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The best of the last-gen: Our 15 favorite Xbox 360 games

It’s been more than ten years since the retail launch of Microsoft’s snow-white, “seventh-generation” console, the Xbox 360. With more than 1,100 offerings from both big-name and indie developers, the console still offers a huge library of interesting games for players to choose from. While it’s great to have so many options, the sheer number of games can make it tough to choose a title deserving of your hard-earned money. Don’t worry, though: we’ve culled together a list of our favorite titles for the last-gen system. Whether you prefer intense, open-world shooters set in the Wild West or head-scratching puzzlers that take you to laboratories deep under the Earth’s surface, you’ll find only the cream of the gaming crop in our list.

Grand Theft Auto V

You know what to expect with Grand Theft Auto: drug dealers, cars, and a colorful cast of characters. The series’ seventh full-length installment is no different, showcasing a fantastic script that’s centered around three complex characters in the stunning city of Los Santos. You can choose to lead the three protagonists through gripping story missions, explore a jam-packed world filled with a welcome sense of joyous nihilism, or even carry out elaborate heists with a little help from your friends in the game’s wild multiplayer mode.

A return to San Andreas county meant a return to the series’ trademark absurdity; where Grand Theft Auto IV‘s Liberty City (and its storyline) felt gritty and slow-paced, GTA V puts its foot on the gas and never lets up. From harrowing car chases with Franklin (one of the three playable characters) to rampaging massacres as Trevor, the game provides numerous set-piece moments to go along with its crass humor and its massive open world. Check out our full-length review here. 

Buy it now from:

Amazon Microsoft

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Over the years, Call of Duty has earned a sort of stigma. Annual releases with increasingly similar campaigns and minor tweaks to the multiplayer formula have soured many players on the brand. As the game that kicked of the trend, however, Modern Warfare, is an exception to the rule. From its riveting opening sequence to its epic conclusion, this masterpiece hits all the right notes and introduces characters that personify Call of Duty.

Modern Warfare‘s three-act campaign is packed with memorable moments: Hunt down terrorist leaders in the Middle East, control the skies from an AC-130 gunship, and work to prevent a global holocaust — these might seem like cliches now, but they weren’t prior to the release of Modern Warfare. The game also popularized a customizable class-based multiplayer system that has gone on to become a de facto standard for the genre.

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Amazon Gamestop

Halo 3

Halo 2 raised the bar for first-person shooters, but Halo 3 perfected it. With the addition of four-player online co-op, its multiplayer suite is nearly unmatched in terms of overall quality, from its revolutionary Ranked vs. Social system to its armor customization choices. Moreover, the game still looks gorgeous in 1080p and features the introduction of Forge mode, which allows the player to customize the multiplayer maps to create unique game types (Jenga, anyone?). Blowing up aliens (and other players) is still rarely as fun.

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Amazon Walmart

Gears of War 3

Gears 3 is the apex of Epic Games’ thrilling trilogy. Prepare to make sacrifices and uncover the past in the final chapter for Marcus Fenix and his crew. The harrowing campaign is both brutal and emotional, spanning a variety of beautiful environments and providing tons of epic set-piece moments. The game also features a robust multiplayer suite, with fantastically designed maps to support the unique, cover-based gameplay. Its longevity lies in its vast number of achievements and the expanded difficulty settings — not to mention the waves of enemies to slaughter in the updated Horde mode. Check out our full-length review here.

Buy it now from:

Amazon Microsoft

Related: Our 20 favorite Xbox One games that you can play right now

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is as close to perfect as it comes. The Wild West story places you in the shoes of John Marston, a former outlaw who’s hellbent on finding his old cronies after a run in with the FBI. The open-world gameplay from the Grand Theft Auto developer thrives on the rich story and a cast of memorable characters, while offering a melange of remarkable activities built on the best western cliches around. The top-notch writing and voice acting in Red Dead Redemption lends a sense of authenticity to Mr. Marston and his contemporaries, and even though the game doesn’t hold up extremely well visually — everything is just so brown — it’s not hard to find yourself immersed completely in the wild, wild west. It’s also worth noting that the Game of the Year Edition is a good buy as well, since it includes the superb Undead Nightmare expansion DLC.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

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