8. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Starbreeze | VU Games | 2004
A beautifully bleak first-person adventure that tasks players with escaping an extreme-security prison of the future as Vin Diesel
What made it so great?
It's a pity that Escape from Butcher Bay was tied to such a crap movie as The Chronicles of Riddick. The characters in this prison-break drama are more compelling, the action is far more brutal and it's a far, far better vehicle for a charismatic antihero like Riddick than any lame summer blockbuster could be.
More than that, Butcher Bay is a seriously badass adventure; the first-person perspective is really just there to rub your nose in the beautiful horror of its grimy sci-fi prison. It also puts an especially personal touch on all the fistfights and knife fights you'll get into, and makes it just that much cooler when you do stuff like making a guard shoot himself in the face. Add some immersive, cinematic action sequences that'd put Half-Life 2 to shame, and you've got an ahead-of-its-time inmate sim that still stands as one of the Xbox's best games.
Get ready to play
Guns are rare in Riddick's world, so you'll have to rely on stealth and makeshift prison weapons if you're going to survive Butcher Bay's multiple, draconian levels of security. Stick to the shadows, do favors for anyone who asks (they'll make it worth your while) and if someone's standing between you and freedom, don't be afraid to jab a sharp hunk of metal between their ribs. Oh, and it'll be a while before Riddick gets his trademark night-vision eyes, so be careful how you use your flashlight.
Been there, done that?
Although if stars a hero whose name (Derrick) is almost an anagram of "Riddick," Breakdown piles on the action and features up-close combat that's deeper and flashier than Butcher Bay's. It also comes with a host of flaws, but if you like your first-person adventures a little more crazy and action-heavy, Breakdown is a strong contender.