Not that anyone spends too much time looking at their consoles

What’s The Best-Looking Console?

 |  Eduard Gafton
What's The Best-Looking Console? 1

With CGMagazine having just been sent review units of both the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, what better time to reflect on the best-looking console designs of all time? But first, some ground rules:

  • No cancelled/prototype consoles (rip Atari Panther)
  • No off brands so no Super Joy, no PolyStations and no, not even the glorious Battman
  • Best-looking is intentionally left ambiguous: console designs can be sleek, glamorous and even, dare we say, sexy – but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there
  • Only one version/revision per console

All aboard? Good! Off we go:

Honourable Mention #1: Next-Gen

What's The Best-Looking Console?

Next-gen consoles only get an honourable mention because a) everyone is still getting used to having them in their gaming spaces (or not, since the PS5 is hilariously huge) and b) neither of them really impress: the PS5 is still ugly to me and the Series X looks like a sleek if boring fridge. Honestly, when it comes to next-gen, I much prefer the design of the Series S, but even with that the jokes about the vent on the top being a speaker/grill make themselves.

Honourable Mention #2: Xbox One X

What's The Best-Looking Console?

The Xbox One X is the closest console designs have ever gotten to Brutalist architecture: it’s too slick to be an Ugly Duckling, but too rigid to steal the show.

#10: PlayStation 2 Slim

What's The Best-Looking Console?

The PlayStation 2 Slim reminds us of a little black dress in that it brims with elegance and refinement and in that it works for every single occasion. And yet, without some added pizzazz, the PS2 Slim sometimes blends in a little too much with the crowd; a clear indication that there is such a thing as too simple.

#9: PlayStation Vita

What's The Best-Looking Console?

A clear improvement over the literally edgy PlayStation Portable, the PlayStation Vita is quite the looker…as long as you’re looking at it from the front. When you see it from behind, though, it almost looks like a high-tech, Sony-branded sleeping mask. Also, in terms of actual use, the analogue sticks are too small for a lot of people. What is this, a console for ants?!

#8: Nintendo GameCube

What's The Best-Looking Console?

The Nintendo GameCube is the contrarian’s favourite console design because it is brazen, weird and because, unmistakably, it has a handle. In fact, it may very well be the only console with a handle, so points for that.The only real problem with the GameCube is that the name is heinously literal – also why the original Xbox didn’t even make the list.

#7: PSone

What's The Best-Looking Console?

If PlayStation 2 Slim is the little black dress, the PSOne is a glamorous wedding dress and by far Sony’s best console design. The best part about is probably the size: just look at how compact it is! Suffice to say that a certain white next-gen console would do well to take a lesson from the PSOne’s design book…

#6: Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite Review 7

The most recent entry in this list, the Switch Lite, may be abrasively bright for some, but to our eyes these unorthodox colour combinations paired with an improved D-Pad and a sleek unibody cut makes this a pretty irresistible console design.

#5: Game Boy Advance SP – Tribal Edition

What's The Best-Looking Console?

Now, this...this is sexy. Just look at Mario: his sex appeal increased 10x over with that tribal tattoo.

#4: NeoGeo Pocket Color

What's The Best-Looking Console?

Small, yet powerful, the NeoGeo Pocket Colour is one of the most pristine console designs on this list. And, whereas, like with the Vita, it may be too small to hold in bigger hands, the sheer convenience of it fitting neatly in most pockets makes it worth it to us.

#3: Super Famicom

What's The Best-Looking Console?

Rounding up the top three is the Super Famicom, which boasts a console design that is, quite frankly, hard to complain about. It is honestly impeccable – and the best home console design. It also happens to be juuuust a tad bit better than its NTSC counterpart.

#2: DSi

What's The Best-Looking Console?

Even after so many years, the DSi still manages to feel incredibly modern. This is because Nintendo’s engineers have boiled down all the elements that make a sensational console design into a seemingly effort-less piece of technology and one that would top our list, if not for…

#1: Game Boy

What's The Best-Looking Console?

The Game Boy. The Nokia 3310 of video game console. A system that survived a bombing in the gulf war. The t h i c c boy with big buttons that changed the gaming landscape forever. Perfection: the best-looking console ever.

And that’s a wrap on a Nintendo-dominated list! But what do you think: Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!


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