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What Is the Most Under-Rated Console?

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The Nintendo Wii is the 5th best selling console of all time with over 100 million sold. That makes it literally impossible to be underrated.

Underrated is about opinion, not sales. The power glove made 86 million dollars. No one likes the powerglove. Many people believe that the Wii is a kiddie console that sold a motion control gimmick to kids and their grandparents.

 

I guess the Wii fits in with the "importance" part of the definition instead of money value.

Edited by KreatorKat
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Underrated is about opinion, not sales. The power glove made 86 million dollars. No one likes the powerglove. Many people believe that the Wii is a kiddie console that sold a motion control gimmick to kids and their grandparents.

 

I guess the Wii fits in with the "importance" part of the definition instead of money value.

 

 

It is impossible for Michael Jackson, The Beatles, or The Rolling Stones to be underrated. Likewise, with so many sold, it is impossible for the iPhone, iPad, or Wii to be underrated. They have had such acclaim and popularity that the only way is down, not up.

 

Now if you want to say that your friend McDorky Dorkerson has underrated the Nintendo Wii, or that in 2006 Sony and MS underrated the Wii as serious competition, those would be appropriate uses of the word. But the general public, markets, and world in general didn't underrate the Wii.

 

If 100 million of something was sold, and in retrospect people think it was crap, that means it was overrated.

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I'm not sure I can call the 7800 underrated. Underachieving perhaps, but for what it did achieve during its commercial run, I believe it has been rated appropriately.

 

I think I would call the Sega Master System the most underrated console. The general opinion, at least in North America, is heavily colored by its mismarketing and resulting underperformance in the States, but it was a very versatile little system, and in the rest of the world a very successful one. Even now it seems you don't hear about that much.

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The post I made was based on public stereotypical opinion or those Nintendophiles who were 5 years old in 1989. I always think mass thinking about a console. General youtube insults about it etc.....there's times when I go out and mention it or wear a T-shirt some guy on his phone has to say "I remember that, boy did the graphics suck...or....dude the games were so crappy".

 

I always respond with "Sorry but I'll take HERO over your Candy Crush"

I get the opposite when I go out wearing Nintendo Tshirts. Maybe it's a cultural thing?

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I agree that the NeoGeo Pocket Color and Sega Master System are underrated, though moreso with the NGPC than the SMS. The NGPC had hardware and games that gave the GBC a serious run for its money, and in some ways may have actually been better. The SMS was a great system...sometimes. The thing with the SMS is that its games looked really good in screenshots and still photos, but when you actually played them you got choppy animation, poor framerate, and/or flicker. Even flagship games like Space Harrier and Afterburner were pretty disappointing. OTOH, there's stuff like Rambo, Choplifter, Golden Axe Warrior, Phantasy Star, etc. I'd liken the SMS to something like the Bally Arcade: capable hardware with some truly standout titles once it hit its stride, but also a lot of chaff.

Both systems seem to afterthoughts to most gamers, if they even know about them at all, but neither deserve to be IMO.

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I get the opposite when I go out wearing Nintendo Tshirts. Maybe it's a cultural thing?

 

 

A generational thing more like it.

 

When I wore one of my new Intellivision T-shirts at a pizza arcade recently, got a lot of looks, acknowledgement and smiles from those young and old(er). :thumbsup:

 

Can't imagine anyone coming up to me and saying that the graphics sucked or games were crappy back then. If they did, would look 'em up and down, sneer, chuckle and remedially ask if they were retarded. :lol:

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I'd vote the Sega-CD as the #1 under-rated console. So much has been said and written about how it was such a disaster. However, it has several "Best Versions" of some great games , it has fun and impressive system exclusives and some unique not-so-great-but interesting stuff.

Batman Returns CD, Amazing Spider-man CD, Ecco and Ecco 2 CD, Earthworm Jim CD, Eternal Champions CD, NHL 94 CD, and Final Fight CD are some "best versions" - superior ports of cart games. Expanded levels, options, and CD-quality sound & awesome music.

Robo Aleste, Silpheed, Snatcher, Sonic CD were some cool and unique system exclusives at the time, and still great fun.

