The 10 best launch video games, from Halo to Super Mario

Every console has to start somewhere, but while some started from Knack, others got better luck.

Imagine having the responsibility of launching a new console on the market. Once the really tough job is behind you – picking a strong name, maybe putting a capital letter in the middle, designing countless controllers until you pick the final one and then find a way to get it all to game sites – you have to convince the studios. to develop games. At a time when the user base is zero, as those platforms are not yet released. Choose the 10 best launch video games, from Halo to Super Mario, was no easy feat.

The best video games released alongside consoles –

Sometimes they give you Battle Arena Toshinden, and sometimes you get one of those hall of fame products, which at least partially deserve to be credited for the commercial success of the entire brand. These are those titles that are still worth playing today, in fact, even if they are associated with hardware that may no longer be in production and can only be found in some attic or pawn shop. Not bad, considering that at the time it was all a kind of blind date on the day of a console launch, right?

10. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64, 1996) –

He didn’t even have the right to function. Mario’s entire IP was built on Nintendo’s absolute mastery of 2D, where rhythm and nuance were found in the player’s movements as third-party developers for the NES and SNES brought out a stiff and frustrating platformer. after another.

Just because its new console was 64-bit and could handle 3D polygonal spaces, that didn’t mean a Mario game was the prime candidate to demonstrate that new capability. Yet yes, as if it were the simplest thing in the world, Mario 64 demonstrated how to translate that sense of adventure, playfulness and inventiveness into 3D. It could have gone like the silent movie stars but, thanks to Miyamoto-san, it didn’t.

9. Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox, 2001) —

Originally introduced as a PC shooter, and greeted with disdain by followers of that platform, Halo disappeared for some time, shortly thereafter. Once he resurfaced, clad in his green armor and with a phenomenally open design for the time, he had become a property of Microsoft, which obviously chose to launch it exclusively on its new video game console.


While the brand new Xbox never caught on, this bold attempt in the industry will be remembered forever. The come remember, well, it depends on which side of the line between PC and console you are. What game, however: Warthog. Accessible multiplayer. Sticky Grenades. That sound that starts as your shield recharges. Truly one of the best ever on day one of a console.

8. Ridge Racer (PlayStation, 1994) —

Who has not heard that voice in his own head as he read the title? Sorry for getting your brain to do such a thing. However, this says a lot about the impact of racing at the launch of PS1. A perfect marriage of races that are easy to assimilate but more and more convincing, polygons that flew in your face speed you never dreamed of before the PS1 era and cars that looked truly different from each other driving: Namco served as an incredible start to a series on day one of the epic PlayStation journey.

7. Soulcalibur (Dreamcast, 1999) —

Fighting games are a risky proposition when it comes to video games and launches. 50% of the multiplayer audience every time gets mad and screams that the game is me ** a. And, alongside the user base that sits and plays something like Halo alone, single-player fighting game players are an even rarer species. So, what Sega made sure of is that Soulcalibur was absolutely excellent. A really smart business move. There were swords. There were lateral movements. There was Voldo. The smooth animations and pacing were captured perfectly by the visual reproduction of the arcade style on Dreamcast, and while we never really got used to playing it with a modified dinner plate, the controls weren’t bad either.

6. Resogun (PS4, 2013) —

If you bought a PS4 at launch, there’s only one way you could have spent the Christmas holidays in 2013: sprawled out on a sofa, with your index finger in agony and your eye sockets wondering where your eyes went. , while puntavate all’high score with Resogun.

best launch video games

For all the open worlds that dominated the landscape when Sony and Microsoft launched their next-gen machines, it was a voxel-based arcade shooter that captured our imaginations and rolled our eyes at the DualShock 4 speaker. coin-op are eternal.

5. Killer Instinct (Xbox One, 2013) —

Microsoft itself would probably tell you that launch exclusives haven’t been a focus in recent generations, but it pulled a pleasant surprise out of the hat when Rare unveiled a Killer Instinct reboot for Xbox One. Agile and bombastic As it had always been in the 1990s, but now deep enough to have the proper weight for a tournament, KI 2013 went beyond a such-and-such pitch, and remained one of the platform’s big picks long after its original release. How would you do without Sabrewulf?

4. Wii Sports (Wii, 2006) –

It is one thing to release a launch title that people will actually play. Releasing one that ends up crossing traditional gamer audiences with the generalist audience is – well, it never happens, does it? Except for that time in 2006.Wii Sports fu the perfect storm. Something genuinely new to a console, namely wands that controlled games by sensing movement, and a suite of simple, friendly-looking games that showed how motion controls could be applied to things like tennis. Or bowling. Or, of course, shattering plasma screens by throwing plastic rods at us.

3. Demon’s Souls (PS5, 2020) —

Maybe Sony has cheated a bit here. The original 2009 Demon’s Souls was already known when PS5 was launched, having over time become one of the most celebrated and revered video games in every corner of gaming culture; the seed from which the soulslike genus sprouted. Those textures were a little out of tune though, huh?

best launch video games

A complete remake that captured it all the mystery, the stoic challenge and the atmosphere but with graphics and animations updated with the freshly released PS5 – well, it always knew it would hit the spot. Today, as then, however, the Flamboyant can go and be blessed.

2. SSX (PS2, 2000) —

Here’s another shot right at the right time, as you’ve seen so often on this list. Extreme sports culture was, and certainly not by accident, riding the wave when PS2 hit store shelves. The street fashion of the millennials was invaded by huge jackets designed to withstand icy tracks and Burton caps.

best launch video games

So when SSX came out, it was assumed that it attracted attention. Sure, it captured the adrenaline of jumping off a snow-capped peak aboard a beautified dinner tray, but SSX also hit the spot in portraying winter sports as a culture of the time – a matter of competition, yes, but with insolence, expression and a particular attention to aesthetics. And, it must be said, when there was a choice between the fastest route and the trail with more opportunities for grinds and grabs, no one made the sensible decision.

1. Super Mario World (SNES, 1990) —

As it turns out, Super Mario World was highly regarded at the time, despite being a video game about a shape-shifting plumber, a dinosaur, and a kidnapping-obsessed turtle. It seems a little strange, it must have been for the great work done on the film with Bob Hoskins. Which, um, came out two years later. Ok, now seriously …

Super Mario World

Super Mario World taken an already perfect platformer and added power-ups, secrets, an intuitive pace and a great flow of levels that have legitimately secured their place in the pantheon of mythologically grandiose video games. Not finding one in the launch title would simply have been unfair.

Written by Phil Iwaniuk for GLHF

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The 10 best launch video games, from Halo to Super Mario

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