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The best Xbox 360 Games to play in 2023

Shooters, RPGs, simulations, and Xbox Live. The Xbox 360 had it all.

The Xbox 360 first launched in 2005, and if you were fortunate enough to not encounter the ‘Red Ring of Death’ that the earlier consoles suffered from, then you were set for a good few years of gaming.

The console was home to many of the best games of all time, and also featured Xbox Live, which is arguably what set it apart from other consoles. The ability to easily go online with friends to blast the heads off of zombies, commit bank heists together, or basically go to war against one another was game-changing for console players. Sure, they could do it before, but not quite in the same capacity.

Ultimately, the Xbox 360 is a console that undoubtedly holds a very special place in people's hearts. Whether it's fond memories of plowing through Halo 3, tackling hordes in Left 4 Dead 2, or playing Far Cry 3 in the company of friends, this console is home to many great games, and some even greater memories.

So, without further ado, here are some of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, in no particular order. If your favourite is missing from this list or our honourable mentions down below, do let us know!


The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Released: 2011

The Witcher 2 hit the Xbox 360 back in 2011, giving us more of Geralt of Rivia’s story to battle our way through. In this particular sequel, our genetically-enhanced monster hunter is on a mission to prove his innocence after being accused of assassinating the king of Temeria.

Look at this gorgeous view. The landscape is pretty nice, too. | Image credit: CD Projekt Red

This isn’t the only story you’ll embark on in this action-RPG either, as multiple narratives intertwine in this game, which feels fully lived-in. Let’s not forget that you’re in charge of where each branch of the story goes, too. You can decide whether or not you cooperate with the folk you meet, kill them off, or simply ignore everyone around you altogether, shaping Geralt of Rivia’s adventure for yourself.

Diablo 3

  • Developer: Blizzard
  • Released: 2013

After being launched on PC in 2012, Diablo 3 came to consoles in 2013, offering the action-RPG dark fantasy to a whole horde of new players and freeing many from an inevitable repetitive strain injury.

We've got Diablo 4 now, sure, but it's still worth giving this Xbox 360 game a whirl. | Image credit: Blizzard

In this game, you’ll pick from one of seven classes before embarking on a dark, perilous adventure in which you must save the World of Sanctuary from the perils of Hell. Crawl through dungeons teeming with demons and beasts, collect loot, develop your character further, and repeat. When you’re ready, dive into a PvP free-for-all against other players and determine who’s boss.

That’s Diablo 3 in a nutshell, but don’t let my simple synopsis fool you. Diablo 3 is packed with systems and abilities to get to grips with, but once you do, you’ll find yourself tempted by Hardcore mode in no time, in which you’re simply not allowed to die. If you do, you start all over again…

Halo 3

  • Developer: Bungie
  • Released: 2007

Many a summer holiday was spent over at my childhood best friend's house on the Xbox 360, playing whatever games we could get our hands on at the time. The one game we would usually default to, however, was Halo 3. You could never go wrong when you popped that disc in and the Halo music began to play. It was the best.

OG's will remember Cortana before they trapped her in Windows 10. | Image credit: Bungie

Nostalgia trip over, Halo 3 is one of the best games of all time, regardless of my personal experience with it. This was the game to introduce the Forge map editor that most of us will have had a blast playing around in, as well as a bunch of new weapons, vehicles, and all that good stuff. If you haven’t played it, or even Halo 3: ODST, you need to.

Fable 2

  • Developer: Lionhead Studios
  • Released: 2008

Fable 2 is another game for the Xbox 360 that I have very fond memories of. Coming home after school to boot up Fable 2 and make moral decisions that I really didn’t understand the implications of was a fun past-time. Additionally, the amount of times I got lost while following that golden trail to my quest location was embarrassing. Some things never change, apparently.

Chaotic evil or lawful good. You choose. | Image credit: Lionhead Studios

Fable 2 is perhaps the best game in the Fable series, which is set to see a new instalment sooner or later. Set 500 years after the original game, this is another RPG that you can mould and shape to suit exactly what you want from the world of Albion. Whether that’s getting married and creating a property empire, or destroying the world of Fable 2 by any means possible, Fable 2 gives you the option to do whatever you want within this hero’s story.

The world very much shapes itself around the decisions you make, too, so choose which step you take next carefully in this one!

Gears of War 3

  • Developer: Epic Games
  • Released: 2011

Gears of War 3 concludes the Gears of War trilogy, so if you’re a hound for lore and want to enthrall yourself in this harrowing tale, you ought to make your way through Gears of War and Gears of War 2 first.

