25 upcoming Xbox 360 games for 2014 and beyond
Xbox One? Sure, but what about the current one?
The Xbox One is out now, but why leave the 360 in the dust so soon? There are plenty of games coming for the current Microsoft machine worth your time, and none require you to spend a bunch of money you don't have on a box you might not want.
The following is a list of 25 games you should be paying attention to in the near future. Some are established franchises, others are brand-new ideas, but all of them look to be quality gaming experiences. And good news! They're all coming to an Xbox 360 near you--no new hardware required. So what are you waiting for?
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
Release date: March 18, 2014
An early favorite for “most bizarre PR campaign of 2013,” The Phantom Pain had us scratching our heads for a while. What’s with all the hallucinations in the hospital? Who’s this Joakim Mogren fellow with the bandages? Seriously, what’s with the flaming horse? Once Kojima unveiled that Phantom Pain was indeed Metal Gear Solid 5, things made sense: we’re not supposed to know anything yet. This is Kojima, after all.
Let’s not forget about the impressive-looking Ground Zeroes either. A prologue for the events of Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes is releasing separately from Phantom Pain very soon, giving us a taste of the new type of espionage action Kojima is promising. Prologue or not, it’s more Metal Gear, and we missed Snake and his buddies. We’re ready for more tactical espionage action.
Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z
Release date: March 18, 2014
The Ninja Gaiden games never skimped on the blood and gore in the past, and we weren’t sure how the series could top its ultra-violent nature. However, our questions have been quickly answered with Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, which throws the living dead into the ninja slasher mix. It’s not enough to slash enemy ninjas into bits, now they’re throwing in zombies too.
The game focuses on Yaiba, an evil ninja whom is resurrected into a cyborg after Ryu Hayabusa takes him down. He then spends the rest of the game killing zombies and stopping their insurrection so he can gain the power to avenge his death at Ryu’s hands. It’s odd to see the familiar hero as the main antagonist, but we don’t think we’re worried about Ryu being “bad.” The last trailer shows us that Yaiba is plenty evil on his own.
Release date: March 25, 2014
The darling of countless trade shows this summer is building a Xbox One fanbase almost by itself, but let's not forget that 360 owners will be able to join the fun too. Titanfall's campaign feeling in multiplayer form has a lot of people buzzing, mixing familiar first-person combat with full-on heavy metal mech battling. We're in love.
We do wonder if the online capabilities of the 360 will be able to handle Titanfall, as the game is said to rely on the cloud for most of its information. We're sure Respawn has considered this and picked an appropriate team to work on the current-gen version, but replacing cloud technology could turn out difficult. We'll find out if Titanfall succeeds across two generations in 2014.
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition
Release Date: April 1, 2014
While Xbox owners were battling the goons of Gotham City in Arkham Origins, those with the portable systems were experiencing an excellent Batman adventure of their own. Arkham Origins Blackgate transported the Arkham storyline into a 2.5D Metroidvania adventure, and some people feel that Blackgate was actually a better game than its console big brother.
Those without portables will be able to find out soon, and Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition will bring the 2D adventure to the big screens. The entire game will be making the jump with a new map, enhanced objective tracking, and brand new voice acting throughout the entire game. If you're waiting for Arkham Knight and need some more Batman in your life to get you through, Blackgate HD will help you out.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Release date: April 29, 2014
Are we imagining things, or is there a new Spider-Man game virtually every single year? First they were original stories with other Marvel characters, but the last one was licensed tie-ins to the rebooted movie franchise. You know what? For a licensed game it wasn't bad, returning to the open-world Spider-Man we loved in the PS1/PS2 days. We missed those days, even if the rest of the game was a little safe.
We're hoping that the next game, aptly named The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starts to take some more risks in the giant open world of Manhattan. We want to be amazed by Spider-Man again, swinging across the rooftops and fighting bad guys all across the city. We're also excited to see the new villains in action both on-screen and in-game, even if Jamie Foxx as Electro still weird us out a little bit.
Child of Light
Release Date: April 30, 2014
Sure, it may not be the juggernaut genre it once was, but the JRPG is still holding strong in today's gaming world. Bravely Default on the 3DS is the most recent example of how the formula can be tinkered with to deliver a brand new experience that's just as fun as the old games. The JRPG isn't going anywhere anytime soon...at least not until Ubisoft throws their hat into the ring.
Child of Light is a brand new JRPG-style game from the creative minds behind Rayman Legends, and if you can recall those incredible visuals bringing that world to life, imagine what they can do here. We'll play as Princess Aurora (no, not Sleeping Beauty) as she quests to bring peace back to her beloved kingdom, using a turn-based combat system that makes us think of the good old RPG days. We can't wait to hear more about what this Child of Light has in store for us.
