Ring in the New Gen: Top 10 Xbox Exclusives


Over the past few days, we at SpawnFirst have counted down the best Nintendo and PlayStation exclusives in preparation for the next generation of consoles that will soon be upon us. When we were compiling our list of the top ten Xbox games, though, we came to one conclusion: ‘exclusive’ is not a word in Microsoft’s vocabulary. Following our one-game-per-franchise rule (because, let’s be honest, there would’ve been five Halo games on here), we struggled to find ten unique, worthwhile exclusives for the Microsoft’s flagship consoles. Granted, Nintendo and Playstation have been around for several more years than Xbox, but in its twelve year existence, most of its hits are multiplatform. Compared to PlayStation and the big N, this exclusive list might contain a few more obscure titles; however, Microsoft has still managed to pull some together games that make the other brands mighty jealous.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of Microsoft’s tendency to port Xbox exclusives to Windows PC, some games may have also received a PC release

10. Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Rare

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: November 11, 2008


Never heard of Banjo Kazooie? That’s bound to happen to quite a few gamers. For those of you who have played it (or even knew there was a Banjo-Kazooie game on the 360) you will know this is a smart, beautiful, and ambitious platformer that warrants a playthrough no matter how old you are. Though a rather odd title to an outsider, it follows the Rare tradition of being an absolute gem.

CrackdownCover9. Crackdown

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Realtime Worlds

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: February 20, 2007


The original Crackdown was an open world sandbox game that lacked any sort of story structure, but it made up for it in the insane amount of mayhem a player can cause. In fact, part of the game focused on you hunting down orbs across the city so you can deliver even more punishment to enemies.  And yes, it was as freakin’ awesome (yet slightly tedious) as it sounds.

KinectSportsCover8: Kinect Sports

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Rare

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: November 4, 2010


We know what you’re thinking, but please hear us out. Kinect Sports is one of Xbox’s best exclusives because it took the revolutionary idea of the Kinect and really showed off what it can do; on top of it all, it’s an insane amount of fun. As the only competitor to Nintendo’s Wii Sports, Kinect Sports allows players to be active without all the hassle of going outside. For gamers, it’s really the best of both worlds.

7. Dead Rising

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Capcom Production Studio 1

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date: August 8, 2006


Capcom’s mall-roaming zombie game finds itself at the number 7 spot on our list. Considering it fulfills that fantasy of roaming a mall and using anything as a weapon, it’s not hard to see why. There was a huge, neverending supply of meatbags to use televisions, lawnmowers, vehicles, and a ton of other stuff on.  It could easily be the most mind-numbingly brilliant experience ever to hit consoles.

Forza3cover6. Forza 3

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Turn 10 Studios

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: October 27, 2009


Forza 3 is one of the best and most realistic games on the Xbox 360. Its large car roster and awesome career/multiplayer modes helped close the gap between Forza and its PlayStation rival, Gran Turismo, in terms of the best racing simulator on the market. Love’em or hate’em, video games focused on driving vehicles are hard to get down right; Forza 3 was one that got it down perfect.


Left4Dead2cover5. Left 4 Dead 2

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Valve Corporation

Publisher:  Valve Corporation

Release Date: November 17, 2009


Valve’s zombie shooter sequel is still selling massive amounts of copies to this day. Left 4 Dead 2 improved on everything its predecessor lacked, fixed bugs and added the all-important melee weapons. We at SpawnFirst feel that Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the best four-player co-op games ever, and ever though many have tried to emulate it, no other zombie games have even come close to touching Left 4 Dead (we’re looking at you, Dead Island).

4. Fable 2

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Lionhead Games

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: October 21, 2008


Fable is a legendary series, and for good reason. The immersive RPG action is crazy fun, and it forces the player to become very invested in their character, as every decision that the player makes will eventually affect the outcome of the game. Not many games can give that experience, and even fewer can do it well: We firmly believe that Fable 2 is one of the best and most unique RPGs in history.

3. Alan Wake

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Remedy

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: May 18, 2010


Alan Wake, quite simply, is one heck of a game. This episodic Xbox 360 exclusive had such a creative story, and an even more creative way of it being told. The originality of the title, along with superb graphics and narration, made it a standout title of the 360, and kept us both horrified and mesmerized the entire way through the game.

2. Gears of War 2

System: Xbox 360

Developer: Epic Games

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: November 7, 2008


Rolling in at number 2 is Gears of War 2. Gears of War 3 may be the top pick of many, and is arguably a much better game. So why did we choose the second iteration? Because it did so much for the series: Gears 2 introduced Horde mode, was filled with a bunch of memorable and entertaining campaign missions, and added an emotional aspect that just wasn’t there in the original Gears.  Ever since, these are all points the series has built a foundation on. This sequel is our favorite Gears of War game, but just our second favorite Xbox exclusive.

1. Halo: Combat Evolved

System: Xbox

Developer: Bungie

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date: November 15th, 2001


Well, I mean, what were you expecting? Putting Halo at the top may have been a no-brainer, but choosing which Halo might have been one of the hardest selections we’ve ever made. It could’ve been Halo 2, with its graphical improvements and its major stride into the world of Xbox Live. Halo 3, came in with the pinnacle of online multiplayer and a crazy fun campaign. Even Halo Reach had a gripping story and an amazing online community. In the end, though, we had to give the honor to Halo: Combat Evolved. Not only did this title pave the way for all shooters to follow, but it started a franchise that single-handedly sells Xbox consoles like hotcakes. We’ll never forget that jaw dropping moment when we first crash landed onto Halo and stepped out into that gigantic world. The whole game was an experience that we won’t ever forget, and we doubt anyone else (including Sony and Nintendo fans) will either.

Did we put Left 4 Dead too high up? Do you absolutely hate Halo? Tell us what your own personal list in the comments below!