The 5 Best Game Consoles - Which Gaming Console Is For You?
The 5 Best Game Consoles - A Review Of The Best Gaming Consoles
Choosing the best game console is never easy and with the next generation of consoles due for release within the next 12 months price competition is building in the gaming console market making the decision even tougher.
Now is the time to grab one of the best video game consoles (at a bargain price) as companies to try push for end of generation sales. By capitalising on these bargains you can pick up a great game console that will serve you for years to come.
I personally own every game console featured here (yes I do love my gaming), having hands on experience with each of these consoles has given me great insight into the benefits and disadvantages that each one provides.
The best game console for you will depend on your own personal preference towards usability, specifications, game availability and your wallet.
So which is the best game system for you? Read on to find out.
Content Overview - A Quick Overview Of My Favourite Game Consoles
Don't have time to read all my recommendations? Don't worry I've included a brief overview right here at the top of the page so you can get the information you want quickly. All of the items discussed can be purchased above.
- PlayStation 3: Perfect for the multimedia gamer that also wants a solid Blu-Ray player. Fans of action RPG games and racing games will want to consider the PS3 for its exclusive titles including God of War and Gran Turismo. The Uncharted bundle is the cheapest and most recommended bundle option.
- Xbox 360: Often considered the more gamer heavy console with a good mixture of exclusive games. If you are a fan of first person shooters you'll probably want an Xbox 360 as it offers the most FPS exclusive games of the consoles. Keep an eye out for bundle packs that include a controller to save big (one is featured above).
- Nintendo Wii: An attractive option for people looking for an active gaming option. Great for families and the perfect purchase for younger kids. The most popular bundles include Mario Kart or Wii Sports and are definitely the best option for your Nintendo Wii purchase as you'll instantly have some great core games for the Wii platform.
- Nintendo 3DS: Definitely the best portable console option for younger children and teenagers (I bought one for my 12 year old brother). Great collection of games and the XL version manages to provide large buttons and screen size without being too heavy or hard to transport. This definitely wins the "keep your kids entertained" award.
- PlayStation Vita: My favourite portable option for older games (late teenagers and above). You can access lots of games on the PlayStation Vita (lots of old games that you might have grown up playing). It also has a great amount of multimedia options which I enjoy.
The Best Game Consoles
A Gaming Console Analysis (From A Gamer)
Is The PlayStation 3 The Best Gaming Console?
The PlayStation 3 is all around the best game console for your gaming and multimedia requirements. The latest version (released late 2011) is a slim downed version of the original console giving it an overall sleeker look, better energy efficiency and more quiet operation.
The real strength of the PlayStation 3 gaming system is the inbuilt Blu-ray player which allows it to seamlessly swap between a gaming platform and multimedia suite. While it falls slightly behind on gaming power compared to its closest rival the Xbox 360 with exclusive games like Uncharted 2, God of War 3, Gran Turismo 5 and LittleBigPlanet the slimmed down PS3 is currently the best gaming system around.
The PlayStation 3 comes with a collection of bundles, which can be seen below. The bundles are my favourite part of the PS3 system and I strongly recommended grabbing a PS3 game bundle, the savings generally mean you get a game for free (saving you around $50).
The family entertainment bundle is the latest released PS3 bundle (June 2013).
If you are purchasing the console for your family then this is the perfect choice as you are getting two family friendly games with your purchase.
If you are a gamer at heart (like myself) you are better off buying one of the game bundle packs featured below.
Other PS3 Bundles: - Recommended For Gamers
Gamers will want to purchase one of the PS3 bundles below based on their favourite game genre. With these bundles you basically get the game for free (saving you around $50). For example I bought the Assassin's Creed bundle because I loved the Assassin's Creed series of games.
PS3 Unboxing - By IGN Entertainment
Is The Xbox 360 The Best Gaming Console?
The Xbox 360 definitely wins the title of best game console on paper with its powerful performance but unfortunately falls short on the multimedia front.
I picked up my Xbox 360 over a year ago purely for its gaming abilities, so gamers will find themselves at home on this console.
If you solely plan to use your gaming console for games then the Xbox 360 is your perfect option. With the latest Xbox 360 release focusing on slim design and reduced power consumption the console has never been a safer buy, removing a number of previous issues that plagued the console (Red Ring of Death for example).
The Xbox Live Arcade is where the Xbox 360 really shines and offers a massive game library for arcade games and game demos (Minecraft is available!). Exclusive games for this console include the popular Halo series, Alan Wake, Crackdown and Left 4 Dead.
I've always found the bundles by Microsoft to be lacking compared to the PS3 in terms of variety so your choice comes down to 3 different options which you can see below.
Xbox 360 Purchase Options
The Xbox 360 doesn't have as many optimal bundles in my opinion (when compared to the PlayStation 3) and it comes down to only 3 different options if you decide that an Xbox 360 is the console for you.
