411 Games Top 5 06.29.14: Top 5 Original Xbox Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 06.29.2014
From Halo 2 and Jade Empire to Knights of the Old Republic and Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The 411 staff bring you their lists of the Top 5 Original Xbox Games.
Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. There were many great things about the Original Xbox.
In our on and off again series looking back at video game systems, let's honor the Original Xbox
Daniel Anderson (Games Fact or Fiction Organizer, Regular Contributor to the Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer")
5. Steel Battalion- I am an unabashed fan of Mech games. I will admit to buying Steel Battalion when it first came out and playing it. I loved the huge controller setup, and wish that I could find another one reasonably priced to have now. The game was a unique mech game from needing to eject or losing you pilot (aka saved game), to trying to turn a mech while running and making too sharp a turn and your mech falling over. The graphics were good for the time as well. It saddens me to know that the latest Steel Battalion game was a broken Kinect game for the 360. I hope that we get another good Steel Battalion game sometime in the future.
4. Morrowind- I took my Xbox with me to college, and this was the first game I played once it was set up in the dorm. You could spend hours playing this game and losing yourself in the huge (for the time anyway) world. If you have played Oblivion or Skyrim you have played Morrowind. The free play style stood out from a lot of games at the time. I hadn't ever heard of the Elder Scrolls games before Morrowind (it was officially titled Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind), but it has not been forgotten since.
3. Jade Empire- The next three on my list are very close to each other in quality. Jade Empire was the first original universe RPG made by Bioware. The game came out after Knights of the Old Republic and built off of what it did so well. The biggest difference was that it was more action-based and less turn based. The world might not have been as deep as later Bioware games, but it was still well built, and I would love hearing a sequel announcement to revive the franchise.
2. Halo 2- I gave Halo 2 the nod over the first Halo because, as good as the first one was, Halo 2 left it in its dust. You had a better story, more weapons (plus dual weapons), and got some insight into the Covenant. Halo 2 also had online matches on an early Xbox Live. I was visiting a friend when Halo 2 came out, and we tore through the single player campaign in less than two days. Halo 2 was when any Bungie game became a must buy for me.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic- There is a lot said about this game and it is all true. This game was my favorite game on the original Xbox. You had all of the basics found in a lot of RPG's now from branching storylines, multiple endings (good and evil endings) based on your choices in the game, captivating characters (no, I am taking about HK-47 solely), and a storyline setting in a place we hadn't visited much in the Star Wars Universe. I have spent more time playing KOTR then I have watching the prequels. I would love to see a KOTR 3, and with EA having the Star Wars license, we at least have a small chance now.
John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasional Contributor to Four Player Co-op)
5. Dead or Alive 3: As fighting games go, DOA is pretty low on my list, but I have to admit when I saw the screenshots for this in GamePro (that was one of those old timey "magazines"), it nearly sold me on buying an XBOX first thing. In fact if Tekken Tag Tournament hadn't been out that year on PS2, I probably would have waited and got an XBOX with DOA3 instead, changing my entire gaming life. It's the best of the three DOA games I've played (not including Xtreme Beach Volleyball), and if you still have an XBOX it's worth grabbing for the history and the gameplay.
4. Halo 2: This was the only Halo I was ever really able to get into, and that's probably because at the time it came out was around my senior year/early years of college when all of my friends pretty much had Halo parties every weekend, so it was actually a lot of fun. The campaign didn't really mean anything to me, but for the action it was worth the time and the effort (which considering how often you get checkpoints, wasn't much.) Legendary multiplayer, obviously.
3. Jade Empire: As most people who have been reading my contributions to this for the past year may know, I'm a freak for BioWare stuff, so this should come as no surprise. Its an interesting take on Eastern mythology, and I really enjoyed the way character interacted with each other; it wasn't just an English story with a Chinese coat of paint, it really felt like it was written in their style of story-telling. I especially likes Silk Fox as far as characters go, but seeing Dawn Star's character arc was great too. Definitely a must buy for the console and for BioWare fans.
2. Fuzion Frenzy: Four high school friends laughing and being rowdy at 4am. This is the typical play setting of Fuzion Frenzy (or at least was when I was in school.) It was the kind of game that you played because Mario Party was too serious somehow, and someone would always roll with Oddjob on Goldeneye; Fuzion Frenzy guaranteed cheat-free chaos for everyone, and I loved it to death.
1. Shenmue II: It couldn't be anything else for me. The Shenmue games are STILL ahead of their time in my opinion, as most games still haven't achieved the depth of immersion and story-telling that Shenmue did. If you can find this game for any price lower than say, $60, you really need to buy it and play it. It's that good. And even if you don't have an original XBOX to play it on, it's backwards compatible with Xbox 360, so there really isn't much excuse NOT to at least try it!
Robert Cooper (Writer of the Metal Hammer of Doom News Report, Regular Contributor to the Official 411 Games Zone Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer")
Honorable Mention: Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (only played it a little, a damn was that combat awkward)
5. Halo 2: I picked this game up about a year ago, I only played a few levels of it, though. The game was great, and I could see why everybody was in a frenzy over this game when it came out.
4. Jade Empire: This is one of the games that I really mean to go back to and finish. It is much like a later entry on this list, though it has differences in combat that make it more like a kung-fu movie with the action in it. It also has amazing settings, great music, and a story that is shaping up to be incredibly interesting.
3. Jet Set Radio Future: I adore this game, it was the first game I ever played on this system, and I have been in love with it ever since. It's not a very hard game, but it is a lot of fun and very stylized. It's one of the few times I can say that I have enjoyed a soundtrack of hip-hop and electronica so much and it also has graphics that even hold up today.
2. Ninja Gaiden: Black: This game will steal your soul with the amount of difficulty that it presents. This game shows you absolutely no mercy and will frustrate you at times. But with every pull of hair comes a reward when you win a battle. I also should mention that the story for the game is good, the controls are spot-on, and the extra challenges are well worth your time and extend the game even more in terms of replayability.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic: And here is the obvious numero uno! This is probably my favorite game of all time, if not very close to being so. I love that it chronicles a time of Star Wars that was never touched before with some very familiar factions to the original, but different enough to make them interesting and unique. The worlds are amazing, the music is very reminiscent of the movies, the different characters are memorable (like HK-47, meatbag), and it is a very deep RPG, to boot! Since this is the week of the Steam sale, go pick this up there, or even go seek out the original Xbox version, it is well worth the costly price to play through this classic. Oh, and there is a really big twist for you to look forwards to, so there you go, another reason to play this game.
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If you don't listen to the Official 411 Games Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer" you should! Robert Cooper, Daniel Anderson, and I, discuss the games we've played this week, the gaming news of the week, and just have a lot of fun too. Here is this week's episode…
Games Coming Out the Week of 06/29/14
Sniper Elite III (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC)
Child of Light (PS VITA)
Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition (PS4, Xbox 360, & Xbox One)