Red Ring aside, have you ever wondered what the best Xbox 360 games of all time were? It’s safe to say the console was home to some of the best games at the time, if not of all time, but which one has the honour of being titled THE best? Let’s find out.
When I think of my old Xbox 360, I think of a lot of conflicting things. There’s the late-night sessions on Modern Warfare 2, the upbeat chime on start up… The Red Ring of Death, the strange detachable hard drive that just… Clipped into the top. It was a weird one. That’s for sure. However, anyone who owned an Xbox 360 will know that it was home to some of the best games of all time.
However, this raises an interesting question… We all have favourites, but what are the best Xbox 360 games of all time? Well, this list will have the answer! It’ll base the rankings on two factors: Metacritic review scores and units sold. Sure, a game might sell well… But does that mean it’s the best? Sometimes, it’s hard to ignore the figures though. Let’s dive in…
Best Xbox 360 Games Ranking
15. Fable II
Lionhead Studios’ triumphant sequel to Fable was truly spectacular. It featured a brilliant cast full of British acting legends, including Stephen Fry and Zoe Wannamaker, and had fantastically witty gameplay to match. However, how did this translate into sales? Well… It lands somewhat comfortably on our list with 3,500,000 units sold over it’s lifetime. It might not have been for everyone, but Fable II did very well with critics. A lot of places gave it a perfect score, while others offered high scores just below that. Metacritic have it listed with a Metascore of 89, and a User Score of 6.6.
14. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Fourteenth? What kind of a place is that anyway…? Yep, you’re reading this right. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a ground-breaking advancement in the series and laid out the ground work for a lot of what we see from Call of Duty games today. It sold just over 4,200,000 units on the Xbox 360. Unsurprisingly, it scored very highly on Metacritic. It has a Metascore of 94 and a User Score of 8.5. You’d think that would warrant a higher placement, but it simply didn’t ship that many units… And, when you look down the list. There’s a lot of other incredible games.
13. Grand Theft Auto IV
Niko Bellic’s adventures in Liberty City might not be as favoured as CJ’s in San Andreas, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad game by any account. It brought a lot to Rockstar’s crime-based series and managed to just out-sell Call of Duty 4. GTA IV shipped 4,362,000 units in it’s lifetime on the Xbox 360. What’s slightly more surprising is that it also dominates on Metacritic. It has a Metascore of 98, near-perfect! The User Score is also a comfortably good 7.9… Not bad, at all.
12. Batman: Arkham City
The second game in the Arkham series did everything Arkham Asylum did fantastically, but made it bigger and better. Rocksteady Studios’ Batman-based action-adventure title shipped around 4,600,000 units in it’s lifetime on the Xbox 360. It’s also another high-scoring title on Metacritic. It has a Metascore of 94, a little lower than Grand Theft Auto IV, but a User Score of 8.7. Arkham Asylum and Arkham Knight also scored highly, but it seems Arkham City is the best of the three.
11. Gears of War 2
Released about two years after Gears of War, Gears of War 2 continued the story of Marcus, Dom, and Delta Squad in their fight against the Locust hordes. It perfected the gameplay and multiplayer that made the first title so popular and it seems the fans agreed. Gears of War 2 also shipped around 5,000,000 units on the Xbox 360. What’s interesting is that it did ever-so-slightly worse than Gears of War on Metacritic. It has a Metascore of 93, one less than the first title, and a User Score of 7.8. Many fans criticised the fact that there wasn’t enough of a major jump in quality between the two, giving this as a reason for lower scores. However, if it ain’t broke…
10. Gears of War
Gears of War was bloody and brutal, reinventing the third-person shooter genre and undoubtedly paving the way for a lot of the gorier games that followed after it. It was a risk from Epic Games, but thankfully it paid off. Gears 5 may have quite a few less units sold, but it’s introduction on GamePass has still managed to keep it’s popularity going. The first Gears of War title shipped around 5,000,000 units on the Xbox 360. This destroys Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which only sold around 1,600,000 on the Xbox One. The original Gears of War also did well on Metacritic. It has a Metascore of 94 and a User Score of 8.3. These scores are slightly higher and thus justify it’s place over Gears of War 2
9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Arguably the best Call of Duty title, Modern Warfare 2‘s success really shows how the series exploded during this time. It sold almost double the amount of units as it’s predecessor, and well over the amount World At War shipped. Modern Warfare 2 shipped a little over 7,500,000 units on the Xbox 360. This is a huge jump between the Gears of War games. Metacritic gave it a Metascore of 94, however it has a User Score of 6.5. We know gamers like to review-bomb games, but there are a few valid points amongst their criticisms. Allegedly, the game’s narrative is too linear and the multiplayer experience was too unbalanced. I guess the nightmare that was the Model 1887 Akimbo was real.
8. Halo 4
When you think Xbox, you think Halo. The game is one of the hallmark IP’s for the console and undoubtedly one of the best on it. Halo 4 continues on with Master Chief’s fight against the Covenant, bringing both new and old enemies into the fight. Much like any Halo game, though, it thrived through it’s multiplayer. It was the first Halo title developed by 343 Industries, following Bungie’s departure from the series, and it proved to be a moderate success. Halo 4 shipped 9,410,000 units on the Xbox 360. It also hit a Metascore of 87 on Metacritic, a respectable score by any account. Fans gave the game a middling 7.1 User Score, with a lot of criticism coming from a weak campaign and poor map design in comparison to previous Halo titles.
7. Halo: Reach
Halo: Reach was Bungie’s last Halo title, and damn was it a good one. It branched off from Master Chief’s story, following the story of Noble Squad in a prelude for Halo: Combat Evolved. It had clean gameplay with several innovations that set it apart from the other titles in the series. What’s interesting is how well it did, too. It just outsold Halo 4 with 9,870,000 units sold on the Xbox 360. It has a Metascore of 91 and a User Score of 8.2, comfortably sitting above Halo 4 on the list.
6. Call of Duty: Black Ops
I know I said this was when Call of Duty was getting popular earlier, but this was when it was getting popular. Call of Duty: Black Ops managed to smash the sales figures of Modern Warfare 2, hitting roughly 12,000,000 units on the Xbox 360. But, what do the numbers mean? Well… Despite the low User Score of 6.5, Black Ops received a Metascore of 87. A lot of negative complaints point towards server issues and the difference in perceived realism between Black Ops and Modern Warfare. Still, the sales figures are hard to ignore and it sits comfortably in sixth.
5. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
Minecraft is perhaps the best-selling game of all time on every platform. It’s been downloaded a truly insane amount of times. It’s also available on almost everything, but that’s besides the point. The Xbox 360 edition of the block-based survival title shipped a comfortably high 13,000,000 units on the console. Surprisingly, this didn’t rank as highly on Metacritic as you’d expect. It got a Metascore of 82 and a User Score of 7.3. Many complaints come from the fact that, in comparison to Minecraft on PC, it is a smaller and older version. Which, frankly, is understandable. However, these things change over time as more updates are added and this title brought Minecraft to a lot of people who didn’t have access before.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Ah. You’re finally awake. Skyrim is one of those games that is near-timeless. Sure the voice acting is a bit off and graphically, it doesn’t quite compete with modern titles, but it has that Elder Scrolls charm that keeps players going back. It’s a huge game that sold a huge amount. It isn’t a lot more than Minecraft, though, but it sold 13,700,000 units on the Xbox 360 alone. I don’t even really need to tell you what it scored, as we all know it’s good. But, I will. It got a Metascore of 96 and a User Score of 8.6. Hard to disagree with either of those. Sure it had some bugs, every Bethesda game does, but the rest of the game truly was one-of-a-kind.
3. Halo 3
Halo 3 is, perhaps, the best Halo game in the series and it understandably ranks highly up the list. It concludes Master Chief’s narrative arc that began in Combat Evolved and provided players with one of the best multiplayer experiences at the time. Forge mode brought custom content to the playing field which resulted in some of the most creative uses of an FPS I’ve ever seen. Halo 3 is lauded by fans and understandably also sold a lot of units. It shipped 14,500,000 units on the Xbox 360. It also scored very highly on Metacritic. It is listed with a Metascore of 94 and a User Score of 8.0. Again, hard to argue with that.
2. Kinect Adventures
Okay, firstly… What the fuck. I admit, I barely even remember Kinect existing, but here we are. Kinect Adventures dominated sales for the Xbox 360. I say dominated… I mean dominated. It sold around 24,000,000 copies on the Xbox 360. Without a doubt, it helped pave the way for the PSVR by proving the popularity of home-based motion-capture gaming experiences. But… Yeah. Kinect Adventures, didn’t see that coming. The low review scores though, despite the huge difference in sales, place it below the top spot. I can’t in good conscience say that this is the best Xbox 360 game… It got a Metascore of 61 and a User Score of 6.1. Kinect wasn’t the best thing Xbox have ever done, but… They tried!
1. Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V is regarded as one of the best video games of all time. It took what made all the Grand Theft Auto titles of the past and improved them, mashed them all together, and made a hell of a game. Nowadays, GTA Online is still going strong seven years into it’s lifetime. Grand Theft Auto V has crossed generations, and the game is going to cross another with a release on the Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles. It managed to ship over 17,000,000 units on the Xbox 360. Obviously, this is going to be the highest-rated game on the list. It got a Metascore of 97, and a User Score of 8.3. Everyone loves Grand Theft Auto V. That’s what I’m getting from this.
So, there’s the best Xbox 360 games of all time. We all knew Halo and Gears of War would feature somewhere… But was there anything that surprised you?