The COGs must get mad grub rub in those suits. | Image credit: Epic Games

This third-person shooter is the best in the series, with Epic Games continuously building on its predecessors to create bigger, better, and more emotional games. Gears of War 3 launched with a strong single-player campaign to wade through, and an even stronger multiplayer suite to rope your friends into.

Multiplayer consists of multiple modes, including King of the Hill, Execution, and a bunch of others that - if you’ve played any other shooter - you’ll be more than familiar with. Gears of War 3 also boasts the Horde mode that its predecessor introduced, and if you’re one of many that enjoy teaming up with friends to tackle horde after horde of Locusts and Lambents, you’re in for a treat.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

  • Developer: Rockstar San Diego
  • Released: 2010

You might know of Red Dead Redemption as that great cowboy RPG, but the Undead Nightmare expansion pack transforms the game entirely. This expansion turns what you know and love into a fully-blown zombie game, and it’s great.

Turn your Western adventure into zombie-slaying mayhem. | Image credit: Rockstar San Diego

Set in an alternate timeline to the events of Red Dead Redemption, that Western landscape you’ll be familiar with is now teeming with zombies. As John Marston once again, you’ll be setting out to try and find the cure for your infected wife and son while trying not to become infected yourself.

Much like Red Dead Redemption, this story is as touching as it is plain damn fun, and you don’t even need the base game to play it. So, give it a go!

Project Gotham Racing 4

  • Developer: Bizarre Creations
  • Released: 2007

Project Gotham Racing 4 didn’t quite have the ‘wow’ factor that Project Gotham Racing 3 did as a launch game for the Xbox 360, but ultimately, it is the better game. Released later in the generation, PGR 4 was a lot more refined.

Sadly, there's no Batmobile to drift around this Gotham. | Image credit: Bizarre Creations

PGR 4 was a staple for racing fans on the Xbox 360. With over 130 vehicles to choose from, including both hatchbacks and supercars, and plenty of cities to race around - including London, Las Vegas, and many more - it’s hard to not give this game a whirl.

PGR 4 also added a handful more cities and tracks to drive through, including Shanghai and St. Petersburg. On top of that, one of the more notable additions to this racing game was advanced weather effects, with ten different types of weather being simulated in the game. Impressive back then, maybe not so much in 2023, but with The Prodigy also on the game’s soundtrack, how can you say no?

Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

  • Developer: Rare
  • Released: 2008

Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise launched exclusively on the Xbox 360 back in 2008, and what a treat it was. This simulation game sees you tending to your garden full of adorable, pinata creatures who - as much as they look like papier mache figures - function just like real animals.

These papier-mache critters will be livening up your garden in this simulation game. | Image credit: Rare

Your job as gardener is to make this garden a Pinata’s playground. The more work you do to better your garden, the more types of Pinata will pay a visit, and sooner or later, you’ll find your garden teeming with life. You’ll also unlock more tools, be able to breed your pinatas with one another, and even teach your newfound paper friends to perform tricks.

It’s a simple game, really, but it has a lot of heart to it and is great fun for those who want to kick back and relax with a jovial, colorful simulation game.

Borderlands 2

  • Developer: Gearbox Software
  • Released: 2012

You should already own Borderlands 2, or have perhaps played couch co-op once upon a time with a friend. If not, you should play it at least once. This zany, vibrant shooter is packed with hundreds of unique weapons, plenty of bizarre humour, and some pretty memorable characters.

With bazillions of weapons to choose from, prepare yourself for lots on fun combat.

Sure, Claptrap is kind of annoying, but that barely matters when you’re beating up Bullymongs and Stalkers all over the world of Pandora. This looter-shooter is an absolute playground for those who love collecting cool weapons, experimenting with class mods, and ultimately shaping a character fit for tonnes of destruction.

Skate 3

  • Developer: EA Black Box
  • Released: 2010

Skate 3 is among one of the best skateboarding games out there, and over a decade later, we currently have Skate 4 in development to eagerly anticipate. If you like performing clean ollies galore and perfecting the front-flip, Skate 3 offers the perfect playground to do just that.

Perfect your virtual caballerial flip. | Image credit: EA Black Box

You needn’t do it alone, either, with Skate 3 not only offering you the chance to be the best skateboarder in town, but the best skateboarder among your friends in multiplayer too. And when you, or your friends, do fail and fall over, those ragdoll physics will never fail to make you laugh.

