Top 60 All-Time Xbox 360 Games That You Must Play


The Xbox 360 is a legendary console because it’s the first time that anyone even came close to challenging PlayStation’s monopoly. Microsoft took everything they had learned from the original Xbox and improved upon it to create a visionary product. Unlike the PS3, this console didn’t have a super complicated processor.

Thus, developers had a much easier time coding games for the 360. For the first few years, it had a larger and more diverse game library compared to the PS3. Sure, not everything was nice and rosy with the Xbox 360 (remember the red ring of death?).

However, it achieved a level of success that nobody anticipated. Especially since Sony was coming in strong with their PS2 sales, creating an easy path for the PS3 to continue this momentum. Microsoft further expanded on their Xbox Live service with the 360, and it took years for Sony to come up with an answer.

Many people have fond memories of the Blades dashboard, and some still consider it to be the best Xbox interface ever made. The 360 also laid the template for what we now recognize as the Xbox controller. A lot of PC gamers prefer Xbox controllers due to their asymmetrical stick arrangement and uniquely shaped D-pad.

Today, I shall take a look at the top 60 all-time Xbox 360 games that you must play. You might recognize some of the top names like Gears of War and Halo. But believe me- there’s so much more to explore on this awesome console.

Grand Theft Auto V

 Technically, this is the best-selling video game for Xbox 360 since Kinect Adventures! was offered by Microsoft as a bundled product along with new consoles. And it’s also the best-selling Xbox One game. Rockstar even released a next-gen port for the Xbox Series consoles and PS5.

GTA V is the 2nd most sold video game of all time, behind Minecraft. And it has generated over 6 billion dollars in revenue, which might just be enough for Rockstar to buy a small island chain and turn it into their very own nation. 

Halo 3

There’s no way I wouldn’t put this game in the top 3, especially since we’re talking about Xbox 360. Halo 3 is the culmination of everything that Bungie had been building up lore-wise since Combat Evolved. It represents the end of Master Chief’s fight against the Covenant and ends the story positively.

There was an insane amount of buzz surrounding this game leading up to its release. Bill Gates himself handed out the very first copy of Halo 3 to a fan waiting in the queue at Best Buy. Television trailers, songs, teasers, etc., built up the hype for what was essentially the Xbox 360’s flagship game.

In fact, a lot of people purchased an Xbox just for Halo 3. This game is still considered to be the best Halo title of all time. An excellent map pool, unique weapons, and a wide selection of game modes make Halo 3’s multiplayer one of the best in the entire series. 

Gears of War 2

The first Gears of War was a fun cover shooter with some pretty awesome action set pieces. However, it had some pretty obvious flaws. For starters, the sub-optimal netcode meant that whoever was hosting a multiplayer match had a massive ping advantage.

On top of that, the cover and sprint system felt quite clunky, especially if you were used to fast-paced arena shooters such as Quake. And the plot was barebones, with dialogue and cutscenes that felt straight out of a 1980s B-movie.

Gears of War 2 fixed all of the aforementioned flaws. Storytelling has been improved, with higher production value and a more complex plot. Gunplay feels smoother, and online multiplayer code is improved.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Ah, Skyrim- the fantasy RPG that is still played by tens of thousands to this day despite being released over a decade ago. And it has one of the most active modding scenes in the entire gaming community. But what is Skyrim, and why has it been released for three console generations in a row?

It’s an action-adventure/ RPG with a vast world and plenty of quests/side activities. You can literally spend hours chasing butterflies, chopping wood, and crafting weapons at the forge. Then you have the endless variations in gameplay afforded to you by a diverse range of races and professions. 

Dark Souls

Playing Dark Souls for the first time is like competing in a triathlon with one arm tied behind your back and hot coals in your boots. It’s less of a game and more of a life choice because of how much time you must dedicate in order to truly experience the depths of its narrative and gameplay.

The first Dark Souls is still a genuine masterpiece of storytelling. There are no lengthy Metal Gear-style cutscenes or handholding. Instead, you get information about the game world and its history from NPC conversations, scrolls, collectibles, etc. 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

This game was so popular that they remade it once again in 2019. The original Modern Warfare is still very highly regarded today, thanks to its memorable characters and unique missions. Everyone remembers the Pripyat level with ghillie suits (and those annoying dogs).

Modern Warfare represented the transformation of CoD from just another WW2 shooter to a truly unique entity. It featured modern weaponry, global conspiracy theories, and large-scale battles with some truly explosive spectacles. Cinematic storytelling combined with some amazing soundtracks truly draws you into the action.

