all day.
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  • Avatar for themblan #18 themblan 6 months ago
    Wii U. Splatoon is my favorite online shooter. I could just play that until I die, but then you've got all the other Wii U games, Wii backwards-compatibility, and VC.
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  • Avatar for LunarFlame17 #19 LunarFlame17 6 months ago
    So if I can have the console’s entire library, does that mean I get all the new games as they come out? Cause if that’s the case, I’m bringing a Switch. It already has a fantastic library, with more great stuff coming practically every day. Even if I had to stick with what’s already out, I might still bring a Switch. Breath of the Wild and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 alone would probably keep me busy until the end of linear time. Although, a PS3 with full backwards compatibility would be pretty tempting too.
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  • Avatar for StJudasOfSleep #20 StJudasOfSleep 6 months ago
    If the PS4 had the same level of backwards compatibility as the PS3 it would be an easy choice. As it stands, I would probably go with Kat's almost-choice of PS3 for the reasons she (and Caty) stated.

    But it would be tough - I would be giving up Nier Automata, Dark Souls 3, Bloodborne, MHW, SFV, and Yakuza 0 for Persona 3 FES, Persona 4, Silent Hill 1-3, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the Mass Effect trilogy, Yakuza 2-5, Red Dead Redemption, Legacy of Kain, and many more.
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  • Avatar for sunotenko #21 sunotenko 6 months ago
    I would choose a PS3 e play Metal Gear Solid forever collection forever lol
    My second choice would be SNES. I just love it.
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  • Avatar for Flipsider99 #22 Flipsider99 6 months ago
    NES! It's still my favorite consoles. Jeremy's answer is good too, but I feel like picking something that lets you play multiple consoles is kind of cheating this question. Or maybe not, I dunno.
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #23 cldmstrsn 6 months ago
    Just from a pure backwards compatibility standpoint it would have to be fat PS3 cause then I have 3 generations of Playstation games that I can play.
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  • Avatar for TheWildCard #24 TheWildCard 6 months ago
    If I get all games still to come out- PS4

    If libraries as is- PS3
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  • Avatar for ReptilianSamurai #25 ReptilianSamurai 6 months ago
    Can we get full libraries of backwards compatible consoles? If so, then a backwards compatible PS3 (I really wish I had one!) The PS1 and PS2 libraries alone would keep me occupied for incredibly long, especially the heyday of JRPGS.

    Although it's a very close tie with the Nintendo 3DS and DS backwards compatible library. I swear I'll be playing that system till I die (or it does and I can't find a replacement anymore).

    In a few more years, with enough good ports and new games, who knows. The Switch could become a contender.
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  • Avatar for moochan #26 moochan 6 months ago
    Emulation included than really anything that can play NES to PS2. If a actual console with all the games it has than PSX easily. PSX has one of the best library ever in my opinion. Lots of weird variety of games from RPG, tactical games, arcade games, and tons of others. Some might not hold up well but I has always seen PSX has the truly next NES. Where developers were just throwing anything and everything at the system to see what works and coming up with wonderful ideas.
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #27 SargeSmash 6 months ago
    @PreposterousWhitey : A modded Wii U would indeed be excellent, because it would get you Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, and emulators for nearly everything beneath the 32-bit era (and PSX).

    If I have to choose a console not factoring in backwards compatibility or modern clone consoles, it has to be... aw, jeez, this is so hard, choosing between SNES and NES. I think the NES has a better breadth of great platformers, but the SNES has longer experiences and some of the greatest RPGs of all time. Well, assuming I'd have time to pick up Japanese, I'll go with SNES. So many games we didn't get that I could delve into. (I'll miss you, Mega Man and Contra!)
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #28 NiceGuyNeon 6 months ago
    I'm a cheater, a filthy cheater, but I'm going with Wii U.

    It gives me access to the whole Wii U library, it gives me access to the entire Wii library, it gives me access to the virtual console titles (which I presumably own all of in this scenario). Which means the only system I'm completely locked out of is GameCube ( a grave injustice but at least Metroid Prime trilogy is a Wii game too).

    This means I have access to almost every Zelda from the original to Breath of the Wild, almost every Mario to 3D World minus Sunshine, Odyssey, 3D Land, and a few others. Access to every Metroid but Samus Returns.

