After my recent article heralding the SNES as the greatest system of all time, I feel it would be an enormous back-hand to the face if I didn’t include an article on the WORST consoles of all time, too, as even terrible systems deserve love.
But to be considered a contender for the worst system of all time, there are of course some guidelines: First, it has to be an actual console, so none of those horrendous Tiger handheld games count. Second, it has to be terrible relative to the time period it came out, so none of those Atari systems count, either, as back then, those games were legendary. And finally, they have to be made by actual companies, so if your next door neighbor cobbled together a 5.3 bit system on their day off and it plays like glue, then I, of course, can’t include that on the list because...gosh darn it, your neighbor tried.
So, with the rules set in place, here are the four worst systems of all time in descending order.
4. Sega CD: Two words: Night Trap. Okay, five more words: Kriss Kross: Make My Video. Oh, heck, two more words: Sewer Shark. Truth be told, Sega had a lot of hit or miss titles for the first official CD system on the market, many of them so bad that they were rendered unplayable. But that doesn’t mean the Sega CD didn’t have its high points. As much as I might catch hell for it, I’d rather play Kojima’s Snatcher over Metal Gear Solid, and Sonic CD is arguably the best title in the blue hedgehog’s oeuvre. But for every Snatcher and every Sonic CD, there were at least twelve Marky Mark’s: Make My Video, and for that, I can’t give it a pardon.
3. Atari Jaguar: With commercials that LIED to you (If Kasumi Ninja is 64 bits, then so is the original Super Mario Bros.), the Jaguar was almost insulting with how wretched the games were: Cybermorph, Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy, and even an unplayable version of Primal Rage all rounded out the system as “good games.” And if those were the good games, I’d hate to play the “bad” ones. Do the Math, dude, you + Jaguar = loser.
2: CD-i: Okay, I technically have no real say in the CD-i as I’ve never actually played it, but after seeing it in Sears one afternoon while walking with my mom through the mall, I knew something was very wrong when I first heard Link talk in The Legend of Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon. Being a HUGE fan of both one and two, my impression of Link was that he was a tough, sword wielding elf that could take on a whole army of skeletons and monsters just for the sake of his beloved Princess. But when I saw Link wearing lipstick and flailing his arms around like a wacky, waving inflatable arm man, I quickly turned away and cried into my mother’s dress. You want to hear the sound of a hero shattering right before your eyes, listen to Link’s voice.
1: Virtual Boy: It’s a pity that Gunpei Yokoi’s (inventor of the Game and Watch and Game Boy) last Nintendo product was this atrocity to the mind and soul. Quite possibly the least portable portable system ever created, the Virtual Boy is the only system I have ever played that actually made me vomit afterwards. Trying it out for the first (and last) time in a Toys ‘R Us, I slipped the goggles over my glasses and volleyed a few balls back and forth with Mario in his illustrious tennis game. But after only a few seconds of seeing red lines darting back and forth in front of my peripheral vision, I started to realize that my digestive tract was not going to keep down the two slices of pepperoni pizza I just had for lunch. In a matter of seconds, I was vomiting all over my knees and on the floor. Maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t bred for the Virtual Boy, but apparently, nobody else was, either, as the system did terribly in sales. And that’s why the Virtual Boy shall always be the worst system of all time in my heart. Nintendo, how could you?