Best Xbox 360 Games

Looking for the best Xbox 360 games? Crazy as it may seem, the Xbox 360 is now seventeen years old and, flipping back through the history and back catalogue of Microsoft's amazing 7th gen console, there's an absolute feast of great games to choose from.

From excellent Xbox Arcade titles to fresh new franchises, top notch RPGs, thought-provoking shooters, amazing puzzlers, superhero spectaculars and more, there's something for every type of gamer here and most, if not all of them, are as impressive today as they were when they first released.

We've dug deep into this impressive catalogue of titles in order to bring you what we consider to be the very best Xbox 360 games. We've also gone ahead and flagged up whether each of our entries is available to grab via backwards compatibility on the current crop of Xbox consoles.

If you're interested in more "Best Of" guides here at Pure Xbox, we've also got guides for the best original Xbox games, best Xbox exclusives, best games on Xbox Game Pass, best Xbox RPGs and much, much more!

So, without further ado, let's jump in and see what we've picked as the best games on Xbox 360!

Best Xbox 360 Games

Alan Wake (Xbox 360)

Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
Alan Wake (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Microsoft / Developer: Remedy
Release Date: 18th May 2010 (UK/EU)

Hey. You ever heard of Alan Wake? He's a famous writer y'know.

Remedy's 2010 action adventure is an absolute cheesefest in all the best ways, with our big-headed protagonist, Alan Wake (he's a writer don't you know), delivering lots of godawful dialogue as he ventures out into the darkness of Bright Falls in search of answers as to why he's got writer's block, why he can't remember anything and why one of his nightmare stories seems to have come to life.

The combat here is a little clunky, but using the safety of light sources combined with your torch and gun to fend off enemies is never less than fun regardless and, as much as the narrative is cheesy, it's still engaging stuff with enough mystery about it to keep you hooked in for the long haul.

If you've never played this one before, there's now a fancy new remastered version now available that smooths away some of the rough edges, but however you choose to get stuck in, this is a highly original experience that's absolutely one of the best Xbox 360 games of that generation.

  • Backwards Compatible? Yes

Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)

Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
Assassin's Creed II (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 17th Nov 2009 (USA) / 20th Nov 2009 (UK/EU)

Whether or not you loved the very first Assassin's Creed game, or thought it little more than a fancy tech demo with a rather middling adventure attached, there's absolutely no doubting that its sequel came along and steered this fledgling franchise in exactly the right direction.

Assassin's Creed 2 provided the gameplay to go with the graphics in an outstanding game that sets players free across an astoundingly detailed Renaissance-era Italy, giving them a wonderfully intricate playground in which to stealth, stab and swordfight. Taking in multiple Italian cities, including Venice and Florence, and featuring cameos from a host of history's finest such as Leonardo da Vinci himself, Ezio's second outing is a fantastic, all-encompassing achievement that's a crowing glory in the pre-Origins Assassin's Creed series.

  • Backwards Compatible? Yes

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)

Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Warner Bros / Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Release Date: 25th Aug 2009 (USA) / 28th Aug 2009 (UK/EU)

Rocksteady's take on the Dark Knight blew us all right out of our gaming chairs back in 2009 with its wonderfully bleak atmosphere, awesome combat and clever Metroid-esque world layout.

Donning the cape and cowl here saw players step into a world jam-packed full of detail, lore, an incredible cast of Gotham's deadliest villains and top-class voice acting from Kevin Conway, Mark Hamill and more. The free-flowing, combo-centric combat here was, and still is, some of the very best in video games and, combined with wonderfully well-realised detective/puzzle elements and a cracking story, resulted in an adventure that was easily the best superhero game ever released at the time. Batman: Arkham Asylum truly made us feel like we really were Batman and absolutely nailed what the Dark Knight is all about.

  • Backwards Compatible? No, but available as part of Batman: Arkham Collection and Batman: Return to Arkham

Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)

Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)
Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360)
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive / Developer: Rocksteady Studios
Release Date: 18th Oct 2011 (USA) / 21st Oct 2011 (UK/EU)

How do you follow up a game as breathtakingly good as Batman: Arkham Asylum? Well, you break down the walls of that infamous prison and give players a great big slice of city to run amok in.

The bright lights of Arkham City often mocked us from afar from certain vantage points in its predecessor, but Rocksteady's follow-up went ahead and delivered us a generously sized chunk Gotham City through which to grapnel, glide and zipline. The kickass combat, puzzles and metroidvania aspects return from the first game but in Batman: Arkham City they're joined by a truly liberating sense of being able to fully roleplay the bat, soaring down from above into street brawls, watching and waiting silently from a rooftop before gliding into battle, stalking your foes and choosing when to strike in style...it's wonderful stuff.

With a new rogue's gallery of villains to face off against, tons of puzzles, fantastic voice-acting, a top-notch story and New Game Plus mode that turns the heat up nicely, this one more than makes up for a slightly knuckleheaded portrayal of the Dark Knight himself by fully delivering the goods in the gameplay department. One of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, you owe it to yourself to glide right into this one.

