9. Rogue Leader (GameCube)

The Dorklyst: The 12 Greatest Launch Games Of AllTime - Image 1

You want to fly an X-Wing? Of course you do. You want to pilot the Millennium dang Falcon? Are you kidding? You want to drive a missile-firing Buick in space? Hell yes you do. All these things and more (exactly ten more, actually) are possible in Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, the balls-out space sim. A graphical powerhouse for its time (and, unfortunately, for most of the Gamecube's lifespan), Rogue Leader rests comfortably in the small pantheon of distinctly good Star Wars games. Most of all, zipping around in the black of space blowing up TIE fighters, it had the good sense to make you feel cool, like an X-Wing pilot is supposed to. Except if you're the fat one, Porkins. We miss you, Porkins.


8. Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (GBA)

The Dorklyst: The 12 Greatest Launch Games Of AllTime - Image 14

With the release of the GameBoy Advance, Nintendo chose for the big Mario release to be a remake of Super Mario Bros. 2, which isn't many peoples favorite Mario game to begin with. Luckily, they also released Castlevania: Circle of the Moon along with it - it had the setup of the now-standard "Metroidvania" style of gameplay, plenty of RPG elements, and (best of all) card collecting. These cards, unlike Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon Card Game, had magical abilities, but still - you and I are not so different from vampire hunters. The only major complaint leveled against the game was that it was insanely dark, and thanks to the GBA's initial lack of a backlight, very difficult to see what the hell was going on in the screen. Then again, maybe it was just extremely self-aware. After all, why would Dracula want light in his castle?


7. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (Xbox 360)

The Dorklyst: The 12 Greatest Launch Games Of AllTime - Image 1

Geometry Wars is tiny, beautiful, and perfect. It's like a chicken nugget that reappears after you eat it, glistening with honey mustard or barbecue sauce. It's like the little laugh after a first kiss. It's cool and fun to yell at, like your best friend's dog. It's the arcade game kids in the 80's had wet dreams about. It gets more gameplay out of two analog sticks than some games get out of entire controllers. It proved that a well-designed, well-polished, digitally distributed indie console game can actually sell well, so you might as well blame Geometry Wars for the proliferation of top-shelf indie games like Shadow Complex and Braid. I love it, and so do you. Geometry Wars!