Suggested XBox Games
January 30, 2008 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Tips for XBox 360 games I might like

Might sound silly, but I'm wondering if there are any suggestions for any XBox 360 games (released in Australia) that I might like.

I enjoy sports sims, as well as a game like Civilization - and I understand there's a console version of that game coming out! - I've also got Viva Pinata of all things and have enjoyed puzzlers like Bejewelled and Tetris.

But are there any games along these lines (or others that are completely different) that you could suggest that I might like?
posted by chris88 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (21 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I would definitely check out Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Orange Box
posted by carefulmonkey at 6:26 PM on January 30, 2008

It's hard to get around the fact that the vast majority of big-name games for the 360 are still monster-blasting first person shooters. Since they're hard to ignore and you didn't mention them, I'm assuming that they aren't your bag.

You should definitely try Portal, which is part of The Orange Box. It's a conceptually brilliant and wickedly funny marriage between an FPS and a puzzle game, but it's more the latter than the former.

Aside from that, what about music games? I've gotten a lot of mileage out of Rock Band, especially with visitors over.
posted by svolix at 6:39 PM on January 30, 2008

I found Assassin's Creed very enjoyable.. great storyline, gameplay is 'sandbox-esque' (think Grand Theft Auto), and the play time is pretty long.

I just got my 360 for Christmas.. I've always been a PC gamer and as such never got into First Person Shooters on consoles (I prefer keyboard/mouse).. but after all the hooplah over Call Of Duty 4, I picked up and think it's a fantastic game.. Yes, first player is a tad short but the online play is excellent and I have yet to grow weary of it after a month of it being the only thing I've been playing.

I also like the strategy games but haven't been inmpressed with what's available.. I'm also looking forward to Civilization coming out.

If you like the 'quick' games, check out Zuma. You can download the demo through the Arcade. I was thinking of picking that up - it's similar to my favorite game on Nintendo DS, "Magnetica"...
posted by MarkLark at 6:39 PM on January 30, 2008

Burnout Paradise and skate are both really good. Seriously, even if you don't think they're your kind of thing, download the demos and give 'em a shot.

(And, on XBLA, check out Bomberman Live and Puzzle Fighter HD--both decent versions of some of the best games ever made.)
posted by box at 6:46 PM on January 30, 2008

I would be careful of Elder Scrolls. Everyone says it's a great game. I bought it, and I've found that it's impossible to play unless you're totally dedicated to it- you have 2 - 3 hours at a stretch, and you play 4-5 times a week. It's meant to engross you, and I can see the merit's in that, but it doesn't fit my "okay i have 20-30 minutes to play 1x or 2x a week."

The best sport sims:

For basketball, the 2k series is better than the EA sports version (at both the college and pro level). I have both, and I love them (though I don't play that much now)

Rock Band is awesome. Especially when you have visitors over. I have a 360, PS3, and a Wii, and the Rock Band has recently eclipsed the Wii in terms of "games to play when you have friends over")

Stay away from Madden and NCAA Football. NCAA Football especially is a total mess. Both of these games have great graphics and gameplay, but their structure and usability is terrible. I've played NCAA for 10 minutes since i bought it - it's been my worst purchase so far.

I love, love, love Call of Duty - I have all 3 for the 360 and they're awesome. It's fabulous. Also, you have to get Halo as well. Gears of War is also great. All three of these have great multiplayer.

Assassin's Creed and Godfather have been my GTA substitutes until GTA comes out. Godfather, while doesn't look like a great game, is suprisingly entertaining and can be had for cheap.

I've never tried FIFA, but that might be up your (Australian) alley. Some of my friends love it too.

For different takes on the standard 1st person shooter, a lot of people like Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell. The original Ghost Recon trailer is what convinced me to get a 360 actually, but once I got the game, the graphics were amazing, but it doesn't suit my honed run-and-gun style that i've developed over the past 20 years of video games.

Man, I have too many video games.
posted by unexpected at 6:59 PM on January 30, 2008

I'm like you. I'll play Halo but that's the only FPS I enjoy (and then only in social situations -- I don't play the campaigns).

I loved "Portal" in the Orange Box. Rest of the Orange Box is not exciting for me, but Portal gave me a very enjoyable three hours.

Also investigate "Lumines!" for download on XBox live... you know that thing with Tetris after you play a lot where you start seeing falling shapes in your sleep? Lumines is even worse. It's so good.

