The SEGA Five: Best SEGA games on the Xbox 360

Today is the launch day for the Xbox One in America, and as people head to stores to pick up the latest console, the Xbox 360 officially becomes a “last gen” machine. Last week George named the five best SEGA titles to grace the Playstation 3, and seeing as how I’m the site’s Xbox guy, I thought I’d do the same for the Xbox 360. As with George’s list, these are my personal picks, so feel free to add any titles in the comments section!

5. Rise of Nightmares

While on the Playstation 3 it’s easy to pick out the great console exclusive titles from SEGA (COUGH-Yakuza-COUGH!), on the Xbox 360 you’ll have to dig deeper and go more obscure. Rise of Nightmares was a Kinect launch title that was under-appreciated at the time, and has since faded into obscurity. Despite this, it is one of the better free roaming adventure titles that utilizes the motion sensing device and is a must play for fans of The House of the Dead and SEGA’s more offbeat arcade titles.

Rise of Nightmares producer Ito-san’s past work includes The House of the Dead, which explains the many similarities this game has with SEGA’s arcade rail shooter series. Rise of Nightmares even features concepts that were abandoned in The House of the Dead, including the ability to kick enemies. The best moments of the game involve the antagonist Ernst, a tall trench coat wearing creature with a copper plated metal head. I still get goosebumps thinking of the moments where you must remain still and silent as Ernst passes by. God help you if somebody enters the room and loudly asks “What are you playing?!?”.

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4. Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World

The Monster World Sega Vintage Collection titles were sold as separate games on PSN, but on XBLA all three titles including the once Japanese exclusive 1994 Mega Drive classic Monster World IV were packed in a slick Sega Vintage Collection release featuring fully 3D menus, and other additional features not found on PSN. It’s amazing that it took SEGA so long to localize Monster World IV, and having finally played it I cannot imagine why they never released this to the west!

Monster World IV is a fantastic game, filled with lovely 16-bit graphics, great music, and a nice blend of action and RPG elements. The other two titles, Wonder Boy in Monster Land and Wonder Boy in Monster World, are also fun but neither come close to Monster World IV in depth and quality. Consider them dessert.

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3. Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations was Sonic Team’s 20th anniversary love letter to Sonic fans, offering two ways to play through iconic Sonic stages. There was the refined modern boost-centric gameplay and the slower classic 2D gameplay from the Genesis/Mega Drive era. Sure Sonic Team were leaning on nostalgia, but it worked! The game was also released on the Playstation 3 and PC, but I will admit that I cannot play Sonic games on a duelshock controller. It just feels wrong. I much prefer the Dreamcast/Xbox/Xbox 360 controller layouts when it comes to playing a Sonic game. And since I’m a Mac owner, no PC version for me unfortunately.

In the years to come, I’ll be sure to return to Sonic Generations again and again, making it one of the reasons for me to keep my Xbox 360 hooked up even when the Xbox Two is released.

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2. Guardian Heroes

Treasure’s SEGA Saturn classic Guardian Heroes is one of those great games where the average Saturn owner is likely to never experience it due to inflated prices on the used games market. Thankfully, SEGA and Treasure teamed up in 2011 to rerelease the classic beat ’em up to XBLA. Interestingly, unlike most other HD rereleases of classic SEGA games, Guardian Heroes did not receive a PSN release. This makes it one of the few digital titles from SEGA to be exclusive to XBLA.

The game itself is just as fun as it was in 1996, and it features an excellent HD version of the game as well as a Saturn version retaining the original graphics. Best of all, the game features online play! If there is one must own XBLA SEGA game, this is it.

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1. Bayonetta

Bayonetta stands as one of the best action games to be released this- er, I mean LAST generation. What can I say about Bayonetta that hasn’t already been said? The graphics and music are top notch, the game never takes itself seriously, and despite a convoluted story the characters are the real stars of the show. Then you have the solid gameplay, the quirky mini-games based off of classic SEGA arcade titles, and the many unlockables.

Unfortunately for Playstation 3 owners, the game did not play as well on Sony’s platform as it did on the Xbox 360. The port, handled by SEGA, had substantial frame rate issues which affected gameplay as well as long load times. The Xbox 360 version, meanwhile, played great out of the gate. It wasn’t until after launch that the PS3 received an update which fixed the frame rate issues, but not the load times. As such, the Xbox 360 is the best, and preferred, version of Bayonetta.

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2 responses to “The SEGA Five: Best SEGA games on the Xbox 360

  1. matty says:

    My pick is Rez HD.

  2. My pick is Virtual On Force. Xbox 360 exclusive and Japan-only, but region free. Great game.

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