As playing video games is one of the only hobbies I have any time for I thought I’d run down the games I loved this year. I bought my Xbox 360 last December and I have never had more fun with video games than I have this year.
Xbox 360 Retail Games:
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 1 & 2
Number 1 came out last year, but that’s ok because I didn’t dive into it until ’07. Both these games featured realistic tactical combat and fun online play.
One of the greatest games of the year. I had so much fun with it’s open-world game play and character leveling system. There’s nothing more fun than scaling skyscrapers with your beefed up super-cop, only to jump to the ground below and hurl vehicles and the bad guys. It allowed you to tackle missions in truly creative (and generally over-the-top) ways. Best achievement of the year award goes to Crackdown for requesting that I “Use the Harpoon gun to attach 5 gang member corpses to a single vehicle.”
Rainbow Six Vegas
Took the tactical combat of Ghost Recon indoors for an incredibly intense game. Almost a perfect game, except for a lopsided online leveling system that makes it no fun for new players.
Call of Duty 2
This also game out in ’06, but it was the first game I bought for the 360 and still one of my favorites. The online play is about as fun as it gets. Plus I’m a sucker for World War II games.
Medal of Honor: Airborne
It had a very solid single-player story and a great weapon upgrade system. A very glitchy online mode is the only thing that kept this one from being better. It didn’t receive the greatest reviews, but like I said, I have a soft spot for WWII games.
The sequel to the John Woo film, Hard Boiled, Stranglehold puts your right in the middle of a cinematic shoot-em-up. It’s great fun for the length of the game, but not much beyond one play through. It’s fun, but really just a rental.
The Orange Box
The absolute best buy in gaming. For $60 you get Half-Life 2 along with it’s two expansion episodes, Portal and Team Fortress 2. I’d never played Half-Life and am really enjoying it. Portal has some of the greatest game play ever conceived. You need to own this set.
Sometimes it’s fun to just turn your brain off and roll crap up into a big ball.
Guitar Hero II & III
This year alone I have spent almost $400 to enjoy Guitar Hero. That translates to one copy of GH II with wired guitar, one extra wired guitar and two copies of GH III, each with wireless guitars. To say we love the games is probably an understatement. Of course, when it’s all said and done, I’ll sell most of it and be down to two wireless guitars and one copy of each game.
Hands-down one of the most compelling experiences you can have on the 360. I love video games that scare be so bad I don’t want to go into the next room.
While I don’t know that it lived up to all the pre-launch hype, it’s still one of the best games ever made. With one of the deepest online modes ever, we’ll be playing Halo 3 for years to come.
I flat out love this game. It’s not without it’s flaws, but it is still incredibly immersive. AC hero Altair out-climbs Spider-man himself.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
In a year of so many great games, CoD 4 rolls in as my Game of the Year. For any fans of first-person shooters this game is pure heaven. It features an incredibly beautiful and intense single-player game and one of the deepest online multiplayer set-ups.
Xbox Live Arcade Games:
One of the true gems of the Xbox 360 is the Live Arcade with tons of high-quality games available for $5 – $10.
The quick list of Arcade games I bought and loved:
Hexic 1 & 2
Geometry Wars Evolved
Puzzle Fighter HD Remix
Bankshot Billiards 2
Carcassonne – My XBLA Game of the Year
TMNT 1989 Arcade