In a change from the norm, we’re bringing you a list with more variety, because finding quality Xbox exclusive games is a challenge as the platform generally relies on simultaneous releases, unlike the PlayStation platform. Below, you'll find information on the game, the Xbox platform it was released on, and its Metacritic score, from lowest to highest.
In this list, we’ve included only the best-rated game from a series rather than including all of them, since otherwise, the list would have comprised only of games from the Forza, Gears of War, and Halo series. Using our list format, you can uncover some hidden gems available on the Xbox platform. This list considers games released simultaneously on PC as exclusives too, seeing as the games are available only on the Xbox consoles.
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10 The Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings (88) - Xbox 360
This game became such a big deal that Barack Obama even mentioned it at one time due to its portrayal of the Polish economy, which the game evidently captured just right. There was some criticism directed toward the difficult gameplay, but this only made those who played and won turn out to be legends within the community.
For an Xbox 360 game, the graphics were praised for doing justice toward the PC version; a high compliment seeing that console games generally get a bad reputation in this regard. Further appreciation was directed toward The Witcher 2's challenging difficulty and the inclusive style of storytelling.
9 Left 4 Dead (89) - Xbox 360
When it was released, Left 4 Dead seemed poised to take over as the new AAA franchise for the Xbox, but we haven’t seen much of anything from the series in the last decade. Regardless, the original game remains a worthy surprise.
Zombie games tend to favor the third-person format but Left 4 Dead opted for the first-person style of play in order to make the player feel as they were the ones surrounded by hordes of zombies. Being a multiplayer feature that stressed on this aspect, Left 4 Dead was a party favorite for Xbox 360 owners.
8 Fable II (89) - Xbox 360
The PlayStation consoles have a long line of role-playing games and franchises, and Xbox only has a handful that can compete with them. In recent times, Fable has fallen out of favor in this regard, but Fable II was something special.
The game was credited for bringing in a more realistic world, with features ranging from making friends to even having intimate relations. The open-world was lauded for focusing mainly on the gameplay rather than wasting time on cutscenes or conversation sequences, which lets the player carry on their game. The addition of co-op and multiplayer features further bolstered Fable II.
7 Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 (90) - Xbox 360
Don’t you worry, you’re not going to have to solve any geometry problems here; the Geometry Wars series is part of the most favored genre for Xbox users: It’s a shooter.
The game plays on your feelings just a bit too, as it has a style that reminds you of the games of old where the task seems simple and the whole point is to blow up stuff on the screen. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 expands on the classic aspects and has a presentation style that is explosive enough for players to be wowed by it. The multiplayer feature guarantees you’re going to be rounding up people you know to add them in on the action.
6 Trials Evolution (90) - Xbox 360
On occasion, one does want a racing game that is gritty but isn’t complex. Trials Evolution is for those who want a messy affair with their races, yet offers a unique design. Here, you’re not going to be steering difficult-to-use cars; instead, it’s the prospect of racing on bikes that await you.
The not-so-complex part comes from the game being a 2D style venture, although 3D models have been employed. It’s a simple case of getting your drag racing spirit on, and with customizable maps being an option, you’re going to be flying and falling around a lot of bikes.
5 Forza Horizon 4 (92) - Xbox One
The first of Xbox’s three main franchises to be on this list, Forza has overtaken Gran Turismo as the most quality racing simulator. Horizon 4 has an open world for the player to drive around to their heart’s content, and with over 400 cars to choose from, the game guarantees a good time to be had.
There’s also the benefit of choosing to play online, as new parts of the world are opened up this way, along with the option to purchase further features for the cars. One can even opt to play offline, but the online experience really is the best as the world becomes dynamic and ever-changing.
4 Ninja Gaiden Black (94) - Xbox One
The prospect of becoming a ninja will never get old for gamers, and perhaps this is why Ninja Gaiden Black was so very well received. Being part of the hack and slash genre, the game has a lovely level design that has you battling foes that are big, small, and fast - and all of these are ready to be slashed away by your ninja skills.
The Xbox version (being the Black iteration) differed from the others by having two separate difficulty settings. Both of these contrasted greatly from one another, with the first making the game rather easy, while the other is a heightened difficulty setting of the already freakishly hard game. There are also 50 additional missions for you to indulge in here. Also, Black is generally considered the definitive version.
3 Gears Of War (94) - Xbox 360
It’s fitting to find Gears of War this high now that Gears 5 will continue the legacy of the series that exploded onto the scene in 2006. Its influence is such that, whichever third-person shooter you see today has basically copied the cover mechanics introduced by this game.
Gears of War represents the peak time for the Xbox consoles, as this was when the Xbox 360 was overtaking the PS3 in sales and game quality. The story is praised for having a likable protagonist to follow and was one of the first Xbox games where the plot was more intriguing than the multiplayer.
2 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (94) - Xbox
We can bet you were unaware there was an exclusive Star Wars game for the Xbox, and it should be an even bigger surprise that this one is the joint-highest for any Xbox game released across all the consoles.
In Knights of the Old Republic, the player is placed into the far, far away galaxy, where you really feel the “long ago” part seeing as the game is set 4,000 years before the events of A New Hope. As a role-playing feature, it’s up to the player to move up the ranks while battling the Sith and mastering the art of the Force. There is also the option to side with the dark side.
1 Halo: Combat Evolved (97) - Xbox
The Bungie Studios version of the Halo games would have all comprised of the top-3 of this list, and the best one finds itself in the top spot of all Xbox exclusives ever made. Halo took the world by storm at the time of its release, and nobody can still find anything negative to say about it.
The story established from the first game was wrapped up neatly in Halo 3, and the gameplay evolved throughout the original trilogy to make this arguably the greatest collection of FPS titles of all-time. Despite being a first-person shooter, Halo was versatile enough to feel as if the player was in complete control, and the only thing missing was putting the player literally into the shoes of Master Chief, because it most certainly felt as if we were the main character.