With the recent news that Microsoft would be ending the Xbox 360’s production, it got us reminiscing about all the great, and not so great, SEGA titles that graced one of our favorite consoles of all time.
Throughout its more than 10-year run, SEGA would go on to release some of the very best titles to appear on Microsoft’s system and dive into digital gaming like it never had before, with the release of several great new and retro digital games.
Join us for this roundtable as we look back at many of the SEGA titles in the Xbox 360 library that we consider the best, worst, underrated and more.
Best Game: Bayonetta
Sadly it went underrated in terms of sales. But its memory left such a good impression that it became a cult game for the console.
Best Digital Release: Rez HD
Thank you SEGA for allowing Q-Games and Mizuguchi to bring this to a new generation. The amazing Synesthesia rhythm shooter looked specatacular on HD.
Worst Release: The Golden Compass
Worst Digital Release: Happy Tree Friends False Alarm
Again, Nuff said.
Import I wished for: Virtual On 4 Force & Virtua Striker (AM2 digital pack)
How much I wished for Virtual On 4 Force to arrive here, but sadly was not done. Even more sad is that SoA is in charge for the Latin America region and thus does not consider the big impact of Virtua Striker series or football is for the region or even know what this is.
Favorite Game: Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
This title was packed with fan service, it was awesome and challenging.
Most Underrated release: Gunstar Heroes
This port was amazing, having the chance to play this again was a great experience. Sadly, people in Mexico are very ignorant regarding the Saturn and not many got the game.
Best Game: Vanquish
This was a painful choice. There’s more top SEGA games than you realise, but I’ve gone for Platinum Games’ brilliant Vanquish. The game just didn’t get the credit it deserved at its release – but it’s an awesome fast-paced (no, seriously it’s FAST) third-person action shooter. With an over-the-top story line, even more over the top acting and possibly some of the most impressive set-pieces I’ve ever seen in a game.
Best Digital Release: NiGHTS into Dreams
I was so close to picking Jet Set Radio here, but the release of NiGHTS into Dreams on Xbox Live Arcade was such a treat that I had to choose it. While I was sad to see some of the awesome bonus extras from the Saturn version of Christmas NiGHTS missing (like playing as Sonic!), I was so grateful for SEGA bringing this to a new audience and keeping the game mostly intact.
Worst Release: Iron Man 2
I own the Golden Compass and Iron Man 2 is waaay worse!
Worst Digital Release: Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (Eps I & II)
Controversial, I know. Many people thought that Sonic 4 was a return to glory for Sonic and SEGA, but I just don’t get it! It looks pretty, but the auto-attack lock and level designs just ruin that classic Sonic gameplay I long for. Go play the Mega Drive classics (also available on XBLA).
Import I wished for: None –
I think all the SEGA Xbox 360 games I wanted came out in Europe. Thanks SEGA! I would also like to take this time to tell everyone to go play Viking: Battle for Asgard. It’s awesome.
Favorite Game: Condemned (franchise)
Words can’t explain how much I freaking loved the two Condemned titles. If you want a scary game that also incorporates some badass and brutal combat, plus an engaging story, then look no further. I’ve never been so scared of mannequins in my life…
Most Underrated release: Binary Domain
Seriously people! Why Gears of War (a game I love btw) gets tons of praise by the gaming world and Binary Domain doesn’t, it’s a bloody crime! Binary Domain takes the ‘cover-based shooter’ genre and makes it so much more. A brilliant storyline with great characters, excellent gameplay and choice system that works. But no one bloody bought it!
Best Game: Sonic Generations
Like Graham and Köpke, this was a difficult choice for me. When you look back at the library of SEGA games that the blue brand had unleashed on the Xbox 360, there were surprisingly a big number of games that were fantastic. Sonic Generations was SEGA’s pièce de résistance for the Sonic franchise on the Xbox 360, where they combined the classic and modern gameplay of the series. The music, levels, and nostalgia demonstrate the Sonic franchise at its finest.
Best Digital Release: Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
Virtua Fighter 5 FS was the definitive edition of the game. Revamped fight mechanics, new characters, and a bunch of other bells and whistles like costumes and games modes made this fighter a blast to play. Out of any fighting series, Virtua Fighter is definitely the hardest one to master.
Worst Release: Thor: God of Thunder
I will take your Golden Compass and Iron Man 2, and raise you a Thor: God of Thunder! Bland graphics and frustrating controls made the easy-cash-in-because-movie-came-out really obvious.
Worst Digital Release: Crazy Taxi
One issue that I had with a majority of the Dreamcast re-releases on Xbox 360 was the little effort that was put into each port. I was expecting some sort of visual upgrade, but Crazy Taxi and others like Sonic Adventure were a straight port. What made the Crazy Taxi release worse was its lack of music from The Offspring and Bad Religion. I guess SEGA didn’t want to shell out the money to renew the licenses for the game, but it does feel different when you have some other bands replacing the great soundtrack from the original version.
Import I wished for: None
I honestly can’t think of one that comes to mind, although I did wish there was a PORT of Shenmue I and II….
Favorite Game: Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed took what was great about the first titled, and tripled (Get it? because there’s THREE transformations!) the fun. We get all of the great nostalgia that made the first one great and can now knock other SEGA characters off their rockers in the sky and waters. You can’t mention Transformed without talking about the Race of AGES track! This particular track was packed with nostalgia and featured a fantastic remix of the Space Harrier theme song.
Most Underrated release:
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 (Eps I & II) – I will take the opposite opinion of Graham’s and say that Sonic the Hedgehog 4 was an underrated title in my opinion. I honestly don’t see the hate that these two get. Sure, it’s not like Sonic the Hedgehog’s 1-3 , but I believe that SEGA still managed to pull off a great game, despite people’s apparent issues with its physics.
Best Game: Bayonetta
As much as it might have initially been considered a generic Devil May Cry ripoff, Bayonetta quickly proved that notion wrong and was easily one of the most kick-ass games SEGA published for the console. Seriously, one of the best character action games of that generation right here, including some SEGA fan service, After Burner music and all.
Best Digital Release: Daytona USA
What more could be said about this classic? The 360 version included online multiplayer, an arranged soundtrack and a couple new modes to an already arcade-perfect port. This is easily the definitive version of Daytona.
Worst Game: Dreamcast Collection
A repackaging of four Dreamcast titles from the XBLA. Come for the Sonic Adventure and Space Channel 5, don’t stay for the SEGA Bass Fishing and a version of Crazy Taxi without its memorable original soundtrack. They could have at least added an exclusive title or two.
Import I wished for: (Complete) SEGA AM2 Collection
It would have been nice to have all the Model 2 games that were released for the 360 in Japan. As much as we got the key titles,would have made a great collection. Sadly, only a few were released here.
Favorite Game: SEGA Rally Revo
A re-worked version of SEGA Rally 3 somewhat,and one of the earliest rally games I can think of for the console. A great car selection, a damn fun handling model, and the amount of content on display make this my favorite. Spent countless hours with this one.
Most Underrated Release: Full Auto
One that not many people mention, Full Auto was an early combat racing game from SEGA released around the launch of the 360. Since then,it has become one of the most fun combat racers I have ever played, and to be honest, one of the only ones that comes to mind for the console. It may be dated these days, but is definitely one to pick up to see SEGA’s start on the Xbox 360. The multiplayer is a rollicking good time as well.
So there you have it, folks. Let us know what your fondest SEGA Xbox 360 memories are in the comments below!