As the next-generation of consoles hit store shelves, many early adopters are flocking to snatch these units up at a record pace. Lost in the whirlwind that is the Xbox One and PS4, some kids around the world are making their first foray into the current generation. TechRaptor is here to help, as we give you the Top 10 must-have games for the Xbox 360.
10. Alan Wake
Alan Wake hit the 360 back in 2010 to rave reviews. The game was a different take being a psychological horror game and focusing on the story itself. The game is divided into an “epidode” like format, making it feel as if you were watching a TV show unfold before your eyes. Gameplay wise, it focused on utilizing a flashlight as your main and most powerful weapon. Without shining it on your foes, your guns and other weapons had virtually no effect whatsoever on them. Using the power of light is your one and only chance at surviving your surroundings in Alan Wake. A great story, coupled with a different type of gameplay, and varying amounts of action mixed with solid dialogue make Alan Wake a solid 360 exclusive and a must-have in the horror genre.
9. Left 4 Dead
L4D is a great multiplayer game developed by Valve. The game is set after a post pandemic Pennsylvania where you and 3 friends fight your way through hoards of zombies to survive. The games concept is pretty simple. Shoot and kill zombies and move to the extraction point. But it’s so much deeper than that. There’s so much emphasis on cooperating together, that it’s truly imperative for your survival. On top of that, Valve introduced new technology they called “The Director,” that varies the games pace and difficulty depending on how well you were playing and the strength of your team. This pacing, is what keeps gamers playing for hours. No game will ever play the same and it always seems fresh each and every time. Couple that with a solid versus game, pitting survivors versus zombies, L4D is a classic online game and truly revolutionized the co-op campaign and helped forge the way to what we now have today with co-op.
8. Batman: Arkham City
RockSteady Games hit the scene hard with their first foray into the Batman saga with Batman:Arkham Asylum. Their follow-up, Arkham City not only continues the great story telling from the classic DC character, but now sets it in an open world format allowing you to truly be the bat. Boasting one of the best fighting concepts in all of gaming, AC lets you fully realize the awesomeness that is Batman. You have various gadgets and now the ability to use your grapple hook and soar through the sky at will, planning your strike from various angles to give you the upper hand. The true sense of being able to strategize how you attack a situation is the beauty of the game. Do you run in and brawl with the group of thugs? Or, do you tactically take them down from the sky one by one, without ever being seen? With the great gameplay, you also have a solid story for the main campaign, as well as 15 side missions that total, can keep you busy anywhere from 25-40 hours. We finally have a great comic book video game series as Batman hits the mark to make this one of the most fun single player games to hit the market.
Irrational Games original in the BioShock series, takes place in an undersea utopia called Rapture, that was suppose to be the future of the worlds metropolitan cities. You play the role of Jack, who was in a devastating plane crash that kills everyone on board except him. You escape the aftermath by swimming to a nearby lighthouse that eventually takes you to the city of Rapture. Here, you notice things aren’t quite right and a voice through the intercom system needs your help desperately, as well as informs you that your family has been taken from the wreckage and is being held captive. Here is when things get freaky. The story itself, I won’t spoil, but I will say that it’s cleverly written coupled with some great moments that will have your heart pounding, especially when you first encounter the games most formidable foe, the Big Daddy. With tense moments, solid gameplay, and a gorgeous setting to look at, BioShock is a classic when it comes to the current gen consoles.
6. Gears of War Trilogy
Gears of War became the first big blockbuster for the Xbox 360 with the 1st of the series released in November of 2006. It became the quinessential game of showing off the power of the new consoles, especially the Xbox 360 with the the best graphics to date. It also catapulted the developer Epic Games and their Unreal Engine as being the gaming engine of choice throughout the current generation. You follow the story of Marcus Fenix and his squadmates through an intense, and fierce battle with an alien race known as the Locust. Being a 3rd person shooter, it was a change of pace compared to other shooters out there and was one of the first to have co-op mode for it’s campaign, now a standard when it comes to video game shooters. The story itself itself isn’t the greatest, but the gameplay is what makes this series standout. The action sequences and overall quality of the game itself make this a fantastic series to own.