Also, Guitar Hero and Rock Band are the reasons I bought my 360. They are so much fun it's ridiculous.
posted by olinerd at 7:00 PM on January 30, 2008

I love Puzzle Quest on XBLA.

The Orange Box is a package that has something for everyone, single-player FSP, Platform Puzzle (one of the only FPS versions, if not THE only one) and a really fun online multiplayer FPS. I guess you have to like FPS's, but if you like ANY of them, this one should tickle you.

If you like strategy/sim games, you might also enjoy Overlord. You get to be an evil overlord controlling up to 50 minions to eliminate the heroes that killed the last evil overlord.
posted by slavlin at 7:01 PM on January 30, 2008

If I may ask, for my own enlightenment as well as the OP's - Guitar Hero for $80 or Rock Band for $160 - which is better value for money? Assuming both the "lots of friends who might want to play" as well as the "no friends" scenarios... :-)
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 8:34 PM on January 30, 2008

I haven't actually played Guitar Hero III very much, but I was really into its predecessors, and my nerdy music friends who do have it say it's more of the same with an awkward shiny skin on top. (I guess that if you haven't played the others, that won't apply to you.)

Rock Band is totally awesome, though. It costs more because it comes with more stuff, and if you get tired of one instrument there are two others to play. Drumming is especially fun solo. I'd say that Rock Band definitely pulls ahead in a group situation. It was developed by the original creators of GH, who sold the franchise Activision, so the dev house behind it knows what it was doing and were able to strip out the old, tedious stuff and put in new, shiny stuff.
posted by svolix at 8:43 PM on January 30, 2008

BIOSHOCK. Great story. Great graphics and YOU GET TO SHOOT FIRE (AND BEES) FROM YOUR HANDS!!!!!
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:15 PM on January 30, 2008

Nice Guy Mike - I faced this dilemma a month ago, but you definitely want Rock Band. The songs are better, and you get more instruments. As a bonus, you can play 4 at a time, rather than Guitar Heroes two.

Also, since it involves singing, girls don't feel as intimidated and it has an easier learning curve (The guitar can be a drag when you first pick it up, but if you've never ever played any video games before, but you know the words to Move Along, you'll be amazing at Rock Band from the get-go).

Also, they're sure to make a Rock Band II, and the instruments will probably be replayable there. (personally i'm hoping for a piano!).

Rock Band. Rock Band. Rock Band.

My roommate, who looks down upon my (excessive) video game habits, says "Rock Band is easily the best decision you've ever made in the past three years."
posted by unexpected at 1:40 AM on January 31, 2008

Catan is a sort of Civilization in miniature. Based on a board game. Short, sweet, very addictive. You can play 2-3 games in an hour. And if you like Catan, check out Carcassone as well.

Puzzle Quest, already recommended, is a sort of quest-mode Bejeweled. Also freakishly addictive.

Portal is the game I recommend to everyone, regardless of their tastes. It is the best computer/console game ever made. Period.
posted by zanni at 5:07 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

N+1ing Rock Band. Not only do I pretty much have a standing Friday night get together to play (alternating between my house and a friend's), but as you can see from the link, I've found plenty to do with the game while not actually playing.

Being in Australia, you still have a bit before release, so if you want games you can play by yourself without waking the neighbors or developing a sudden Rush addiction also try:

First Person Category
- Orange Box (mainly for Portal)
- Mass Effect (FPS SciFi RPG)
- Oblivion (FPS Fantasy RPG)
- Overlord (First Person Puzzle game - you lead a horde of goblins around and they make mayhem)
- Bioshock (FPS, but the story and art... wonderful)

Puzzle Games
- Hexic (Arcade)
- Puzzle Quest (Arcade)

Strategy Games
- Battle for Middle Earth 2
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:19 AM on January 31, 2008

I would question the wisdom of anyone who puts together a FPS list on the 360 and doesn't include Gears of War, which is revolutionary. ;-) The cover system is an amazing improvement over every other FPS. If you didn't have a 360, it is worth buying one just to play Gears, and I am not a big FPS fan.

If you are going to be playing alone often, Guitar Hero is far superior to Rockband. The guitar is much more challenging and just more fun to play. However if you are going to play multi-player, it is no contest. Rockband is hands down better multi-player, although I find the guitar controller for Rockband sucks. YMMV. Rockband also has a better download catalog right now. I would highly suggest both if you can.

