2010: The Year Of Better Xbox 360 Games?

2009 was a good year for the Xbox 360, but based on Microsoft's showing at E3, it felt more like a warm up for 2010, the year the company will launch Project Natal.

Now this year was no slouch, with Xbox 360 console exclusives Halo 3: ODST, Forza Motorsport 3, Left 4 Dead 2 and a pair of Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable episodes - not to mention Live Arcade hits Shadow Complex, 'Splosion Man and Trials HD - making Microsoft's console a solid platform of choice. But the console's third party efforts, particularly Modern Warfare 2, sometimes outshine the first-party content.

Fortunately for Xbox 360 owners, 2010 starts off strong with new games that won't be available on its chief competitor, titles like Mass Effect 2, Alan Wake and Splinter Cell Conviction. But will Microsoft's focus on motion control with Project Natal leave "core gamers" wanting?

Let's take a look at 2010's offerings on the MS side, minus a few games we hope, but can't confirm will hit next year.

Note: We'll be looking at every platform's currently announced and estimated 2010 slate over the course of the rest of the week-and much, much more.

Halo: Reach Bungie takes us back in time, back to the future, delivering a prequel to the original Halo: Combat Evolved. Players will assume the role of the Lieutenant fighting off Covenant forces sometime this fall.

Alan Wake Max Payne developers Remedy give Xbox 360 (and PC) gamers a flashlight-focused dose of literary horror, sending the titular Alan Wake to the Pacific Northwest to confront his writers block, only to find himself in a nightmare of his own creation. It's gonna be scary!

Splinter Cell Conviction Sam Fisher is back and looking less haggard than originally planned. Expect Splinter Cell-style stealth gameplay, with a few new innovations, including more cooperative and competitive multiplayer.

Crackdown 2 Start up Ruffian Games picks up where Realtime Worlds left off, filling Pacific City with gangs of street mutants and, eventually, lots of explosions.

Fable III The fabled franchise from Lionhead Studios takes a different path in the third Fable, giving the player the royal responsibility of overthrowing and later running the kingdom of Albion. Series lead Peter Molyneux wants to add a sense of "touch" to Fable III and Project Natal support.

Joy Ride This Avatar racing game for the Xbox 360 shouldn't put a pinch on your wallet. The core game is free.

Mass Effect 2 BioWare's epic space saga continues, now with better shooting mechanics on top of the already intriguing intergalactic soap opera.

Project Natal Perhaps you've heard of it. Microsoft's big E3 push should garner plenty of attention for the company in 2010. The console maker has already tasked some of its owned studios with making Natal games and developer support from Lionhead and Epic seems already strong.

Final Fantasy XIII Square Enix's long-promised, gorgeous role-playing game is finally here. Already out in Japan, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game is the first multi-console release in the series, the first for Sony's current gen console.

Army of Two: The 40th Day EA Montreal's co-op shooter leads a very long list of shooters coming in 2010. The 40th Day improves upon the first in many ways, including the toning down of some of the "bromance".

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Another shooter bound for the PS3 is Battlefield: Bad Company 2, which will fight MAG for big, bombastic multiplayer FPS for the year.

Bayonetta PlatinumGames witchy woman Bayonetta brings more Devil May Cry-like action to the platform, but with a much more attractive package. The PS3 version may get knocked for lagging behind that other version, but Bayonetta is worth playing on whatever platform you prefer.

BioShock 2 Be the Big Daddy in 2K Games' sequel to the mega hit BioShock. The prequel adds multiplayer, if you consider that a positive or negative.

Dark Void Capcom's oft-delayed jetpack hero adventure may have a hard time standing out in a crowded early 2010, but the third person shooting, climbing, flying and UFO hijacking sounds like a good combination.

Dead Rising 2 Zombies require killing in Fortune City and you're just the right guy to do it. Kill 'em again with motorcycles, roulette wheels or moose antlers. Your choice.

Dead Space 2 Visceral Games follows up on the excellent Dead Space (and very good Dead Space Extraction) with a new Necromorph dismembering adventure for old Isaac Clarke. Rocket boots? Yes, please.

Dante's Inferno If God of War III leaves you wanting more God of War, why not try Visceral Games very God of War-like descent into Hell, Dante's Inferno. It has decaying purple boobs...

Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Another Prince of Persia? Yes! And this one looks a lot like the Prince of Persia movie that will hit cinemas around the same time. And it looks not too dissimilar from the Prince of Persia game the movie is based upon.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Just recently revealed, we're mostly excited to see just how LucasArts fits this new Star Wars adventure into the timeline.

Lost Planet 2 Get up in them giant bug guts with the sequel to interplanetary adventure shooter Lost Planet. Everything's bigger!

Red Dead Redemption Rockstar returns to the Red Dead realm, now with a more open-world environment, filled with random encounters, train robberies and all manner of varmint to shoot.

Super Street Fighter IV New characters, new old characters and new online modes - plus a more budget minded price - make the quick addition of Super to Street Fighter IV that much easier to swallow. But when's Cody going to get some new clothes?

Castlevania Lords of Shadow Hideo Kojima's game that will likely make a 2010 release could result in the best 3D Castlevania yet. Just try not to think too much about developer MercurySteam's other games.