  • Backwards Compatible? No, but available as part of Batman: Arkham Collection and Batman: Return to Arkham

Bayonetta (Xbox 360)

Bayonetta (Xbox 360)
Bayonetta (Xbox 360)
Publisher: SEGA / Developer: PlatinumGames
Release Date: 29th Oct 2009 (USA)

One of the truly great action games of all time on Xbox 360, Platinum Games' 2009 hack and slash extravaganza absolutely bewitched us way back when we first played it.

The story of an amnesiac, angel-slaying witch with guns on her shoes and a seriously killer haircut - and we really do mean killer - Bayonetta is one of the most slick, intricate and completely off the rails action experiences you're ever likely to have.

With sublime combo-centric combat that rewards players who take the time to learn, a completely nuts story that's absolutely dripping in lore and some of the most OTT boss fights and characters we've ever encountered, we just can't get enough of this Umbrian witch and her super sexy, ultra slick fighting style. Dodging into Witch Time to slow fights to a crawl, pummelling your heavenly foes into submission with a fist made from your hair, or racking them up for a Gigaton medieval torture finisher...hack and slash action just doesn't get any better than this, and if you think it does you can FUGGETABOUTIT!

  • Backwards Compatible? Yes, and you can jump into its superb remastered version on current and next-gen consoles.

Binary Domain (Xbox 360)

Binary Domain (Xbox 360)
Binary Domain (Xbox 360)
Publisher: SEGA
Release Date: 28th Feb 2012 (USA) / 24th Feb 2012 (UK/EU)

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's 2012 shooter has become something of a cult classic over the years - we actually don't know anyone who doesn't love it - and for plenty of good reason.

Binary Domain's post-apocalyptic story tells of a world where robots are now the main workforce and charges you with blasting the absolute hell out of absolutely tons of them, issuing commands to your squad and watching how your actions and attitude affected the game's storyline through its unique Consequence System,

However, what really makes Binary Domain worthy of inclusion on this list is just how good it feels to rip robots apart here, blowing chunks off their exoskeletons with great big meaty weapons as they cleverly flank and swarm your position. The musclebound cast of characters also spout the cheesiest, gruffest, dumbest lines of dialogue possible, which is exactly what we're looking for in this scenario. It's cathartic, OTT and ridiculous in all the best possible ways, looks great, has a completely mad story and stands up well to repeated playthroughs. If you haven't yet, we strongly recommend you seek this one out and get stuck in.

  • Backwards Compatible? No

Bioshock (Xbox 360)

Bioshock (Xbox 360)
Bioshock (Xbox 360)
Publisher: 2K Games / Developer: 2K Australia
Release Date: 21st Aug 2007 (USA)

Ken Levine's spiritual successor to System Shock, Bioshock is quite unlike anything we're ever played before or since.

A meditation on the nature of man and society that draws from the works of Ayn Rand, Huxley, Orwell and more to inform its nightmarish vision of an underwater utopia gone seriously wrong, it's a horrifying, mesmerising, genre-defining piece of work.

And away from its more cerebral elements it's also a damn great shooter, with myriad ways with which to dispose of your terrifying foes. Whether through straight-up gunplay, plasmid-based attacks, sneaky stealth or meddling with mechanics to turn the tide in your favour, Bioshock's combat is delightfully open-ended, giving you a robust set of options with which to set about its truly haunting world.

Jack's journey from plane crash, to bathysphere, to deep underwater hellhole and beyond is a genuine tour-de-force that stands up as one of the truly great games and a journey you simply owe it to yourself to take.

  • Backwards Compatible? Yes

Bioshock Infinite (Xbox 360)

Bioshock Infinite (Xbox 360)
Bioshock Infinite (Xbox 360)
Publisher: 2K Games / Developer: Irrational Games
Release Date: 26th Mar 2013 (UK/EU)

It's hard to believe that 2013's Bioshock Infinite is still the most recent entry in the beloved series, but it certainly doesn't disappoint, even by today's standards. It's quite a departure compared to the original Bioshock trilogy, taking place in the flying steampunk city of Columbia (instead of focusing around the underworld city of Rapture), and that change of pace proved a fantastic breath of fresh air for the franchise.

These days, you're probably best off playing this one (and the rest of the Bioshock games) in the Bioshock Collection for Xbox One, but they're also backwards compatible if you can grab the Xbox 360 versions cheap.

  • Backwards Compatible? Yes

Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)

Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)
Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)
Publisher: 2K Games / Developer: Gearbox Software
Release Date: TBA

Gearbox's 2012 sequel took the undeniable promise of its predecessor and built upon it fully, expanding your zany adventures on Pandora into a fully-fledged epic adventure with a much-improved story, absolutely tons of loot and guns and plenty of replay value.

Blasting around Pandora here with up to three friends in co-op mode it's hard to deny the continued allure of Borderlands 2, we love the aesthetic, the gunplay is rock solid, Handsome Jack is an awesome new character, the weapons are endlessly inventive...heck there's enough good stuff here to help us completely ignore the fact that we absolutely loathe claptrap and aren't huge fans of the series' humour in general - the gameplay is just that good. If you're looking for some madcap looter shooter action, this is a super solid shout.

  • Backwards Compatible? Yes