At the start of a new console generation, there is typically one game for each new system that is either packaged with the system or released on launch day with the sole purpose of showing off the unique features of the console. For the Nintendo Switch, that game was 1-2-Switch, a multiplayer party game built around the new HD Rumble and IR features of the Switch’s joy-cons. For the PlayStation 5, Astro’s Playroom worked as a celebration of PlayStation’s history while shining a spotlight on the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense controller. Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the original Xbox, showing off the console’s incredible (for the time) graphics and increased processing capabilities. Every single console that has ever released has had that one game that really helped prove why people had to buy it, which begs the question – which console game best showcased the unique features of the console it was playable on?
For me, it has to be NintendoLand on the Wii U. Yes, that console was a financial failure. But no game before or since has truly shown the promise of a console more than that collection of minigames. Playing a game of Mario Chase or Luigi’s Ghost Mansion with a group of friends is the most fun I’ve ever had playing video games, and the tantalizing promise of asynchronous play made me so excited for what Nintendo had in store for the Wii U. Though they never really delivered on what was shown in NintendoLand, the anticipation of what their new console could do was at an all-time high when it released.
Maybe for you it isn’t so much about the gimmicky launch games that come out for the sole purpose of moving consoles off store shelves. Maybe it is a game that released later in the console’s lifecycle that fully encapsulated what the system could do. Either way—launch day or later on in the lifecycle—which video game best showcases the unique features of its home console for you? Let us know in the comments below or on our Discord channel!