It’s a lot of work launching a game console and it’s even more difficult to have worthwhile games available for the system’s launch. It’s obviously every company’s priority but getting it done is another task altogether.
That’s one reason it’s so impressive when launch lineups include everything necessary to justify the purchase of an expensive game system. Sometimes it comes down to one or two incredible games but there’s also something to be said about a variety of good flavors too.
Here are some of the best launch lineups in video game history!
Best Launch Lineups in Video Game History
Sega had a lot to prove with the Sega Dreamcast, especially after letting consumers down a handful of times in previous generations.
Sega had shown gamers it knew how to deliver incredible games and technology, but the company was more well known for its experimental ideas and creativity, and less for its consistency. The Sega Dreamcast delivered in piles of golden rings though, and its launch lineup was no different.
Players were able to choose from the following games when the Sega Dreamcast launched on 9/9/99:
PowerStone, Mortal Kombat Gold, Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Expendable, Blue Stinger, Trickstyle, Hydro Thunder, Tokyo Extreme Racer, Flag to Flag, Monaco Grand Prix 2, Pen Pen Trilcelon, TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat, House of the Dead 2, Air Force Delta, Aerowings, NFL2K, NFL Blitz, and Ready 2 Rumble.
Highlights: PowerStone, Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Hydro Thunder, NFL2K, and House of the Dead 2.
Nintendo’s approach was a bit different but it was also a much earlier time. There’s also something beautiful to be said for a small but very solid lineup. The Super Nintendo didn’t launch with many games but it had some bangers, including one of the greatest games of all time.
Players were able to choose from the following games when the Super Nintendo launched on August 23, 1991:
F-Zero, Pilotwings, SimCity, Gradius III, and Super Mario World.
Highlights: F-Zero and Super Mario World.
Microsoft has struggled occasionally since entering the video game industry but its place at the table was more than earned with the first Xbox’s launch lineup.
Xbox knew it had to have games and features when it introduced the first console to the world. The system struck a balance right between quality and quantity, which ended up being the right call. There was a huge reason to grab an Xbox at launch with a few supporting titles to play.
Players were able to choose from the following games when the Xbox launched on November 15, 2001:
Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding, Batman: Vengeance, Blood Wake, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, Dead or Alive 3, Fusion Frenzy, Halo: Combat Evolved, Jet Set Radio Future, Mad Dash Racing, Max Payne, NBA Live 2002, NHL 2002, NHL Hitz 20-02, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, Project Gotham Racing, Rallisport Challenge, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, TransWorld Surf, and Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions.
Highlights: Fusion Frenzy, Halo: Combat Evolved, Jet Set Radio Future, Mad Dash Racing, and Project Gotham Racing.
Launch lineups have carried less relevance over the years as more powerful technology and the Internet began to blur the lines further and further between when games release and how they change over time.