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Release date: May 20, 2014
The Nazis won World War II, and they've developed an army of robots and mechs to impose their will. Who can the world turn to in this dark, awful time? None other than B.J. Blazkowicz, that's who. Welcome to Wolfenstein: The New Order, Starbreeze Studio's take on the storied Wolfenstein franchise.
While we don't know if MechaHitler himself will return, we do know that this is world we'd want no parts of living in. However, we'll certainly revel in taking control of B.J. as he tries to rid the Nazi blight from the world...again.
Release date: May 27, 2014
Using an entire city's security system against our enemies is something we've never done before, but you better believe Ubisoft has us interested in doing just that in Watch Dogs. We've seen Aiden Pearce do some pretty incredible things, like catching a criminal by overloading an electrical box he's running by or raise a security gate to cause a pursuer's car to crash. The possibilities are endless, and that's why we're so excited.
A new IP always feels like a breath of fresh air, and Watch Dogs may be the freshest air we get in 2014. We have no idea what to expect, and that's why we can't wait.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Release date: June 3, 2014
If given the chance to try and solve your own murder, would you do it? That's the basis of Square Enix's newest IP Murdered: Soul Suspect, due early next year. Combining the otherworldly detective work of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective with the world of LA Noire, Murdered will lead us through a murder-mystery thriller as we try to piece together why we woke up dead.
Strangely enough, the idea of Murdered came up when the game's creative director wondered aloud if John McClane from Die Hard was actually a dead man helping the cops from beyond the grave. If that means Ronan will emulate McClane during the adventure, we'll have zero problem with it. Perhaps Bruce Willis himself would want to lend his voice. Wouldn't THAT be something?
Ultra Street Fighter IV
Release date: June 2014
Capcom can thank Street Fighter IV for a lot of success in the seventh console generation. We all knew it'd be great before it launched, but when it did it completely revived the dormant fighting game genre, and with it also restored those feelings of "I got next!" and putting a quarter on a giant arcade machine...only this time we didn't have to leave our house.
Ultra Street Fighter IV will add all new balancing to the current Super SF IV roster while also adding five characters: Elena, Hugo, Poison, Rolento, and a fifth mystery character Capcom has yet to unveil. We've gotten some hints: it's a female character with ties to the Street Fighter universe, but she's never been in a Street Fighter game before. We have no idea who it could be, but we hope she's revealed soon.
The Evil Within
Release date: August 26, 2014
After the less-than-stellar performance of Resident Evil 6 last year, survival horror fans are starved for a game that will take them back to the glory days of being scared out of their wits. Shinji Mikami, the man responsible for Resident Evil 4, is going to make those people regret ever asking for a new horro game when The Evil Within launches.
The Evil Within looks SCARY. The E3 demo showed off some incredible gameplay, and the screenshots show a world full of mystery, suspense, and blood, lots of blood. With Mikami at the helm, we have no doubt that The Evil Within will make us scream in terror and delight...if we can handle it.
Release date: September 9, 2014
Bungie's next venture has impressed across the board, and we're glad that Destiny will be coming to the current-gen systems. Though we won't be surprised if Destiny thrives on next-gen consoles, giving late adopters the option to meet their Destiny is an honorable gesture.
The game looks to be the same incredible first-person shooter gameplay that Bungie is known for, just missing a familiar face. We get the feeling that it won't take us long to get acclimated with the new crew; we'll be shooting the bad guys just like we used to in no time.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Release date: 2014
A measly teaser is all we saw of Dragon Age: Inquisition at E3 2013, a move that left some of us scratching our heads. Sure we saw Morrigan again, confirming a sorely missed presence in the next game, but aside from that we still had no idea what the game looked like, how it played, or anything else. Luckily, since then some information has come across the wire, and we like what we see.
Recent information tells us that we're once again playing as a brand new character in the DA universe, leaving Hawke and the Grey Warden by the wayside. We love that idea, but we hope we'll be able to meet our former compatriots somewhere in the land of Ferelden. We'd hate to think that something terrible happened to one of them...or both.
Release date: 2014
After Dead Island Riptide, we thought that Techland might be finished with the zombie motif and would move on to something else. As it turns out, with a new developer comes a new twist on the formula, and while part of us wonders if Dying Light will be the spiritual Dead Island 3, we’re more than optimistic about what Techland can put together.
