Now that we have looked at the worst launch titles, let’s think on the bright side and look at the Top 5 Best Modern Launch Titles! As I’m not a retro gamer (NES, SNES), I have not included those games on the list. Jerry will be covering the top 5 retro launch titles (from PS2 and below) later on.
5) Killzone: Shadow Fall
Yes, it lacks interesting gameplay throughout most of its indoor warehouse-like corridors, and yes, the story isn’t the best, but this game was a fantastic launch title for PS4. The graphics are still some of the best that the PS4 can offer with outstanding production values, especially during the opening levels; the buildings and the large cityscape blew my mind when I first played it. In addition, Killzone: Shadow Fall used the PS4’s functionalities such as the controller speaker and the touchpad, which were both interesting takes on the technology. Game developers, if you have someone speaking to you over an intercom in a game, use the speaker!
4) Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Ahoy, mateys! The best way to showcase a new game console is to have a beautiful open-world environment that can be explored with a pirate ship. No other Assassin’s Creed game has brought such atmosphere and exploration. Soaring across the waves at full mast, I loved listening to the crew singing songs, walking across the deck, and getting into battle stations when needed. The graphics were stunning as well. It has vibrant colors, realistic waves, and detailed environments. The towns like Tortuga felt alive with crowds, buildings, and a band singing songs while pirates drank their grog. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag also used the touch pad to navigate around the map, and many had fun streaming the game during the first few days of the PlayStation 4’s launch.
3) Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Never have I seen a game as stunning as Uncharted: Golden Abyss on a portable device. The PlayStation Vita was first revealed with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and man, it looks like a split between Uncharted and Uncharted 2’s graphics. It was impressive and still is to this day. The touch controls were used in a fantastic way as you use them to navigate through areas, rub off dust from artifacts, and attack enemies in a more interactive fashion. What made my jaw drop when I first played it is when I had to use a nearby source of light to read an inscription. That was cool. The story felt on par with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune; there aren’t as many set pieces as Uncharted 2 or 3, but the banter between characters is still prevalent. It’s unfortunate that we did not get another Uncharted game on the Vita because Golden Abyss was fantastic.
2) Wii Sports
No matter what you think of Wii Sports, you cannot dispute the fact that it was a juggernaut. As the killer app for many, this game was both accessible and fun for all ages. Even senior homes were getting in on the Wii Sports fun! I have a lot of memories playing tennis, boxing, bowling, baseball, and golf with my family and friends, and the controls were so simple and responsive that this became a hit for a widespread audience. Plus, it felt super satisfying when you hit a tennis ball as the sound of a racket hitting the ball comes from the Wii Remote’s speaker. Sometimes sports can be extremely fun in video game form, especially if you take Rocket League into account. This one in particular, with its accuracy of how you twist each ball, racket, and golf club definitely used the Wii to its full potential and sold many, many Wiis.
1) The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
No other game has enticed me more with motion controls than The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Once I saw the gameplay and how you interact with the Wii Remote on it, I was instantly interested in the Wii platform. Pointing at the screen for lining up your bow and arrow or hookshot was incredibly satisfying. Plus, swinging the remote and nunchuck to attack with the speaker of the Wii Remote blaring was pretty cool at the time. The art style and the story of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess made the game stand out as a Wii launch title. It had a darker theme and yet had that fanciful element of the Zelda series that has captured many over the years. The mystery of Midna and Wolf Link and the Twilit elements of Hyrule also drove me further into the game as I was wondering what the hell is going on. The puzzles in the dungeons were interesting, the combat while not complicated was fun to play with the Wii Remote and nunchuck, and the visual elements of Twilight Princess really make this a fantastic launch title and the best of modern consoles. If you haven’t played it yet/want to play it again and have a Wii U, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is releasing on March 4th.
Did I leave one out? Let us know in the comments what your favorite launch titles from after the PS2 era are!