There are so many games out there that finding 10 Xbox 360 Games You've Never Played was a tough list to compile. Sure, we could have just picked any average Joe game no one has heard of, but we wanted to find games you'd actually play. Diablo. Mass Effect. Assassin's Creed. There are gaming mega-franchises that nearly everyone has heard of — games so big that even your grandma might ask you if you want that, "new Call to Duty: Black Copters game?" But just because a game is popular doesn't mean it's good, and just because a game is relatively unknown doesn't mean it isn't good. The Xbox 360, in particular, has been home to a number of cult classics and sleeper hits, so if you're looking to expand your gaming collection with something a little more esoteric, well, just sit back, relax, and check out our list of 10 Xbox 360 Games You've Probably Never Played.
Square Enix's 2010 action RPG has an interesting story to its development. Square is known for its frequently well-groomed and slender male protagonists, and Nier's eponymous hero was all set to have the same kind of Nomura Syndrome. However, partway through the development cycle, the Nier team decided to broaden the game's appeal by creating two distinct versions. In Japan (and France, oddly enough), Nier was a slender metrosexual trying to rescue his sister. Nearly everywhere else he was a grizzled, broad-chested, older hero trying to rescue his daughter. This small change helped Nier stand out in a sea of metrosexual action-RPGs, and its unusual story and frequently awesome gameplay helped solidify it as a cult classic.
The title of the game tells you everything you need to know — you'll go through several levels responding to on-screen button prompts so that you don't fart at inopportune times. It's shallow, yes, but it's also incredibly cheap and great for laughing with friends. You can either try to stick to the game's plan of not farting, and giggling when the occasional squeaker gets through, or decide, "To hell with it!" and jam on the controller as quickly as possible to see just how violently you can get your cheeks a'rockin'.
When putting a game together, quality writing is often at the bottom of a development team's list. Who cares if the story and characters are cliché if the gameplay is good, right? Well, the team behind Alan Wake clearly decided to go the opposite direction, because here you'll find an original, detailed world with characters believable enough to populate any horror film or TV show, and a story of psychological horror that would fit right at home in The Twilight Zone. Alan Wake's combat is simple, yet satisfying. The game hits a fantastic balance between the quiet, moody tension of exploring a dark forest with the pulse-pounding terror of set-piece battles against hordes of umbrous foes.
In a nutshell, Alpha Protocol is Mass Effect wrapped up in a sleek, super-spy tuxedo. There's plenty of gunplay and spy action, but for many players the real meat of Alpha Protocol lies in its dialogue system. For every dialogue choice, you're presented with three to four options. Typical types of responses include "aggressive," "suave," "professional," and "sarcastic." The team at Obsidian stated that many of the dialogue options were based on the "Three JBs" of the spy world -- Jack Bauer, James Bond, and Jason Bourne.
Wet is quite the diamond in the rough. Sure, the graphics may not be the prettiest, and the gunplay can go from thrilling one second to glitchy the next, but it's hard to argue that the game doesn't wear its heart on its sleeve. Wet's aesthetics take influence from the grindhouse and noir films of yesteryear, and Eliza Dushku's performance as protagonist Rubi Malone is enticingly badass.
In a drastic departure from the previous Banjo-Kazooie games, Nuts and Bolts emphasizes vehicular construction and customization over precise platforming. This may turn off some fans of the series, but if you give it a chance you'll find that there's a lot to love. Rather than the generic, useless collectibles you find in most games, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts presents you with a cascade of, well, nuts and bolts, to use in customizing your vehicles. You can really fine-tune your chosen jalopy to fit your playstyle, with all sorts of engines, wings, and bits to change your four-wheeling hulk into a free-flying falcon.
Explore the cave. Save the damsel. Get the treasure. These three simple tenements are what Spelunky is built around. This indie gem combines elements of tough-as-nails platformers like Super Ghouls'n Ghosts with the roguelike genre's penchant for randomization and punishing unwitting players. Spelunky's a harsh mistress, no doubt, but she's fair in her harshness. Those willing to put in the time to increase their skills and use their wits will find a rewarding little game. And, thanks to Spelunky's randomization elements and level editor, there's an incredible amount of replayability for gamers looking to get a lot of bang for their buck.
Zeboyd Games has a knack for creating modern games with the essence of old-school RPG fun. Cthulu Saves the World may look like a SNES RPG, but beneath that 16-bit exterior is a heart shaped by years of RPGs both bad and good. With just a handful of brilliant alterations to the traditional RPG formula, such as the addition of fully healing your party after every battle, a heavy emphasis on proper resource management, and incredibly fast-paced combat, Cthulu Saves the World feels both current and retro. Plus it comes jam-packed with fun little references to both RPGS of old and several of Zeboyd's previous games, such as the also-excellent Breath of Death VII.
On the surface, Spec Ops: The Line appears to be a traditional Call of Duty clone. But once you're deep into the game, its true self is revealed, and you'll find that you're playing one of the most brilliantly written, biting commentaries on the psychology of modern games. It's morally complicated entertainment, and calls to task the mindless tendency towards violence gamers are constantly ensconced in. The graphics and gunplay are serviceable, but nothing special; however, they're a key component of the experience of Spec Ops: The Line. Merely reading about its events or watching a cutscene compilation on Youtube won't do the job -- Spec Ops: The Line is a game that has to be played to be fully appreciated.
Oh, Deadly Premonition, you beautiful, weird little game. Deadly Premonition is like the kid at the back of your art class who creates those bizarre, hilarious paintings that some people hate, and some people find incredibly meaningful. It polarized the gaming world in general -- as evidenced by the slew of near-perfect and near-minimal scores given to it. It's a psychological horror game, drawing inspiration from everything from Silent Hill to Twin Peaks, but it's also so much more than that. The more thought and attention you pay while playing the game, the more enjoyment you'll get out of it. It's just chock full of strange, often hilarious, always interesting details. While plenty of the more polished AAA titles will be played and forgotten in the years to come, Deadly Premonition's bold brand of intelligent weirdness will be something that's looked back on and discussed well after the game's shelf life is up.