The FMV games are stuck in that time era - most were considered ripoffs back then, but several are pretty cool to play now in a retro sense.

And all the RPGs like Shining Force CD, Lunar 1 and 2, and Popful Mail round out the system's library.

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I owned a Dreamcast in 1999 and own one to this day. I can't say it's underrated, it just failed financially. I see far more negativity regarding the Wii U than I ever recall seeing about the Dreamcast since launch.

 

To me underrated would be something that had a pretty normal arc with a good selection of games and a strong but smaller following that not many noticed or maybe recall. I was born in 1986 so things predating that are a little tough but I think the Master System ranks up there. Had a great selection of games and in many cases was flat out forgotten next to the NES anyone I've lived in the US.

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I would have to say:

 

OD2

Sega Master System

Atari XEGS

I think that's a pretty good list. I would also be on board with saying the Wii. Yes, it sold a lot of units. It's also continually slagged as not having "real" games, or a console "grandparents bought to play Wii bowling." There were a lot of really good games for the system, I think more than it's given credit for.

 

 

 

It is impossible for Michael Jackson, The Beatles, or The Rolling Stones to be underrated.

 

Because of their body of work and huge influence on music, not because of units sold. Lots of artists sold a lot of records over the years, some are "rated" highly, some not.

Edited by BydoEmpire
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Ahh, now I understand. It doesn't matter that it sold over 100 million and was #1 for its generation, the Wii wins in every contest EVAH!

  • There is no console more underrated than the Wii.
  • Best console to wear as a hat? Easy, that's the Wii.
  • Console most likely to cause AIDS? Wii.
  • Best earthquake perparedness? Wii.
  • The Stig's favorite? Wii.

I have seen the light. Best, worse, whatever, it is Wii.

Edited by akator

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I owned a Dreamcast in 1999 and own one to this day. I can't say it's underrated, it just failed financially. I see far more negativity regarding the Wii U than I ever recall seeing about the Dreamcast since launch.

 

To me underrated would be something that had a pretty normal arc with a good selection of games and a strong but smaller following that not many noticed or maybe recall. I was born in 1986 so things predating that are a little tough but I think the Master System ranks up there. Had a great selection of games and in many cases was flat out forgotten next to the NES anyone I've lived in the US.

The Wii-U is very much under-rated. There's some awesome game experiences to be had with it if people can overlook the system specs and slightly awkward but totally awesome bundled controller. I rarely use the monitor when playing Wii-U.

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Ahh, now I understand. It doesn't matter that it sold over 100 million and was #1 for its generation, the Wii wins in every contest EVAH!

  • There is no console more underrated than the Wii.
  • Best console to wear as a hat? Easy, that's the Wii.
  • Console most likely to cause AIDS? Wii.
  • Best earthquake perparedness? Wii.
  • The Stig's favorite? Wii.

I have seen the light. Best, worse, whatever, it is Wii.

 

Since we're following definitions by the book, I'd like to add one:

Opinion: a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

 

 

But really, this doesn't need to be an argument and it doesn't have to extend to earthquakes or AIDS. Different opinions on a topic that is only based on opinions is par for the course, so this is no need for a fight or excessive sarcasm. I'd like to enjoy reading other people's opinions on consoles that this thread has provided without an argument over a speculative idea I posted. If you believe that the Wii is not underrated or even that it is terrible and the most overrated console ever, that's totally fine; it's a difference in opinion.

 

 

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I would have to say:

 

OD2

Sega Master System

Atari XEGS

 

That's an interesting one at least. I thought the XEGS was pretty much a 65XE..so basically just a redesign. (the XEGS is how I do my Atari 8-bitting btw, largely because it's what I had as a kid...I love it's somewhat fugly design)

 

I see a lot of people saying SMS but to me that's only true if you add the caveat "in 'merica" because the thing apparently had quite a following in Europe and of course Brazil and was well regarded there.

 

Also, reading this thread makes me think I need to try an O2 sometime, which I have not.

