The Xbox 360 was a big step in the gaming world. While Microsoft did okay on their first console, it was a dud compared to the might of the PS2, which is still the best selling console to this day. Even Nintendo with their GameCube couldn’t rival it.
The point is, Microsoft had a lot to prove with their next console and while it did have some rocky times, like the Red Ring of Death, it still outperformed the PS3. On top of that, it was the first HD console on the market, which again, was a huge leap for the video game industry. So in celebration of that accomplishment, let’s look back and at some of the best and worst exclusives.
10 Must Own: Tales Of Vesperia
Technically this was also available on PS3, but only as a special edition in Japan, which never came over here. That is, until this year when it got remastered for Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. Since that is the case we are counting it anyway because we just want to sing its praises a little bit more! Microsoft tried to nail down exclusive Japanese RPGs and most of them were okay, but among them, this is still the best.
9 Skip: Too Human
Too Human is a frustrating game to invest time into because it was never finished. This was planned to be an epic trilogy even from the early days. It started out on PS1, moved to the GameCube and then finally settled on Xbox 360. To say this game had a troubled development cycle would then be an understatement. What we did like was the mix of tech and Norse mythology along with the Diablo gameplay. Unfortunately, all of these aspects, while cool, just didn’t have enough oomph.
8 Must Own: Halo 3
It took two years for this console titan to arrive on the Xbox 360 after its 2005 launch. It would have been nice to carry on the Xbox tradition by releasing it as a launch game, but we digress. The wait was certainly worth it.
Halo 3 was a great finale to the original trilogy while still leaving room for more. It didn’t reinvent the wheel like the first game did for first-person shooters on consoles, but it was still a smash hit nonetheless. This was the last time before Call of Duty stole its multiplayer thunder.
7 Skip: Perfect Dark Zero
Perfect Dark Zero should have also been a hit, but it was far from it. This actually was a launch day title for the Xbox 360 and the long-awaited sequel to the N64 gem. While reviews at the time marveled at its sheer existence, going back to it now makes us all realize we were just awed by the sparkle of the first HD generation of consoles. Go back and play Perfect Dark, but forget about this title.
6 Must Own: Dead Rising
Dead Rising could also be categorized as a phenomenon that was just cool because it had never been done before. The amount of zombies on screen was groundbreaking at the time. That aside, it was still rough around the edges at the time, and what was bumpy then is even rockier now. While it is kind of ugly and repetitive, it is still fun to chop zombies into pieces with a wacky assortment of weapons. It is more fun than it is good, but that’s okay.
5 Skip: Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad
Onechanbara Bikini Samurai Squad is also in the same zombie parody, hack and slash category that Dead Rising falls into. The big difference here is that it also caters to those that like to see girls run around in skimpy outfits covered in blood. It’s a very specific role that may please some, but the bad cannot outweigh any good this game has to offer. The cheese is over the top, but unfortunately is also a bit moldy.
4 Must Own: Alan Wake
Remedy’s new game, Control, has us looking back to their Xbox 360 exclusive, Alan Wake. It was a survival horror game that really wanted to be Twin Peaks... if Steven King wrote it.
Some of the story choices worked while others still have us scratching our heads. Despite that, it is still a completely unique entry in the genre. The use of light when facing the forces of darkness was a cool idea back then and remains true to this day.
3 Skip: Gears Of War Judgment
The closest exclusive horror action game we could think of, that was also bad, was this bewildering spinoff. Whoever asked for a game starring Baird? Baird! The only redeeming quality was Cole Train, but even his enigmatic presence couldn’t save this game from feeling unnecessary. It isn’t insulting, or unplayable, or anything like that. Again, its existence is just confusing to us.
2 Must Own: Dance Central 2
What would an Xbox 360 list be without some sort of acknowledgment of the Kinect? Was it poorly marketed on this system and on the Xbox One? Absolutely! However, there were still some great games like Dance Central. It was the Rock Band equivalent of dancing, literally, since Harmonix made it. The best of the main three is Dance Central 2, which improved everything from the first, added a lot of improvements, and had one killer mixtape. It was easy and fun to rock out while trimming those pesky pounds away.
1 Skip: Kinect Star Wars
Kinect Star Wars actually has a dance mode of its own and is both offensive and awesome at the same time. There is a mode that lets players dance to Star Wars themed parodies of other famous pop songs. Ever want to see Han Solo dance while covering a Jason Derulo song? “I'm feelin' like a star, you can't stop my shine, I'm lovin' Cloud City, my head's in the sky.” It is so bad that is it good. Unfortunately, the rest of the mini games are just the worst.