The Best Xbox 360 Games Released Throughout the Console’s Lifecycle

The Xbox 360. A title that brings back thoughts of massive online fights, fun times with friends on the same sofa, and loads of time spent in vast virtual lands. Started in 2005, this gaming system was the king of the living room for an amazing twelve years, giving us a bunch of unforgettable games. As the Xbox 360 store gets ready to shut down for good in July 2024, why not go back in time and think about the game that was the biggest hit each year the Xbox 360 was in charge?

Xbox 360 games

2005 - Call of Duty 2

The sound of guns and big booms – Call of Duty 2 came out with the Xbox 360, starting an era where everyone loved playing shooter games online. This game about World War 2 wasn’t just cool to look at – it also made the playing part better than before, making you feel like you were right in the middle of those big, important fights from the past.

Xbox 360 games

2006 - The Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion

Oblivion was more than just a game. It was a door to a carefully made-up place of magic and adventure. Everyone in the game could talk, quests changed as you played, and the views were stunning. It set new records for big adventure games. Players could spend endless hours checking out every little spot, creating their own stories in the land of Cyrodiil.

Xbox 360 games

2007 - BioShock

BioShock was different from other shooting games. The game was set in Rapture, an underwater city known for its old and falling apart Art Deco beauty and its society that had fallen apart, something players hadn’t seen before. The story let players make choices, wasn’t clear about what’s right or wrong, and had a spooky feel to it, making BioShock a game that really made you think.

Xbox 360 games

2008 - Grand Theft Auto 4

Grand Theft Auto was always wild, but GTA 4 made it even crazier. Liberty City was like a rough version of New York, full of energy. The tale of Niko Bellic, who came from Eastern Europe and got caught up in the city’s crime scene, really hit home. It was dark, had humor, and was super engaging, making GTA 4 a game-changer for stories in open-world games.

xbox 360 games

2009 - Assassin's Creed 2

After the first game did really well, Assassin’s Creed 2 made everything better. Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a very likable Italian assassin, quickly became a favorite among fans. The game is set during the Renaissance, and players loved running across rooftops and the interesting story tied to the Animus. This made Assassin’s Creed 2 a key game for the Xbox 360.

xbox 360 games

2010 - Red Dead Redemption

In a year full of amazing games, Red Dead Redemption really shone. The team at Rockstar San Diego made an epic Western game that was both comforting and new. It told the tale of John Marston, an ex-criminal on a quest to fix his past, in a way that was as powerful as the wild places he went through. The world of Red Dead Redemption seemed real, the battles were thrilling, and the tale was unexpectedly heartwarming.

xbox 360 games

2011 - The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Skyrim was full of bugs when it first came out, but this didn’t keep it from turning into something huge. The huge world of Tamriel gave players a lot of choices. You could be defeating dragons, becoming part of groups, or just wandering in the wild, Skyrim made you feel like you were on a great adventure. It’s not surprising that people still play it, add new modifications, and bring it out again even now.

xbox 360 games

2012: Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 was more than just a game where you shoot from your own view. It was like a scary movie in your head. The sunny Rook Islands turned into a creepy place because of the weird bad guy, Vaas Montenegro. Far Cry 3 mixed up what felt normal and what felt crazy, making it both exciting and a bit scary.

xbox 360 games

2013 - Grand Theft Auto 5

The powerhouse came back. Grand Theft Auto 5 broke all the sales records and turned into one of the top money-making entertainment pieces ever. It told the gripping story of three outlaws in a city like Los Angeles, named Los Santos. Yet, the real game-changer was the smooth online mode, GTA Online. It’s still popular, showing how good Rockstar is at making online games that hook people in.

xbox 360 games

2014 - Dark Souls 2

The Xbox 360 did more than just big games. In 2014, it got Dark Souls 2 before the Xbox One did. This game, known for being super tough and having mysterious stories, was loved by serious gamers. The game’s dark feeling, its good fighting system, and how great it felt to beat a really hard boss made Dark Souls 2 special and something people remember.

xbox 360 games

2015 - Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

The last game Hideo Kojima made for Metal Gear was different from the others. It had a more serious story that happened in a big, open map of Afghanistan. Even though some people didn’t like the way the story was told in pieces, the game was still amazing. It had a really cool open world to explore and the sneaking around part was very well done. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was a great way to end a famous series.

xbox 360 games

2016 - NBA 2K17

In 2016, when it was time for the Xbox 360 to step aside, NBA 2K17 was there to give it a grand goodbye. This basketball game got thumbs up for looking real, having better graphics, and cool music. Even if it wasn’t the most eye-catching game, NBA 2K17 showed that the Xbox 360 could still bring amazing sports games to the table.

xbox 360 games

Every year has its top game, but lots of other great games also need a shout-out. Here are a few that stood out:

  • 2005: Gears of War – A cover-based shooter that revolutionized the genre with its brutal action and memorable characters.
  • 2006: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess – A dark and mature take on the beloved Zelda franchise.
  • 2007: Mass Effect – A space opera RPG that offered epic choices and a sprawling galaxy to explore.
  • 2008: Fallout 3 – A post-apocalyptic RPG with an open world full of dark humor and tough decisions.
  • 2009: Batman: Arkham Asylum – A superhero game that redefined the genre with its immersive atmosphere and innovative combat.
  • 2010: Halo: Reach – A prequel to the Halo saga that delivered a thrilling campaign and an addictive multiplayer mode.
  • 2011: Portal 2 – A mind-bending puzzle game with a hilarious story and innovative mechanics.
  • 2012: Dishonored – A stealth action game with a unique art style and a focus on player choice.
  • 2013: The Last of Us – A heart-wrenching story about survival in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • 2014: Forza Horizon 2 – A stunning racing game with a beautiful open world and a vast selection of cars.
  • 2015: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – A sprawling open-world RPG with a rich story, memorable characters, and stunning visuals.
  • 2016: Rise of the Tomb Raider – A reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise that offered a thrilling adventure and a more mature Lara Croft.

What Xbox 360 games do you love the most? Talk about your experiences and ideas in the comments underneath!

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