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Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Rank Nintendo's systems by third party library

7. Wii U - It really failed to attract third parties, it lived only on Nintendo's own released. It wasn't all bad though, the first year it got some of the big titles. And unlike previous Nintendo consoles, it had the benefit of indie support.

6. Wii - Considering the success of this one, the third party support is really embarrasing. It either didn't get the cross platform games, or it got weak versions. It's exclusive third party titles were often shovelware. However there were a handful of really good 3. party titles, such as Red Steel 2, Rayman Origins, GoldenEye 007, World of Goo etc.

5. Gamecube - It actually got a fair amount of the cross-platform titles, however, considering how capable it was, it is pretty weak that it often got overlooked by third parties, and the titles it got barely looked better than the PS2 versions and considerably worse than the Xbox versions. It also barely got any noteworthy third party exclusives.

4. Nintendo 64 - It didn't get the quantity, but it got the quality. It's third party cross-platform titles were often the definitive versions. It also got a lot of third party exclusives, such as Doom 64, Turok titles, WWF: No Mercy, StarCraft 64,
007: The World Is Not Enough, Rogue:Squadron.

3. Switch - It might lack behind some of the others in quantity and exclusives. But the fact that you can take these AAA games with you on the go, is just impressive. Unlike the Wii, the ports for Switch are good quality. It also has better indie support than pretty much any system, another huge plus.

2. SNES - Well it was the king of the market for a reason. It crushed the competition when it came to third party support. I cannot put it first though, because most of the big third party exclusives were RPGs, while number 1 had it all for itself.

1. Nes - So many third party franchises came to existance here: Castlevania, Mega Man, Metal Gear, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, Final Fantasy. It had everything.

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Of the libraries I've owned (never owned an NES or SNES so those libraries don't count)...
1. Switch: Largely seventh-gen ports and indies, but there's so much to choose from.
2. GameCube: Some fun games here, even if a lot of PS2 and Xbox games were missing.
3. DS: I played an ok amount of 3rd-party games and they were fun, namely the Scribblenauts games.
4. Wii: Some fun games here and there.
5. 3DS: I've heard the 3DS has a great 3rd-party library, but I think I've only played 2.
6. GBA: Didn't play too many third-party games, but there were a lot released.
7. GB/GBC: See GBA.
8. N64: The N64 was certainly lacking in third-party games.
9. Wii U: I don't think I need to go into detail.

Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 125 million (was 73, then 96, then 113 million)

PS5: 105 million Xbox Series S/X: 60 million

PS4: 122 mil (was 100 then 130 million) Xbox One: 50 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

Hm well for the systems that I own:
1 - The Switch (This is a combination of me having the money buy lots of games and the huge variety of third party games on Switch.)
2 - Gameboy Advance - I played almost exclusively third party games on the Gameboy Advance. I love that system.
3 - 3DS - I keep finding more games to play on it!
4 - Gamecube I played third party games the most on this (outside of Smash and Wind Waker). So many hours spent playing Spiderman 2, Rogue Squadron, Sims 2, Call of Duty 1, several medal of honor games.
5 - Wii I skwed a bit more towards Nintendo with this system.
6 - Wii U I got the system too late to have many third party games on it and their aren't that many anyway.
7 - Gameboy/Colour I just never had many games for it.

Probably SNES at number 1.

NES at number 2 (pretty much had all 3rd party support, but SNES had the better library IMO)

Nintendo Switch at 3 as it gets a healthy mix of collaborations, remastered ports, and current gen 8 titles as well from big 3rd party publishers despite not having the same amount of support as NES and SNES.  It also has spectacular indie support however.

N64 at 4 as it does have a good amount of games from 3rd parties made specifically for the console, but quality was all over the place. A lot of gems, and a lot of sloppy games that did not transition well to 3D.

GameCube at 5. This console I have the least experience with, but I feel 3rd party support was around N64 level or a little less.

Wii would be 6 due to having a lot of shovelware, despite having strong 3rd party support overall.

WiiU is dead last, as 3rd parties all but abandoned it before we knew what was going on.

Honorable mention, all Nintendo dedicated handhelds have had great 3rd party support, and consistently, across the board. I will not rank them individually, but I will say they all land in the SNES and NES zone of 3rd party suppory.