I had a blast playing Assassin's Creed. I played through it twice, back to back. Mass Effect is also awesome.

Rainbow Six Vegas was fun, although it is punishing in parts. Really fun multi-player game though.

You can't be the amount of content per dollar in Orange Box.

The Dark Brotherhood quests in Oblivion are amazingly fun. Worth playing through the game just for those quests.

NBA Street Homecourt if very fun if you are into basketball arcade games. Certainly not realistic in any way, but very fun.
posted by Silvertree at 7:31 AM on January 31, 2008

I don't know if you mentioned having it or not but you should really pony up the extra change for an XBL sub and $50+ worth of gamer points for all the goodies on arcade. You can get access to a demo for pretty much every game out there, and they are all represent their full products pretty well.

Crackdown is a great sandbox game that's completely over the top. I would describe it as GTA on mushrooms, except you are robocop instead of some wimpy little thief who never gets off the street level. Check out the demo and spend a few minutes jumping from roof to roof and tell me that's not a hoot. You can get it at a bargain price too, sometimes $20! Real fun coop opportunities here as well!

Dead Rising is also really neat, although you have to be aware that the full game has a very interesting (read: frustrating if you ignore) mission/saving mechanic that takes some acclimation. Also $20!

Skate is my favorite sports game on there so far, the control system is really amazing once you get into it. Waiting for the price to come down on that one though as I'm not that big on sports games.

Aegis Wing is a free goofy little shmup with a fun cooperative lamprey firing mode. Undertow was free until the 27th, so you probably just missed out on that one if you didn't snag it already.

Bomberman Live, Worms, Geometry Wars, Metal Slug 3, Rez HD, Pacman CE, Lumines, Puzzle Fighter, Zuma and TMNT are my faves on XBLA.

Gears is fun, but playing online is fucking brutal with 4v4 and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't love getting worked up over competitive FPS matches. Halo 3 has a great ranking system and will serve you with a better matchmaking experience every time, with a lot more variety. Both have good coop, but I'd give the edge to H3 for vehicles, better settings and color palette.
posted by prostyle at 7:39 AM on January 31, 2008

nthing Skate. Skate is ridiculously fun and surprisingly deep. Give the demo a try and then realize that as big as the demo area is, it represents about 1-2% of the overall map.


Geometry Wars is a must-have.
posted by neilkod at 7:47 AM on January 31, 2008

If you like Bejeweled, I'll N-th the recommendation to download Puzzle Quest on XBLA.
posted by yeti at 8:01 AM on January 31, 2008

If you have the cash I would definitely grab both Guitar Hero 3 and the Rock Band pack. You will be able to experience both games which are fantastic! The Xbox 360 version instruments are compatible with both games so if you end up having a preference between guitars you have a choice. Also the guitar hero 3 guitar will fill in the missing instrument for the complete four player experience that is Rock Band.

I'm also going to say most of the other games I have played have slowly been eclipsed by the sheer amount of content, online ranking/features, multiplayer fun factor by Rock Band.

Go with the yearly membership option and check out all the demos for games you are interested in, it sure has saved me from a few purchases that didn't live up to what I had expected. With exception of Geometry Wars which should be a free full download to show the awesomeness of Live Arcade.

-Game on!
posted by Mardigan at 8:05 AM on January 31, 2008

Tomb Raider: Legend.

Excellent game. Mostly puzzles/platforming with no annoying time limits. You can play on easy mode so the (few) gun battles are less taxing. Fun, fun, fun. The controls on it are more forgiving than previous versions... you don't need to be quite as precise to jump across ledges, etc.

Fun story, good graphics excellent environments. Also, it's really cheap right now.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 8:26 AM on January 31, 2008

OP likes puzzle and offbeat games, and nobody has mentioned Beautiful Katamari? Seriously, one of the coolest games I've ever played.
posted by General Malaise at 9:27 AM on January 31, 2008

This a bit of a segue, but remember that on the MeFi wiki we have a listing of Metafilter users who have Xbox Live accounts, if you wanted to play with other MeFites or see what they're playing for ideas.

And, while I don't have it for the 360, I can't recommend Puzzle Quest enough for puzzle fans. Geometry Wars too because its pretty and fun. Rez HD for the same reason!
posted by tittergrrl at 10:46 AM on February 1, 2008

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