10 Video Games That Pushed Consoles To The Limit

Taking hardware to the limit, for better and worse.

Metal gear solid 3

Every console generation comes with its own advancements and limitations. The key thing every game developer needs to work on is finding the right balance between the two, both graphically and mechanically.

Unless you want to choose chaos. A shocking number of devs LOVE to choose chaos.

Yes, whether it's testing the limits of the hardware they're developing for to see what it's truly capable of, or just having bad optimization and a project leader with an out-of-control ego, there have been plenty of games over the years that take the consoles or PCs they release for and declare the envelope to be pushed.

Sometimes this is a good thing, other times it's a really, REALLY bad thing. But every case of it, particularly the ten your scribe has assembled here, is fascinating to discuss.

So, here are the ten biggest cases of developers and publishers really putting a console through its paces by seeing what can be done with it, and how it either soared them to new heights or blew up in their faces.

10. Crazy Taxi - Game Boy Advance

Metal gear solid 3

Crazy Taxi was one of the best games Sega ever produced. A fast-paced 3D driving game about getting your passenger to their destination with as much mayhem and carnage as you can possibly stack up along the way.

Only a dedicated arcade machine could truly capture how absolutely insane this game could be, with home console releases doing their best to keep up.

So naturally, they put it on the Game Boy Advance.

About half of this list is going to be made up of the bad side of games taking their systems to the limit, and Crazy Taxi is a perfect first example. The entire game is crammed and crunched until it fits on a handheld, ruining more or less the entire experience.

While undoubtedly impressive that they managed to get anything resembling the original game onto the Advance, it doesn't save this version of Crazy Taxi from being one of the most perplexing ports in gaming history. A great example of a dev team being all about "coulda", not "shoulda".


John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?