Letting us only choose one was CRUEL! Haha!
I started gaming on the ZX Spectrum 128k and got really serious about gaming with the Amiga 500 (which I may have chosen if it was on the list).
However, I have to agree with Alan, the PS1 was such a huge leap. It was also the first time that I felt that almost everyone I knew had the same system as me. Even “casual” players were obsessed with the PS1.
My final case is it was the first console I really discovered the joy of imports – and there was such a huge library of weird and wonderful games from Japan on that system, which were still very playable for somebody who doesn’t know the language.
I’ll never forget launch day, popping in Ridge Racer and saying out loud “oh my… it’s as good as the arcade!”. Of course, it wasn’t quite, but on your home TV, it was good enough!