Since its launch in 2001, the Xbox has become a major player in the gaming industry, providing gamers with a vast library of games that cater to a wide range of tastes. Xbox games have become known for their high-quality graphics, immersive gameplay, and engaging storylines. From first-person shooters to racing games to platformers and RPGs, the Xbox has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top five best Xbox games of all time, as well as new and upcoming releases that are sure to keep gamers entertained for hours on end. Whether you’re a casual player or a hardcore gamer, the Xbox has a game for you. So, sit back, grab your controller, and let’s dive into the world of Xbox games.
In recent years, the Xbox ecosystem has been bolstered by their Netflix-adjacent subscription service called Xbox Games Pass. It’s up for debate if Microsoft putting emphasis on this service is worth it. It could be that people aren’t evening using the service, Americans are paying for subscription services they no longer use by almost half. Additionally, a fascinating new survey reports more than two in five Americans (44%) plan on canceling at least one of their TV subscriptions over the next six months due to budgetary concerns.
However since gaming is not just watching TV, whether done competitively or for leisure, was shown to improve various measures of attention, including sustained attention and selective attention. Gamers were also found to have an easier time in focusing on demanding tasks. Maybe it’s time to pick up a controller.
So, what are the most enticing titles to get your hands on for Xbox? StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best Xbox games of all time. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!
The List: Best Xbox Games of All Time, According to Experts
1. Halo 2
This first-person shooter game released in 2004 is widely regarded as one of the best games in the “Halo” franchise. It introduced new features like dual-wielding weapons, improved multiplayer modes, and a storyline that expanded on the original game.
— Xbox Original (@XboxSoftmodKit) April 1, 2023
Den of Geek says, “Halo 2 has always been my favorite game in Microsoft’s flagship series, one I played for endless hours while in high school (back when you had to invite people over to play multiplayer or co-op). The campaign has always been closest to my heart, filled with complex characters whose motives and intentions (and affiliations) aren’t known until the action-packed last act of the game. Two great warriors must sacrifice everything by game’s end in order to finish the fight against the Covenant. Better days loom over them just beyond the darkness of space.”
“Halo 2 was divisive at launch due to splitting the story between the Master Chief and the Arbiter. However, giving the Covenant their own time in the spotlight helps flesh out the universe and make them more than the one-dimensional bullet sponges like they were in the first game. Halo 2 set out to ambitiously accomplish more than its predecessor, and when it succeeds, it truly shines like no other entry in the franchise,” says The Gamer.
“It’s remarkable, then, that ‘Halo 2’ remains the best-written, best-acted game in the franchise, with the most memorable line readings in gaming history. Although its linear levels betrayed the freedom offered in the first game, Bungie still experimented with the possibilities of the first Halo within level designs that felt far more confident,” adds the Washington Post.
2. Gears of War
This third-person shooter game released in 2006 is known for its cover-based gameplay, intense action sequences, and gritty post-apocalyptic setting. It spawned a successful franchise and set a benchmark for third-person shooters on Xbox.
“Back in 2006, Microsoft and Epic Games took the industry by storm with a not-so-little game called Gears of War. Immediately upon release, it was met with widespread, unanimous acclaim, and immediately joined Halo in the upper echelons of Microsoft’s best first party franchises. And it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the original Gears of War one of the most influential games of the last couple of decades. Because Gears of War opened the floodgates for a veritable wave of cover shooters. Stop and pop shooting became the ‘in thing’ in video games last generation, and Gears of War was the game to kick off that trend,” points out Gaming Bolt.
According to Slate, “Gears of War also employs a couple of nifty gameplay innovations. Most shocking, you can’t jump. Almost every game since the days of Super Mario Bros. has permitted players to hop around, even if there’s no compelling reason to do so. In Gears of War, however, pressing the ‘A’ button sends Marcus Fenix diving into cover. He hides behind pillars, cars, couches, walls, and any other obstacle you can find. In the game’s manual, Bleszinksi says the design was inspired by a game of paintball, during which he realized that the run-and-gun tactics of most shooting games did nothing to approximate the duck-and-cover tactics of a real (or at least a paintball) firefight.”
