Teasers and trailers give us our first impressions of most games these days. But once we decide to go through with our purchase, the first thing that we see after getting our hands on a game is its main menu screen. Main menus really set the tone for what’s about to go down, and some are better than others. Here are five of the most creative main menu in gaming.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition has one of the most memorable main menus around. Endless rows of Templars and Mages continuously march towards the Temple of Sacred Ashes for a peace summit that’s about to take place.
The whole peace summit idea goes right out the window though, because as soon as you hit New Game, the temple on the hill explodes.
It’s a creative way to suck players into the plot immediately, and the story begins right in the aftermath of the main menu explosion, as your character is interrogated for being the lone survivor of the blast.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
This list wouldn’t be complete without the very first Call of Duty: Black Ops. It arguably has the most creative and recognizable main menu in gaming.
Black Ops starts you out in an interrogation room, strapped to a chair, as unknown voices demand answers to questions that don’t make sense just yet. It’s not just the setting and atmosphere that make this one unique, though.
There are several secrets and hidden menu options that you can find. You can actually get free from the interrogation chair and input commands into a console in the room to unlock mini-games, intel files, and more.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human is a much more recent title than the first two, and its futuristic main menu is one that’ll stick with you long after you’re done with the game.
An android named Chloe will greet you almost every single time that you start up the game. She’ll comment on decisions that you’ve made in the story, sing plot-relevant songs, and even ask you questions to conduct a player survey.
It’s all far more engaging and creative than what most main menu screens will ever give you. The ongoing interactions with Chloe and her surprising changes in demeanor make this main menu stand out among all others.
Speaking of main menus that change as you progress, here we have Metro Exodus. The very first time that you enter the menu, you’re stuck, unmoving, on a train track.
As you move forward in the story, this creative main menu becomes a moving train. All of the menu options are buttons, levers, or switches on the train itself.
And to top it all off, the view outside changes constantly as seasons switch and Metro’s monsters appear right outside of the window. This is some undeniably top-tier main menu design.
Psychonauts takes players to a much more whimsical world than the one in Metro Exodus, but the main menu here is equally as cool to look at and use.
The game has a focus on psychic abilities, so why not let players run around on a giant brain and use that as a menu? Different menu options are located on the brain, and players open doors to literally jump inside of it.
These doors lead to new areas with even more options. This menu perfectly sets up exactly what to expect from Psychonauts, and it’s as creative as they come.