It hasn’t exactly been the year of exclusives for either the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, but luckily the few we did get were of a really high quality, and both platforms had games to rant and rave about. At least, both had at least one game that can join the ranks of the best currently out there, and that’s admirable. So let’s take a look at the top Xbox 360 games of this year, and choose the best overall. But you all know which one that is already, don’t you? We’re sure you do. But first, let’s look at the rundown.
For the best console game awards, we’re only going to be considering exclusive and semi-exclusive titles as nominees for the platform, as that arguably makes the most sense to us, and would prevent the same games – or multiplatform games – from being nominated across multiple platforms. To define a semi-exclusive title, we’re talking about a game that may have originally been exclusive until it was ported somewhere else, or a game that has its origin primarily on one platform and was clearly designed for a specific platform. This award acknowledges the greatest exclusive games on each console, and allows us to choose which of them was the best, and evaluate the consoles entirely.
Halo 4 bought about a lot of nervousness among fans due to the dramatic shift in developers from Bungie to 343 Industries, but we’re happy to say that this is one of the best Halo games yet. It revitalized the Halo franchise with new life and purpose, and was simply an amazing experience, raising our expectations of what’s to come. This was no doubt a quality game that hit all of the right notes, and in some respects it even bettered its predecessors. Halo 4 proved once again that this franchise is ever ready to be the flagship game for the Xbox 360, and with a riveting campaign and both a deep and refined multiplayer offering, this was undoubtedly a massive highlight of this year.
Dance Central 3 stands as one of the best games the Xbox 360’s Kinect has to offer, and arguably one of the few that actually makes the device seem worth it. It was just plain fun to play, and it’s tough to beat the multiplayer experience of trying to determine which player looks more ridiculous doing some of these dance moves. With excellent motion recognition, a pleasant tracklist with the awesome ability to import music from the previous two games, and lots of multiplayer options, this was the best dance game for Kinect, and a fantastic game overall that got even better when you shared it. If you’re one of those convinced that Kinect is a failure, Dance Central 3 at least proves that you can create something great within the device’s capabilities, and for us we were very happy with the way this one turned out.
Forza Horizon may not have entirely been the sequel we were expecting, as it took Forza’s impressive focus on realistic driving and changed it up for a more arcadey approach, but there was no doubt that it delivered the franchise into fresh waters. More importantly, it was as entertaining as ever, and it really did amazing things with an open world racing experience, arguably topping similar games before it. The game offered plenty of variation with both its single-player and multiplayer components, and this game was especially a great entry point for newcomers to the Forza franchise. Featuring a large, beautiful world stuffed with enjoyable challenges, events, races and reasons to explore, topped with great personality, style and technology, Forza Horizon impressed, and gave us a wonderful racing title.
And The Winner Is…
Similar to our case with the PlayStation 3’s line-up, it’s pretty obvious which title is the winner. That’s not taking away anything from the other nominees, it’s simply stating that our winner stands above them, and is just the best Xbox 360 game this year. So head below to find out what you already know.
The lack of competition on both consoles this year may be a bit off-putting, but we’re content with the fact that both offered great games, and their stand-out title happened to be one for the ages. In this case, Halo 4 was the leading reason to hold onto your Xbox 360 this year, and it was a stellar game that exceeded our expectations, and brought new vigour to the franchise, giving it a sense of freshness that we felt was needed. However, despite taking some welcome liberties here and there, it remained true to what made it originally so special, yet wasn’t shy to be its own game. Halo 4 for us is the easy choice, and many may say that it’s the only choice, but all aside it is our selection for the best Xbox 360 game award of 2012. But now how about that award for the least surprising award-winner…