Microsoft introduced its successor to the Xbox in 2005 with the Xbox 360. While the original Xbox was great, the Xbox 360 changed everything about how people viewed the console. It also took the battle against Sony's PlayStation head-on with a system that surpassed it on many levels.
In 2016, Microsoft announced it was discontinuing support for the Xbox 360 and the last game hit in 2018 with Just Dance 2019. By the end, there was a total of 84 million consoles sold, and Xbox Live made it the most successful American-made gaming console of all time. With over 1,194 total games, here is a look at the 10 best, based on Metacritic reviews.
10 CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE
Call of Duty was, for many years, the gold standard of multiplayer online gameplay. When it comes to the Xbox 360, the first of the Modern Warfare games hit the top 10 in critical scores on Metacritic with a 94 critic score.
The fourth edition of the game changed things up and created one of the most immersive war games on the market. The game has some of the best gameplay in the single-player mode, but it shines in the new multiplayer game that made Xbox Live a must-buy for every console gamer.
9 GEARS OF WAR
Gears of War was hugely successful. It was the fastest-selling video game of 2006 and the second most-played game on Xbox Live in 2007. Critics loved it too, giving it a 94 rating on Metacritic. The reviews said the storyline wasn't great, but the intense combat leaves gamers breathless.
Gears of War is either a single or co-op third-person shooter game where a squad of troops tries to stop a war against a subterranean genocidal villain and save their planet. The game was a massive success, with the fifth in the franchise coming out in September 2019.
8 BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY
Batman: Arkham Asylum changed how people looked at superhero video games. With Batman: Arkham City, it upped the ante and created a hugely popular and fun action-adventure game. The next-generation consoles allowed challenging games that looked amazing.
Batman: Arkham City has an impressive 94 rating from Metacritic, with critics praising both the game action controls as well as the stealth gameplay that makes the Batman games so engaging. The story, from start to the conclusion, received high praise as one of the best in the genre.
7 PORTAL 2
Portal 2 followed one of the most popular games of 2007 in Portal, a game that won several critics awards. The second game came out in 2011 and ended up as one of the best games on the Xbox 360 according to Metacritic reviews, with a score of 95. It also became the second-best Xbox 360 game of that year, behind only The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
Portal 2 is bigger and deeper than the original. While it did not reach the same levels of greatness as its predecessor, it still ended up better than most games released in 2011. Between the first two Portal games, critics threw around the well-deserved word "genius."
6 RED DEAD REDEMPTION
The sequel to the 2004 hit video game Red Dead Revolver came out six years later on the Xbox 360 and ended up as one of the most successful open world action-adventure titles of its era. The game followed John Marston, a former outlaw in the ever-changing Wild West.
Critics loved the game regardless of console, with the Xbox 360 version receiving a 95 score on Metacritic. Reviews called the game "phenomenal" and pointed out the impressive and immersive open world providing endless hours of fun.
5 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
The Elder Scrolls open world RPG released its first game in 1994, and by 2011, they released their fifth main installment of the franchise for the Xbox 360. The video game was a considerable success, sitting as one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time with an impressive 96 critical rating on Metacritic.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim saw the next-generation console open up the possibility of exploring the open world in any way that the player wants. Gamers could also choose any character imaginable to play as. Critics called the game "addictive" and labeled it the best Bethesda game ever made at that time.
4 MASS EFFECT 2
The second Mass Effect game hit the Xbox 360 in 2010 and ended up as the fourth highest-rated video game in the console's history. It sits with a 96 rating on Metacritic.
The game took place in the 22nd century where an insectoid species threatens humanity. The game takes place in a third-person perspective and operates in the way as all RPG games, with level ups and character classes. Critics reveal this is a 40-plus hour game with great combat and voice acting.
3 THE ORANGE BOX
Amazingly, the second-highest-rated game in the history of the Xbox 360 is a video game compilation that includes five games called The Orange Box. Included in the pack was three Half-Life games, Portal and Team Fortress 2.
The game compilation received a 96 rating on Metacritic. Reviews called The Orange Box the best quantity of quality games in any compilation. The graphics are top-notch, and all the games remain top-of-the-line, especially Portal, considered one of the best games of its era.
BioShock is a first-person shooter that takes place in 1960 when Jack crashes his airplane into the ocean and ends up in an underwater city called Rapture. There, he learns that the city was designed to be a utopia. However, genetically-created superhumans went bad, and Jack has to survive a city where everything wants him dead.
Ranked at 96 on Metacritic, BioShock won the 2007 Metacritic Xbox 360 Game of the Year. Reviews call it a perfect balance of action and exploration, with both perfect gameplay as well as a captivating and smart storyline.
1 GRAND THEFT AUTO IV AND V
The top two spots are games from the same franchise. Grand Theft Auto IV is ranked at an impressive 98 while Grand Theft Auto V sits at 97. While the fifth game is sitting one spot lower, that is still impressive since the fourth won the Metacritic Xbox Game of the Year in 2008.
That fourth game had critics exclaiming that it was the strongest game of the entire generation. with content that is mind-blowing in possibilities. Between the story, the game action, and the massive open world experience, nothing came close to Grand Theft Auto on the Xbox 360.