Anyone remember the Xbox 360 era, with lots of hits and quite a few underrated exclusives? Of course, everyone knows about the Halos and Gears franchises, but there were also some truly innovative games that flew under the radar. Well, today we’re taking a trip down memory lane and throwing the spotlight on said underrated gems.
We’re pretty confident you’ll never guess which games we’ve got for you today. Though, if you wanna throw out a few guesses, by all means, have at it and come at us, bros! Seriously, though, it’s important to highlight the great bunch of games we’re gonna gush about. Why? Well, it’s because they deserve acknowledgment for all the dev’s hard work. And second, they’re super fun once you try them.
Which Underrated Xbox 360 Exclusives Are Worth Checking Out?
So, before we begin, we’re gonna talk about a few things to make sure we’re all on the same page. It’s vital to understand where we’re coming from to appreciate today’s selection of awesometacular but underrated Xbox 360 exclusives. Here’s what you need to know:
- Today’s list isn’t that long, so the competition is gonna be fierce for the top spot, so the more enjoyable a game, the higher its ranking will be.
- Secondly, we’re gonna go for the obscure, underrated Xbox 360 exclusives that no one knows about. Either because they were overshadowed by popular releases or they were forgotten from the collective gamer’s minds as time passed. That said, we will throw in at least one relatively well-known entry to hammer home our point.
- Finally, all our picks aren’t from the same genre, so there’s a chance not every game will be your cup of tea. After all, variety is the spice of life and all that yadda yadda.
Okay, that about covers it. Time to see which games make the cut; here we go!
6. Culdcept Saga
Ever had the epiphany about playing anime-style Monopoly? Well, if the answer’s yes, then congratulations, Culdcept Saga is for you! The story’s really intriguing, but that takes a backseat to the strategic gameplay on offer. Seriously, the game’s more like chess than Monopoly, but thankfully it’s not as mundane or tedious. Though we will say it’s gonna take a long time to master Culdcept Saga.
Culdcept Saga requires dedication to play and even more so if you wanna beat it. Why? Well, because the game’s got a grid that opens up like a Monopoly board. You occupy squares after rolling the dice. If an opponent comes at your occupied square or you venture into theirs, you either pay the toll or fight for the spot. The combat then ensues between their creature and the player’s own. Once the fighting starts, that’s when Culdcept Saga really hits its stride.
You see, battles happen through the cards you own. The luck of the draw plays a hand in which cards you use first to power up your own creature or debuff your opponent’s. After that, you can also charge up your occupied squares to give your creatures an advantage. Terrain also is a factor in how the fights play out. The point is if you love games that require you to use your noggin, like the best Fire Emblem games, you’re gonna love Culdcept Saga.
5. Ninety-Nine Nights
Microsoft’s foray into the Japanese roleplaying market resulted in quite a few hits and misses. However, one game that struck a chord with us was Ninety-Nine Nights. It was one of the brilliantly underrated Xbox 360 exclusives. Taking inspiration from the Dynasty Warrior franchise, Ninety-Nine Nights has satisfying combat with a touch of RPG mechanics.
The bulk of the gameplay in Ninety-Nine Nights revolves around rushing into hoards of enemies. We’re talking massive armies here, not simple groups that appear at intervals. Ninety-Nine Nights makes players live out their power fantasy; they cut through enemy waves like a hot knife through butter. The controls are simple enough; you get the light and heavy attacks with jump and dash movement to mix things up nicely.
Special animation plays out if you chain attacks with combos while collecting orbs that charge up the special attack meter. There are unique screen-clearing AOE attacks that leave devastation on the battlefield as you massacre entire enemy units. Ninety-Nine Nights is similar to a lot of hack-and-slash games, and its complexity appears during boss fights. You gotta be careful around them or risk getting obliterated.
4. Tenchu Z
We’ve always got a soft spot for Xbox 360 stealth games, and among them, Tenchu Z is one of the most underrated exclusives. Why? Well, for one, we love the Tenchu games, and we desperately want this franchise to make a grand return. Secondly, Tenchu Z does what no other game in the series has done: letting players create their own protagonist. Instead of playing as any of the classic fan favorites like Rikimaru or Ayane, you play as your own character.
The story isn’t that strong in Tenchu Z, but let’s be real; we’re mostly fawning over the gameplay. You need to be extra careful and silence your steps, as enemies can hear you if you’re too close. This creates a new layer to the stealth element, requiring swift movement with careful planning. Also, there are cesspools that’ll make your character stink the air. Yes, it’s hilarious, but gameplaywise, it’s also dangerous since enemies can smell you from afar.
