Microsoft kicked its home console run off to a great with the release of the original Xbox. And just like all consoles of its ilk, an even more powerful machine was created and presented as its worthy successor. November 22, 2005 marks a momentous day for gamers everywhere as it was the official launch of Microsoft's second attempt at dominating the home gaming console market. As part of the seventh generation of video game consoles, the Xbox 360 earned its position as the go-to piece of gaming hardware for gamers looking for the best online multiplayer experience. With all that being said, it's time we acknowledge just how legendary the Xbox 360's gaming library truly is. Without further ado, let's show some love to the 50 best Xbox 360 games of all time.
The 50 Best Xbox 360 Games of All Time
Best Xbox 360 Games of All-Time
1. Halo 3'
The engrossing saga that began in Halo: Combat Evolved met its end here. And for most fans of Master Chief's interplanetary battles, Halo 3 produced a satisfying end to it all. The Chief's armory expanded in this game to include support weapons, two-handed firearms, and special pieces of gear that improve his defensive capabilities. Forge Mode's introduction in Halo 3 proved to be monumental as it allowed the creative bunch to create amazing maps that even rivaled those of Bungie. This game's campaign, multiplayer, and map creation system all add up to create a Halo for the ages. Halo 3 deserves its placing here as one of the undisputed best Xbox 360 games of all time.
2. 'Halo: Reach'
When Bungie decided to go the prequel route with its post-Halo 3 projects, the best one arrived in the form of Halo: Reach. The battle-hardened unit of Noble Six became instant fan favorites as their struggle on the Earth-like colony Reach became the stuff of legend. Taking on the encroaching Covenant threat feels as good as it's ever been here - utilizing new versions of signature Halo weapons and arming yourself with fresh ones is the name of the game here. Halo: Reach's campaign is epic, emotional, and simply unforgettable.
3. 'Halo 4'
Master Chief's mission didn't come to an end like we all thought once Halo 3 wrapped up. Bungie handed over the keys to Xbox's biggest IP to 343 Industries, which chose to involve the green armor-wearing space marine in a new faction battle. Halo 4 not only introduced a splinter faction of the Covenant to deal with, but it also threw in a whole new set of enemies in the form of the Forerunner empire. Speaking of the Forerunners, messing around with their firearms is half the fun within this top-tier FPS. The fresh plot trappings, quality multiplayer improvements, and improved gunplay make Halo 4 worth returning to.
4. 'Gears of War'
Gears of War was a revelation at the time of release. Its visual prowess was highly convincing of the Xbox 360's graphical output. And its cover-based gameplay influenced an entire genre in its wake. The original Gears of War blew everyone's minds back in the day as it played host to a beefy third-person shooter that was bloody, gory, and extremely satisfying. The Active Reload feature still sticks out as a clever feature, chainsawing Locust goons never gets old, and the game's competitive multiplayer suite is on par with Halo's very best.
5. 'Gears of War 2'
It came as no surprise that the groundbreaking first entry in the Gears of War series would lead to a sequel. Marcus Fenix and his fellow Gears came back for more in a follow-up that excelled over its predecessor in many ways. The campaign hit harder via its storyline developments, the five versus five multiplayer component kicked even more ass, and the first-time implementation of Horde Mode gave way to a franchise feature that's been adopted by several games of its ilk. Gears of War 2 does everything its forefather did and greatly builds upon the solid foundation put forth by it.
6. 'Gears of War 3'
Marcus Fenix's bombastic battle against the Locust horde came to its definitive and highly satisfying conclusion here. Gears of War 3 is a hell of a trilogy wrap-up that throws the kitchen sink at you as far as enemy encounters go, plus its ending is delivered in the best way possible. As far as new features go, this threequel added the ability to swap weapons & ammunition with AI teammates, an enemy tagging mechanic, and a host of new weapons to have fun with. Our favorites are most definitely the Digger Launcher and Incendiary Grenade!
7. 'Fable II'
The Xbox and Xbox 360 are home to another incredible franchise trilogy that stayed strong from start to finish. We've already spoken about Halo and Gears of War, so now it's time to give the Fable IP its flowers. Fable II improved upon what came before and still managed to put forth a highly captivating adventure through the vast kingdom of Albion. Playing through the entire lifespan of your playable avatar, purchasing plenty of property throughout the land, and exploring it all with your loyal dog on call are the main features that define Fable II's greatness.
