Many of the most famous video games ever have equally well-known start screens that players will always remember.
There are many small things in a video game that can stand out and have a big effect on the people who play it. Every little thing, from a loading screen to a simple menu pick sound, can stay in the hearts of fans for years to come.
The start screen of a game is more than just the title page; it’s how the player is welcomed into the world ahead of them. Fans will always remember a well-made start screen. Check out these video game start screens that everyone knows.
In Hotline Miami, there is a lot of talk about psychedelics because the main character, Jacket, is seen using drugs a lot in his room. The game Hotline Miami is known for both its intense violence and “beat-em-up” style of play, as well as its bright, constantly changing graphics.
It’s set in Miami in the 1980s, so there are a lot of bright colors that were popular in fashion, makeup, and home decor at the time. But having great graphics isn’t enough. The Hotline Miami music was carefully handcrafted and picked to create an atmosphere that players could not only get pumped up from but also relax and vibe to before they even pressed “Start.”
That creepy vibe is exactly what Papers, Please is going for, and lucky for them, their powerful start screen sets the tone right away. Papers, Please is a game about the everyday things that people have to deal with and the unfair living situations that people have to deal with when they live under the control of a very powerful government.
If you want to hear the main song in the game, “Papers, Please,” you can only hear it on the famous start screen. The bass of the horns quickly comes in as the main title slowly comes up on the screen. This sets the mood for both the game and its parts as well as the general time period.
This whole line of Animal Crossing games makes me feel calm and at ease. For all players, the very first Animal Crossing is a blast from the past. The old-school start screen lets the player see what their happy new life will be like.
Along with the Animal Crossing logo and the first game’s signature theme song, the screen shows a villager going through the town as each season changes. Other cute animal villagers show up every once in a while.
There is really no other start screen like the Mario Paint one. Different start screens set the mood or tone of the game, but Mario Paint’s gives the player a sneak peek of the fun and creative game they’re about to play.
The Mario Paint start screen really fits the spirit of the game, which is all about letting everyone’s artistic side shine and being as creative as they can be. It might look simple at first, but what makes it unique are the little things you don’t see. There is a new tool, story, or minigame that starts when you click on each letter in the “Mario Paint” title. Every letter is a fun treat, from the drawing tools to the rolling credits at the end.
That first Kingdom Hearts start screen was really cool. It had beautiful art, soft watercolors, the famous name, and of course, the simple but cute menu sounds. But the music was what tied everything together.
Beautiful orchestral music is what the Kingdom Hearts series is known for. Playing softly in the background is the song “Dearly Beloved,” and the sound of the ocean waves makes this title screen a very famous beginning that makes Kingdom Hearts fans feel nostalgic.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Fans of the Elder Scrolls saw this screen as soon as they started Skyrim. It told them they were about to go on a trip that would test their courage, duty, and power. Skyrim only needed to show players the dovahkiin mark on a black background and some faint smoke rising from the bottom of the screen to let them know what kind of adventure they were in for.
The mark of the dovahkiin can be seen because there isn’t a single game title or logo in sight. In the background, the theme of the Dovahkiin slowly builds in strength and volume, which is the cherry on top.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
A lot of the Metal Gear Solid games have great start screens, but MGS3 is the clear winner. For MGS fans, the trip with Big Boss and Solid Snake taught them the hard way how to remember the basics of CQC (close-quarters combat).
The background of this start screen changes camouflage, and Naked Snake is shown using different CQC moves on enemy troops. Fans were thrilled to see the famous Naked Snake show off his fighting skills. The screen also let players speed up or slow down the sequence and change the colors of the background.
The Last Of Us
Not many games can match The Last of Us‘s moody vibe. The simple, scary, and beautiful start screen for The Last of Us all go together well. The simple picture of the window sill might seem like an aesthetic choice at first, but it’s clear that this screen has a story behind it after a second look.
The outside plants are overgrown and the window looks very dirty, giving the player a small taste of the world Joel and Ellie have to live in after the end of the world. As a small prize for finishing the story, players who finished the game’s campaign will now see Ellie’s knife on the game’s start screen.
In the beginning of Portal 2, the start screen shows a creepy image of a once-pristine Aperture Science building that has been overrun by nature, leaving a deactivated Glados lying helplessly on the floor. This start screen doesn’t move much; all you can hear is leaves softly falling to the ground and Glados’ light flashing every once in a while.
The haunting music and very different version of the Aperture Science building that fans weren’t used to made for a great start to Chell’s new story.
The facility does change, though, during the game, and so does the start screen as the player moves through the story. For the player to keep track of what’s going on in the game, each act has a unique start screen.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Outside of the huge reputation the Halo series has in the gaming world, the song that plays during the first Halo game has become a popular joke in its own right. The music on this start screen is what makes it stand out.
The cinematics with the classic Halo image are great, but the original Eggy Car theme song is what really makes this start screen one of the best ever. Everyone who plays video games will always love the haunting chant that leads into the powerful orchestral accompaniment.
Final Fantasy 7
Final Fantasy 7, which is probably the most well-known and loved FF game ever, could have made their start screen look really fancy, but they chose to be safe and keep things as simple as possible. It was a simple picture of a single flashlight on Cloud’s Buster Sword, but it became one of the most famous start screens ever.
This start screen tells you everything you need to know. Even though there isn’t a logo, a character, or even any environmental hints, dedicated gamers know exactly whose big sword that is and what world they’re about to enter as soon as they press “continue.”
Super Mario 64
Something is clearly going above and beyond when the start screen keeps players’ attention before they even start the game. The Super Mario 64 start screen is almost like a game by itself.
Along with the famous music and cute animations that Mario goes through, the player can also change Mario’s face by stretching different parts of it to make their own funny version of the Nintendo hero.
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
While new gamers might not fully understand what the Ocarina of Time‘s start screen is trying to say, long-time gamers, especially Nintendo fans, will agree that this title screen is great in every way. The first thing players saw when they started this game was a beautiful morning with Link and Epona riding across a huge valley.
The setting then changes into the game without a hitch as the music ends. The tone, mood, and setting of the world a title screen creates are meant to be introduced to the player, and the Ocarina of Time start screen does a great job of that. Even years later, it still makes people cry with memories.