The 10 Best Video Game Console Startup Sequences

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Gamers know this familiar scenario well - your parents decided to reward you for getting good grades by copping you the video game console you’ve been itching to get since forever. You rip open the gift wrapping, lose your mind, and exclaim your love for Mommy & Daddy while you unbox your newest piece of living room/bedroom hardware. 

The magic truly unfolds when you power on that new system for the very first system. Fireworks go off in your brain and your heart beats a mile a minute once your audio and visual senses are treated to the opening intro graphic from your new console. Video game startup sequences evoke feelings of heavy nostalgia and always bring forward a flood of memories for those that spent much of their lives playing their favorite consoles.

We revisited our childhood and came away with 10 of the best video game console startup sequences. It’s time to get all warm and fuzzy inside as you get to see and hear these cool cinematics all over again.

10. Nintendo Entertainment System

We’re guessing a whole lot of you didn’t even know this sequence existed. And that’s because the young and impatient children we all used to be had no time to sit through these types of things since we were ready to play some games ASAP. But the more curious lot who turned on their NES without putting a cartridge in got to see this cool little animation play out. The chiptune music prepared you for a world full of 8-bit wonder and the sight of Mario & Luigi running on screen is definitely a nice touch.

9. Game Boy Advance

This sequence was filled with pure joy and it only lasted a good four seconds. The logo quickly flashes onto the console’s small screen while splashed in a nice variety of bright colors. While the familiar letters are getting adorned in a nice shade of blue, a catchy jingle plays out in the background all the while. Nintendo sure has a way of putting memorable console startup sequences together, don’t they?

8. PlayStation 2

This brief cinematic is still impressive to this very day. It always felt as if you were floating in space and looking down on the vastness of space below you. Once you really got going with the PS2 and started racking up a whole bunch of saves across your Memory Card, blocks that represent those games would appear during this sequence. What’s truly mind-blowing about that whole intro is the fact that the longer you played a particular game, the taller the memory tower for that game would be. True anxiety would kick in while you waited for this sequence to end - if it took a bit too long, you knew your PS2 was likely going extinct.

7. Sega Dreamcast

This intro could totally be used to reach a plane of existence that encompasses maximum peace and calmness. That’s because the audio that accompanies it is so soothing to the ears and soul. It always sounds like raindrops are softly landing on the pavement as the clouds begin to open up. In reality, the console was booting up as you were getting ready to catch a whole bunch of dubs during another intense set of Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

6. Sega Saturn

The Sega console that came before the Dreamcast is the Saturn. And the sequence that played out for that one was a whole lot more powerful and impactful when compared to the one its successor is known for. Watching a flood of shards come together to form the Sega Saturn logo was and forever will be quite the mind trip. You just knew you were in for something special when this sequence came to a close.

5. Xbox

The technicians that put the Xbox together made sure to make Microsoft’s first video game console come off like the most impressive machine anyone had ever seen. Alongside the original Xbox’s massive size was this equally major initiation sequence. We’re sure a bunch of you guys let this intro rock in the dark so your whole room could get that neon green shine for just a few seconds. This intro still hits hard and marked another step forward for gaming when the original Xbox launched.

4. Xbox 360 (Original Startup)

When that big white globe popped up on your TV screen, you and your band of Halo 3 multiplayer hobbyists had a lot to look forward to. That circular logo circled around for a bit until it got adorned by the signature “X” that still defines the Xbox brand to this very day. The brighter shade of green was a nice touch and that recognizable whooshing sound cue that brings this sequence to an end is quite fitting.

3. Nintendo Gamecube

Rhythms that are delivered via a xylophone immediately catch the average person’s attention. Nintendo must have gotten the memo about that fact because they decided to create a catchy jingle with that beloved instrument for their cute purple box back in the day. While that intro played out, you got to witness a parade of smaller purple boxes come together to form the Nintendo Gamecube’s unmistakable logo. The extra secret sounds you could activate during this sequence are just as good as the original, too.

2. Sega Genesis

“SAYGAHHHH!” The wonderful chorus that emanated from Sega’s 16-bit juggernaut will forever be embedded into 90’s babies' memories. The best factoid about the Sega Genesis' intro sequence is that there are so many of them to enjoy. Besides the unforgettable intro that Sonic the Hedgehog ran across, there’s a near-limitless array of alternate intros that perfectly embodies the Sega Genesis’ massive game variety.

1. PlayStation

This is the undisputed GOAT of video game console startup sequences. There can be no other cinematic that takes the top spot. Sony came into the video game console war with the most powerful weapon of all with the very first PlayStation. This thing rang off in living rooms across the world as a bass-heavy jingle kicked in and had everyone in your neighborhood wondering what you were up to. The slick transition to the black screen that featured the PlayStation logo is and forever will be hard to beat as far as console intros go. Side note - we’d definitely sweat extra hard when that aforementioned screen lingered a little too long.

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