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I would go with the Sega Saturn and Bandai WonderSwan. Though the Saturn did fairly well here in the states, it was a very unappreciated system for it's time. I remember going to Sears and seeing all the Saturn stuff on clearance. They were basically giving stuff away. Had I known then what I know now, I'd have bought it by the boatload. The WonderSwan on the other hand, never made it's way out of Japan. I think it's more obscure than under appreciated; but I never hear anyone talking about it.

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The 3DO would be my pick. There's really nothing wrong at all with the console itself, except the infamous price tag (some of the controllers weren't so hot, but others are just fine). The hardware is a solid, thoughtfully-designed architecture that had some real perks for developers -- and some really poor development tools, unfortunately. But it doesn't belong anywhere near a worst consoles list; maybe a "worst business plan" list, but that's another issue.

 

The library is larger than you might expect (and far bigger than most "failed" consoles), and while there's tons of 1990s cheese both good and bad, it also has a nice pile of worthwhile games and a few games of "killer app" quality. It makes more sense to think of it as a superpowered Sega CD, instead of a weaker version of the Saturn or PlayStation (over which it has, surprisingly, a couple of hardware advantages).

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Ahh, now I understand. It doesn't matter that it sold over 100 million and was #1 for its generation, the Wii wins in every contest EVAH!

  • There is no console more underrated than the Wii.
  • Best console to wear as a hat? Easy, that's the Wii.
  • Console most likely to cause AIDS? Wii.
  • Best earthquake perparedness? Wii.
  • The Stig's favorite? Wii.

I have seen the light. Best, worse, whatever, it is Wii.

AIDS? Seriously? :???:

 

But really, this doesn't need to be an argument and it doesn't have to extend to earthquakes or AIDS.

 

Agreed.

 

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I'd say the 3DO is underrated. It had some truly great games: Need for Speed, Road Rash, Return Fire. Fighting game fans used to rave about it's ports of Super Street Fighter and Samurai Showdown. The problem was that due to the nature of the system, just about anything that really stood out got ported to the PS1 after a year or two.

 

But it did have some fun and quirky titles like The Horde, Guardian War, and Shockwave Assault. It wasn't as bad as Plumbers Don't Wear Ties and Virtuoso would lead people to believe.

 

The FZ-1 was also a very solid console. The one I bought many years ago is still owned by a close friend and it still works fine despite decades of abuse.

 

 

I'll also chime in and say the Odyssey 2 is underrated. The games look so primitive, even compared to the 2600, that it's easy to judge it harshly. However, the best O2 games also use that to tap into a more primitive fun. Games like Out of This World and Smithereens are unbelievably simple, but also highly addictive and fun.

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EDIT: before the bitch forks come out, I had the 7800, NES, Game Boy, and Lynx when they were current. The 7800 and Lynx just didn't have the games of their competitors, and, IMO, are "rated" right where they should be.

 

What does having them when they were current prove though? I think the biggest factor in a conversation like this is how well the games have held up over time and/or how redundant they may have become. After all, most of us here do still play these old systems and might be looking for a fresh perspective. Some games age well and others don't, and just because it was the wise thing to have 25 years ago, doesn't necessarily make it the right (or better) choice today. Or at least, it doesn't automatically make your other options obsolete.

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In this hobby, it seems there are many of us who become intrigued by the sepia-tinged paradigm of obscure and long-forgotten “gaming stuff.” Much like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends arriving at the Land of Misfit Toys, they see “something” in that old abandoned junk and donate their love to it, so that it may rise from the dead and have its day in the sun.

 

Then a thread like this comes up, and those relic hunters – in a grand display of nerdy egalitarianism – rush to cite their pet treasure as an example of something that is “underrated.”

 

But is it, really? Or is there perhaps a clear causal link between the conspicuous absence of historical accolades for the system, and a relative worth that is arguably low?

 

When I think “underrated” game systems I think of ones that have more than just 4-5 memorable games that are “kind of cool, based on what they had to work with at the time.” I think of systems that have been relegated to the dustbin of obscurity despite having *lots* of good software that is on par with – or better than – the dominant and still-lauded systems of the same era.

