I recently wrote an article about my 9 years with the Xbox 360, in which I spoke about the games that I loved and would still love to play… amongst other things. Since I bought my Xbox One, back in November, I’ve been playing my 360 on and off. There are a few games that I’ll always come back to, Telltale’s The Walking Dead episodic game series being one of them, and there are also a few games that I never got around to buying when first released, that I wouldn’t mind giving a go now. Particularly as they’re pretty damn cheap. But, something that I very quickly realised is that I’m probably in the minority. I would imagine that there are far more Xbox 360 gamers out there than there are One or PS4, and it’s all well and good me talking about all of the current-gen games that I’m playing on my shiny new console, but how does that help the majority of the community? So, because I’m such a nice guy and all, I’ve decided to trawl the internets (as well as my own game catalogue) to tell you about the best games that you can get, at the best value for your money, on the Xbox 360. Now, this won’t be a list of cheap games, I’m merely going to be telling you about some of the games out there that are both good, and good value for money. Plus, most of these will be on the PS3 too and some will be on the PC, so there’s something for everyone, really.
This one is a bit obvious, I know. But I figured I’d start off with something straightforward. Some of you might not realise that, at one point in time, EA and BioWare were actually making some pretty decent games. These were the years that we were graced with titles like Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins, rather than Mass Effect 3 or Dragon Age 2. The original Mass Effect is an absolute classic. It’s one of these games that doesn’t hold your hand as you play it. It’s very intuitive, and lets you tackle it how you see fit. With Mass Effect 3, and somewhat in Mass Effect 2, I felt that I was being coddled into playing the game in a certain way. Side-quests felt marginalized and space exploration was too simple and boring. The original Mass Effect is a game well worth playing, or replaying and, at the moment, it’s a steal! Game are selling it for £3 and, if you’re in the mood, you can pick up Mass Effect 2 for £4 and Mass Effect 3 for £5. Although the games do get progressively worse as the series goes on, they’re still good games. Plus, the series in itself really holds its own. £12 for the entire series is more than worth it, considering that there’s at least 100 hours of gameplay right there.
I’ve been going on about this one for some time now. When I first picked it up, I wasn’t overly impressed. I really liked the game, but it was too tough for my liking and being faced with a lack of fast-travel in the game really frustrated me, so I decided to trade in my copy. Fast forward a year and I decided to give it another go. Why? You might ask. Because it was dirt cheap, that’s why! I managed to get it from Game for £8, (Game are useless for some things, but pre-owned deals isn’t one of them), which is an absolute bargain, I would happily pay £20 for Dragon’s Dogma. This game can be a bit frustrating at times, and it is a bit of a challenge. But I promise you, once you’ve done a bit of hard grinding and got past the first couple of quests, it’s an absolute joy to play. All round, it’s a solid game with a decent story – exactly what you want in an RPG.
State of Decay
State of Decay is crazy cheap on the Xbox Live Marketplace, considering how many hours you can squeeze out of it. It’s one of those games that you can play religiously for hours, or flit in and out of when you’re looking for a bit of filler. As far as zombie survival games go, this is one of the greats. It’s also one of the first to do it, especially on such a grand scale. Search for supplies, clear out the zombie hordes and grow both your community of survivors and your base of operations – all whist exploring a pretty decent sized game world ranging from country fields to packed towns. Plus, it’s only £13.50 at the moment, and I couldn’t recommend it any higher. Undead Labs, the guys behind State of Decay, are currently working on another untitled project for the Xbox One, and possibly 360 and PC, which I’m absolutely stoked for. Hopefully it’ll be State of Decay but bigger, better and prettier.
I stumbled across Divinity II completely by accident one day, whilst perusing the Marketplace. It cost me a grand total of £3, and it was more than worth every penny. It’s quite a simple RPG, but it has been executed incredibly well, plus it has a really captivating story that kept me interested from beginning to end. Play are selling it for £7, used. I managed to get it on super sale a couple of years back, but it’s still more than worth £7. It reminded me of Dragon Age: Origins, as it had a similar graphic and gameplay style. The Play version is the extended and updated title, Dragon Knight Saga, which adds a bit more to the game once you’ve completed the final mission in the main story. It’s actually cheaper than the shorter game, and it adds a good few hours of gameplay to the title, win, win!
The original Dead Space was an incredible game. It was unrivalled at the time and, for me, the only survival-horror game that I’ve played since (in the same vein) and enjoyed as much is Outlast. Set in the voids of space, you control Isaac as you attempt to explore and escape a dead space-ship packed to the brink with creepy crawly alien zombies. It combines suspense, horror and action almost seamlessly to create the perfect survival-horror third person shooter. Dead Space is going for cheap, mainly because of its age. You can get it for cheap through Amazon, with some of the suppliers selling it for as little as £1.73 (excluding delivery).
I’ve been playing Sniper Elite 3 for the past few days, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it. I first played Sniper Elite Volume 2 a couple of years ago, and I was mesmerized by the game. The mechanics were smooth but the best bit were the co-op game modes. Elite 3 is just as good, perhaps even better, for co-op and multiplayer with a real variety of game modes to choose from and keep you entertained. Plus, there’s nothing like watching a slow-mo x-ray scene as a well placed bullet soars through the air and smashes through your target. Amazon are selling it for just under £25 on the 360 and PS3, and if you’ve got a little more cash to splash, it’s really worth it. There’s also some DLC where you can assassinate Hitler, every boy’s dream.
Last, but nowhere near least, is Mafia II. I absolutely adored the first Godfather game, but the second was a bit so-so. They changed a lot about the game, and it wasn’t necessarily for the better. Mafia II, however, was very similar to the first Godfather game. It had a gripping story, brilliant game mechanics and, the icing on top, tonnes of options for customisation. I’d imagine that you can guess what the game’s about… gangsters, gangsters what it’s about. There’s guns, explosions, booze and tonnes of unnecessary violence. Back to Game for this one, boys and girls, as it’s being stocked at a cool £5. I loved Mafia II, and you really don’t need to have played Mafia to enjoy it. It’s the perfect mobster game, in my humble opinion.
So there you have it, a concoction of reasonably priced games for your playing pleasure. If you’ve already played these, or none of them take your fancy, feel free to post a comment with the types of games that you’re into, and either myself or another member of the team will be happy to recommend some games for you. Since the release of the current-gen games console, there hasn’t been a better time to be a last-gen gamer. Developers are still making games for the consoles and there are plenty of decent deals out there to tempt us to part with our hard earned cash.