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These are both great games so it's a tough one. I'm gonna go with RDR because I am the only fan of it's predecessor, Red Dead Revolver, and so the sequel should technically not exist. It's surreal it ever even came out and because there was no fans to care except me it has nothing to do with it's predecessor. The only remaining thing is the spaghetti western tone of the whole thing. RDR improved revolver in every possible way, basically making grand theft horse. If only Rockstar made a PC version. Fuck, I hate how Rockstar considers PC an after thought these days.
XCom enemy unknown was in development secretly while 2k was (weirdly in retrospect) hyping the shit out of the first person shooter XCom game that no one wanted. It did look kind of interesting, and I personally would like to see some kind of 60s gman FPS at some point. I don't think XCom really needed to be that, though. I'm not sure what they were thinking- I don't think they are sure what they were thinking either because that game was scrapped and started over so many times what it came out as is apparently incredibly generic and not at all what they were hyping. That's a shame. In concept a 3rd or first person XCom inspired shooter could be interesting. It's unfortunate it seems no one knows what they wanted to do with that, and the loud whiney fans made sure no one cared.
Anyway, enemy unknown was a great game. It even managed to get all but the most deranged of fans to accept it as a modern take on the whole thing and it did so fairly successfully. It's pretty fun to play, too.
That being said I don't think either of these are the best game of the entire generation but they're both up there. Like top 20.
Xcom is a good game, but it had a crap ton of bugs, an asinine camera, enemies that would spawn in melee with you, and all sorts of other crappy issues. Red Dead on the other hand is the pinnacle of it's genre with a story and presentation that rivals actual hollywood work. That and you could go snidely whiplash all up in their and tie people to tracks and watch the train physics go at it.
Easy choice if you ask me. Red Dead.
I knew this horrible, horrible decision was coming. I love both of these games, for totally different reasons. But for making me enjoy a genre that I never thought I would, I have to give my vote to XCOM. There’s little that compared to that moment when you pull of a mission by the skin of your teeth. Sorry Read Dead, you're my favourite Rockstar game and I don't really mind if you win either.
I found red dead really boring, I mean it had a great story that was well delivered, but generally the missions and the amount of time spent riding the crappy horse mechanics just didn't do it for me. Gave up after a third attempt to enjoy it. Xcom is up there as one of the all time greats. Easy vote for me this one.