The idea of zombies getting stronger at nightfall has happened before, but we don’t think we’ve ever worried about the sun going down this much before. We’re afraid that sundown will turn every zombie into the Tank from Left 4 Dead, and if that happens…well, we guess it’s called DYING light for a reason.
Fantasia: Music Evolved
Release date: 2014
Harmonix and Disney are teaming up to give us a brand new take on the motion-based dance games in Fantasia: Music Evolved. Now, instead of just dancing along with an on-screen avatar, we can use our rhythm to bring life back into the world, just as Mickey the Sorcerer’s Apprentice did so many years ago. We can’t wait!
The soundtrack will be a mixture of popular music and the classical soundtrack of the movie, and all of it can be remixed however we wish. We call a dubstep version of Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain (YouTube it, you know the song), and it will be the absolute best.
Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition
Release date: 2014
Last April when Drinkbox Studios released Guacamelee! to the world, the Microsoft faithful were left outside the ring looking in on the action. Drinkbox is graciously remedying the situation with the Super Turbo Championship Edition, hitting the 360 and the new-gen consoles later this year. Xbox fans will finally get to see why this is one melee that shouldn't be missed.
The Metroidvania gameplay is great, but it's the style and personality of Guacamelee that makes us love it so much. The lucha-libre themes are fresh and funny, and among the Mexican flair the game is stuffed with references to past games both famous and obscure. We're happy that more people will get to step into this ring soon. Viva lucha!
Release date: 2014
When we saw that Mad Max was getting a video game, we had an avalanche of questions for developer Avalanche Studios. What’s the focus of the game? It sorta looks like Fallout, is it going to be like Fallout? Is Mel Gibson voicing Mad Max? The only question that disappointed us is the last one (no Mel Gibson boooo), but everything else sounds INSANE.
Mad Max sounds like it will mix the best of Fallout with Twisted Metal, focusing on vehicular combat through the wastes of the Mad Max world. Vehicles will be customizable, allowing to us to create and maintain our own post-apocalyptic asskicker. Mad Max sounds ambitious, but with Avalanche and their Just Cause pedigree at the helm, we’re not too worried about it. Bring on the madness.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Release date: 2014
We've spent a lot of time in Middle-earth over the years, whether we've read about the inhabitants of the world, watched their adventures on the big screen, or controlled their fates in a ton of video games. However, we've never seen the mythical world like we're going to see in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor; it's going to open our eyes in a whole new way.
For the first time, we're going to feel like a true denizen of this tumultous world: we'll have our own powers, our own skills, and our own weaponry. If we go into battle and allow our opponent to win, we'll have our own enemies too, so we'll have to watch our backs. Best of all, since the game takes place between The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, we'll have a new story to make our own, possibly without any sightings of storied LotR characters. We're more than ready to jump right in to Middle-earth again; let's hope our chance arrives soon.
Super T.I.M.E. Force
Release Date: 2014
Do you like over-the-top insanity? Do you enjoy games where there can be so much going on at once the entire scene sounds like one giant explosion? Are you a fan of awesome retro-style graphics? If you'd say yes to all of these things, then Super T.I.M.E. Force is absolutely, 100% made for your tastes. Simply put: the game is bonkers.
The game plays like a classic Contra game, but with a twist: the ability to rewind or fast-forward time in order to regain fallen comrades, whose "ghosts" follow your player after you kill them and allow you to save them by killing the enemy that killed them. It's really hard to explain in this limited capacity, so go fire up a trailer and see what we're so excited to blow stuff up.
Tales from the Borderlands
Release date: 2014
Telltale Games has made a name for themselves designing killer adventure games around known and licensed properties outside of video games. Back to the Future, Fables, and the Walking Dead all have seen the Telltale treatment, but what would happen if another video game franchise came under Telltale's microscope? We're going to find out soon when Tales of the Borderlands breaks new ground for the studio.
We've only seen a brief teaser trailer from last year's VGX awards, but the idea of Borderlands getting the full Telltale experience is incredibly cool. We're not sure who or what story we'll be following here: who are those two people in the trailer talking to Marcus? Why does one of them bear a striking resemblance to Handsome Jack? Where's Claptrap in all of this? We can't wait to hear more.
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark
Release Date: 2014
For the first time since the series started, the Cybertron series of Transformers games is leaving the planet of Cybertron and making its way toward some familiar territory: Earth. Of course, the series had to go somewhere since the last game ended with the destruction of Cybertron, why not bring it to the one planet everyone who plays the game can relate to?
In bringing the party to Earth, Rise of the Dark Spark is also bringing in some extra narrative sources: the Michael Bay movie franchise. By pulling ideas from the films and merging them into the game series, Edge of Reality (yup, no more High Moon) will try and bring us the ultimate Transformer experience. We certainly hope they can do it.
