The games that shaped a generation: Xbox

25. Dead or Alive 3
Team Ninja | Tecmo | 2001

Buxom beauties (and, we're pretty sure, some male characters too) meet to fight in cosplay heaven in this sassy one-on-one beat 'em-up

What made it so great?
Didn't you hear us? Girls fighting one-on-one? Dubious teenage fantasy scenario aside, the game is still a furious and explosive take on the previously staid genre. With electrified fences around some stages, massive windows to smash your opponent through and multi-tiered fighting arenas, this made all the other fighting games in your collection look dull - and that's why this sent shockwaves that we still feel today. The fighting system may accept button mashing to begin with but, if you learn how to counter properly, you'll beat a novice in no time.

Xbox's graphical abilities are demonstrated admirably (even to the point where DOA4 on Xbox 360 doesn't look that much better, if we're honest) and being able to smash your opponent into stalagmites of ice is as cool as... well, ice. Bold, brash and appealing to even the lowest of the lowest common denominators, almost everyone can appreciate something here... though its finest charms are its digital vixens. And every other fighting game wishes it had more of DOA's intensity.

Get ready to play
DOA3 plays more like Virtua Fighter on heat than Tekken, so a VF game (though sadly unavailable on the Xbox) would be a good place to start. You could also try watching Baywatch for a bit, alongside a good martial arts movie. But not the DOA movie, cos it's rubbish. Beginners should start with Kasumi because she's got some nice combos (stop it, we really do mean fighting moves, OK?), but we like new girl Hitomi best. We're sure you'll agree.

Been there, done that?
If you liked the girlies but didn't want to spend time learning moves or playing as the men, why not try Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball? Super laid-back, sun-drenched gameplay awaits you on Zack Island. See, the girls think there's a fighting tourney, but there isn't. Tee hee! Cue much bikini-unlocking, pool-hopping, accessory-shopping fun with hardly any gameplay to tax you. Just lie back and enjoy the view.

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