2011 Holiday Buyers Guide: Xbox 360

A very sharp buyers guide
With the Xbox Live Buyers Guide out of the way, it's time to tackle the Xbox's more physical offerings. We realize everything on offer can be confusing. Hopefully this guide will help you piece together which baddies you'd like to destroy, which sort of role you'd prefer to play and exactly what kind of controller you want to be.

Xbox 360

Gears of War 3 ($39.99)

Marcus Fenix and company cap off Epic's trilogy with a bang, including a Locust-splattering campaign and the best multiplayer in the series to date.

Forza Motorsport 4 ($39.96)

Simulation racing at its finest. Race, tweak, tune and paint to your heart's content. Or, if you want, turn on a host of assists and enjoy a more arcade-like experience. Oh, it's also real purdy.

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary ($37.99)

The Master Chief's first mission remastered. Toss in some killer recreations of classic maps and some hints about Halo 4 and you've got the perfect package for any Halo fan.

Rayman Origins ($52.99 - $57.99)

Some of the best platforming available. Well animated, whimsical fun with couch co-op to boot.

Skyrim ($55.98)

A game so vast it could very well outlast every other game on this list. Conjure magical weapons, kill dragons or just pick flowers and make potions. It's all up to you. BOOSH!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution ($39.73)

An RPG that (almost) lets you play however you want. Choose your cybernetic augmentations and play it stealthy or all out action. Just be sure to save some bullets for those boss fights.

Batman: Arkham City ($39.99)

The Dark Knight returns to fight crime in a city-sized prison. Excellent combat, an open world and one heck of a grappling hook combine to create a nearly perfect action game.

Portal 2 ($39.99)

Do you know what a combustible lemon is? No? You need to play Portal 2. It's got yuks, smarts and co-op.

Dark Souls ($39.99)

It will kill you over and over and over again and, if you stick around long enough, you will learn to love every minute of it. A fantastic world and seemingly innumerable challenges make it one of the best RPG experiences of the year.

Shadows of the Damned ($36.99)

Grasshopper brings its trademark style to this Robert Rodriguez-inspired third-person shooter. We hope you like dirty jokes.

Battlefield 3 ($49.96)

Got some friends? Like tanks, jets and shooting stuff? Battlefield 3 is for you.

Dead Space 2 ($27.99)

More concerned with shocks and gore then cerebral horror, Dead Space 2 will nonetheless keep you coming back thanks to an excellent combat system and addictive weapon upgrades.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ($39.96)

It's like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, only more ultimater. More characters, more modes and more onscreen mayhem than you can shake a fightstick at.

Mortal Kombat ($39.99)

Not as frantic as Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but Mortal Kombat still packs a brutal punch with killer combos, tag team mechanics and a robust single-player offering. And, of course, Fatalities.


The Gunstringer ($37.99)

In Twisted Pixel's first foray into retail, the 'Splosion Man developer tells the tale of betrayed outlaw who rises from the grave to seek vengeance on his old posse. Also: He's a puppet. Also also: There's an entire bonus FMV game in the style of Mad Dog McCree. It even includes Fruit Ninja Kinect for free.

Child of Eden ($24.26)

Q? Entertainment takes another stab at synesthesia with this rhythmic, neon-infused shooter. Purify the internet of the future with a wave of your hand. And for Kinect-o-phobes: It works with a controller as well.

Dance Central 2 ($42.99)

Dance Central 2 builds upon the rump-shaking original with more tracks, more moves and, best of all, simultaneous multiplayer. Did someone say dance off?

Rise of Nightmares ($49.95)

Sega proves that Kinect isn't just for cuddly animals, exercise or family fun. Nope, it's also for zombies, and the dismembering of said zombies with a chainsaw, garden shears and giant tongs.


Xbox Live Gold 12-month subscription ($49.99)

If you expect to have fun online with your Xbox buddies, you won't get very far without Xbox Live Gold.

Silver controller with transforming D-pad ($49.99)

Instantly transform the Xbox 360's infamous D-pad into one that actually works! Impress your friends with the fancy silver motif. Confuse your relatives as they search desperately for "the red button."

Kinect bundle with Kinect Adventures, The Gunstringer and Fruit Ninja Kinect ($99.00)

The standalone Kinect bundle with Kinect Adventures – now with free downloads of The Gunstringer and Fruit Ninja Kinect. Definitely the way to go for 360 owners who are ready to become the controller.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.