Technology is ever-changing and everyone can clearly see that, however, that doesn't mean that all of the previous hardware is not held in high regard even for the current era. Consoles have come a long way from having absolutely no saves available to memory card slots to full blown hard drives and variations of them.
Obviously, the quality of games and how much that can be rendered and loaded into one shot has been outdoing it itself consistently, but sometimes it's more so just about the overall vibe of the console rather than the features that half of us never really use, yet it sells itself to us. Back when controllers looked like extensions of arcade game or just when they had long cords that we'd constantly yank out of frustration and end up blowing the end of it to make it temporarily function properly, hell, we use to have to blow the games. Not only that, but back when the disc trays weren't as stable, so they discs would scratch up after extended use and the consoles would overheat fairly quickly. Some of that was just a part of the experience, which we can look back on and laugh or appreciate, however, if we were in those same conditions for the present day, then we would be forever talking shit about it. Life was definitely simple when it was just a matter of getting a game and playing it, instead of getting the game, getting the dlc, getting the bundle, preordering, etc, etc. This doesn't hinder the experience of gaming to say that it was better previously, being that these things present more options and opportunities for gamers, although, it is something to consider if we're merging the current route of gaming and the back to the basics style of gaming.
Personally, I think the best console for me would be a tie between the N64 and the PS2. The N64 has such a cool looking design in my opinion, and the controller looked kind of like the logo of it, but I guess that was apart of the gimmick. Not to mention, the cool looking game art on the cartidges that gave this epic retro/modernized look for games at the time. Even blowing the game slot was apart of the experience as you'd play with friends and come across a game breaking glitch that was resolved by one or two birthday blows into the game. The PS2 was just a system that everyone around me seemed to have, so we'd trade games like Yugioh cards and even borrow memory cards so we could play from someone who had maybe all the game characters or levels unlocked. I'm aware that there was network gameplay capabilities on the PS2, but I've never seen anyone who actually used it, knew how to use it, or even knew what it was for.
Those two consoles are the ones I appreciate the most in terms of the games that they've introduced me to that will probably never be replicated again really. Sure, there's plenty of N64 emulators and such, but it's hardly the same, and for the PS2 it's very desolate and not as easy to find, but there are some out there. (Link me some and it'll be our little secret).
There are many other consoles that I could say are my favorite ones, but that doesn't really mean that they are the best ones. I would categorize that quite differently because your favorites aren't always the best and vice-versa, but enjoyable regardless.
In short, everyone has a console that they would consider to be the best because of its affect on their gaming experience, as well as the timing of it in their personal lives. I'd be interested to see what everyone's favorite is, and why? Leave a comment!