Assassin’s Creed II // 2009 // X360 & PS3
After an iffy debut, ACII made far better use of those initially mouth-watering mechanics like hiding in bustling crowds, meticulously planning your attacks and scrambling across rooftops. With a cheeky lead, great pacing and a polished triumvirate of gameplay mechanics ACII established the brand as one of the generation’s franchise titans.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag // 2013 // X360 & PS3
Pirates proved to be the perfect antidote to ACIII’s dull protagonist Connor, and the addition of ships, sharks and the chance to swim at will makes ACIV the most accessible title in the series. Although it was also available on PS4 and Xbox One, ACIV was nevertheless a fitting series swansong for the PS3 and Xbox 360 – although you never know what Ubisoft is planning for this year!
Bastion // 2011 // X360
Sure it’s a basic twin-stick shooter with a predictable interface and severely limited replayability – but Bastion is wicked cute. A hand-painted enigma, Bastion is a tapestry of colour and sound and play that weaves itself around you, threading through your experience. Make sure you don't miss out on this classic.
Batman: Arkham Asylum // 2009 // X360 & PS3
There are any number of reasons to really like Batman: Arkham Asylum., from the combat to the superbly paced narrative, but what we really LOVED was the atmosphere; the tone and the feel of Asylum. It’s drenched in Batman lore, from myriad Riddler trophies to creepy taped therapy sessions, even the distressed chatter of armed goons nervously awaiting their fate. Asylum was so good it makes you wonder how exactly every other superhero game got it so very wrong.
Bayonetta // 2009 // X360 & PS3
Bayonetta proved once and for all that Platinum Games are masters of the over-the-top action game. It looked stunning, embraced the idea of easy-to-learn yet deep combat, and crammed in action on a scale that was hard to match. Plus the story was a bit nuts.
BioShock // 2007 // X360 & PS3
Sure, BioShock was fun to play, combat was fluid and the moral choices interesting, but more important than that, it featured an engaging and engrossing story that kept players moving forward. It didn’t offer many reasons to stray from a given path, aside from the prospect of finding baked beans in a purse, but when the core of the game was so intriguing it didn’t really matter.
Blur // 2010 // X360 & PS3
Bizarre Creations may be gone, but its legacy remains thanks to titles like Blur. The game combined real-world cars with arcade style handling and an array of weaponry, and it was a fine mixture that resulted in endless entertainment both in single and multiplayer modes.
Borderlands 2 // 2012 // X360 & PS3
Although Borderlands 2’s most obvious attraction is its consistently on-the-mark sense of humour, quick-fire wit and madcap characters, it’s not an entirely flippant venture. Buried beneath the humour, style, role-playing gameplay and thirty-odd million guns, there’s the occasional moment of poignancy. These moments are gut-punches, and reveal Borderlands 2 as an extremely intelligent game wrapped in an incredibly wacky package.
Bulletstorm // 2011 // X360 & PS3
Bulletstorm may be crude, rude and obsessed with perforating enemies in the most creative way possible, but it’s also deliriously entertaining, mechanically superb and a hoot to play. Riddle your enemies with bullets, leash them into the air and kick them into a giant flesh eating plant. Then giggle, because it’s the only appropriate reaction.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare // 2007 // X360 & PS3
Change in setting aside, Modern Warfare’s main draw was its revolutionary multiplayer. It was compelling, competitive, and chock full of content with a variety of game modes, unlocks, player levels, and the temptation to Prestige just to do it all again.
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