Left 4 Dead (+ Left 4 Dead 2)

  • Developer: Valve
  • Released: 2008 (Left 4 Dead), 2009 (Left 4 Dead 2)

If the camaraderie of skateboarding with your friends isn’t your thing, how about slaying zombies together? Left 4 Dead hit the Xbox 360 and PC back in 2008, with Left 4 Dead 2 swiftly following in 2009.

The player shoots a clown in Left 4 Dead 2
Pick your survivor and weapons, and then start gunning those zombies down.

Both games are first-person shooters that pit you and your friend against hordes of ruthless zombies. You’ll be armed with guns, melee weapons, and other tools as you attempt to get from A to B safely. It’s good, brain-bashing fun if you manage to get some friends on board.

Alan Wake

  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment
  • Released: 2010

Alan Wake has since been remastered, so if you’ve got an Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, or PC at your disposal, I’d recommend playing that version. That said, the Xbox 360 was home to the original Alan Wake back in 2010, and with the troubled author being revived in Alan Wake 2 later this year, now’s a better time than ever to play it.

Equal parts goofy and great, Alan Wake is a must-play for horror fans. | Image credit: Remedy Entertainment

For an immersive, eerie, and sometimes goofy horror experience, Remedy Entertainment hit the nail on the head. In a game that often reminds me of the earlier Resident Evil titles, you’re thrust into the shoes of Alan Wake as he is whisked away to the small town of Bright Falls. Here, after just about everyone he meets - including his wife - begs him to write another book, his wifes goes missing.

Now, Alan must search for his wife while avoiding, and combatting, an array of weird goings-on. To tell you anymore than that would be spoiling the fun, so go give Alan Wake a try!

Dead Rising

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Released: 2006

When it comes to games that let you mow down hordes of zombies, Dead Rising is one of the best of all time. Using a time-based system and an open-world, it was shaped up to be one of the more distinct zombie-slaying titles of its time, with good reason.

Image credit: Capcom

You’ll play as Frank West who is trapped in a shopping mall with a bunch of zombies and hostile humans, known as psychopaths, hot on his tail. Sounds a lot like Dawn of the Dead, right? It kind of is. With that, you’ll then be given 72 hours to investigate the mall and find your way to freedom; this is the time limit in which you need to complete the game, too, so good luck completing those Case Files in time.

On that note, this is exactly why Dead Rising is full of replayability. Meeting certain conditions, or not meeting them, can unlock alternate endings, and if that 72 Hour limit is a little too tight for you, Overtime Mode gives you an extra day to get things done.

There’s also a remastered version of the game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, if you prefer your gameplay to be as up-to-date as possible!

Grand Theft Auto IV + V

  • Developer: Rockstar North
  • Released: Grand Theft Auto IV (2008), Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Both Grand Theft Auto IV and V released on the Xbox 360, with both boasting open-worlds full of crime, cars, and guns. The clue is in the title with this action-adventure series, really, and both games are brilliant. That said, if you’d rather jump into a GTA game with an active and bustling online community, you’ll want to check out GTA Online.

Fancy stepping into the shoes of a criminal in America? That's GTA. | Image credit: Rockstar North

Grand Theft Auto IV is set in the open-world of Liberty City (a fictionalized New York City), and as Niko Bellic, you’ll go on a journey of crime and redemption as you attempt to escape your past. As for Grand Theft Auto V, you’ll be in the fictional world of San Andreas (a fictionalised Southern California), playing as three different and very memorable protagonists.

There’s Trevor Phillips, a former military pilot turned drug dealer, and Michael De Santa, who is currently living under witness protection with his wife and two children. Last, but not least, there’s Franklin Clinton, your typical gang member who simply dreams of doing something better for himself.

While both games are great, I’ll always be more affectionate towards the interweaving stories of the protagonists in GTA V and their pursuit of the American Dream, and you can’t go wrong with a bank heist for a prologue.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Developer: Bethesda
  • Released: 2011

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has been rereleased God knows how many times now, but it actually first launched on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC back in 2011. Over the next two years, we received the Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn DLC which only added more to the already expansive open-world game.

Bring on The Elder Scrolls 6 already. | Image credit: Bethesda

Skyrim is a brilliant medieval romp that sees you fighting with dragons, throwing companions off of cliffs, and even turning into a vampire if you so please. This portion of Tamriel is packed with stories to uncover as you head on your adventure as Dragonborn, but ultimately, a part of the magic of Skyrim is the same magic that most Bethesda RPGs possess - you get to forge your own story.

