The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time

July 15th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time

Just yesterday, PC World published my slide-filled list of The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time on their site. You might not agree with the list, but that’s almost the point — who agrees with Internet top 10 lists anyway?

I do have to say that I don’t think I could have found any worse video game consoles than those listed. Already, a few commenters at have noticed that the standard Internet whipping boys (i.e. Virtual Boy, Sega 32X, Atari Jaguar, etc.) aren’t on the list. Well, believe me, those systems are downright wonderful compared to the dreck examined in my article. Instead of going for the “worst popular systems,” I just decided to shoot for straight-out worst, period.

And honestly, the Virtual Boy is not that bad. It has good games, and it’s a great concept (albeit with a few major flaws) — it mostly just failed in the marketplace. The Jaguar has a handful of genuinely good games that are unique to the system, and in my book that disqualifies it from the list. The 32X is a little iffy, but it’s still not as bad as what you’ll see in my piece.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it, for what it’s worth. I’d love to hear your nominations for the worst video game systems of all time, so comment away.

19 Responses to “The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time”

  1. Cozfer Says:

    My grandparents had an RCA Studio II, which I remember as being quite fun! (I was 5 or 6 though) At least I think that’s what it was, it had a bowling game that we played a lot. I guess it was fun until I finally got an Atari 2600.

  2. moi Says:

    Virtual boy, jaguar and 32X are great systems that were sadly underused, all three could have delivered great games, had they been used correctly.
    nowadays people just like to parrot opinions they read on popular websites.

  3. Zoyous Says:

    I hadn’t heard of the Gakken TV Boy before. I love the awkward design of it! It makes me want to add a stabilizing handle to all my consoles.

  4. Fessic Says:

    Great write-up Benj. I’ve never seen any of these before. The Gakken especially belongs in a video game history museum somewhere. I second Zoyous; that thing is classic.

  5. Iacus Says:

    Finally, a Top 10 worst list that isn’t limited by the more well known examples.

  6. Benj Edwards Says:

    Glad you guys enjoyed it. I second both of you in admiring the quirky design of the Gakken TV Boy. Honestly, I had trouble putting it on the list, but I corresponded with a few collectors that swore it was terrible (and the alternatives were definitely better), so I had to add it.

  7. pinball22 Says:

    Excellent list… I think you did a great job of listing the systems that are really genuinely terrible!

  8. Sellam Ismail Says:

    Damn you, Benj. You have unearthed consoles of which even I was not aware. Now I have to go find them. Damn you again.

  9. Kris Browne Says:

    The commenters on the sight were really just being flakes… Talking about how horrible the Dreamcast was for example. Still sought after because it has some of the best arcade ports available for home, so popular ThinkGeek is selling refurbs at full price when they can find them… Soul Caliber on the DC still outdoes all it’s sequels for control, features, and playability.

  10. Rick Says:

    I like the article, and agree it’s more fun to read about things I don’t know than “oooo that Virtual Boy was horrible, wasn’t it?”

  11. Moondog Says:

    I remember drooling over the Halcyon ad as a teen, thinking that would’ve been the most awesome game system – ever!

  12. Esteban Says:


    Your PC World articles are the best.

  13. Chuckles Says:

    Thanks for an intelligent article on failed game consoles. Wow, Gakken’s TV Boy was a real “what were they thinking” item!

    Lap-mount console?
    Integral controller?
    After 1980?
    Recipe for disaster!

  14. Benj Edwards Says:

    Wow. Thanks, Esteban. I’m glad you enjoy them. I’ve got more coming up, so stay tuned.

  15. Merus Says:

    Yeah, this was a great list, and most surprisingly it was actually informative. Top 10 lists have a bad rap because they’re link bait that’s shoddily thrown together and only interesting because the readers think they can do better, but this list has stuff I’ve never even heard of, and your reasoning for their placement seems pretty sound.

  16. Lincoln T Says:

    It is nice they didn’t pick all the usual suspects like Virtual Boy or Jaguar, and I am glad they didn’t merely pick “not successful” systems which often happens.

    I think Saturn needs to be on that list simply for being rushed and the overall construction of the system. Jumpers from PCBs to other PCBs with a tangle or wires. The games were fine, Sega did their best to save it…but the reality is that system was JUNK on the inside.

  17. Guy Says:

    A good list. I have never played either the N-gage or the Gizmodo – so I’m suprised that both rank higher than the – I have one, and the games are mostly awful, and even the good ones have problems (frogger, ferinstance, sometimes ‘crashes’ the

    I remember seeing a VIS in a radio shack once. I don’t remember if I played it, but there was a shmup on it that looked pretty blatantly like a NES-level-graphics shooter pasted over a much prettier background. The controller was neat, though.

  18. Swabiwal Says:

    Tnx Edwards, It was a good read that really took me to the past

  19. Jojo Says:

    I have to agree that the from Tiger was pretty bad. The games were just plain terrible.

Leave a Reply