2. Ridge Racer (Seven appearances on global launches)
We’re sure you all remember this one right? It’s powered by
Namco. It’s Ridge Racer! Riiidge Raaaacer!
Heh, that never gets old.
when we first laid our eyes on the original PSOne port, we were incredibly
impressed with the seemingly arcade-perfect port of the first Ridge Racer title.
How could we have known it would mark the start of 15 years of consistent launch titles from the publisher?
There was Ridge Racer V on the PS2, Ridge Racer/Ridge Racers
on the PSP, RR6 on the 360, RR7 on the PS3, RR3D on 3DS, and although it missed
the North American launch, Ridge Racer Vita appeared on the PS Vita everywhere else last week.
Since racing games are a relatively simple, early graphical showcase for a new
system, we’re not surprised RR continues to appear on every new system
announced. It’s just too bad none have topped the impact the original had when
we first plugged our PlayStations into a TV.
Chances it will
appear in the next console launch: We’d be very shocked if RR skipped the
Wii U’s launch. Namco has already announced Tekken for the system, so why not
add Ridge Racer to the mix?
1. Tony Hawk (EIGHT total launch appearances)
When we first envisioned this list, we were certain that Ridge Racer was going to be
number one. Thanks to a half dozen systems launching in the franchise’s
heyday, though, Tony Hawk holds the title of launchiest series in all of gaming. After
the franchise had established itself on other systems, the GameCube was the first to launch with
Hawk, featuring the remarkable Pro Skater 3 out the gate, and the Xbox launched alongside the updated Pro Skater 2X. The GBA came out alongside an impressive
port of Tony Hawk 2, establishing the series’ love for portable launches in addition
to home versions.
Hawk made a whirlwind tour of nearly every system
launch that followed: NGage, PSP, 360, PS3 and the Wii. Even though the series went dormant
for a few years (the less said about Ride/Shred, the better), once upon a time,
the series was ready to kickflip any system it could on day one. It missed the DS,
3DS, and Vita releases, yet it STILL ended up at number one on this list. For
that alone, you’ve got to hand it to Tony (and also to Activision’s devotion to annualization).
Chances it will
appear in the next console launch: The only Tony Hawk game planned for this
year so far is Pro Skater HD, a downloadable recreation of stages from THPS1
and 2 for XBLA and PSN. If Nintendo has its online store in order for Wii U’s first
day, it’s possible Activision could have Hawk ready in time to make his ninth console launch day.