Nintendo ruled the ’80s — let’s get that fact out in the open right away. Yes, Atari had its moments (including a central role in the videogame crash of 1983), Sega was on the cusp of something great with the Genesis in 1989, and even NEC had a few rough gems with the fledgling TurboGrafx-16. But — by and large — this was the decade when Nintendo came to power and everyone else desperately scrambled to catch up. It’s also the decade during which most of GameSpy’s current editorial staff grew up and started playing videogames in the first place.
Given those two facts, and the title of this article, it’s only natural that the NES would dominate the lion’s share of this list (which it most certainly does). So as you read our ranked choices over the next five days, and argue amongst yourselves over what we picked, what we didn’t pick, and what you’d pick (and hey, that’s half the fun, right?), do try to keep the state and circumstances of the decade at hand squarely in mind.
Oh, who are we kidding? The NES was awesome, we all loved it, and all those other system — at least in the ’80s — paled in comparison.