10 Great Things about 10 Great Years of Xbox
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Our beloved Xbox brand turned 10 years old this month. Here are 10 great things about the systems and services that dominate our free time.
Computer gamers might have cried foul back when Microsoft decided to make Halo an Xbox exclusive title, but that didn’t stop the masses from switching over to some of the best console gaming and multiplayer of the time. Considering we just saw 3 and a half sequels, a spin-off and an HD re-release, I’d say this reason still holds true after time.
Simply put, Xbox Live is the greatest gaming service the world’s ever seen. Maybe it costs more than the PSN or Steam, but at least it’s never been down for more than a few minutes or being seriously hacked. Considering that at any time there are millions of players out there, you’ll never be hard pressed to instantly hop right into an online match.
Alan Wake is not only one of the best, if not the best, horror games on Xbox, it’s also one of the most enjoyable gameplay experiences we’ve had this generation. With a great story, awesome atmosphere and easy to dive into gameplay, that title kept us up more than a few nights trying to get to “just one more” checkpoint.
Four Player Local Coop
Having 3 friends sit around the living room with you harkens back to the good old days of gaming, when multiplayer was a very local affair. With a ton of great local cooperative games like Castle Crashers and Scott Pilgrim, old-school gaming parties are far from gone.
Gears Of War
Gears of War is the killer franchise to play on Xbox 360. Owing to the strong success of online games of the past like Halo, and the wonder that is the Xbox Live service, Gears of War 1, 2 and 3 are some of the most played games on Xbox. With genre defining cooperative gameplay, and fiercely competitive multiplayer, this franchise turned us all into hard core gamers.
Twin Stick Zombie Shooters
Okay, so the Indie Game marketplace might be flooded with these types of games, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all bad. In fact, quite a few are incredibly fun. With XBLA releases like Zombie Apocalypse, and Indie Games like Zombie Estate, there’s no shortage to cheap, zombie killing fun out there.
The Xbox 360 Controller
The original Xbox controller was big, clunky and a bit of a joke, but the team at Microsoft nevertheless managed to learn and improve it the second time around. The current Xbox 360 controller is one of the best gaming has ever seen. With joysticks intelligently positioned not to have your thumbs bump into each other (PS3 we’re looking at you!) and a slick overall design, this controller takes the cake.
Well, none of the Fable games had as strong of an ending chapter as any of us hoped, but did that change the fact we had a great time getting there nonetheles? The first Fable back on the original Xbox was reason enough to pick up the system, and was a healthy reminder that Western-style RPGs were far from dead.
Denying Sony Exclusive Rights to Final Fantasy
Here’s one that no one saw coming: Final Fantasy XIII releasing for Xbox 360. For ages, Sony had the stranglehold on Japanese-style RPGS, notably every recent entry in the Final Fantasy series, but that hold was broken when Microsoft, in a spectacular coup, managed to get rights to release FFXIII on the Xbox. Take that PS3!
Casual Gaming Done Right
Microsoft wanted to turn the Xbox 360 into a home entertainment system available for families and casual gamers without alienating its hardcore fanbase, and by all rights it looks like they’ve succeeded. Unlike the Wii, which destroyed any credibility it had with the dedicated gamers crowd, the Xbox 360 has a safe selection of casual games that don’t suck and just enough features to make it a worthwhile purchase for any household.