The 30 Best Games on Xbox 360

The 30 Best Games on Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 was the console of choice when it came to the seventh generation of consoles. Not only did it get a head start by launching a year early, but the PlayStation 3’s rough launch helped keep it ahead of the pack. While the PlayStation 3 did fine in this generation, the only real competition for the Xbox 360 was the Nintendo Wii, and the two were neck and neck throughout their life cycles. Despite the lack of real competition between the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, their best games are very similar. The top 30 Xbox 360 games will have a lot in common with our top 30 PlayStation 3 list, with a few discrepancies tied to the exclusives available on each console. At the end of the day all of these consoles have phenomenal catalogs and here are the top 30 on the Xbox 360.

30. Dark Souls II

Dark Souls II gameplay

©Dark Souls II gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — March 11, 2014
  • Metacritic Score — 91 (Universal Acclaim)

Starting the list, we have the black sheep of the Soulsborne franchise, Dark Souls II. Fans of the Souls series were receptive to this title on release, while also being aware of its flaws. Today, with the release of better games in the franchise, many gamers look back on this as if it’s a huge gap in quality when compared to the rest of the games. Dark Souls II is still a Souls game at the end of the day and Souls games are guaranteed to be good.

29. Super Street Fighter IV


  • Release Date — April 27, 2010
  • Metacritic Score — 91 (Universal Acclaim)

Before expansions were as common as they are today, companies would re-release titles with any updates they had planned. Super Street Fighter IV isn’t the best iteration of Street Fighter IV but it did exactly what it was meant to do. Fix balance issues and provide other solutions to common fan complaints.

28. Rock Band 2


  • Release Date — September 14, 2008
  • Metacritic Score — 91 (Universal Acclaim)

When releasing a brand new IP that you want to succeed it’s important to listen to feedback. The developers of Rock Band 2 did just that and many fans look back on the series as one of the best. This release solved the problems of easy, clunky gameplay and allowed fans to port their purchased DLC. The handling of Rock Band 2 should be studied as it is a masterclass in just all great rapport between developer and consumer.

27. Telltale’s The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead gameplay

©Telltale's The Walking Dead - Original

  • Release Date — April 27, 2012
  • Metacritic Score — 92 (Universal Acclaim)

Telltale’s The Walking Dead walked so that The Last of Us could run. While it has its issues, it is remembered as a milestone for interactive storytelling. Some of gaming’s most memorable characters come from this game and many fans grew up alongside Clementine. An all-around solid entry in the Xbox 360 game catalog.

26. Batman: Arkham Asylum

Arkham Asylum game cover promo

©Arkham Asylum game cover promo - Original

  • Release Date — August 25, 2009
  • Metacritic Score — 92 (Universal Acclaim)

Gamers love to praise the Arkham series of Batman games, with many calling it the best licensed game of all time. The game showed an ability to innovate in its genre and opened the door to some of the best superhero titles we have today. If you like Batman you definitely will love this title and if you love Batman you’re already on your 10th play through.

25. Forza Motorsport 3

©Microsoft Game Studios

  • Release Date — October 27, 2009
  • Metacritic Score — 92 (Universal Acclaim)

Every time a new Forza releases, Microsoft game studios are pushing graphics forward. In 2009, Forza Motorsport 3 was doing just that. This game’s graphics were groundbreaking for the time and sort of still hold up. Many racing simulator fans of today still look back on this game fondly. Some even consider it the second-best racing game ever.

24. Rock Band

Rock Band original artwork

©Rock Band key art - Original

  • Release Date — November 20, 2007
  • Metacritic Score — 92 (Universal Acclaim)

When I was a kid, you were either team Rock Band or team Guitar Hero. Today, this discussion is still ongoing. However, in hindsight, Rock Band was the perfect competition for Guitar Hero. Ironically, it suffered from the same issues as well, but with something as niche as this those issues were embraced by people who truly just love the experience given. Today, these games have fallen out of favor but are still easy to find for a reasonable price. RockBand is one of the best party games you can buy even today.

23. Guitar Hero II

©Screenshot from Guitar Hero II. - Original

  • Release Date — April 3, 2007
  • Metacritic Score — 92 (Universal Acclaim)

As I stated previously, I am team Guitar Hero. But at this point in Guitar Hero‘s legacy, there wasn’t much different from its competition. Where Guitar Hero II shines is its amazing tracklist. The game is also a great follow-up to its predecessor which is an underappreciated aspect when reminiscing on older titles. All in all, Guitar Hero II is great.

22. Rock Band 3


  • Release Date — October 26, 2010
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

Rock Band 3 is the pinnacle of its franchise and is still fun today. Harmonix completely polished the Rock Band formula making this the best entry to play today if you are interested. These games are also backward compatible with each other so by purchasing one you’ll have access to the older content. Another reason Rock Band 3 is one of the best games from the seventh generation.

21. Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 gameplay

©Mass Effect 3 gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — March 6, 2012
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

While it’s a controversial release, Mass Effect 3 is still one of the best trilogy entries we have in gaming. A very fun action RPG with some very potent narrative issues but that shouldn’t take away from everything else this game gets right. If you’re a fan of Bioware and its style, then try this title. You won’t be disappointed.

20. Gears of War 2

Gears of War Logo

©The Coalition

  • Release Date — November 7, 2008
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

Gears of War 2 was as close to perfect as a game could get in 2008. It has phenomenal characters, great level, and enemy design, and the entire game being co-op just skyrocketed above its contemporaries. It can be argued that this was the best entry in the entire franchise but that could just be my nostalgia talking. It’s a pretty great game though and if you’re able to experience it you should do so expeditiously.

19. Fallout 3

Fallout 3 gets a lot right, but it gets a lot wrong too.

©Screenshot from Fallout 3 - Original / License

  • Release Date — October 28, 2008
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

Even if you prefer New Vegas over this entry, you can’t deny it is a great step in the Fallout franchise. This title offers freedom without sacrificing any of its story. Its combat leaves a bit to be desired but the game is carried by its great characters and world-building. If you want a grim world to lose yourself in and engaging characters to fall in love with, Fallout 3 is for you.

18. Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV gameplay

©Street Fighter IV gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — February 17, 2009
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

While it isn’t the definitive way to play Street Fighter IV, the initial release still made waves in the gaming culture as every new Street Fighter or Tekken does. The game’s Focus Attack system is looked back fondly by most fighting game fans and criticized heavily by those who prefer the older titles. No matter which side you’re on, the gaming industry is better when a new Street Fighter is released. If you’ve never played this one it’s still easy to find it for cheap and to find people still playing it online.

17. Braid

Braid gameplay

©Braid gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — Aug 6, 2008
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

The Xbox 360 was one of the earliest pushers of independently developed titles. Braid is one of those early titles that completely shook up the industry. The gameplay of Braid is one of the most unique takes on a platformer. Its narrative is well written and profound and the game is a fun time as well. A must-play for fans of the puzzle genre and honestly one of the games everyone should play at least once.

16. BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite gameplay

©BioShock Infinite gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — March 26, 2013
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

Funnily enough, Bioshock Infinite did a lot better with PlayStation owners than it did with Xbox owners. But everyone who played it usually came out on the other side singing its praises. An experience that is unlike any other in the fps genre with a mind-bending narrative that people still praise to this day. BioShockInfinite is amazing.

15. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX

©Gameplay screenshot

  • Release Date — November 17, 2010
  • Metacritic Score — 93 (Universal Acclaim)

It’s Pac-Man. If you’re a gamer then you have probably played at least one Pac-Man title. This release is the best way to play Pac-Man outside of the classic titles. Championship Edition DX is a game for those who want to wind down and rack up large high scores. A perfect game for new comers and fans alike.

14. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

©Gameplay screenshot

  • Release Date — November 10, 2009
  • Metacritic Score — 94 (Universal Acclaim)

With its great campaign, its perfect multiplayer, its co-op options, and its great gun feel. Modern Warfare 2 is seen by many as a top 10 shooter of all time. Infinity Ward made a perfect sequel to an already perfect game and many developers try to achieve this seemingly impossible feat. While this game did better with PlayStation owners, Xbox owners also consider this one of the best games on their console.

13. Halo 3

Halo gameplay

©Halo gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — September 25, 2007
  • Metacritic Score — 94 (Universal Acclaim)

My pick for the best Halo entry and it seems that critics agree. While the gameplay and online multiplayer are phenomenal, the real achievement is in the extensive Forge mode. This entry pushed its players to be creative and allowed them to tailor their multiplayer experience to their tastes. Also a bit more on the niche side, the release of this game introduced a load of other content with the popular, Red vs Blue utilizing the game for its sixth season. This game is generational and can be debated into a higher position on this list.

12. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

©Remastered Gameplay Screenshot

  • Release Date — November 5, 2007
  • Metacritic Score — 94 (Universal Acclaim)

This game was the catalyst of all modern Call of Duty games. A lot of the game design found in the newer titles can find their roots here. This game was one of the best multiplayer experiences ever and paved the way for other franchises to put multiplayer first. Modern Warfare is a piece of gaming history.

11. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The environments of Cyrodiil are vast and lovely.

©Elder Scrolls Oblivion Screenshot - Original / License

  • Release Date — March 20, 2006
  • Metacritic Score — 94 (Universal Acclaim)

Many people debate whether Oblivion is the best Bethesda title or if it is Skyrim. No matter what side you fall on, Oblivion paved the way for Skyrim to exist and debatably did a lot of its ideas better. Following up Morrowind was no easy task but it found a way to stand on its own two feet, with great world-building, writing, and gameplay.