The assassinations are pretty darn satisfying to pull off in the game, and their animations are dope as heck. Tenchu Z has tons of upgrades and customization options that you get for performing missions with good rankings. Getting rid of the assassinated bodies as quickly as possible is also a key part of the gameplay in Tenchu Z. Overall, Tenchu Z is bloody brilliant and definitely worth checking out.
3. Project Sylpheed
Wow, this one takes us back. If you didn’t know, we love our space games, and Project Sylpheed fits right in. If you love anime angst, soap operas, sci-fi, and blasting enemy spaceships, you’ll get a kick out of Project Sylpheed. That’s what the game offers, more or less. The gameplay visuals and the anime cutscenes are a nice contrast that gives Project Sylpheed a unique identity.
In Project Sylpheed, players step into the shoes of a novice pilot who gets to fly a cutting-edge battle spaceship. Good thing, too, since our character’s gonna be a part of the massive interstellar civil war. Project Sylpheed’s gameplay makes it one of the most fun games on the Xbox 360, and it’s baffling to know that it’s also one of the underrated gems that flew by (pardon the pun) under the radar.
You fly around shooting down enemy spaceships with missiles, lasers, and machine guns while avoiding their fire. Sometimes, time trials and other specific objectives need completion before the story can progress. Project Sylpheed is an adrenaline rush from start to finish because you’ll constantly be on the move when playing it. Performing slick aerial maneuvers is part of the charm of Project Sylpheed, especially when you use thrusters to jet past enemies.
2. Too Human
Welp, at the runner-up spot on our list of amazing yet underrated Xbox 360 exclusives, we’re going with Too Human. Not the most attention-grabbing name, we know, but the game’s story themes and gameplay are beyond epic. Seriously, whoever came up with the idea of meshing Norse mythology and sci-fi deserves praise. Too Human was notorious for being in development hell but saw the light of day thanks to Microsoft’s big bucks.
Anyway, the story of Too Human revolves around a mech-infused humanoid named Balder. While others like him embrace the cybernetic takeover, he refuses to give up his humanity. It’s this constant struggle with his nature that’s a central theme. There are also rogue machines that are attacking humans he must stop and investigate to find the true culprit behind them. The cinematic style of presentation makes Too Human one of the best story-driven games.
As for Too Human’s gameplay, well, you’re in for a treat. Take what you love about the best action games and immersive roleplaying customization, and you’ll get Too Human. Balder can use a plethora of ranged and melee weapons that you can tweak further to your heart’s contentment. You can also put points into classes that define your playstyle, which you can mix and match. We prefer the Berserker, FYI. The creative freedom in Too Human is staggering.
1. Gears Of War: Judgment
Aaand finally! We’re at the top spot for the most underrated Xbox 360 exclusives, and we have a doozy for it. Gears Of War: Judgment is a one-off spin-off of the Gears franchise. While the critics loved the game, the fanbase was livid, or at least a portion of it was anyway. We, on the other hand, freaking loved everything about it; yeah, we said it, Gears Of War: Judgment’s freaking spectacular.
Now, let’s get into why we love it so much. Well, the first thing that Gears Of War: Judgment’s got going for it is that it’s a prequel. Who doesn’t wanna see the starting point of the entire Gears Saga? Players experience the world of Sera from a fresh perspective. Lore-wise, that’s pretty great and breaks up the formula nicely of seeing familiar faces. It’s also a way to introduce backstories for other characters.
In Gears Of War: Judgment, players can expect the standard affair of the cover-based third-person perspective shooting. However, what’s different is that the story is divided into chapters, and it’s not an open zone like other entries in the Gears franchise. The game’s more linear in that sense. Gears Of War: Judgment has multiplayer modes too, but they’re the most disappointing aspect of the game. The devs tried to fix what wasn’t broken, and the fandom’s outrage was inevitable. Still, Gears Of War: Judgment is among the best Xbox third-person shooters ever.
Final Thoughts On the Best Underrated Xbox 360 Exclusives Ever
Well, there ya go! Our list of exciting and outstanding yet underrated Xbox 360 exclusives comes to a close. We hope you enjoyed the ride along the way; we know we had fun making this compilation. So, then, what do y’all think? Does our selection hold up, or do you have some other games in mind that deserve a spot? Either way, tell us all about it in the comments below and list your own overlooked Xbox 360 gems.
If today’s collection doesn’t tickle your fancy, we’ll why don’t you take a gander at our awesome list of the 10 best Xbox 360 games instead? They’re the popular mainstays of the Xbox 360 era. Alright, that’s about it for today; we’re out. Take care, everyone, and we’ll see you in the next one. Happy gaming!