I’ve always been a PC gamer. I’m still one, actually, but lately, the PC games out on the market are starting to get beyond my hardware, and, in order to play them, I’ll need to get a new video card, more memory, and a bigger harddrive. So, I’ve decided, instead of the hardware-software race you end up playing with PC games, to get a console.
The way I see it, I’ve got three main choices: the Nintendo GameCube, the Sony PlayStation 2, or the Microsoft X-Box. I turn to you, oh dopers, to give me advice on which one I should pick. A few groundrules…I can’t stand racing games, and I’m not a really big fan of sports games in general. I don’t dislike them, and when I play them, I enjoy them, but I don’t go out of my way to play them. I like simulations, world building or empire building games. I like first person shooters, even though I’m terrible at them, and I like RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Planescape:Torment, etc. I don’t like the Final Fantasy type of RPGs, of the “walk around, kill a monster, watch a cutscene, repeat” variety.
Based on the RPGs, I would suggest an XBox: Knights of the Old Republic I & II and Morrowind are ‘PC’ RPGs (even if KotOR got its start on the XBox). If there are similar games for the PS2, which I have, I don’t know them and would be interested in finding out.
If you enjoy FPS, then I’d highly recommend the Xbox. I’d also recommend playing on Xbox Live as it’s something you have to experience firsthand to appreciate. Mechassault and Rainbow Six 3 online were some of the greatest game experiences I’ve had in my 30 years. Halo 2 is also incredible, now that it’s released.
The Xbox isn’t particularly known for RPGs but it has a few excellent ones like D_Odds mentioned. Many of the PS2 RPGs are of the Final Fantasy type anyways.
I don’t think you’ll find too many empire & world building games on either console as the lack of a mouse definitely hurts that game type.
Most of the sports games are available on either PS2 or Xbox, though the Gamecube carries quite a few too.
Another vote for xbox here. I don’t anything better than N64 but get together with some guys that own all of the options in the OP. For multiplayer FPS, xbox is king.
I think we have similar gaming tastes. I really enjoyed the following “light” RPGs on PS2:
Champions of Norrath (sequel due soon). Similar to the original Diablo.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance (may be a little light for your taste, but the production values and gameplay were excellent)
Kingdom Hearts (Final Fantasy meets Disney (really) Its quite interesting, and a lot of fun).
Aside from those, I really, really enjoyed the Ratchet and Clank series, which is PS2 only. Really great platformers with RPG elements.
Every box has its ups and downs. XBOX certainly has more power, but fewer flagship titles. Nintendo has some interesting RPG type games, but a very small game library overall (compared to the others, anyway).
You should be aware that within the next year or two, the next generation consoles will be coming out.
As an owner of a PS2, XBOX, NGC, GBA, PC and Mac (all used for gaming in one way or another) I’d recommend the XBOX for you, slightly above the PS2.
Check out the games (go to a used game store and talk to the clerk there) and see which one has more attractive options for you.
Another vote for the 'BOX. It’s a bit long in the tooth, but then again they all are.
Well, I like the PS2 and Gamecube. Course, I also like Final Fantasy and Zelda so I clearly have no choice in systems.
What it came down to for me was that there just weren’t enough games for the Xbox for me to want to invest in it. A few curiosities. Knights of the Republic was almost enough, and there were a couple of other games. Just not enough proven games though. I knew I liked FF and Zelda, so getting the systems was a no brainer.
My advice: Most games nowadays are either made for all systems or have system equivalents. Pick a system based on which system specific games you know that you like.
Its great fun for lots of players, and there isn’t all that crappy “realistic” killing/criminal games like there are on the other consoles.
I will admit, however, that RPGs are lacking in Gamecube.
But I’m an antisocial loner who likes watching the suffering of innocents! Oops…did I say that out loud? There’s some good advice here. I think I am going to take a look at specific games for each system, although I have to say that Knights of the Old Republic and Halo/Halo 2 are pushing me toward the X-Box.
