25 Original Xbox Games You Must Own #20 - #16
We continue our top 25 list with numbers 20 through 16. See if your favorite Xbox game made the cut!
And in case you missed it:
20. Rainbow Six 3 (Ubisoft)
When Rainbow Six was introduced on the PlayStation, it created a whole new kind of first-person shooter, one that relied on tactical team play along with taking out enemies and meeting objectives. Rainbow Six 3 really brings this point home with better development, more in-depth missions to tackle, multiplayer support, and better-looking graphics that put the blocky original to shame. What’s more, the challenges pick up in the later missions, so you’re forced to stay on your toes and watch your team’s necks in the process. We love a good game that evolves like that, and Rainbow Six 3, despite not being in Vegas, will stick with you for some time.
19. Forza Motorsport (Microsoft)
Where Sony had the Gran Turismo series for realism, Microsoft came through with Turn 10 Studios’ Forza Motorsport, a game that helped make the Xbox a contender in the racing category. Unreal visuals defined the Motorsport series at the time, along with a huge variety of vehicles and tracks to hit the open road with. What’s more, the ability to challenge others to races expanded the gameplay to a whole new competitive level, one that the Gran Turismo games weren’t able to achieve – outside of split-screen, of course. The series has since reached a new level of realism, with Forza 4 ready to rev up Xbox 360s in October, but you should never forget the origins, because it’s there that the series got its phenomenal start.
18. ESPN NFL 2K5 (Sega)
So with voting for top 25 favorites, we found ourselves in a conundrum. Would we finally vote a Madden game into the list, or would we stick with something that made us feel like we were having true fun with a football game? Some of its features may seem a little weird (why are we playing Carmen Electra?!), but the general flow of ESPN NFL 2K5 is solid. The gameplay really delivers, both in the passing and running game; the commentary is smooth, a surprise considering most games have bad ones; and the graphics…just wow. You’ll really see everything that goes into a football game once you lay your eyes on this. The $19.99 intro price didn’t hurt either. Hell, this game scared EA Sports into making a deal with the NFL. That’s how good it was and still is.
17. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Ubisoft)
Before the arrival of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the last we saw of the series was on the Sega Dreamcast, in a poorly realized 3-D effort that simply wasn’t that much fun to play. That’s the vibe that series creator Jordan Mechner got. So, he teamed up with Ubisoft to create this wondrous revitalization in the series, packed with excellent physics (you can run along walls and flip over enemies), superb multi-directional combat, a great time-reversal gimmick, and plenty of challenging rooms to get the Prince through while he tries to save his kingdom. Plus, it was a great looking game for its time, and it still looks swell today in HD format on the PS3. Draw your dagger and dig into these Sands. (And leave Jake Gyllenhaal out of it, all right?)
16. Star Wars: Battlefront II (LucasArts)
Like it did on the PS2, Star Wars: Battlefront II presents an ideal combat simulator for members of the community. Let’s face it, it’s a pretty damn big community with millions of fans. Choose your side and then hit the battlefield – or outer space area – and do away with your enemies in combat. The Galactic Conquest mode is terrific for single players, and the multiplayer on Xbox Live was really awesome for its time, especially when you unlocked a near-unstoppable Jedi and mowed down pretty much everything in your path. (That’s how a Jedi works.) We can only hope that LucasArts is planning a third iteration for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, because the Force is strong with this series.