Medal of Honor EA reboots Medal of Honor, taking the series from World War II theatres and into the modern age. Could have more beards than any other first-person shooter released next year.

Mafia II Shoot things '40s style with Mafia II, another game that should've been released in 2009, but will settle for a 2010 release nonetheless.

Max Payne 3 Max is back and far less attractive to women. The paunchier, less follicled Payne is drawn back into the dive and shoot at things world he tried to leave behind him. Expect this one late in 2010.

Blur Bizarre Creations gets colourful with Blur, a frantic arcade racer with kart racing-style power ups, but none of them banana peels.

Resonance of Fate Sega's futuristic RPG collaboration with developer tri-Ace follows a group of sharp dressed teens who have access to guns, but not clean air, in this forthcoming adventure.

Aliens Vs. Predator Aliens and Predators settle their differences in this, the first Sega game that will actually take advantage of the Aliens licence. Rebellion is at the helm again, which can only mean good things.

Fallout: New Vegas Crap, they got Vegas too? We don't know too much about Bethesda's follow up to Fallout 3, only that gambling and mutant showgirls are likely to be involved.

EA Sports MMA EA Sports challenges the UFC's dominance in the mixed martial arts space. Can EA compete? Or will Dana White put them into a headlock?

UFC Undisputed 2010 THQ sees more success for next year's UFC Undisputed, now with additional Kimbo Slice.

Alpha Protocol The espionage RPG!

No More Heroes: Heroes Paradise Travis Touchdown and crew get the high-resolution, waggle-free treatment in this remake of the Wii original from Grasshopper Manufacture

Brink Splash Damage's squad based and class based tactical shooter is brighter and more promising than most, featuring a unique movement method dubbed SMART.

Singularity Raven's time-travelling first-person shooter was moved out of Modern Warfare 2's way, but now lands directly in the middle of 2010's busy first half. Perhaps that time glove will find it a better spot to find an audience...

R.U.S.E. Real-time strategy? On my video game console? From Ubisoft? Yes, at least based on our hands-on time with the game, which seems to work quite well.


    defently a nice big line up there.

    conviction is my most ''looking forward '' to game for 2010, at the moment anyway.

    I thought Fallout:Vegas was Bioware.

      Nope, you're confusing Bioware and Bethesda. Easy to do, both RPG powerhouses.

        New Vegas is actually developed by Obsidian, who are also working on Alpha Protocol. It will be published by Bethesda.

    This list makes me sad. I can't afford half the games on this list that I want :(

    Also, I hope Microsoft don't release Natal prematurely. I'd hate for them to do with it what Nintendo did with the Wii-mote: Release an 'upgrade' for it, which is still apparently not as good as what the original was supposed to be.

    So the PS3 has more exclusives? Interesting.

    Mass Effect 2 is the pick for me. Red Dead Redemption and Spliter Cell also have my interest.

    With so little info about Fallout I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be a 2011 release. (I'd still be happy with 2010 though)

    every year should be better than the previous. if not the console in question is effectively moving backwards.

    No love for Halo Wars? I thought it was a pretty good game, had decent reviews and sales and a decent online community.

    nice line up
    but i cant help but notice that PS3 would have more exclusive games

    because i believe from project natal downwards in the list most of those games are coming out on the PS3 as well...

    Haha, nice job copying from the PS3 list for Bad Company 2 and Bayonetta (and possibly Dante's Inferno). :p

    Like the PS3, i want A LOT of those third-party games, but FOR the 360.

    The Xbox really doesn't seem to be dishing out as much exclusives as the PS3 as of late. Not a bad thing, cause the exclusives that appeal to me from Xbox are actually GREAT games.

    2009 was a good year for the 360 I believe. But 2010 will be bigger. I think they had the same year as the PS3. They kinda halved the games over the 2 years. If BOTH consoles had the exclusives released in the same year, that would be the best year ever. Forza 3, L4D2 and ODST and then Uncharted 2, Killzone 2 for me.

    But all 6 exclusives i'll be buying. Fable 3 looks promising for something NEW for the series compared to previous 2 so looking forward for some gameplay footage. Reach i dont need to speak of - but i'm most excited for Conviction and Alan Wake purely cause i've waited SO long for them.

    Gonna be a good year for MS. A lot of best sellers as I predict all of those games will sell over 3 million MINIUM! Crackdown may be the least convincing with sales, but the first i really like, especially the graphics. So it can only do better with it being larger and all.

    You missed DarkSiders.

    Just to let you know, the PC version of Alan Wake was shelved some time ago. Whilst the 360 version is a certainty next year, don't expect the PC version to be released during the same period or even at all.

      "Thank you for your continued interest in Alan Wake. It is accurate that we are currently working exclusively on the Xbox360 version of Alan Wake. PC plans are currently open, and therefore it's safe to say that at least a simultaneous launch with the Xbox version will not happen at this late stage. Remedy has a deep heritage in PC gaming and would love to see a PC version available to its PC followers, ultimately however this decision lies with our publisher."

    u missed Toy Soliders.

    Spilt Second, just cause 2 is also afk:(

    Quite a line up that. Definitely some options on what to throw away that disposable income on. No matter what system you've got, it's a pretty good time to be a gamer.

    More than half of these games are multiplatform titles, not MS exclusives.

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