The launch of a console is terrifying. A beloved company could find itself dashed against the cold shoals of consumer culture, or exalted into everlasting greatness and high stock prices. You could end up sinking your hard-earned ~$300-400 into a big dusty brick to be boxed up with your broken VCR, or investing in a permanent fixture in dorms and apartments to come. But there, guiding you to safety like harbor buoys through a thick mist, there are the games launching alongside the console, and every now and then there comes a launch game so powerful, so potent, so perfect, it single-handedly justifies that day one impulse buy or that midnight launch line. Here're the 12 best console launch titles ever put out.
12. SSX (PS2)
Bright, bumping, and bold, SSX was a gauzy dream of a racing game, trading in the white-knuckled adrenaline of your Gran Turismo or your Mario Kart for a Zen-like downhill flow state, aided by dynamically shifting electronic music. The brilliance of SSX was that, at a certain point, the whole "racing" thing just falls away in your mind, and you become engulfed in floating through impossible topographies, borne on an infinite crystalline carpet, feeling the pulse of the world wash over you like a sonic ocean. I guess what I'm getting at is that SSX is basically just MDMA.