40. Saints Row: The Third
The great thing about open-world sandbox games like GTA and Saints Row is that there's just so much to do. Want to complete story missions? Go for it. Prefer to simply jack a few cars and go on a high-speed joyride? Why not! Hoping to skydive through an airplane's windshield while shooting people in slow motion, or take on a corrupt government organization while Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" plays in the background? Er, sorry--that level of awesomeness is restricted to Saints Row: The Third.
This game wastes no time letting you know that it's all about absurd, over-the-top action. From skydiving rescue missions to fighting off zombie invasions, its story missions get progressively wackier. Not only will the humor keep you giggling non stop (hoo boy, the dedicated nut tap button), but the characters are genuinely fun to be around. It's a welcome change from some of the more self-serious alternatives out there, and its got great gameplay to back up its humor.
39. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Lest it not be said, it is possible to become insanely good at Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Good in the if-I-hit-you-once-you're-absolutely-dead sense. Good in the airborne-mix-up-into-100-hit-combo sense. Good in the oh-you-have-three-characters?-that's-cute sense.
But it's also possible to become good in the hahahahahaaha-butttttonssss-hahahahahaahah sense. Few are the games that make you feel as competent or as powerful while knowing so very little about what you're actually doing. UMvC3 is among that number. And regardless of whether you see yourself as the next great EVO champ, or just the resident button-mashing wunderkid among your friends, you can not go wrong with UMvC3.
38. Rayman Legends
2D platformers were all the rage in the 80s and 90s, and while they've been supplanted by shooters, adventure games, and other shooters, theres still a lot of fun to be had with a colorful character hopping from one stage to the next. Rayman Legends showcases the persisting power of platformers with gorgeous visuals, lovingly balanced gameplay, and a whole lot of wild fun.
A throwback to Rayman's 2D past, Legends ramps up the chaotic speed considerably, putting you through a number of smartly designed stages that keep up with the masters of the genre. The goofy fun gets better with each new player who joins in the inventive side-scrolling action, as up to four players can bounce between cooperation and competition at high speed. For a genre that many publishers no longer touch, Rayman Legends shows that platformers are still worthy of big budgets and even bigger talents.
37. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
To say that Deus Ex changed the face of gaming might sound hyperbolic--but it's true. Fortunately for modern gamers, this latest entry in the series lives up to those impossibly high standards (despite a few hiccups by way of unfortunate boss encounters), and does so without sacrificing anything that made the original so memorable.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is an intelligent, challenging and Blade Runner-beautiful vision of the future. The style is unmatched, and the gameplay is customizable enough to qualify as both 100% shooter and 100% stealth, which doesn't even make any sense. Which genre you experience is completely up to you as you explore the dark, interesting world.
36. Burnout Paradise
Some of the best racing games succeed by focusing on one race at a time, letting you rack up experience before flying off to the next exotic locale. Burnout Paradise creates a winning counter argument to that by investing heavily in one singular locale and keeping you there for the long haul. Paradise City was an open world with a persistence unseen in previous racing games, and it's one players continue to return to today.
It helped Burnout's particular brand of arcade-y, hard-hitting driving is just as good in Paradise. Plus, Criterion experimented with the game long after release, adding DLC and improving on an already-great game with each new collection of content. The devs may have moved on to Need for Speed, but we still long for another trip to this velocity-obsessed town.
35. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
Every once in a while it's nice to be reminded that not all games need great stories or set piece moments to be genuinely amazing. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is an excellent throwback to score-based arcade games, and it's packed with so many game modes that you could easily spend years uttering that phrase we know all too well: "Just one more try."
A twin-stick shooter at its core, Retro Evolved 2 pits you against increasingly difficult waves of enemies. Twitch reaction speed and on-the-fly foresight are all that will keep you alive, and the addictive flow and fast-paced gameplay will keep you playing for hours on end. That is, if the barrage of neon explosions doesn't blind you first.
34. Battlefield 4
In one moment, you're parachuting down onto the peak of a lofty tower, touching down and knifing a sniper in the same breath to exact glorious revenge. In the next moment, you're watching a soldier drive a Jeep covered in explosive C4 into an enemy-filled bunker, blowing up an entire squad in an insane act of courageous sacrifice.
Battlefield 4 has all the trimmings of any big-budget military FPS, but it's the thrilling memories you'll make while playing online that elevate it above other shooters. And beside the massive-scale multiplayer skirmishes, BF4's single-player campaign is a huge step up from BF3's underwhelming story--here, you actually care about your fellow squadmates.
33. Forza Motorsport 4
If you love cars, the appeal of Forza Motorsport 4 is pretty apparent. There are hundreds of the worlds most desirable automobiles, all there for you to poke at, customize, and, yes, drive to your hearts content. But what makes the Forza series excellent are the features that appeal to non-gearheads. Its level of accessibility and its forgiving nature distinguish it in the typically tough-as-nails driving simulator genre, and it has deep enough car painting and customization tools to be an artists sole creative outlet.
Forza Motorsport 4 is the absolute best the series has ever been, giving you the most content in the most refined package. Quite frankly, it's the only Xbox 360 driving simulator one could conceivably need, and its an even better buy than its technically accomplished but content-stripped next-gen successor, Forza Motorsport 5.
32. Far Cry 3
You've just stolen an enemy jeep, but it's already upside-down and on fire since you sent it careening off of a cliffside while en route to your destination. Turns out you picked a bad place to wipe out, because you've just caught a tiger's attention, and you're too busy injecting health into your arm to ready your weapon. Your destination- a drug kingpin's vast marijuana field (which you've been ordered to destroy by flamethrower while a Skrillex song plays) - may have to wait.
Do we need a second paragraph here? Far Cry 3's shooting and stealth mechanics are rock solid, but even if they weren't, there would be no disputing how special it is. The way the games complex AI systems interact with one another, irrespective of your input, induces an unparalleled sense of awe. Far Cry 3 is a game you must play, no matter how tired of first-person shooters or open-world games you think you are.
31. Left 4 Dead 2
Fans were outraged when Valve revealed that Left 4 Dead 2 would release a mere year after the original. And then they played it, and saw how much it improved over the first game, and... yeah. They stopped complaining real fast once they saw how many new weapons, levels, and zombie types there were--seriously, this sequel is the real deal.
The co-op game has you joining with three friends to fight through endless waves of zombies, working together to survive the zombie apocalypse. The highlight, though, has to be the campaigns--sure, the original game's stages were great and all, but they can't hold a candle to Left 4 Dead 2's ingenious level design. That stage where it's pouring rain, and then you need to go back through it after it's flooded? Too cool.
Click 'Next Page' to see titles 30-21 in our countdown of the best Xbox 360 games.