    It's a very viable choice for desert island gaming, even if my heart is telling me to just go with a fully loaded PC and then emulate all of these games across every platform while having access to Steam, GOG, and Origin for all the goods and messaging my friends and family that I'm really really really stuck and need to be saved lol

    BUT SCREW THAT. GIVE ME THE WII U!
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  • Avatar for Killawogg88 #29 Killawogg88 6 months ago
    mine would be either ps2 or snes, lots of good games there
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  • Avatar for SuperShinobi #30 SuperShinobi 6 months ago
    My desert island console would be the one for which I have the biggest backlog, which is the PS2. I was very busy at university / college at the time and missed out on so many games. Plus, there are so many games on the PS2, literally thousands of them. Whatever the genre you enjoy, the PS2 has you covered. I think PS2 era games also still hold up pretty well, compared to the previous gen.
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  • Avatar for docexe #31 docexe 6 months ago
    A PS3. It has the best mix of classic and modern games as stated, many of which last for dozens or even hundreds of hours. Besides, all things considered, being trapped on that desert island might be the only way I will ever caught up with my current backlog.
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  • Avatar for Vanderdulpp #32 Vanderdulpp 6 months ago
    Y'all who are saying "wii u" realize you'd have to live with the crusty, flimsy, cheap-o gamepad for the REST OF YOUR LIFE, right? Like even if you had a pro controller... you'd still have to... look at it...
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  • Avatar for shurn #33 shurn 6 months ago
    I'm gonna cheat modded super nes classic mini, I can get all 8bit, 16bit, 24bit and some arcade plus 32bit. I have strong memories for those era's and I can relive the good times while coming to terms with my fate.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #34 riderkicker 6 months ago
    Considering I can't have any money to buy new games off the Internet but I would still be using it, probably my computer. But I would say... My PS2 as it had a lot of VERY different games from Chulip, Mr. mosquito, Persona 3 FES, Yakuza 2, Metal Gear Solid 2, Splinter Cell, Sega AGES, Street Fighter III, and more. Load those games onto a hard drive, give me ample power and I would be set. Besides that way I can read and actually understand that book about MGS2.
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #35 riderkicker 6 months ago
    @RushDawg It would have to be a model that won't overheat.
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #36 Wellman2nd 6 months ago
    At the moment, the 3DS, I have a backlog of games I need to handle and a desert island means I won't have my Switch, Netflix and etc to distract me like I do now.

    May even be able to finally beat DQ7.
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  • Avatar for LunarFlame17 #37 LunarFlame17 6 months ago
    @NiceGuyNeon Oooo, that’s a good choice. I hadn’t thought about it, but yeah, a Wii U gives you access to virtually every Nintendo game ever made. That would be tempting.
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  • Avatar for jimgamer #38 jimgamer 6 months ago
    Hmm, assuming I had a CRT, and could have a console AND a handheld, it would be a Wii and. Vita. The Wii for, well, Wii games, GameCube, and a fully loaded VC with SNES, NES, Genesis, PC Engine, NeO Geo and Arcade (but it has to be CRT for that 240p goodness). The Vita for its great library, the PS 2 conversions, and all those PSX games.

    If truly just one, then I’d have to go with the PC Engine for pure nostalgia and familiarity (I.e. Gradius 2, Bomberman ‘94 and Rondo of Blood). Unless I took the Switch of course.
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  • Avatar for MasterEMFG #39 MasterEMFG 6 months ago
    PS4

    Don't get me wrong here fanboys...

    I've loved every minute of MS consoles, and really hope they rise to the top again, but this gen Sony has just blown me away with consistent releases and more games than I've ever had that yearn to be played.

    I've never been more backlogged from the start. I still need to fire up Warframe again.

    So many exclusives I never touched liked The Last of Us, Uncharted... and I was flat out blown away by others like Bloodborne, Nioh, Persona 5, Shadow of the Colossus.