I’ve thought about the Gamecube, but there are three things that sort of are turning me away from it.
- The graphics don’t seem to be as good. It’s not that the graphics are bad, exactly, but they seem to be cartoonish and “blocky”, if that makes sense.
- Link/Legend of Zelda
I’m not a big fan of the Legend of Zelda games…they don’t hold my interest, and there seem to be a bunch of them out there for the Gamecube. As for Mario, I really hate that fucking plumber, and he seems to be everywhere on Nintendo systems. Want to play a racing game? You can race Mario! Want to play a golf game? Play against Mario! Want to be James Bond stopping the bad guys? Mario is the supervillian! (ok, I don’t think they’ve made that game yet, but give it time). Maybe I’m just noticing it and magnifying the incidents, but Mario seems to be in a lot of games, and that’s just too much Mario for somebody who remembers him when he was a steelworker trying to stop an evil gorilla.
If you’ve got a Mario aversion, you definitely want to avoid the Gamecube. That goes without saying.
I’d say Xbox, based on what you’ve said. There aren’t quite as many games available as for the PS2, but most of the big titles get ported to both, and the Xbox version is almost always better-looking.
If you can wait until next year, though, hold out for the PS3. Current speculation is it’ll be out by Christmas time. (On the other hand, all the existing consoles will have a price drop.)
Definitely get the XBox.
Buy Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow to go with it.
I’m not gonna argue about Mario and Link - you either like ‘em or you don’t - but I gotta disagree with you about the graphics in the Cube. They’re equal to if not superior to the X or the PS2. There’s a battle arena in Soul Calibur II which is set high in some snowy mountains. In the Cube version of the game, you can see the characters’ breath as they fight there. The trouble is, a lot of the games for the Cube start out cartoonish and blocky. No fault of the system.
Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 are supposed to be coming out on XBOX next year. No ETA on Half-Life 2 as of yet, but I heard that DOOM 3 might be out around Feb/Mar - and they’re supposed to be adding CO-OP play to it.
The hard drive on the X-box makes it a lot nicer than those annoying memory cards for the PS2.
Put it this way: I have a PS2. I wish I would have bought an XBOX.
Though I did snicker under my breath when San Andreas came out.
Nintendo lover here - SpouseO and I have bought every console that Nintendo has put out. We bought the Cube, and, well, we hardly ever play it. We’re trying to rent more, but it’s hard - the selection is limited and we’re finally growing out of the cartoony/kids games at the ripe old ages of 28 and 26. And while Nintendo does have other games, it seems as though the ones that are most heavily advertised are the cartoony/kids games. Saw a commercial the other day, and SpouseO said, “And that’s why Nintendo isn’t doing very well.”
No doubt about it, we love Cart and Link, but there’s more than one time I’ve thought twice about buying the thing. My advice would be to pick something other than the cube.
The only game I used to ever play was Halo. The only game I play now is Halo2. I got the Xbox for that purpose, and that purpose alone, and don’t for one minute regret the investment.
The Playstation has a massive library of games and an even more massive chunk of the market. This means that they get lots and lots of exlusive games.
Xbox has a more powerful machine and a growing chunk of the market. This means that they’re catching up.
Both companies are working on the next generation of consoles. This means that spending money on an Xbox or PS2 might end up biting you in the butt in a year or so.
I’m a big PC fan and I recently got a free Xbox. I can tell you, if you like FPS, upgrade your computer.
Transitioning from a FPS with keyboard and mouse to a controller is insane. The controller on an xbox (or any console) is really designed around low level RPGs. Even more complex games like Fable use too many “button combos” for my tastes. Maybe KOTOR is better but I wouldn’t know (only have the PC version).
And in terms of cost a console isn’t cheap. Upgrade your PC in small sections (focus on a new MB and CPU combo, then video, then HD etc).
But if you really want a console, the Xbox is the best out of them all. You might want to pay for the PS3/Xbox 2 though because when they come out next year they’re going to crash xbox/ps2 prices.