Oblivion was one of the first major AAA successes on the system. A first-person, open-world adventure game, Oblivion allows players to create characters completely their own, and take characters on over 100 hours of adventures exploring caves, fighting trolls, and finding treasure. This Elder Scrolls classic was the first major RPG to hit the 360, and it remained exclusive for some time.
The simple, colourful, space-themed arcade shooter Geometry Wars was the first major downloadable game. For this reason, it is regarded as an industry-changer, and set a huge precedent for the console generation that followed. Thanks to a unique scoring system, excellent controls, and a striking visual style, this title proved to be a smashing success.
While Geometry Wars may have given way to bigger AAA titles, the small-game space on the console remained relevant throughout its life span, and there was no better example of this than the hugely successful indie darling Braid. This beautiful and artistic platform game puts the player in the role of a man who travels through varied landscapes to recover puzzle pieces by solving time-based puzzles. These pieces reveal how he lost the love of his life.
Many forget that Bioware's genre-defining space RPG Mass Effect started life as an Xbox 360 exclusive. And while the game went on to hit the PS3, Microsoft's console was always the best for experiencing the franchise. Though the first title was well received in spite of some UI and gameplay quirks, it was the second title in the series that managed to make waves. Better gunplay, improved graphics, and a much more compelling and action-packed story made this epic adventure a tentpole title for Microsoft's box.
Fable 2, the second instalment in the RPG series, gives the player complete control over defining his or her character. That character ventures out in the world to find fame, fortune, and even start a family - all the while fighting enemies, learning new spells or abilities, and upgrading equipment. Novel elements like the pet dog and the game's morality features made it stand out in its time.
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter was the first major shooter to firmly establish the 360 as the place to play. Set in the near future, the game tells the story of an elite squad of soldiers who must work together with an array of high-powered, high-tech gadgets and equipment to overcome terrorism in varied landscapes. Stunning visuals and an intricate team-based strategy system made Ubisoft's futuristic shooter interesting, but the game's multiplayer versus and co-op modes made it a legend.
No single shooter was more legendary than Activision's unprecedented Call of Duty 4. A timeless tale of modern-day war, this classic tells a gripping and action-packed story of British and American forces fighting against a rising terrorist threat. This little title went on to completely revolutionise the game industry, turning shooters into the biggest genre of the generation with its incredible multiplayer progression system.
The third instalment in the seminal Master Chief saga sees the eponymous Chief fight his arch-rivals in the Covenant for the fate of his own world, Earth. Halo made the Xbox what it was, and Halo 3 continued that trend by improving on the campaign, co-op, and multiplayer modes with excellent features like the Forge, which allowed players to create their own modes and map layouts, and the video theatre, which allowed them to capture footage of their greatest plays.
The same praises can be hoist upon Microsoft's other big first-party franchise in Forza, the hyper-realistic simulation racing series. A strong set of sharing features and the ability to customise cars with unique liveries made this Xbox 360 title one of the biggest - and the only racer to truly stand the test of time after the generation passed.
The third-person shooter Gear of War tells the gritty tale of Marcus Fenix and his band of colourful comrades as they fight to save Earth from the encroaching Locust, a truly memorable baddie. Who can forget the first time they curb stomped a Locust to the tune of that satisfying crunch?
Those looking to purchase games for themselves or their favourite Xbox enthusiast can find a good deal on these beloved games and more at online retailers like eBay.