ByRob Harris, writer at
Sometimes I play video games.
Rob Harris

It's the first thing you see when powering up your console. The machine's electric organs whir into life, the screen fades from black and then BAM -- an animation you'll come to love, resent and remember; a sound that will come to lodge itself in your mind during the next 300 times you repeat this pre-game ritual.

This list is a celebration of the under-appreciated art of console boot ups, ranked from worst to best.

8. Sega Saturn

It wasn't the greatest console, but this 32-bit box greeted players with a wonderful 90's rendition of synth-infused future tech. Those 90s particle effects are pretty rad, too.

7. Xbox

Microsoft entered the game industry, not with a bang but with a volatile bubble of green goo. It seems rather dated now but at the time the science-experiment-like heart of the 'X' was a mysterious marvel.

6. Xbox 360

Following on from its predecessor, the 360 launched players into the HD era of gaming and created this clean cut whoosh to match its cutting edge tech. Still used in the company's current marketing, this sound has become synonymous with the Xbox brand.

5. PlayStation 3

Sony pitched their extortionately priced PS3 at sophisticated (not to mention well off) gamers who demanded the highest quality experience. This intro's rousing orchestral swell set the high-brow tone and let you know that this wasn't just a console, it was a work of art.

4. PlayStation 2

The dreamy, mist-enveloped visuals are trippy to say the least -- I'm still not quite sure what Sony were going for but this unexplained mystery remained part of the console's allure. Contrasting this opening's surrealist atmosphere, the PS2 logo warps onto screen with a punchy electronic note that still sends me back to my childhood.

3. Dreamcast

It might not have has the longest or most successful life, but you can't deny that the Dreamcast made a great first impression. The start up's echoing soundscape is kind of unsettling, until the orange dot carves out a child-drawn spiral and you realize everything is all and good in the world.

2. Gamecube

Fun, inventive and family friendly; this is what Nintendo's cubic console stood for, signalling such values from the offset with this delightfully jovial start-up animation. Bravo.

1. PlayStation 1

Finally we arrive at pretty much the whole reason this list was created in the first place. Shivers still shoot themselves up my spine every time a PS1 is turned on, me along with it. You could put that down to nostalgia, but I'm more inclined to credit these masterfully designed 15 seconds of greatness. That ominous synthetic growl, the Playstation logo's accompanied 'thwoop' that sounds like air is being sliced, the discordant chimes that fade off into darkness. Turn up your bass and keep hitting that repeat button.


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