November 15, 2016 marks the 15th birthday of the original Xbox console by Microsoft! Plenty has happened since their risky entry into the video game market but I think that it is safe to say that Microsoft have succeeded.
Three consoles later. Microsoft and Xbox are seen as genuine video game competitors - alongside Sony and Nintendo. To celebrate the 15th birthday Zatu Games are posting a series of posts about Microsoft's hardware and software.
This time I take you through some of our favourite Xbox 360 games. This is the only Xbox console I held but many people who have had all three say that this was the greatest.
Grand Theft Auto 5
One of the final games to grace the Xbox 360 was Grand Theft Auto V. This game pushed the capabilities of the console to the very limits and it looked great. The size of the open world of Los Santos and the high-quality graphics made this game a must-have.
Following the disappointing GTA IV - in my opinion at least - this game was a much-needed improvement. Grand Theft Auto was fun and crazy once again. This time round there were three main characters, each with their own back-story and personalities. You could switch between them at any given time whilst exploring San Andreas.
With the use of your mobile phone you can arrange to meet with friends and get stuck into the stock markets on your internet.
There are a whole host of weapons and vehicles for you to try out, as well as wacky side missions for each character. You can even help other residents out if they have been mugged for example! This game has everything and is generally fun to play - it is the nearest we have got to a San Andreas re-make.
I spent many hours playing GTA V on my Xbox 360 and I plan to do it all again once I buy the re-release version for my current console.
Red Dead Redemption
Grand Theft Auto Wild West - That's the way I have always described Red Dead Redemption to people. This game takes place during the decline of the American Frontier in 1911 and follows the story of a former outlaw John Marston.
The open world is a version of Western America and Mexico and players get around the map on horseback or on foot - whilst taking part in gun fights and farming jobs on the ranch - just like a cowboy!!
Just like in Grand Theft Auto players were also able to take part in side-missions, take part in random events and respond to pleas for help. How you act will impact your game thanks to the morality and fame metres. Low honour can lead to shops and towns closing there doors on you - and nobody wants that.
This game was almost a surprise hit but became a best seller! Of course we now have an sequel to look forward to in 2017.
The most famous game series on the Xbox consoles. Halo 3 was the game that helped me to convert from my PS2 to the Xbox 360. Not only was the story gripping and interesting but the online play was out of this world.
The game wraps up the story arc from the previous two games and ends on a cliffhanger - at the time anyway! I played through the campaign on more than one occasion and spent many hours taking part in a co-op campaign.
It was the online modes which really elevated Halo 3 which games such as Capture The Flag and Team Deathmatch. Me and my friends spent 100s of hours playing with and against each other after school. I personally was a pro with the Shotgun, whilst others were a pro with the sniper.
The great thing about Halo 3 is that it would match you with other gamers of the same skill level - just to make it fair.
Gears Of War
The alternative to the Halo series was the Gears of War series. Gears of War added third-person cover systems, cool camera movements and chainsaw guns to the party! Much like Halo, Gears of War takes place in space, on a fictional earth-like planet called Sera.
The series follows the story of Marcus Fenix and his team who fight back to save humanity from the alien Locust attacks.
Again, it was the online game modes where Gears of War really came to life. Game modes included King of the Hill, Annex, Warzone and Execution. One of the funniest times I had on the game was chainsawing the same rival rather than shooting him - he was not pleased.
Another popular part of the series was Horde Mode - which was introduced in Gears of War 2. This arcade-style combat mode sees waves of enemies coming to get you! This was the trend-setter for similar modes seen in newer games - Call of Duty Zombies for example.
You and four friends could team up together and fight against 50 waves of Locust attacks! You could play Horde on any of the maps and the difficulty would increase after each wave. This was the real challenge of the game, which relied on your team's tactics and friendship.
This is a personal favourite of mine, given my love of fast cars, bikes and racing games! The vehicles in PGR 4 looked amazing, as did the circuits and locations. You were able to race fast and luxurious cars around famous cities such as London, New York, Las Vegas and Tokyo. Famous circuits were also included, such as the Nurburgring and Macau.
Another cool part of PGR 4 was inclusion of changeable weather. You could start a race in the sunshine and end up racing in the rain and snow before you cross the finishing line. In total there were 10 different weather types in the game - including clear days, Light to stormy rain, fog, now and ice.
PGR 4 came into its own for the online game modes - and this is where I had the most fun. You could race in team on PGR 4 - red or blue. This lead to many, many arguments over the Xbox Live headset. I will never forget this one angry Frenchman who ended up arguing with his own teammate after he "took him out."
Other cool online modes include Bulldog. One racer would start as the bulldog and had to 'tag' other racers in order to add to his team
Other top shout-outs - Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare / Mass Effect / The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim / Bioshock
Oh and of course I must give a quick mention to Crackdown - What started out as just "the game where you can play the Halo 3 beta" turned into one of the most enjoyable games ever made on the Xbox 360.
UPDATE: This product is no longer available to purchase from Zatu Games. All information above including prices were correct at the time of publishing but may not be accurate in present day.