The Xbox 360 is arguably Microsoft’s most successful gaming console. It boasted a large range of exclusives, and for many non-exclusive developers, it was the lead platform because of the notoriously difficult to work with PlayStation 3. Yet when it comes to the consoles biggest games the first titles that will likely come to mind is the Halo and Gears of War series.
It became the go-to console for shooters with multiplatform titles like Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, and Rainbow Six finding a lot of success on the machine. While it’s easy to think of the 360 as the FPS console, Microsoft’s machine had a large catalog of games from all genres. As a result, there is a surprisingly large number of hidden gems that the average gamer may have missed out on the first time.
10 Infinite Undiscovery
When compared to PlayStation 3 and Wii the Xbox very poorly in Japan. In an attempt to gain more popularity outside western territories Microsoft managed to secure several exclusive Japanese RPGs for the Xbox 360.
Developed by Tri-Ace the team behind the Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile series, Infinite Undiscovery was an action RPG that slipped under the radar due to some mixed reviews. This was likely due to the slow opening and cliché setting. However, those willing to stick with the game past its slow start will find a very solid RPG. The staple Tri-Ace combat system is an absolute joy to play, and at around 20-30 hours the story doesn’t overstay its welcome.
9 Viking: Battle For Asgard
Developed by Creative Assembly a studio more famed for its PC strategy series Total War, Viking: Battle for Asgard was as an action-adventure that shared some similarities to the Dynasty Warriors franchise.
The large battle scenes appear to be running on the same engine as earlier Total War titles and look great as a result. Additionally, combat is fluid and easy to pick up for new players. Away from the large scale battles, the game takes a more stealthy approach and those familiar with the Middle-Earth: Shadow of War should feel right at home with Viking: Battle for Asgard.
Conan on the Xbox 360 was initially shrugged off by critics and gamers as a straight-up clone of the God of War franchise. While God of War is absolutely used as a template for this Conangame many of the combat mechanics actually surpassed Kratos’ adventures on the PlayStation 2.
Conan’s counter-attack system is both deep and satisfying and there is a lot of variety in the game’s weapons too. In addition, there’s some great voice work from Ron Perlman (Hellboy and Sons of Anarchy) in the title role and Claudia Black (Stargate SG-1 and Farscape) as A’Kanna. Furthermore, the Basil Poledouris-inspired soundtrack from the award-winning Mike Reagan – who also worked on God of War – is one of the best scores in gaming.
7 Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was developed by 38 Studios a dream team that consisted of Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion’s lead designer Ken Rolston, comic artist Todd Mcfarlane, and fantasy author R.A. Salvatore.
Unfortunately, Kingdoms of Amalur was such a commercial failure that it led the studio’s closure in 2012. `It’s a shame because even though the game was very conventional borrowing many elements from other RPGs it successfully merged elements from the Elder Scrolls with arcade-style hack and slashing.
6 Condemned: Criminal Origins
Condemned: Criminal Origins was an Xbox 360 launch title developed by Monolith Productions who are perhaps better known for their recent work on the Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor series. It was a horror title that perhaps went overlooked in favor of fellow launch Xbox 360 exclusive Perfect Dark.
Condemned boasted some intense atmospheric visuals and lighting effects that allowed for some legitimately scary moments. In addition, it remains one of the very few FPS games to perfectly execute hand-to-hand combat melee combat.
Risen is an open-world RPG series developed by Piranha Bytes and is considered the true successor to the studio’s Gothic series. Just like the Gothic series, Risen is an incredibly difficult yet deep game that appeals to the most hardcore of RPG fans.
It’s very unforgiving and players are thrown into a harsh open world with little to no hand-holding. This will be off-putting to some and it's not helped by somewhat janky combat system. However, there’s an old school quirkiness and feel to Risen that harks back to classics like Ultima and the Gothic series. Perhaps more importantly, the world feels unique and dynamic with its unpredictability.
4 Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga
Developers Larian Studios have managed to cement their positions in the gaming industry as one of the most talented developers in the world after the release of Divinity: Original Sin II. Yet even before this Larian gained a cult following for their Divinity series on the PC and the Xbox 360.
In 2009 the studio released The Dragon Knight Saga which included a director’s cut of the Divinity II and the expansion Flames of Vengeance. As a combined package The Dragon Knight Saga is absolutely huge and can last players up to 100 hours. The game’s world of Rivellon is rich with lore and history and despite using same graphics engine as Oblivion it has more in common with Diablo and Baldur’s Gate. Divinity II now backward compatible on the Xbox One and is a must for fans of the Original Sin series.
3 Magna Carta II
Magna Carta II looks and feels like a Japanese RPG in every sense of the word but it was actually developed by Softmax in South Korea. While it shares many of the genres clichés, like a protagonist with no memories saving the world it pulls away from these conventions by not being afraid to take risks with the story.
Furthermore, players that get past the opening hours will be rewarded with a genuinely moving story of war, sacrifice, and loss. The combat is fast and complex yet engaging as it relies on chain combos and stamina. Additionally, the colorful art style stood out in a generation where every other game relied on browns and greys and still looks nice ten years on.
2 Alpha Protocol
Alpha Protocol is an RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment. They are perhaps better known for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II, Fallout: New Vegas, the Pillars of Eternity series and the upcoming RPG The Outer Worlds.
Alpha Protocol is a unique RPG because of its spy setting taking inspiration from the James Bond, Jason Bourne and Mission Impossible movies. The game is considered as something of a “diamond in the rough” by its fans due to suffering from development and budget restraints. Yet despite this, the spy adventure has gained a cult following because of its writing, setting, dialogue choices, multiple endings, and originality.
1 Lost Odyssey
When Microsoft committed to bringing more Japanese RPGs to the system one of its biggest exclusivity deals came in form Mistwalker Studios. Mistwalker was founded by the Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and released two traditional RPGs Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey on the Xbox 360. It was Lost Odyssey, however, that was better of the two and for many JRPG fans, it was the game that Final Fantasy XIII should have been. This feeling was no doubt helped by featuring music from famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu.
In addition, Sakaguchi employed former members of Nautilus best known for their work on the shadow Hearts series. As expected, the Nautilus DNA is evident in the game’s battle system called the 'Aim Ring System' which works similarly to Shadow Hearts’ 'Judgement Ring'.