With a new console comes a selection of new games while a new console launch is exciting, ultimately, it means nothing if there is nothing fun and cool to play on it on day one. Today we have spent a considerable amount of time coming up with a list of what we feel are the top 10 video game launch titles of all time! This was a very hard list to put together, especially to rank them in order. We decided to go for games that we felt were great to play, but also titles that we felt helped sell the system and make those who did buy the console on launch day feel like they made a great purchase.
As is the case with any list like this, these are OUR top 10 video game launch titles of all time, be sure to leave your own list in the comments section and make sure you put them in order as that is where the real challenge making a list like this is!
10: Call of Duty 2 (Xbox 360)
Ok, so this may seem like a strange one to start off with, but the Xbox 360 getting a premier version of Call of Duty 2 at launch was huge! It showed just how much more powerful the Xbox 360 was than the original Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo Game Cube. It featured a fun single-player campaign and it was flat out the best multiplayer offering at the launch of the console. The Xbox 360 if we are being brutally honest did not have the best launch, but Call of Duty 2 certainly did enough to show early adopters that their new console was the start of a new generation…. If their launch day console still worked by Christmas though is another story!
9: Demon Souls (PlayStation 5)
The PlayStation 5 actually had a very solid launch, but a few of the big games such as Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy A Big Adventure were also available for the PlayStation 4! However, there was one game that was a PS5 exclusive and without a doubt was the one big exclusive during the Xbox Series and PS5 launch and that was Demon Souls. This is a remake of the original game and it was a blast to play! It was also one of the only “exclusive” titles for the PS5 making it THE game for PS5 owners to play if they wanted something epic that could not be played anywhere else at launch. We do also want to give pack in game, Astro’s Playroom an honorable mention here too as that was awesome!
8: Soulcalibur (Sega Dreamcast)
It is a real shame that Sega could not turn round their financial problems with the Sega Dreamcast! The Dreamcast had a great launch and was everything that the Sega Saturn was not. It actually had a few key titles at launch, but the one that still holds up to this day has to be Soulcalibur! This arcade port is way better than the arcade version! The leap in visuals from the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 to what Soulcalibur was offering was massive. Plus, this is also a super fun game to play and even though it was a launch title, Soulcalibur is still one of the best games that the Sega Dreamcast library has to offer.
7: Super Mario World (Super Nintendo)
The fact that this is so low on our list tells you how hard putting it together war. Super Mario World is arguably the greatest 2D Mario adventure of all time. This showed that the SNES had way more power than the NES and that it was going to go toe to toe with the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It featured a ton of levels, a ton of charm, a fun new cape power up, and most notably of all, Yoshi! Super Mario World still to this day holds up and it is hard to imagine the SNES standing up to the Mega Drive/Genesis had it not been available at launch.
6: Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)
Would Xbox have taken off had the original Halo not been a launch title? To be fair, Microsoft did a great job of making sure that the original Xbox had a stacked launch with some fantastic titles. However, it was their exclusive Halo that showed the Xbox was a real contender for that generation. Halo is an epic sci-fi shooter that has a great story, fun gameplay, and just a tremendous atmosphere. Granted the remake/remaster they did on the Xbox 360 makes this version irrelevant, but when you think of the original Xbox launch you think of Halo…. And possibly The Rock and Bill Gates.
5: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)
We had to have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch on our top 10 video game launch titles of all time list! Granted this was also on the Nintendo Wii U so some may raise their eyebrows at its inclusion here. However, to say that this was a system seller for the Switch is a massive understatement. The Switch flew off store shelves and the attachment rate for the Switch and Breath of the Wild is crazy! For months, many people played this on their new Switch and nothing else. Hell, up until Tears of the Kingdom, many people were still playing it until then! This game alone for many restored their faith in Nintendo after the debacle that was the Wii U!
4: Tetris (Nintendo Game Boy)
If the Nintendo Game Boy had launched with Super Mario Land as its pack in title it no doubt would have sold very well. However, including Tetris has to go down as one of the greatest decisions of all time! Tetris is a game that did not just appeal to gamers, it appealed to everyone. People no matter if they were 8 or 80 could have fun with this addictive puzzle game. Tetris and the Game Boy go hand in hand and it is nearly impossible to think of the Game Boy without Tetris being the first game that comes to mind.
3: Wii Sports (Nintendo Wii)
Hmm, we had a tough time here as we kind of wanted to talk about Twilight Princess, but we feel that Wii Sports is the game most people think of when they think of Wii launch games. Wii Sports did for the Nintendo Wii what Tetris did for the Game Boy. It was a game that was accessible and fun for everyone and it showed that motion controls were the future…. Or at least we thought they were at the time. Much like the genius of including Tetris as a pack in game with the Game Boy, you could argue that including Wii Sports with the Wii was an even smarter move.
2: Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)
Super Mario 64 was such a huge game that Nintendo only needed that and one other title at the launch of the Nintendo 64! The effects of Super Mario 64 are still being felt to this day with pretty much every 3D platformer that is released being compared to it in some fashion. Yes, we had 3D platformers before Super Mario 64, but this was the first time that they were done incredibly well. Mario’s leap into the world of 3D could not have gone any better. It had whimsy, challenge, and some fun new power ups. Nintendo may have never stood up to PlayStation during that era of gaming, but without Mario 64 at launch, there is no way the console would have done as well as it did.
1: Super Mario Bros (NES)
If Mario 64 was 2, you knew that this was number 1! Super Mario Bros and the NES (and maybe Duck Hunt too) were what pretty much pulled the USA out of the video game crash. Forget ROB, it was Mario that made the NES the must have item from 85 all the way into the early 90s. Super Mario Bros with its fantastic control and fun presentation and setting was an instant smash and to this day, Super Mario is the biggest character in all of gaming. You have to wonder how different the gaming landscape would be had Nintendo not had Super Mario Bros available at launch for the NES.
This was a really hard list to do, not just selecting the games, but putting them in an order, especially the top five! As this is our list, we would love to read what your picks are in the comments section.