10 Best Launch Video Games Ever

Which killer apps made their systems must haves?

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Launch titles can make (or sometimes break) a console. While the best games tend to come towards the end of a console’s cycle when developers have figured out exactly what works and what doesn’t work in any given generation, launch titles are often the definitive games in any given era.

For this list, it’s not just the quality of the game that’s important - though obviously that plays a huge part - but also how iconic they are to the console they’re tied to. This might be because they tapped in perfectly to the attitude of their era, or the uniqueness of the console. When you think of these consoles, you tend to think of these games too.

Most consoles are launched with sports sims and shooters readily available, but mostly these haven’t made the cut here. Those games tend to get tweaked improvements year on year, and as such don’t really have their identities tied to any hardware.

With new generations bringing new graphics, new features and bubbling with the ideas and emotions of their era, these launch titles are mini time capsules from consoles that changed gaming forever.

10. Tekken Tag Tournament (PS2)

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There’s so many great fighters around these days, with Mortal Kombat, Smash and Injustice all genuine contenders in what had once been a two horse race between Tekken and Street Fighter.

Back in 2000 when the PlayStation launched, Street Fighter and Tekken were duking it out with release titles from the pair of them, but Tekken won the battle even if the war rages on.

Tekken’s 3D approach over Street Fighter’s 2D fighting style already give it an edge. Personal preference is fine, but in terms of how important the PS2’s upgraded graphics were, Tekken Tag Tournament is clearly the better poster boy for that. Even without taking any rivalry into account, the added tag team mechanic meant this felt like a fresh game with new ideas rather than just the next instalment of a popular franchise too.

The tag team system also meant more options for multiplayer; something hugely important when multiplayer meant everyone going around to the same house to play on the same TV.

It came in between Tekken 3 but even now that we’re up to 7 with a second Tag Team game, this is still held up as possibly the franchise’s finest.

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