Happy Birthday Xbox
The Original Xbox is Celebrating its 10th Birthday - A Look Back at the Best of the Xbox
Written By: E. Thomas
On November 15th, 2001 Microsoft released the original
Xbox console and the video game industry was changed forever. No one knew what to expect from this massive, enigmatic black
box. Through the course of its lifespan the Xbox would be loved, despised and the center of great controversy. Although Microsoft
lost a tremendous amount of money getting their foot in the door, their commitment to the Xbox and to it's fanbase proved
the company was in this fight for the long haul. Now several years later the successor to the original Xbox, the Xbox 360,
is a retail powerhouse, having even rivaled Sony's once mighty Playstation Empire.
Let's take a look back at the best of the original Xbox. We'll show you the best games, the best imports, the best
RPGs, and the best sports titles. We'll even touch upon a few underground subjects such as hard drive upgrades, emulators
and homebrew video games. You will even see video footage of modded games running on the original Xbox. Including a version
of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas that gives your character amazing powers and even lets him fly like a super hero. You
won't find coverage like this anywhere else on the web. So let's begin...
The Top 40 Xbox Games: The Best Games for the Original Xbox
The original Xbox has a large and diverse library. It also has
some of the best original content released in its generation. Games like Halo, Crimson Skies and Oddworld: Munch's Odyssey
helped define the system and the Xbox brand. The Xbox also had superior versions of several multi console games, thanks largely
in part to its robust and powerful hardware. Here is our picks for the best original Xbox games.
2. Crimson Skies
3. Grand Theft Auto Trilogy
4. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
6. Oddworld: Munch's Odyssey
7. Ninja Gaiden Black
9. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
10. Jet Set Radio Future
11. Elder Scrolls III: Morowind
Marvel vs Capcom 2
13. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
14. Panzer Dragoon
15. Kingdom Under Fire
16. The Warriors
17. Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath
18. Jade Empire
20. Shenmue II
23. Forza Motorsports
25. House of the Dead 3
All Humans 2
27. Phantom Dust
28. Dead or Alive 2
29. Beyond Good and Evil
31. Steel Battalion
32. Otogi: Myth of Demons
33: Blood Wake
35. Phantom Crash
36. Star Wars Battlefront: 1+2
37. Project Gotham Racing
38. Amped 2
40. Metal Arms
Looking for more games? How about 140 more? Here is a video showing
140 games installed on a modified Xbox. This system features an internal 500GB Hard Drive. Everyone here at the office pooled
all of our games together just to see how many games we could fit on one hard drive. Unfortunately we ran out of games
before we ran out of space. Its very easy to install your own games to the internal hard drive using the right software*.
(video link*) And it protects them from wear and destruction. Installing games on the hard drive is the perfect solution for managing
any large collection.
Get Your Game On: The Best Sports Games for the Original Xbox
The original Xbox was a sports gamers paradise. The Xbox dominated
the lives of hardcore sports gamers with outstanding online service and a tremendous selection of the best spots games on
any console. Here are our picks for the top 10 sports titles for the original Xbox.
1. ESPN NFL 2k5
2. Fight Night: Round 2
3. Madden NFL 2005-2007
4. MVP Baseball 2k5
5. Winning Eleven 9
6. Tiger Woods PGA (Series)
7. NHL 2k7
8. Tony Hawk's American
9. Cabela's Dangerous Hunts
10. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volley Ball
Flights of Fantasy: The Best RPGs for the Original Xbox
Although the PS2 was home to more JRPGs, the Xbox found its niche
with a few outstanding Western RPGs as well as some great content from overseas. Here is our picks for the best RPG games
on the system. For the purpose of this article our list includes both traditional RPGs and Action RPGs. As you'll see, the
Xbox had a fine selection of outstanding RPG games.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
2. The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind
4. Jade Empire
5. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
6. X-Men Legends II
7. Bard's Tale
8. Shenmue II
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
10. Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Metal Wolf Chaos: The Best Japanese Import You've Never Played
Although the original Xbox wasn't exactly greeted with open arms
in Japan, it did have a few Japanese import titles that truly deserve attention. One of those games is the legendary Metal Wolf Chaos. This insane mech armor action title features a campy plot and tons
of over the top action. The story centers around the President of the United States who is fighting off a treasonous uprising
using his own giant mech armor suit. Seriously, we're not kidding. Check out the video below to see the full intro for
this crazy title. As well as the entire first level of the game. And here's the best part. The whole game is entirely
in English. We're not exactly sure why this game didn't make it to the States, but its prime material for a release on Xbox
(*See Also: Metal Wolf Chaos - First Level Game Play - Video Link)
Hardware and Accessories: The Best Hardware and Accessories for Xbox
This limited edition Crystal Xbox was originally released only in
Europe. The console was created to celebrate the Xbox's European Birthday. (Which falls on March 14th.) Sometime later the
console was also released in Canada sold exclusively in Wal-mart and Zellers department stores. This dapper looking console
is still a prized collectible to this day.
