Seeing GI post their Top 25 list inspired me to put together a list of my own. I got my 360 back in 2009 for the release of Final Fantasy XIII, and I was not disappointed with my purchase. I have experienced numerous great games since buying the system, and it was hard to narrow down my 10 favorites. These are my personal favorite experiences from Microsoft's last-gen system. 

10. Tales of Vesperia

Tales of Vesperia was the first entry to Namco's Tales series that I played. I was instantly grabbed by the game's fun characters and exciting combat system. The huge amount of sidequests and character development present in the game make it worthwhile to see through to its completion. The banter between the diverse cast makes for an entertaining journey, and the story doesn't fail to deliver. The world's dependence on ancient technology leads to corrupt leaders, evil gangs, and wild fanatics. The characters you meet along the way have their own motives and objectives for what they do, and uncovering everyone's past results in interesting revelations. Tales of Vesperia is a great RPG, and the only Tales game to be exclusive to the Xbox 360. PS3 owners get a lot of the other Tales games, but in America, the 360 is the only way to play Vesperia. 


9. Tomb Raider

While I had played a bit of Tomb Raider Legend and Underworld, they never really pulled me in and enticed me to complete them. However, when I first started Crystal Dynamics' 2013 reboot, I knew I was in for a wild and fun game. It is a blast from start to finish, with crazy set piece moments, extremely well-done combat, and death-defying platforming. The island of Yamatai looks spectacular, from giant explosions and fires to calm beaches. The tight gunplay makes for intense shootouts, and the upgrade system makes for constant changes to the fights. Lara takes quite a beating throughout the game, but she sticks through it in her desperate struggle to escape the island with her companions. This game brought new life to the series, and I can't wait for what comes next in Rise of the Tomb Raider.


8. Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge was an extremely unique game back when it was released in 2009, and even today no release has come close to emulating its gameplay. The idea of an action/platformer with a first person view was a totally new concept, and it turned out to be great fun. The parkour mechanics were done well and opened up the city for players. While the gunplay and story were a little lacking, the variety of environments packed into the short story made every mission different and gave it huge replay value. I'm very excited to see what DICE will bring to us with the newly announced second installment.


7. Prince of Persia

While being a departure from the Prince of Persia series, this 2008 reboot stands out as my favorite. The cel-shaded art style brings out the gorgeous beauty of the game's environments. The combo system in the game encouraged lots of experimentation of different attacks. The parkour and platforming of previous games returns, and combined with Elika's magic, provided totally new ways to explore the game's world. The game's story of the return of the dark god Ahriman seems cliché at first, but the game's ending is truly unique and unexpected. The relationship that develops between the prince and Elika is paced very well throughout the game, and it adds a lot to the storytelling. I hope that we'll get to see this universe revisited in the new generation of consoles.


6. Soul Calibur V

I've been a fan of Namco's Soul Calibur series since the second installment on the GameCube. While the Xbox 360 features both Soul Calibur IV and V, I believe the most recent entry is the best one yet. The premier weapon based fighting game features great balancing by learning from the previous games, allowing each of the games numerous characters to have a fighting chance. The game looks incredible as well, with stunning environments, character designs, and animations. The character creation tool returns in SCV, boasting the most options available to allow maximum creativity. The online play provides plenty of content for competitive players to pursue. I have plenty of confidence that Soul Calibur VI will be announced soon.


5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim quickly became one of the most popular games of last-generation. With so much content, it was easy to lose hours upon hours without realizing it. The game is packed full of things to do, so much that I doubt many players have seen all that the game has to offer. The vast amount of quests, items, characters, and skills in the game ensure that players will not want to stop playing. While not without bugs and imperfections, the game more than makes up for that in what it does right. The idea of doing everything that one can in Skyrim is unimaginable. Even today I find myself going back and continuing to inch closer to completion.


4. Dark Souls 2

"Go beyond death" is the slogan used in the trailers for Dark Souls 2. That truly is what you do in the game as you learn that dying is simply a part of playing Dark Souls. This game shines as a wonderfully designed game that never tries to be unfair. Every time that you die, you learn something about how to progress. Every death is your fault, and it is your job to figure out what to do differently next time. This kind of torturous gameplay has a strong allure to those seeking a challenge. The heavy combat means that one wrong blow could mean death, however by learning the intricacies of the system, one can accomplish much in the game. The environments in the game are absolutely beautiful, from the calm yet unsettling Majula to the daunting and dangerous Aldia's Keep. The character customization allows for many different kinds of play styles, providing for any type of skill combination. The loot found in the game offers a wide variety weapon and armor combinations, and it doesn't end after the first playthrough. Players can keep finding new content playthrough after playthrough of the game. From Software really hit it out of the park with Dark Souls 2, and they have me excited for what's to come with next March's Bloodborne.


3. Bayonetta

Platinum Games knows action games, and Bayonetta may be their finest release. The combat is wild, constantly throwing new enemies at you all the way through the game. The boss battles are gigantic, multi-stage fights. The great fighting system allows for hundreds of different combos to play around with, along with numerous different weapons and weapon combinations. Though the story is a bit confusing, the rest of the game is top-notch. With high difficulty settings, tons of weapons and accessories, and different playable characters, Bayonetta encourages multiple playthroughs, and the combat continues to deliver each time. Bayonetta 2, releasing later this year, is sure to bring more of the crazy action and fun combat of this fine game.


2. Mass Effect 3

The Mass Effect series is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. The first game is integral to introducing the main concepts and characters in the series, but it's gameplay was severely lacking. The second game improves on the combat and features crazy moments from the first cutscene to the final mission. However, my favorite of the series is the final installment. While undoubtedly the most controversial due to its poor endings, I believe the journey is far more important. The missions are some of the most important in the series, closing off major arcs that have been around since the first game. Characters live or die based on choices made in the previous entries. The combat is the most fine-tuned, offering plenty of customization. Important decisions that change the way the game progresses occur nearly every mission, allowing for different experiences each playthrough. Another reason this game stands out as my favorite is for the outstanding Citadel DLC. The ultimate fan service, this content brings back all party members for a wild mission, culminating in a giant party with all of the friends you have made throughout the series. Mass Effect 3 stands as my personal favorite installment because of the importance it serves in the series. It shows you the results of the decisions you have made in the past two games, bringing to an end a wonderful trilogy.


1. Alan Wake

Alan Wake is a unique gem that was highly overlooked back when it released. A "psychological action thriller," it is equal parts horror, mystery, and third-person shooter. It's combat is based on one simple yet different concept: one must shine a flashlight on enemies and eliminate all of their darkness before they can be damaged. This sets Alan Wake apart from other third person horror shooters such as Resident Evil in that enemies take more time and strategy to defeat. The setting of Bright Falls, a small town in the Pacific Northwest, looks amazing in both day and night. The game's focus on light leads it to have a very advanced lighting system that is dazzling. The dark forests give off a superb creepy atmosphere that turns any environment into a shadowy nightmare. The story is very compelling, with the titular writer searching for his kidnapped wife after they arrive at a vacation home. The ending leaves players with more questions than answers, but it's presentation delivers a satisfying conclusion albeit filled with cliffhangers. Alan Wake has yet to receive a true sequel, and with Remedy working on Quantum Break at the moment, I fear we may not get one for a while. However, with two DLC packs and the XBLA title Alan Wake's American Nightmare, there is a lot of content for fans to enjoy. Alan Wake is a game I can wholeheartedly recommend to any Xbox 360 owner, as it is one of the most exciting, fascinating, and mysterious titles I have experienced to date.