1. Left 4 Dead
It’s not just the chaos of a zombie swarm at full force that makes Left 4 Dead one of the best 360 exclusives, or the game’s unbearable tension, or how it forces your squad to cooperate without breaking the fourth wall.
2. Fable II
Early in Fable II you encounter a traveling salesman hawking a magical music box he claims will grant a single wish when played.
3. Halo 3
Commercially Halo 3 might be the most crucial of 360 games—when it came out in 2007 it more than doubled the system’s average weekly sales.
Crackdown was one of the first open-world games to feel truly open. It strips all the boring downtime out of the Grand Theft Auto template by turning our characters into superhumans who can soar through a massive city and toss cars around like beanbags. The agility orb hunts turn what could have been a monotonous, unfulfilling collect-a-thon into a compulsive treat by slightly upgrading our abilities with every orb.
5. Gears of War 2
The testosterone-drenched Gears defines the 360 the way Halo defined the original Xbox, and the second installment of the gory shooter is its peak.
6. Alan Wake
Remedy’s inspired homage to Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone gets the pacing and presentation of a TV show just right.
7. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
The first Geometry Wars launched the 360’s Xbox Live Arcade in 2005, proving that actual worthwhile games could be beamed straight into your game boxes through the internet. The sequel expands on everything great about the psychedelic dual-joystick shooter, multiplying the original’s various permutations of competitive thumb twiddling.
8. Shadow Complex
Shadow Complex is Metroid rebuilt with an anonymous white dude accidentally storming an Advanced Idea Mechanics secret lair.
9. Dance Central
Dance Central and its sequels remain the exception to the Kinect rule.
10. Forza Motorsport 3
The visually amazing Forza Motorsport 3 is an absurdly deep and complicated racing simulator, but it’s accessible enough for anybody to enjoy.