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[Opinion] Every PlayStation Gaming Hardware Ranked


Gold Member

PlayStation is arguably the most consistent brand in video gaming history. It has dominated the market since its entry, and it’s earned this domination thanks to a savvy understanding of what the audience in this market wants, a proactive attitude towards securing its dominant position even at the expense of short term profits, and, most importantly, tons of bangers and great games for all its systems.

But when you spend 30 years doing anything, you’ll have some bad days and some good days, and Sony has, of course, had its share of relative disappointments and underwhelming outings to go along with its really strong ones. Here we take a look at everything it has done, and rank all of its platforms from worst to best, across consoles, handhelds, and VR.


playstation vr2

Sony’s newest hardware release has reportedly not had the kind of launch the company may have been hoping for, so it remains to be seen how it will fare in the months and years ahead. In the here and now, it’s easy to see the promise. The PS VR2 boasts excellent hardware, boasting impressive tech and some much-needed improvements over its predecessor. But though it’s still early days, its library isn’t exactly stacked full of games that justify its shockingly high price. Hopefully, Sony and others in the industry will have some really good games up their sleeves in the not-too-distant future. We wouldn’t mind a Half-Life: Alyx port.



Sony deserves a great deal of credit for being willing to experiment with something as niche and new as VR back in the day. Building on the incredible success of the PS4, the company decided to dip its toes in virtual reality with PS VR, and with the likes of Astro Bot Rescue Mission, Resident Evil 7, Blood and Truth, and more, the device did deliver some really good games. Of course, it also had its fair share of issues. The hardware, for instance, was quite finnicky and didn’t exactly have the best user experience. It was a decent start for Sony in the world of VR, and it does boast a solid library, but it didn’t exactly set the world on fire.



Thinking about the PlayStation Vita just makes us sad. There was so much to love about Sony’s doomed handheld. It’s hardware was excellent, it had a gorgeous OLED screen (or at least the original model did), and it seemed like the perfect way to properly realize the promise of console games on the go that Sony originally made with the PSP. It was, however, a victim of a string of bad decisions by Sony, from the ridiculous pricing of its proprietary memory cards to how poorly Sony supported the device. It’s a real shame that the PS Vita bombed as horribly as it did, because if Sony had had its heart set on it, it could have done some excellent things in the handheld space. Speaking of which…


playstation portable

The PlayStation Portable launched at a time when Nintendo had an actual, literal monopoly in the handheld gaming market, before even mobile gaming was really a thing. Much like the original PlayStation, the PSP faced insurmountable odds as it sought to overturn that monopoly, and though it didn’t quite do that the way the PS1 did, it did make a significant chunk. With its slick form factor, more powerful hardware, and games that looked better than anyone had ever imagined they would on a handheld, the PSP raised the bar in ways that it doesn’t get enough credit for. It helped, of course, that it had an excellent library, which also doesn’t get the praise it deserves. God of War: Chains of Olympus, God of War: Ghost of Sparta, Daxter, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker – the list goes on and on.



It’s very, very likely that about four or five years from now, the PlayStation 5 will be higher on this list. The fact that it’s less than three years old and is already this high is, however, testament to the incredible start it has had. Console shortages in its first couple of years aside, the PS5 has been firing on all cylinders since day one. Incredible specs, one of the best console controllers of all time, excellent user experience and features- it ticks all the boxes. Including, of course, an impressive library. With the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Returnal, God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Forbidden West, and more, the PS5 has already built up a solid catalogue of excellent exclusives, and there’s obviously plenty more to come. Of course, with it still being in the early years of its life, the PS5 still has some catching up to do with all of its predecessors, but so far, it doesn’t look like it’ll fall short of expectations.


By the time all was said and done, the PS3 sold over 87 million units worldwide and accumulated a stellar library of games, so it’s not exactly a failure. But is it a bit of a black sheep in the PlayStation console family? I think even Sony would tell you that. How complicated its hardware was to develop for for a number of developers across the industry, the fierce competition it faced from the Xbox 360, the ridiculous price it launched for- there were plenty of reasons for why the PS3 is the only PlayStation console to sell under a hundred million units. At the same time though, it’s also got an amazing library. Sure, the PS3 era had plenty of issues, but it also delivered games like Metal Gear Solid 4, the Uncharted 2, God of War 3, Killzone 2 and 3, and so, so much more. So at the end of the day, the good definitely outweighed the bad.