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1.SNES(Had the mixture of quality and quantity of 3rd Party Support)

2.NES(Nintendo's monopolistic business practices made Nintendo have pretty much all the 3rd Party Support, I don't think the NES games are have as much quality like SNES games do)

3.Switch(Nintendo pretty much has all the indies and JRPGs on their system while getting support from nearly all developers, getting ports of older games and even next gen big hitter ports are common on the Switch now, as Nintendo pretty much has every major 3rd Party Franchise on their system, it's close between the Switch and the gamecube though)

4.Gamecube(The Gamecube had pretty good third party support as it got most of the major 3rd Party Franchises and even some exclusive 3rd Party games like RE and the Sonic games, however it missed out on some big ones like GTA and some sport games like 2K, and it didn't have a huge quantity of games like the other platforms)

5.Wii(The Wii had a lot of 3rd Party support but it was mostly shovelware and don't really consider it legit 3rd Party Support, Nintendo missed out on most major multiplats with the Wii)

6.N64(The N64 was pretty dead with 3rd Party Support, most developers didn't want to put the time, money and resources to compress a game to work on the N64. As a result the N64 had one of the smallest game libraries ever for a major console maker, only 300 games, it was mostly a first party system)

7.Wii U(This one is obvious, no developer wanted to develop games for a system difficult to develop for and that no one brought. The Wii U during it's entire lifecycle went 20 Months without one Physical game released, as nearly no one but Nintendo was supporting it.

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NES is objectively the right answer.  It had all of the third party support.  SMS got shut out of support.  Hell, Atari technically had a competing system and was still releasing games on the NES via Tengen.  NES really had all of the games.  SNES had good games, but it split third party support with the Genesis with TG16 getting a bit as well.  Anyway, it's all a matter of taste, and most people didn't really experience the NES era.  Here is my list with some of my favorite third party games:

1. NES (Ultima 4, Mega Man 2, Castlevania 1&3, Blaster Master, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest 1&2, Duck Tales, Life Force, Contra, Double Dragon 2, Gauntlet, TMNT2, Bionic Commando, Ninja Gaiden 1&2)
2. Switch (Puyo Puyo Tetris, Octopath Traveler, DQ Builders, Axiom Verge, Untitled Goose Game, Wargroove, Cuphead)
3. SNES (Final Fantasy 4&6, Actraiser, Super Castlevania 4, Turtles in Time)
4. Wii (mostly Virtual Console, and some ok 3rd party titles)
5. Wii U (Minecraft)
6. Gamecube (basically nothing)

Handheld rankings are a little harder, because my #1 & #2 are close:

1. Switch (see above)
2. GBA (Astroy Boy, FF Tactics Advance, Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, lots of great ports)
3. DS (Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Plants vs Zombies)
4. 3DS (Theatrhythm FF)

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 27 April 2020

1) Color TV-Game
2) Virtual Boy
3) Wii U

Wait I'm doing this wrong

Home Console:

- Switch
- GC
- N64
- Wii U


- 3DS and Switch Tied

Being from Europe changes this list as a number of games released never made it over here which is why NES is third for home consoles.

For my personal tastes...

1. SNES 

From Contra III to Demon's Crest to R-Type III, just so many awesome titles 

2. Wii

For all that it was maligned, I own perhaps more third party games for it that any other Nintendo system; games like Monster Hunter Tri, Silent Hill Shattered Memories, Red Steel 2, de Blob 1 & 2, and Goldeneye 007 gave me many long hours of fun.

3. Switch 

It's third party catalog includes some of my top ten games of the past decade, and it looks like this will continue into the 2020s.

4. Wii U/Gamecube 

Both have relatively few games of interest to me, but among those few are some really cool ones like RE4, Black Ops II, and Sonic Racing Transformed.

5. N64

Very little of interest to me; this system was all about Nintendo + Rare in my book.

6. NES 

Famous though many of its games are, I just find games of this era very hard to enjoy for the most part.

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

1. NES: I actually hated Nintendo first party games with very few exceptions. They always felt basic and cheap aside from Punch Out, SMB2 and SMB3, and maybe a couple of others. I was there for Konami, Capcom, Sunsoft, etc!

3. SNES: Nintendo stepped it up big time, imo. But then so did 3rd parties. This time, Nintendo was the main event but the support was right up there making legendary hits.

3. Switch: Shocking to me as well but my 3rd party Switch games take up just as much of my playtime as first. Almost every game I want ported gets ported.

4. Nintendo Gameboy: The support was there, I guess. But it was mostly shovelware. I had about 13 games but nothing mind-blowing that I can recall.

5. You know what? Nintendo released a lot of hardware! I'll just say DS, GBA, GameCube, Wii, N64, Wiii U, Virtual Boy in that order.

Twitter: @d21lewis