My Top 10 Favorite Xbox 360 Video Games

I wrote up that "favorite software products" blog entry and someone asked me, "Hey Kurt – so what floats your boat on the 360?" 

He’d just went out and gotten a brand new Xbox 360 Elite because (and this seems to be running theme amongst video gamers this summer) he’d bought a Nintendo Wii in part because he thought his girlfriend would play more… buuuuuut it turns out: Not so much.  Then add to that, the fact that he’s pretty much "over" the hype:  "There’s only so much Twilight Princess & Wii Sports" you can play.  Meanwhile all the good games are on the 360."  (His words – not mine.)

So in tribute to my friend and his newly acquired Xbox 360 Elite here are my Top 10 Favorite Xbox 360 Games:

10) CALL OF DUTY 2/3
This is the first game (CoD2) that I seriously played over and over again.  It’s gorgeous and it really feels like you’re in the middle of World War 2.  CoD3 improves on the successful formula and the funny thing is that CoD really wasn’t initially hailed as a serious must-have game for the Xbox 360 platform. 

9) MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE
So many characters to play with so many powers… so little time.  This game is one in a long history of "play the superhero" type games.  The first classic was 6-way XMen in the arcades… and that was a real quarter eater.  This is better.

8) FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 3
No one can deny that Fight Night Round 3 is truly one of the most spectacularly beautiful games.  It’s the closest that we’ve come in video games to making real time renders of human characters that look realistic.  The only problem is the single player game is absolutely no fun.  You have to compete against someone else because there’s simply nothin’ better than stickin’ it to a friend then hearing him say, "Hey, how about 2 out of 3?"

7) VIVA PINATA
There was too much hype around this game for it ever to have become as popular as it deserved but Viva Pinata is just a really nicely done game that has a lot going for it.  It’s pretty, it’s got good game play… it’s a little laborious at times but the interaction with other players over Xbox Live is great and the entire game is an interesting concept so points for creativity.

6) HALO 2
It’s Halo, stupid.  Nuff said.

5) ELDER SCROLLS: OBLIVION
This is the biggest bargain ever.  There has never been a console game created that was bigger than this.  Not Grand Theft Auto.  Not Crackdown.  Not True Crime.  Nothing comes close to the size and scope of this game.  I don’t think anyone will EVER do everything in this game… and then to top it all off they have an incredible expansion pack that you can purchase online called Shivering Isles which is more great gameplay.  This is truly a special game.

4) CRACKDOWN
I didn’t think I was gonna like this game.  Created by the guy that invented Grand Theft Auto, this is a massive massive sand box type game where you’re a supercop with extraordinary abilities like superspeed, superstrength, and the ability to "leap tall buildings" which is the best part of the game – jumping from rooftop to rooftop amongst the skyscrapers.  Oh yeah and there’s car driving, all kinds of weapons, and lots of "easter eggs" to find to give you more powers.

3) HALO 3
You can put two & two together as to why I’ve listed this at #3 even though it’s not released yet, and no, I’m not going to say another word except to repeat the mantra that all Microsoft gamers live by:  The first rule of Pimps at Sea is you do not talk about Pimps at Sea.

2) GUITAR HERO 2
I knew this was gonna be a hit the moment I found out it was coming to Xbox 360 last year and sure enough… you can’t find them in stores.  You can find tons of the PS2 version along with PS2 guitars but not the 360.  Keep in mind that the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero 2 has a new better designed guitar, online scores and rankings so you can compare yourself to your friends, downloadable songs that you can purchase online, exclusive Xbox 360-only music, and lots of other great goodies.

…and finally… 

1) GEARS OF WAR
The best way to describe Gears is very simply this:  The problem with most first person shooters like Halo is that when you get position and you get the right weapons, there’s very little chance of you losing.  A person with a sniper rifle that knows where to shoot from is virtually unkillable so if te other team gets the right weapons and the right position, you might as well throw in the towel.

…but not Gears of War.  If your entire squad gets killed, none of your opponents have been shot, and you’re the last one on your team standing… guess what, son?  You still have a very good chance of winning.  The game is designed so that even if there’s only one person left on your team, you can still win, and it’s very feasible that you could do it… it’s not like it’s an impossibility.  I’ve done it myself where my team has gone down 4 against 1 (me being the last-teammember-standing) and I killed all 4 opponents allowing us to win the game.

——————

YEAH, BUT WHAT ABOUT…
Hey!  You left out game X?!?  How could you leave that out?  Folks – there are some games that I just didn’t take to.  Yes, I own them – hell – I buy virtually every game out there for the Xbox 360 unless I know I’m going to have virtually no interest in it (Like Def Jam Icon for instance) but they’re sitting on the shelf collecting dust.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
That’s right.  I didn’t like it.  It’s a gorgeous game – don’t get me wrong.  But I found it BORING with a capital B.  Proponents -co-workers of mine – dismiss my opinion usually by cavalierly saying, "Bah – you’re just a run-and-gun no-strategy Halo junkie" and to that I say, I don’t know if that sanctimonious response is a sign that GRAW players think they’re somehow "more sophisticated gamers" than Master Chief wannabes but apparently, they’re in the minority.  According to Major Nelson, the

Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars
Yeah, hold your horses on this one.  I haven’t actually received Command & Conquer 3 yet but I fully anticipate this game tearing a path straight through the center of my top 10 favorites.  I just haven’t gotten some serious hands on time with it yet and until I do, I can’t adequately judge it yet.  The following upcoming games fall into this same category:
Command & Conquer 3- Tiberium Wars
Darkness
Shadowrun
Two Worlds
Stranglehold
– Bioshock
– Mass Effect

Rainbow Six Vegas
I honestly haven’t played this one yet.  It’s sitting on the shelf but to be honest, I don’t think it’ll make the cut.  It just doesn’t have a very good track record and I haven’t heard glowing things about the game.

Madden 07
This one’s easy.  I just don’t like football games much.  I don’t like the NFL and I’m not fond of Madden.

———————

HONORABLE MENTIONS
There are probably a few honorable mentions:

  • Xbox Live Arcade Unleashed
  • Texas Hold’em
  • Star Trek Legacy
  • Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth 2
  • NBA 2K7
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