My Top 8 XBox 360 Games

Posted: November 20, 2013 in Current Gaming, My Top 8
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Xbox 360

In honor of the Xbox One launching later this week, I felt this would be the perfect time to do a list for the Top 8 games from the Xbox 360.

Note: I realize that I’m skipping the original Xbox, but I never owned one and have only ever played a handful of games for the system. Were I to make one though, I’m sure that Fable would be the top game as of right now.

Also rans: Bioshock 2, Batman: Arkham City, Resident Evil 5, Dante’s Inferno, Darksiders, Burnout Paradise, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Dead Space 2

RB38. Rock Band 3
The Rock Band series is a hard one to rank. I’ve spent more time with this game than any other on my list, and probably any other game I’ve played in the past few years, but at the same time, I can’t rank it over the other games on this list because it doesn’t bring a traditional gaming experience. That said, I find it wonderfully entertaining, and with a library of over 3,000 downloadable songs, it is almost a guarantee that it will get old or repetitive. I realize that music/rhythm games have fallen on hard times (thanks Guitar Hero), but what Harmonix achieved with Rock Band 3 in terms of incorporating actual instruments versus simplified replicas must be admired. It also helps, in my case, that I love a variety of music and this game feeds that love. Just as a bit of trivia, my favorite “instrument” to play is Pro Drums. They just feel good.

de Blob 27. de Blob 2
It’s hard to explain the appeal of de Blob. If someone were to tell me that it’s a game in which you control a color changing blob that is painting a city, I would completely dismiss it. Instead, I bought the original for the Wii and loved it. Everything I love about the original was improved upon in the sequel. On it’s surface, it does seem like an odd premise, but somehow it works. Of all the games on my list, I think this one game gave me the most pure joy as I played through it. The story, told through comic panels and movie clips, is extremely comical, the music is top notch, but gameplay is where this odd little platformer truly shines. I can’t say how painting buildings doesn’t get old, but it doesn’t, which is a true testament to the developers of this hidden gem.

Ghostbusters6. Ghostbusters: The Video Game
This might has well of been called Ghostbusters 3. Written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and featuring nearly the entire cast of the original two movies, this game is worth playing for the story alone. That said, the gameplay is extremely well done and a ton of fun. The game uses a traditional third person shooter set-up, except you are attempting to wrangle ghosts instead of killing human enemies. Surprisingly, this game also has some scary moments. You’ll find yourself alone, separated from the other members of the team, facing some spooky stuff and it can be a bit intimidating. It would have been easy to slap Ghostbusters on the box and attempt to sell something shoddy off of the name, but it is nice to see that the developers made a game they can be very proud to stand behind and one that more than lives up to its namesake.

Fable 2 Xbox 360 video game image5. Fable 2
No game could possibly live up to the hype that Molyneux created for the Fable games but, if you can look past that hype, Fable 2 is truly a great game. While the moral choices are fairly black and white, the story and gameplay are extremely well done and well implemented, allowing you to play through the game in a way that you are most comfortable with. The ability to purchase houses and buildings returns from the original Fable, as does the ability to take multiple wives and set them up in different villages. Few games have caused me to linger around in the game world, doing odd jobs and tasks, just to avoid finishing the game and being done with the experience. This is one of the games that did so.

Arkham Asylum4. Batman: Arkham Asylum
Superhero games had fallen on hard times when Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum hit the scene. The game was released to great acclaim, with very good reason. Not only did Rocksteady craft a near perfect Batman game, they crafted a near perfect videogame. First of all, the gameplay is extremely well balanced, featuring a combat system that simply feels good when you get comfortable with it. Taking on a large group of foes is as satisfying as scratching an itch. Secondly, the game is chock full of characters from Batman’s rogue gallery, including the Joker as the ringleader, voiced brilliantly by Mark Hamill. Few foes missed the cut, and those that did were referenced in various easter eggs littered throughout the game. Finally, the graphics in the game are simply top notch. In all respects, Arkham Asylum is easily a game that will be standing the test of time years from now, when the current generation of consoles is just a memory.

If you’ve been following this blog or my Twitter account, you already know of my love for this quirky title. While NIER may not excel at everything it attempts to do, it somehow comes together brilliantly. No other game I’ve played uses the variety of play styles that NIER does, ranging from straight forward combat to sequences that are reminiscent of bullet hell games to a full-on text adventure. Accompanying the gameplay is a story that grabs your heartstrings and refuses to let go, long after you’ve finished the game and seen all four of the available endings. No mention of this game would be complete without referencing a soundtrack that is easily among the best ever included in a video game (and my personal favorite). Rarely will I praise and recommend a game this heavily, but NIER is a game that needs to be played to be fully appreciated. What it has can’t be adequately appreciated by reading a review or watching a few YouTube videos.

Dead Space2. Dead Space
Take Metroid’s sci-fi setting, add Resident Evil’s survival horror, and you have Dead Space. Whereas Resident Evil has never actually scared me, Dead Space kept me on edge my entire playthrough. Simply put, I never felt safe or secure in this game. I approached each new turn or room with a sense of dread, yet I had to continue on because the game was that absorbing. The heavy atmosphere is made easier to deal with through tight controls and excellently designed levels. Also included are an impressive array of weapons, each with upgradeable elements, an ability to stasis enemies to slow them down and better take them apart, and upgradeable suits to better protect yourself. Topping this off is the unique way you take on the Necromorph enemies. Instead of just pumping them with bullets, you must dismember them (then stomp on them, lest they later come back). Steering Isaac through the Necromorph infested ship could have been a nightmare for all the wrong reasons, but ultimately is scary for all of the right ones.

Bioshock1. Bioshock
This is one of those games that is much more than a game. It’s a narrative and experience that we just happen to be able to play. When the argument of whether or not video games are art comes up, this is the game I immediately think of using as an example that they very much are art. Set in the beautifully designed underwater city of Rapture, Bioshock introduces you to a society bent on self improvement and self worship, at any cost. Once an orderly paradise (supposedly), Rapture is in ruins once you arrive. As you explore the city, you uncover clues about the demise of the once vibrant metropolis via scribblings on the walls, overheard conversations, as well as recorded messages. Bioshock also pushes the boundaries of the assumptions we make in video games, right down to being fully in control of what our character does. If you’ve somehow never played this game, would you kindly pick up a copy? I’m certain you’ll more than enjoy it.

  1. brandonmc87 says:

    NIER and Arkham are great choices, though I’ve only played them on PS3. Though Arkham City surpassed Asylum in almost every category, you gotta give Asylum some dap for that chilling atmosphere. City never matched that level of darkness. I’d also give Asylum’s story the nod.

    If there’s one 360 game I’ve always wanted to play, it’s Tales of Vesperia. Of all places to stick a JRPG, why Xbox? Still baffles me…

    • JAVGB says:

      I’m sure Microsoft paid heavily to get Tales of Vesperia. Seems to be their business model.

      I’m pretty sure the PS3 versions matched what was on the 360. I know most people preferred Arkham City, but I actually thought that Asylum was the better game. I enjoyed the Claustrophobic atmosphere and cat and mouse that went on in that title. I’m not knocking City, it was fantastic, I just felt Asylum still edged it out.

  2. Ash says:

    Amazing to see a list so different from one that I would’ve written, but if there’s any game here I can vouch for it’s Fable 2.

    Terrific game, shame about the sequel!

    • JAVGB says:

      I’m hearing that quite a bit about Fable 3. Makes me wonder if I should play it at all.

      With more recent consoles, I’ve noticed that my taste in games has veered further and further away from most peoples. I expect very few people would have most of these games on their “top” list for the 360.

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