Whether your story has you shouting people to their deaths, settling down with Aela the Huntress, or stealing from every person who dares let you get close to them, this Bethesda RPG is one of the best, even if you are part of the crew that would argue Morrowind or Oblivion is better.

Batman: Arkham Asylum + Arkham City

  • Developer: Rocksteady Studios
  • Released: Arkham Asylum (2009), Arkham City (2011)

Batman: Arkham Asylum hit stores in 2009, with a sequel to the action-adventure game, Arkham City, arriving two years later. Both are great games, and whoever you ask, you’ll probably get a different answer as to which game is better; that’s why we’re recommending that you play both!

Play as the legendary Batman. | Image credit: Rocksteady Studios

Arkham Asylum places you into the role of Batman, a pretty badass role at that. You’ll use Batman’s stealthing and sleuthing skills as you attempt to subdue The Joker, who is planning to take control of Arkham Asylum.

In the sequel, Arkham City, our leading man is kidnapped while protesting the use of the city as a home for residents of the aforementioned Arkham Asylum. As a result, Batman winds up in Arkham City himself and must take on some of the most notorious figures in Gotham. All in all, they’re both great games, and if you’re a Batman fan that is yet to play them, chop, chop!

Assassin’s Creed II

  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Released: 2009

With an Assassin’s Creed aficionado on our team, it felt wrong not to ask Jim Trinca himself as to why Assassin’s Creed II is one of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, especially after he referred to it as the only good Batman game (yes, that is meant to say Batman). Here’s what he had to say!

The best Batman game that doesn't actually have Batman in it. | Image credit: Ubisoft

“It isn’t where the series began, but it is where the phenomenon began. While the first game can be credited for setting the template – and forever leaving its mark on the entire open world genre – it’s Assassin’s Creed 2 that really got everyone’s hearts beating back when the IP was yet to find its feet.

This is in no small part due to its protagonist being a bona fide heartthrob in the form of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, who kicks off this first game of what’s come to be known as the Ezio Trilogy as a hot-headed adolescent from renaissance Italy: a tempest of testosterone and cheeky aristo charm. Tragedy quickly strikes, leaving him having to grow up quickly and adopt the murderously vacated role of paterfamilias for the sake of his mother and sister, and don the armour of the Assassin Order.

And it truly is a revelation coming off the back of the first game. The visuals burst with vibrant mediterranean colour and texture that stands in sharp contrast to the desaturated harsh curves of the previous adventure. The traversal feels so much more fluid: though the system would end up being constantly refined and tinkered with over the years, they never quite got it as right as this again, as a perfect marriage of controls and environment. And they made air assassinations an explicit thing that you could pull off with ease, whereas before, they tended to occur as a sort of fluke.

For the first time, Assassin’s Creed had presented a world that was fun to simply exist in. Bounding across the rooftops and doing knife crime, yes, but also drinking in that gorgeously authentic sense of place. It is in this particular area where the series is still, to this day, unmatched. “Digital Tourism” had existed as a concept long before Ezio was a glint in a game designer’s eye, but Assassin’s Creed 2 was its true dawn.” - Jim Trinca

It’s also worth noting that the Ezio Collection on Xbox Series X/S has an FPS Boost, which is pretty good.

Mass Effect Trilogy

  • Developer: BioWare
  • Released: 2012

How about three games in one? The Mass Effect Trilogy offers just that, and is an outstanding experience for those of us who love rich, intricate sci-fi RPGs. This trilogy is packed with in-depth storytelling, decisions to make that you’ll experience consequences for, and a whole host of memorable characters.

Thinking about Liara right now. | Image credit: BioWare

When it comes to the characters, too, there are even romance candidates. Some of them being alien, which is one thing Mass Effect can boast that Starfield won’t be featuring. These RPG elements are blended with impressive shooter action, a breadth of lore to read or ignore, and it all looks, and feels, great.

The Orange Box

  • Developer: Valve
  • Released: 2007

The Orange Box is quite the treat for Xbox 360 players, or those currently with an Xbox Game Pass subscription. It features five different games from Valve; Portal, Team Fortress 2, Half-Life 2, and its two expansions Episode One, and Episode Two.

Five games in one? Say no more. | Image credit: Valve

Whether you want a story-based first-person shooter, a shooter ideal for goofing around with friends, or even a puzzling co-op game, this particular package of games features all three. And all three are fantastic.