    Other playable, but not necessarily exclusive games... Skyrim VR, Resident Evil VR, Nioh, Battlefield, Metal Gear Phantom Pain (I know some people hated it, but it felt like the first true next gen game of this current gen), Fallout 4, The Souls games, Witcher 3, Terraria (damn that one was unexpected)... The list is too long. Seriously.
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  • Avatar for Verkambj #40 Verkambj 6 months ago
    If virtual console is included, I’m going with a Wii U. I’d have most Nintendo games ever made...except GameCube. Windwaker and the Prime trilogy are available so it’s pretty close to all Nintendo games. 3DS is a close second.
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  • Avatar for MavieLee #41 MavieLee 6 months ago
    With taking only it's games library and out the backwards combatability I think I would have a tough go between snes and Psx. It's a matter of so many rpg's and several games I've always had never gotten the chance to tackle. I think I went through enough PS2 next after that generation games to satisfy that drive, of course many unplayed still exist. In the end probably for variety PS1 .
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  • Avatar for Drachmalius #42 Drachmalius 6 months ago
    I would just want to use all that time to play a bunch of old CRPGs that I never make time for and Bethesda games with mods probably. So it'd have to be a PC. If that means no emulation in order to make it more of a fair choice, so be it. It would be great to have a bunch of time to play deep strategy games and RTS games that I just never seem to get around to despite my interest in those genres.
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  • Avatar for Irvyne #43 Irvyne 6 months ago
    WiiU, definitely. I'd have access to the entire libraries of Wii and WiiU games, as well as the entire catalogue of Virtual Console!
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  • Avatar for Nuclear-Vomit #44 Nuclear-Vomit 6 months ago
    I'd go with a modded Xbox Original, with the Xecuter Mod chip. I'd have all the essential Emulators on it: NES, SNES, Genesis, Master System, MAME, and there's even N64. If I get through all of that, then there's about a massive amount of Xbox games on the hard drive too.

    I have this system plugged in.
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  • Avatar for TheSensationalSean #45 TheSensationalSean 6 months ago
    I have such a huge backlog for my 3DS that I'd be tempted to take it, but I'd have to go with a PS4 - there are plenty of remasters from older consoles to get my retro fix there too.
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  • Avatar for davedalrymple11 #46 davedalrymple11 6 months ago
    I'd probably go with SNES. That's the system with the games that I've been able to replay over and over. And with all the time in the world, I might finally have the patience to beat "Super Punch Out."

    My second choice would be PS3. Even if we take backwards compatibility and downloadable classics off the table, I'd still have access to the Mass Effect Trilogy, Fallout: New Vegas, 2.8 Dragon Age games, Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the two Portal games. These games, as well, are ones I can enjoy over and over again.
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  • Avatar for yuberus #47 yuberus 6 months ago
    I'd probably opt for a Famicom (with the NES cart adapter). I find myself revisiting that era most regularly and there's still a ton of games I'd love to go through on there. Runner ups would likely be the Atari 2600, the Bally Astrocade (with the BASIC cart and an mp3 player full of game wavs) the SNES, and the Neo Geo - if I've got someone else on the island to hang with in Metal Slug and KOF.
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  • Avatar for Patrick-C #48 Patrick-C 6 months ago
    This is an interesting question! I feel like the answer depends on a few key questions that this post doesn't go into:

    1) If the console is backwards compatible with a previous generation, do you also have access to those libraries?
    2) Do you take into account the console's hackability?

    I feel like if the answer to the first question is "yes," then you'd have to be kind of crazy to not go with either a first-generation backwards compatible PS3 (granting you the entire PS1, PS2, and PS3 library), or either a Wii (which would grant you the entire Wii library, the very large Wii Virtual Console, and the GameCube library), or the Wii U (which gets you the entire Wii library, the entire Wii U library, and the entire Wii/Wii U VC). If the answer to the second question is yes, then I feel like the Wii U is probably the winner, because then you could play GameCube games as well. There could be a case for the 3DS, too, now that that's been cracked open like an egg.

    But I think the question's more interesting if you ONLY have access to that specific console's library. In which case, and it pains me to say this as a Nintendo fan, I don't know that anything can beat the PS2. There's just SO MANY good games across every conceivable genre. You'd never want for any kind of experience on the PS2.

    Very close runner-ups: the Super Nintendo, the PS3, and the original DS.Edited February 2018 by Patrick-C
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  • Avatar for Mikki-Saturn #49 Mikki-Saturn 6 months ago
    Probably either a SNES or a PS1 because of all the RPGs.
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  • Avatar for rommy667 #50 rommy667 6 months ago
    Original xbox with a 1Tb hd full of everything :)
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