Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 (2005)
Way before people were arguing over whether Call of Duty’s multiplayer was better than the online action in Battlefield, there was this World War 2 shooter that had all the hallmarks to make it an instant Xbox classic. It had fantastic voice casting, environments rich in detail, great tactical squad-style campaigns, and while Road to Hill 30 was a challenge to complete, was one definitely worth persevering with.
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (2004)
The film was forgettable but its gaming spin-off delivered a first person shooter that was dark and brutal enough for us to show an appreciation for Vin Diesel, well, the gaming version at least. With cinematic-style visuals there was plenty of meaty combat and gritty shooting action to indulge in making it one of the better movie-tie in games we’ve seen even some eight years on since it launched.
Half-Life 2 (2004)
The sequel to one of the finest first person shooters a PC gamer could get their hands on, Half-Life 2 may have lacked multiplayer action, but Gordon Freeman was back in a great single player campaign that was visually amazing and packed a great storyline. It's fair to say that Valve did a more than a decent job of bringing some of the Half-Life PC experience to the original Xbox.
Jet Set Radio Future (2002)
When we think of inline skating, our mind immediately thinks of Skitchin’ and a gang of graffiti artists roaming the futuristic streets of Tokyo. Leaving your tag around a seriously huge environment, the Jet Set sequel had an awesome soundtrack which included Mike D of the Beastie Boys, and had a four player competitive mode that kept things entertaining even if the single player mode was a little on the easy side.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)
Never ones to pass up the opportunity to swing a lightsaber, Knights of the Old Republic is still one of the best Star Wars games despite being set some 400 years before any of the stuff from the films happened. It looked amazing and crucially paid homage to the iconic Star Wars characters to keep superfans happy and delivered RPG and Action gameplay in equal measures.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)
You are no doubt still touching the surfaces of Skyrim like we are but for those who had Morrowind in their possession they will remember that Bethesda served up a similarly mammoth open-ended title that blended great RPG and combat elements that made it comfortably one of the biggest games on the Xbox at the time.
Ninja Gaiden (2004)
The third game in the series is just weeks away from launch, but this is where the samurai sword-slashing action began for the Microsoft console. Famously this was no walk in the park and required unique combinations to negotiate young ninja Ryu Hayabusa through each enemy filled level. It also had an unlockable version of the original NES beat-em-up version of Ninja Gaiden which is reason alone why it should get an update.
From the man who brought us such cult classics as Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, this humorous platformer may not have been a retail success, but it gained a strong cult following thanks to the quirky dialogue, original story and manic gameplay. It’s had a Mac makeover, but we’d love to see turn up on the Xbox 360.
Shenmue 2 (2003)
While we wait to see if Yu Suzuki turns in a third instalment of what was supposed to be a four-part series, we’d happily play our way through the second game that had hours of gameplay, a fighting engine based on Virtua Fighter, mini games like OutRun all of which meant we could overlook many of the not so impressive elements of the game like the shocking voice casting for instance.
Timesplitters 2 (2002)
RARE’s Goldeneye 007 was the first person shooter benchmark, so how to better it? Get some of the 007 team on board for the Timesplitters sequel that packed in nine huge levels, a whole host of playable characters, a great MapMaker feature and a pretty decent two-player co-op mode. Some online multiplayer would definitely have been a nice addition too.