Xbox 360 2013 Holiday Buyer's Guide

Xbox 360 2013 Holiday Buyer's Guide

Just because Microsoft has a new console doesn't mean people aren't still playing their 360s. Here are some suggestions for 360 shopping this year.

DO consider maybe buying someone a 360 even if they already have a PS3 and/or a Nintendo console, but it is a bit excessive. A person only needs more than one of these consoles if they want games that aren't on the other systems or if they prefer the services that are on that platform. In terms of games, the exclusives worth grabbing a 360 for range from the Halo games and Gears of Wars games to an ever-expanding Xbox-specific version of Minecraft and the various (though, frankly, mostly pretty poor) games made for the original Kinect motion sensor. Of that last batch we'd only heartily recommend Dance Central. The 360 might be relevant if they want to use Xbox Live, which is a very popular multiplayer network for 360 gamers, though you need to ensure you're getting them the $US60/year Xbox Live gold.

DO consider the 360 for the person who has no consoles, but recognise that the person might prefer the jump to next-gen. There aren't many games for the PS4 or Xbox One, though, and a 360 would give them access to way more stuff to play. (The Xbox One can't play 360 games, which you probably knew.) Caveats galore: If they like Zelda or Mario, you should get them a Wii U. If they're more of just a straight-up Call of Duty and Madden gamer and don't play much else, you could get them a PS3, 360, PS4 or Xbox One. It's pretty much a wash. If they want to play GTA V, flip a coin between the PS3 and 360. An Xbox 360 would also be a good gift for someone without any consoles but who is waiting to pick one up for themselves when next-gen ripens a bit. It's a good way to tide them over and figure out if they're into the whole Kinect thing or not.

DO pick up Halo 4. It may be the first non-Bungie-made Halo, but it lived up to the franchise's name. Probably the most emotional ride through the Halo universe, too. Here are some of our other favourite games for the console.

DO buy Grand Theft Auto V for Xbox 360. It provides a near-endless supply of goofy ways to mess around and blow stuff up.

DO grab them a subscription to Xbox Live Gold. Amazon usually has some great one-year deals for a fair price. You won't be able to access the Xbox's best online features and multiplayer gaming without the subscription.

DO share your HBO and Netflix account information (if you're a subscriber) so they don't have to buy their own.

Let's share more ideas in the comments below.


    DO pick up Halo 4. It may be the first non-Bungie-made Halo, but it lived up to the franchise’s name.

    What? No! Don't!! Especially if it's someones first Halo game!!! All previous Halo games are way better, even Halo 2 which for the longest time I thought was the weakest. Start off with Halo: CE Anniversary or Reach. Hell, even ODST is a good choice just for the atmosphere alone.
    Halo 4 is so generic and boring it will leave nothing but a bad impression.

      I liked 4... I thought Reach was boring as hell, just a bunch of people dying as dramatically as possible... that sniper scene actually had me laughing...

      I guess what I'm saying is some people may enjoy it, I've heard mostly positive things from people I know but will agree that they COD gimped the multiplayer.

        Reach is interesting if you're really into the story and mythos of Halo. Frankly you already knew if you liked Reach before it was even announced.

        I've heard mostly negative things, not coming from my own mouth too. A lot of people also share that opinion considering Halo 4 lost 99% of all players within the first few months and now has trouble keeping 20,000 players daily.

          4 wasn't as good as the others, but I don't get all these people who were whining that it's just a CoD ripoff at this point. Aside from the killstreak thing, I don't see how it resembled CoD at all. The gameplay was still very Haloish.

          I also hated the weapon drop system, but it didn't break the game for me, and I don't necessarily think it's a casualisation thing as many do.

          Still, the creative director for Republic Commando is now the creative director for Halo 4. Maybe the next one will be amazing. That would make me by an Xbone.

            I wouldn't call it a CoD ripoff, but it was influenced by CoD too much. But, it's not from most people think. Sprinting or Loadouts isn't really a CoD thing, it just made that popular amongst publishers. No, the real CoD influence is how the developers fear that a moment of peace or quiet would cause everybody to immediately destroy their copy of the game. There's one moment that I hated where you kill guys in an area for no reason, a Pelican comes in, you approach it, fades to black, fades in and you're standing right next to a scorpion with a marine jumping out to give it to you. It's moments like that that can make a can feel like CoD.

            No, what really broke the game was the lack of a local only search option for multiplayer.

            You have to remember that videogames is a group effort, one lone man (Aside from Lucas) cannot make all the real difference. While I do love Republic Commando (and latest Tomb Raider) this guy hasn't proven to me that he is capable of looking after Halo. Particularly Halo 4 because that came out a year ago :P

              No, the real CoD influence is how the developers fear that a moment of peace or quiet would cause everybody to immediately destroy their copy of the game.

              Hmm, that's fair enough. There did seem to be a lot less of those sorts of moments in Halo 4 compared to say, 3, which would take quite a while to move the story along in cutscenes. What I meant though was people who thought the multiplayer was a CoD clone, which I think is ridiculous. But I hadn't thought of it in that campaign aspect.

              You have to remember that videogames is a group effort, one lone man (Aside from Lucas) cannot make all the real difference.

              Of course it's still up to a group consensus of where they want to take their game, but I think that a director would have some sort of impact on the philosophy and overall direction of the game. We'll just have to wait and see if this is the case.

              I'm looking forward to Halo 2 Anniversary more than anything.

            If Halo's multiplayer was more like COD I'd still be playing it but just like every other Halo:

            - Every match takes FOREVER to commence with something like three separate countdowns and joining a match in progress seems to be impossible.

            - within minutes of starting there's always some freak with the sniper rifle making everyone's life hell; if I could have a sniper rifle in my loadout that would be a good counter but instead the standard loadouts may as well be pop-guns - my whole Halo strategy entails shooting the guy then throwing a grenade at him THEN bashing him - the triangle of fun! Because it takes all three just to bring a man down (unless you've got the sniper rifle)

            Contrast this with COD - you're in a match within a minute of starting the game, you've got a half decent chance of making an impact in the match and you can personalise your approach to the game rather than a one size fits all approach.

            Now don't get me wrong - it has its moments but Bungie's fingerprints are all over the anaemic multiplayer - I was gob smacked when they showed seamless multiplayer in Destiny - this from the company who introduced the countdown to the countdown!

            Things I like about Halo 4: the whole Sharks vs Stingrays motif; CTF

        Yeah, I'm not really sure why people hate Halo 4.
        It was just another Halo game to me.

    I thought Halo 4 was the best Halo since Halo 1 and I've played all of them, even the RTS... Epic game!

      We were still lanning halo 4 till xbox one came out.....match making was sommetimes bad but still a good game


    would be a better package, xbox is good, but unless you are after paid subscription for MP or the Halo series i would stick with PS3

    The list of your "12 favourite games" is almost 2 years old... Surely there have been some good games released in that time?

    The Gunstringer is a pretty good Kinect game (and it comes with Fruit Ninja).
    The Wrecketeer was good too, but I got that free, so it's hard to judge value. They linked to an old version of the list. Though this one is still from May, so lots of stuff in the meantime.

    Is MS still supporting the 360?

      yes, and they will be for at least a few more years. they said recently at least a 10 year life on it.

    My 9th, yes NINTH friggin 360 died yesterday,
    I don't know whether to pick up another one or just buy the few games I still play for my PS3.


    So *do* pick up another 360 console, your existing one won't last.

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