8. 'Fable III'
Now let's have a chat about Fable III. The stakes were raised to an even greater degree with this sequel as players are tasked with overthrowing the King of Albion, taking over his position, and ruling how they see fit. The series' signature humor stayed intact in this sequel, plus the game-changing decisions players make and the opportunity to rule the land as a heroic or villainous monarch added to Fable III's grandeur. As far as action RPGs on the Xbox 360 go, look no further than the entire Fable trilogy.
The very first Crackdown combines the best elements of Grand Theft Auto and superhero games to craft an explosive trek through a cel-shaded metropolitan sandbox. Taking control of The Agent in this zany open-world shooter is still an enlightening experience that's still worth tapping into - running and gunning, plus causing all sorts of madness alongside a co-op Agent just never grows stale. Crackdown is all about gunning down goons, jumping as high as possible, nabbing orbs, and eliminating all the Generals & Kingpin's Pacific City houses.
10 'Forza Motorsport 4'
When the topic of best Xbox 360 games enters the conversation, the racing sim that deserves a mention is the Forza Motorsport franchise. And the game that's worth adding to this list is the fourth official main entry in the ongoing series. Alongside this game's incredible visual fidelity, huge collection of licensed cars, and amazingly lifelike vehicle physics, Forza Motorsport 4 introduced a series mainstay via the "Autovista" mode. The simple act of gawking at every part of your car is such a therapeutic experience that we're glad is still present in later entries in the series.
11. 'Dead or Alive 4'
The Dead or Alive series is always defined by its striking visuals, easy-to-learn fighting game mechanics, and...well, extremely attractive and "bountiful" roster members. Dead or Alive 4 remains at the top of the Xbox 36o fighting game heap as it looks incredible and plays great thanks to the addition of some cool characters with fresh fighting styles. La Mariposa sticks out as our favorite debut here - you can't go wrong with a badass female Lucha Libre practitioner. Kudos to this game for also featuring Spartan-458 and letting us bash everyone's skulls in while encased in Master Chief's armor. Any list of the best Xbox 360 games must have this awesome 3D fighter on it.
12. 'Ninja Gaiden II'
Team Ninja was on a roll during the original Xbox and Xbox 360's heyday. Not only did the Japanese development studio keep fighting game fans' attention with the Dead or Alive series, but it also revived ninja Ryu Hayabusa's career with a 3D comeback series. Ninja Gaiden II is the ultimate high point for that franchise reboot - its blood-filled, gory combat still holds up when compared to other iconic 3D action games. The dismemberment system made every kill so satisfying, plus the Eclipse Scythe added another dimension of violence to the vicious melee skirmishes. Never mind the PS3 version - the Xbox 360 original is top-notch.
The rise of Xbox Live Arcade gave way to an indie gaming renaissance. A treasure trove of digital-only games launched on the service and embraced fresh concepts that turned them into undeniable classics. One of those classics is undoubtedly Bastion, an action RPG that's all about putting the world back together again. Supergiant Games' first game ever is remembered fondly due to effective storytelling on behalf of its narrator, a bewildering OST, and a distinct art style that gave it a personality all its own.
14. 'Shadow Complex'
The "Metroidvania" formula works so well when applied to different time periods and themes. Shadow Complex adopted that familiar gameplay formula and applied it to a modern-day thriller full of furious firefights and an exciting bout of espionage. The open-ended exploration remains highly addictive as you discover a bevy of secrets and gun down your foes from the most tactical positions. If an amalgamation of Syphon Filter and Symphony of the Night piques your interest, look no further than this one.
Limbo has to be one the most disturbing platformers ever released. The moody atmosphere jumped to horrifying levels whenever the young boy you played met his unfortunate end. The creepy black and white tones added to the mystery of it all as you trodded through several areas that wanted nothing more than to kill you. Solving puzzles, steering clear of danger, and taking in the game's minimalist theme must be experienced if you made the mistake of skipping Limbo. Xbox Live Arcade sure did bless gamers with some of the very best Xbox 360 games of all time.
16. 'Fallout 3'
After Bethesda acquired the rights to the Fallout IP from its former owners Interplay Entertainment, the publisher/developer brought it back in a major way. Fallout 3 emerged from its vault as an open-world, action RPG that was a revelation at the time of release. Players made their way through a post-apocalyptic rendition of Washington, D.C. that was chock full of captivating personalities to interact with. Fallout 3's extensive character customization elements, deep Karama system, and clever V.A.T.S. combat system define today's modern Fallout experience.
