In my gaming career I have progressed through many different consoles. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, I’ve played them all. After owning only Nintendo consoles in my early days, I decided to branch out to the X-box. Most kids will not remember the original X-box with its massive controllers or the games that accompanied it. However, I’ll always remember it as my first console that didn’t feature Mario or other Nintendo franchise games. Released in 2002 in Europe, it was Microsoft’s first foray into the gaming industry and was in direct competition with Sony’s PlayStation 2, a competition that is still very much alive and kicking today.
Even since I received the X-box for my Christmas all those years ago, it is safe to say I am 100% an X-box guy over PlayStation, mainly due to titles such as Halo and Gears of War which are exclusive to Microsoft and the X-box. With graphics much more powerful compared to its rivals and the arrival of the online gaming platform we all love, it’s fair to say that Microsoft knocked it out of the park. After its release, the X-box went on to sell over 24 million units, with 16 million sold alone in North America. As much as it was a success in every customer’s eye, the high manufacturing costs compared to the retail sales cost the company a loss of over 4 billion dollars and with the popularity of the PlayStation 2, which sold much more units worldwide, from Microsoft’s point of view it wasn’t the success they were hoping for.
Regardless of its financial underperformance, it still remains one of my favourite consoles and I have bought every new X-box console since then, so they did something right. The games I’ve enjoyed playing on the X-box were all very similar. Most of them were action-franchise based games like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Call of Duty and Halo.
When it comes to Lord of the Rings for the X-box there can only be two games mentioned. The lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and its follow up title, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King were two of my all-time favourites for the X-Box. They followed the story of the movies with a few little differences and the fact that you were able to play as all your favourite characters from the movies was such a fun experience, especially for a massive Tolkien fan like myself. The gameplay was your typical button smasher, unleashing heavy and lights attacks as fast as you could in order to defeat the many different types of Orcs, Trolls and Wraiths. The missions were lore friendly and they took you to all your favourite locations within Middle Earth such as, Helms Deep, Fangorn Forrest, Minas Tirith and Mordor! Extremely fun to play, Co-op mode so as to play with a friend, wonderful graphics for the time and I still have both games downloaded on my X-Box one!
Star Wars Battlefront 2 might be the best Star Wars game I have ever had the pleasure of playing over and over and over again. There are so many wonderful Star Wars titles created over the past 20 years, but I do believe Battlefront 2 is the best, and I’m talking about the old title, not the new one(also a great game to be fair). Choose from the good guys or the bad guys from the first two eras of the Star Wars universe and play as your favourite Jedi! A classic game of capturing command posts, blasting enemies in your way and flying X-wings! A Star Wars fan couldn’t ask for more.
Now, when someone mentions X-box or Microsoft, I only have one thought. Halo. The franchise that built X-box’s reputation in my opinion. The Halo franchise, especially the initial trilogy are my favourite X-box games of all time. The first two titles in the series “Halo: Combat Evolved” released in 2001 and “Halo 2” released in 2004 changed my gaming experience as I’m sure it did for thousands of kids all over the world. They were some of the first shooter style games I played on the
X-box as a kid and they hold up as I’m still playing, patiently waiting on the next title in the series “Halo Infinite”.
In this Interstellar adventure you play as John 117, one of the only remaining Spartans (Super Soldiers) left and are in the midst of an intergalactic war between the humans and an alien religious civilisation called the Covenant. Your primary mission is to discover more about the mysterious ancient halo ring floating in space, and to battle numerous alien species along the way. With the help of your AI companion Cortana and an array of guns, grenades and vehicles you battle your way through the missions learning more about the Halo Universe as you go. Halo is the main reason I stick with the X-box each year as my console of choice. With over 5/6 main titles under its belt, it’s become one of the most popular game franchises in the last 15 years. There is nothing better than playing all the games one after the other on Legendary mode with your friends, trying to avoid being sniped by a pesky Jackal! Then if you prefer, you can jump straight into matchmaking mode and battle against players from all over the world! Microsoft recently made all the games available in the Master Chief collection, which includes the remastered versions and allows you to play online across both the PC and X-box consoles, which gives you even more victims of a well-timed grenade throw. Quite possibly the only franchise of games I’d happily give an 11/10. Fast paced gameplay, a deep lore and exciting story, memorable missions, the best first-person shooter ever.
I’m going to include a very honourable mention before I conclude. A strange, wacky but wonderful game, “The Simpsons: Hit & Run”. It appeared out of nowhere and captured the gaming hearts of so many in its heyday. It stuck to the cartoon style graphics of the show and focused mainly on a driving aspect as you travelled around Springfield, it’s basically GTA but with the Simpsons, less guns and more wacky missions and gameplay. With less emphasis on weapons(you can kick people instead) the game challenges you with timed driving missions, so you have to make sure you have the fastest car for the job. The whole game feels like one massive episode of the cartoon as the game was written by the actual cartoon writers, add in the fact that most reoccurring characters are featured, and the voice cast of the cartoon are involved and its pretty much a Simpsons movie in game format. Hit & Run is by far the best Simpsons tie-in game and has gained a big cult following, and quite rightly so. A game full of nostalgia, references and classic Simpsons humour including those Homer one liners “I need your help, my car is ehh….. sleeping”.
Easily one of the most loved consoles of all time and for a lot of people my age, it was their first experience of gaming outside the Nintendo consoles. Whilst I’ll be playing on the new X-box console “Series X” for the moment, I’ll be making sure I have all the old games I grew up with downloaded, especially the ones mentioned above!
Happy Gaming everyone!
Blog by T M Copywriting