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PlayStation console boxes ranked

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Just like a Tindr date, first impressions with new consoles are everything. We’re headed into a new generation of gaming that has some of the most hideous plastic shells ever seen on a gaming device, but for some there;s a beauty in that fugliness. While that idea of whether the PS5 and the Xbox Series X consoles look like poorly disguised Transformers will rage on for some time, there’s another topic that we need to get into a pissing contest over: The boxes that these consoles come in.

As an educated expert in all things…box-like, I’m the most qualified person here to tell you what deserves to be preserved on your shelf and what I wouldn’t even waste time and effort on recycling. Because absolutely nobody asked for it, here it is: The definitive ranking of PlayStation console boxes. Starting from worst, we have at the very bottom of the rubbish bin:

Quick rules: I’m going with the original boxes on this list, not later packaging or PlayStation consoles that got reissued in a slimmer shape. Also my decision is final, because like I’ve always said, democracy isn’t for the people.

PlayStation 4

PS Boxes (2)

I still think the PlayStation 4 is Sony’s best-looking console in a pedestrian box, which somehow makes it even worse than the PlayStation 3 packaging. In an effort to please everyone, Sony went for another boring graphic design job that lacked any of the attitude that defined the best that its console had to offer. Think of this way: The PS4 is only a few years old, and that packaging was forgotten about by the time you got home and chucked it in the bin. At least it had a nice handle.

PlayStation 3

PS Boxes (3)

It’s…alright I guess. The PlayStation 3 box featured a decent amount of style and substance, but perhaps its greatest sin was that it looked dated mere weeks after the new console launched. Virtually indistinguishable from any other fly-by-night product on the electronics shelves at your nearest shopping mall, Sony’s third-generation console dumped its ballsy attitude for a box that was more pleasing to corporate when all was said and done. Basically, it was downright boring.

PlayStation 5

PS Boxes (5)

I’m actually really liking this box! Harkening back to the PS2 era, it uses striking but uncomplicated visuals to inform you of what’s inside, juxtaposed against the face button icons that have defined several generations. Thanks Burger King. There’s also a GREAT use of colour here: That brilliant blue strip at the top, the primary black, and the use of gold-coloured font makes for a sophisticated and classy presentation.

It may have taken Sony two console generations to get its graphic design act back together, but good job!

PlayStation 1

PS Boxes (1)

It’s 1995, and Sony has gone with the Seven school of marketing for the PlayStation One. Look at this box, behold the mystery hinted at inside of it. It was a tease of things to come, and I dare you to not feel nostalgic when you turned the packaging around and gazed upon the games advertised at the back. An elegant method of spreading word about the console, Sony’s marketing department was on point with a box that used subtlety to draw you in and an explosion of previews at the back to land your hooked attention at the time.

PlayStation 2

PS Boxes (4)

Pure perfection. Unlike every other box on this list, the PlayStation 2 arrived in a simple yet bold collection of cardboard protection. The fine text may be on the rear, but the front? A blue that could topple nations, a massive logo that can be seen from space and a trust in a reputation that the preceding PlayStaton had created.

It is strikingly simple, but the real achievement here is that two decades later, the PS2 box still stands out from anything else placed next to it on a shelf. And that right there, is why Sony’s number two console it comes in at number one.

Last Updated: October 21, 2020

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