With Microsoft’s Xbox One now a viable part of the video gaming market, many fans have chosen to leave behind their last-gen gaming hardware. For those who chose to still cherish their past gaming machines, they’ve had a great selection of great games to keep them busy in 2014. These new games made the year of 2014 a special one for those always loyal Xbox 360 owners, so we’re going to make sure to honor those titles by listing the best of the best.
1. Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z
The Dragon Ball Z franchise spawned a bunch of quality (and pretty crappy) line of fighting games. Battle of Z continues the tradition of fun and chaotic Saiyan/alien/android skirmishes in video game form. The multiplayer modes here and the overabundance of familiar tales from the show make this a definite pick for fans and even non-fans.
1. Fable Anniversary
The Fable series has always been a solid part of the exclsuive gaming library of the Xbox family of consoles. Peter Molyneux always had a penchant for making his line of choice-driven RPG game a little bit more grander than they really were, but the series still thrived as some awesome games. This remastered, HD version of Fable: The Lost Chapters is a worthy 2nd coming of a great action RPG.
2. Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
The main heroine of the Final Fantasy XIII series came back for a fitting finale that signaled the end of the series. The battle mechanics welcomed longtime RPG fans to a fast and fluid combat system, plus the newly added costume changes, constantly ticking clock and new mission structure made this Final Fantasy experience a unique one. It might not be saying much, but this is the best game to come out of the Final Fantasy XIII line of releases.
Capcom brought back one of their mega popular characters for a return to video game greatness. Strider adopted the best elements of old-school, side scrolling action games and applied the cooler aspects of the last two Strider titles. This awesome combination led to a 2.5D action/adventure that breathed new life into the coolest ninja in video games.
4. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Dracula in the modern day fighting off robotic security guards and demonic foot soldiers? Yeah, this was a real thing. And dammit, it was such a visceral and hard-to-put down gaming experience. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 finally allowed gamers to wield the dark, magical powers of Dracula and take on Satan’s wicked army of darkness.
Square Enix revitalized Lara Croft and brought her back to the forefront of gaming’s Mount Rushmore. Square Enix applied this same method to another classic gaming franchise and came away with a new welcome take on Thief. Master thief Garrett came back with new tools, stealth mechanics and a new world that needs his aid. While it was fun to follow the exploits of The City, we had more fun just stealing every shiny object we laid eyes on.
1. South Park: The Stick of Truth
It took forever and a day to finally get out hands on this South Park RPG, but the long wait was entirely well worth it. Ubisoft’s South Park: The Stick of Truth placed us into hilarious scenarios that involved the foul mouthed kids of that quaint little town. Poop was thrown, a familiar chef got revived, filthy sewers were explored etc. as we took our custom South Park denizen to the (pretend) fantasy realm.
2. Dark Souls 2
We’re sure this game pissed off the more impatient gamers out there, but we know it was quite the addictive playthrough for gamers with a penchant for punishment. Dark Souls 2 was a true test of every gamer’s mettle, thanks to it’s mix of tough battles and exploration that offer an undeniably fun challenge. Making it to that bonfire made us all sigh a breath of relief, but that was soon followed by cries of shame. And you know what? We loved every minute of it!
3. Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes
Big Boss returned to his post as one of the most badass undercover government agents in gaming with a prelude to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Ground Zeroes offered a slew of missions that ranged from simple locate-and-recover ops to search-and-destroy objectives. The sole open-world layout players were placed in led to several cool moments that were too brief, but great to delve into nonetheless. Sure, it’s short. But it’s still worth a look for rabid MGS fans.