Best Original Xbox Games
These are our picks for the best original Xbox games that are nostalgic and just as fun as you remember them. The original Xbox console had some of the best games ever on it, and these titles are still revered to this day. From classics that pioneered entire genres like Halo to underrated gems like Gun, the sheer number of great games on the original Xbox was overwhelming in a pleasant way.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Let’s start this list off with an obvious but hundred-per-cent-worthy entry to this list. As the very name of the game boldly declares, Halo: Combat Evolved revolutionized the first-person shooter genre. This game was released in 2001 and it still manages to blow my mind because of how ahead of its time it was.
The missions were non-linear and they didn’t point you toward a definite objective. But with exploration and the little tips given, you could easily make your way to these objectives. Combat Evolved was also quite immersive. Each of the brilliantly made levels is replayable and the various difficulty levels provide a thrilling experience with each playthrough.
You can play a remastered version of Combat Evolved as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
This may be based on my personal opinion and may be biased but Morrowind is probably the best Elder Scrolls game in terms of role-playing and gameplay depth. This game was released more than 20 years ago, and it still manages to remain one of the greatest games ever. Sure, the mechanics are rough around the edges and clunky by today’s standards. But for its time, it was mind-blowing. And it still is, in terms of role-playing, the depth of the lore and the story.
These are the type of games that made the original Xbox a subject that’s widely discussed even today. If you haven’t played this masterpiece yet, I highly encourage you to do so on whatever platform you’re on. Read my article about why you should play Morrowind even today.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Still regarded by many as the best game of Rockstar’s giant open-world franchise, GTA San Andreas has also been the main subject of many controversies through the years. You play as the bad guy in this game, all things considered. You’re on the wrong side of the law and you can’t help but love it. The language used by characters is rude, insulting, and derogatory. It depicts 1990s Los Angeles in a darkly-comedic way. Racism, sexism, and violent crime are around every corner. Even though all of these are bad, that certainly didn’t make the game bad. No, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a masterpiece in terms of gameplay and story.
Gun is another game that I consider a hidden gem. This old Western third-person shooter had everything you’d expect from a game set in the untamed Wild West. Revolvers, dynamite, bandits, bounty hunting, saloons, horse-riding… This game had it all packed in its small but interesting world. And with all that comes a great story that you wouldn’t expect from a lesser-known title like this. For the time, the combat was solid and even today, you can have a lot of fun with this game. While it certainly has its flaws, that doesn’t make it a game that should be overlooked. I’m sure that at least some of you have good memories of this game.
The original Max Payne’s story was one of the best of the time. Even by today’s standards, it’s a heart-touching and hauntingly memorable tale. It was a cold, gritty, and atmospheric game focusing on the tragic life of the titular protagonist Max Payne. It also introduced Bullet Time and Shoot-dodging to the gaming industry. In more ways than one, Max Payne was an iconic and revolutionary game.
Black may seem like just another First-person shooter when someone takes a glance at it today. But believe me when I say that this managed to blow gamers’ and critics’ minds because of its gunplay and the modern combat it had. Many gamers consider Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to be the first instance of epic modern military shooter combat, but before that, we had Black. Many gamers who had played this gem rightly consider it to be one of the best FPS games on the original Xbox.