Going up against the established dominance of Nintendo and Sega (but largely the former) as a newcomer wasn’t an easy task in the slightest, but with the PlayStation, Sony certainly made it look easy. It was less powerful than the N64, sure, but it was also cheaper and easier to develop for. That meant developers flocked to it in droves and crammed its library full of smash hits, and that, in turn, drove sales at a scale that the industry had never seen before, culminating with the PS1 becoming the first console ever to sell more than 100 million units. Not only is it one of the greatest consoles of all time, it’s also one of the most influential consoles of all time.



Many would argue that the PS2 should be at the top of this list – and possibly every list – and even though we obviously haven’t put it in that position, we very easily could have. More so perhaps than any of its competitors, predecessors, or successors, the PS2 signifies what a gaming console is above all else, and that is thanks first and foremost to its library of games, which might just be one of the greatest gaming lineups of all time. It’s the highest selling console of all time and remains the only console to date to have sold over 150 million units, but as staggering as that achievement it is, it’s hard to say that it isn’t justified by every metric.


ps4 pro

After a bit of a stumble with the PS3 (albeit a stumble with caveats of success), Sony decided to pivot with the PS4 in more ways than one, from its reasonable launch pricing to its quick and easy user experience to its developer-friendly hardware, and all of those decisions paid dividends for Sony. What really elevated the PS4 as a console, however, was the sudden and aggressive improvements that we saw from PlayStation’s first party offerings. Don’t get us wrong, Sony’s first party has always been one of its strong suits, but in the PS4 era, it hit completely new heights. Bloodborne, which was technically a first party release, kicked it off in 2015, and then it was just a steady stream of stellar, must-play releases. Uncharted 4, Horizon Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima. With first parties and third parties both firing on all cylinders, the PS4 accumulated an incredible library of games over the course of its life, and of course, is still continuing to see consistent releases in the early years of its successor’s life. For our money, it would be silly not to recognize it as one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time.

2>1>3>4>PSP>5>PSVR 2>PS VR.
PS2 is the golden age of gaming.
PS1 the genesis. So many new IP began here.
PS3 is the great changer. The worse and the best. Here too a lot of new IP began here.
PS4 is continuing the PS3 success. And having new ones.
PSP is before the PS5 as it has a full life, and the PS5 is still going. I do not put the PS VITA in this list as I consider it dead on arrival. But it would be after the PS5. Then the VR. Accessories so not yet full hardware on their own right. Maybe in the future?


Gold Member
New playstation has great games compared to the competition, but compared to their own past game lineup it's fucking nothing.

You get software greatness that covered for hardware back then, or hardware greatness that covers for software now....pick one.
I thought this was original content made by you OP, but what the hell, it's just a gaming bolt piece. :messenger_tears_of_joy:

Anyway for me it's PS3>PS4>PS2>PSP>PS5>PS Vita>PS1>>>>VR.


  1. PS2
  2. PS1
  3. PSP
  4. PS4
  5. VITA
  6. PS3

Tired jokes aside PS5 can get placed when this gen is over.
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How can PS5 be below 4 when it is fully backwards compatible??


PS3- fuck all this gen (the original model can go under ps5)

VR who cares
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Mine, based on reliability and design as well as the quality of the games, would be:

1. PS4 Pro (Better version of the PS4, only disappointed with its 1440p resolution for most games and lack of a 4K BD drive like the Xbox One X)
2. PS4 (Sony finally released a console that was powerful and easy for developers to code for!)
3. PS5 (only 3rd because it hasn't been out long enough versus the PS4/PS4 Pro)
4. PS Vita (lovely design bar being a fingerprint magnet, excellent screen, still going strong!)
5. PS VR2 (good hardware, lots of potential but needs more exclusive games rather than ports of old third-party VR titles)
6. PS3 (launch model died, had to buy the inferior new model, Blu-ray was awesome, games not so much!)
7. PS2 (DVD player was terrific for its time and it had plenty of great games but image quality suffered in comparison to the Xbox which became my main platform for third-party games)
8. PSone (picked up as a replacement for SEGA Saturn, great for its time but ended up having to play games with the console turned upside down due to its dodgy laser! Ended up selling it for the Nintendo 64)

PSP not applicable as I never owned one.


The PS2 is no.1.
To me... it's not close.

- The leap from the previous generation was incredible. Seemingly this can't be done anymore.
- The library absolutely embarrasses what we deal with now. (Look at the 2001 lineup). Huge games actually released in the holiday window and worked. Good times.
- It brought the DVD format to the masses. Still used today.
- It didn't sound like a hair dryer *cough* PS4 *cough*.
- It actually had meaningful price drops throughout it's life. Today Sony is selling the PS4 slim for the same price as a Series S.
EDIT - Full backward compatibility!!

