22. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3
UbisoftMontreal | Ubisoft | 2003
Command an elite squad to rescue hostages and take out terrorists. Typical Clancy fare to be sure, but it was never as fast or exciting as it was here
What made it so great?
The Xbox played host to over a dozen Tom Clancy games (seriously, go back and count!), so why single out Rainbow Six 3? Because, more than any other, it hit that perfect balance between arcadey console action and deliberative PC strategy. Unlike Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell, the action is quick, constant and explosive. While thinking is still very necessary, you're forced to do it in the midst of gunfire... not in the shadows or on tactical maps.
But hey, if you do enjoy picking out individual gear and bullets before each level, that's included too.
Rainbow Six 3 also does an impressive job of emulating multiplayer, a franchise strong point, for folks who don't have Xbox Live. The single player campaign's four squad mates not only behave realistically, they respond to your commands through the headset rather than the TV's speakers.
Get ready to play
If you're going back to this after experiencing Rainbow Six Vegas, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. The graphics are obviously not as sharp, but the ability to give voice commands to your AI-controlled teammates make it more immersive and the variety in settings, from a Mardi Gras parade to a Swiss village, make it more diverse.
Been there, done that?
If anything is more overdone than fighting terrorists, it's fighting Nazis in a WWII setting. Regardless, the squad tactics and AI in Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood are on par with Rainbow Six 3's.