Take a nostalgic look at the best consoles and games of the past quarter-century
PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo have been the leading names in gaming for decades. Combined, they have sold over 850 million home consoles since 1995. We looked back at the timeline of home consoles released by these industry dominators in the past 25 years, looking at specifications, price, and top selling games of every console.
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From old classics like The Legend of Zelda, to modern day phenomenons like Red Dead Redemption, the past quarter century has been filled with a vast array of quality games to please all gamers, but which year was the best? We looked at the 1,000 highest rated games on Metacritic to see when gaming peaked, and which home consoles had the most hits in their collection.
126 of the top 1,000 games were released in 2001-2003, including Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. 2006 was the worst year in the past 25 for releases, with just 13 games making the top 1,000.
Number of games released each year in Metacritic’s Top 1000 Games list
To find out what the top game from each year was, click the ‘+’ icon next to each year
The Xbox 360 takes the crown for having the highest number of games which made the top 1,000. 95 games made the cut, with Grand Theft Auto IV at the top, rated 98 out of 100. The Xbox One has less than half the titles in the top 1,000 games that the PS4 has. The Wii U scores the worst of all the home consoles, with just 12 games making it into the league table.
Overall, how do PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo compare? With over a quarter of all games in the top 1,000 playable on PlayStation consoles, PlayStation take the top spot. 186 games can be played on Xbox consoles, and just 141 on Nintendo’s home consoles.