5. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Grand Theft Auto had two amazing entries on the Xbox 360. Many resonated with GTA IV’s taciturn and haunted Nico Bellic more than GTA V’s trio of more clichéd protagonists, but at the end of the day, there’s no denying the mammoth scale and brilliant quality of the fifth entry in the franchise. Not only does it deliver the widest variety of landscapes we’ve ever seen in a video game, GTA V also offers the best gameplay in series history. Thanks to the efforts of Rockstar North, driving was finally a pleasure and not a chore. The shooting mechanics were excellent, and things like mid-mission checkpoints helped ease some of the frustrations of past games. Rockstar North once again proved why it’s one of the best game developers in the world.

4. Mass Effect 2 (2010)

Of all the games on this list, Mass Effect 2 is most closely tied with the others in the series – the interconnected trilogy was an unprecedented experiment by BioWare that paid off handsomely. However, the second in the series, just as in original Star Wars trilogy, is our pick for the strongest entry. It vastly improved the combat over the first game, and delivers an epic ending that truly satisfied all players – something that can’t be said for the also-excellent Mass Effect 3. Mass Effect 2 set a new standard for RPGs, the power of choice in games, and interactive storytelling. It’s the most polished, consistent, and best of a franchise that’s among the greatest ever in gaming.

3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

While The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion was a landmark game in the early part of this past generation, its follow-up, Skyrim, is simply a better game – and one of the greatest games in RPG history. It’s unmatched in size, scope, and variety, allowing players to pour literally hundreds of hours into the game and not discover all it has to offer. The combat and spell skills are remarkably deep, allowing for a wide variety of character types and play styles. Characters can also use “dragon shouts” to unleash powerful blasts at foes. Never before has a game offered so much to do and explore. And dragons – did we mention it has dragons?

2. BioShock (2007)

Ken Levine and Irrational Games aren’t your average game creators, and BioShock is not your average game. A first-person shooter on its surface, BioShock is actually a profound parable about  ambition and a meditation on the political philosophy of Ayn Rand. Set in Rapture, a ruined undersea city created by magnate Andrew Ryan to be a libertarian paradise where the best and brightest of mankind could freely achieve greatness (with some help by genetic modifications), BioShock tells an unforgettable tale while delivering great combat. More importantly, it shows that social commentary isn’t exclusively the domain of indie games, and it doesn’t have to happen at the expense of a great story or fantastic action.

1. Red Dead Redemption (2010)

We select Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption above all the other great games as this generation’s best Xbox 360 title. This sprawling western has it all: a gorgeous open world full of activities and interesting characters to meet, a huge variety of gameplay from frantic firefights to liar’s dice, and an affecting story. More so than any other Rockstar game, Red Dead Redemption packs an emotional punch; John Marston’s indelible tale helps serve as a requiem for the Wild West itself, which is vanishing around him even as he adventures across the American Southwest and Mexico. Throw in a surprising and emotional ending, and you have a game that we’ll never forget. Red Dead Redemption is a classic through and through.