Screen Rant commented, “The original Gears of War is a stone-cold classic that gave the Xbox 360 generation its very own Halo, but it’s also much different than the franchise that followed in its wake. The dark undertones of Sera and its government were more on the surface, and the entire planet felt more hostile. ”
This racing game released in 2018 is highly regarded for its stunning graphics, vast open-world environment, and realistic car physics. It received critical acclaim for its seamless multiplayer experience and is considered one of the best racing games of all time.
“I wished this game had existed when I was nine years old. I loved cars then, though back in 1988 a kid could only get so far loving cars through Hot Wheels. I would have played no other game than this if it had come out when I was a kid. Forza Horizon 4 is the Rolex watch of Hot Wheels playsets,” says Kotaku.
“Forza Horizon 4 was released on Windows and Xbox in 2016 and also has an enhanced edition. The game boasts a vast number of cars and different game modes. In addition, there are even a couple expansions that players can enjoy,” says SportsKeeda.”The several awards it has won, within and outside its genre, are a testament to the fact of the game’s quality. ”
Game Spot talks about it’s looks, “It’s the best of both worlds, and the best Forza Horizon 4 has ever looked. (And it was already quite a looker.) In 4K, every detail looks sharp, from the stone walls you’ll bust through every time you take a bad angle on a turn to the dials on your car’s dash when you take a tour of the interior in your garage. At 60 frames per second, the more fluid animation intensifies the sense of speed that builds when you shift into high gear, whether you’re gracefully drifting around sharp turns on Edinburgh’s streets or launching off a ramp in the English countryside.”
This platform-adventure game released in 2020 is praised for its beautiful graphics, captivating storyline, and challenging gameplay. It is regarded as one of the best Xbox games of the last decade and a must-play for fans of platformers.
IGN says: “Ori and the Will of the Wisps, successfully builds on that distinctive gameplay in a way that doesn’t just retread the same ground. There’s more breadth, detail, choice, and diversity than ever, and it’s all done with engrossing color and light and an excellent, inspiring soundtrack.”
“Ori and the Will of the Wisps strikes the perfect balance between life and death, filling your heart with joy one second and then crushing it the next. Developer Moon Studios tugs at the player’s emotions whenever possible, both through a beautifully penned story that sees Ori racing to rescue a friend, and also nail-biting gameplay that demands precision and patience every step of the way,” adds Game Informer.
Venture Beat simply puts it: “Ori and the Blind Forest (the first game in the series) is one of my favorite games of the 2010s. I know that the 2020s have just started, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, is my favorite game of this decade.”
5. Fable II
This action RPG game released in 2008 is beloved for its engaging storyline, innovative gameplay mechanics, and immersive world-building. It is considered one of the best RPGs on Xbox and a classic of the console’s library.
“The most distinctive thing about the Fable series is its unique character, charm and sense of humour the characters and world posses. The game doesn’t really ever take itself seriously, with self-referential gags littered throughout, and a fantastically diverse array of voice actors delivering hundreds of lines of British-humour-laced dialogue throughout,” says Game Change.
For it’s time, it looked great. According to True Achievements, “This is the 360 at it’s very best. Albion is a world of it’s own, and it looks the part. Sunshine and water has never looked so beautiful in a game. Buildings are also really well designed, houses are detailed with furniture and towns are actually like real live towns. People work, people beg on the streets for money, people drink in the bar. It’s like being in a real world.”
IGN writes, “I have been waiting a long time for a return to Albion. The past four years were well spent by Lionhead. Fable II has a great combat system, some excellent atmosphere, a smart experience system, and lots to do.”
You might also be interested in:
- Den of Geek
- The Gamer
- Washington Post
- Gaming Bolt
- Screen Rant
- Game Spot
- Game Informer
- Venture Beat
- Game Change
- True Achievements
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.