Release date: 2014
Have you ever found yourself wondering if you could run the country better than the people in charge right now? Admit it, you totally have. Tropico 5 gives you that ability right from the stary, dropping you into a flat land filled with vegetation and saying "OK, build everything, it's all you." Sounds great to us, let's get started on GamesRadaria!
For the first time in Tropico's history, players will be able to control their slice of the digital Earth from its initial inception all the way to modern times. Every war, every discovery, every single thing that our country does will be controlled by us, and we can choose if we which to follow the democratic ways of the Allies or try a more totalitarian rule like the Axis. Man, we're going to love the sovereign nation of GamesRadaria. GLORY TO GAMESRADARIA!
The Walking Dead: Season Two
Release date: 2014 (Episodes 3-5, Episodes 1-2 out now)
Never before have we laughed, cried, smiled, and frowned during a video game than while experiencing the incredible story of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead. Universal acclaim and a bevy of Game of the Year awards don't lie; the first season was a brilliant game from pillar to post, and the 400 Days DLC set up the second season perfectly...but now it's time to move on.
The first episode of the second season released in late December, and within ten minutes of playing it that old gut-punchy feeling we know and love came right back to us. Playing as Clementine may be even more stressful than playing as Lee, because now we're in direct control of her fate, and if anything bad happens to her, we won't be able to live with ourselves. Bring on the rest of Season 2!
The Wolf Among Us
Release date: 2014 (Episodes 3-5)
Telltale Games knows that they can't sit back and rest on the success of The Walking Dead. They need to again come up with a fresh and exciting subject for an episodic game, just to show they're not a one-trick pony. Enter The Wolf Among Us, a brand new game based on the very popular Fables comic books. Episodes One and Two are out now, but they're merely appetizers; three more episodes are due before the end of the year, and we can't wait.
If you're not reading Fables, we'll explain as we shake our heads in bewilderment: Fables is the story of countless nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters forced from their home by a being only called "The Adversary." The characters form a community in New York City called "Fabletown," where the game picks up. We'll play as Bigby Wolf (guess who he is) as he tries to control his wolf side. Yeah, that's Fables. Pretty cool, right? It's worth a read before you play Telltale's adaptation.
Listen, we know you're busy--and that means you might have forgotten about one of the bigger Xbox 360 releases to come in the past few months. Here are some of the biggest recent releases, in case you want something to buy right now.
Dark Souls II
Release date: March 14, 2014
We are not prepared for Dark Souls II. We will never be prepared, not even on March 13th. Dark Souls II will bring the pain just as its predecessors have, and while we'll be tearing our hair out trying to conquer its many obstacles, we'll love every second of it. We can't wait for Dark Souls II, even though we're sure we'll regret playing it almost immediately.
We don't anticipate our love/love to hate relationship with Dark Souls changing upon the sequel's release. If anything, we're willing to bet that Dark Souls II will be even more frustrating and unfair than the other. As each sequel in the Souls franchise releases, the games creep closer and closer to "most difficult game of all time" territory. The Battletoads better watch their backs, that's all we're trying to say.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Release date: March 4, 2014
The South Park RPG previously controlled by THQ has found a new home with Ubisoft, and even though it was originally slated to be out already, we're sure the delay will only make things better. After all, show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are still at the helm, and that will never change.
While the idea of playing a game in the world of South Park is intriguing, we're most excited to see a classic turn-based RPG in the limelight. After Ni No Kuni earlier in the year, we're more than happy to revel in some more turn-based action, even if we're lighting farts on fire or summoning the Chinese food restaurant owner. Count us in.
Released on: February 25, 2014
Everyone's talking about the next Thief game sneaking its way to the next generation of consoles, but let's not forget that current-gen players will be able to take control of the Thief as well. Thief looks to be taking many cues from Bethesda's most recent release Dishonored, and considering how great that was, borrowing ideas can't be anything but good.
We're really glad Thief is coming to both generations of consoles, as it gives those who can't upgrade right away some consolation. It's been a long time since we've played a Thief game, and leaving out a segment of players would probably mean we'd have to wait even longer for another new Thief. We wouldn't want that at all, so everyone should play Thief.
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Released on: February 25, 2014
Somehow we've found the time to pry ourselves away from Plants vs Zombies 2 to write this post, but only because we're talking about Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. This isn't the same tower defense; this is full-on third-person war against a horde of the undead. All of our favorite flowers will be brought to life in a way no mobile phone can recreate (yet).
