Top 10 Best RPGs for Xbox 360
Role playing games have hit the Xbox 360 with force in recent years. Here are ten of the best RPGs on the Xbox 360.
It may not be the most powerful console on the market, but the Xbox 360 is arguably the most popular. Though Nintendo's Wii has technically shipped more units worldwide, the 360 has logged more hours of use than any consoles of the current generation. This is surely due in part to a stellar array of RPGs available for the platform. Here, in no particular order, are ten of our favorite RPGs for Xbox 360.
Mass Effect 2
Here we have another sequel that is at least as good as the original game, and provides an extra degree of continuity in the form of being able to import the Shepard created in the original game into the world of this one. And not just as an empty avatar, but all the choices made made prior to even beginning this game are factored in as well. Did you punch that reporter in the face? Well guess what. That is going to stay with you forever.
With up to 13 party members and 100 side quests, Mass Effect 2 provides countless hours of gameplay, and like the crossover from the first game to this one, Bioware has informed gamers that the import option will be available once again for Mass Effect 3, which is tentatively slated for release in late 2011.
Of all the games on the list, this one comes closest to seeming like a Final Fantasy title without actually being one, especially since the music was written by Nobuo Uematsu. Lost Odyssey, released by Mistwalker, could easily pass as a Square Enix title.
Immortal man Kiam Argonar has amnesia, and has been wandering the world for a millennium without knowing who he is. He has survived a meteor impact, wars, monsters and various forms of enchantment. Combat is turn-based with 7 playable characters, and the cutscenes are particularly worth watching in this beautifully rendered game.
Dragon Age: Origins
Another Bioware title, Dragon Age: Origins features the same player choice-driven narrative, but this time in a fantasy setting. Players select a character class and race, and are immediately thrown into a scenario where they are one of two "Grey Wardens" left in the country. A Grey Warden's job is to defend the country from an invasion of demons, known as "The Blight", and led by the Arch Demon. The variety of skills and magic spells from which to choose is astounding, as is the amount of option side quests. all these options plus the tailoring of the environment and story based on in-game choices makes for a sound purchase for those who want to be able to play through a game more than once with a different experience each time.
Fable II is an amazing sequel that has far surpassed its predecessor on several counts. In addition to a similarly engaging story and side quests galore, players are given a companion in the form of a dog who can hunt for buried loot, and the ability to take on various roles and jobs around town. This game makes even the most menial of tasks very engaging, and many players have reported killing an hour or two just talking to villagers, which would normally get old pretty fast. The nature of the game and environment depends highly upon in-game choices, so the replay factor tends to be high, particularly in light of the fact that both local and XBL co-op play is available.
This game is a standout in that one of the playable characters in it was an actual earthly existing human being, even though the story is anything but earthly. As composer and pianist Frederic Chopin is lying on his deathbed, he dreams of a fairy-tale world where anyone near death has the ability to harness supernatural abilities. Solo and co-op is available for up to three people, and there are twelve playable characters from which to choose. The combat system feels a bit off at first, but after one gets used to it, it's uniquely satisfying, and best of all, much of the music in the game are actual works of Chopin, which mesh well with the vivid colors and dreamlike backdrop in which the story unfolds.
Incorporating facets of both survival horror games and first-person shooters, Fallout 3 more than earns its place on any list of good RPGs. The story picks up over 3 decades after the events in Fallout 2, and two centuries after the the nuclear winter which led to the world of the Fallout series. Players start out in Vault 101, a radiation-proof shelter the size of a small town, where a group of people have survived and are attempting to reform their society in the midst of vicious enemies who now roam the area. When the player's father is discovered to be missing under mysterious circumstances, the player must venture outside of Vault 101 into the ruined Capital Wasteland that was once Washington D.C. to try to find him.
With a party comprised of the main character customized by the player, an NPC and a dog named Dogmeat, this game features a unique combination of turn-based and real-time combat. However, another notable feature is the health system, which utilizes both general health, which is tied to the damage bar as per usual and once depleted renders a character dead, and a limb health bar. When a limb is rendered damaged, a character can no longer use it until it is healed by a doctor, injected with a stimpak, or the character is able to sleep. It should be noted that certain enemies and other non-humans will often have more than what is considered the normal amount of limbs.
Tales of Vesperia
This is the tenth title in Namco's Tales series and features a satisfying story set on the planet Terca Lumireis. On this planet, "blastia", ancient technologies developed by the elf-like Krytians that powers most aspects of human society is in high demand, and must be powered with a substance called "are", which, in large enough amounts is actually poisonous to humans. All access to these technologies is controlled by the Empire, under whose rules all humans live except for those who have left society to form guilds, which are essentially tribes that live outside the protection and rules of the Empire. When the blastia responsible for providing water to Yuri's underclass neighborhood is stolen, he decides to go after the thief, only to meet up with several other misfits with whom he decides to form a guild, having been disenchanted with the ways of the Empire along the way. The group then encounters a mysterious Krytian woman who is out to destroy all the blastia, and an evil guild leader Barbos, and events are set in motion which cause the newly formed guild to have to fight to save not just their own lives, but their world.
With a battle system built upon the one from Tales of the Abyss, this cautionary tale about excess and sustainability is sure to leave fans of the Tales series thoroughly satisfied.
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
This chapter of the Elder Scrolls series, initially released in Spring of 2006 is remarkable for both its highly customizable gameplay and easy-on-the-eyes environments. Unlike many of its contemporaries, it has a sandbox format, meaning that the entire world is open to exploration from the beginning, and that quests do not necessarily happen in a specific order. For those that prefer a more structured atmosphere, Oblivion can seem overwhelming at first, but once a player experiences such a format, more traditionally rigid games can feel relentlessly linear by comparison. The leveling system is a straightforward one: seven skills are picked out of a total twenty-one, and when each skill is increased by ten points, the character levels up. Skills range from purely physical to purely magical, offering options which appeal to a range of preferences, though the ability to "enchant" an item with magical powers does not exist in Oblivion in the same way as it does in its predecessor, Morrowind. The player can also choose between first- and third-person perspective. This is a useful feature, as Oblivion is particularly noted for its melee combat. All in all a solid game.
Nier is the story of an unnamed father (who is usually referred to outside the game as the titular character), a lingerie-clad, spirit-possessed woman with a heinously foul mouth named Kainé, a talking book of spells, Weiss, and a boy named Emil, who looks like the offspring of Jack Skellington. This oddly matched group must team up to save the life of a little girl, and drive evil from the land.
This title, a recent but often overlooked release from Square Enix has already garnered polarized reactions from players. Those who like it appreciate the top-notch soundtrack and general environment of the game, which is rather like some of the later Final Fantasy titles, but without the turn-based combat. Common criticisms from detractors usually have to do with one of three things: 1) There are a few bosses which can only be defeated with very specific actions, and often have a stun lock attack which gets frustrating very quickly. 2) The mode of gameplay temporarily shifts several times throughout the game to other formats, including overhead perspective and even text-based at one point, and for no readily apparent reason. 3) The fishing quests are notorious for being very difficult. However, if the player follows the red "X" on the map and fishes from the correct spot, these quests are not so bad, and the correct fish is eventually granted by the game if the player is having too much trouble, in the interest of time. On the whole, this title is worth a shot for any fantasy RPG fan, particularly for those interested in post-apocalyptic scenarios.
The Last Remnant
By now, it is apparent that there are no Final Fantasy titles on this list, which may come as a surprise to some, but currently the only available FF title for 360 is XIII, which is a strong enough game, but The Last Remnant, also by Square Enix, is a much more solid effort when one looks at both games as a whole, even though this statement is bound to be controversial for many players. The story initially introduces a world were ancient powerful artifacts, known as remnants have been discovered in various locations and unearthed in an attempt to harness their power. Unfortunately, the existence of these artifacts led to conflict between the people in positions of authority, and those who served under them, causing a class rift and eventually an all-out war. This war almost annihilated the world, but the survivors went on to rebuild their society anew.
Cut to 1,000 years later when Rush Sykes' sister Irina is abducted by a mysterious group of soldiers out of the blue. Rush immediately pursues them in an attempt to rescue her, and is befriended by David Nassau, the ruler of the State of Athlum along the way. After it is revealed that the reason for Irina's kidnapping is that she possesses the ability to understand and unlock remnants, the band must work against The Conqueror to thwart the war he is attempting to start, once again because of the powerful nature of the remnants. This game is a striking statement about the nature of balance and the idea that even a noble intention can be corrupted with too much power.