Eleven Years Of Xbox - An Introduction

Hey there folks. It's been a while since I last put anything up here. I hope this blog finds everyone well (if, indeed, it finds anyone at all). I had originally hoped to start up something away from Giant Bomb, for reasons I outlined in my last proper blog post way back in October. Unfortunately that hasn't come to fruition yet, with various other life-related commitments getting in the way, but I still hope to launch something new and exciting once real life calms down and stops getting in the way. Until then, as unsuitable as it might be, Giant Bomb remains my best avenue for pouring out my thoughts on the world of video games. And boy, have I been thinking about video games a lot recently.

This was my gaming mainstay for about a third of my life. But alas, no longer...
This was my gaming mainstay for about a third of my life. But alas, no longer...

Last month I made a tough decision to step out of the Microsoft gaming ecosystem, and part ways with my Xbox consoles. It's a decision made after a great many weeks of deliberation. It's not a decision I've taken lightly either, because the Xbox 360 in particular has served as an exceptionally loyal gaming workhorse for me for over a decade. I've invested thousands of pounds in consoles, accessories and software, a significant amount of which is digital and which I'll never be able to recoup any costs on, so trust me, I've thought long and hard in the run-up to this point. Ultimately it boils down to the standard reasons of getting older. I'll be thirty in a little over half a year, and don't have the time to dedicate to this hobby that I did ten years ago. I'll also be moving into a flat with my girlfriend within the next few months, which means combining our worldly possessions under one roof, and consequently making the compromises that come with that kind of commitment. My man-child dream of accumulating my own personal video games museum, an Aladdin's cave of consoles and games from through the years telling the story of my history with my favourite pastime, has had to face up to reality.

In terms of deciding what to stick with and what to say goodbye to, it was tough deliberating, but looking back on it the solution seems pretty obvious. The PlayStation 4 is where I do almost all of my current-gen gaming. It's a fantastic console, and Sony has been completely knocking it out of the park in terms of first-party exclusives over the last few years. I remain very much in love with my Switch as well, and given the resounding success of Nintendo's recent Direct over the E3 period, I imagine I'll be playing that for a long time to come as well. Even my PS3, for years my most neglected console, has been seeing more action in recent years. That leaves my Xbox 360 - the console that defined the previous generation of video games for me - and my more recently acquired Xbox One gathering dust on the bottom shelf of my TV stand. I'm just not playing them like I used to. And if I'm not getting any use out of them, then it makes sense for those consoles to be the ones to go.

Some Xbox-exclusive games are bound to feature in this series. Not this one, though...
Some Xbox-exclusive games are bound to feature in this series. Not this one, though...

But I didn't want those sleek black consoles and their neon green games cases to go quietly into the night without any kind of send-off. That's why I'm back here, in the Giant Bomb blogosphere, to launch a little blog series I'm dubbing 'Eleven Years of Xbox'. It'll be an eleven-part series where I look back on the eleven most important and influential games I've played on Microsoft systems over the last decade and change. A celebration of what the Xbox 360 and Xbox One have meant to me ever since I first bought into the Microsoft gaming ecosystem back in the spring of 2008. Some of these eleven games will be Xbox-exclusive, while others will be multi-platform games that I chose to play on Microsoft consoles and therefore will forever associate with those machines. They will all be important titles that have shaped my tastes in video games and who I am as a person over the last eleven years.

I don't intend to announce any kind of regular schedule for the subsequent entries to go up, since I've accrued something of a reputation for missing deadlines and falling behind on things over the years. I'll write as and when I find the time, and post each entry when it's done. I will say that the first entry, at least, will be up in the coming days, since I've already started writing it and will likely be finishing it before the weekend is through. Until then, thanks very much for reading folks. Take care, and I'll see you around.



Currently playing - Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled (PS4)