5 Best Console Launch Lineups

Posted on Nov 5 2013 - 5:59pm by Jordan Cundiff

It only happens once every few years. The anticipation for the launch of brand-new consoles excites gamers from all corners of the globe. It is what makes people camp out in front of stores late at night, call-out from work, not hit the gym, and miss the latest rent payment for the month. And what would a launch for a new video game console be without some games to play on it? With the release of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One looming, it is time to take a quick trip down memory lane and see what video game consoles had the best game offerings upon their release. Microsoft’s Phil Harrison already proclaimed the Xbox One’s launch lineup as the best “in the history of consoles.” While only time will tell on that statement, we can look back with certainty on our picks for the 5 best launch lineups in video game history.

5.) Xbox 360- November 22nd, 2005

Microsoft’s second foray on the console scene was a massive success with the Xbox 360. Featuring 18 titles at launch, the 360 had a bit of everything for all types of gamers. The standout title, Call of Duty 2, was the premier game from that launch and with good reason. Gamers who loved sports couldn’t go wrong as they were an abundance of sports games to choose from including Madden NFL 06, NBA 2K6, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06. Race fans had two options between the highly-successful Project Gotham Racing 3 and Ridge Racer 6. Condemned: Criminal Origins also turned out to be an underrated gem that spooked players everywhere. Some titles such as Perfect Dark: Zero did not live up to their expectations, but overall, the Xbox 360’s variety places it at number five on our list.

Complete Xbox 360 Lineup:

Amped 3

Call of Duty 2

Condemned: Criminal Origins

FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup


Kameo: Elements of Power

Madden NFL 06


NBA Live 06

Need for Speed: Most Wanted


Perfect Dark Zero

Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie

Project Gotham Racing 3

Quake 4

Ridge Racer 6

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland

4.)  Super Nintendo- August 23rd, 1991

The Super Nintendo’s launch lineup certainly lacked in sheer numbers, but made up for it with the perfect amount of quality titles. The most well-received title at the console’s launch was Super Mario World, which came shipped with the console itself.  Super Mario World would eventually go on to become most one of the highest-selling video games of all-time. The launch of the Super Nintendo also featured the release of F-Zero and Pilotwings. Both titles were very important, as they showcased the potential of the Super Nintendo by using Mode 7, the console’s pseudo-3D rendering graphical capabilities. Mode 7 allowed for scaling, rotation, and other effects to give the impression of 3D-graphics in a 2D-game. Simcity and Grandius III wrapped up the rest of the Super Nintendo’s launch lineup. While a small lineup, it packed quite a punch with Super Mario World being the biggest of them all. The Super Nintendo finds itself at number four on our list.

Complete Super Nintendo Lineup:

Super Mario World




Grandius III

3.) Xbox-November 15th, 2001

While most of the original Xbox’s launch lineup is a long distant memory, it lands our #3 spot for being the birthplace of many successful franchises that still exist today. Halo: Combat Evolved is the first game that springs to mind when mentioning the original Xbox. This is the game that brought the ever-popular FPS-multiplayer scene to consoles in a successful way. Featuring incredible graphics upon its initial release and some fantastic gameplay to go with the pretty visuals, Halo became an instant success that made Xbox LAN parties a common occurrence. Project Gotham Racing also launched on the original Xbox, giving customers a nice racing alternative to the Playstation’s Gran Turismo series. Other notable titles at launch included Dead or Alive 3, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, and NFL Fever 2002. Microsoft’s gigantic black box takes our #3 spot.

Complete Xbox Lineup:

Halo: Combat Evolved

Dead or Alive 3

NFL Fever 2002

Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee

Project Gotham Racing

AirForce Delta Storm

Mad Dash Racing


Cel Damage

Arctic Thunder

Fuzion Frenzy

4×4 EVO 2

Transworld Surf

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X

2.) Nintendo 64- September 29th, 1996

Only launching with a whopping two titles, the Nintendo 64 did not have quantity going for it. Rather, it focused on quality with the release of the one of the most critically-acclaimed video games of all-time, Super Mario 64. Mario 64 was Mario’s first entry into the realm of 3D and a massive triumph for the N64. Revolutionary at its release, Mario 64 had players exploring enormous worlds with a new, dynamic camera system and made use of the Nintendo 64’s analog control stick. Many games since have long tried to implement and imitate the many gameplay elements found in Super Mario 64. Oh, and did I mention Pilotwings 64? The N64’s launch lineup lands at number two, falling to our number one pick.

Complete Nintendo 64 Lineup:

Super Mario 64

Pilotwings 64

1.) Dreamcast-September 9th, 1999

Sega’s final chapter in the console market also featured their best launch lineup yet. Sega’s mascot Sonic made a return on the Dreamcast with the widely-popular Sonic Adventures. The Sega Dreamcast was also where the NFL 2K series first debuted. Other noteworthy titles include the underrated survival horror title Blue Stinger, the addictive multiplayer found in Power Stone, and the great boxing action with Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. Least we not forget, the launch of the original Soul Calibur, which would go on to become of the most acclaimed fighting games in history. For that, the Dreamcast and its launch lineup claim our top spot for the best console launch lineup in video game history.

Complete Dreamcast Lineup:

Sonic Adventures

Blue Stinger




The House of the Dead 2

AirForce Delta

Flag to Flag

Hydro Thunder

NFL Blitz 2000

Mortal Kombat Gold

Monaco Grand Prix

Power Stone

Pen Pen Trilcelon

Soul Calibur

TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat

Tokyo Xtreme Racer