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Letters from the Front

It’s been 13 years since the launch of the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 stands as one of the best consoles in gaming history, with a great amount of games that have stood the test of time as the best in their class. I’ve complied a list of the Top 10 Xbox 360 games, which was very hard to do as I’ve had a good amounts of games to choose from, but here we are. Let’s begin!

1: Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 is the pinnacle of classic BioWare and the pinnacle of the genre-defining, game-defining, trilogy that would conclude in 2012. This true sequel has Commander Shepard travel across the Galaxy to recruit people for a dangerous suicide mission. The story begins with a bang and ends the way how it started while setting up for the final chapter.

2: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Before it’s release, Skyrim became the biggest hype machine of all time. It lived up to the hype when it released in November 2011; it is one of the most memorable RPG’s ever made, Skyrim has made not only a lasting impression on gaming but a lasting impression on the genre that it sits in: after it’s release, everyone would use Skyrim as a template.

3: BioShock

BioShock is probably one of the best games that I have ever played. It is a wake up call to the industry, even now in the present, it is a game that exists under a blue moon.

From the moment you begin playing, BioShock is a mystery wrapped in a bundle of different things. From Rapture, from the architecture, from the world, it’s 50’s inspired setting and audio diaries, BioShock is a complete gem from top to bottom.

4: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is the embodiment of perfection. Red Dead Redemption places you in the shoes of John Marston, a former outlaw who tracks down his former friends to bring them to justice after the FBI kidnaps his family and forces him to do their bidding. Red Dead Redemption is set in the closing days of the Wild West, technology is vastly approaching from the East and civilization has now spreaded across the West, destroying a way of life and simplicity. The top notch writing and voice acting brings Red Dead Redemption to the forefront, it is definitely one of the decade’s legendary games.

It is worth noting that if you haven’t gave it a shot, it is now available on Xbox One.

5: Grand Theft Auto V

You know what to expect when it comes to Grand Theft Auto: criminals, cars, a colorful cast of characters, making fun of the American way of life and America as a whole. The series’ fifth installment is no different, showcasing a brilliant story of three characters in the city of Los Santos. A return to San Andreas meant the return of the trademark absurdity that was missing in Grand Theft Auto IV, GTA V never stopped on the absurdity and kept going and never allowing itself to be gritty and slow-paced; GTA V is one of Rockstar’s greatest works.

After six years on the market, it is still popular with GTA Online showing a great amount of resilence in the years after its original release. GTA V is a landmark in gaming, it is one of the greatest games ever made.

6: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Over the years, Call of Duty has faltered: Annual releases that tries to copy Call of Duty 4’s success, releases that feel staggered, games that feel old and tired, games that no longer break the barrier that games like Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops did, games that feel uninspired. The franchise is stuck but it wasn’t always that way: Call of Duty 4 changed the game forever.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s campaign is filled with memorable moments and epic moments alongside a revolutionary multiplayer component that changed multiplayer gaming forever. In the campaign, you fight through the streets in a conflict that mirrored Iraq and Afghanistan as a US Force Recon Marine and sneaked through the grass as a SAS operator in Russia. The game’s multiplayer stole the show, however, as it popularized a class-based loadout that has gone on to become a de-facto standard in multiplayer gaming, experience points, killstreaks, perks, and much more that went on to become the standard. In many ways, you never stopped playing Call of Duty 4.

7: Fallout 3

Fallout 3 was originally developed by Black Isle Studios under the working title of Van Buren. Interplay Entertainment, who owned Black Isle, closed Black Isle before Van Buren could be completed, and the license to develop Fallout 3 was sold to Bethesda Softworks, who originally was going to develop 3 games but in 2006, they brought the full rights to the Fallout franchise. Fallout 3 released in October of 2008 to critical acclaim and praise.

Fallout 3 is an ambitious game that doesn’t come around too often and revolutionized the RPG genre. It’s legacy can still be felt eleven years after it’s release, it’s a game that gets better with age.

8: Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City is the best superhero game ever made. The enthralling story is set six months after Arkham Asylum, the follow up to one of the great games of 2009 sees The Dark Knight trapped in Arkham City, a section of Gotham that has been condemned and abandoned. It continues the one night formula in where Batman is poisoned by Joker and must be cured at the end of the night alongside Hugo Strange’s attempt to expose Batman’s true identity. Arkham City has the return of the brutal hand to hand combat that influenced fighting games and super hero games like Spiderman which ended up being more satisfying then Arkham Asylum’s combat mechanics. This game is such an icon.

9: Halo 3: ODST

After the release of Halo 3 in 2007, Bungie returned for their penultimate Halo game which was an expansion of Halo 3 titled Halo 3: ODST. ODST was a prequel to Halo 3 and is set during the events of Halo 2 and showcases a different perspective on the New Mombasa battle.

ODST followed a squad of Marine Orbital Shock Troops during the Covenant invasion of Earth. The game was set right after the Metropolis level in Halo 2, when the Prophet of Regret triggered a slipspace jump in New Mombasa. Halo 3: ODST was a milestone and showed how extensive Halo can be. I wish that we will one day return to the ODSTs in a future Halo game.

10: Halo 3

Halo 2 raised the bar but Halo 3 perfected it. If it wasn’t for Halo 3 then I wouldn’t have had met my friends on Xbox Live or wouldn’t have had gone to meet them several years ago, me and my friends who I met on Xbox 360 playing Halo 3 have formed a lasting relationship that will hopefully last the reminder of our lives. This game holds a special place in my heart for that particular reason and the iconic marketing that Bungie pulled off, six years of waiting for the end all led up to this.

Halo 3’s multiplayer is iconic, from its revolutionary ranking up system versus social multiplayer to its armor customization system to 4-player online co-op and the introduction of Forge to its iconic marketing and hype, this game, much like the rest of the games, in 2007 are a watershed moment in gaming. There will never be another Halo 3.

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