Mass Effect

The OG sci-fi RPG it’s so good that even Bioware can’t surpass it with a sequel. Mass Effect is like a dream come true for sci-fi nerds and Star Trek fans. It features complex yet enjoyable RPG elements alongside a story that is masterfully written and produced.

Oh, and let’s not forget about the excellent soundtrack. Even the main menu theme of Mass Effect is more memorable than most of what you find in AAA games today. And the story can branch out in many different paths depending on your choices.

Red Dead Redemption

Back in the early 2010s, this was considered to be Rockstar’s Magnum Opus. It was certainly not the first open-world cowboy action adventure. But Red Dead Redemption was easily the best of its kind, providing you with a narrative and world that had never been seen before in such a game.

This is a tale of friendship, betrayal, vengeance, and of course- redemption. Peppered with fun activities such as duels, hunting, drinking, gambling, etc. And to top it all off, an obsession with details- from NPC AI to graphics, Rockstar really outdid themselves with this one.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum is one of the best Batman games ever made. It follows the modern open-world action game mold but doesn’t feel generic or boring. In fact, many other AAA franchises have tried to copy Arkham Asylum’s gameplay loop.

Its combat is extremely flashy and smooth yet requires very little skill or attention from the player. You basically mash the same buttons while batman grapples, blocks, kicks, flies, and dodges his way around entire waves of thugs. Plus, the narrative and art design make it feel like you’re inside the world of a Batman comic book. 

Bioshock

A game that wasn’t fully appreciated until several years after its release. Bioshock is an excellent FPS action game with a unique art deco theme permeating through all of its levels. Weapons feel like a mix of Victorian-era breechloaders and some futuristic alternate-universe space magic.

You are shown the ruins of an underwater city called Rapture, where technology flourished, and civilization boomed. Unfortunately, so did corruption in the government and greed within corporations. Bioshock is certainly inspired by Atlas Shrugged (a novel by Ayn Rand), discussing the themes of individualism/ objectivism.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM as an IP has been around since the 1990s, ever since we were transitioning from DOS to Windows for PC gaming. Enemy Unknown is sort of a modern reboot. It streamlines many gameplay elements while adding narrative depth and replayability.

The game is still a turn-based tactical RPG, like its predecessor from 1994. And just like the original, you’re an elite operative working within a global paramilitary alliance that’s designed to defeat hostile aliens. You take part in various missions to rescue human settlements across the planet while also retrieving alien technology (for reverse engineering) and hiring new squad members.

Fallout 3

This is the first Fallout game released by Bethesda and is in first-person, unlike the previous 2. There are other big changes, such as real-time combat, full 3D graphics, etc., that weren’t present in Fallout 1 and 2. In terms of roleplaying, it certainly had some pros over the previous Fallout titles.

The gameplay felt more streamlined and less randomized. In a way, it had fewer tabletop RPG elements compared to its predecessors. However, the action was turned up several notches, resulting in gameplay that is way more appealing to a wide range of players. 

Far Cry 3

A game that is still aped by many AAA open-world titles to this date, including Ubisoft themselves with newer Far Cry installments. Far Cry 2 is technically a more choice-driven game with higher realism. But it’s also a harder game compared to 3.

But, Far Cry 3 has a more engaging narrative combined with some truly interesting RPG mechanics. The game has a rich crafting system that lets you create potions, satchels, weapons, etc., by hunting and gathering. Various passive abilities can be attained by spending XP points on a skill tree. 

Devil May Cry IV

Devil May Cry 4 is a direct sequel to the highly acclaimed 3rd DMC game, and it features a much older Dante. This time, he is chasing down some strange cultists who worship an ancient demonic artifact. However, you notice something very different upon booting up DMC IV- there’s this edgy kid called Nero, and you’re controlling him instead of Dante.

Nero is young, brash, and focused only on protecting a girl he loves. He also has a trump card up his sleeve called the Devil Bringer. It’s his right arm, a mutation that lets Nero channel his demonic spirit (you can absolutely demolish enemies by grabbing them with it).

Bayonetta

Bayonetta is An action hack ‘n slash created by Hideki Kamiya- the mind behind several Capcom titles such as Resident Evil and Devil May Cry. After leaving Capcom, he founded Platinum Games with Shinji Mikami. Bayonetta bears many resemblances to DMC, with its over-the-top action and stylish portrayal of violence.

