Seven days after the eighth anniversary of Xbox 360, Sony released the PlayStation 4 onto the world, in what looks like role reversal to the last next-generation console launch. With Microsoft on the cusp of launching the 360’s replacement, which will herald the beginning of a new console war, we take a look at the top ten games the generation just past gave us.
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Purely due to the impact this had on the gaming community, both commercially and societal, it was impossible to omit this giant from the 360 era.
Modern Warfare 2 was launched like no other of its time. From the hugely controversial Airport mission whereby you, the player, massacre an enormous number of innocents in grim fashion to the ridiculously successful multiplayer, MW2 became one of the biggest games of its time.
9. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
The first Uncharted was spectacular graphically at the time. Big open backdrops filled with colourful undergrowth made a treat to play, however the ease at which opponents were dispatched coupled with repetitive gameplay made it drag in places.
When this forced Naughty Dog back to the drawing board they really bounced back with a terrific title. Among Thieves gave protagonist Nathan Drake a world filled with villains as devilish as his charisma. It is a true standout from the last eight years.
What a lot of Bethesda fans will find disrupting is the absence of Oblivion from the list but I don’t think any that have played Dishonored could argue with its involvement.
Disrupting Bethesda’s norm of open-world RPG, Dishonored took you down the road of a loyal assassin betrayed by those he served.
Dishonored brought with it some of the most enjoyable gameplay we’d ever seen, gifting players a true opportunity to embrace their creativity by offering an enormous range of ways to rid the world of bad guys.
7. Far Cry 3
A bunch of young American adults go out to a tropical island and partake in the local cultures like paragliding, drinking and kidnapping. Wait a minute…
Yep, Ubisoft takes the whole idea of the American holiday gone wrong to a whole new unique level, mainly down to one of the most superb antagonists you’re likely to see in a game or film for that matter.
Far Cry 3 gave us Vaas, a truly disturbed individual who has kidnapped all of your friends and no; the game is not based on one of the characters waiting to be rescued. Instead, you set off on a terrific quest in one of the most beautiful worlds ever to grace the 360 and PS3 – a worthy name on this illustrious list.
6. Assassin’s Creed 2
The undisputed best game in the series and for quite a variety of reasons. Firstly we got to meet Ezio, the man who added the style, swagger and charisma to the series.
Unfortunately his predecessor Altair and descendants Connor and Desmond lacked all of the above, which dammed the series to ‘good’ status rather than the deserved ‘great’ status.
On top of this, AC2 was brimming with customisation, sprawling Italian cities and the craved variety in missions.
5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / Fallout 3
One decision that just could not be made with only room for one more Bethesda title we decided that it’s down to personal taste, this one.
Skyrim offered a world filled with characters quests and well, dragons, but so did Fallout, save the dragons.
Whether you preferred spending your time tracking down your Dad, who happened to be Liam Neeson, across the wastelands that were the result of nuclear warfare or fulfilling the destiny of the Dragon-born, both games offered a wonderful experience.
4. Gears of War
Something that’s absent in both next-gen console launches is a game that really makes you go ‘woah’. Gears of War wasn’t far off maximising the Xbox 360’s potential from day one and with the Mad World trailer to go with it, our blood was really bubbling for this one. Luckily it didn’t disappoint.
Granted some of the dialogue seemed to turn into a ‘Who has the more gravelly voice’ competition it really did boast the most spectacular graphics we’d seen at the time.
Add to that the truly horrifying Berserkers that sent most hiding in their wardrobes and you had an adrenaline rush from start to finish. Terrific game.
3. Grand Theft Auto 5
Every now and then the gaming community come out in their droves in what seems to be a showing of gratitude toward Rockstar. After breaking a billion dollars in the first three days of sale, ($800million on day one) it set itself to be the blockbuster of our generation. And happily it didn’t disappoint.
The first GTA to feature three protagonists seemed revolutionary. There was an ability to switch to any of them and see them going about their lives make it the most immersive experience out there. Come the end of the game a real attachment can be felt for all three.
With over three years of acting by the guys behind the voices of Michael, Trevor and Franklin, they didn’t rush the game out and continually disappointed fans by putting the date further and further back.
Some truly terrific set pieces, mostly to do with heists, great sub-plots and protagonists that you genuinely cared for, made it one of the most awe-inspiring gaming achievements of the generation.
2. Metal Gear Solid 4
This was Sony’s crowning exclusive glory. Something that made Xbox users leer in envy and even force some into switching team.
Snake is battered, bruised and most horrifying of all dying. The veteran returns in a suit that allows him to become a chameleon, that said while not in use it does look a tad ridiculous.
It’s a game that needs to be played to understand its significance. Many games on this list have been hailed for their convincing characters and immersive gameplay but none managed to get the hair standing up on the back of your neck in times of true tension or had you as glued through the lengthy cut-scenes.
The graphics weren’t half bad either, were they?
1. Red Dead Redemption
We are far from the only ones who have labelled this as the greatest game of all time. An enormous claim for an enormous game.
Is there many better feelings than when you casually sit down to a film and an hour in, you’re genuinely sitting on the edge of your seat, with every passing minute seeming like a second? Imagine this feeling in a game but instead of minutes it was hours, days even.
The story followed John Marston, a stupendous protagonist, tasked with tracking down his old brothers in arms for the American government.
The maximising of the potential of the horse in games, the brilliant newspapers, the array of weapons, the satisfaction of a shootout, the terror of hunting big game – the list is endless.
Red Dead brought out everything that is great in Rockstar’s sublime attention to detail, scriptwriting that any filmmaker would be jealous of and a plot that left you craving for more, it truly is the physical Ode to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.