With the shadows of the PS4 and the XBox 720 lurking over our heads, and the WiiU in the rabbit whole waiting to pop out of its whole in a few months I’d like to reflect on this generation. I’m willing to admit if anyone (including myself) were to buy a Wii, XBox 360 or a PS3 right now they may be offered a whole wide variety of games to play but will sadly exerience remorse. Not to be blunt but you’re a little late to the party, not like we’d like to invite you but its only a matter of time before your local Gamestop will eventually stop selling all your PS3, Wii and XBox 360 classics (sure that’s a long ways away, but you never know they did it with the PSP). With this being said, I hate admitting my loyalty to Nintendo and Sony. Throughout the time that this blog has been written (including the older posts from other places) I have never owned an XBox. Though there many multiplatform games that can be played on both the PS3 and the XBox 360 there are just a few games that are exclusive to XBox that I wish I can experience fully. When I say fully experience, I mean play it to the point that I beat the game or games. Though some of the games listed here can also be played on PC, I have always been more of a console guy. The thought of letting go of a controller entirely, or beefing up my laptop/computer just to play these just doesn’t set well with me (due to connivance). These are the top 8 of games that if I had the money, I’d buy an XBox 360 just to play these games.
Honorable Mention: Mass Effect
Genre: Third-Person Shooter, Action RPG
Release Date: November 20, 2007
This was before Mass Effect went multiplatform, and before the horrible ending that all gamers despise. The ending to the series that engaged players for 40 plus hours with no resolution, and the fact this it is now being bundled in the Mass Effect Trilogy is the reasons the original gets an honorable mention on this list. Horrible fate really, not like I hate Mass Effect 2; it is just hard to motivate myself to want to play the game that started this series knowing full well what the outcome will be.
#8) Rumble Roses XX
Developer: Yuke’s Media Creation
Genre: Wrestling, fighting, sports simulator
Release Date: March 28, 2006
The sequel to one of my guiltiest pleasures on the PS2, Rumble Roses addresses the issues of the first game and finally adds more matches. The reason of why its so low on my list though is because I know better then to dive into this game head first. I mean it probably has the same cheesy story as the last game, and critics all over found it to be a disappointment when compared to the original Rumble Roses. Still though, I’ve played almost every wrestling game in existence, so I can’t make any exceptions.
#7) Viva Pinata
Genre: Simulator, Leisure
Release Date: November 9, 2006
I was told by a former friend of mine that this was Microsoft’s answer to Animal Crossing. This is developed by Rare as well…those two things combined makes me wonder how I could not pass up this game. Yes XBox 360 has Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts and Perfect Dark: Zero but I feel that’s where Rare died when attempting to revitalize their old properties. This was Rare right before they just collapsed and fell off the radar entirely.
#6) Left 4 Dead 1 & 2
Developer and Publisher: Valve
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: November 17, 2008 (Left 4 Dead), and November 17, 2009 (Left 4 Dead 2)
Though released a year apart from each other, the Left 4 Dead series is widely known for its intense multiplayer zombie killing fest. There is little story here, just jumping in killing zombies and killing more zombies. This may sound boring, but I’m sure Valve the creator of Half-Life and Portal might have something up their sleeves to freshen the zombie shooter up.
#5) Fable Series
Developer: Lionhead Studios
Genre: Action RPG
Release Dates: September 14, 2004 (Fable), October 21, 2008 (Fable II), and October 26, 2010 (Fable III)
Though this is one of two series on this list that has extended from the original XBox, its still a series that I’d love to dive into. I’ve always been a semi-die hard RPG fan, and this is one of the best on the XBox or so I am told. Much like the Mass Effect series (which doesn’t show up on this list for specific reasons), it promises that your actions in the game causes the effect of how characters treat you and the ending you obtain. That alone is enough to intrigue any gamer.
#4) Lost Odyssey
Release Date: February 12, 2008
The original creator of the Final Fantasy series helped developed this game….do I really need to go into further detail as to why this game is a big deal? For those of you that don’t know Hironobu Sakaguchi is the original master mind behind every Final Fantasy from the first to the 10th installment. After FF X he parted ways with Square Enix and sadly Final Fantasy hasn’t been the same ever since. Predictable story dialog, same point and press turn based system all in all for all the marbles (or in this case money). This was Sakaguchi’s first legitimate video game since leaving Square Enix, so this is definitely on my “To Play” list.
#3) Alan Wake
Genre: Horror Survival
Release Date: May 18, 2010
Are you tired of horror games borrowing from Call of Duty or another certain game on this list? Do you wish it was more survival than action? This is your game then. Sure it probably has more action then the classic games like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, but I assure you this is probably scarier then both modern version of each series.
#2) Gears of War Series
Developer: Epic Games
Genre: Third-Person Shooter, Action
Release Date: November 7, 2006 (Gears of War), November 7, 2008 (GoW 2), September 20, 2011 (GoW 3), and March 19, 2013 (Gears of War: Judgement)
The second most recognizably XBox excluse game, Gears of War has been a staple of Microsoft since 2006. Every game after November 7, 2006 has either been inspired by or has ripped off Gears of War in some way or fashion. That is how much influence this game has had in the industry if games out of the action genre (We’re looking at you Resident Evil 6 and the Dead Space series) have heavily borrowed from Gears of War. That alone gives GoW the stamp of “MUST BE PLAYED”.
#1) Halo Series
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: Too many in the series to list them all
Seriously do I need to list all the release dates to each game that has come out since November 15, 2001? This is what made FPS as popular as they are now, without Halo we’d still be in the FPS’s infancy stage. Halo took that genre and blasted it so high into the homes of millions upon millions of players homes that people were buying extra TVs just for one room so they could play 8 players locally. Its become so popular that there’s even an Atari version both floating around the internet and allegedly on cartage. I’ve played about 10 mins of that, combined with my 15 minutes with co-op campaign and I just knew it was an instant classic. From the story to the characters, this is what defines both Microsoft and XBox, without Halo Microsoft probably would still be in the realm of PC software.