5. Microsoft Xbox 360
Global sales: 80 million
Microsoft found its legs as a gaming company with this system, but it wasn't always smooth sailing. The original Xbox was plagued with technical difficulties, but even the original version of this console was hampered by the "Red Ring of Death" that indicated hardware failure and, in many cases, the demise of your several-hundred-dollar investment.
But Microsoft's Xbox Live online network, the performance of its Halo series and the rise of multiplayer gaming all kept the 360 afloat until 2010, when help arrived in the form of a new, slimmer, somewhat more technically sound console box. When Microsoft added the Kinect motion-control device to the mix, it only helped stress the system's advantages over the competing Nintendo Wii and helped vault it to the top spot in North American sales.
While hard-core gamers had always been Microsoft's focus -- with Call Of Duty, Grand Theft Auto and Halo titles making up the overwhelming majority of its Top 10 best-selling games -- fixing the problems and throwing casual gamers a bone gave both the system and Microsoft a much-needed boost. Need proof? The best-selling game in console history is still the packaged-in Kinect Adventures!, with roughly 20 million copies sold.