Red Faction: Guerrilla
Red Faction: Guerilla may be the first sandbox game to have fully destroyable environments. It changed the gameplay of the Red Faction series from a first-person shooter to a third-person game. We mean completely breakable. As a member of the title resistance force, your job is to smash a sledgehammer into every building you see to break the Earth Defense Force’s grip on Mars. Thanks to the Geomod 2.0 engine, steel towers and iron monoliths fall apart like graham crackers in a very impressive way that only gets better in the 16-player online mode. If you mix the action of Gears of War with the chaos of Grand Theft Auto, you get one of the best Xbox 360 games out there.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: why didn’t any of you buy Psychonauts? Lucky for gamers, Double Fine Productions and Tim Schafer refuse to give up, and their love letter to heavy metal hit them like a musical storm. From the beautiful scenery to the funny writing, Brutal Legend shines as a masterpiece among roguelikes. The gameplay is also a lot of fun and has a lot of variety. Even though this 15-hour trip through the World of Metal was a unique and memorable adventure, Brutal Legend raised the bar even higher by including stars like Jack Black, Jennifer Hale, and Ozzy Osbourne, who is the undisputed Prince of Darkness. Keep it up, Mr. Schafer. We’re ready to do it again whenever you are.
Guitar Hero 5
You have to wonder, at some point, how long Guitar Hero will be around. if the last episode of the series is any indication, your plastic guitars and drum sets won’t be gathering dust any time soon. There will be more than 85 songs for gamers who like music, as well as a few changes that should have been made a long time ago. Any band member can play any instrument, Career Mode lets you choose how hard the game is, and (finally) you can play any song, at any time, from the start. That means that if you can’t play Nirvana on Expert drums, you can switch to bass guitar and turn the difficulty down to Hard or Normal. Even better, Xbox 360 players can bring their Xbox Live avatars onto the stage as an added bonus. Guitar Hero 5 is one of the best Xbox 360 games with music if you’re still ready to rock.
Crackdown is one of the few games that made me feel so strong. It sold out quickly because it came with a Halo 3 Beta key, but it didn’t take long for gamers to realise that the box contained more than one gem. Every time you level up, you can’t help but be amazed at how great you are, and that’s before you can run faster than speeding traffic, jump tall buildings, and drive morphing cars through a living, breathing city. Even though the plot stinks, the sandbox world of Crackdown more than makes up for it. Some people would say that Crackdown was an open-world game that was even better than Grand Theft Auto IV, which is saying a lot.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2
It’s by far the best Rainbow Six game ever made. The Unreal Engine 3 powers the graphics in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2, so the neon lights shine, the slot machines sing, and the characters move with the strength and grace that Team Rainbow has always deserved. The controls and cover system are as easy to understand as a bullet casing. And the co-op game is twice as exciting and just as well-made as the single-player game. Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is one of the best Xbox 360 games with the Tom Clancy name. Don’t settle for anything less.
Lawnmower is a single word. In Dead Rising, you have dozens of ways to hack, slash, burn, and smash zombies into a bloody mess. Then it gives you permission to go outside and get a lawnmower. As sure as dead bodies will rise and eat human flesh, it never gets old to hear a happy red snapper grind undead bones. And if it does, the game’s funny and creative achievements, like “Raining Zombies: Knock over at least 30 zombies with a parasol,” will make you laugh all night.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is the fourth game in the popular Elder Scrolls role-playing series. “Massive” isn’t a big enough word to describe it. As you travelled through the world of Cyrodil, you could really make your own life. You could mine caverns, learn trade skills, and fight bandits. The sheer amount of things you can do in Oblivion is amazing, and this amazing adventure is still the biggest and best of its kind. If you want to get lost in a deep fantasy world, one of the best Xbox 360 games yet holds the key to a new world.
Shadow Complex doesn’t try to hide the fact that its gameplay is a lot like Metroid and Castlevania. This impressive DLC game is full of Metroid and Castlevania references. Chair Entertainment wanted to make the best 2.5D side-scrolling game ever by adding a maze of caverns, lots of hidden items, and rich graphics powered by the Unreal Engine. They also added some first-person and third-person shooter action for good measure. If you’ve ever felt limited by Samus’s limited abilities in tight caves, you’ll feel like you can do anything with a grappling hook and a good explosive. In fact, Shadow Complex is worth the price of a full retail disc, which makes it even more valuable as a download.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
When the Xbox 360 came out, Geometry Wars made shoot-em-ups fun again, but its sequel has changed the whole genre. There are six great ways to play, a lot of ways to play with other people, and the graphics are even better than before. No, neither did we think it was possible. Everyday Shooter and Super Stardust HD are good games, but Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is the reason you have two thumbs that can move in different directions.
The independent Mojang AB studio made a sandbox game that is hard to describe. The creators of Minecraft wanted to give players a chance to show off their creativity by letting them freely change the voxel-based world of the game (cubic blocks). The game is mostly about changing the landscape, building structures, making things, and making your own adventures.