Microsoft’s first console holds a very special in the hearts of many gamers. The ‘beast’ as it was called in some circles absolutely trounced its competitors when it came to raw power allowing near-PC level games to be playable on your TV for the first time ever. But beyond processing power the system is also to thank for pushing the standardization of online gameplay, something which today is a must have, no matter how you decide to play games. So in honor of Microsoft’s big, green tank and to maybe remind Microsoft of which games need to end up on the Xbox One store (wink, wink) we’re counting down the Top 20 Best Xbox Games.
20 – Panzer Dragoon Orta
After the demise of the Dreamcast, Sega quickly began supporting the other systems on the market and arguably no console got more love from Sega than the Xbox, and one of (there might be more on this list!) of these games is Panzer Dragoon Orta. A brutally challenging game that kept players going thanks to its fantastic story and stellar gameplay, it’s a real shame that the series has been so quiet of late, especially with the increased demand for ‘hard’ games on the market its clear that a new Panzer Dragoon adventure would be a hit.
19 – Forza Motorsport
The game that started it all. One of the defining characteristics about the Forza Motorsport series has always been the stunning realism that Turn 10 have been able to craft. And while it may look quaint when compared to the 4K visuals of the Xbox One titles, Forza Motorsport on the OG Xbox still impresses with its slick visuals and racing mechanics that set the bar for all other motorsport sims on the market.
18 – Jet Set Radio Future
Another Sega property that does not get nearly enough love today. Jet Set Radio Future continues on from where the last game left off with players tasked with stickin’ it to the man by graffiti-ing the town, breaking down rivals with sick moves and just really being to coolest teen in the world. The game still stands out thanks it its sharp, cel-shaded visuals and rocking soundtrack. Come on Sega, don’t let this one collect dust forever too… and speaking of dust.
17 – Phantom Dust
One of the few first party Microsoft games to not receive sequels on future systems Phantom Dust is a game that could only really be described as ‘ahead of its time’. Part third person shooter, part collectible card game, Phantom Dust was often seen as a more strategic take on shooters, something that ran against what most popular games in the genre were doing at the time. At E3 2014, Microsoft announced plans for a full on remake however the developer, Darkside Game Studios, went bankrupt a few years later, leaving the future of this beloved Microsoft franchise once again in limbo.
16 – Conker: Live & Reloaded
One of Rare’s most beloved games of all time, Conker’s Bad Fur Day was an easy candidate for a remake when the developer became a Microsoft studio in the early 2000’s. Not only were the visuals vastly updated but some gameplay refinements were added to make for a more enjoyable experience overall. But the best new feature was the addition of Xbox Live powered multiplayer that let us take the game’s insane multiplayer suite online for the first time ever.
15 – Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
You know a game is loved when it’s used as the catalyst to announce that an entire console’s greatest hits are being re-released. Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge really is the perfect game too to re-debut the Xbox’s back-catalogue as its fast, visceral and brutal – all things that perfectly exemplify what the gaming on the original Xbox was all about. Really Microsoft could not have chosen a better game to be the poster-child
14 – Beyond Good & Evil
One of Ubisoft’s most beloved games, Beyond Good & Evil was an absolute gem to play back on the original Xbox. Featuring a deep, imaginative world that pulled players in thanks to its rich lore and fun gameplay. For years fans have been demanding a return to Jade’s world and at least E3 we finally got our wish with the announcement that a sequel would finally be produced (though its launch day might be a long time off) so what better time to do jump back into the original game.
13 – Psychonauts
Another extremely creative game for the Xbox, Tim Schafer’s Psychonauts was another game that could be described as ahead of its time. With the ability to control multiple character’s personalities the game proved to be one of the most imaginative game’s on the Xbox. And like Beyond Good & Evil, we are now eagerly awaiting the sequel to this fan favorite game.
12 – Burnout 3: Takedown
Oh man do I love this game. There’s no feeling quite like racing down a road and causing all sorts of mayhem on the freeway. The fast and furious-arcade style gameplay was an absolute blast to play and rack up points. I have very found memories of sitting with friends and trying to outdo our high scores and having way too many laughs as cars flipped with reckless abandon.
11 – Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Some of the best games of the 6th generation were the Splinter Cell games. Sam Fisher’s brand of espionage was unlike anything else that had come before it, filled with acrobatic moves, insane gadgets and the freedom to tackle missions however you pleased. And the best of these games was the Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, with its intriguing story, refined gameplay and best of all, excellent multiplayer mode. A high point for the series that has yet to be matched.
And that wraps up part one of our look at the best Xbox games. Make sure to tune in next Friday when we unveil which games earned the Top 10 honors.