While Dante is part demon and part human, Bayonetta is a witch. Her clothes are made up of her hair, and she is 8 feet tall with heels that are made out of pistols. The gameplay is meant to be an evolution of DMC’s formula, with more precise and rapid attacks.  

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

One of the last good Battlefield games, Bad Company 2, continued the trend of modern military games. Except, this was nothing like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It features large, open-ended maps with combined arms warfare.

You had infantry, sure- but there were also tanks and artillery. Combat is squad-based, and you can drive around in APCs while communicating with other teammates from across the map. Destructible environments are another unique feature of this game that separates it from any other FPS released during the same time. 

Dead Space

The original Dead Space was basically Resident Evil in space. And I don’t mean Resident Evil 4, which is an action-focused adventure. Think the tense, brooding atmosphere of RE2 but with space zombies.

And you are no soldier but a lowly engineer stuck in a giant space station. Ammo is scarce, and enemies can kill you in just 2 or 3 hits. Plus, the space station itself is a giant nightmare filled with traps of all kinds.  

Limbo

A very interesting take on the 2D puzzle platformer genre, with some Lovecraftian horror thrown into the mix. In Limbo, you control a young boy who’s traveling through a dark world filled with monsters and traps. You don’t have any means of directly confronting enemies, so the focus is on escaping and evading rather than fighting.

Limbo has no cutscenes or voiced dialogue, except in a few key locations. Instead, the story is portrayed via the game environment and events happening around you. That’s because the game is heavily inspired by German Expressionist cinema (as well as Noir). 

Braid

A puzzle platformer with a seemingly basic story at the start. But as you progress forward, there appears to be more to it than meets the eye. The game expresses its lore and character motivations through puzzle pieces.

In terms of gameplay, a lot of the elements within this game seem like they were lifted straight from Mario. You are trying to save a princess, and enemies can be defeated by jumping on them. There are hidden rooms, platforms that are activated with special keys, and collectible items.

Assassin’s Creed II

The first Assassin’s Creed might have more memorable missions, but its gameplay was quite formulaic and could get monotonous after a while. Assassin’s Creed II seeks to fix that issue by introducing some variety. This time, Desmond Miles is reliving the memories of Ezio- one of his ancestors who existed during the period of the Italian Renaissance.

Just like the first game, you can wall run and climb all sorts of structures. You can also execute foes with a combination of stealth and athleticism, using a wide variety of weapons.

Assassin’s Creed II even lets you use your Eagle vision in 3rd person while moving. This is a huge boost to situational awareness and makes the process of planning enemy encounters/ stealth routes very easy.  

Left 4 Dead

Valve’s legendary zombie survival shooter, which started a whole new genre entirely out of scratch. These days, you see dozens of indie/ AA Left 4 Dead clones on the market (usually selling at a discount for like five bucks). In fact, the original creators have now released their own version- a spiritual successor called Back 4 Blood.

Yet, this new game fails to match the atmosphere and production quality of its predecessor. The original Left 4 Dead is still a thrilling experience, which is further enhanced by playing in co-op mode with your friends. 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

The sequel to Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare, this game continues the narrative of its predecessor. In the first game, you played as Soap, and now he is one of your partners. And you switch between various spec-ops guys, each working for a different counter-insurgency organization.

Modern Warfare 2 shows the world on the verge of a new global conflict. It’s fueled by Russian extremist elements who terrorize the western sphere in hopes of starting a nuclear war.

Grand Theft Auto IV

Niko Bellic is a former soldier from the Eastern Bloc. He smuggles himself on board a cargo ship to escape the turmoil of his home country and search for a new beginning in America. Upon arriving in Liberty City, he meets up with his cousin Roman.

However, it turns out that Roman had been lying all this time about living in a lavish mansion. He is dirt poor and runs a taxi company that’s drowning in debts. Clearly, the American Dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.   

Mass Effect 2

The first Mass Effect introduces you to a galaxy filled with endless possibilities. All sorts of interesting characters and storylines are presented to the player, who can shape their own narrative by making branching choices. The same is true in Mass Effect 2, except you have fewer roleplaying options than before.

No, the story is still extremely well-written, and there is a diverse cast of side characters. I’m talking about the streamlined stats and perks system compared to Mass Effect 1. More focus has been placed on the action and shooting elements (plus, guns now have to be reloaded).

