The Best XBox 360 Games Under $10
Now that the 360 has been on the market for a few years now, we’re starting to see some big name titles come down to single-digit prices. And as long as you willing to go digging around in the used-game market, you can starting building an impressive game library for much less than the console cost you.
Now, I haven’t played all of these, but I’m going mostly on critic’s reviews and word-of-mouth from gamers with similar tastes. I figured the $10 price point would the sweet spot for quality-versus-price, so I’ll list the top picks under that mark (Prices listed are an average eBay price and lowest Amazon.com prices for US games, including shipping.)
Since retail Xbox 360 games aren’t the only thing you can play on your console, I’m also including some of the most critically acclaimed XBLA titles so far and my picks for the best cheap games from the original XBox that are backwards compatible on the XBox 360.
Forza Motorsport 2 / Marvel Ultimate Alliance Combo: $7
Once bundled with the console, this combo is now dirt cheap and both games are worthy of the price tag on their own (You can also buy them both separately for about the same price or a bit lower). Forza is Microsoft’s answer to the Gran Turismo fand eatures stunning visuals, plenty of customization and deep adriving physics. Marvel Ultimate Alliance is an excellent action RPG featuring tons of comic book favorites.
Part Grand Theft Auto, part City of Heroes, Crackdown is a free-form action game is set in a futuristic, crime-ridden metropolis in which you can use initiate superhuman feats such as throwing cars and leaping across rooftops. It plays brilliantly and is astonishingly easy to get into. For outrageousness and pure entertainment value, you can’t go wrong with Crackdown.
XBox Live Arcade Unplugged: $4
If you don’t mind having these games on a disc instead of the hard drive, this is a phenomenal deal and worth the price of admission simply for Geometry Wars. However, this disc actually includes six full Xbox Live Arcade games (Geometry Wars Retro Evolved, Wik: Fable of Souls, Outpost Kaloki X, Bejeweled 2 Deluxe, Hardwood Backgammon, and Texas Hold ‘em) along with a 1 month account to Xbox Live Gold.
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition: $10
This blockbuster sci-fi shooter is just recently taking a dive in resale value, leaving bargain shoppers with a wonderful value. Everything from its well-designed single player campaign to the never-ending online battles makes this adventure well worth the price of admission.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter: $8
As in earlier Ghost Recon games, Advanced Warfighter is filled with a variety of tactical mission types, including recon, escort, and full-on assault. The fantastic single player campaign will draw you in and the extensive online multiplayer options will keep you coming back for more. This finely-polished title from Free Radical (of TimeSplitters fame) is a must-own for fans of tactical warfare.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas: $10
Rainbow Six: Vegas was one of the hottest 360 games when it came out two years ago. If you prefer a first-person perspective to your tactical shooters, this is a great game to pick up for your 360 library. And as you can expect from the best Tom Clancy games, the single player campaigns are solid and the highly customizable multiplayer keep it going strong. Of course, if you want the latest and greatest, you can pay twice as much for the sequel, but if you’re on a budget, stick with the original.
Project Gotham Racing 3: $4
I’ve been a fan of this series since it transitioned from Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast. Personally, I’m not a fan of ultra-customizable and overly realistic racers (super-real graphics are ok) like Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport. So the Project Gotham Racing 3 is just right for me when I want something a bit more arcade-like without spending much.
War Tech: Senko No Ronde: $7
If you are an old-school arcade fan that enjoys 2D shooting and fighting games, you seriously need to consider picking up Senko No Ronde. It is essentially a modern crossover of the two retro genres and, despite its rather subpar reviews, its actually a pretty good game if you know what you’re getting into.
Top Spin 2: $7
Personally, I’ve always been a fan of Sega’s Virtua Tennis series, but Top Spin is its best competition when it comes to a tennis game that is easy to pick up and difficult to master. These games always make for a surprisingly good party game and you can’t go wrong with it at this price.
LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy: $10
Whatever you do, do not write this game off as a kids game. Lego Star Wars is an absolute blast – especially with two-player co-op. My wife wouldn’t stop bugging me to play “just one more level”. Just like the movies, “The Original Trilogy” is best of the bunch, but for a few more dollars, you can get the Complete Saga on the 360 instead.
Cheap Backwards-Compatible XBox Must-Haves For Your 360
If you’re a 360 owner, you really shouldn’t overlook the quality titles that are in the original XBox’s library. There are so many solid games that are still worth playing years later. However, many of them have been out for a while, so you can scoup them up for next to nothing.
Halo & Halo 2: $9
There is no doubt that Halo is still one of the most popular console FPSs out there and is the cornerstone of the XBox library. If you want to see the beginning of this landmark series, you can do so on the cheap while waiting for Halo 3 to come down in value.
Jet Set Radio Future / Sega GT Combo: $4
The original Jet Grind Radio from the Dreamcast is still one of my all-time favorites, and its sequel on the XBox simplifies the gameplay a bit in some areas, bring the story forward a number of years, and puts some XBox polish on the already slick graphical style. JSRF is an incredibly unique and entertaining game that should not be overlooked. What’s better is JSRF was combined with Sega GT for an XBox pack-in disk. You should be able to find the combo disc just about anywhere for next to nothing.
Panzer Dragoon Orta: $9
Even though your typical XBox owner probably isn’t even familiar with the Panzer Dragoon series, that shouldn’t stop you from spending a little cash on checking this gem out. The Panzer Dragoon series is a collection of cult-classics on the ill-fated Sega Saturn, but the on-rails shooter made a stunning return on the XBox. This under-appreciated title is one of Sega’s last great masterpieces.
Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge: $4
If you enjoy flight action games, you couldn’t ask for much more from Crimson Skies. In additional to it’s killer dog-fighting gameplay, it has outstanding graphics, an awesome soundtrack, easy controls, top-notch production values, a fun online mode that has a huge following, and professional voice acting that adds a blend of drama, noir, and comedy.
The Best XBLA Games Under $10
There really are so many excellent games on XBox Live Arcade — and most of them are under $10. This could be a rather lengthty list (maybe a topic for another time), so I’ll just list my highest recommendations.
* Ikaruga: $10
* Rez HD: $10
* Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2: $8
* Alien Hominid HD: $10
* Bionic Commando Rearmed: $10
* Bomberman Live: $10
* Every Extend Extra Extreme: $10
* Mega Man 9: $10
* Pac-Man Championship Edition : $10
* Sonic the Hedgehog 2: $10
* Puzzle Quest: $10
* N+ : $10
* Soul Calibur: $10
* Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: $10
* Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix: $10
* Lumines Live!: $10
* Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting: $10
* Metal Slug 3: $10
* Prince of Persia Classic: $10
360 Games Near The $10 Mark
Here’s a few more 360 games that you may be able to snag for $10 if you’re really lucky, but average out to be a bit more. But if you’re patient, these should drop under $10 before you know it.
* The Orange Box: $15 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Viva Piñata: $15 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2: $13 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Virtua Fighter 5: $17 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Dead Rising: $13 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Project Gotham Racing 4: $13 - eBay / Amazon.com
Other Cheap XBox 360 Favorites
* The Darkness: $10 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent: $10 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Call of Duty 2: $9 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Quake 4: $9 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Need for Speed Most Wanted: $5 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Rockstar Games presents Table Tennis: $7 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Moto GP 07: $10 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Perfect Dark Zero: $6 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Tony Hawk’s Project 8: $6 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Kameo Elements of Power: $5 - eBay / Amazon.com
* NBA 2K8: $8 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Madden NFL 08: $7 - eBay / Amazon.com
Other Cheap Backwards-Compatible XBox Favorites
* Burnout 3: Takedown: $6 - eBay / Amazon.com
* OutRun 2: $6 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Indigo Prophecy: $8 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee: $6 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Metal Arms: Glitch in the System: $5 - eBay / Amazon.com
* Shenmue II: $8 - eBay / Amazon.com