The original Xbox landed on shelves in the US to much fanfare on 15 November 2001 as a direct competitor to Sony’s then-dominant PlayStation 2. Though Microsoft has gone on to release advanced consoles such as the Xbox 360, which pioneered online multiplayer gaming, and the current-era Xbox One, the original Xbox still holds a special place in many gamers’ hearts.
Here’s five games every Xbox fan loves:
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Project Gotham Racing
- Star Wars: Knights of the Republic
Bioshock is set in the retro confines of the early 1960s. The player controls protagonist Jack, whose plane has crashed over the Pacific Ocean and landed in the underwater city of Rapture, which we learn was once intended to be a utopian social experiment. Thankfully, for the sake of the game, this never came to pass, as there wouldn’t be much point having a first-person shooter in an idyllic setting. Using brute force and special powers, Jack eventually fights his way back to freedom.
2. Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved went on sale on 15 November 2001 - the same day as the original Xbox, making it an instantly-iconic first-person shooter. What made the original Halo stand apart from contemporary shooters was its use of intelligent enemies, imposing vehicles and enormous arsenal of weapons, as well as its immersive world, making it a high watermark of the genre. Each new release continues to sell by the bucketload, with over 65 million sold worldwide, grossing a whopping £2.7bn.
3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The fifth entry to the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto series, GTA: San Andreas was the first version of the game to land on the Xbox. It was set in the fictional US state of San Andreas, based on California and Nevada. Players were able to navigate the main character Carl Johnson around the outer-reaches of the map, unlike in previous versions. This was thanks to its innovative open world environment that allowed players to take a break from the main missions by taking Johnson to the gym or down to the shops. This blurred the lines between task-driven games and free-play, which has been a hallmark of developers Rockstar Games’ titles ever since.
4. Project Gotham Racing
The original Project Gotham Racing was released as the original Xbox’s answer to the PlayStation’s Gran Turismo series. One of this racer’s special features was its reward system, which motivated players to outpace themselves during time trials, or win a certain number of races during tournaments. Best played, of course, with an add-on steering wheel for the full racing effect. Beware though, the game is very addictive.
5. Star Wars: Knights of the Republic
Far from being a cheap Star Wars-tie in, Knights of the Republic was a role-playing adventure set thousands of years before the events of the movies. Boasting a strong storyline, memorable characters and fun gameplay, this is everything gamers can wish for in a movie spin-off. Knights of the Republic was directed by Casey Hudson, who would go on to be the lead developer of the critically-acclaimed Mass Effect trilogy.