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Power Member - Level 9
My Top Ten
Xbox 360 Games
There are many top ten lists but this one is mine, if you think a
game is missing here, I either didn't play it, didn't have any
interest in it, or I just hate you.
is - my final top ten list for an owned system, and my penultimate
Top Ten Tuesday list. I'd never been a fanboy of any console; I've
owned Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft consoles without feeling the need
to defend or destroy them. Although I never owned the original Xbox,
I did play frequently on a friend's in college, sampling the fruits
of Halo and Crimson Skies and marveling at the online multiplayer
that was previously the sole domain of my beloved PC. When the next
generation hit, I was largely unimpressed and satisfied with my
PC...until all the awesome new franchises started appearing as
console exclusives. Achievements, friends lists, seamless
multiplayer, that fantastic controller - these were things I had to
experience, and I finally got my hands on an Xbox 360 as a Christmas
gift in 2009.
couldn't have asked for better timing. Numerous best-selling and
critically acclaimed titles where mine for the taking at deeply
discounted prices, and tons of great games still awaited on the
horizon. Now with the newest generation finally in gamers' hands we
can just about put a bow on the 360's library of games, and I can
highlight my top ten games of the system.
Note the First: I still mainly game on the PC, and many major
franchises such as BioShock, Mass Effect, and The Elder Scrolls I
played exclusively on the PC, so you won't see them here. A few I
double dipped on and played on both PC and Xbox, such as XCOM: Enemy
Unknown and Grand Theft Auto IV, so you won't find those here. These
are only games that I played exclusively on Xbox 360.
Note the Second: I did a separate top ten list for my favorite XBLA games last
month, so this list contains major retail releases only!
Top Ten Xbox
10) Kingdoms of Amalur:
Studios got a really bad rap after their sudden closure following
their first and only release. Despite the generic and somewhat dorky
title, Kingdoms of Amalur was a surprisingly great Action-RPG,
featuring an enormous (albeit fairly linear) world, mountains of side
quests, and some really fun combat mechanics that utilized multiple
abilities and skill trees with different weapon styles and combos.
The main quest easily takes over 50 hours to complete, but most folks
will want to explore the very MMORPG-inspired side quests that take
you to new dungeons and battling new foes. Criminally underrated,
with its main flaw being that it had so much content it was a little
9) Brutal Legend
always have to carry a big torch for Double Fine's last major retail
release before they focused on smaller titles. Brutal Legend combined
great voice talent with a uniquely fun world of rock metal, action
exploration, and real time strategy battles. It's those RTS battles
that turned folks off, but I adored them, evoking gameplay mechanics
from one of my favorite RTS games Sacrifice. The story of Eddie Riggs and
his grand rebellion is filled with love, loss, betrayal, and of
course that trademark Double Fine humor and should not be missed.
8) Marvel Ultimate
had the honor of being the very first game I played on my 360, and it
remains one of my favorites. I've been a big fan of the X-Men Legends
series and MUA is essentially the same isometric Action-RPG but
opened up to include all of the awesome Marvel universe characters
and locations. I loved the Civil War setting for pitting hero vs hero
battles and creating a reason to replay the story, and the
drop-in/out co-operative multiplayer was my first instance of how
well co-operative gaming can be on a console, and I was completely
sold. Now where in the hell is MUA3?
7) Burnout: Paradise
never been a big racing game fan, with the large exception of the
Burnout series. The focus on speed, near misses, and insane crashes
always elicits a great combination of exhilaration and laughter.
Paradise brought the perfect evolution to a racing game- an open
world city where every intersection represented a new race ready to
pop into. Multiple race modes and the amazing crash mode can be found
throughout Paradise City, not to mention Burnout's signature soundtrack of
pop-rock that gets your heart racing along with the gameplay.
6) Transformers: War for
mentioned before that I'm a big Transformers nerd. I have all the
DVDs of the old cartoons, a whole book shelf of nothing but action
figures (organized by era), and every video game I can get my hands
on, which has been nearly bare save for a pair of amazing prequel
tiles by High Moon Studios. Although the sequel Fall of Cybertron
gave us more intriguing level designs and abilities, I prefer the
original for the better story and fully co-operative campaign.
