XBOX LIV3

My Xbox Live Profile just turned three years old and I've had alot of good times. I've earned over fourty thousand gamerscore, made over thirty friends, played over one hundred games  and had good times fragging strangers online.

What makes three years so special? Cuz it's the second sexiest number? Cuz I'm too lazy to wait for a more common bench mark number like five or ten? Pick one cuz I've decided to celebrate the three years by listing my ten favorite games I've played in that time.

Mass Effect 2 didn't really have to deviate much from the original's winning formula. Epic story spanning a galaxy full of interesting characters and lore, check. Awesome gunplay, check. Pretty graphics, check. Nice character customization and moral choices letting you go through the story the way you want, check. Mass Effect 2 has it all and Bioware made extra effort to not drown the player in more menus than they'd like by cutting down on inventory management and made side quests feel less like cut and paste jobs of each other.

Gears of War 2 may have gone off at a rough start but it's a great game and always has been. The multiplayer is fun, albeit a little inconsistent at times but fun. The Horde probably single handedly made up for the short comings from the competitive multiplayer for many people including myself, a co-op survival mode that seems to have started a chain reaction of them in the shooter genre. On top of this Gears 2 provides a fun campaign supporting 2-player co-op and allowing each player to play on separate difficulties.

Grand Theft Auto IV was a very impressive game. Despite being an open world game the graphics and animation looked just as good if not better than most games at any scale. The gameplay was just as well polished using a cover system similar to Gears and nice shooting mechanics. The story was surprisingly compelling telling the story of Niko Belic as he learns the American dream isn't as simple as it's made out to be.

Assassin's Creed really redefined the stealth genre allowing players to parkour and blend in with crowds instead of hiding in the shadows. It was a breathe of fresh air and it nearly blew my mind when I first played it with the life like animations and the large number of NPCs occupying towns.

Banjo moved from pretty standard platformer to extraordinary build your own vehicle game with the pacing of a platformer. The fun in the game was making vehicles best suited for each mission you partook in so the enjoyment you got from it was based on how creative you could be. The game had massive beautiful environments.  Full and charm, wit and self referencial humor and the game launched at just fourty dollars and came equipped with just as much as any sixty dollar title. Today it sits pretty at twenty dollars and I'm still wondering why hardly anyone gave it a chance.

When I first saw Rock Band I was pretty skeptical. Learning to play more plastic instruments seemed as ridiculous as the price. But Once I played it myself it felt as though this was how Guitar Hero always should have been. It's a blast rocking full band style with three other friends. A local multiplayer experience that goes almost unmatched and proved to be worth every penny.

The game is and fun and you're ****ing Batman, what more could you ask for? You got the batarang, you got explosive goop, and theres no Robin!  Poison Ivy is practically naked and you're Batman!!  Come on, I could go on and on.  Rock Steady just got everything right with this game. Easily last year's best game.

Who knew Canadians were so good at sci-fi?  Mass Effect was a pretty impressive to me. It was the first time a game had given me so much power over what happens in the plot and makes me wish more games gave me this level of involvement.  it changed my views on how a story could be in a game. Gears like gameplay didn't hurt either.

Nothing against it's sequel, it's just not quite as impressive a second time. That and trading fun vehicle segments for planet scanning wasn't the smartest move.

Alright, this is the moment where I remind you all this list reflects which games on the 360 were my favorite, not which I think are the best because theres no denying Gears of War as fun as it is is full of flaws. Glitchy multiplayer, a short campaign and at one point in the game's life you actually had to essentially pay for an update.

Still this is a case that proves that friends can really make all the difference. Nearly every day from when I got my 360 up until I got a certain special game I played Gears of War with my friends in private matches. It was a blast. With all of xbox live's biggest jerks around Gears of War is the game that reminds me that there are indeed great people to be met on Live if you give them a chance. And yeah, it's ultra violence, sexy graphics and impressively executed cover system made this game pretty **** fun.

Yeah, you saw it coming but come on, this game was pretty epic in every way. I know you've heard this and it sounds ridiculous but Halo 3 wasn't just a game. The launch was like Christmas and the over whelming enthusiasm for the game was great.

4-player co-op with friends was a blast and going back looking for those skulls was just as fun. To this day me and my friends will sometimes go back for the competitive scoring.

Tinkering around in forge has always been a constant source of amusement and it's impressive to see what the community can accomplish with the tools provided. The competitive multiplayer is constantly updated and the matchmaking is always full of life. Even the DLC is something the community hypes over.

Halo 3 isn't perfect. In fact it's frustrating at times. But the fun has always out weighed that and while theres a fair amounts of jurks lurking in Halo it's so cool to see so many active players almost three years later who are so enthusiastic about the game. Thats goes for the company that made it to. It's great to see and hear from just amazing developers who interact with their fan base and show just as much enthusiasm for their games and their fans.

Simply put I've had fun with Halo 3, with friends, with Bungie and even with complete stangers. This was a fight worth finishing.

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