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My Top 10 Xbox 360 Games So Far
Posted October 17, 2009, 12:58 pm by Steve
Categories: Video Games, Life
1. Halo 3
Few games have me capturing videos and screenshots to back-up the talk trash. Halo is video gameís version of a Star Wars universe. Add in replay value of the campaign, Forge and multiplayer sessions with friends, my kids and strangers. I spend countless hours playing with my kids, either coop or against each other (which I usually lose at now). As I type this my boys are playing it. How could this not be my favorite Xbox 360 game to date! Itís simple; Halo is one of the key reasons Iím a gamer.

2. Gears of War 2
The first game made cover-based games a new subgenre of shooters. This one takes everything from the first game and makes it better. Just the campaign alone earns a top 10 spot in my book. Throw in Horde mode and Ďbots in multiplayer to confirm the number 2 spot! Graphics, character design, atmosphere, controls, art direction, options (profanity and gore filter) and action are first-rate. Between this title and Halo 3, I have so much fun playing with and against my boys. I just canít say that about any other game.

3. Gears of War
As said above, this game created a new subgenre of shooters. The graphics at the time were the best ever showcased on a console. For me, the multiplayer experience is fresh and new, a welcomed change from the typical shooter experience. It also brings gore to a new level in shooter games. How can a game with a chainsaw bayonet not be in the top 10!

4. Oblivion
Excluding multiplayer action, this game easily earns my most logged hours. The reasons for that are simple. It has a deep character customization and level system, a massive fantasy world free to explore from the start, a good story, great graphics at release, and an immense amount of loot. All of this is why itís my top RPG on the Xbox 360!

5. Fable 2
Itís a challenge for me to position this below Oblivion. I donít want too! But, fact is I did not want to log as many hours in Fable 2 as I did in Oblivion. However, the developers, Lionhead, focused on what makes RPGs fun and removed what doesnít. Gone is the management of mana and inventory slots. Made easy is the fun and action of combat. In addition, art direction is top-notch. But, with all that said, perhaps my favorite thing about the game is the overall charm. If there was a little more compiling DLC this might have been my top RPG. Oh yeah, and Bips, my pet dog, gets NPC of the year!

6. Mass Effect
Typically, I prefer sci-fi games over fantasy game like Fable and Oblivion. This game has an epic story, super graphics and a revolutionary dialog system. Unlike some RPGs I find myself looking forward to conversations with other characters because the facial animation is first-class. Just a few minor issues like inventory management, weapon and armor skins, and load times keep it from beating out other RPGs.

7. Halo 3: ODST
I hate to rank this so low, but fact is, for me, I struggle with the 2-year-old Halo 3 graphics engine that, even when introduced, lacks in quality. However, I love the design of the campaign; art direction is the best in a Halo game to date; story is easy to understand (which is saying something about a Halo game); atmosphere and tension are spot-on and FireFight mode is outstanding. If FireFight had more vehicle-based maps and options and the graphics were equal to current shooters it would bump this game up multiple spots.

8. Fallout 3
I started playing this game directly after beating Fable 2. The tedious tasks associated with RPGs were there and drove me away from this game for almost a year. After hearing friends talk about the game all the time I finally decided to give it another go. Even then it still didnít hold my attention. Finally, after advice from a friend at work, I decided to start over with a fresh character resulting in months of obsession with the game. I love the post-apocalyptic setting and art direction. In the end it was great timing for me to start and end the campaign a year after release. DLC was waiting for me the moment I saved the Wastelands!

9. Halo Wars
I admit if this wasnít in the Halo universe it might not be in my top 10. But being a big fan of Halo, the story and cut scenes really drew me in. Iíve watched the 25 minutes of CG cut scenes over and over again. The simple but fun controls also help, although I wish for a bit more depth to the strategic options. I still pop this in for some skirmish games as itís a nice change from my normal genres of games. Did I mention how cool the cut scenes are?

10. Crackdown
This game came a long way since I first saw its unimpressive presentation at E3. By the time it hit retail it was a surprise hit for me. The open world game play, super hero theme, art style and action are great! However, my favorite aspects of the game are the orb hunting and leveling up. Maxing out my characterís abilities was a fun and challenging task resulting in super jumps and transforming vehicles. Canít go wrong with that!

Honorable mentions:

Forza 2
Iíve never laughed so hard during a multiplayer game!

Call of Duty 4
Iíll get grief for this being down so low, but, for me, it set the bar for FPS multiplayer.

Saints Row
My first experience with an open-world GTA-like game was a great one!

Ninja Gaiden 2
It brings nothing new to the genre, but still a great action game.

Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Fun campaign and we spent loads of hours in multiplayer.

Batman: Arkham Asylum
A surprise hit that leaves me wanting more campaign missions!

Prediction of my favorites for the life cycle of the console:

1. Halo: Reach
If Microsoft pushes Bungie similar to Turn 10ís goal in Forza 3, to make the best looking simulation racer to date, then Halo: Reach should be a showcase title looking just as good if not better than any shooter out in the market. In addition, I hope Bungie is taking notes for other multiplayer shooters like Modern Warfare 2 and includes RPG-like experience and skill system into the game. These combined with the Halo universe would make the best Xbox 360 game ever!

2. Halo 3

3. Gears of War 2

4. Gears of War

5. Mass Effect 2

If itís like the first title but with improved performance, combat, more equipment and a better user interface then it will be the best RPG ever on the Xbox 360!

6. Fable 3
Letís assume this takes the philosophy of Fable 2 and expands upon it. Tweak the online coop and this will wear the fantasy RPG crown!

7. Oblivion

8. Fable 2

9. Mass Effect

10. Halo 3 ODST

11. Forza 3
Ok, I have to add something about Forza 3. My biggest issue with Forza 2 is the graphics. With Forza 3, Turn 10 had the goal of making the best looking simulation racer ever. Add in a livery editor that makes me think of decal sets to create before the gameís even released. Couple those with a rewind feature in case I blow the last corner of a 10 minute race (which Iím sure to do) then I have the best racer ever on the system!
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