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

Just going to put in Gamecube for #1. Which I'm sure will be a controversial pick.

The thing is while the NES, SNES, and probably even N64 has way better support in terms of volume, I feel like most games from that era haven't aged that well. Aside from the Mega Man games, I really can't remember the last time I replayed an NES third party title for instance. On SNES, Mega Man X and Square's RPGs are the only games I may replay. And on N64 just the wrestling games.

Gamecube had much fewer third party titles, but there are titles I routinely go back to. Tales of Symphonia, Resident Evil 4, Soul Calibur 2, WWE Day of Reckoning, Capcom vs SNK 2 (wish it had an online mode :(), Skies of Arcadia Legends, Metal Gear Solid, and a few more are games I actually would and have replayed recently. It's mainly a function of games of that era having aged well (beyond the simplicity of early games, but mostly past the awkwardness of early 3D) but there's just most stuff I still enjoy.



Around the Network
curl-6 said:

How would you rank the ones you own/have owned, and why?

  1. SNES
  2. GBA
  3. NDS
  4. 3DS
  5. Gamecube
  6. GameBoy
  7. N64
  8. Wii
  9. NSW
  10. WiiU

I mean, do I even need to explain myself? During the pre-Playstation Nintendo era, they had basically everything worthwhile from third parties, on their platforms, mostly exclusively.

Last edited by routsounmanman - on 27 April 2020

Ok, so looking at the ones I've owned, and in relation to the amount of classics, hidden gems and general amount of games:

1st. DS. By far the strongest 3rd party library out of all of the Nintendo systems I've owned, not only in terms of quality but also in quantity. GTA Chinatown, Etrian Odyssey, the definitive version of Chronno Trigger, the Castlevania DS games, TWEWY... You can find dozens of hidden gems easily enough, especially if you like JRPGs.
2nd. Switch. Best 3rd party lineup thanks to being the default port machine of this generation. Most PS3/360 games are going to end up ported there eventually. What holds it back is its lack of more current games, a library needs more than ports to shine.
3rd. GBA. Great solid lineup of 3rd parties. Very similar to the DS only it has a more limited amount of games. Still, it gave us games like the Megaman Zero series, Sonic Advance series, great ports of Final Fantasy I-VI (minus III for some reason)...
4th. 3DS. Great library overall, but it lacks in terms of heavy hitters. Other than a couple of big 3rd party titles like Bravely Default or the Monster Hunter games, most 3rd party titles are either budget titles or niche JRPGs, which, while ok, is not enough to make it stand out.
5th. Wii. The Wii has one of the largest libraries of any Nintendo system, which grants it a lot of good games, like No More Heroes I-II, Sonic Colours, Muramasa TDB... However, the sheer amount of shovelware bloats the library, and makes finding hidden gems rather difficult. The DS has a similar problem, but it ended up having better games overall, maybe because the Wii gave many devs a "follow the leader" mentality and just added motion controls, whereas the DS's gimmick was easier to implement. Also, the Wii is THE definitive version of Just Dance machine, with only the Switch being close to it, so take that as you will.
6th. GameCube (because the Wii is BC). It has a decent amount of great 3rd party games, but outside of them, there are very few hidden gems.
7th. GB (because the GBA is BC). In terms of 3rd party games, only Tetris comes to mind. Other than that, most Game Boy games are either shovelware, or bad versions of NES/SNES/Arcade games.



You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

1. SNES had the best quality plus great quantity
2. NES. It was basically the only game in town, so third parties had no choice but to develop for it. In terms of quantity it can't be beat, though technical limitations hurt the quality.
3. Gameboy. Similar to the NES.
4. GBA. Great in both quality and quantity, but too many of its best third party games were SNES ports in my opinion.
5. DS. Very good argument for it ranking higher than the other handhelds.
6. Switch. Not perfect and many older ports, but it's still shocking how good third party support has been and what franchises we never thought we'd see on a Nintendo system have been coming.
7. Wii. I think the third party support was great for the Wii. Capcom, Ubisoft, EA, Activision all released a lot of great games for the Wii. I have more 3rd party games for Wii than for any other system, though Switch is going to catch up soon. Instead of looking at what it doesn't have (Bioshock, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls), look at what it does have.
9. Gamecube. Has a reputation for multiplats being worse on it because of issues with the smaller disks, but a good library all the same. As the generation went on its support seemed to get worse even with RE4 towards the end. Very close to the Wii overall I think.
8. 3DS. It received a lot of support because it was the only successful handheld its generation, but it feels like first party games propelled it more than with previous Nintendo handhelds. Capcom was really excellent with RE Revelations and the Monster Hunters.
9. Wii U. It gets the edge over N64 because of the indie scene bolstering its library. But with its early glut of inferior ports and latter desert of major third party games it's at the bottom.
10. N64. It's not like it had nothing, but this was the gen third parties jumped ship the most. The lack of third parties caused huge gaps in the library, especially of RPGs, that no other Nintendo system has suffered from. Paper Mario came out at the very end of the generation and there was basically nothing else.