I miss you, PS2.
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In order:

PS2 - the golden age of gaming and I didn't even bought one. So many classics, first console with retro, first to included a DVD, etc. I believe the only weak point was it wasn't that easy to develop for it, but given the huge installed base everyone just ignored that.

PS1 - the video game that introduced gaming to the masses and not just as a toy. Easy to develop so the sheer amount of games in this console is absurd. Without even considering the classics.

PS4 / PS3 - The logic works for both of them. Great exclusives but when you compare it with the older brothers I see them both as inferiors because almost everything was multiplatform. PS3 just a notch below the PS4 because almost every multiplatform was inferior when compared with the 360.

PSP - underrated as hell even today. The ideia of a pocket PS2, with pocket GTA, God of war etc. was awesome for a 2005 machine. And it was a very decent emulation machine.

PS5- until now I don't see a reason to buy one.


are in a big trouble
PS2 - king of kings
PS1 - a new adventure
PS3 -bad launch but picked up in the end
PS4 - Overall a pretty good system
PS5 - Still waiting for this thing to become something.

The rest I dont care about at all


Everyone talking about the games and SW for that generation but isn't the question best PlayStation HARDWARE of all time? If you evaluate the PlayStation consoles from a hardware design perspective, then the answer is obvious and not even close since all but 1 of the major PlayStation consoles had obvious bottlenecks:

PS1: introduction to 3D graphics
  • Bottlenecks:
    • Limited polygon output,
    • Small and slow RAM,
    • poor IQ
    • Slow CD-ROM speeds (long loading, MK3 Shang Tsung mid match loading)
PS2: Emotion Engine, Tons of graphics bandwidth for the time
  • Bottlenecks:
    • Limited GPU capabilities resulting in horrible IQ in most titles (no HW based AA),
    • VPUs on CPU difficult to utilize efficiently (but necessary to get best perf),
    • limited VRAM (poor textures compared to every competitor including Xbox, GameCube, and Dreamcast),
    • no built in network capabilities (even the Dreamcast had this one year earlier)
    • no discrete surround (SW based DTX decoding was limited)
PS3: Powerful Cell CPU, "It Only Does Everything"
  • Bottlenecks:
    • Split RAM pool made life extremely difficult for developers
    • SPEs on CPU difficult to utilize efficiently (but necessary to get best perf),
    • GPU was fairly weak compared to rest of the system and often a bottleneck for 3rd party ports
    • Limited OS RAM made it difficult to match expected features and services of the time (Digital Store Front, cross game chat, media apps etc)
PS4: Move to x86, 8 GB Surprise!
  • Bottlenecks:
    • VRAM was fairly modest compared to previous PlayStation consoles
    • CPU was very weak compared to the rest of the system (imbalanced) and often a huge bottleneck
      • Many games limited to 30fps
    • Audio processing was actually worse than PS3!
PS5: SSD, Tempest Audio, DualSense, Ray Tracing, Zen 2, RDNA 2
  • Bottlenecks:
    • NONE
Summary: from a purely hardware perspective, the PS5 is easily Sony's best designed console to date. It is extremely well balanced with meaningful and thoughtful optimizations to make it easier for developers to hardness it's power. The proof is in the pudding in these first 3 years. IQ in games is stellar, performance is a huge step up from any previous generation where >90% of all games run at 60fps or higher, there are true advances in the tools available to developers with the SSD and dedicated I/O hardware and Tempest engine, the advent of the DualSense which is easily Sony's best controller to date, the arrival of 120fps gaming, and the arrival of real-time ray tracing to the masses. Despite appearing "weaker" on paper, the efficiency of the hardware allows it to perform on par or better than the competition in the majority of 3rd party games and it's had solid 1st party output as well. You really can't point to a single area of the system that is a "bottleneck". Of course, that doesn't mean that it's raw power isn't' eclipsed by PC at this time of course, but what is there is extremely well balanced.


Gold Member
I'm kinda surprised to see so many people here listing the PS4 so low in their lists. Arguably the PS4 made the PlayStation brand more popular than it's ever been before.

Though I also agree that the PS4 is at or near the bottom.


do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
I'm kinda surprised to see so many people here listing the PS4 so low in their lists. Arguably the PS4 made the PlayStation brand more popular than it's ever been before.

Though I also agree that the PS4 is at or near the bottom.

The PS3 picked up hard towards the end of the generation it brought us so many new IPs and perfected so many formulas still in use today and the PS4 continued that success.
The PS2 was that generation.


Codes 208

PS4 > PSP > PS2 > PS5 > PS1 > PS3 > PSV

The psp was my first ps console so i will always have a sweet spot for it, plus it had a TON of good games, along with the ps2 (even though for me the ps2 was a dark cloud, ssx tricky and dbz box)

The ps4 is what truly converted me from xbox fanboy to all consoles with games like gow4 and bloodborne (it also helped that ms dropped the ball with the xb1)

The ps5 is a decent successor to the 4 with its own line of great games (definitely leagues better than the xbox series line), but the price of new games and how hard it was to find one still puts a sour taste in my mouth.

The ps1 exists. I liked spyro and crash but it wasnt until the psp and ps2 that i really started to care a out the platform (i was still a diehard nintendo fan at this point)

The ps3 and psv are still trash and thats a hill ill die on. The ps3 has a decent library but honestly it just felt like a watered down xbox 360 with a vastly inferior controller (something the ps4 would finally remedy) and the vita, well when the memory cards cost as much as two games and theres barely any games to begin with, of course imma throw that in the trash bin
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uh, so you say hardware, but you mean library, right? Because while I spent lots of time playing backwards compat on PS3, I didn't like the actual PS3(60) games much. And while I love many PS4 games, I did not like that jet engine I played them on.

So just going by the generation-specific games...

1. PS4 – slow start, but around 2015, with the return of solid Japanese home console console, dead genres like 3D platformers and beat'em'ups and successful AA development, the Playstation 4 has one of my favorite libraries that I own.

2. PS1 – yeah, those graphics are rough. Ok. But it gave birth to so many iconic IPs or gave legacy brands new life and I think many games are still top-tier if you look beyond the rough outside.

3. PS2 – I can't debate anyone who puts this on top, but I gotta be real, if something was multiplat, I prefered it on GCN or XBox.

4. PS5 – I love the hardware, I have no problem using it to keep playing my PS4 library. But we need more next-gen exclusives.

5. PS3 – dudebro era of brown bloom games, not a fan despite a few highlights.

6. PSP – Crazy how modern the hardware still feels, but I didn't like the library for consisting of so many ports or 2,5D "remasters".

Never had a Vita.
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It only dominated 2 generations and the article itself says so in the text, this is like one of those awful review/perfect score combos mainstream "critics" like to put up.
Anyway, based on performance and good exclusives:
1. PS1/2: 2 would've been higher if not for Xbox,
2. PSP (PS3 may have done better, but it had more competitors including the PS2!),
3. PS3,
4. 4 (did better than 3 and PSP afaik, but doesn't have as many exclusives), Vita, PocketStation.
PS5 is not measurable right now, and the VRs aren't standalone, else you've got to rank Move or Eye as well.


always chasing the next thrill
Ps one
Psp go
Ps3 slim
Ps vita
Eye of judgement camera + game
Ps2 slim and gt4
Ps wand + dead space light gun game
Guitar hero ps3 full band set


I like every single member of my PS family in the same way.
Each one has its merits and demerits, but I have had unconditional fun with every one of the game consoles made by sony without exception.


The original 60gb PS3 is the best console, provided it doesn’t die in you.

It is the only PlayStation capable of playing 3 generations of games: PS1/PS2/PS3


I won't rate my PlayStation consoles by hardware but by my fun factor because ultimately that's what matters to me.

1) PS2
2) PS3
3) PS4
4) PS1
5) PS5


PS3 was the best gaming period i have ever had so far, so it's my number 1 PS product.
Rating the rest is hard.. PS2 was awesome but i had it for only 3 years.. did manage to play GoW 1 & 2, RE4, R&C and many more plus gazillion hours of PES.
PS4 and PS5 both are fantastic consoles to me with many games i enjoy.. hard to choose.. I think:
1. PS3
2. PS2
3. PS5
4. PS4
5. PS1
Purely in terms of hardware, I think the Vita is the most satisfying Playstation product. It's the best pure handheld ever created, basically a modern GBA. PS5 a close second for quality and compatibility (DS4 best Playstation controller of all time, fight me).

Library/platform ranking overall is tough, but currently I'd go with:

1. PS5
2. PS2
3. PS4
4. PS3
5. PS1
6. PS Vita
7. PSP

Poor software support plagued the portables, and though PS2 was the best for its time I think the PS4/PS5 libraries have surpassed it when judged by modern standards.

so it gets worse even though ps1 and ps2 are debatable which is better. ps4 and ps5 are overrated consoles and even ps3 is better which is sony's worst at a certain time. ps4 had no diversity in games compared to even ps3 and dumbed down their franchises. ps5 barely has games and its almost 3 years old and a really ugly controller.
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