DAR Games: 6 Important Xbox 360 Video Games
So we’ve gotten the GameCube and Dreamcast out of the way and it’s time to move to the next console in our series of retrospectives, The Xbox 360. Now the toughest part of doing a console from this era is the 360/PS3 era is really when multi-platform gaming became commonplace and it helped to fuel the continuing (and idiotic) console wars. In most cases, your preference came down to comfort with the controller. For me, even having grown up on the PlayStation controllers, I owned the 360. I hated the way the PS3’s DualShock felt. This didn’t stop me from playing on my Dad’s PS3 but it did stop me from having one of my own. The point I’m making with this is that Microsoft has had some difficulty securing truly classic exclusive games and many of the best games on the system could be found on another. As a matter of fact, a couple games on this list can be found on the PC but as far as consoles go, they were only on 360, so they’ll be treated as 360 games. However, the 360 was not without its own great games and I’ll be highlighting some of them here as well (Isn’t it weird that my longest intro came on the most recent of the consoles I’ve done so far? Because I felt the need to explain this? My GAWD, Microsoft do better).
*Gears of War 1-3
-These are hands down my favorite games on the 360. I bought an Xbox One just to get 4 because of the first three games in this series. The GoW series pioneered the third person shooter as we know it now and I will maintain to this day that it is one of the most well written series in all of gaming. This was a story of war (obviously), survival, family and brotherhood. If you don’t feel something when Dom sacrifices himself in GoW 3 with MadWorld playing in the background, there’s something wrong with you. Speaking of MadWorld, the first GoW gave us a top 5 game trailer of all time with its introductory trailer and throughout the series, we were treated to some of the beat CG trailers in gaming. An impressive showing of story and music mashed together that made for an incredible enhancement of what we got in the games. For me this is a classic series in gaming, not just on the 360.
-One of the big console exclusives on the 360, this was an open world adventure that saw gamers taking control of a biologically enhanced Agent that fought crime. Sounds awesome right? Well it was, but like another game on this list, it didn’t live up to the premise and the sequel didn’t necessarily help. So why is this game on the list? Because it is in fact a very good game but it’s also one of the best selling 360 games and one of the first games to really do numbers on the console.
-This is the game I spoke of in the Crackdown section. If you want to talk about a game and a series that was all potential and broken promises? Fable was it. But again, it was still a very good game. It just couldn’t deliver on the greatness we were promised and as such, it became sort of a punchline in the gaming community when developers promise a lot and don’t deliver. But don’t let that distract you from what is a solid and innovative experience. The foundation is there for one of the most immersive and expansive RPG experiences ever but that’s all it really is, a foundation. Just a really good foundation. A lot of Fable II’s ideas were done better by games like Mass Effect, Fallout and Skyrim. But don’t forget how we got there. This game still deserves to be played and recognized.
-One of the true classics on the 360 and the third entry in the legendary Halo franchise, Halo 3 is the best selling 360 exclusive and the second best selling 360 title overall. Did the Halo franchise pioneer anything? Not necessarily. It did have one of the biggest multiplayer followings in gaming and it improved on a lot of features we’ve seen in gaming. But games don’t have to do something first to be considered great. The fact is, Halo 3’s multiplayer is in my opinion the best in the series and the single player campaign left gamers in a much better place than Halo 2, because cliffhanger endings in gaming SUCK.
*Left 4 Dead 2
-Did I skip the first game? Nah. It just wasn’t as good as this. L4D2 improves on EVERYTHING from the first game. This was one of the best games of the generation to me because it truly reacted to what you and your teammates were doing. Filling the screen with zombies and having each of the special zombies mean something to gameplay added a ridiculous amount of tension to what was already an incredibly atmospheric game. And if you were the teammate that felt the need to wake up the Witch, you’re a jerk. Valve left us wanting a third and there were rumors for a while but they’ve gone quiet again. There’s always E3 next year though.
*Splinter Cell: Conviction
-Yeah. A Splinter Cell game. As much as I loved the original games and even liked Double Agent, this was the game that made the series for me. There was still an emphasis on stealth as in the other games but it was much more action oriented than previous entries and that was to the series’ benefit. Sam Fisher worked better as a Jason Bourne type that could clear out a room in a couple minutes and that’s exactly what you could do with the Mark and Execute feature that allowed you to tag a certain number of enemies in the room and take them out quickly in a single button press. Now it sounds like a “win” button, but the ability to Mark and Execute still had to be earned through stealth kills. The game rewarded you for being a badass but giving you another way to be a badass. Can’t go wrong there.
I loved my Xbox. But as I said, it was a comfort thing for me. Microsoft just hasn’t come through with its own heavy hitters like it needs to. As great as these games are, it just doesn’t compare to what Nintendo and Sony are doing. I’ve always held out hope that Microsoft figures it out in the exclusive realm so maybe the next couple years will bring even more greatness. They have classics in them, they just have to bring it out.