By Clinton “dreddsix6six” O’Shea
So, you’ve just got yourself a shiny white Xbox 360? Or even a black, red or green one? Now you want to get some games. Preferably cheap ones. Look no further, I think I may be able to help. The games collected below are all well over a year old, but remain utter classics. Golden oldies if you will. You’d be a fool not to search them out.
Zombies. In a shopping mall. Sounds awesome? It is. The first time Frank West flies in the helicopter over the streets and witnesses the carnage below, you WILL scream with excitement. The first time you hit a zombie on the head with a baseball bat, you WILL scream with excitement. The first time you run on the shoulders of the zombie horde, you WILL scream with excitement. The first time you plough your car through 100s of undead, you will (yes you guessed it) scream with excitement. The first time you have to save, you will scream with despair. Other than that, there is nothing cooler than zombies in a shopping mall for 72 hours (not real time).
GTA on steroids. You are the ultimate super cop. Level up. Cause carnage. Destroy the gangs controlling the city. Run, jump, climb and enjoy the view 30 floors up. There is no reason to not love this game. Well maybe the story. Ever so slightly. Looks good, plays well and makes you giddy with excitement. Who thought collecting orbs could be so much fun though?
The most thrilling FPS shooter ever? If you enjoy brilliant storytelling, great graphics, a fantastic setting and some of the most varied enemies ever collected in a single game, then the answer is yes. If not, you shouldn’t be playing games. Early 2010 can’t come soon enough for the second instalment and added multiplayer. The lure of plasmids, Big Daddies, Little Sisters and the magnificent Rapture will survive long after the waters wash us all away.
The ultimate space opera. Drama, intrigue and inter species love. A game not without its flaws, but an absolutely engrossing tale, which sees you, as the first human Spectre, conquering unexplored planets, rescuing hapless innocents and digging into the lives of a wide and rich cast of characters. Be ready to continue the quest early 2010. For now, go and play this for the first time, or even again. On the 360 there is no better Space RPG.
Gears of War
Add a chainsaw to a gun. Chainsaw meet flesh. Flesh gets ripped to shreds. A macabre masterpiece. A symphony. It looked gorgeous. In fact it still does. It introduced a superb cover system. The world you battle through is rough and tangible. The set pieces are brilliant and undeniably memorable. It spawned a dozen inferior copies. It spawned a superior sequel, but still remains utterly vital. Did I mention the chainsaw on a gun?
A bit of a dark (excuse the pun) horse this one. And maybe not one that all will agree with, but don’t be hasty. It’s a FPS. But after that, it’s so much more. As Jackie Estacado, a Mafia hitman, you inherit spectacular and quite terrifying powers of The Darkness. Darklings to do your bidding? Check. Controllable Demon Heads? Check. A Demon Arm for close quarters? Check. A miniature black hole? Check. Duel wielded weapons? Check. A good story? Check. This game has a lot going for it, and it will reward you for moving over to the dark side.
Battlefield: Bad Company
But isn’t Call of Duty 4 a better drama? So what if it is, Bad Company has a charm all of its own. A humorous story not unlike the movie “Three Kings”, where a squad of renegade soldiers give in to greed and flip the bird to their employer – the US Army. Through the course of the sprawling campaign, you get attached to the personalities that make up your rag-tag squad. You laugh, and cry and scream manically, when you realise a just damn destructible everything is. The Multiplayer is rather satisfying too.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty not set in World War II? Surely a mistake? No, it was a massive coup. Infinity Wards delivered a quite frankly memorable experience. Truly cinematic and engrossing. Fighting the “good” fight in almost every part of the world imaginable has never felt so important. It was a little short and a little linear, but there is always the Multiplayer to play. Anyone who’s played the campaign will surely never forget the ghillie suit mission. Epic.
The Orange Box
The Orange Box makes it here for two reasons. The first, it’s the best bang-for-buck deal ever released. Secondly, it’s actually bloody good. You get Half-Life 2 and its two episodic sequels released so far. The single-player storytelling and gameplay is quite literally award-winning. Team Fortress 2, the original multiplayer re-booted into a classic for this era. And finally, Portal, innovative first-person puzzling that has no comparison. This compilation is an absolute must own.
Tense and utterly engrossing. A first-person shooter that restricts the number of ballistic based weapons, and when you have them, restricts the amount of ammunition available. You are forced to rely on your fists and the melee weapons plucked from the environments. Pipes and even prosthetic limbs make for the ideal defence against the sociopaths lurking in the shadows. As a member of the FBI’s Serial Crimes Unit, you also get some forensic tools to aid you in your investigative quest to track down relentless serial killers. On release, this game was groundbreaking and still holds up well today. Go find it now…
Some Honourable Mentions…
The completion of the trilogy. Not exactly an original FPS, but iconic never the less.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
A tactical shooter set in the not-too-distant future. An interesting single player campaign that gushes with goodness.
Forza Motorsport 2
This is the definitive racing game for petrol heads the world over.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
The best Rainbow Six ever. A slow and steady FPS that oozes quality.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
A vast and gorgeous RPG that can keep you occupied a lifetime. Possibly still the finest Fantasy RPG on the 360.