> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
>
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Looking Back at Xbox Launch Titles

Looking Back at Xbox Launch Titles

As we go about our daily lives, drinking tea and chatting about the weather, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are sat in front of their dressing room mirrors, carefully applying makeup and deciding on the ‘perfect’ outfit for their big launches later this year. Sony and Microsoft are both eager to put their best foot forward, flooding our news feeds with livestreams, trailers and colossal, jargon-heavy info dumps that ought to come with their own glossary. All this pre-launch posturing could be going to waste though; after all, a console’s launch lives or dies by its game lineup. No number of fancy features or floating-point calculations can make up for a shortage of worthwhile games during a console’s initial release. Would the NES have been such a hit if not for Super Mario Bros.? Not likely. It’s for this reason that we’d like to revisit and celebrate the launch lineups of Xbox past. From the original ‘Xbox’ in 2001 to the ‘Xbox One’ in 2013, we’ll dredge up every launch title from each region. PlayStation got its time in the spotlight during our “PlayStation 25th Anniversary Celebration” last year, and now it’s time for Xbox to take its turn.

Xbox (2001)

North American Launch - 15th November 2001

4x4 EVO 2
Air Force Delta Storm
Arctic Thunder
Cel Damage
Dark Summit
Dead or Alive 3
Fuzion Frenzy
Halo: Combat Evolved
Mad Dash Racing
Madden NFL 2002
NASCAR Heat 2002
NASCAR Thunder 2002
NHL Hitz 20-02
Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
Project Gotham Racing
Shrek
Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X
TransWorld Surf

Japanese Launch - 22nd February 2002

AirForce Delta Storm
Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding
Dead or Alive 3
ESPN International Winter Sports 2002
ESPN Winter X-Games Snowboarding 2002
Genma Onimusha
Nobunaga no Yabou: Ranseiki
Project Gotham Racing
Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams
Sneakers
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X
TransWorld Surf
Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions

European Launch - 14th March 2002

Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding
Batman Vengeance
Blood Wake
Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2
Dead or Alive 3
Fuzion Frenzy
Halo: Combat Evolved
Jet Set Radio Future
Mad Dash Racing
Max Payne
NBA Live 2002
NHL 2002
NHL Hitz 2002
Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee
Project Gotham Racing
RalliSport Challenge
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
TransWorld Surf
Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions

Star of the Show: Halo: Combat Evolved

HALOl

It’s a no-brainer. Could any game other than Halo be highlighted as the shining star of the original Xbox’s launch lineup? The game revolutionised console shooters and gave PC players an FPS experience worth envying. Halo introduced several shooter norms including regenerating health and would eventually go on to normalise online multiplayer on consoles. On top of that, it crafted an epic sci-fi tale set in a vast, lore-drenched universe and made Bungie a household name. Halo: Combat Evolved was Microsoft’s way of telling the world “we may be new to gaming, but don’t underestimate us”.

Xbox 360 (2005)

North American Launch - 22nd November 2005

Amped 3
Call of Duty 2
Condemned: Criminal Origins
FIFA '06: Road to FIFA World Cup
GUN
Kameo: Elements of Power
Madden NFL 06
NBA 2K6
NBA Live 06
NHL 2K6
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Perfect Dark Zero
Peter Jackson's King Kong
Project Gotham Racing 3
Quake 4
Ridge Racer 6

European Launch - 2nd December 2005

Amped 3
Call of Duty 2
Condemned: Criminal Origins
FIFA '06: Road to FIFA World Cup
GUN
Kameo: Elements of Power
Madden NFL 06
NBA Live 06
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Perfect Dark Zero
Peter Jackson's King Kong
Project Gotham Racing 3
Quake 4
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Japanese Launch - 10th December 2005

Every Party
FIFA '06: Road to FIFA World Cup
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
Perfect Dark Zero
Ridge Racer 6
Tetris: The Grandmaster Ace
Tony Hawk's American Wasteland

Star of the Show: Need for Speed: Most Wanted

NFS

While, admittedly, this entry in the Need for Speed series was also released on the original Xbox, there’s no ignoring the fact that—even today—it’s looked back on as one of the finest entries in the series history. With over 20 mainline entries, that’s saying a lot. Cementing the ‘police pursuit’ system into the series’ DNA, Most Wanted earned itself a distinct personality that carried the franchise through decades of titles (some of which were VERY questionable in terms of quality) and immortalised the name of its antagonist, Clarence “Razor” Callahan.

Xbox One (2013)

North American Launch - 22nd November 2013

Angry Birds Star Wars
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Battlefield 4
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Dead Rising 3
FIFA 14
Fighter Within
Forza Motorsport 5
Just Dance 2014
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Madden NFL 25
NBA 2K14
NBA Live 14
Need for Speed: Rivals
Ryse: Son of Rome
Skylanders Swap Force
Zoo Tycoon
Zumba Fitness World Party

European Launch - 22nd November 2013

Angry Birds Star Wars
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Battlefield 4
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Dead Rising 3
FIFA 14
Fighter Within
Forza Motorsport 5
Just Dance 2014
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
Madden NFL 25
NBA 2K14
NBA Live 14
Need for Speed: Rivals
Ryse: Son of Rome
Skylanders Swap Force

Japanese Launch - 4th September 2014

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Battlefield 4
Call of Duty: Ghosts
Dead Rising 3
Forza Motorsport 5
Kinect Sport Rivals
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Need for Speed: Rivals
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Ryse: Son of Rome
Thief
Titanfall
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate
Watch_Dogs
Zoo Tycoon

Star of the Show: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

AC

It was tempting to include Titanfall in my consideration for the highlight of Xbox One’s launch lineup, but Respawn’s parkour mech shooter only made it onto the Japanese console launch—almost a year after the European and American ones—and so it didn’t seem quite right. Instead the crown jewel of this lineup is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, a return to form for the series that, at the time, had been suffering from a few too many missteps. A swashbuckling, relatively carefree adventure with a charming protagonist to match was exactly what the Assassin’s Creed series needed to re-entice the tired fanbase after the uninspired bore of Assassin’s Creed III. Not to mention that the game didn’t look half bad either; graphics aren’t always important, but at a console’s launch, they certainly help.

What were your favourite titles of Xbox launches past? Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee on the Xbox? Call of Duty 2 on the 360? Just Dance 2014 on the Xbox One? (No judgement here.) Let us know in the comments!

What were your favourite titles of Xbox launches past?

Did you learn something here?

Jamie Davies

Jamie Davies

Staff Writer

Raised on a steady diet of violent shooters and sugary cereal. He regrets no part of this

Share this:

Want to read more like this? Join the newsletter…

COMMENTS