With November mostly behind us, the video game typhoon of 2014 is finally slowing down. Tons of great games launched this year for the Xbox 360, and a good chunk of them actually released this month alone. It can be intimidating to figure out which ones are worth your time, especially with so many developers and publishers claiming game-of-the-year status. It doesn’t help that there are more than a handful of different genres to explore as well.
Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up the top five new games from this month you can grab for your Xbox 360. Sure, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are all shiny and new, but plenty of titles going to the new-gen consoles are coming to the PS3 as well, making it a great option for those not willing to dive into the new systems quite yet.
1. Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Assassin’s Creed Rogue launched November 11 alongside its next-gen sibling, Assassin’s Creed Unity. In Rogue, exclusively for last-gen consoles, you play as Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin-turned-Templar who spends the majority of the game killing his old brotherhood. Like Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag before it, there’s naval combat, and the setting is North America (including the Canadian province of Quebec). New to the game is the air rifle, which Shay can use to silently take out enemies at a distance, kind of like Arno’s phantom blade in Unity. Unfortunately, as busy as the developer was, Ubisoft decided to skip competitive multiplayer for Rogue this year.
Price: $$50.18 (16 percent off MSRP)
- Play as a Templar
- Air rifle
- Naval combat is back
- Refreshing story
- No multiplayer
- Might seem similar to Black Flag
- Familiar world and characters
- Vacant setting
2. Dragon Age: Inquisition
BioWare is known for its ability to craft deep, intricate, personal stories. Just look at the best-selling Mass Effect series, which, in this humble editor’s opinion, is the best sci-fi universe to be created in any medium ever. The original Dragon Age was a critical and commercial success, with its long and detailed campaign where choices mattered. Dragon Age II didn’t hold up as well, though it’s still a great game. With Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare went all out in an effort to create one of the greatest fantasy RPGs ever. The developer’s track record proves they were capable of handling the task, giving players a sprawling world to explore, a brilliant story where player choice matters and a fun combat system players can tailor to their play style.
- In-game choices matter
- Style combat your way
- Customize your party and hero
- It’s not Dragon Age II
- Weak story
- Say goodbye to hundreds of hours of freetime
- Some locales feel small
- There are some bugs
3. Far Cry 4
Do you like first-person shooters set in a giant open world? How about ziplining, hang gliding, big game hunting and killing bad guys? If so, Far Cry 4 is up your alley. The newest addition to the series steps away from the lush environment of the tropics from Far Cry 3 and drops you in the middle of a civil war in the Himalayas. Besides moving your way through the story, there will be distractions to keep your entertained. The most attractive feature is a new one that allows players to invite friends who don’t even own the full game into their world to conquer cooperative missions together. If allowing your buddies to game with you free of charge to them isn’t a great idea, I don’t know what is.
- New wildlife
- Massive open world
- Drop-in co-op
- Free limited edition with pre-order
- Unwarranted cover art controversy
- No bonuses for killing war elephants
- Terrible story and characters
- Technical issues on last-gen consoles
4. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
The Lego games never fail to capture that special childlike imagination. They allow you to break canon for the sake of fun (I always found it ironic and hilarious to team up with Boba Fett as Han Solo in the Lego Star Wars games, for instance). Plus, there are fun puzzles and plenty of block to smash. In other words, the Lego games are great for kids and adults alike, and even better together. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham launched yesterday, bringing more plastic brick goodness with it. Complete your training, unlock characters, don disguises and once again save Gotham…and beyond.
- Travel into outer space
- More than 150 characters
- Great co-op
- Perfect family game
- Formula might be getting stale to some
- Strange cameos
- Generic locations
- Simplistic gameplay
5. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Any The Lord of the Rings buff will feel right at home with Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The game is set sometime between The Hobbit and Tolkien’s famous trilogy about Frodo’s quest to Mount Doom as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor stationed near the Black Gate leading into the evil land of Mordor, is forced to watch his family be butchered by Uruks. What follows is a classic revenge action game dripping with Tolkien lore. What sets Shadow of Mordor apart is its nemesis system, which grants military ranks to Talion’s enemies. The Uruks are constantly vying for dominance, and the player can manipulate them to his will using special powers and abilities, making each play a unique experience.
- Nemesis system
- Satisfying combat
- Lore, lore and more lore
- Somewhat easy
- Disappointing ending
- Repetitive locales
- Herb collecting