Xbox RPGs
November 29, 2012 7:44 AM   Subscribe

Recommend some XBox 360 games for me. I have enjoyed: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, Fallout 3 and NV, Dragonage O and 2, Fable 1, 2, and 3, Bioshock 2, Portal 1 and 2.

Clearly (within the RPG genre), I am not very picky. I like story, art, humour, character, surprise, puzzles, open world, old, new. I don't like anything that's too scary. I tried playing Dead Island and did great until it came to clearing the Lifeguard station IN THE DARK. Too much. The scary dungeons in Elder Scrolls games were ok though.

I saw this question and I'm going to check my used game store for Bioshock 1 and Mass Effect. I know there's a new Bioshock game coming out, and I'll probably get it once the price comes down. I'm borrowing The Witcher at Christmas. Does Assassins's Creed sound like it might fit in with the other games I enjoy? What else?
posted by arcticwoman to Technology (40 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, I also don't like playing multiplayer. I am too old, too female, and too gay for XBox Live.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:46 AM on November 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I truly loved Red Dead Redemption. Open world, vistas, truly superb voice acting from the main character and many of the supports, some Old West weirdness, fun achievements. It's several years old now but still one of my favorites.
posted by mochapickle at 7:49 AM on November 29, 2012 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I like those games, and I really enjoy the Assassin's Creed series. The story is definitely more linear than the Bethesda games, but I find that sometimes that's nice. It's still an open world with side quests and things to find, but your equipment is not very customizable, for example.

Borderlands maybe?
posted by supercres at 7:49 AM on November 29, 2012

Alan Wake

I think it hits a lot of the boxes that were ticked in your list of previous games. It's a cool psychological shooter with RPG aspects.
posted by inturnaround at 7:52 AM on November 29, 2012

I'd give Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (by all accounts better than Revelations, its sequel) a shot; it would be fairly inexpensive right now. If you like it, then you'll have a better idea if III is worth it.

Saint's Row: The Third is sandbox GTA-style game that started as a straight-up GTA clone but became its own thing by #3 (slapstick absurdist humor to GTA's Real World Seriousness.) It's been commended for doing a good job being gender/sexuality-neutral w/r/t the protagonist.

You may enjoy Borderlands/Borderlands 2, but co-op is the key to getting the most out of that game.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the latest iteration of a series that was spun from the same cloth as Bioshock back in the day, so that might be fun. It should also be pretty cheap.
posted by griphus at 7:53 AM on November 29, 2012

You might like the Borderlands series. They're open world with role playing (well, character building) elements crossed with a first person shooter. They both have co-op, but you don't need to play it that way.

And if you're going to try Assassin's Creed try ACII. It's the best of the series, and you should be able to pick it up pretty cheaply.
posted by dortmunder at 7:53 AM on November 29, 2012

Best answer: You might like Kingdoms of Amalur. It's got a pretty open-world like Elder Scrolls, but less sand-boxy. Better combat, but a less interesting world.
posted by mean cheez at 7:56 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, do you know about MeFightClub? It is a good place to find people with whom to play online with who aren't total dinguses.
posted by griphus at 7:56 AM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


You might like the Borderlands series. They're open world with role playing (well, character building) elements crossed with a first person shooter. They both have co-op, but you don't need to play it that way.

Eh, I found Borderlands pretty dull single-player. Co-op is where it really shines, with friends to help you grind through enemies and swap weapons with.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:58 AM on November 29, 2012

Response by poster: That's a good idea, griphus. I'm a member (for Minecraft) but never even looked in the other sections of the site.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:58 AM on November 29, 2012

Also seconding Deus Ex.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:58 AM on November 29, 2012

Oh, and Arkham City and the Fary Cry series might be worth a look as far as open world games go.
posted by dortmunder at 8:00 AM on November 29, 2012

Oh, yes, Arkham City is a blast and a half whether or not you're into Batman. Make sure you get the GOTYE.
posted by griphus at 8:03 AM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Dishonored.
posted by empath at 8:05 AM on November 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

This list of games you love overlaps perfectly with my list. I would add to it LA Noire and Red Dead Redemption.
posted by jbickers at 8:07 AM on November 29, 2012

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is so far up your alley. Trust me on this one.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 8:11 AM on November 29, 2012

I played through Borderlands solo, and through most of Borderlands 2 solo, and enjoyed them a lot. Co-op is fun but definitely not mandatory.

There's a ton of stuff on Arcade that you might be interested in! Costume Quest is a cute little RPG from Double Fine (makers of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend). Not a lot of depth to the combat but there are some fun puzzles. I loved the XBLA port of Torchlight, and you might too if you're into Diablo-like games. Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is a great RPG/puzzle game hybrid. All of the Magic: the Gathering games on XBLA are pretty good, easy to pick up and play even if you've never played Magic before.

