How many times have you pressed start since playing your first video game? Probably way too many to count, but one thing is certain, some title screens are better than others. There are also too many title screens for me to have seen them all, which makes constructing a best of list a little difficult, so instead, this will be my Top 10 Favourite Video Game Title Screens.
10. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – Here comes Tails!
Short and to the point, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 wastes no time introducing its newest character. First you get his name, Sonic pops up next, and then BAM! Tails. I love that the introduction of Tails happens before the game even begins. I also like when the background changes from a boring black to the beautiful scenery of Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
9. Super Mario Bros. 3 – Curtain Jerkers
Super Mario Bros. 3 was my most anticipated video game of all time, so you can imagine the excitement I felt when the curtain raised on Nintendo’s newest NES classic. From the silence, the stage curtains and playful exchange between Mario and Luigi, I was pumped to get things going. It’s also noteworthy to mention that we get a glimpse of the Super Leaf on the title screen.
8. Final Fantasy III(VI) – Evil Waits
There are many reasons to call Final Fantasy III one of the greatest RPGs of all time and I have one more reason; its ominous title screen. As lightning crashes against a stormy sky, an organ theme builds tension until it unleashes the fiery logo for Final Fantasy III. This title screen still gives me chills to this day and gives a little preview of the true evil that is Kefka.
7. Resident Evil 2 – This is what everyone’s been dying for…
On the topic of evil, why not bring up my favourite survival horror series. Resident Evil 2 begins by creating a creepy atmosphere with its “This game contains scenes of explicit violence and gore.” warning. I already felt like I shouldn’t be playing (actually, I really was too young) at this point, but the fear didn’t truly begin until I got my first glimpse of that nasty, cruddy eye. Top this off with a very chilling voice and my pants were in need of changing.
6. Star Fox 64 – We need your help, Star Fox
After a brief introduction of the Star Fox 64 cast, we reach one of the neatest title screens on this list. Much like Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64 is also an interactive title screen. By pressing B, you can gain control of the number “64” in the logo. As you move the 64 logo around the screen, you will notice that each character will follow it with their eyes.
5. Mega Man X – Rock, no Roll?
Now we’re getting into some of the great title screens, starting with quite possibly the best SNES series: Mega Man X. While the mock computer boot screen is neat, the highlight is our first glance at the new logo. An awesome rock theme blares through your TV speakers while the logo appears to be head banging into view, brilliant. Top this off with the manifestation of the golden X coupled with a satisfying “cling” and you have a sweet title screen. Oh yeah, we also get our first glimpse at Mega Man’s new look, because he is your cursor for shooting menu selections: simply amazing.
4. Wave Race 64 – Follow that Dolphin!
While most of the entries on this list bring back a lot of memories, none will ever top the strange feelings that Wave Race 64 gives me. I had decided that I didn’t like the game before playing it, but what I didn’t know was that its title screen was about to show me how closed minded I had become. Those waves crashed over me and washed away my ignorance. I was met with kick ass drums, funky synth, a shredding guitar and those beautiful, clear, realistic waves. Wave Race 64 is one of my favourite games, thanks to the title screen of course.
3. Xenoblade Chronicles – You Will Know our Names
While it’s only been out for a short period of time in North America, Xenoblade Chronicles has already made a favourable impression on me. Much like other titles on this list, I knew a game of epic proportions was waiting for me beyond its serene title screen. Here we see the Monado standing strong in a lush green field while clouds traverse the beautiful blue skies of Bionis. I cannot ignore the amazing composition that accompanies the opening which instills feelings of adventure, struggle and joy. The title screen for Xenoblade Chronicles was actually the inspiration for this list.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – The Flow of time is always cruel…
Probably the most epic title screen in video game history, Ocarina of Time opens its legendary quest with an unforgettable sequence. In what seems to be a common theme throughout my title screen choices, we get another first glimpse, this time it’s of Link’s trusty steed, Epona. Certain gameplay elements are intelligently introduced in title screens and this one is no exception. Sounds of galloping play over a beautiful piano piece accompanied by the trance-like melody of an ocarina while Link explores Hyrule Field on Epona; I still get chills when watching this opening.
1. The Legend of Zelda – Many Years ago…
My all-time favourite title screen has to be the one from The Legend of Zelda. There is something about the music and colors used that brings back powerful, powerful memories of playing this game during the NES era. Nostalgia definitely plays a big role in my favoritism for this entry, but can you blame me?
There is a nifty shift to a blue darkness followed by the legend and a list of the weapons/items in the game. I was always gobsmacked with this part, because I was only able to find about three of those items at the time. This title screen mystified me so much that I even became a little intimidated, now I look back with a fond warmness; I will never forget this title screen, ever.