Perhaps most exciting is the ability to play as the zombies in multiplayer modes, a first for the entire series. After all of this time, we'll get to teach the plants a lesson instead of the other way around. We just hope the zombies can put some pep in their steps; we know they're undead, but no one's going to win a war walking less than a mile an hour.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Released on: February 25, 2014
In our anticipation for Lords of Shadow 2, we’ve developed a lot of questions about where the series is going, each having multiple possible answers. Will we be playing in modern times like the VGA 2012 trailer suggests, or the same setting as before? More importantly, who will we be controlling? Gabriel? Simon Belmont? Alucard?
We have a lot of things that need answering, but that doesn’t make us any less interested in Lords of Shadow 2. The first one breathed new life into the Castlevania name, and the 3DS narrative bridge set things up perfectly for us. Now all we need is the next game…whatever the minor details may be.
Released on: February 18, 2014
Fans of recent fighting games know all about Strider Hiryu and his high-tech ninja arsenal, but outside of a few dustups with Iron Man and Captain America, few of those fans are familiar with the source material. Capcom must have noticed this, because a brand new Strider game will hit the digital marketplaces in 2014, and we hope it brings Strider back to the forefront of gaming.
The new Strider is set up in a Metroidvania format, giving us a giant world to traverse and plenty of collectible items and weaponry to aid us in battle. The action is intense too, sometimes filling the screen with explosions, beams of light, and pieces of our enemies. It’s about time that Strider got another crack at the limelight, and we won’t have to wait long for it either.
Earth Defense Force 2025
Released on: February 18, 2014
We don’t like bugs. Spiders, ants, and other creepy crawlies give us the heebie-jeebies, but the Earth Defense Force games have allowed us to take out some aggression on the six or eight-legged devils. The newest adventure, Earth Defense Force 2025, is due soon, allowing us to take the fight back to those insect insurgents.
Along with the bug crushing mayhem, Earth Defense Force has always gives us a layer of well-appreciated comedy, making us laugh in more ways than just the maniacal laughter that comes with shooting a giant ant right in the thorax. We hope EDF 2025 retains that charm, because squashing those humongous heathens won’t be the same without it.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Released on: February 11, 2014
The final game in the Final Fantasy XIII saga, Lightning Returns looks completely different than the other two games, but in a good way. Instead of a standard turn-based RPG, the action of Lightning Returns will look more like a stealth action game. Lightning will be able to traverse the world as she pleases, which is a change from the rigidity of the other games.
The battle system will mix elements from the entire Final Fantasy lineage, including Active Time Battle, Paradigm Shifts, and even Dresspheres from Final Fantasy X-2. Lightning will use different outfits to gain strength and abilities just as Yuna and company did, and we're surprised by that. We thought we'd never see any mechanics from that game again outside of the upcoming HD remake. As long as Lightning doesn't turn into a pop star, we're cool.
Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z
Released on: January 28, 2014
We’ve always wondered what franchises would make for a great MMO, but we never considered Dragon Ball Z. After all, that story is concrete, and we’d much rather play as Goku, Vegeta, and the other established characters instead of some self-made Z character that isn’t nearly as awesome as we want it to be.
Battle of Z, however, puts the DBZ MMO thought into our heads with its four-player co-op capabilities. Players can team up to fight the biggest villains in the DBZ universe, or they can take the fight to each other in 4 vs 4 online battles. Fighters can heal each other mid-battle and team up for unique attacks as well. It’s not a true MMO, but Battle of Z is probably the closest thing we’ll get, so we’re going to enjoy it.
Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD
Released on: January 14, 2014
Xbox players who like the Assassin’s Creed series might not have any idea who Aveline is. She starred the Vita exclusive Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, set in 18th century Louisiana and running parallel to the events of Assassin’s Creed III. Aveline is as lethal and effective as the rest of the Assassins, but her story has yet to be told to the entire gaming world…until now.
The Vita hit has been promoted to consoles with a new, shiny HD coat of paint, losing its Sony exclusivity in the process. Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD is downloadable and available right now, so Assassin’s Creed buffs should take the chance to experience another piece of the series’ expansive lore.
There's more evil within
See, and there you were saying "well, the Xbox 360 is surely dead this year!" Now who's the sucker? It's you. You're the sucker. We'll keep this sucker updated as more games come out/are announced--what games are you looking forward to on Microsoft's "outdated" last-gen console?
And if you're looking for more, check out 100 great games coming in 2014 and the best games of all time.
Looking for a console-by-console breakdown of every game you need to pay attention to? GamesRadar has you covered. We keep lists of the most anticipated upcoming games totally up-to-date to give you the best information available on the web.
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