By personal experience, home systems only. I actually had quite a bunch of good third party games on N64, much more and better ones than on everything after it until Switch. Switch can overtake N64, not sure yet.

1. Super NES
2. NES
3. N64
4. Switch
5. GameCube
6. Wii
7. WiiU

Handhelds is more difficult, but I think I'd rank those the as follows. I think the two lines are too different to mix into one overall ranking though.

1. 3DS
2. DS
3. GB(C)
4. GBA



Around the Network

Hmmm. By quantity w digital- wii, switch, snes, nes, gcube, n64, wiiU. By quantity w out digital- wii, snes, nes, switch, gcube, n64, wiiU. By Quality- snes, nes, gamecube, switch, n64, wii, wiiU. Overall w generational lenience- snes, nes, gamecube, switch, n64, wii, wiiU. I would easily put switch over gamecube if not for digital shenanigans. Did u know megaman legacy 1 cart requires a patch to play? Rediculous. Gamecube had some pretty big 3rd parties. Prince of Persia was big at the time and the precursor to A creed imo, the 3d mortal kombats, res evil4 & remasters, viewtiful joe, xmen legends. 3rd parties moved on to xbox, but for a while it seemed like cube was gonna be the defacto 2nd console.



Glad to see im not the only 1 who foegot beyond food and ebil was on the cube :)



The_Liquid_Laser said:

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. 

This, pretty much. I arrived and immediately thought of voting for the SNES, but this argument is too strong to be overseen, and the number of great 3rd party games on the Genesis/Mega Drive at the time is a fact that cannot be denied. NES was not only king of its time, but the place where so much of the magic started for many, many franchises.



General gamer, fanboy hater

JWeinCom said:
Just going to put in Gamecube for #1. Which I'm sure will be a controversial pick.

The thing is while the NES, SNES, and probably even N64 has way better support in terms of volume, I feel like most games from that era haven't aged that well. Aside from the Mega Man games, I really can't remember the last time I replayed an NES third party title for instance. On SNES, Mega Man X and Square's RPGs are the only games I may replay. And on N64 just the wrestling games.

Gamecube had much fewer third party titles, but there are titles I routinely go back to. Tales of Symphonia, Resident Evil 4, Soul Calibur 2, WWE Day of Reckoning, Capcom vs SNK 2 (wish it had an online mode :(), Skies of Arcadia Legends, Metal Gear Solid, and a few more are games I actually would and have replayed recently. It's mainly a function of games of that era having aged well (beyond the simplicity of early games, but mostly past the awkwardness of early 3D) but there's just most stuff I still enjoy.

SNES had awesome 3rd party games though, many classics indeed. FF VI, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Mortal Kombat 3, Mega Man X. I don't think these games aged badly. When I played Chrono Trigger in my DS I find it far superior to 99% of DS library, and it was in 2010 I guess

I'm not familiar with Dragon Quest franchise, but fans will probably argue DQ games issued for SNES are great



IcaroRibeiro said:
JWeinCom said:
Just going to put in Gamecube for #1. Which I'm sure will be a controversial pick.

The thing is while the NES, SNES, and probably even N64 has way better support in terms of volume, I feel like most games from that era haven't aged that well. Aside from the Mega Man games, I really can't remember the last time I replayed an NES third party title for instance. On SNES, Mega Man X and Square's RPGs are the only games I may replay. And on N64 just the wrestling games.

Gamecube had much fewer third party titles, but there are titles I routinely go back to. Tales of Symphonia, Resident Evil 4, Soul Calibur 2, WWE Day of Reckoning, Capcom vs SNK 2 (wish it had an online mode :(), Skies of Arcadia Legends, Metal Gear Solid, and a few more are games I actually would and have replayed recently. It's mainly a function of games of that era having aged well (beyond the simplicity of early games, but mostly past the awkwardness of early 3D) but there's just most stuff I still enjoy.

SNES had awesome 3rd party games though, many classics indeed. FF VI, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Mortal Kombat 3, Mega Man X. I don't think these games aged badly. When I played Chrono Trigger in my DS I find it far superior to 99% of DS library, and it was in 2010 I guess

I'm not familiar with Dragon Quest franchise, but fans will probably argue DQ games issued for SNES are great

Like I said, Square's RPG and Mega Man X.  That's pretty much all you mentioned.  Except for MK3 which I don't think aged all that well.