We’re back with the second installment of our 10 Best Video Games feature, and this week’s post addresses our recommended plays for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console. You all chimed in with some great comments and tweets regarding last week’s PS3 listings and you are encouraged to do the same here.
Again, bear in mind that we are not following any scientific selection process, eschewing objectivity in favor of a “what we like best” approach. As with before, we’ll give some deference to exclusive titles, but you’ll see a few more cross-platform ditties appear on this list. In the name of full disclosure, be advised that this author is a bit 360-centric. That owes to Microsoft offering their next-gen console a full year early of the PS3 and to fact that your otherwise rational host is a full-blown achievement addict. All that to say, apologies to Sony fanboys if this list seems overzealous. Based on our choices, you might conclude that we are quite fond of aliens, zombies, and big guns. Well, you’d be right.
And now, ze’ games!
Hail to the (Master) Chief
Halo 3 proves once again that you really can’t get too much of a good thing. Rounding out the trilogy, the third installment’s arrival was a massive, global media event. Nearly two years later, over 1 billion online matches have been played by FPS fiends the world over. A solid single player campaign coupled with the standard-setting multiplayer experience defines Halo 3 as a veritable requirement for anyone who can hold a controller. This month’s release of ODST should only stoke the fire for players everywhere.
Seriously, who doesn’t want to reenact Dawn of the Dead?
Assuming the role of photojournalist Frank White, you’ll need to survive three days trapped in a shopping mall. Oh, and said mall is completely overrun by reanimated corpses (that’s code for zombies). Luckily, the mall provides a bevy of weapon-wielding opportunities as our protagonist can take advantage of everything from guitars to frying pans to firearms to the venerable chainsaw in attempt to keep the zombie hordes at bay. It’s said that up to 800 zombies can populate the game screen at any given time, but don’t worry – there’s limitless fodder to satisfy your zombie-killing needs.
Forza Motorsport 2
Microsoft’s Challenge to Gran Turismo
Cars – beautiful, beautiful cars. With over 300 available models, Forza Motorsport 2 can meet any gearhead’s desire for variety. Built with the intent of offering a true racing simulation, Forza excels nearly every area. Vehicles are highly customizable; exteriors are tacked through a graphical editor incorporating 1,000 unique graphical layers, while driving physics can be tweaked on all major vehicle systems.
Forza 2 narrowly edged Project Gotham Racing 3/4 as our autolust pick, but we’d be remiss to deny our love of hard-won Kudos.
Resident Evil 5
Survival Horror in an All-New Setting: Broad Daylight
Every Resident Evil title with a number after its name (ignore all those wacky side projects) is a must-play for us. Resident Evil 5 doesn’t falter in the least, expanding the somewhat ridiculous storyline, but offering up the best gunplay that the series has seen. Even better, RE5 feature the first real cooperative campaign option and it works brilliantly. With plenty of unlockables, there’s plenty of replay value, as well. Sheva, no!
The Best Argument for Games as Art
Graphically stunning, BioShock is a sight to behold, treating all your senses as well as broadening the scope of what a video game can be. If you’ve read Ayn Rand, you’ll feel right at home in the underwater city of Rapture; it’s a place where morality and ethics have taken the same crumbling, dystopian path as the infrastructure around you. Which ending you get says a lot about your choices; luckily, you can and should have another go.