5 essential games for the Original Xbox.


The release of the Xbox console platform by Microsoft in November 2001, seriously challenged the supremacy of Sony and it's Playstation consoles. Before Sony took over the position of leader of the Video Game playing machines, the Two Japanese giants of Sega and Nintendo had fought for control of the 1990's game console industry.

The Xbox offered much more than the Playstation II had to offer, the new Microsoft console had better technology and the ability to transfer popular PC games to the console very quickly and efficiently. The First games were a mixture of port over titles and Xbox only titles, designed to generate loyalty in future franchises and exclusive content.


The Original Xbox.
The Original Xbox. | Source
Master Chief at the Convention Centre.
Master Chief at the Convention Centre. | Source

(1) Halo


Halo was the standout game for the Original Xbox, this game was the reason why many gamer's ditched the Sony Playstation and worshiped at the Microsoft altar. I switched to the Xbox when I first saw this game and the first game is my personal favourite. The game only appeared on the Xbox game platform but did eventually get an outing on the PC.

As the Master-Chief you took the battle to the Alien covenant and dispatched the enemy with one eye on the ammo and the other on your next victim. The game had everything you needed a great single player campaign or the option to fight with friends in multi-player mode.

The game sold the Xbox to the new generation and it spawned a number of sequels, for the Halo was the pick of the bunch as it was focused solely on the Master-Chief and the Earth Marines survival on the hostile Halo world. Halo took over the mantle of King of the Shoot-em-ups and it's graphics at the time were mind blowing!



(2) Morrowind


This is truly a game you can lose yourself in, a game were the outside world becomes a very banal dream. With hours of game play and multiple ways to play the game the title is all consuming. It's sequels on the console include the incredibly popular Skyrim and Oblivion, these games have taken the genre to the next level. The game is still highly priced and desired as it can be played on the Xbox 360, given the later games popularity the game is still actively played.

The game was originally released on the PC and was soon transferred to the Xbox console were it was able to be played with very little lag and with the same level of detail that PC owners were used to. The use of the Xbox controller really helped the gamer get to grips with the menu system, after a short time the movement and actions of your chosen character became second nature.

What made the game for me was the atmospheric music and the ability to progress quickly within the Morrowind world. The difficulty level was just right and in the early levels of the game you knew not to stray into areas such as Shrines or Caves without at least saving your position first.

Compared to the titles of a decade later, I feel the game has stood the test of time. It may not be as polished as its sequels but it's game play continues to hold your attention. It was a title that could persuade the Gamer's who lived for First person shooting to try something different, it did for me and is one of my favourite games of all time.


(3)Pro Evolution Soccer 4


Until I bought Pro Evolution Soccer, I was a FIFA player at ever release. My games collection soon changed after I was introduced to the Pro Evo series of Football titles. In my opinion it surpassed FIFA because you were able to edit the teams more and on the pitch the play seemed more responsive to the way you wanted to play. Maybe it was buying version after version which made me tire of the FIFA games, or maybe it was the fact Pro Evo gave me arcade style football with all the extras I could ever dream of.

Pro Evolution Soccer allowed you to edit more than I had ever seen in a Sport's game, I was able to completely change a team or tinker with the latest transfers. For me the style of play was much more addictive than the FIFA franchise, the Pro Evo games were great to play with friends and it did have the feel of playing at an arcade.


Cars such as the Mini Cooper are available to drive in Project  Gotham Racing.
Cars such as the Mini Cooper are available to drive in Project Gotham Racing. | Source

(4) Project Gotham Racing


Project Gotham is the only motor racing game I have ever owned, and I doubt any game could make me recapture the sheer addictive nature of the game. With over a dozen Cars to choose from and enough tracks with brilliantly captures Cityscape's to race through.

The "Kudos" street racing challenges were great fun to challenge your friends or to spend hours trying to shave an extra few milliseconds off your lap time. The game rewarded you for your effort and with numerous custom items to unlock there was a reason to continue playing. Project Gotham was a racing game that set the difficulty level perfectly, to progress you needed to practice. The damage your car took within a race was represented well within the game, and after a few gruelling laps with your friends, the car resembled a car wreck.


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(5) Splinter Cell


Splinter Cell has gone on to spawn many sequels to the original Xbox game, you play the part of Sam Fisher who is an expert operative of a multinational espionage network. You are tasked to investigate the situation in the unstable former Soviet republic, and through the missions you uncover the sinister plans of your target.

Splinter Cell was a game were you had to think through the consequences of your actions and relied on stealth over carnage. The game rarely needed you to use your gun, but really needed you to form a plan and monitor your own movements as well as the enemies. Using the thermal imaging and infra-red modes to good effect you could go through many missions without setting off the alarm. The shadows were your greatest ally and you soon started to blend into your surroundings with the spirit of a ninja.

The game was a title that required a long duration of play and never promised the instant gratification of more straight forward " Shoot em ups". The control system was very user friendly and the camera angles kept up nicely considering the amount of detail the game used. Splinter Cell was a tactically gamer's ideal game and a worthy addition to any players collection.


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