EZ Racer's Blog

Posted on Jun 11th 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under XBox, halo, psychonauts, star wars, gta

Long known as one of the top companies in the PC world, Microsoft began its foray into console gaming in late 2001 with the release of the XBox. The system would directly compete with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube, even though its third-party support saw several crossover titles with the PS2.

In the month of May, RFGen members were asked to list their favorites for the XBox, and 5 participants submitted lists:

Disposed Hero

As you'll see, it was difficult for many of them to come up with a complete list of 20, and because of this, the final list is short compared to previous month's lists. Still, in putting the overall results together, I decided to base the list off of which games got multiple votes, along with the games that got a single #1 vote. Still, 13 games met this minimum.

Thanks again to those who participated... Now let's get to it.

13. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (40 pts)

Released- 2005
Genre- Stealth Action
1 list (#1)

12. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (41 pts)

Released- 2005
Genre- Action Adventure
2 lists (#17, #7)

11. Halo 2 (42 pts)

Released- 2004
Genre- First Person Shooter
2 lists (#18, #6)

10. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (43 pts)

Released- 2002
Genre- RPG
2 lists (#19, #5)

9. Grand Theft Auto III (44 pts)

Released- 2003
Genre- Action Adventure
2 lists (#12, #8)

8. Jet Set Radio Future (49 pts)

Released- 2002
Genre- Action Skating
2 lists (#13, #5)

"This was a pack in game along with Sega GT 2000. While Both games a lot. JSRF was the one I would play more often than not. I just remember logging so many hours into this one. I can't remember if I actually ever beat this game or not, but I do remember skating around town and covering up all of the graffiti with my own tag."

7. Fable (57 pts)

Released- 2004
Genre- RPG
2 lists (#13, #1)

"Fable is number one for me because it's the only original Xbox game I still play today.  I have a deep love for this series as a whole and I am always hoping there will be another Fable game. While I wait, I enjoy my yearly visit to Albion as the Hero Chicken Chaser to defeat the evil Jack of Blades."

5t. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (70 pts)

note- unfortunately it was difficult to find an XBox image of the game, pictured above is the Windows port

Released- 2003
Genre- RPG
2 lists (#4, #3)

5t. Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams (70 pts)

Released- 2001
Genre- Survival Horror
2 lists (#4, #3)

4. Jade Empire (74 pts)

Released- 2005
Genre- Action RPG
2 lists (#4, #1)

"This is the reason I originally purchased an Xbox. I bought the bundle that came with MechAssault 2 and traded that in while I was still in the store to put towards Jade Empire. And I wasn't disappointed. Spent weeks exploring and learning new fighting styles. The areas ranged from dreary poor farming towns to gorgeous ethereal spiritual realms and everything in between. And some of the earliest examples of good voice work that I was exposed to. It used the now classic Bioware morality system, so at the very least it was worth two playthroughs."

"My favorite BioWare title of all time. I remember beating this game so many times back in the day trying to get all of the different endings and discovering all of the different relationships you could have with your party members."

3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (76 pts)

Released- 2003
Genre- Action Adventure
2 lists (#2, #2)

"The BEST GTA ever!  That 80's theme, that's all I have to say."

2. Halo: Combat Evolved (91 pts)

Released- 2001
Genre- First Person Shooter
3 lists (#15, #3, #1)

"I remember seeing Halo CE on the shelf at Strawberries (A New England based record/music store chain that I believe is now out of business) I think I was only about 10 at the time but I some how managed to convince my mom to buy me a Mature rated game. Up until then I didn't really even know what halo was about but the holographic cover art for the game of the year edition just drew me in. This was also my first experience with an FPS and it sparked a love for a franchise I still enjoy to this day."

1. Psychonauts (104 pts)

Released- 2005
Genre- 3D Platformer
3 lists (#8, #2, #1)

"One of the funniest games I've ever played. The writing, humor and voicework is just phenomenal from beginning to end. The variety in levels based on entering people unconscious makes for some great variety in stages and interesting level design too."

Final Thoughts

While there was some crossover from the PS2 list, it may not have been as heavy as many might have expected, with several XBox exclusives topping the list. This may come across as a controversial statement, but it did come across from compiling this list that the XBox was still finding its way with its first generation of games. While there were several great titles, as should be obvious from above, I had more comments of difficulty putting together a full list than any other system up to this point, and I hope the decision to limit the list to the top 13 doesn't come across as selling the system short.

With the XBox list done, many of the mainstream systems that could remotely be considered retro have been covered, so watch for details on new lists to participate in soon. And as always, I'm sure there were a few arguments to be made for games missing or too high or low on the overall rank. Leave a comment below on your thoughts.

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I feel the Xbox deserves more credit than this.  In no particular order what about:

Ninja Gaiden
Dead or Alive 3 (Beautiful launch game for the time)
Cocker Live and Reloaded
Crimson Skies
Panzer Dragoon Orta
Shenmue II
Crazy Taxi 3

I think those games still hold up well today, and there is definitely room for more than top 13.

@jaredbat:I'd go on record and say that Conker on Xbox is inferior to the Nintendo 64 version in most ways.
Super bummed that I missed out on this, particularly as I think the OG Xbox was almost immediately dismissed due to hatred towards MS and the pro-Japanese beliefs many had in the console world.  I won't spam it here, but I will post my top 20 (that had to be cut down) in the forums.
Surprised to see the original Halo in the top 10, and not its sequel. Also surprised about some of the titles missing, many of which @jaredbat already mentioned, like Ninja Gaiden, DoA3, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and Crimson Skies. Definitely some OG Xbox exclusives that you'd think were better regarded.

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