Top 10 Favorite Xbox 360 Games
I loved the Xbox 360. It was my first foray into non-Nintendo gaming since the Sega Genesis. I had a Wii at the time as well, and it was pretty eye-opening moving from playing mostly just first-party Nintendo titles on the Wii to playing all sorts of genres I hadn’t really experienced on Nintendo’s consoles!
I’m mostly ranking these based on how much I enjoyed the single-player components each game had to offer. That said, there are definitely a few on this list where I had a ton of fun playing the multi-player with friends, and that may have influenced my decision for a few of them!
10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
I may have spent most of my time in this game playing co-op in the player vs. environment Terrorist Hunt mode, but I played through and enjoyed the single-player campaign too! I even played Terrorist Hunt solo from time to time, but it’s a very different experience compared to playing with friends. In the campaign, there’s just something satisfying about commanding your small squad. I always liked this game!
9. Dead Space
Exploring the Ishimura, a derelict spaceship infested with mutilated, animated corpses called necromorphs, was a terrifying but gripping experience. Also, the fact that main character Isaac Clarke is an engineer instead of a soldier or other trained fighter is pretty refreshing. I love the fact that almost the entire game takes place aboard this single, massive spaceship. It occasionally gives it a sort of Metroidvania feel, and I definitely enjoy that!
8. Gears of War
For some reason, I’ve always liked the first Gears of War game the best. I think part of the reason is that the Gears universe was largely unexplained at that point. The story in Gears of War is minimal, and the details of the conflict between humanity and the Locusts are only vaguely explained. Future games would shed a lot more light on the world and the war, but I kind of like the mystery of the first game. There’s also nostalgic attachment for me, since I marathoned this game with a friend before I ever owned an Xbox 360, and that will always be a great memory! The sequels to Gears of War might be better mechanically, but the first one will always hold a special place in my heart.
7. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game
The iconic chiptune soundtrack by Anamanaguchi and great pixel art visuals really elevate this beat ‘em up to new heights. If you’re a fan of the Scott Pilgrim comics and movie like I am, then you’ll also enjoy all the references to the source material scattered throughout the levels. The RPG mechanics make parts of this weirdly grindy, at least I remember them being that way. Maybe I just wasn’t very good. Even so, I love this game, and I really hope the recent rumors about a potential re-release come to fruition!
6. Tales of Vesperia
I got into the Tales series with Tales of Symphonia on the GameCube. After that, I wasn’t able to play the next few games in the series since I didn’t own a PS2. When I eventually got an Xbox 360, I realized there was a Tales game on it, Tales of Vesperia, and had to pick up a copy since I had such fond memories of Symphonia. I was very impressed with the visuals here. Cel-shaded graphics tend to age pretty well in my experience, and I assume Vesperia is no exception. The battle system improved a lot since Symphonia, and I had a great time with it!
I haven’t played Tales of Vesperia in years, so my memory of it has faded quite a bit in that time. I remember enjoying it though, and that’s one of the reasons I’m looking forward to playing the Definitive Edition. It’ll be sort of like experiencing this great game for the first time all over again!
5. Halo: Reach
My friends and I played a ton of Halo: Reach when it originally launched. It’s kind of funny that we’re playing Halo: Reach again now that it’s on PC as part of the Master Chief Collection. I enjoyed Reach’s campaign quite a bit, so much that I even challenged myself to complete it on Legendary, the hardest difficulty, in single-player. It was definitely a challenging and frustrating experience, but I am pretty proud to have that achievement unlocked!
4. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
I haven’t really played any of the earlier Splinter Cell games. Jumping into the series with Conviction, I didn’t know Sam Fisher at all. But Conviction quickly led me to form an opinion on him: Sam Fisher is awesome. For the uninitiated, Sam Fisher is the main character of the Splinter Cell series. He’s highly trained; a master of stealth, firearms, and hand-to-hand combat. Conviction follows him as he goes off the grid to track down his daughter’s murderer.
I love that Sam has very few allies in Conviction. It basically feels like it’s you against the world. Controlling Sam and winning against those odds is an great feeling. I love the stealth mechanics, and played through the Story at least a few times. One of those was on the hardest difficulty, Realistic, and while I’m sure I died numerous times along the way, I eventually beat the single-player Story mode on that difficulty.
3. Assassin’s Creed II
This was the last Assassin’s Creed game I really got into. I played Revelations after this but wasn’t as invested in it, and after that I tried III and Unity but couldn’t get into either one so I stopped playing. But Assassin’s Creed II is one of the few Xbox 360 games I unlocked 100% of the achievements for. It was just so good, I couldn’t stop playing! The numerous improvements to the experience since the first game made it even better, and watching protagonist Ezio Auditore grow and progress over the course of the story was really cool. I don’t remember many details about the gameplay or story, but I remember how much I enjoyed playing this one, and that’s enough to earn it this spot on my list.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
One of the first games I owned and played on Xbox 360 was The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. It absolutely blew my mind. As I mentioned, prior to this I’d only been gaming on Nintendo consoles for several prior console generations, so the open world RPG gameplay of Oblivion left me stunned. The world was so huge and I could go anywhere I wanted, and do anything I wanted! I played a ton of Oblivion, and it left me looking forward to the next game in the series, whenever that would be released.
That next game was, of course, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and it blew me away all over again. It looked so much better than its predecessor, and I was immersed like never before. Just like Cyrodiil before it, I fell in love with the wide expanses of Skyrim and the medieval fantasy, action RPG gameplay. Plus, you get to battle huge dragons, and literally absorb their souls to grow your own powers. Skyrim remains one of my favorite games thanks to the more recent Special Edition and an active modding scene for the PC version.
Dishonored is such a special game to me. I love the steampunk nature of the world. The level design is fantastic, and the supernatural abilities at your disposal allow for an awesome amount of freedom. All those elements combine to create a game that I just kept coming back to. The campaign is quite short, making repeat playthroughs easy to commit to. I played through it several times, completing it without alerting anyone, without killing anyone, and even doing both in one playthrough! Plus, there’s also the great 2 part DLC where you play as a different character, Daud, with different abilities in a shorter but equally well designed and fun campaign.
Thinking back on how much I enjoyed playing Dishonored, it’s only natural I put it as my favorite game on Xbox 360. I hope developer Arkane Studios brings us back to the Dishonored universe someday, but even if that never happens I’ll always be able to go back and enjoy Dishonored and its sequels!