The Western release of the Xbox 360 was on November 22, 2005. Over a decade later and Microsoft has officially announced that they will be ceasing production of the system that has sold over 80 million units.
This unfortunate news was released in a blog post on April 20 from Head of Xbox Phil Spencer. Spencer explained, “Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we’ve had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles. We will continue to sell existing inventory of Xbox 360 consoles, with availability varying by country.”
For those that still game on your Xbox 360, do not worry. Spencer also announced that they will continue to support the system in the following ways:
“Xbox 360 owners will continue to receive Xbox Live services for their console, such as online multiplayer gaming and parties, access to the apps they use today, and Games with Gold and Deals with Gold.
"Xbox Live servers that support Xbox 360 services will also remain online and active. Our Xbox 360 fans can continue to play their favorite games with the full support of Xbox Live.
"Gamers will also be able to continue to buy over 4,000 Xbox 360 games or Xbox 360 accessories at retail and through our Xbox 360 store online, while supplies last.
"Any Xbox 360 hardware will still be supported at xbox.com/support.
"And Xbox One owners will be able to continue to enjoy available Xbox 360 games through Xbox One Backward Compatibility – at no additional cost.”
With the news of the stopped production of the Xbox 360, I have compiled a list of my top four favorite Xbox 360 titles from the last decade.
4. “Eternal Sonata” (American Release: 2007)
“Eternal Sonata” is a Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) developed by tri-Crescendo and published by Namco Bandai Games. This JRPG follows composer Fredric Chopin as he travels through his own dream-world filled with colors and music. Even the characters’ names are musically themed. Some names of the characters include Polka, Allegretto, Falsetto and Salsa. The music in this game influences both combat and exploration. Speaking of combat, the battle system is composed (no pun intended) of action and turn-based styles. It is action-based due to the fact that you can freely roam around the battle area all while executing attacks and specials; however, it is turn-based due to the fact that you only have a set amount of time for your character to attack and then it switches over to the enemies’ attacks for a set amount of time. Despite the beautiful colors, original soundtrack (OST), somewhat corny conversational pieces and astonishing Japanese art style, the game has quite a depressing story throughout it. For anyone that still has their 360 (or is going to buy one of the few left in stores) and is a JRPG fan, this is a must-play!
3. “Lollipop Chainsaw” (Release: 2012)
Where do I even start with “Lollipop Chainsaw?” This rated-M video game was developed by Grasshopper Manufacture and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. I would definitely describe it was a “backwards action-packed, kick-ass, zombie-slaying, girl power, rock-n-rolling, hilarious, raunchy, hack-and-slash video game.” If that didn’t give you enough of a description, here is the gist of the game: you play as Juliet Starling, an 18-year-old high school cheerleader, who goes to school on her birthday only to find out her high school is overrun by zombies. I guess it’s a good thing this popular cheerleader has a sensei that taught her everything she knows about killing zombies because Juliet spends her birthday using her badass chainsaw to hack-and-slash these zombies all while having her boyfriend’s talking decapitated head attached to her belt. You can choose the difficulty level in which to play on, buy new outfits to battle zombies in, play mini-games such as Zombie Basketball and more. Did I mention you regain health by eating lollipops? While the story itself is somewhat short (I personally beat it in one day), the game has a lot of replay value. If you enjoy your everyday raunchy zombie slaying video game, this is the one for you! If you cannot find it as an Xbox 360 title anymore, it is also available on the PlayStation 3.
2. “Lost Odyssey” (American Release 2008)
“Lost Odyssey” is a JRPG that was developed by Mistwalker and Feelplus and published by Microsoft Game Studios. The story follows Kaim, an immortal man who has lived over 1,000 years, who cannot remember his past and does not know where his future is headed. A handful of characters join Kaim throughout the game on this odyssey, or journey, who all have their own intricate and deep pasts that unravel throughout the game, allowing the player to ride an extremely emotional rollercoaster. This is a traditional JRPG with slow turn-based style combat with a large story; however, this game also enables players to make strategic decisions in order to immerse themselves deeper into the story and gameplay. The traditional JRPG aspects alone make this game one to purchase, but the 40-plus hours of gameplay, beautiful music, dynamic characters, intimate storyline and exclusivity to the Xbox 360 makes it even more compelling. This game is an absolute must for any gamer that loves a game with a powerful and long story.
1. “Tales of Vesperia” (American Release 2008)
“Tales of Vesperia” is a JRPG developed by Namco Tales Studio. This was not the first Tales game; however, this was the first Tales game to make its debut on the Xbox 360 and PS3. This JRPG is set in a world that relies on an enigmatic ancient technology called “Blastia.” You play as former knight Yuri Lowell as he delves into a journey to use “blastia” to control civilization, or destroy it. The combat in this game focuses on real-time combat system (which is a trademark of the Tales series) which allows players to battle in large battlefields while also allowing the characters to learn new attacks based on different equipped weapons. The main quest along with the numerous side quests make this game 75-plus hours long; however, according to www.howlongtobeatagame.com, if you are a completionist this game can leisurely be played over 240-hours. This has been my absolute favorite Xbox 360 game I have ever played, and I definitely recommend it to anyone who loves the Tales series or loves JRPGs with a great story line and beautiful anime-like art.
Honorable mentions of Xbox 360 titles that also meant a lot to me go to “Tomb Raider,” “Borderlands,” “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Final Fantasy XIII” and “Final Fantasy XIII-2.”
And with that it is time we say goodbye to the production of the Xbox 360. This means that the Xbox 360 will soon become nostalgic and one day our grandchildren will have think of the Xbox 360 as being ancient. Thank you for over ten years of memories.