As for retail games: no one's mentioned Dark Souls yet. It's a dense, intense, difficult game, but rewards the time you invest in it.
posted by aparrish at 8:12 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Definitely Red Dead Redemption. Game of the generation by a mile.

The Assassin's Creed games have gorgeous graphics but were a bit sterile for me.
posted by selfnoise at 8:16 AM on November 29, 2012

Best answer: ALSO, don't give up on the Mass Effect series if ME1 isn't your cup of tea. ME1 has a more open world, but ME2 and ME3 are much more carefully designed from a RPG system standpoint, and have much better stories, characters, and settings (IMO, of course).
posted by aparrish at 8:18 AM on November 29, 2012

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes is a great RPG/puzzle game hybrid.

Oh my god this game. If this game sounds like it would appeal to you in the slightest, play it. It's just so well-made.

Also I would suggest you borrow Dark Souls from someone before buying it. It might be exactly the game you're looking for, or it might be the worst thing that ever happened to you video-game wise (also both of those things is not out of the question.)
posted by griphus at 8:19 AM on November 29, 2012

I just played Assassin's Creed II and have enjoyed the games you listed. I would recommend it very highly! Bonus: now cheap. Watching this thread for ideas since we have such similar taste.
posted by xiaolongbao at 8:29 AM on November 29, 2012

Thirding the recommendations for Kingdoms of Amalur. It's kind of like Skyrim, but slightly less open, somewhat prettier, overall better dialogue/voice acting (IMO), and less buggy.
posted by tdismukes at 8:32 AM on November 29, 2012

I'm not much for RPGs or, since nobody asked, turn-based combat, but X-Com (the original) excelled at both; RPG elements in the management side (base, equipmonk and soldier management). X-Com let me see the light, and the new X-Com game carries the mantle quite well. I'm okay with the changes, except that one can't seem to pick up items in the field. That sucks when the one soldier with the stun-gun gets dropped in the first volley.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:11 AM on November 29, 2012

Best answer: It doesn't really fit with your RPG-genre but have you considered any of the Final Fantasy titles? I'm playing FFXIII right now - it's more linear than the previous games, but I do enjoy the combat and leveling systems. I've been a fan since the first NES game, so I'm probably biased, but I enjoy the games you listed above in addition to FF. I have a feeling this thread is going to lead me to my local game shop before the end of the day...
posted by antonymous at 9:18 AM on November 29, 2012

I'll also suggest Dark Souls, because it's only the game that I keep coming back to play. It can be played without multiplayer, but multiplayer really helps. However, there's no voice chat, and messages are limited to public scrawls from a pre-selected set of phrases, so there's no reason to fear hatefilled ignorant kids. If someone is in your world (max of 2 on your side, one invader), there's a few gestures which can be done, but really most of the "communication" is done just by following or not following and keeping an eye on them. I don't think I've even done any gestures recently.

You do have to fear a potential invasion, which will come at the bottom of a swamp while you need to fear the respawning misquitos attacking you from behind; but if you play without becoming human one can avoid it. While not outright scary, anytime that I'm invaded I definitely get an adenaline dump.

Part of the reason that I only really play this game is I don't want to get into another one until I beat this; I'm 35, and don't have enough free time; and I am refusing to look online for hints/walkthroughs to what's already considered a challenging game until I beat it once. My evil wife bought this for me. She still smirks everytime I die.

As Griphus points out, it could be the best and worst game ever. I hope that there'll be another.
posted by nobeagle at 9:35 AM on November 29, 2012

Seconding Dishonored. Just got it this week and so far its been really fun.
posted by czytm at 10:47 AM on November 29, 2012

The Final Fantasy series really is the biggest gap in your list -- in many respects it's where many of the others came from. A shame that Xbox options are quite limited.

If Dark Souls and Final Fantasy had a baby, Infinite Undiscovery is what I'd imagine it to be.
posted by gnomeloaf at 10:51 AM on November 29, 2012

Response by poster: I played Final Fantasies 7, 8, 9, 10, and 10-2, (on PS/PS2) and loved them. I could never get through 12 though, and just gave up at that point. Maybe worth revisiting?
posted by arcticwoman at 10:55 AM on November 29, 2012

Have you played 4 and/or 6 (and, uh, own something you could play them on)?
posted by griphus at 11:02 AM on November 29, 2012

Response by poster: No, all I have is an XBox and a very underpowered Macbook.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:09 AM on November 29, 2012

FF 4 and 6 are SNES games (sometimes called II and III in the US), so even an underpowered Macbook should be able to handle them in an emulator if you're so inclined. I really really like 6 - it's one of the only reasons I continue to pack/unpack my SNES from every time I move!

