The Xbox 360 is a video game console that released in 2005, it is still going on strong even with the release of the eighth generation of games. Looking back at the Xbox 360, one may question exactly what the system has to offer that other systems don’t. Which exclusive games on the system can not be missed and which ones should be left to collect dust? Let’s find out.
The problem with Xbox 360 exclusives can be learned by examining the relationship between the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. When both consoles were released the media was obsessed with the idea of a “console war.” This war became almost necessary to individualize each console since most people didn’t have the money to buy both systems. With the importance of being placed on each console to prove its worth, exclusives became one of the biggest weapons thrown around.
Over time the console war aggression simmered down and melted into sadness as gamers felt more cheated about excellent games being exclusive and then watching them move to other systems. People bought systems for the exclusive games they offered and then companies stopped making so many exclusives. With that in mind and the prospect of making game publishers happy, (more money) and gamers happy, (more games) games that were meant to be exclusive jumped ship and could be found on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 (Bioshock is one example).
Taking all of that into account, the amount of strictly Xbox 360 exclusive games is pretty low, so for the sake of this article Xbox 360 games that received a port to the PC years later will also be included. If a game was made as an exclusive for the Xbox 360 but was moved to the PlayStation 3 it will not be allowed. Without further ado, here is number 10.
Dead or Alive 4 2005
It is more rare to see a fighting game be an exclusive, but that was the case with DOA 4. Featuring 22 characters and a load of outfits, this game gave fighting game fanatics something to sink their teeth into early on in the Xbox 360 lifespan. Included was the surprise Spartian-458, Nicole. She had a fighting style somewhere between Bayman and Leon and used Halo specific moves when possible (such as a plasma grenade command grab). The combat in DOA 4 revolves around understanding the fast paced moves of your opponent and countering appropriately. The flow in this series is something few other fighting games can match up to.
Beautiful Katamari 2007
There is a Katamari title on the PlayStation 3, but it is Katamari Forever and it is actually a totally separate game from Beautiful Katamari. If you know the premise of a Katamari game, then you already know this game is wacky silly fun. This installment in the series has some unique levels that include having a snowball as a Katamari, as well as a burning Katamari that burns out if you stop rolling things up. The multiplayer modes include versus mode as well as a cooperative mode that is a challenging and rewarding experience. The online leaderboards are represented by how many cookies you have and the overworld allow you to initiate a dance party with all of the cousins you’ve found throughout the game. This game is pure fun for everyone right here.
Too Human 2008
Talk about mixed reception, this game was loved, hated, and everything in-between. Silicon Knights (creators of Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem) worked on Too Human for ten years and intended to make it into a trilogy, but when sales looked to be less than satisfactory the trilogy ended with one entry. Taking the role of the Norse god Baldur, the player experiences a cybernetic future with emphasis on loot and classes. The skill tree mechanic allows players to improve their class and stats as they see fit, leading to excellent replayability. Once finished, new game plus offers dedicated players the opportunity to continue their path to cybernetic mastery.
Forza Motorsport 4 2011
Car junkies rejoice. Forza has already been paying the way for excellent racing simulators on the Xbox, but Forza 4 took everything it knew and added to it. New to the series was the Autovista mode which allows players to examine the specifics of select cars, including the interior and engine parts. This mode also sports commentary from Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson, can you get more legit than that? With more than 500 pristine cars with specific handling and tuning, this game looks and feels incredibly authentic. Kinect also makes it possible to voice your way through menus and look into corners.
Welcome to a third-person open world game where you play a super cop intending to stop multiple gangs and reclaim Pacific City. This game offered goals with freedom. Players could tackle this game however they wanted: run around and find collectables, head straight to the hardest gang, steal a car and level up that driving skill, the freedom was monumental but not absolute. Of course the game had a few limitations, but not enough to hinder the fun it offered from the very beginning. Even the leveling system offered the player to beef up as they wanted to. Also, the soundtrack in this game combined independent artists as well as video game musicians, Crackdown featured more than 100 tracks.
Condemned: Criminal Origins 2005
Monolith Productions created a horror game that is actually horrifying to play. Unnoticed by many, this game came out fairly early in the Xbox 360 lifespan (before 2006). Playing the role of Ethan Thomas, the player gets wrongly accused and must battle his way through the dirty underbelly of the city while tracking a serial killer and shirking the police. Weapons are scarce, if you can find one, you will likely never find ammunition (and if an enemy shoots at you, those bullets will be missing from the clip when you get it). If you see something in the environment you can likely grab it, such as 2×4, pipes, or even locker doors; this is your best way of staying alive. Plus, examining and solving crimes as you get deeper into the depths of the city. Mix all of that with the possible corrosion of your brain and hallucinations begin to see your life as something they can take.
Alan Wake 2010
The game that took more than five years to make. Truly a wonderful piece of narrative. The game is obsessed with creating a full experience and delivering on a story. Every part of the game plays towards this goal: the music, the environment, the action. Having an Xbox 360 and not having this game is simply sad. Alan Wake is categorised as a psychological action thriller because it has so many different elements in it. Alan Wake is a shooter, but it isn’t really fair to just call it a shooter due to he creepy locations, use of other items in combat (like flares) and emphasis on light before being able to effectively use any sort of gun. In addition, the music selection is very well themed. Any game looking to focus on proper narrative needs to take notes from Alan Wake.
Gears of War 2006
When this came out it shook the foundation of how shooters were made and played, all of a sudden cover was useful, easy to use, and a core concept of staying alive. The game hardly has any story but the mechanics and multiplayer experience of playing through the campaign split screen was something that propelled the Xbox 360 into success. The online modes consisted of teams of four that had to take down their opponents. Each level provided a number of different routes and cover, making strategy and planning your attack a crucial part of victory. This paved the way for at least three more games, probably even more as time goes on.
Halo 3 2007
It was the first Halo game to reach the Xbox 360, and the world stopped whatever it had going on to play it. Groups of high school students and adults alike planned weekends around trying to beat the campaign on legendary and diving head-first into the chaotic storm that is Halo 3 multiplayer. Bungie was so proud of their success that they produced a large amount of map packs and new online modes to keep fans playing the game, which some still do. If you haven’t played this game yourself, I really don’t know what kind of person you are. As an extra note, this game made $170 million the day it launched.
Lost Odyssey 2008
The gem of turn-based RPG’s on the Xbox 360. This game runs on the Unreal Engine and due to so many cut scenes, has a total of four discs. The protagonist, Kaim, is an immortal with little memory and a talent for combat. As he begins a great journey he is joined by both mortals and immortals. Sporting a massive five person party, Lost Odyssey creates a skill learning system where immortals learn skills based off of the mortals they battle with. This leads to excellent customization and a welcoming to a large array of different characters. Channeling The Legend of Dragon, combat includes interaction to deal bonus damage. With a good amount of side quests, this game easily becomes 40+ hours. The game also includes more than 30 short stories to deepen your connection with the world it’s characters. What you put into this game is up to you, but the payout is pure gold for fans of story, turn-based battle systems, customization, beautiful environments, and characters capable of actual growth.
The Xbox 360 is still being played and still has some excellent exclusives and nonexclusives. And now, Honorable Mentions: Magna Carta 2, Culcept Saga, Tales of Vesperia (which actually came out on PlayStation 3 in Japan later) and Infinite Undiscovery. Did your favorite Xbox 360 games make the list and which shouldn’t be up here? Let us know and keep on gaming. Also, go have some dinner.
Opinion By Garrett Jutte