The Halo: Special Edition Xbox was released only in The United States, Australia and New Zealand.
This sporty, translucent green console came bundled with a copy of Halo and a nifty translucent green Xbox Controller S.
The exclusive Steel Battalion Controller is probably one of the greatest console accessories
of all time. This highly coveted controller was released with a hefty price tag of $200. But still, for those willing to spend
the money, the controller provided the most immersive Mech Armor Simulation ever seen in a video game. To this day the controller
still brings a hefty price on ebay.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. That's the old saying
and it applies well to the original Xbox controller. Dubbed "the meatball" by some Xbox users, the original controller
proved to be heavy, uncomfortable and flat out painful to use. Luckily Microsoft listened to their fans and released the highly
improved Xbox Controller S. This newly redesigned controller quickly became one of the best controllers on the market. The
new controller also helped establish the standard of having the primary analog stick in the "forward" positiion,
instead of being off center like the PlayStation Dual Shock.
Homebrew Explosion: The Best Homebrew for the Original Xbox
The original Xbox was built with many off the shelf PC parts.
This meant the system was very easy to modify and upgrade. This opened the door for a massive tidal wave of homebrew software
and games. Xbox modding became so mainstream that it was even a regular topic on popular TV shows like "The Screen
Savers." The homebrew community was filled with many talented, ambitious and devoted programmers who created and ported
many great games for the original Xbox. Here is a video that shows 100 of the best homebrew games available on the system.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to all the wonderful people who put their time in effort into making these creations. And remember
industry folks, today's homebrew developer is tomorrow's video game industry star.
(See Also: For More Homebrew Game Videos Check out
our Original YouTube Channel)
Modified Xbox Games: Grand Theft Auto Game Mods or "How CJ learned to fly"
One of the best things about modifying the original Xbox was
the ability to use PC mods on Xbox games. This includes character and skin mods, new vehicles, new maps, new levels, new gameplay
and so much more. Here is video footage from one of our favorite Xbox game mods. Its called the "Space Einstein All In
One Mod." Created by the brilliant Space Einstein, the mod is actually a collection of mods created for Grand Theft Auto:
San Andreas. First, you install the game to your hard drive, then you simply use a FTP program to install the mod. You must
use only an original copy of GTA: San Andreas. (editors note: It must be an original copy and it must be the "hot coffee"
The Space Einstein GTA: San Andreas mod allows
you to create any character, object or vehicle at will. Weapon mods, vehicle guns, new missions, a chaffeur service and new
character skins are among the many new features included in this incredible mod. It also gives you invincible super powers
as seen in the video below. "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird, its a plane it's Tarnell?"
Xbox Emulators: The Best Emulators for the Original Xbox
Emulators are a touchy subject in the video game industry, and
with good reason, all that content belongs to someone. And the idea of running old games on a rival system might anger those
in charge. But despite its shady reputation, emulation actually serves a great purpose. It is helping preserve the history
of this incredible art-form for generations to come. Even the big companies have relied on the emulation community from time
to time. Some people have even accused certain companies of stealth-fully promoting emulation and homebrew to sell their hardware.
(*cough* psp *cough*) Love it or hate it, emulation is here to stay. And the original Xbox had an enormous amount of emulators.
These feature packed emulators even include icon browsing, video previews, save states, rewind features, cheats, and even
online play for classic consoles.
New Xbox Console Due in 2012: Code Name "Xbox 10"
Its hard to believe that Microsoft is already getting ready to
release the second follow up to the original xbox. This console is currently code named "Xbox 10." Why is this system
called Xbox 10? Well that should be easy for you to figure out. Its called "Xbox 10" because it arrives roughly
10 years after the original Xbox. What a great way to celebrate the origin of the Xbox legacy.
After ten long years the Xbox is still a big part of my
life. It's also one of the most played consoles in my collection. I can't tell you how many hours we've spent playing
Halo death match here at the office. Not to mention the dozens of tremendous games we've enjoyed on the system over the years.
The Xbox is a gaming jukebox, a media center, and one of our favorite consoles of all time. Happy Birthday Xbox! Here's
to many more!
About The Author: E.Thomas
is our fearless leader and our resident obsessive video game collector. He owns literally 1000s of video games.
If you catch him in line at the E3 Expo, he'll probably give you a video game arcade token.