One of the most basic factors that any gamer must consider when pondering a new system purchase is: “what games are available?” In many cases, games are released simultaneously for all modern systems, rendering this question irrelevant when trying to decide between systems.
Sometimes, however, console manufacturers are able to secure exclusive rights for a game to be playable only on their system. All of the major console manufacturers do this, and the availability of console-exclusive titles is an important factor to consider when looking into a new system purchase.
The Xbox 360 is certainly no stranger to this concept. Many great games are available on the system that cannot be purchased for the PS3 or Nintendo’s Wii. Any gamer who finds themselves on the fence when trying to decide on a console should definitely consider these five great Xbox 360-exclusive titles before they buy.
Keep in mind that while many of these games may be available for PC, none can be played on the PS3 or Wii systems.
Action RPG fans looking for the best the Xbox 360 has to offer should look no further than Fable II. A truly unique game, Fable II offers gamers the choice to become a hero or a villain in their own story. Different actions have different consequences, but while evil players may find certain doors closed to them, others will open that are unavailable to those who take the path of good.
Fable II’s simplified combat system is a boon to those who find the complicated micromanagement of other RPGs tiresome. Don’t let the simple nature dissuade you, though, as dispatching enemies in the game is just as fun as in more in-depth RPGs.
There is so much to do in the world of Fable II that players may have trouble remembering to continue on the main quest. You can buy property and raise rent to increase profits, but you will quickly find yourself a hated slumlord, constantly insulted and avoided as you wander through town.
Conversely, choose to buy property and offer low-income housing to the citizens of Albion, and you may find that citizens cheer you wherever you go, and you will have your pick of young ladies eager to become your wife.
In Fable II, the choice is yours, but you can only make it on the Xbox 360.
Gears of War Series
Gears of War I and II are among the best third-person shooters available today. Players assume the role of Marcus Fenix, one of the last defenders of the planet Sera following a subterranean invasion by the deadly Locust horde.
Action takes place from an over-the-shoulder viewpoint, and players must make skillful use of available cover to advance through the ranks of enemies positioned to stop them.
Perhaps my favorite weapon in Gears of War is the chainsaw bayonet. Get close enough to your opponent, and you can rev this gas-powered eviscerator and literally saw your enemies in half.
Yes, these games are rated M.
Check out page 2 for great Xbox 360-exclusive first person shooters and hardcore RPGs.
Of course no discussion of Xbox 360 exclusives would be complete without mentioning the Halo series. The third entry in the series remains one of the most popular single and multiplayer first-person shooters of all time.
Players once again assume the role of the Master Chief, one of the few remaining Spartan soldiers, as he attempts to simultaneously defend humanity from the alien Covenant and the parasitic Flood.
When it comes to multiplayer, few games are as popular as Halo 3. The game is well over a year old and still as popular as ever online. Few games have this level of staying power.
Halo Wars is the most recent addition to the series. This real-time strategy game takes place in the Halo universe, but doesn’t feature the Master Chief as its protagonist. Halo Wars received generally good reviews and is worth checking out for any fan of the series looking for a more strategic challenge.
The latest in the series, Halo 3: ODST, is due out this fall.
Left 4 Dead
Speaking of amazing multiplayer games, when it comes to co-op play, no game does it better than Left 4 Dead. Players assume the role of one of four survivors of a zombie apocalypse desperately trying to fight their way to safety. Teamwork is essential, and lone wolf players quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the ravenous walking dead.
The fighting takes place from a first-person perspective, and the game’s “Director” A.I. constantly changes the experience, ensuring that no two playthroughs are ever the same. Special types of “boss” infected require teamwork and quick thinking to dispatch safely.
For those with more adversarial tendencies, the versus mode allows you to take on the role of one of these boss infected and hunt down player-controlled survivors.
The zombie invasion has arrived, but only on the Xbox 360.
While Fable II offers simplified action RPG gameplay sure to suit any player, Mass Effect is definitely more for the hardcore RPG fanatic. This incredibly-deep RPG offers nearly-infinite conversation options, the outcomes of which are never the same twice. Your dialogue and action choices affect not only your character, but your companions and the surrounding world as well.
Each of your companions has a disposition of their own, so if you choose to become evil, those who tend toward good will become distant and uncooperative. The inverse is also true.
With multitudes of available weapons and a character-development system that is quite in-depth, few console RPGs can compare to the complexity of Mass Effect.
These five games are all great reasons to choose an Xbox 360 console. From casual RPG fans to hardcore shooter fanatics, any gamer is sure to find a console-exclusive game that is right for them. These five great games cannot be found anywhere else.