 

Sega Master System and TG16 come to mind immediately, whereas Atari 7800 and Atari Lynx do not.

 

EDIT: before the bitch forks come out, I had the 7800, NES, Game Boy, and Lynx when they were current. The 7800 and Lynx just didn't have the games of their competitors, and, IMO, are "rated" right where they should be.

 

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What does having them when they were current prove though? I think the biggest factor in a conversation like this is how well the games have held up over time and/or how redundant they may have become. After all, most of us here do still play these old systems and might be looking for a fresh perspective. Some games age well and others don't, and just because it was the wise thing to have 25 years ago, doesn't necessarily make it the right (or better) choice today. Or at least, it doesn't automatically make your other options obsolete.

You're absolutely right, the "fresh perspective" is very important to a discussion like this. The only reason I bothered to point out that I had the mentioned systems when they were current was to show that I wasn't just some grown up retro gamer guy in 2016 who tried out 5-6 games from each system in an emulator and, based on that, declared them duds.

 

I will say, though, that for me, the "fresh perspective" doesn't do any favors for the 7800 or Lynx.

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How about the Sega Game Gear? I think it might fall along with the Lynx for being ahead of its time but really not something mass seen as much as the Gameboy's walking about. It had a decent library and then utilized itself to also play master system games and you could watch TV. Maybe that falls also with the Turbo Express as well though.

So how about a short list.

 

Game Gear

Turbo Express

Commodore 64

 

I would personally count the Wii as an under appreciated console not so much underrated. When people were pre ordering and had to wait to get their first one that to me does not scream its ratings suck. There was plenty of hype around it it advertised well and sold everywhere pretty much.

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The Commodore 64? Of all of the 8 bits computers that were released for the masses, you pick up the most sold and the one that received the most attention in both the USA and Europe, and still receive it? :D

It's not even a console, but heh.

If I were to name a computer, I'm more think about the Atari 8 bits. Great color palette, good graphical capabilities, good sound capabilities, joysticks ports, standardized panel for game functions separated from the keyboard...

And it even was on the market 5 years before the C64! And yet it failed to become mainstream. Well maybe in the US it did but I rarely hear of the Atari 8 bits outside of AtariAge, and in Europe it was behind the CPC and even the ZX Spectrum.

And if I add the Euro machines, then the CPC is probably a perfect definition of underrated, as it received a huge load of games, tho most people back then considered the CPC as a fancy and beefied up ZX Spectrum, and suffered from poorly optimized games and Spectrum awful ports. Only recently (around 2010 no less) programmers really started to utilize the CPC's hardware thoroughly and stopped the standard practice of coding generic Z80 game engine code (for porting on the ZX Spectrum and MSX) and adding the CPC color support and sound support, to make games that really stick more to the CPC's specs.

That's one definition of underrated.

Edited by CatPix
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If I were to name a computer, I'm more think about the Atari 8 bits. Great color palette, good graphical capabilities, good sound capabilities, joysticks ports, standardized panel for game functions separated from the keyboard...

And it even was on the market 5 years before the C64! And yet it failed to become mainstream. Well maybe in the US it did but I rarely hear of the Atari 8 bits outside of AtariAge, and in Europe it was behind the CPC and even the ZX Spectrum.

 

 

To clarify, the Atari 8-bit was on the market just under three years before the release of the C-64. Both were produced/lasted on the market about 12 years, but obviously the C-64 series sold exponentially more.

 

It's hard for me to say a computer series that lasted that long and was so high profile for that long (at least in the US) was underrated. I will say the Atari 8-bit was probably undersupported by third parties here in the US after the early 80s, particularly in comparison to the Apple II and C-64.

 

Since we're mentioning computers, in one of my books, "CoCo: The Colorful History of Tandy's Underdog Computer," we kind of explore the idea of that being an under-appreciated computer. The Color Computer series was on the market for about a decade, which was far longer than most other computer platforms, yet it's little remembered or appreciated today relative to others. A lot of that of course has to do with the lack of significant third party support, which, like TI with the 99/4a, was a lot of Tandy's own doing.

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