Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Staff0
The Top 10 Xbox 360 Games
With less than 24 hours until the Xbox One launches, the sun is setting on Microsoft’s second system. Since it launched in 2005, the Xbox 360 has given gamers a ton of great titles exclusive to it. As such, we here at Critically Sane have sat down and come up with the ten games we felt were our collective favorites. While there are titles that each of us individually would have liked to see make the list (Crackdown, Dance Central 2, Toy Soldiers, Viva Pinata, Fable II etc…) these are the titles that defined the console for us as a group and while there is an overabundance of Halo and Gears on this list, we could have filled it exclusively with those titles so, I guess there is that.
10. Halo 3: ODST
Nathan Fillion, after his time as captain in Firefly, remains a cult hero in sci-fi circles. He was strong, yet vulnerable, more human in a way than other of his ilk appeared to be. Bungie was able to tap into this for their release of Halo 3: ODST, the story of a group of elite human commandos fighting the covenant during the events of Halo 3. the ODSTs weren’t quite Spartans, and the game showcased a new Halo experience with a weaker (but still powerful) protagonist. The story was compelling (if short), but I think the game’s biggest contribution was its Firefight multiplayer option. Often imitated by other games, this allowed you and some friends to battle through wave upon wave of incoming enemies. This was an awesome experience, one which has become core to both Halo and other series.
~ Tony Odett
9. Alan Wake
One of the most important aspects of storytelling in games is building a world that players can believe in. Few companies do this better than Remedy Entertainment. The world they created in Alan Wake is heavily inspired by Stephen King’s fiction and the cult classic television show, Twin Peaks and it oozes with this inspiration at every turn. But for all the fantastical and horrific elements the game contains because of those inspirations, it remains grounded with Alan feeling like a real person inhabiting a real world. And that makes Alan Wake stand out as something special.
~ Chris Scott
8. Left 4 Dead
Left 4 Dead was one of the first great multiplayer games on the Xbox 360. Somewhat of a sleeper hit at release, Value really hit it out of the park with a game that was at times terrifying yet always enjoyable. The characters were memorable and everyone had a favorite they liked to play with. While the game itself was only a couple of hours long, the levels were randomly generated so every playthrough was a little different than the last. Left 4 Dead created many fun nights and anyone that has played it will remember the anxiety you felt when you heard the Witch crying.
~ Cyrus Fayazi
7. Gears of War 3
Gears of War reshaped the modern third person shooter. Its sequel took everything and made it bigger and more bad ass. And then Gears 3 hit taking everything from the first two games, adding in some new modes and features for good measure and put it all into a super polished package that still stands as one of the best game suites of this generation. Bells and whistles aside though, what Gears 3 does best is deliver excellent mechanical gameplay that is a ton of fun to play, something a lot of other games this generation have forgotten how to accomplish.
~ Chris Scott
6. Halo 3
Anyone at Xbox 360’s launch who was there at the dawn of the original Xbox asked the same question: where is my Halo game? The wait for Halo 3 seemed endless, as the cliffhanger ending of Halo 2 hung over our heads, and the chance to finish the fight proved an all too bitter reminder of that game’s sudden finale. Thankfully, Halo 3 lived up to its promise, allowing up to bring a close to Master Chief’s original trilogy in a fitting and entertaining way. More importantly, it re-established Halo as a force in online multiplayer, reminding everyone that it was Halo that put Xbox and the Xbox Live service on the map.
~ Tony Odett
5. Shadow Complex
Say what you will about Nintendo, but they make great games and developers the world over copy their formulas in a hope of delivering something even a fraction as memorable as a Nintendo game. Shadow Complex unashamedly rips off the Metroid formula and does it near perfectly, so much so that it makes some of us long for a Nintendo made Metroid game in Shadow Complex’s 2.5D style perspective.
~ Chris Scott
4. Lost Odyssey
This generation has often been criticized for a lack of quality console JRPGs, Upon hearing any of this sort of criticism, I immediately point the offending party to Lost Odyssey, Mistwalker’s awesome effort considered by many to be the true heir to the Final Fantasy legacy. The game follows the quest of Kaim, one of several immortals caught up in quest by Gongora to conquer the world. The plot is deep, with many wonderful layers and some of the most touching moments seen in this entire generation (that funeral scene… one of the greatest gaming moments every). Yes, it is a turn-based RPG, something you normally see these days only on handhelds. But that rarity made it all the more precious, offering an experience unmatched by any JRPG on the market.
3. Gears of War
Every generation there are a handful of games that shape the future of the medium. Gears of War is one of those titles. Since its much-heralded debut, the game has been the standard bearer for third person shooters. Developers like Naughty Dog and Platinum have taken bits and pieces of the Gears formula to help make their games great, while others have taken bits and pieces to lesser success. One thing that Gears did, and in many cases still does better, is making the core mechanics fun to play. Killing the Locust Horde is satisfying in a way that few games this generation manage to be.
~ Chris Scott
2. Halo 4
When people think Halo, they think quality. They think this because series creator Bungie always gave their all in regards to the franchise. These guys bled Spartan blood but after Halo: Reach, they felt that needed to move on to new things. Microsoft couldn’t let Halo go though, it is too intrinsically tied to the image and success of their Xbox brand. And so they put together 343 Industries, a dream team of designers that had one thing in common, a mutual love of Halo. And what they delivered in Halo 4 is not only true to the legacy of the franchise, but a progressive step forward for it and one of the best games on the Xbox 360 console.
~ Chris Scott
1. Halo: Reach
Reach was a contradiction of sorts. This was a prequel to the events of the Halo trilogy, leading right into the events of the first Halo game. And yet, given that status as first, it was also the farewell effort of series developer Bungie. Unlike most prequels (see Gears: Judgment, Batman: Arkham Origins, God of War: Ascension) Bungie used this effort to showcase their mastery of the genre, offering what is largely the perfect first person shooter. With an incredible campaign with one of the best endings of all time, and a multiplayer suite offering so many different options as to make a user’s head swim, Halo: Reach is one of the few games that offered so much content as to be considered a steal even at its $60 release price. This was the ultimate Halo game, an homage to a great developer’s creation and a tribute to the quality of Xbox Live’s service and what it has meant to the industry as a whole.