Xbox has been around for nearly 20 years but PlayStation and Nintendo have been around for far longer. Xbox has seen some must-play titles over the years that many people missed out on since they may have only owned PlayStation and/or Nintendo consoles.
PlayStation and Nintendo are still very good places to play but Microsoft has doubled down on why it makes sense to play in its world as well.
Multiple systems to choose from with an option just short of three hundred dollars along with Xbox Game Pass and backward compatibility have convinced plenty of people to check out Xbox and see what they’ve been missing. It’s also a little harder to find a PS5 right now, which probably helps Xbox a little bit.
The Xbox 360/PS3/Wii generation was a really good time for videogames. It was longer thanks to an unstable economy but it also gave developers lots of time with the systems, which made it easier for some truly spectacular releases in the final years. Must-play games like Tomb Raider (2013), Mass Effect 2 and Portal 2 were available across both major consoles. But there are some truly exceptional Xbox 360 games that can be played through Xbox Game Pass on modern hardware with improvements thanks to the power of backwards compatibility. Some games that were available on PS3 or Wii are now only playable on the original hardware — or on Xbox.
Here are ten of the best Xbox 360 games that first time Xbox owners should play on Console, PC, or Cloud Gaming.
Remastered for the Xbox 360 years after Microsoft’s acquisition of Rare, Banjo-Kazooie is still available years later on Console and Cloud, which probably wouldn’t be the case if Nintendo still held the publishing rights.
The entire Fable trilogy is available on Xbox Game Pass and you can play all of them on Console or Cloud. They’re all worth playing but the second game is absolutely the best. If you’re going to play one of them, make it Fable II.
Gears of War
Yup, Gears of War has been around for nearly fifteen years and it all started on the Xbox 360. This is one of the easiest 360 era games to recommend because I still think it’s the best game in the series. Gears 5 is a super close second and The Coalition did a great job catching everyone up, but it’s also so easy to revisit the game that started it all. Gears of War is playable on Console and Cloud.
There’s a remaster of the first Gears of War, but I honestly still recommend the original version, especially if it’s your first time playing. It’s impressive seeing how great the original game looked and played, and the extra content in the remaster is unnecessary and hurts the pace.
Viva Piñata is a life simulation game with living piñata animals that breathe, eat and get murdered if you don’t keep a close eye on them. There hasn’t been a new game in the series in years but the original game is still incredibly fun. Viva Piñata is playable on Console and Cloud.
Fallout New Vegas
Fallout New Vegas isn’t perfect and often receives too much hype, which later makes people question if it’s even worth playing if they missed it. It is. It’s just also from 2010 and Obsidian Entertainment was under a lot of pressure while developing the sequel to Bethesda’s Fallout 3.
It’s a great example of a game that’s much better with newer hardware and enhancements; it was great in 2010 but the load times were super long. That’s no longer the case. Fallout New Vegas is playable on Console and Cloud.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Another great Bethesda-published title that’s much better thanks to faster load times. The resolution and other enhancements do a lot to show the age of textures but as long as you know you’re playing the best version of a 2006 Bethesda RPG you should be fine. Oblivion is available on Console and Cloud.
The Dead Space trilogy
Yeah, you read that right. Dead Space 3 isn’t a bad game. It’s actually a really good game. The series' focus just shifted in an effort to move more units. Then EA threw the entire series in the trash after the half-horror, half-action title failed to meet its expectations. Anyway, don’t worry, it’s been a few years and EA's willing to completely remake the game after shelving the series and closing down the entire studio in 2017.
Before that new remake/reboot/whatever version of Dead Space releases, you should consider playing the original three games. They’re all available on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate through EA Play, which is included in Game Pass Ultimate. You can play all three games on Console or Cloud. All three games are worth playing for different reasons and each game helps show off different aspects of the characters, universe, story and setting. Play these games.