Portal

Portal is a cunningly crafted game that forces you to rethink each and every decision you make while simultaneously bombarding you with gravity and space-defying puzzles. Portal was praised by critics and gamers alike for its innovative storytelling. The game itself is set within Half Life’s world, although you don’t have any character overlap.

You’re a scientist working on experimental portal technology in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. A lot of the manufacturing and management in this facility is automated, controlled by a mysterious AI called GLaDOS. 

The Orange Box

The Orange Box isn’t a game but a compilation of several games created by Valve. You get Half-Life 2, along with its two standalone expansions- Episode 1 and Episode 2. Then, there’s Portal and Team Fortress 2 (with developer commentary and soundtrack compilations included as bonus content). 

Assassin’s Creed

The game was originally conceived as a Prince of Persia title. But as new information regarding the capabilities of 7th generation consoles came out, Ubisoft decided to go with an open-world design. Prince of Persia’s action elements and combat system are retained but tweaked to facilitate stealth.

And the story is set in a fictional alternative universe. A descendant of the Assassin Brotherhood (Desmond Miles) hooks up his mind to a device called the Animus that lets him relive the memories of his ancestor Altair. The Assassins stand for free will and liberty while their enemies, the Templars, want to establish order and control through force. 

Mass Effect 3

The Reapers have attacked Earth and could consume the entire planet if a galactic coalition doesn’t step in to save us all. If Earth falls, so will the rest of the universe. Once again, you step into the shoes of Commander Shepherd.

This time, you’re trying to unite the various alien races. However, Cerberus wants to create a Reaper superweapon of their own, and they attempt to kill/ kidnap prominent leaders within the Citadel. You also find Prothean plans for a superweapon called the Crucible, and it might be the only way to destroy all Reapers. 

Tomb Raider

For a long time, the once-popular Tomb Raider franchise had been lying dormant. Square Enix decided to give it a 2nd chance by rebooting the tale of Lara Croft. This time, you start out as an inexperienced yet courageous adventurer looking to find the lost kingdom of Yamatai.

Your ship is torn apart by a storm, stranding your crew on an uncharted island that’s teeming with hostiles from various factions. The game lets you gradually build Lara into a badass fighting machine by gaining skills through experience and crafting improved items. You can use a stealthy approach or go in John Rambo style. 

Rock Band 2

A music video game, quite similar to Guitar Hero. It was even developed by the same studio- Harmonix. So, what’s the difference between these two games?

Firstly, they use different controllers. Rock Band comes with a Fender Stratocaster, while Guitar Hero is played with a Gibson SG.

You’ll also notice that Rock Band is more suited to group play since it supports a wide range of instruments and an entire band. In contrast, Guitar Hero is a solo act, ideal for someone who just likes to play the guitar.

Super Meat Boy

A living cube of meat is on a mission to save his girlfriend, Bandage Girl (who’s made of bandages), from a villain called Dr. Fetus. Yeah, I know the plot doesn’t make any sense, but that’s not why Super Meat Boy is on my list. It’s included because of the excellent action-platformer gameplay.

Smooth, fast-paced, and intuitive with excellent level design. That’s how I can best describe this game. Plus, the soundtrack is a real banger too. 

Dark Souls 2

The sequel to Dark Souls it’s often regarded as the “black sheep” of all Soulsborne titles. And it actually looks excellent on the Xbox 360, despite releasing so late into the console’s life cycle. Remember, folks, this thing has 512MB of memory and a processor from 2005- yet it’s running a 2014 AAA game.

Aside from being a technically impressive port, Dark Souls 2 has a great narrative that is more prominently showcased when compared to its predecessor. Dark Souls 2 has new creature types, weapons, and challenges (along with a better AI for NPCs). 

Battlefield 4

While Call of Duty was busy with black ops and increasingly disappointing sequels to the original Modern Warfare, Battlefield took some very large steps forward. With Battlefield 3, it had become clear that Call of Duty was graphically inferior. And with Battlefield 4, DICE actually managed to create a narrative that was every bit as engaging as Modern Warfare.

Battlefield 4 has you roaming around the world, fighting a Chinese breakaway force that wants to wrest control of the country through a military coup. There are tanks, fighter jets, speedboats, and lots of explosions. As for the multiplayer, you get truly ginormous maps with destructible environments and all sorts of vehicles. 

