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  • Ultimate Xbox 360 Library

    Posted on December 7th, 2006 Finster No comments

    The Xbox 360 has been out for a year now, and I’ve played a lot of games at this point. I thought I’d lay out some of the titles I think are the must-own games for this platform. These are the games that you’ll want to buy if you’re thinking about picking one up for Christmas.

    Games that don’t require Xbox Live

    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (94 on gamerankings) – this is easily the best (and one of the only) single-player RPG’s on the platform. It does have its flaws, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find them without spending hundreds of hours on the game or being a hardcore RPG aficianado. There is plenty to do and many different ways to enjoy this masterpiece.
    • Marvel Ultimate Alliance (84 on gamerankings) – More RPG goodness, this time in a more Diablo-like form. You control a stable of Marvel heroes from the awesome (Iron Man) to the obscure (Moon Knight), including a few of your favorite X-men. The character management and powering up is quite fun, as you can select several different ways of leveling up each character. You can also create and name your own super-team and gather in-game resources to trade-in for special team bonuses. Fun on many levels.
    • Splinter Cell: Double Agent (85 on gamerankings) – It may not be the best in the series, but it’s certainly much better than Pandora Tomorrow. For 3rd-person stealth action, Splinter Cell can’t be beat. The multiplayer is not terribly satisfying in this version, but the single-player is pretty dang fun, with a fairly good degree of replayability.
    • Condemned: Criminal Origins (83 on gamerankings) – This ones probably a little on the violent side, but if that doesn’t bother you, this has a great story and some interesting gameplay mechanics.
    • Viva PiƱata (86 on gamerankings) – If you have kids, getting this game is the biggest no-brainer in the history of the world. It’s casual, easy-going gameplay is perfect for children. Also, you can pick up a 2nd controller and control the game in case your kid gets stuck and needs a little help. This way, he won’t have to give up the controller. It’s also good if your wife is playing and you want to annoy the crap out of her. . . . What?

    Games that DO require Xbox Live

    • Gears of War (94 on gamerankings) – The multiplayer on this game is an unstoppable tour de force of chainsaws, grenades, and head stomping. The matchmaking can be somewhat shaky at times, but the gameplay makes it more than worth it. Easily the best looking and best playing game of the next generation, so far.
    • Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (91 on gamerankings) – This was one of the first quality shooters for the 360, and a recent update to the multiplayer lobby system has improved the online elements tremendously. The single-player and co-op missions are also a huge blast and offer pretty good replayability as there are usually several ways of attacking or defending various objectives.
    • Call of Duty 2 (90 on gamerankings) – Another game that has great single-player campaigns. The multiplayer system is great for picking up a game here or there very quickly. Graphics are pretty good. Not the best of the next gen games, but not horrible. Overall this is probably one of the best WWII shooters.
    • Xbox Live Arcade (various) – There are a TON of great titles on the Xbox Live Arcade. You can get your old school fighter games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat or get your REALLY old school on with hits like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Galaga. There are also some great indie titles like Small Arms and Cloning Clyde. Seriously, if you bought no other games for your Xbox 360 and played only Xbox Live Arcade titles, you’d have a lot of fun for quite some time. Just beware of the over-priced turd that is Lumines II.

    On the Horizon, there are still a pretty good mix of titles in the bullpen. Stranglehold, Mass Effect, and of course, Halo 3, all look to continue the trend of great titles.

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