Top 10 Best Original Xbox Games

Our Picks From the Original Set

Xbox Console
Top 10 Xbox Games.

The original Xbox has a lot of great games, but here are our picks for the 10 best.

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

What We Like

  • Well-written plot.

  • Easy to customize characters.

  • Fun, turn-based combat system.

  • Engrossing music.

What We Don't Like

  • Outdated visuals.

  • Frustrating minigames.

  • Item collecting can get boring.

Knights of the Old Republic is not only the best game on Xbox, it is one of the best RPGs on any system. The pseudo real-time / turn-based gameplay flows at a great pace that always keeps you in the game​ so that you feel like you are in control rather than just watching like in, say, Final Fantasy. Couple this great gameplay with the Star Wars universe, and you have an exceptional game. KOTOR is great and a must-have in any Xbox collection.

of 10

Halo 2

What We Like

  • Highly replayable.

  • Fun online multiplayer.

  • Excellent artificial intelligence.

  • Ability to hijack vehicles.

What We Don't Like

  • Not much of a storyline.

  • Fairly short campaign.

  • Skill elements have been removed.

Halo 2 is baby steps rather than the giant leap forward that the hype would have had you believe, but it is still a great game that is one of the best titles on the Xbox. Great controls, great graphics, amazing multiplayer, and a fun single-player mode all add up to a pretty appealing package.

of 10

Jet Set Radio Future

What We Like

  • Impressive graphics.

  • Bouts of exciting action.

  • Great music.

What We Don't Like

  • A little too easy to play.

  • Somewhat slow gameplay.

  • Difficult controls.

Jet Set Radio Future doesn’t get nearly the credit it deserves. It is the sequel to a somewhat popular Dreamcast game, but it takes everything Jet Grind Radio did on the Dreamcast and multiplies it by 10 on the fun scale. Skating around huge urban environments and graffito-tagging everything in sight is great fun, and Jet Set Radio Future does it with amazing cel-shaded graphics and a great style. The music is also simply outstanding.

of 10

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

What We Like

  • Well-done graphics.

  • Lots of stealth opportunities.

  • Great theme music.

What We Don't Like

  • Not the greatest storyline.

  • Mission monologues are boring.

  • Too easy in normal mode.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is an amazing game because the developers actually listened to the complaints about the first game and created a game that is 100 percent better. Killing too many people or setting off an alarm is no longer "game over," and the experience is absolutely more fun now. You are rewarded for your use of stealth, but it isn't a requirement anymore, which makes the game more accessible and fun.

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Sid Meier's Pirates!

What We Like

  • Interesting simulated economy.

  • Strong combat mechanics.

  • Large number of ship types.

What We Don't Like

  • Game includes a few bugs.

  • Slow screen loading times.

  • Expensive for what you get.

Pirates! is a go-anywhere, do-anything game set where you have the entire Caribbean to play around in. You’ll ransack towns, dig up buried treasure, battle enemy ships out at sea, and much more in this amazingly addictive pirate simulator. There is so much to do and so many ways to do it—and the game is so incredibly well paced—that Pirates! is one of the most addictive games to come out in quite a while and is highly recommended.

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What We Like

  • Easy to learn.

  • Well-written dialogue.

  • Very humorous game.

What We Don't Like

  • Very short game.

  • Not much replay value.

  • Not the greatest graphics.

Psychonauts had been in development for seemingly forever, but the long wait was definitely worth it. This is one of the best platformer games to come out in a long, long time. Combine the great gameplay with an amazing visual style, great voice work, a well-written story, and an unrivaled sense of humor, and you have one of the best games on the Xbox.

of 10

Forza Motorsport

What We Like

  • Features the coolest cars.

  • Attention to detail.

  • Tremendous sound effects.

What We Don't Like

  • Annoying microtransactions.

  • Nothing unique or new.

  • Limited event customizing.

Forza Motorsport stands as one of the best racing games on Xbox, if not the best, and definitely deserves a spot on this list. Incredibly deep customization combines with gorgeous graphics and sharp simulation-style gameplay to create a racing experience unlike anything else on Xbox.

of 10

GTA San Andreas

What We Like

  • Movie-style action.

  • Lots to do between the three cities.

  • Very exciting missions.

What We Don't Like

  • Story is somewhat linear.

  • Training system can be frustrating.

  • Cooperative gameplay is very limited.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is finally on Xbox and the wait has definitely been worth it. Nicer graphics, faster load times, and custom soundtracks all make the Xbox version the one to buy. This game is huge and fun and wonderful and will keep you busy for hundreds of hours. Keep in mind that it has an “M” rating and definitely isn’t for little kids, but for all of us big kids, San Andreas is a must-own Xbox title.

of 10

Ninja Gaiden Black

What We Like

  • Fantastic action.

  • Intense combat.

  • Creative fighting combos.

What We Don't Like

  • Very linear story mode.

  • Can't choose easy mode from the start.

  • Somewhat of a learning curve.

Ninja Gaiden Black is an updated version of 2004’s amazing Ninja Gaiden. It includes everything from the original game, of course, along with a ton of new features and options. For fans of the first game and newcomers to Ninja Gaiden alike, Ninja Gaiden Black is an amazing game that deserves a spot in any Xbox owner’s collection.

of 10

Half-Life 2

What We Like

  • Impressive visuals.

  • Excellent sound effects and music.

  • Realistic lighting conveys time.

What We Don't Like

  • Pushes the limits of system resources.

  • Open-ended plot can be frustrating.

  • Artificial intelligence can be unpredictable.

Half-Life 2 has made the transition from PC to Xbox mostly intact, and the result is one of the best gaming experiences on the system. The game only features single player and includes none of the great multiplayer modes of the PC version, which is disappointing, but the single-player campaign is among the very best you’ll ever play, so it is still absolutely worth picking up.