Xbox 360 Video Game Reviews – Top 10 Xbox 360 Games Your Kids Want For Christmas This Year – Guaranteed! by Jason Purnell

Xbox 360 was the number one smash hit for Christmas gifts last year. The reasons are obvious: more visual effects, better console, incredible action, and excellent game choices. This year again teens will be playing Xbox 360 games with their friends, comparing games at school, and buying, renting or swapping the new Xbox games out this year. Here are some of the top picks for Christmas 2006, in a variety of categories, such as action, adventure, shooters, sports, and role-playing. Something for everyone.

1. Gears of War – Shooter

Now this is what next-gen gaming is all about! I’ve logged over 13 hours of game time so far, and haven’t even finished it, but that’s because I’m milking this baby for all it’s worth. The campaign experience is one to be savored, as there probably won’t be anything like it again for quite some time. Gears of War is one of those titles that comes around every couple of years and raises the bar so high that it almost spoils every game released in the next six months.

This third-person shooter thrusts gamers into a deep and harrowing story of humankind’s epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the earth.

Gears of War is about teamwork in a big way. All game modes, levels and scenarios are designed specifically to encourage cooperative play, whether it be with A.I. partners or human players (with A.I. teammates designed with specific strengths, weaknesses and personalities). Also, voice recognition will be available for players, and voice chat to discuss strategy with your friends.

2. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter – Shooter

The face of war has changed with Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Enemy lines are blurred and there is no clear opponent. New enemies and threats require a new type of warfare and a new kind of soldier. Enter the Ghosts.

In 2013, the U.S. Army will implement its Integrated Warfighter System. IWS combines advanced weapon systems, satellite communication devices, and enhanced survivability features into a fully integrated warfare combat system. Equipped with cutting edge weapons and communications systems, you will find yourself, one of the Ghosts, immersed in a detailed universe which is warfare of the future.

One gamer exclaimed, “This game is a pure showcase of next gen gaming. the graphica are downright gorgeous and this actually helps to immerse you into the story. and the story is riveting enough to actually make you care about mexico city… do your self a favor and buy this game.”

3. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – RPG

Like earlier games in the Elder Scrolls series, Oblivion is designed to present a living fantasy world that gamers experience on their own terms. The game is populated with over 1,000 NPCs, each leading a fully realized life, following regular schedules according to their individual wants, needs, and positions. Players are encouraged to interact in the world as they choose, as noble heroes, greedy villains, or anything in between. The game’s main story and its sidemissions provide plenty of fast-moving adventure.

Advised one fan: “This Game Is Like Crack. Massive enivornment; Beautiful graphics; Great ambient music and sound; Totally engrossing gameplay. This game is unbelieveable. If you like RPG’s in the SLIGHTEST, buy it.”

4. Fight Night Round 3 – Sports

Easily beating the competition, Fight Night Round 3 brings the most intense boxing videogame experience ever to the virtual boxing ring. Film-quality graphics establish Fight Night Round 3 as one of the best looking and playing Xbox 360 sports games ever produced. The graphics feature devastating punch impacts unparalleled in any game or film.

Outside of the ring, gamers can establish intense rivalries through pre-fight events and trash talk, putting more purpose and passion behind their every hit. The visuals in Fight Night Round 3 are so excellent that they actually enhance the gameplay. The gameplay has been revamped from what was already an excellent experience in Round 2.

5. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Double Agent – Action

The bestselling Tom Clancy’s “Splinter Cell” game takes on an entirely new direction. You play as a double agent for the first time ever in Splinter Cell Double Agent. You’ll take on the dual roles of covert operative and ruthless terrorist, where your choices of whom to betray and whom to protect actually affect the outcome of your game.

Experience the relentless tension and gut-wrenching dilemmas of life as a double agent. Lie. Kill. Sabotage. Betray. But above all, save and protect the innocent. How far will you go to gain the enemy’s trust? As covert operative Sam Fisher, you’ll infiltrate a vicious terrorist group and seek to destroy it from within. Carefully weigh the consequences of your actions–kill too many terrorists and blow your cover. Hesitate and millions will die. Do whatever it takes to complete your mission, but get out alive.

6. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy – Action

The war between the Galactic Empire and the Rebel Alliance has left the galaxy far, far away a huge mess! But luckily with LEGOs, rebuilding is easy! Play through the original trilogy, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, as all three movies are re-created using LEGO bricks. You can play as one of 50 different characters and can even get out of vehicles and ride on various creatures.

Our recommendation: If you liked the first Star Wars game, this one should definitely be on your list. If you’ve never played the first game, then this one must be on your list! So really, there isn’t any reason not to own and play this game.

7. Madden NFL 07 – Sports

With Madden NFL 07, innovative rushing controls allow you to control the running game like never before, with all-new jukes, cutbacks, and the distinct running styles of your favorite backs.

For the first time, in a football video game, you can step up as the lead blocker to create a hole, and then take control of the tailback to smash through, jump over, or tear away from any would-be tackler as you head for the end zone.

One fan raved, “Overall it was exactly what i was looking for, … the new features are all fun, and the individual camera view for every position in superstar mode gave u a feeling of really playing as the character. This will be a great game to play alone or with a group of friends.”

8. Dead Rising – Action

Dead Rising follows the harrowing saga of Frank West, an overly zealous freelance photojournalist on a hunt for the scoop of a lifetime. In pursuit of a clue, he makes his way to a small suburban town only to find that it has been overrun by zombies. He escapes to the local shopping mall, thinking it will be a bastion of safety, but it turns out to be anything but.

In the intense struggle to survive the endless stream of zombies, players have full reign of a realistic shopping center, utilizing anything they find to fight off the flesh-hungry mob. The variety of stores in the mall offers players an endless supply of resources including vehicles, makeshift weapons and more. Players encounter other survivors along the way, and by helping them, acquire valuable clues as to what has happened and how to survive.

I couldn’t say it better than one fan: “Thousands and thousands of zombies to kill in a myriad of ridiculous ways; tons of things to see and try throughout the mall; great sense of style; a plot that manages to be intriguing without intruding too much on the action; and fantastic sound effects.”

9. Saints Row – Action

Welcome to Stilwater, an open-world city with attitude, a city controlled by rival gangs, a city you are about to take over in Saints Row. As a low-level thug in the Third Street Saints, you’ll do whatever it takes to get the money and build the respect and power you need to muscle your way to the top. Be careful, though. Your actions have consequences within the game, and around every corner lurks a new threat.

Numerous vehicles are available to “borrow,” pedestrians can be slugged or robbed at gunpoint, and there are an assortment of missions to advance the game’s primarily storyline. Some features include: fun, responsive driving controls; excellent on-foot shooting action; impressive presentation, featuring amazing explosions and great audio; and a well-written, well-acted story to compel you to keep playing.

10. Hitman: Blood Money – Action

On the run from rival assassins, Agent 47 hops a plane to take care of business stateside in Hitman: Blood Money. Players will guide Agent 47 through a number of locales, including New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas as he performs hits. It’s up to the player to determine the manner in which a hit is executed, but the “rookie training” mode can show amateur assassins how to help targets have “accidents,” by pushing the victim over a ledge or pinning him underneath a heavy object.

The amount of money earned from completed jobs varies depending on the cleanliness and professionalism of the hit. Agent 47’s paychecks can be spent in a number of ways including bribing reporters, customizing weapons with one of 15 upgrades, or paying pedestrians for information. Open-ended stealth action gameplay lets you sneak around, or run and gun; beautifully crafted mission set pieces seem appropriately big and complex; large variety of realistic weapons; and great combination of action and strategy.

About The Author

Jason Purnell is a gamer providing valuable tips and advice on gaming systems, cheats, and especially Xbox 360 games. He is the author of the new book, Winning Xbox 360 Games: Strategies and Tips from Some of the World’s Best Video Gamers. An avid gamer himself, Jason also writes articles on gaming. For more free tips on Xbox 360 games, go to:

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