5 best Xbox 360 games (kind of)
The other day a friend asked my advice about what game she should buy as a gift to her partner who liked the Assassin’s Creed franchise. My immediate response was that she should go for a Prince of Persia game as they offer similar acrobatics-based gameplay. Then I had a flight home — and thus time to ponder the question — and came up with this: A List of Games Any Xbox 360 Owner Should Have.
I only recommend games that I have played so don’t be surprised if some of the best known titles are missing from my list. I just haven’t gotten around to playing them yet.
Fable II. I absolutely loved the story and the characters and, though others may tell you otherwise, I found both to be much deeper than the standard fantasy roleplaying fare. I also respect Molyneux’s efforts to make the game accessible to everyone. I haven’t yet played Fable III but I have very high expectations (and no, I have not fallen prey to Molyneux’s pathological overpromising; I tend to not pay attention to his propaganda.)
Fallout 3. The best game I played last year. The “50s USA”-inspired aesthetics and soundtrack almost make the game worthy of attention by themselves. Add to that an engaging and emotional story, a gorgeously realised version of a post-apocalyptic Washington, DC, and a combat system that could be played either as a shooter or as a strategy and you get a must-have title regardless of the platform you own. (I actually played Fallout 3 on my PS3, but the Xbox 360 version is equally good.) If at all possible, try to get the Game of the Year edition, as some of the DLC is very good indeed. I felt Fallout: New Vegas was a step away from the brilliance of Fallout 3, but it is also worth checking out especially if you liked the latter.
Left 4 Dead. With so many zombie games out there it can be hard to decide which ones are actually any good. Rest assured that you cannot go wrong if you pick up L4D. It manages to completely emulate the feeling I imagine one would experience if one were the protagonist of a zombie flick. It is frantic, chaotic and brutal and has what has been called the best co-op multiplayer ever, though personally I don’t much care for online multiplayer. Left 4 Dead 2, which I haven’t played, is supposed to be more of the same, but even more polished, so definitely also worth a look.
Mass Effect. I’ve never been a huge Star Trek fan, mainly because I felt — even as a child — that the acting was appalling. Mass Effect fixes that by taking a typical space opera story and replacing the incompetent actors with CGI avatars and strong voice talent who do a much superior job. I have yet to play Mass Effect 2 but Vanya swears it’s even better and I’m inclined to believe her.
Prince of Persia (the one that has no subtitle). Many people didn’t like this one, especially long-standing fans of the franchise. I however found it to a beautiful, thoughtful and touching tale that was unafraid to break away from traditional PoP tropes while retaining all the best things from other games in the series. I also thought it was very innovative in removing death from the experience and was sad when fan outrage scared off other developers who might have gone that way.
So these are the five (or nine) games I recommend everybody should play on their Xbox 360. What are yours?