The lights are on
We’re on the verge of learning our first official bits of information about Microsoft’s follow-up to the Xbox 360, and it has us thinking about the company’s previous console launches. Like most launches, Microsoft has seen its share of rushed stinkers and standout gems. Take a look below for some examples.
Best launch games: Xbox
Halo: Combat Evolved
Without a doubt, this entry was the easiest slam dunk on this list. Bungie's Halo: Combat Evolved isn't simply the best Microsoft launch game of all time, it's one of the best launch titles in the history of the industry. The early days of the Xbox weren't exactly smooth sailing for the publisher, but the runaway success of Halo kept Microsoft afloat long enough to get its footing in the console wars.
Project Gotham Racing
Bizarre Creations came through for Microsoft in the early days of the Xbox, delivering the well-received Project Gotham Racing. It featured detailed recreations of various real-world cities, an impressive licensed soundtrack, and supported the custom soundtrack feature of the new console. Bill Gates himself even referred to it as his favorite game.
Dead or Alive 3
While this fighting series never quite had the clout of others in the genre, its exclusivity was still a selling point of the original Xbox's lineup. Its gameplay was solid, but the visuals are what really impressed gamers that wanted to see the power of their new console.
Best launch games: Xbox 360
Call of Duty 2
Activision's long-running series has been synonymous with console multiplayer gaming for years now, and this Xbox 360 title is what helped launch the franchise into the stratosphere. It featured graphics that showed off what the console was capable of and online multiplayer that enticed gamers to purchase Xbox Live – two very important check boxes that Infinity Ward nailed down immediately.
Condemned: Criminal Origins
Call of Duty may have had the FPS market virtually to itself at the 360's launch, but Sega offered up a different kind of first-person experience. With brutal melee combat and various crime scenes for investigation, Condemned felt more like a hybrid of horror films and an episode of CSI than a military battleground.
Project Gotham Racing 3
For the second Microsoft console launch, Bizarre Creations' Project Gotham sat alongside the system on release day. Like its predecessor, it was well-received by critics and fans. As an added bonus, this sequel included the wildly popular Geometry Wars: Retro Involved.
Next, we call out some of the biggest flops of Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360 lineup.
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Most of the 360 launch stuff was crap. The only thing I remember playing was CoD 2 and Quake 4
I think all the people saying Perfect Dark Zero wasn't that bad, never played Perfect Dark for hours and hours on end with friends on their N64.
I hope rocksteady shows off their new next-gen game at this presentation. Hopefully it will be completely awesome and make everyone glad they are not working on Arkham Origins
Ahh Perfect Dark Zero....what happened? D:
I loved pdz
Fusion Frenzy was awesome.
i'm not the only a-hole who got excited for "Project Gotham Racing" thinking it was a Batman racing game, am I?
It's too bad Perfect Dark Zero was a dud. Joanna Dark is hot.
Thanks Dan for this article. I kind of liked Perfect Dark Zero and I'm happy to say I've beaten that game. The last Dead or alive I've played was DOA 2 for the Sega Dreamcast. My that was a LONG time ago. I regret ever getting rid of my Dreamcast. total bummer dudes. Happy gaming gamers.
Can't wait til next gen comes along so we can start seeing some of these games on Replay. I have fond memories of Kameo, curious to see how it actually holds up.
I am a little shock I didn't realize this before hand but there is a lot of hits that launch from this platform, I'm not talking about hots in the sense of "yeah they were great foe their time" I am talking about historical markers like this launch of competative leader boards from project go them racing clan fighting and formations in mech assault, live chat and competition from halo.........has it struck any one that a lot of these are still around because they got there start from this console like call of duty? What a amazing piece of hardware, now it belongs to the ages.
Funny thing about Fuzion Frenzy...I used to have a demo of the game that allowed you to play only some of the minigames and my friends and I would also pop it in after a long Halo session and it would be a lot of fun. About a year later I saw the full game on sale at EB so I picked it up expecting it to be awesome. Turns out the best minigames were on that demo disc and we barely played the full game.
And I really liked NFL Fever 2002, I enjoyed that series much more than the Madden titles around that time. I wish they would've kept it going.
Halo was great while Fusion Frenzy practically sucked the life out of me. It even got a sequel somehow!
I don't look at Perfect Dark Zero as a bad game, me and my friends put many an hour playing split screen death matches and infection matches. If my Xbox360 still worked I'd still be playing it every now and then. I loved it. The other games I didn't play except for Project Gotham Racing on 360. I loved it too.
Great feature Dan. I do agree with a lot of your choices. Although Fusion Frenzy was a fun game at times. I did have a blast playing it with my friends.
Gun was actually a pretty fun game...