Two new consoles are almost upon us and, with them, a whole host of new games that launch on the same day. These “launch games” are, for many people, the first taste of a new generation and they set the stage for the years ahead. While most launch games are nothing to write home about – previous generation ports and titles rushed to meet the launch deadline – there are others whose quality and influence extend far beyond launch day and become the platform’s defining titles. Some are not just great launch games; they’re some of the best games ever made.
We’ve compiled a list of launch games that are the best of the best. We’ve scored them based on both quality – obviously – and their lasting influence on the industry. Here we go.
Soul Calibur (Dreamcast, 1999)
Soul Calibur gave us a glimpse into the future. Never before had anyone seen a 3D game that was smooth and playable, and with graphics that wowed everyone to the extent that Soul Calibur did. Soul Calibur was the biggest leap forward for the fighting game genre since Virtua Fighter and, in 1999, it blew our minds that a game could look and play this well.