10. Gears of War

©The Coalition

  • Release Date — November 7, 2006
  • Metacritic Score — 94 (Universal Acclaim)

Gears of War defined the cover-based shooter genre. While its other aspects only got better as the franchise went on, this game was ahead of its time when it came to online co-op. I would argue that it still has the best co-op experience in a shooter to this day. The game’s graphics were phenomenal for the time and the ultimate edition remake uplifts the experience even more. A must-play.

9. Batman: Arkham City

Batman: Arkham City gameplay

©Batman: Arkham City gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — October 18, 2011
  • Metacritic Score — 94 (Universal Acclaim)

Most of the top 10 is going to be filled with titles that not only defined the Xbox 360 catalog but defined the seventh generation in its entirety. Before we had the great Spider-Man titles of the last few years, Batman was dominating the comic book gaming space with Arkham City. This game’s influence has made large ripples throughout the action game genre and is also a masterclass in crafting a semi-open world. A phenomenal time.

8. Portal 2

Portal 2


  • Release Date — April 19, 2011
  • Metacritic Score — 95 (Universal Acclaim)

Are you tired of seeing Portal 2 on these lists yet? You just cannot talk about this era of gaming and not bring up Portal 2. All aspects of it are nearly flawless. Flawless narrative, a flawless villain, atmosphere, music, and puzzle design. Portal 2 is debatably a perfect game and even if you don’t like it personally you would be wrong to say it doesn’t deserve its legacy.

7. Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption gameplay

©Red Dead Redemption gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — May 18, 2010
  • Metacritic Score — 95 (Universal Acclaim)

Rockstar dominated the seventh generation of consoles. No matter what they released, it went on to become critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Red Dead Redemption is just another great release in a long line of phenomenal releases and is one of the best Western experiences out there. If you’re reading this list you’ve probably played this already as well as its profound sequel.

6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

©Cover for Skyrim - Original

  • Release Date — November 11, 2011
  • Metacritic Score — 96 (Universal Acclaim)

When Skyrim was released it was almost like the entire world just stopped spinning. Everyone was talking about it and the game was incredibly successful. I mean it has to have been for Bethesda to release it eleven times. Skyrim might not be the most polished experience of recent years but it definitely defined an era and inspired many game developers in the following years.

5. Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 gameplay

©Mass Effect 2 gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — January 26, 2010
  • Metacritic Score — 96 (Universal Acclaim)

The most important entry of a trilogy is the middle one in my opinion. It’s really hard to release a middle entry that builds off the first entry while setting up a grand sequel. Mass Effect 2 handles its spot in its trilogy perfectly and many consider it the best in its franchise. Not only a great time but a masterclass in writing.

4. The Orange Box

The Orange Box game selection

©The Orange Box gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — October 10, 2007
  • Metacritic Score — 96 (Universal Acclaim)

Honestly, it just isn’t fair to compare this collection to other games on the console because its not just one great title it’s three. Every game in this collection can easily fit into this slot on the list. If anyone was giving Rockstar a run for their money during this generation it was Valve. One of the best collections you can purchase.

3. BioShock

BioShock gameplay

©BioShock gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — August 21, 2007
  • Metacritic Score — 96 (Universal Acclaim)

Whereas PlayStation fans preferred Infinite over this title, Xbox fans really hold the original BioShock in high regard. The game excels in many aspects with some of the best atmosphere in any game and one of the best plot twists of all time. Every generation, a few games rise to the top as a generation-defining work, and BioShock is a top 10 shooter of all time.

2. Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V gameplay

©Grand Theft Auto V gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — September 17, 2013
  • Metacritic Score — 97 (Universal Acclaim)

Every time a new Grand Theft Auto releases it changes the gaming landscape forever. Many people are worried that the newest entry will be released at 100 USD and completely change pricing for games moving forward. Rockstar is always pushing the medium forward with its releases and Grand Theft Auto V did just that. A perfect game.

1. Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV gameplay

©Grand Theft Auto IV gameplay screenshot - Original

  • Release Date — April 29, 2008
  • Metacritic Score — 98 (Universal Acclaim)

There aren’t many games with a score of 98 on Metacritic. Some Rockstar fans might have their preferred title in the Grand Theft Auto series for one reason or another. But almost everyone loved Grand Theft Auto IV. The graphics still hold up to this day, it features some of Rockstar’s best writing, and I still quote lines from this game to this day. We all wish we had a cousin like Roman and Niko Bellic. Rockstar dominated the seventh generation and with this release earned their spot as a top triple-A company.

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