Crysis

The original Crysis was a technological marvel, stressing the limits of what was possible within video games in terms of graphics and physics. Not just that, but it boasted massive open-world maps you didn’t normally see in games outside of Halo or Battlefield. Speaking of which, Crysis is exactly what you’d get by mixing the futuristic alien tech of Halo with large-scale destructible environments from Battlefield.  

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Brotherhood is the 3rd mainline Assassin’s Creed game and a continuation of Ezio’s story from the 2nd one. The game is set during the Italian Wars of the early 16th century. It follows the journey of an assassin as he fights against the Templars. Compared to previous AC games, one new addition to Brotherhood is a multiplayer mode.

In multiplayer mode, you can take the role of a Templar under training. In the campaign, Ezio tries to build up an Assassin’s Brotherhood in Italy by participating in various quests. In Brotherhood, you can rescue civilians and send them to assassin training.

Then, you can call them to assist you during combat. In previous Assassin’s Creed games, a focus was placed on counter-attacking your opponents and parrying their moves for a critical hit. In Brotherhood, you are encouraged to take the first strike (and you’re even equipped with a hidden pistol). 

Portal 2

Much like the first Portal, this game requires a good understanding of the in-game physics and portal laws to solve puzzles. However, it won’t bombard you with complex problems right away. You’re given plenty of time to play around with the game world and get accustomed to its rules.

Portal 2 features many of the same characters from Portal and was praised for its excellent story. It carries that same dark humor and satirical tone as the first game, along with some excellent voice acting. In addition to your portal gun, you also get lasers and tractor beams. 

Fallout: New Vegas

New Vegas tried to fix many of the shortcomings present in Fallout 3, but it suffered from a botched launch. Bugs and glitches plagued the game, especially on console versions. However, the game has been patched up over time and is home to hundreds of mods that significantly improve gameplay while adding entirely new characters and quests.

Compared to Fallout 3, New Vegas has richer storylines for each of its quests. And it gives the player more choice in terms of how they wish to play. The gameplay has also been tweaked, with a redesigned V.A.T.S that lets you execute some special attacks. 

Spelunky

Developed by a single indie dev, Spelunky is one of the most satisfying rogue-lite platformers you’ll ever play. Derek Yu took inspiration from classic retro games such as La-Mulana and Spelunker. He wished to create a fun 2D dungeon crawler based on Mario’s gameplay.

Spelunky is quite difficult since there are so many randomized enemies and environmental hazards. You can also destroy walls/ floors with your pickaxe to open up new pathways. Apart from the treasures and items, you occasionally find damsels in distress who can be carried out of caves (doing so rewards you with HP). 

Bulletstorm

Is it a mindless FPS with poorly written dialogue and stereotypical “action guy” characters? Yes, but Bulletstorm is more than just another action game with lots of explosions. It rewards you with points for killing your enemies most stylishly and outrageously possible.

And unlike Call of Duty, changing weapons doesn’t just mean swapping one damage value for another. Each of the eight weapon types in this game has a very distinct purpose. And you will have to switch between them frequently to survive in hectic combat.

Halo Reach

Reach is based on a novel within the Halo extended universe called Fall of Reach. It tells the story of how a massive Covenant fleet struck humanity’s most prosperous space colony. And how a team of Spartan IIIs (Noble Team) fought during the last days of Reach.

The story is very grim and has this somber tone that can’t be fully explained unless you actually play the game. It’s unlike any Halo game released by Bungie (Reach is the last Halo that Bungie worked on). The fall of Reach happens just before Master Chief escapes with Cortana in the Pillar of Autumn (how Combat Evolved starts).

Rise of the Tomb Raider

The second game in Lara Croft’s Survivor Trilogy shows her looking for yet another lost city. This time, her dangerous journey leads Lara to Siberia, as she hunts for clues to locate Kitezh– claimed by legends to be under Lake Svetloyar. The 2013 Tomb Raider was basically an Uncharted clone, complete with giant action set pieces and quick-time events.

In contrast, this one is slightly tweaked to deliver a more “Tomb Raider” like experience. So it has fewer QTEs, more puzzles, and more tomb raiding. You get side-quests and additional content in the form of DLC packs.

Gears of War

One of the flagship games for Xbox 360, Gears of War, was released in 2006 and signaled the arrival of an entirely new shooter genre. Sure, cover mechanics had been implemented in shooters before this. But they weren’t a core component of the gameplay.

Gears of War is like a weird combination of Quake and Resident Evil 4. It gives you the tools to take your enemies out from a distance, although melee kills are also encouraged through the chainsaw attachment. 

