The Ninjabot

Top 5 Xbox 360 Games of 2013

Posted on December 25, 2013 at 6:00 am by Stephen Wood

The Xbox 360 took a bit of a backseat to it’s newer counterpart the Xbox One this year, but its lineup of games was as strong as ever. The 8 year old system was pushed to its limit, and that gave us experiences in 2013 that were both stunning and fun. This console has a lot to offer so let’s look at the Top 5 Xbox 360 games of 2013.

5. Disney Infinity

Disney-Infinity-TitleThe Skylanders series changed gaming when they introduced physical toys as a means to activate characters in a video game. Capitalizing on that idea, Disney released Infinity using their own characters from their most popular franchises. At first, I thought this was just a money grab, enticing fans such as myself to buy all the toys released to put on display without particularly caring about the game. In reality, the toys are high quality, and to be honest, I would have probably been fine with just that. However, when I popped the game in, I was surprised by how deep it actually was. Disney Infinity is split between two distinct modes, Adventure and Toy Box. Adventure is a standard open world platformer set in various movie franchises, complete with unique story lines for that world. Adventure is a Minecraft inspired sandbox complete with disney themed items to shape your own levels and games. Overall, I felt it was one of the best experiences on the Xbox 360 in 2013.

4. Tomb Raider

Tomb-Raider-TitleBack in my college days, my friends and I were obsessed with the Tomb Raider series. Lara Croft was not only dreamy, even in her polygon form, but also a total badass! The first two games were fantastic because they mixed puzzles, platforming, and action perfectly. Unfortunately, the many sequels that followed never quite felt right, and after a few failed attempts, the series just didn’t generate the same level of excitement it once had. This year, we were treated to a complete series reboot, and it was the first time since those college days that I fell back in love with Tomb Raider. Lara Croft’s story was interesting and convincing, the gameplay was restructured to make it fit with the current standard, and best of all, it was fun to play. It was one of the best games of the year, and I look forward to seeing Lara’s new adventures in a future sequel.

3. Assassin’s Creed IV

Assassins-Creed-4-Title The Assassin’s Creed series has been a powerhouse ever since Altair graced us with his presence on the Xbox 360 in 2007. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag takes the best features from all the previous games in the series and improves them. Naval battles, a huge variety of side quests, underwater exploration, and a solid online multiplayer mode are just some of the features this game has to offer. AC4 is a complete package with a strong story and compelling protagonist which obviously adds to the overall enjoyment of this title. It may not look as pretty as the Xbox One version, but make no mistake that its graphics are absolutely stunning. This game proves that the series still has legs, and it’ll be exciting to see where it takes us next.

2. Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock-Infinite-TitleIn 2007, we were treated to a trip to Rapture, an underwater mecca that went into disrepair. It was one of the best games of this generation with an amazing storyline, beautiful graphics and fast-paced action. Its sequel was much of the same, but it failed to capture the magic of the first. Fast forward a few years and we’re sent to Columbia, a city in the sky. Bioshock Infinite is the true successor to the original as it matches or surpasses everything that made the first so incredible. The storyline is deep, leaving you wanting more, and the graphics might be the very best you can find on the Xbox 360 with gorgeous designs that really take you into this world. The addition of a grappling hook changes the combat in a big way, and mastering it will make you feel invincible. Just writing about this game makes me want to go home and play it. A true testament to how great Bioshock Infinite truly is.

1. Grand Theft Auto V

GTA-V-TitleAll hail the king of video games! There was no doubt in my mind that Grand Theft Auto’s newest adventure would land first on this list. I knew it the second it was announced because, quite frankly, they always bring it. GTA V is an incredible game in every respect. The characters are phenomenal, the graphics push the Xbox 360 to its limit, the gameplay is smooth, the attention to detail is mind boggling—the list could go on forever. There’s so much content packed into this game that chances are you haven’t experienced most of what it has to offer. To top it off, GTA V boasts a robust online multiplayer offering that’s unmatched by anything else out there. It’ll be years before we see another sequel, but that’s ok because I anticipate playing this one for a very long time.

Honorable Mention: The Xbox Live Arcade

Brothers-A-Tale-of-Two-Sons-TitleOnce again this year, the Xbox Live Arcade games have been absolutely spectacular. Smaller independent titles such as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, Ducktales Remastered, State of Decay and A Wolf Among Us were some of the highlights on the Xbox 360 in 2013. They are titles that rival their AAA retail counterparts at a fraction of the admission price. Full of creativity, artistic brilliance and risk-taking game play, these games deserve to be played and celebrated. I truly believe that these smaller offerings have made this generation of consoles stand out above any before, and I for one am looking forward to what’s next in Live Arcade.

Dishonorable Mention—The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

Walking-Dead-Survival-Instinct-TitleHow bad can a game be if it mixes cable’s most popular show, featuring its most popular character, focusing on the most popular monster type after having a game come out last year from the same series that won Game of the Year on most lists? Well, Survival Instinct certainly wanted to find out as it delivered an absolutely horrible game. There are so many zombie games out there that they could have simply re-skinned any one of them with Darryl Dixon as the main character and made millions. Instead, we got an uninspired, boring, buggy mess of a game. I was debating between this and Aliens: Colonial Marines, but I had to pick this because I didn’t think in my wildest dreams that anyone could make a zombie game that was this bad. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone, even the most diehard Walking Dead or survival horror fans.

Its reign may be coming to an end, but I believe the Xbox 360 still has a couple years left on my shelf before it’s packed into a box along with my other systems from days gone by. If the console keeps bringing out gems like the ones mentioned above, I for one will be all over it in 2014.

Follow me on Twitter @StephenAlvaWood or on XBL Gamertag: Alvatar316

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos