24th October 2009 - This November sees the Xbox 360s 4th anniversary since its North American release date and over the next few months, the 4th anniversary for everywhere else in the world. But with so many people only getting into the Xbox brand after the release of the 360, there have been a lot of top notch games that people have missed the opportunity of playing on the big black box. Most know of and/or has played blockbusters like Halo and Project Gotham Racing, but what other great games did the original Xbox have to offer? All Age Gaming looks at what original Xbox games can still be played on your 360 and gives you 5 of best that aren’t currently on the LIVE marketplace. Here they are, enjoy:
5. Conker: Live & Reloaded
Essentially a port of the Nintendo 64’s instant classic Conkers Bad Fur Day, Live & Reloaded featured enhanced graphics and gameplay that was both easy to pick up and hard to put down. The remake wasn’t as popular or successful as the original, mainly due to the fact that the developers changed the multiplayer so much. The original was famed for having groundbreaking multiplayer that set very high standards unmatched by all, but the Xbox version tried to modernise the multiplayer and ended up failing both critically and in the fan base. Even to today’s standards, the game has pretty great graphics which is surprising and even though the multiplayer might be broken, the single-player story is still unmatched and will have everyone addicted. Conker appeals to all and is full of tongue-in-cheek humour and references to history and pop-culture, which are some of the reasons that make it such a fun game.
4. Hunter: The Reckoning
this was a game that was given the acclaim it deserved, yet still didn’t see a release on the LIVE marketplace. The game featured great co-op gameplay with up to 4 players running through the streets and exploring the depths of everything evil while slaughtering every kind of nightmare creature you can think of; zombies, werewolves, demons, gargoyles and vampires to name just a few. The sequel didn’t quite hit the right spots like this one did, but no one could really expect it to when this was so good. The story was well written and the game took you to some of the most gothic and dark environments you could think of facing off against these demonic creatures, not to mention the epic and unique boss battles and top notch graphics (for when it was made at least). Really a game that’s a must have for every fan of the creepy crawlies of the night and particularly if you like some good co-op action.
3. Star Wars: Knight of the old Republic
The first RPG on the list and one of the most acclaimed and original on the Xbox itself, Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) was the first in the series and the most critically acclaimed. Made by Bioware (the brilliant minds behind Mass Effect), this game looks at the Star Wars universe from a different angle and puts players in the boots of their very own character as they traverse the galaxy and interact with beings of all race and species making for an immersive RPG experience full of choice and character customisation, which both are tricked out to the max within the game. With story twists to make your stomach churn, a character progression system to make your eyes water and gameplay to have you thinking and acting like never before. Truly great and a must have for all Star Wars and RPG fans, and even if Star Wars isn’t your cup of tea, you will still surly enjoy the bones out of this game. Go ahead; immerse yourself in one of the most addictive games ever made.
2. Shenmue II
Ah, Shenmue. The series is one of the most acclaimed RPG series of all time, and still to this day, one of the most expensive games ever made. The 2 games in the series were made back to back and follow the story of Ryo as he searches for revenge on the man who killed his father. The games were originally made for the Sega Dreamcast back in 1999, but when the fat cats at Sega realised the only way to make money from the game would be to have everyone who owned a Dreamcast to purchase at least 2 copies of the game (literally), they chose to have it split into two in hopes of making a little more dough. The second instalment never saw popularity on the Dreamcast as it was released shortly before the Dreamcast died out, but when released on the Xbox in 2002, people saw and realised just how unbelievably great the game was, not to mention large. The exploration and size of the games world is still unheard of today and the game uses the Virtua Fighter fighting engine to give a great fighting system to the detailed RPG. The one thing that brought the game down was the nightmare inducing English voice acting and character models that look like they were made over 5 years before the game. A magnificent game worthy of everyone’s 360.
AAG’s number 1 original Xbox game not downloadable on the Xbox 360. Deathrow was very early in the Xbox’s life span, yet still didn’t see the true critical acclaim it deserved. The game took what we knew and loved about sports games and added in enjoyable and quite frantic action gameplay in the form of fist fighting between the two teams while trying to do what was the overall underlay of the game: score goals. It is this very unique blend of action and sports gameplay which made the game so great. Not only was the gameplay amazing, but the game had loads of features. There was a large selection of teams to choose from, and throughout the campaign, you could give players experimental drugs to increase performance... at a price, and also accept training matches against experimental training droids and purchase new and improved players to help with the fighting or scoring. The teams featured in the game ranged from outer space demons to the rough L.A. Gangs and each had a substantial number of unlockable players to be put on the fields, of which each team had their own unique layout and style. It was a very deep experience and to this day has a cult following aching for a sequel announcement. Keep an eye out for this very rare gem, and do yourself a big favour and pick up the first copy you find.
Well there you have it, if you have previously missed out on playing these 5 original Xbox games, do yourself a favour and try and get your hands on them and experience some of the best Xbox gaming of the last generation.
Article Written By John Elliott