Telling the story of the original civil war between Autobots and
Decepticons, I got to pilot my favorite heroes and villains in the
awesome world of Cybertron. Great moments in the Transformers
universe, like fleeing from Omega Supreme or meeting Starscream are
performed with the utmost respect and adulation for the source
material, and the gameplay and transforming mechanics are tight and
super satisfying. On top of that we got a fun competitive multiplayer
mode that I spent way too much time in, simply because it was finally
my chance to embody my action figures and kick robot ass.
is a great example of a game that I was intrigued about based on
reviews, screenshots, and trailers, but ultimately unsure if I'd end
up liking it. I'm glad I took the plunge as this unashamed Zelda
clone took that winning formula and warped it into a really
interesting apocalyptic setting of biblical proportions. The art
style, story, and setting were all kinds of comic book cool, and War
was a confident badass with a ton of combos, spells, and very
Zelda-like puzzle solvers at his disposal. The game was awesome
enough to warrant a sequel, but while I enjoyed it I was ultimately
disappointed in the story and the larger scope it attempted to cover.
With the death of THQ, I maintain hope we'll still see a great third
game, and hopefully my dream of a co-operative sequel where the four
horseman ride together can still be fulfilled.
4) Batman: Arkham City
we'll look back at superhero games and compare them as Pre-Arkham and
Post-Arkham. Rocksteady has crafted a wonderful series of games
featuring everyone's favorite brooding superhero in a world dripping
with fan service and great gameplay mechanics. Whether you enjoy
Asylum or City is largely a matter of style - Asylum has the
tighter narrative and focused area, while City adds in more
everything and a fun little open world to explore. I loved flying
around Arkham City and beating up random thugs as much as exploring
the neat side quests with Batman's friends and foes, and the main
quest had plenty of surprises and amazing story moments.
3) Grand Theft Auto V
tough to compare recent games with those you experienced years go,
but I'm confident that GTAV would make my top ten list no matter how
long I waited to write it. Featuring the pinnacle of the series'
gameplay evolutions since those early days of the PS2, GTAV gives us
Rockstar's most fully realized open world yet, multiple protagonists
that we can seamlessly switch between, epic heists, a crapton of side
missions, and that unique joy of just running around the city and
screwing around that the series has become synonymous with. The
single player alone would warrant a high place on my top ten, but the
added multiplayer of GTA Online makes it truly something special, as it took the
multiplayer free roaming of Red Dead Redemption and added purchasable
property, impromptu races, co-operative jobs, bounties to hunt, and
much more. Provided Rockstar can keep the updates coming (and add
heists already!) my friends and I will continue exploring San Andreas
and wrecking havoc together.
2) Borderlands 2
enjoyed the original Borderlands as a interesting mash-up of first
person shooter and Action-RPG. The co-operative gun play was
enjoyable and the randomized loot kept me playing in Gearbox's wacky
world. Then came the sequel and I was utterly blown away - they did
the perfect job of not fixing what wasn't broken, but improving upon
every aspect of the game and creating damn near the perfect sequel.
The world of Pandora had multiple varied locations, tons of enemies,
side quests, and that wonderfully hilarious writing that fueled some
of the funniest moments and characters I've seen in gaming. Split
screen and online co-op was my main beat, and I played so much that I
had to abandon my solo play. This was my main game I played with
friends and my wife for months thanks to the amazing post-game DLC,
and now I'm a full-fledged fan of this amazing series.
1) Red Dead Redemption
Dead finds its way to the top of most of my lists that it qualifies
for, and for damn good reason - it's one of my all time favorite
games, and my favorite Xbox 360 game. Proving Rockstar can do more
than just low-hanging social satire and Dick jokes, RDR gave us a
compelling narrative, an actual likeable protagonist in John Marston,
and the wonderfully rich world of a classic Western. I never realized
just how much this genre was missing in the world of gaming until I
mosied up a mountain on horseback and watched the sunset as I could
hear crickets chirping and that wonderful ambient soundtrack softly
playing in the background. RDR is as much an awesome open-world experience, with a rich single player adventure and an amazing multiplayer that let us really explore a Rockstar-crafted
world for the first time with our friends. Red Dead Redemption is
really something special, and an experience that I'm not likely to
loved the four years I've spent with my Xbox 360 and I'm satisfied
that console gaming remains in a great place throughout the years. It's the only way to take advantage of my HD TV that's larger than my PC monitor, and obviously my destination for awesome couch co-op experiences. With the days of most console exclusives behind us (most titles see a PC release at launch) I
have no plans to upgrade to new consoles at this time, but I'm sure a year or two down
the road I'll be ready to make the plunge and explore my love of
consoles all over again (or I'll find a convenient, cost-effective way to connect my PC to my TV...).
Stay tuned next week for my final Top Ten Tuesday list!