After having an excellent second half of 2007, the first half of 2008 will inevitably pale in comparison for the Xbox 360. That didn’t stop the console from one great game after another, however. Here are the top five Xbox 360 games for the first half of 2008.
5. Lost Odyssey
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios, Developer: Mistwalker, Release Date: February 12, ESRB Rating: T
Lost Odyssey is as close as a role-playing game can get to Final Fantasy without actually being in the popular series. The majestic adventure is filled with amazing graphics, stirring music and a fun combat system. A mature and engrossing story also separates it from other games of the same genre. Without a doubt, Lost Odyssey is the premier role-playing game for the Xbox 360.
Publisher: Treasure, Developer: Treasure, Release Date: April 9, ESRB Rating: E
Vertical shooters, especially a great one, are a rarity these days. Ikaruga fills in that hole nicely. This excellent shooter uses the two basic elements of light and dark and makes it into one of the most intense games ever. New for the Xbox 360 version is a online cooperative mode plus the ability to record and share videos with your friends. So if you missed the game on the Nintendo Gamecube, you have no excuse to miss it for the Xbox 360.
3. Ninja Gaiden II
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios, Developer: Team Ninja, Release Date: June 3, ESRB Rating: M
Ninja Gaiden II holds no punches in a day where games are being simplified. While you will die a lot in this stylish action game, you will enjoy every single moment of it. Ninja Gaiden II took what many considered the greatest action game around and made it even better with killer moves and equally devastating enemies. If that wasn’t enough, you can even record your gameplay and show them off to your friends. If you are looking for an action game, there is no better choice so far in 2008 than Ninja Gaiden II.
2. Rez HD
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios, Developer: Q Entertainment, Release Date: January 30, ESRB Rating: E
Before it was released on the Xbox 360 arcade, Rez was fetching high prices on eBay; and with good reason: this quirky game is probably the most trippy and relaxing game to date. Rez is a rail shooter using simple wire frames where every action you take resulted in a musical beat that fits in perfectly with the background. Although it may not have the infamous Rez Trance Vibrator (you can always three extra controllers to get the job done), the Xbox 360 version comes enhanced with beautiful HD graphics. While it is more of an experience than an actual game, Rez is one of the best software the Xbox 360 has to offer so far in 2008.
1. Grand Theft Auto IV
Publisher: Rockstar Games, Developer: Rockstar Games, Release Date: April 28, ESRB Rating: RP
Grand Theft Auto IV is everything fans could have hoped for in a next-generation installment to the popular free-roaming, ultra-violent series. The game has been streamlined: the ultra-realistic physics, vastly improved shooting system and seamless city. Liberty City itself has never felt more alive and immersive. You can easily get lost for hours just wondering around the city and causing mayhem. And that’s just the single player mode, the online multiplayer in Grand Theft Auto IV will ensure that your stay in Liberty City for years to come. Not to mention the Xbox 360 version will be getting some exclusive downloadable content in the future as well. Grand Theft Auto IV is easily the best Xbox 360 game for the first half of 2008.