The Xbox 360 was home to a wealth of great games, many of which have gone on to become classics. The names Bioshock, Skyrim, and Red Dead Redemption are some of the ones that most readily come to mind when someone brings up the 360 (though none of these were exclusive to the system).
But there were so many other great games for Microsoft’s seventh generation effort that never really got the limelight they deserved, as so often happens in this hyper-saturated era of gaming in which it can be so hard for games to stand out. In all console generations it is inevitable that some more-than-worthy titles will fall by the wayside for one reason or another – whether it be a lack of/bad marketing, bad timing, or in some cases a game may just be ahead of its time.
Here we are going to have a look at some of the more underrated games that called the Xbox 360 home.
Alice: Madness Returns
(Backwards Compatible with Xbox One)
A sequel to American McGee’s Alice (American McGee is the name of a video game designer, in case you are wondering. Coincidentally, he is American) this game flew under the radar when it was released. It was an independently-developed action-adventure platform game with a serious dark side that explores the darkest recesses of protagonist Alice’s psyche. Despite not really taking full advantage of the 360’s capabilities, the game features some pretty impressive graphical artistry, especially in some of the “trippier” environments. In all it was a very solid game that never really got its due, though it does have a cult following these days that still yearns for an Alice 3.
(Backwards Compatible with Xbox One and Series X/S)
This was Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi’s first effort with his own Mistwalker Studios after leaving Square Enix. The game, an impressive jrpg with a design and mechanics traditional of that genre, was published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was much more than just a bone to throw jrpg-starved Xbox fans, however, with a deep storyline and dynamic characters, all of it complimented by some gorgeous visuals. While the sun had already set on the genre’s golden age by the time Lost Odyssey released, it remains a very worthwhile play for lovers of the Japanese style roleplaying experience.
Child of Light
(Not backwards compatible. Available on Xbox One, Series X/S)
Child of Light was a highly acclaimed side scrolling action rpg with semi turn-based combat and jaw-dropping, hand painted watercolor graphics. Designed to be “a playable poem” in the words of the lead designer, the game’s character dialogue is in the form of lyrics. This along with the classic narrative of a heroic quest give the game an unmistakably storybook feel and aesthetic. It all made for quite a unique take on the genre at the time, and one that is still well worth playing today.
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
(Backwards Compatible on Series X/S)
This game was inspired by the Chinese literary classic Journey to the West, though you would scarcely guess that judging from the game’s post-apocalyptical setting. Originally intended to be a CGI film, the action adventure title released in 2010 to general critical acclaim and commercial failure. It has since gone on to garner a cult following and is known today as one of the seventh generations’ biggest hidden gems, noted for its overall solid gameplay, gorgeous settings and visual design, and memorable story with cinematologist-guided scriptwriting.
So there are just a couple of the most underplayed Xbox 360 games. But really, there were so many more that are still worth discovering today. It was a great console generation overall, and the 360 especially earned a place in gaming memory with a slew of great games. Do yourself a favor and check some of them out sometime.