The 2000s introduced some of the best consoles of all time. Fast forward to today, console specs are technically better, but some games play as well today as they did when they released. Games like Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 3, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for Xbox 360, and Halo 2 for Xbox are a few titles that never grow stale.
Just because a console has better specs, doesn't necessarily mean that it is a superior console. Games, hardware, accessories, and replayability are among the reasons considered for this list. Some of the below consoles are retro, but not all of them. Including handheld consoles, these are the ten best consoles since 2000 ranked from worst to best. Enjoy!
10 Xbox 360 (2005)
Because of the Xbox 360's library size and award-winning peripherals, it stands as one of the greatest consoles since the '90s. This console would have placed higher on this list if it wasn't among the least reliable consoles. We are of course referring to the RROD (red ring of death) problem that affects two out of every three Xbox 360s. People's Xbox 360s would illuminate three red rings signaling that your console is bricked. Since the problem was widespread, it would take forever to ship an Xbox 360 for repair and get it back.
The Xbox 360 was the platform for games like Call of Duty 2 (which didn't release on PlayStation), "Gears of War" and Forza Horizon. On the bright side, the Xbox 360's controller was an award-winning peripheral. It was wireless and fit well into hands. Also, the triggers were improved, making first-person shooters and other games a seamless experience.
9 PlayStation 3 (2006)
Unfortunately, PlayStation 3 received criticism for barely improving their DUALSHOCK 3 wireless controller. The controller's triggers and placement of analog sticks are poor, which is why most people preferred the Xbox 360's controller.
It's worth noting that online play on the PlayStation 3 is free. People who play PlayStation 4, however, will have to shell out some money for PS Plus to access online play. Sony's decision to make their online pay-to-play is not one we like, but at least Sony gives free games with their membership.
8 Nintendo GameCube (2001)
One ignored feature of the GameCube was an optical disc drive that supported DVDs. For many people, the GameCube's miniature disc drive influenced their decision to buy an Xbox or PlayStation 2 instead. Nintendo GameCube sold fewer units than some of Nintendo's other consoles, but it still contained some great games we'll never forget. Notably, GameCube had games such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Luigi's Mansion, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Super Mario Sunshine, and Resident Evil 4.
7 Xbox (2001)
Sometimes the originals are the best. The original Xbox was Microsoft's first console, which turned out to be a great success. Microsoft would later go on to make consoles such as the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Xbox is praiseworthy for being the platform of games such as Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Counter-Strike, Fable, Jade Empire, MechAssault, Ninja Gaiden, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It's also the console that played Project Gotham Racing, a game that inspired Xbox One's Forza. For popularizing Xbox Live, Xbox is one of the most impactful video game consoles.
6 Nintendo Wii (2006)
The Nintendo Wii is one of our favorite consoles for its unique motion controls. With a large emphasis on motion control, a significant number of the Wii games supported the feature. The combination of good marketing and ingenuity led to the Nintendo Wii becoming one of the best-selling video game consoles of all time. Even though it had less power than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, it outsold both. The Nintendo Wii supports games such as Mario Kart Wii, Wii Sports, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and WarioWare: Smooth Moves.
5 Gameboy Advance (2001)
The year 2001 was one of the most significant years in video game history. We saw console releases such as the Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and the Gameboy Advance. Of the three of those, it is the Gameboy Advance, which was the most impactful as a handheld console.
The GameBoy color was the first to have games with color, but Gameboy Advance added color, improved graphics, and a vast lineup of exclusives. Hit games such as The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Metroid Fusion, Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, and Mario Kart: Super Circuit looked terrific for such a small handheld console.
4 Xbox One (2013)
Xbox One focuses heavily on being a multi-console generation. The addition of consoles such as the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X has been a game changer for Microsoft. With seamless multitasking and an intuitive dashboard, the Xbox One is one of the best consoles since the '90s.
For 4K compatibility, the Xbox One X is the best option. The Xbox One X surpasses the PlayStation 4 Pro with 6 teraflops instead of 4, 12 GB of GDDR5 RAM instead of 8, and a 4K Blu-ray player. Taking a look at its exclusive games, the Xbox One falls short of expectations. Lackluster exclusive games such as Crackdown, Super Lucky's Tale, State of Decay, and Recore detract from the enjoyability of the console.
3 Nintendo Switch (2017)
While other video game consoles such as the PlayStation require you to buy a separate system, the Nintendo Switch offers portability with the base console. The Nintendo Switch is a versatile console that has motion control, can be played as a portable handheld, and looks beautiful in full HD. It's no secret that the Nintendo Switch has good exclusives. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey are only a few of the games that makes Nintendo Switch great.
2 PlayStation 4 (2013)
The PlayStation 4 Pro is capable of outputting games in 4K resolution. PlayStation 4 is not nearly the highest selling console of all time, but exclusives such as Nioh, Bloodborne, God of War, Marvel's Spider-Man, and The Last Guardian mean that PlayStation 4 beats Xbox One in the console war.
The PlayStation 4 has a slight edge on the Xbox One. One of the main reasons why PlayStation 4 is outselling the Xbox One is because, at launch, it had higher power than Xbox. PlayStation has earned a reputable name in the gaming industry, and they continue to resell their newer models to fanboys and fangirls.
1 PlayStation 2 (2000)
PlayStation 2 was a huge step forward in graphics and gameplay. With 155 million units sold, PlayStation 2 remains as the best-selling console of all time. Falling close behind is the Nintendo DS, which has 154.02 million units sold.
Alternatively, a slimmer version of the PlayStation 2 released some time after its launch. While the launch version of the PlayStation 2 requires two buttons to turn it on, the slim PlayStation 2 can do it with one button. All that excess seemed unnecessary on the big PlayStation 2, yet the model is in huge demand because of its rarity.