17. 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim'
There's a reason why this game has been re-released numerous times - it's widely regarded as one of the greatest games ever made. This massive action RPG adventure transports players to the realm of Tamriel, which is seemingly filled with an endless amount of action to get into. While it was all about confronting and defeating the destructive dragon known as Alduin the World-Eater, Skyrim's side activities produced the most fun. The game's world design, first-person combat (with dual-wielding capabilities!), and wealth of content deserve all the praise in the world.
Now we're back on the topic of Xbox Live Arcade gems. And this one, in particular, pushed the platforming genre forward thanks to its standout art style and mind-bending approach to storytelling. Braid's mix of solving brainteasers and hopping around gorgeously animated locales is part of the game's simple charm, of course. But it's the time-manipulation powers and jaw-dropping ending that pushes this game to legendary status. As far as indie games that set the foundation for the sub-genre as a whole go, Braid must be considered one of the GOATs.
One of the best first-person shooters and best Xbox 360 games of all time is none other than the very first BioShock. This dark trek into the underwater haven turned tomb called Rapture presents an engrossing experience that still has people talking. Mixing together gunplay and the usage of elemental "Plasmid" powers lends so much to its gameplay formula. And on the story front, BioShock hits hard with its revelations about Andrew Ryan and the main character's true purpose ("Would you kindly?"). Going to war with those dammed Big Daddies is also another part of this incredible FPS that never grows old.
20. ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare'
Activision's quintessential first-person shooter IP entered the mainstream lexicon with this series entry. By moving on from the World War II era and taking the action to the modern-day battlefield, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare morphed into one of the most impactful games of all time. The smooth and slick movement goes hand in hand with the game's heated firefights, which both did an awesome job of making each skirmish one to remember. The single-player campaign featured in Modern Warfare is one of the very best and its online multiplayer suite had everyone turning into angry "sweats" back in the day. A huge salute to our forever hero, John "Soap" MacTavish!
21. ‘The Orange Box’
Valve has to get all the credit in the world for putting out one of the greatest video game compilations of all time. It dropped The Orange Box on the world and produced a package that's jam-packed with value. On the multiplayer front is Team Fortress 2, which is still one of the strongest FPS games worth going back to. The rest of The Orange Box maintains its worth to this very day thanks to everything else it offers, which includes Half-Life 2, its two episodic expansions, and the surprise smash hit named Portal.
22. ‘Red Dead Redemption’
In 2010, Rockstar Games and its San Diego development studio perfectly encapsulated the Wild, Wild West with Red Dead Redemption. The many violent shootouts and hectic situations John Marston got embroiled in produced a memorable journey across the Western United States and Northern Mexico. Red Dead Redemption's open world is one of the best ever due to all the side activities players can busy themselves with, plus the online multiplayer suite and "zombified" expansion adds to the game's grandeur. It still feels so damn satisfying to down several enemy gunslingers in one fell swoop with the game's signature "Dead Eye" mechanic.
23. 'Mass Effect 2'
You can't bypass this lofty action RPG once the topic of best Xbox 360 games comes up. Mass Effect 2 is held up by many as the best entry in Electronic Arts and BioWare's interplanetary mission to beat back the threat of the Collectors. Everything got so much better here in comparison to its predecessor - the gunplay is vastly improved, the interactive storytelling got infinitely stronger, and the opportunity for players to port over their version of Commander Shepard from the first game improved the overall experience. Mass Effect 2 is the widely recognized high point of the series.
24. 'Portal 2'
The original Portal hit the scene back in 2007 and became a surprise hit that pushed Valve to give it another go. Portal 2 upped the ante by not only featuring a mind-bending single-player campaign but also incorporating a co-op campaign with two of the most lovable bots in all of gaming. The Aperture Science Laboratory presents a myriad of tests that play with players' perception and challenges them to rely on the use of portals to navigate & keep themselves from harm. The charm that was present in the first game was magnified here and the puzzle-solving gets even more intricate, which are two factors Portal fans were thankful for upon this sequel's release. Portal 2 is undeniably one of the best Xbox 360 games thanks to all of those aforementioned factors.
25. ‘Batman: Arkham City’
Rocksteady Studios earned its status as one of the very best development studios in the industry once it released Batman: Arkham Asylum. Its much anticipate follow-up took the world by storm as it pushed the "Dark Knight" out into a haven for criminals within the dank slums of Gotham City. Being able to spread Batman's wings and glide around an even more expansive outdoor locale while doing battle with random thugs & solving riddles blew everyone's minds back in the day. And getting to mix it up with the likes of Hugo Strange, Mr. Freeze, and even Azrael felt awesome to experience as a longtime Batman fanatic. Arkham City is comic book video game perfection and one of the very best Xbox 36o games we've ever played.