Call of Duty: World at War

Well, a lot of you may not know this, but World at War started the whole Black Ops storyline. And it did another very strange thing- take Call of Duty back to WW2. This was during a time when other major shooters had fully embraced the modern warfare template, featuring more contemporary conflicts.

World at War features a gritty narrative without any clear good or bad guys. Even the allies are shown to commit some seriously questionable acts during wartime. Level design is way more open-ended, so you can complete your objectives without being forced to move forward in a straight line like every other CoD.

Dead Space 2

Dead Space was a truly horrifying sci-fi game. As I said, it’s basically Resident Evil 1 & 2 in space. But Dead Space 2 shifted the formula by taking a more action-focused approach to gameplay and storytelling.

Isaac is still fighting Necromorphs, this time on space station Sprawl which is located in the orbit of Titan. He is also fighting hallucinations and mental corruption caused by exposure to Markers. There are more action set pieces and cinematic cutscenes, plus Isaac finally gets some voiced dialogue. 

Left 4 Dead 2

With a different location and four new survivors, Left 4 Dead 2 picks up from where its predecessor stopped. Just like the previous game, you have a few levels that are separated by safehouses. In order to progress, you must fight zombie hordes as a team while advancing from one level to the next.

The gameplay is similar, with the addition of a few new weapons and zombie types. Valve has also introduced something called the “AI Director 2.0” into this game, a system that checks your performance and dynamically tweaks game difficulty to provide a challenge.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Ah, Black Ops- a refreshing change of pace from the dusty grey landscapes of the Middle East and urban America. People were getting tired of modern military shooters, so Treyarch decided to go back in time to the 60s for some Cold War action. And not just conventional warfare but secretive missions carried out under the direct command of JFK.

You travel to places like the Ural Mountains, Sri Lanka, Cuba, etc., while working in collaboration with several CIA groups. An enemy faction plans to activate their hidden chemical weapons within several major US cities, potentially plunging the world into a global conflict. And your black ops group is the only force capable of hunting these guys down.

Mark of the Ninja

You don’t see many games like this in the 21th century, especially not ones with such high production value. Mark of the Ninja is a callback to the good old days of side-scrolling platformers. But this time, you aren’t playing some colorful cartoon character or Italian plumber.

Instead, you’re controlling a deadly ninja assassin who stealthily takes out his enemies using all sorts of melee and ranged weaponry. The game makes extensive use of light and shadow stealth systems. Footsteps and weapon usage make noise, which can be picked up by people around you. 

Mirror’s Edge

Assassin’s Creed is a nice way to combine parkour and stealth-based combat. But what if you want a slightly more futuristic setting, with a lot more focus on the parkour element? Well, meet Mirror’s Edge- a game in which you play as a courier.

Ferrying messages is your main job in this dystopian concrete jungle filled with high-rise buildings. While doing so, you must avoid detection from government agents at all costs. And the gameplay is shown through a first-person view (unlike Assassin’s Creed, which is in 3rd person).

Gears of War 3

Some consider the 3rd Gears game to be the best. While others say, it played a bit too safe and didn’t introduce much in the way of new features.

No matter which camp you fall into, it can’t be denied that Gears of War 3 is an excellent action shooter. One of the biggest improvements that Gears 3 made was expanding on lore and telling a much deeper story compared to its predecessor.

Forza Motorsport 4

PlayStation has Gran Turismo while Xbox has Forza. One is an arcade-like experience while the other tries to simulate motorsports action. Forza is more interested in delivering a casual, laid-back open-world touring experience.

While Gran Turismo is for enthusiasts who want to blaze through racecourses with a more realistic representation of driving physics and car handling, Forza Motorsport 4 introduced the “Autovista” viewing mode in which you can get a detailed view of vehicle internals for specific car models. 

The Walking Dead

Based on one of the most popular TV series ever made, The Walking Dead is designed to be like an interactive movie. It’s choice-driven and can have multiple endings depending on how you interact with people. The attitude of your companions changes dynamically, which impacts how they react to your responses.

Over time, you can build a good or bad relationship with people. Occasionally, there will be action segments based on QTEs. You can interact with objects in your environment by picking them up and examining them.

Halo 4

Halo 4 is simultaneously one of the biggest disappointments and an extremely misunderstood game. After Bungie left, 343i tried to revitalize the Halo formula without copying too much from their predecessors.