5. Halo 4
Many gamers, including myself, were skeptical when Bungie announced they were moving on from the Halo series and wouldn’t be a part of the developement for Halo 4. 343 Industries stepped in and not only surprised everyone, but knocked it out of the park with their adaption in the series. Halo 4 was a huge step up graphically from Halo 3 as well as advanced the story into a new frontier with the addition of the Promethean race alongside the Covenant. With the return of Master Chief, you are now forced to fight two distinctly different types of aliens with different weapons, movements, and tactics. This added wrinkle gives the gamer a refreshing feel to the series and actually adds more depth and fun to playing the campaign either solo, or over Xbox Live with 3 other friends. The big addition, is definitely the multiplayer side of things. This being Halo, 343 made sure they gave the online community some love and added the new cinematic episode content called Spartan Ops. Here, you join up with friends to take on the Covenant in different cinematic scenarios that takes place directly after the campaigns story. The sheer mass of content in this game can keep you busy for hours, and we haven’t even gotten into the upgraded versus multiplayer mode! If you haven’t played the previous Halo’s, don’t fret. Halo 4 is a great intro and you can catch up on the rest of the story through various websites and YouTube videos.
4. Bioshock: Infinite
Irrational Games hit the scene big with their original title Bioshock and continued their success with the 3rd entry, Infinite. With fantastic graphics, a solid audio track, and a great story, Infinite lived up to and surpassed the original with flying colors. Playing as Booker DeWitte, you are tasked with rescuing a girl from Columbia, a floating metropolis full of exploration, power ups, and bad guys. You are thrown into the middle of a civil war between the lower class rebels and the upper class ruling founders. As you move you way through this floating city, you can power up your weapons as well as collect and upgrade different plasmids throughout your adventure. The twists and turns within the story line are fantastic as well as helps keep you on your toes and stays away from cookie-cutter bits we are accustomed to with games. Couple this fantastic story with feasible 1st person shooter gameplay, and you get one of the most highly rated games to come out this gen.
Take it from me though, at least play the original Bioshock BEFORE you jump into Infinite. You’ll thank me later!
3. Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar has been the darling developer of this current generation, and GTA:V is nothing short of a solid release, perhaps their best and most ambitious yet. You get the massive open-world type of gameplay Rockstar is known for, but this time the story is much better than past GTA games. Before you controlled the main protagonist, but this time you can switch between three different characters as their story arcs weave and intersect between each other. Boasting solid graphics, a fantastic audio track, and a workable multiplayer, GTA:V is one of the best games to come out on the current gen consoles.
2.The Orange Box
The Orange Box developed by Valve, is one of the best values you can get in gaming. Packed into one box, you get Half Life 2, two expansion packs in Half Life 2: Episode 1 and 2, Team Fortress 2 multiplayer, and the addictive puzzle game Portal. The 360 version is a fantastic version, and differs from the PS3 version as the former was developed by Valve themselves, while the PS3 version was developed and published by a team at EA. There’s so much content here that it’s tough to decide where to start. The Half Life series is a fantastic, 1st person shooter than is beloved by many for it’s weapons, level design, and overall story. Portal, is one of the highest rated and critically acclaimed due to it’s addicting gameplay and it’s revolution of the puzzle type of gameplay. Team Fortress 2 is an over the top, competitive multiplayer mode that utilizes different classes to make each game feel different and unique. The other great thing about TF2 is it’s not just a Team Deathmatch type of game mode. It’s an objective based multiplayer that varies throughout each game giving it a fresh feel each time.
1. Mass Effect Trilogy
For those who played Mass Effect, words are hard to describe the passion and love that we have with this series. Bioware did a masterful job weaving together a great story, fantastic graphics that were ground breaking for each release, solid gameplay mechanics, and the ability to carry a character from each game. When other games have created sequels, you’ve had to endure the general outcome that the game developers designed for their characters, not giving you much wiggle room with what happens. Not in Mass Effect! There are plot lines and major character decisions that you make along your journey that will have a tremendous impact on not only the events through that particular game, but also as you continue through the saga of series entirely. If a character dies in ME1, don’t expect them to be a part of your story through the 2nd and 3rd games. This breakthrough in game story telling gives you a sense of emotional attachment to each character, further immersing you into the world that is Mass Effect. When you take this type of story telling, and weave into a rich, well-thought out world that Bioware created, the hours add up until you’ve spent the majority of your day exploring. This is, hands down the best series to come out for the Xbox 360.
EDIT: One bonus, with ME 1 being originally an exclusive to the 360, you can purchase it stand-alone before you buy the other two titles, unlike the PS3 version, where you can only purchase the trilogy.
Honorable Mention: Forza 4, Call of Duty 2, Geometry Wars 2, Minecraft, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, The Walking Dead: The Game, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, Red Dead Redemption, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.