In Half-Life 2, you’ll play as Black Mesa scientist, Gordon Freeman, who is basically then made responsible for the fate of humanity. Amidst shoot-outs and puzzles, you’ll be on a mission to save the world. On the other hand, Team Fortress 2 is another first-person shooter, but this one takes a multiplayer format. Still thriving on Steam in 2023, albeit with a bot problem, TF2 is great fun to jump into with friends.

As for more fun with friends, Portal is a real gem, too; this puzzling, innovative game throws you into a facility as one of two little robots who must solve many puzzles by manipulating the environment with their abilities. It’s hilarious, endearing, and one game I will never tire of. There’s Portal 2, too, which isn’t in The Orange Box, but also well worth picking up for the Xbox 360.

Far Cry 3

  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Released: 2012

Easily the best Far Cry game in the series, Far Cry 3 whisks you away to the open-world of a tropical archipelago teeming with pirates and mercenaries. As Jason Brody, you’ll shoot, slash, and stealth your way through the story, choosing who your allies are, and making plenty of new enemies along the way.

Image credit: Ubisoft

With an impressive arsenal of weapons and an array of vehicles to get around in (including the wingsuit!), Far Cry 3 grants you plenty of freedom to decide how you go about completing each quest or reaching each area. There’s also a co-operative multiplayer mode in Far Cry 3 that makes the game feel a bit like Call of Duty, but if that’s your thing, then give it a whirl.

Dark Souls

  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Released: 2011

If you like intense gameplay that will frustrate you like no other, give Dark Souls a go. I can’t guarantee you’ll like it. In fact, you’ll probably hate it, but that’s also why - if you gel with it - you’ll struggle to give this game up.

A great game that'll make you question why you ever started playing it, while being unable to stop. | Image credit: FromSoftware

Between troubling fights, you’ll venture through a haunting, albeit stunning, world packed with intricacies and secrets, and there’s something just so satisfying about being the one to discover them. While Dark Souls is a challenging game, the difficulties you face throughout only make your experience of it more rewarding.

You might end up having your ass beat to a pulp by the same boss over and over, but persevere, because the relief of finally succeeding in Dark Souls is like no other.

Minecraft

  • Developer: Mojang Studios
  • Released: 2011

After multiple private tests, Minecraft went public in 2011, and has been adored by many players ever since. Even now, twelve years on, Minecraft shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to updates, and its player base.

There's a hell of a lot more to this survival game than finding diamonds and defeating the Ender Dragon. | Image credit: Mojang Studios

This multi-platform survival hit had basic foundations, but has shaped up to be one of the best survival games out there, with endless possibilities. Not only can your usual cooperative play allow for the fun of surviving, and building, with friends, but now we have realms and entire servers packed with mini-games to dive into when you tire of mining for diamonds and beating up creepers.

The beauty of Minecraft is also the fact that there’s really no wrong or right way to go about things. If you want to race to the Ender Dragon, you can, but if you’d rather build the farm of your dreams in creative mode, there’s plenty of room to do that too. Oh, and Minecraft is a modders-playground, too.

Mirror’s Edge

  • Developer: DICE
  • Released: 2008

Mirror’s Edge easily made this list as one of the most refreshing games on the Xbox 360. So much so, that back when EA accidentally announced that Mirror’s Edge was leaving digital storefronts, there was quite the uproar. Fortunately, it still remains, and an Xbox 360 copy will only set you back a couple quid (or dollars, or euros, and so forth).

Mirror's Edge official art.
Parkour your way through this action-adventure game.

Mirror’s Edge is a first-person action-adventure platforming game, set in a futuristic city, that has you controlling Faith Connors. This underground parkour courier is trying to transmit messages while evading government surveillance, which sees her leaping all over the environment.

Perform acrobatics, use ziplines, soar between rooftops, and more, in this game that is ideal for those who love fast-paced gameplay, or even fancy a speedrunning challenge. You currently have to beat a speed of 39 minutes without any glitches if you want to be the best of the best though, so good luck!

Honourable Mentions

Gears of War 1 + 2, Shadow Complex, BioShock, Rock Band, The Walking Dead: A Telltale Games Series, Lost Odyssey, Trials HD, Bayonetta, Red Dead Redemption, Guitar Hero 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Dead Space 2, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Rayman Legends, Fallout 3, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Plants vs. Zombies, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Fez, Dirt 2, Braid, Dishonored

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