They did a good job, including content from the Halo novels and comics, stuff that extended universe fans loved. However, this also introduced a gap in the narrative for normal people who have just played the games. 

You had all these new characters and plotlines that didn’t make any sense. Plus, the main bad guy is dispatched in a very anti-climactic fashion at the end. 

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection

The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection contains several games released for the MSX2 and PS2. Including Peace Walker, which is a game originally developed for the PSP. All games in the HD collection have been remastered with updated resolution and graphics, but the gameplay/ plot remains unchanged.

Forza Horizon

Forza Horizon can be considered a spin-off derived from Motorsport, and it has its own storyline. Forza Motorsport is for professional racing, while Horizon is based on street racing. There is a racing challenge called the Horizon Festival, set in Colorado.

And you start out from the bottom, gradually winning races while earning better cars. One interesting thing about Forza Horizon is that certain events will drive you off-road. There are rallies in which you transition between mud, tarmac, water, etc.

Rayman Legends

It’s a direct sequel to 2011’s Rayman Origins, which introduced a drop-in anytime style of co-op gameplay. That same concept is carried forward by Rayman Legends- your friends can join and leave whenever they wish through local multiplayer. Levels are designed with co-op gameplay in mind, and you can switch between various playable characters.

Bioshock Infinite

A tale set within an alternate universe in which a former Pinkerton detective is sent to find a missing woman named Elizabeth. The location is a giant floating city called Columbia.

You have conventional weapons like pistols and rifles in addition to telekinetic powers and spells. The game’s world design is heavily inspired by Steampunk and explores various complex topics like slavery, corporatism, etc. 

Saints Row: The Third

People often like to say that the 4th Saints Row game is where it all went berserk and off the rails. After all, you had alien invasions and superman powers in that game. However, Saints Row: The Third is where this series started to derail from its more grounded premise and turned into a unique flavor of open-world gangster crime drama.

The 3rd game manages to strike a good balance between serious storytelling and wacky side elements. It’s no longer a GTA clone but a unique open-world action game with its own identity. And it lets you customize literally every aspect of your character- from body type to clothing and vehicles. 

L.A. Noire

Rockstar is famous for making open-world action games like GTA and RDR. However, few remember that these guys also have a pretty good track record when it comes to noir. Max Payne is a detective thriller with noir elements, and L.A. Noire is a proper Noire game.

You have all the classic noir tropes packaged into a sleekly polished open-world detective simulator. The game has an excellent narrative and a wide cast of intriguing characters who all have their own motivations and secrets. While you’re solving cases, there is a main story narrative that progresses simultaneously, leading up to the climax of this game.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

A game that’s based on Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s adult cartoon series called South Park. It is basically an interactive version of the TV show, featuring all the same characters (and popular locations from the show). The boys are playing a real-life fantasy RPG, with everyone picking up roles such as Mage, Thief, Assassin, etc.

You are the new kid in town and partner with Cartman’s team of humans who are fighting against elves led by Kyle. While all this is going on, a UFO crashes in the middle of South Park. You meet various South Park characters like Satan, Mr. Hankey, Jesus, etc., and can even summon these guys into battle after partnering with them. 

Alan Wake

Remedy has been creating innovative games ever since it was conceived as a game studio. Max Payne, Control, Quantum Break, etc. Storytelling is done in a very unconventional manner when compared with regular AAA cinematic games.

Alan Wake is another one of those cases. It feels more like a thriller TV series than a video game. And the story is even told in an episodic fashion, with plenty of twists and turns. Alan Wake combines elements of psychological horror with action gameplay. 

Conclusion

The Xbox 360 and PS3 are both 7th-generation consoles that will be remembered fondly for many years to come. Both belong to an era of gaming that is very unlikely to be replicated. This was way before always-online, F2P, microtransactions, etc.

Exclusives were more prevalent (on both sides), and the consoles used truly custom hardware. Not modified PC chips like what you see on the new Xbox and PlayStation. Besides, some of the best years for modern gaming took place during the 7th gen console era.

Games such as Mass Effect, Skyrim, GTA IV, BioShock, NFS Most Wanted, CoD MW, etc., were released during this time. Today, the AAA games industry focuses on producing sequels/ prequels for IPs that were released over a decade ago. It’s like trying to capture lightning in a bottle.

Jacob

As long as I can remember myself I always enjoyed video games. I had amazing moments playing them and that's why I became a game developer, to create amazing experiences for the players. Read More About Me

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts