The 25 Best Original Xbox Games of All Time

The Xbox is now 20 years old, and so what better clock to take a fresh look second at Microsoft ‘s first comfort and remember its best games. There were many incredible ones despite the machine enjoying good a four-year lifecycle, and IGN staff has ranked our top 25 here. As constantly, if we missed one of your favorites, tell us about it in the comments below ! The 25 Best Original Xbox Games of All Time

25. Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II

A Dreamcast favorite, Phantasy Star Online was a absorbing action-RPG. It besides proved to be a announce of things to come with its $ 10 per month always-online price rag, but in return you got an absolutely incredible connected universe that allowed you to make friends and murder monsters together, with your MAGs looking over your shoulders. If PSO got its hooks into you, they went in deep, and the result was one of the most memorable original Xbox games always made.24. MVP Baseball 2005

24. MVP Baseball 2005

MLB The Show 21 last gave Xbox fans what they ‘d been waiting years for : a bang-up simulation baseball game. To put that in position, those fans had been waiting since … 2005, when MVP Baseball ‘s final MLB-licensed edition proved to be one of the greatest sports games ever. Have you played Crimson Skies : high Road to Revenge ? In fact, retentive after EA abandoned it, the mod community kept MVP 2005 ‘s rosters updated on personal computer, and dedicated fans continued to play it for many years. But spinal column on Xbox, it got everything right : hit, pitch, field, and baserunning. And it did all that with gorgeous ( at the meter ) graphics and stun, lifelike animations. MVP Baseball 2005 will never be forgotten .

23. Burnout 3: Takedown

Burnout 3 had no unique connection to Xbox in any manner, but that ‘s o because it was merely empyreal and belongs on this tilt. It is a near-timeless race game that ‘s more about smashing the other cars than it is about avoiding and zooming past them. That corruption made it unlike any early driving game that ‘s been made before or since. The star of the picture, of run, was Burnout ‘s Crash mood, and Burnout 3 : takedown is where developer Criterion realized it was more than good an afterthought. alternatively, it was a pillar of the entire crippled. But it was n’t a one-note racer. Road Rage mode – in which the goal was to cause as many of your opponents to crash as potential – was a sadistic sport, while Hot Laps challenged you to complete perfect runs at 200mph with about no margin for error. Burnout 3 is just ampere much playfulness today as it was in 2004, despite its now-aged graphics. Most rush games can not claim that .

22. Psychonauts

Psychonauts went on quite a travel before it was released in 2005, near the end of the master Xbox era. It was the first base game from Double Fine, the studio apartment that LucasArts legend Tim Schafer started after going out on his own. It was in the first place scheduled to be an Xbox exclusive published by Microsoft in the early on years of the console before the clientele of video games got in the way. It did end up releasing as an Xbox exclusive under Majesco, and it was deserving the wait. There were strange and beautiful brains to explore in this telekenetic platformer, and head character Raz promptly stole every actor ‘s heart. It ‘s poetic that Microsoft ended up purchasing Double Fine and publish Psychonauts 2 over a decade-and-a-half belated .

21. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Like Ninja Gaiden, Prince of Persia : The Sands of Time took an early bet on classic and reinvented it in a near-perfect way for Xbox. Platforming and puzzles are the backbone of Sands of Time, with fight serving lone as a last recourse. still, that combat was in truth wonderfully handled, as the Prince was no bulletproof superhero. He would n’t take much damage before succumbing to his wounds, and indeed you needed to rely on your wits rather. The ability to rewind meter was revolutionary in that moment of gaming history, and Prince of Persia expertly recaptured the spirit of the original game while beautifully reimagining it for the advanced era .

20. Otogi: Myth of Demons

long ahead From Software made it boastful as the developers of Dark Souls, the talented team made the Xbox-exclusive ninja military action game Otogi : Myth of Demons ( and late a sequel called Otogi 2 : immortal Warriors ). It was beautiful, polish, precise, chic, and action-packed, and it did sol half a year before Ninja Gaiden came out. Is it arsenic good as Itagaki ‘s classical ? No, but it remains one of the best games – exclusive or differently – to always grace the Xbox .

19. Steel Battalion

The Xbox-exclusive Steel Battalion would never be made today. It was a first-person mech sim – the mechs were called vertical tanks, or “ VTs ” here – and the crochet was that it was such a simulation that it came with its own proprietorship 40-button accountant and three-pedal foot box. If that was n’t enough for you, it was besides such a sim that if you failed to hit the eject button on the giant accountant anterior to having your VT destroy in the campaign, you ‘d lose your save game and be forced to start all complete again. Steel Battalion cost $ 200 at the time it came out, while the Xbox itself was $ 300. It is sincerely a unicorn in gaming history .

18. Breakdown

If at least one fad authoritative belongs on this tilt, it ‘s the Xbox-exclusive Breakdown, a one-and-done science-fiction adventure best known for that separate where you eat and then vomit up a ground beef without leaving the first-person view. Stubborn adhesion to the first-person position was one of Breakdown ‘s core tenets, but given the game ‘s melee-combat focus, it wholly worked. You play Derrick Cole, a valet who awakens in a skill adeptness with no memory of what happened to him. The ensuing campaign is one of the most absorb sci-fi mysteries in Xbox history, and as you get more mighty you feel more and more like a superhero – which was more than you could say of actual superhero-based games of the time .

17. Top Spin

A tennis game on the top 25 Xbox Games of All-Time list ? You ‘d better believe it ! top Spin was n’t precisely a phenomenal tennis sim that featured a long ton of real-life superstars of the sport. It was besides one of the pioneers of Microsoft ‘s on-line sports inaugural, XSN, which integrated Xbox Live on-line play with webpage-based stats and tournament information, allowing you to participate in on-line events and then track your progress on the network afterwards .

16. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

When Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas came out for Xbox, it was n’t just a big batch because the crippled was absolutely incredible. It was a big deal because it was the first clock that a Grand Theft Auto game released day and date on Xbox along with PS2. The biggest series in the world finally gave equal clock to Xbox, and San Andreas was Rockstar ‘s most ambitious attempt so far. It was primarily centered in Los Santos, GTA ‘s fabricated Los Angeles, but its huge actual estate of the realm spanned an entire express, including San Fierro ( San Francisco ), Las Venturas ( Las Vegas ), and the rural areas in between. It lives on in memories ( and memes ) today .

15. Full Spectrum Warrior

Full Spectrum Warrior was n’t a game at all, in the begin. It was a train tool built for the US Army that was converted into a bet on. And it made a heck of a unique one. In Full Spectrum Warrior, you guide your troops through a battle zone with one goal : keep them active. Formations, carefully considered movements, and suppressing burn are the keys to survival. Funny enough, for an actual military shooter, you did n’t truly do any shooting yourself. And even, the strategic Full Spectrum Warrior was every bit a strain as any other traditional shooter .

14. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

As history has since shown, Xbox needed Bethesda american samoa much as Bethesda needed Xbox back in 2002. The Xbox needed RPGs – and big ones, at that – to compete with PS2 ‘s avalanche of great JRPGs, and Bethesda needed to expand its grocery store from personal computer to consoles. The Xbox was the perfect fit for both parties, and Morrowind brought an RPG feel to consoles the likes of which had never been seen ahead. Its high-fantasy open world was teeming with actor possibilities, and its first-person perspective pulled you straight into Tamriel and Morrowind in a room that the third-person scene of the traditional JRPG could not. This was the beginning of a long and big partnership between Microsoft and Bethesda.

13. MechAssault

MechWarrior was a beloved personal computer plot franchise. It was one of the best pen-and-paper-to-video-game RPG translations that had ever been made to that point, and MechAssault took that universe and made a faster-paced, more arcade-y version of it that felt great to play with a gamepad for the original Xbox. It managed to retain the soul of the more simulation-focused parent series. even better, it was a day-one launch style for Xbox Live, and its multiplayer proved to be unique and brilliantly suited to the Xbox Live environment. This is another plot that has remained disappointingly dormant in the years since its release ( MechAssault 2 hit a pair years belated but was n’t vitamin a commodity ), leading fans to wonder if MechAssault will ever return .

12. Project Gotham Racing 2

Kudos ! That is what we ‘ll always think of foremost when we think of this beloved Xbox racing franchise from the celebrated developers at Bizarre Creations. PGR began liveliness on the Dreamcast as Metropolis Street Racer, but it in truth forged its identity on Xbox, and that ‘s where Kudos come in. When you did awesome stuff on the path, like drifting, fall, powersliding, etc. you ‘d be rewarded with Kudos points that would level you up. The power of the Xbox hardware relative to the PS2 actually shined here, as PGR2 was gorgeous ( as future entries in the series would be american samoa well ). PGR2 dexterously walked the line between arcade and pretense rush, making itself incredibly approachable for more casual players, while still offering adequate for hard-core sim fans to grab onto angstrom well. Its soul seems to live on nowadays in Forza Horizon .

11. Jade Empire

BioWare made not one but two incredible ( and single ) RPGs for the original Xbox. KOTOR was the first and it has historically gotten all of the glory, but the second was Jade Empire, an excellent Eastern-influenced epic that took home one of the highest review scores IGN had always given at the fourth dimension. It borrowed the ethical motive organization from KOTOR but ditched the turn-based combat in favor of a real-time fight engine, resulting in much faster, more fluent fights. It was a classic ( and unfortunate ) case of critical success and commercial failure, but it ‘s never excessively late. If you get the luck, play it . hanker ahead anyone not named Rockstar had made a good open-world game, FASA Studio came pretty mend airless with Crimson Skies : gamey Road to Revenge. It was n’t a dependable open-world crippled, but there were enough of spots you could get out of your fighter airplane and interact on the establish while on foot. Crimson Skies boasted fantastic graphics and great multiplayer that was n’t like anything else on the Xbox, and it finally became something of a cult classical on the cabinet, with fans clamoring for years subsequently for a sequel that never came .

9. Jet Set Radio Future

many Dreamcast fans would agree that the original Xbox was, spiritually speaking, the Dreamcast 2. Sega threw its fully subscribe behind Microsoft ‘s newcomer console after its own had failed, and of the many great Sega games to land on Xbox, Jet Set Radio Future was arguably the most memorable. The stylistic in-line-skating carry through game was unlike anything else on this or any console table, and at one degree it was evening a pack-in game with the Xbox ( along with the also-excellent but less-remembered Sega GT 2002 Racing ). Jet Set Radio Future was so unique it was never actually imitate, though it does seem to have been a clear influence on Insomniac ‘s 2014 Xbox One classical Sunset Overdrive .

8. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3

Rainbow Six 3 continued Tom Clancy ‘s prevailing ply on the first Xbox by bringing close-quarters, team-based tactical military shot gameplay to Xbox Live. While Xbox ‘s new on-line service had stars early on on – MechAssault is besides on this list – it was n’t until Rainbow Six 3 released one year into Xbox Live ‘s life that the network finally had its first break hit. But it was n’t all about multiplayer ; the single-player campaign was bang-up, besides, and its actually bang-up party flim-flam was the ability to don the Xbox Live chat headset while you were running the campaign and issuing dim-witted voice commands ( like, “ Stack up ” and “ Go go adam ! ” ) to your AI teammates .

7. Fable

fabrication had a draw to live up to thanks to Lionhead boss Peter Molyneux ‘s exalted pre-release promises, but in the end Fable turned out to be a heck of a game. Albion is a wonderfully realized british fantasy earth, with appropriately british humor and spell. A true good and evil system allowed you to play how you wanted to, with good deeds finally creating a literal aura over your character ‘s drumhead, while breaking bad would cause horns to grow out of your hero ‘s skull. Fable did n’t reach the acme of its electric potential until its first sequel on the Xbox 360, but the first Fable was however one of the original Xbox ‘s best and most memorable games .

6. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay

Movie-licensed video recording games suck. Or at least, they did until Starbreeze Studios and Vin Diesel ‘s own Tigon Studios came along and threw that stereotype into a Dumpster. Riddick would ‘ve been a classical even with no association to Diesel ‘s film series, because Escape From Butcher Bay was an impeccably designed first-person stealth game that mixed a sandbag request game locomotive ( heck, evening the normal-mapped turn out alloy cube of a menu screen looked amazing ) with great characters, a fantastic history, and a mix of gameplay styles. Riddick was light years better than it had any right to be, and it was an Xbox exclusive to boot .

5. Ninja Gaiden

When Team Ninja and rockstar architect Tomonobu Itagaki, both known for the Dead or Alive fight game serial, trotted out a then-modern boot of the authoritative arcade/NES action game Ninja Gaiden, we could not have predicted what it would become : no less than a about perfect high-speed legal action game. The weapons, the moves, the enemies, the adjust pieces, the bosses, the 60fps legal action – all of it was american samoa close to flawless as an action game can possibly be. certain, you might throw your control through a wall before it ‘s all said and done, but the bluff satisfaction of defeating bosses like Alma arguably paved the way for the Soulsborne-style challenge that many gamers thrive on today. If you could guide Ryu Hyabusa through the entire drawn-out campaign on Master Ninja difficulty, then you truly were a gambling idol. Ninja Gaiden was a wonder .

4. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

The original Xbox was n’t fair trying to compete with the PlayStation 2 on a hardware horizontal surface. It besides had to stand up to Sony ‘s highly successful machine on the software side excessively, of course. And the PS2 was heavily entrenched as an RPG powerhouse. Enter Star Wars : Knights of the Old Republic, an exclusive Xbox RPG from the personal computer RPG masters at BioWare. It was not only the greatest role-playing plot on Xbox, but one of the greatest RPGs of all-time. It ‘s therefore fabled that it ‘s being remade 20 years late. BioWare ‘s masterpiece spun an irresistible star topology Wars narrative set 4,000 years before the original film trilogy, and brought with it memorable characters like HK-47 deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as, crucially, a morality system that allowed you to be the most noble Jedi you could be or … the most grotesque, double cross Dark Side menace you ‘d never seen in a video recording game before. And the twists and turns the history took … it ‘s hush jaw-dropping .

3. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

The third Splinter Cell from the ultra-talented team at Ubisoft Montreal had everything. Killer graphics ? Check ( those active shadows ! ). incredible Dolby 5.1 healthy ? Check. A brilliantly designed single-player political campaign that let you go full-stealth, gadget-crazy, or guns-blazing ? Check. A four-mission ( later expanded to six through absolve DLC ) cooperative campaign that was unlike anything we ‘d ever experienced before ? Check. And the best carry we ‘d always see on the innovative asymmetrical Spies vs. Mercenaries multiplayer manner, in which a three of nonlethal, gadget-laden spies playing in third-person try to outmaneuver a trio of slower, heavily armed mercenaries hunting them from the more restrictive first-person see ? BIG CHECK. It was besides iconic Sam Fisher actor Michael Ironside ‘s best operation as the sardonic spy. Splinter Cell peaked here, but it peaked at a about unapproachable high point .

2. Halo 2

While we ca n’t honestly say that Xbox Live probably would n’t exist without Halo 2 ( it was already doing merely fine before Bungie ‘s long-awaited sequel came out, thankyouverymuch ), it is fairly to say with a true face that Halo 2 wholly revolutionize on-line multiplayer gaming for consoles. In fact, taken as a whole, Halo 2 somehow lived up to its astronomic levels of ballyhoo ( it had already been delayed from spring 2004 to November 9, 2004 ) and then EXCEEDED IT. The campaign added compelling new layers to the Halo universe, including the stun playable presentation of The Arbiter, the visuals were among the best on the entire console, and multiplayer … good wow. The “ virtual sofa ” grasshopper system on Xbox Live permit you well connect – and stay – with your friends all night long, the rate system rocked, the maps might ‘ve been the greatest collection of multiplayer battlegrounds ever collected under a one game ‘s roof, and thursday east customizability that was offered could only be rivaled in the personal computer space. Halo 2 was a dinosaur-killing meteoroid. It raised the prevention in sol many ways, and it remains beloved through The Master Chief Collection .

1. Halo: Combat Evolved

It ‘s about a 1a and 1b situation with Halo 1 and Halo 2, but it ‘s not out of the motion to suggest that the Xbox as a platform might not have survived 20 years if not for Halo : fight Evolved being a authentically revolutionary console game that doubled as the killer app for Microsoft ‘s first comfort. And therefore, the original Halo gets the nod in the acme blemish. Combat Evolved birthed a universe that millions of gamers remain emotionally invested in to this day, with characters we still adore, multiplayer the likes of which home consoles had never seen, and it brought LAN parties into the comfort space besides. Its influence is inactive felt today, and deservedly so.

For more on Xbox, don ’ t miss our exclusive IGN First coverage of Halo Infinite all November long, and for everything in the populace of Xbox, joint with IGN .

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