I really had so sit down and have a good look at a TON of Consoles to consider them from purely an aesthetic standpoint and then to rank the top 10.
So, without further ado...
The Top 10 Best Looking Video Game Consoles:
#10 - GameBoy - Grey
The Gameboy has a pretty nice candy curved asthetic on the corners and buttons along with simple grey tones accented by sparse use of color, the green dot matrix screen actually plays into the rest of the hardware’s color scheme for a unique overall design.
The vertical orientation allows for a slimming appearance of what is rather chunky hardware. And, the accented texture of the grill lines on the battery cover and mono speaker give a subtle expression of texture.
Overall, a great design for when it was made, having few other handhelds to inspire the ideas of its appearance.
#9 - SNES - Grey
The SNES (US version) was built on a much more industrial design aesthetic emphasizing its structure to covey the idea of engineering power, while still expressing some of the softer qualities, such as the curves on the purple colored “Power” and “Reset” switches as well as candy like buttons on the controller itself. The SNES also shows very a minimalist style around the sides of its frame.
The design of the hardware could be thought of as a cartoony Battle Tank, visualizing tank treads under its chassis and projectiles coming out its controller ports really brings the idea to life.
#8 - PlayStation - Grey
The Original PlayStation was heavily inspired by the SNES due to the very obvious reason: It was originally going to be a SNES CD add-on called PlayStation that later got reworked as a standalone system after Nintendo publicly aborted Sony’s collaboration efforts in a very humiliating manner.
The PS1 had a sleek minimalist design with gratuitous amounts of grey, leaving the colorful Playstation logo to stand very boldly on the center of the console. The circular CD bay door conveyed a very future tech sleekness when it opened to reveal the CD mount and laser and transitioned to an almost inconspicuous appearance when closed.
The grill fins on the sides keep the system from appearing too simplified with the rest of the aesthetic being so slick. And, the controller’s handles stood very prominent almost like the controller’s was propping the face of its buttons upward, in a way, willing to be seen.
#7 - DreamCast - White
Dreamcast was a wonderful looking console that had such charm with its smooth UFO like super smooth topside and key hole shaped CD bay door calling you to open it.
Its gamepad was very unique with its small screened memory card slot front and center, and its sharp handles curving around the backside contrasting with its circular raised face.
#6 - PS3 Super Slim - Black
The PS3 Super Slim model is ultra sleek and simple design that sort of makes me think of the floating space craft from the 2016 movie “Arrival”.
Indeed the base of the console is neatly tucked under is infinity edge curves conveying an idea of levitating when viewed from higher angles.
The sliding Blu ray bay door is super snappy to open and its ridged texture gives a second layer appearance under the smooth outer shell.
#5 - GBA SP - Silver
The GBA SP was a very clever design that was very compact and still miraculously managed to be comfortable to used as such a small size. The idea of petite and useful came through its design ethos.
The orientation called back to the old gameboy structure when open and then when closed was packed away like a neat little lunchbox of gaming fun.
The border and mounting the GBA’s screen calls to the experience of playing video games on a tiny television (an idea further brought to life by SNES ports running on the screen in those years).
#4 Nintendo Switch - Many Colors of interchanging Joy-Con
The Nintendo switch seems like a simple handheld, but then in transformer style is becomes a table top table gaming system, like having a mini TV on the go, then it seamlessly slides into the dock to become a TV console.
The unique quality of the Switch’s appearance is that it is always changing, wether it is different colored Joy-Con being switched out in handheld mode, or turning into a tablet with split controllers for super comfy gaming, or even going to a PRO controller set-up on the TV. the constant change of form, and visual expression of this console make feel fresher to look at each day than most static hardware.
#3 - PSP 1000 - Black
The PSP, when it first came out, was like technology from the future for those who experienced it in the pre-smartphone days of 2005.
Its widescreen LCD, super glossy finish, sleek curved back plates, and unorthodox UMD Bay with a super smooth opening mechanism and an embedded circular metal PSP emblem on the back, could all still be seen as a somewhat modern looking device over a decade later.
Just shouts excellence.
#2 - Wii - White
The Wii is beautiful in its classy white sleek slender form, mounted like a monolith on its grey stand angled up at the heavens, with its blue ambient glowing disc slot coaxing you towards it, as though some elegant etherial presence has possessed your video game console.
The Wiimote is very unique and elegant as well, blending elements of gamepad and T.V. remote its visual appearance literally broke down barriers, people adverse to playing video games felt safe enough with the ideas the Wii and Wiimote conveyed that many people of all sorts played a video game for the very first time.
Truly innovative in its aesthetic approach that was resoundingly recieved.
#1 - 2DS - Scarlet Red
The Scarlet Red 2DS was the little console that could, if there is one thing this has in spades, it is Charm, Charm for days.
The cute blend of a square face, wedged sides, and rounded shoulders gives a lot of unique personality to this particular portable console.
The variety of inputs all border the screens like a pow-wow circle of play and the screens themselves are actually one giant TN screen wrapped up and a bundle of snuggly plastic borders creating a charming cradle of creative play.
Even if you never use this device, This particular color and model of hardware looks rather nice as a decor piece on a display shelf.