I will note that FFXIII is one of the lowest-rated FF games ever on Metacritic, but considering how great the rest of the games in the series are, I wasn't too concerned going into it (even video game store dude tried to dissuade me!). I really like the battle system (after I got used to it - there's a definite learning curve) and the leveling/roles system, though sometimes the game does feel like you're on a very narrow path to fight some end boss.
posted by antonymous at 1:04 PM on November 29, 2012

I play what you play and would recommend FF 13 and 13-2. And Assassin's Creed II but not Alan Wake if you don't do scary. Puzzle game-wise I would recommend Ilo Milo.
posted by fiercekitten at 1:05 PM on November 29, 2012

If you're playing IV in an emulator, play the re-released GBA version, not the SNES one (unless you have a particular nostalgia for the SNES version.)
posted by griphus at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2012

Deadly premonition. It's a little scary but really easy and it's like a weird Japanese interpretation of twin peaks. It's open world and very quirky and bizarre. The story is great and it's hilarious.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 2:12 PM on November 29, 2012

Best answer: Definitely check out the first Bioshock. I've played it through probably a dozen times.

I played both Borderlands and Borderlands 2 solo, and thoroughly enjoyed myself with both. (Completed two playthroughs of 1, and three playthroughs of 2, and I'm starting up on a 4th, because it has totally sucked me in with the magic combination of open world, shooting dudes, and collecting all. the. things.) I did play a little online and managed, after a few bad starts, to find some nice young men to play with (who didn't mind a 40-year-old lady in their game). But overall I prefer to play them solo.

Someone above mentioned Alan Wake. Not sure what particular brands of scary you don't like, but that game might hit your scary button. It startled me a few times.

I love Assassin's Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations. Couldn't finish 1 -- the hero was a jerkbag, and the missions were too repetitive. Glad I started with 2 (a fantastic game) and then went backward to 1.

I also really enjoyed The Saboteur, a lesser-known but very fun open-world game. I bet you could get that for pretty darned cheap. It's also the only game in which I've gotten all 1,000 achievement points.
posted by themissy at 5:45 PM on November 29, 2012

Not an RPG, but I like many of the same games as you, and I Sleeping Dogs. It's a sandbox game set in Hong Kong. The story is linear, there's combat upgrades (but nothing like tinkering with a build), but the hand-to-hand combat is like Arkham Asylum and it's just genuinely really fun.

If you're into old school JRPG style games, Cthulhu Saves the World is a fun Xbox Indie game that I highly recommend. Menu-based combat was never this good. And it has surprisingly in-depth leveling system, and a new game+ mode. I love it.

And I actually would not really recommend Kingdoms of Amalur. I played 40 hours of it, but the glitches got to me so much that I had to ditch it. The combat is AMAZING and the environments are pretty, but the story is dull, the execution is amateurish (lots of boring dialogue, all telling and no showing), and it's way too easy and the glitches really irritated me. NPCs would corner me in a room and I'd have to revert to an old save file, or cut scenes don't show the cinematic... it's just an empty screen or the back of someone's head. One constant glitch was that there would be equipment and random loot that you can't ever get rid from your inventory or sell (despite the fact that your inventory is already super super limited). I saved a lot, but the final straw was entire armour sets being stuck in my inventory. Yuck! So yeah, you probably would like it on some level, but don't set your expectations too high, save every 30 minutes, and expect game-breaking glitches.
posted by Hawk V at 6:51 PM on November 29, 2012

Lost Odyssey is the best Final Fantasy style game on Xbox 360.
posted by teki at 9:03 PM on November 29, 2012

Response by poster: Fantastic. I have forwarded this thread to my partner (titled: Christmas present ideas!) and have arranged to borrow a couple games. Thanks for all the suggestions.
posted by arcticwoman at 10:57 AM on November 30, 2012

I like many of the same games you do and highly recommend Divinity 2 - Dragon Knight Saga. It's an open world game, and after a certain point you can turn into a dragon at will. There are a lot of quests where you fly around clifftops looking for places, and then you can turn back into a human and explore on foot. It has a lot of the standard rpg stuff like finding treasure, leveling up, unlocking areas.

You can get it pretty inexpensively used. Just make sure to get the Dragon Knight Saga version and not the first version which is called Eco Draconis. The Dragon Knight Saga version has an extra game on the end and also has better graphics.

I also liked Kingdoms of Amalur, though I wouldn't put it on the same level as games like the Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age series where I played them more than once. It is kind of cool to have a game with an over the top brightly colored world after playing darker games like Skyrim. I never had any technical problems with it.
posted by Melsky at 1:36 AM on December 2, 2012

Best answer: This is unlike most of the other (awesome) suggestions, but my recommendation is to run dont walk and find a used copy of Mirror's Edge. One of my favorite games from this generation, doesn't look or play like pretty much anything else, awesome female protagonist, fun gameplay mechanic, and DICE are working on a sequel which is pretty much the best news evar.

You should be able to find it for $10 or less.
posted by softlord at 9:47 AM on December 4, 2012

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