If you don't want any frills and a cheap option then this option is for you.
This product is only the console and does not include a controller but you can pick up a cheap one online or from your local game store to save money.
This is your budget Xbox 360 option.
If you want to get some added bonuses from your Xbox 360 purchase you'll want the Spring Value Bundle.
You get a game (Darksiders II), controller, headset and more. If I was to purchase a new Xbox 360 today this bundle would stand out due to all the extras without a doubt.
If you are a more active gamer or want a Kinect (motion sensor) for your Xbox 360, you'll want to pick up this bundle.
The Nike+ game that is included will also have you working up a sweat if you are after an active option.
Xbox 360 Unboxing - By IGN Entertainment
Is The Nintendo Wii The Best Gaming Console?
The Nintendo Wii is your go to family gaming console. With countless age appropriate games available and the active style of gaming that it offers it is a no brainer decision for families.
The Nintendo Wii falls short on power and multimedia features compared to its competitors instead choosing to focus on casual gaming by offering a number of family and party focused games.
With cheaper overall game prices and additional controllers the Nintendo Wii is the smart family choice and will help you keep the costs of birthday game gifts to a minimum. Stand out exclusive games for the Nintendo Wii include Smash Brothers Brawl, Mario Kart and Wii Sports.
The Nintendo Wii has a few a bundle options available which will depend mostly on which games you want to start your Wii console with. You can see them below with details:
Nintendo Wii Bundle Options
The standard Nintendo Wii console is always a great default option, don't forget that Wii Sports is included.
If you think Maria Kart is more up your alley then the Mario Kart bundle is a great option and comes with a single steering wheel (so plan ahead if you have two kids!)
The console is available in black and white options.
An alternative to Mario Kart is the Wii and Wii Sports Resort bundle if you like a more active style of gameplay.
Like the other Nintendo Wii bundles you only get a single remote so be aware before purchasing (white is also available).
Nintendo Wii Unboxing - By IGN Entertainment
Is The Nintendo 3DS The Best Gaming Console?
The Nintendo 3DS is the first portable game console to make an appearance on this list and is without a doubt the best handheld game system with its unique 3D gaming capabilities (no glasses required).
If your looking for the best game console for kids then this is it (older gamers may want to consider the PlayStation Vita featured further down this page instead).
The Nintendo 3DS incorporates iPhone style technology (motion and gyro sensors) to allow you to dodge enemy fire or race around the track. The Nintendo 3DS is a great way to keep your children quiet on those long cars rides and has no shortage of games that appeal to tweens and teenagers. The average price of 3DS game is around $30 with downloadable games starting from as little as $2.
The Nintendo 3DS is also backwards compatible with DS and DSi games. More recently the Nintendo 3DS has seen the release of the Nintendo 3DS XL, which is the same console on the inside but offers a size increase (both screen and buttons) which makes it an even stronger choice for younger gamers.
The Nintendo 3DS does not offer any game bundles currently so your choice is simply between the XL and non-XL version.
The Different Nintendo 3DS Options
The big brother of the Nintendo 3DS. After having my hands on both of the Nintendo 3DS consoles I much prefer the XL version.
Although ultimately the $50 price point will be a decision maker for most buyers.
The XL manages to be larger without adding lots of additional weight or clumsiness to the device.
If you want something a bit smaller or can't justify the price difference the Nintendo 3DS is still an amazing purchase as a portable console for children.
Nintendo 3DS Unboxing - By IGN Entertainment
Is The PlayStation Vita The Best Gaming Console?
The PlayStation Vita is quite possibly the best handheld game system for the gamer on the go. The PlayStation Vita will appeal mostly to older gamers who are looking to get a high quality gaming fix anywhere and anytime.
The PlayStation Vita also offers multimedia and internet connectivity allowing you to listen to music, watch your favorite movie or browse the web anywhere you like (I recommend a durable case for transportation though).
The PlayStation Vita is packed with features including powerful graphics, touch screen, dual analog stick design, double cameras (front/back) and Wi-Fi connectivity. Be aware that the PlayStation Vita does require memory cards (sold separately).
With a great launch list behind it the PlayStation Vita has been a hit and looks to continue to remain one of the best portable gaming consoles.
I haven't regretted purchasing my PlayStation Vita and overall I am very impressed with what it has to offer. Just take the time to consider how much gaming 'on the go' you do before committing to a purchase.
The PlayStation Vita 3G/Wi-Fi option is the entry level PlayStation Vita that you should consider. There is a non 3G option available but the price difference is almost non existent now (it was larger on release).
I couldn't imagine my PlayStation Vita without its 3G options so I definitely recommend the extra few dollars for this edition.
PlayStation Vita Unboxing - By IGN Entertainment
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Last updated on September 20, 2014
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