Not only has every Nintendo console been hailed by me in the past, but reviewers and critics and everyone has said great stuff (or it's just been obvious) that they're needed more than Sony, Microsoft, or any past hardware developers ever were for innovation in the market. Also this is going to state why Nintendo should stay first party since they still make profit.
This one is obvious. Not only did it save the market in the US, but it sold an astounding 61m units in it's lifetime. Though those sales may seem meager to some consoles today, back in the 80's-early 90's, that was amazing. Especially comparing it to anything released before the PS1. Also some of the most revolutionary game series of all time were born on this glorious hardware.
Yes, the console wars as you know them today started right here with the SNES and Genesis. The SNES was an amazing piece of hardware for the time, besting the competition in sales and recognition. Granted the Genesis did take a solid chunk out of what the SNES could've been, around 50m units sold is some serious profit. The SNES also totes with it one of the best gaming libraries (specifically JRPG's) and is the last Nintendo console with great 3rd party before the major exodus.
This one is sort of wishy washy, along with the next four. Even though it was so innovative, it's sales were low. Even so, Nintendo made profit off of it's 33m N64's sold. They also proved that they didn't necessarily need good 3rd party to make some profit. The N64 (like the SNES) carries many gems, and is the last console to have good Rare games (a major publisher who switched to Microsoft when XBOX was born and sucked ever since.)
Out of all, this is the most clannish. By that I mean it didn't generate an insane amount of money, it's games aren't considered the best ever to exist, and nothing super revolutionary came out of it. But we did get the best controller ever forged by man, in my opinion, the most unique games of any Nintendo console, and it transitioned Nintendo to the disc format. The console made Smash a titan and is honestly the last console to really give birth to awesome Nintendo IP's. And also it's the most portable console ever.
Oh, the Wii. The poor console that received so much unconditional hate. While I do agree this is probably their worst hardware ever, this revolutionized the company like no other (second to the NES). It not only made a whopping profit for Nintendo, (selling 101m and counting) but it revived some wading franchises, and a few 3rd parties actually made money on the device. Granted it did burden the Wii U (it's successor) with sales, but with the success of the Wiimote, every other company tried to imitate motion controls. Some failed terribly (PS Move), while some still use it to this day (Kinect), but none can amount to the revolution that the Wii sparked.
The most hardcore of all Nintendo consoles. Burdened by the Wii (as stated previously) but still not dead. Sadly, this has just started making profit for Nintendo, and could be considered a burden to this point, but within the next few quarters Nintendo will hopefully make up for what they lost and then some. Also this isn't necessarily a huge thing, but after the GamePad was shown off, PSVita connectivity came with PlayStation and XBOX Smartglass was born, so tell me? Has Wii U left no mark on gaming?
XBOX ONE/Wii U/3DS/PC
RIP Iwata 12/6/1959-7/11/2015
Thanks for all the great memories!