The Xbox, and the general generation, had some killer hack-and-slash games. One of the best that started as an exclusive was Ninja Gaiden restart the series. These games remain challenging to this day, competing with Dark souls series. Other honorable mentions include Prince of Persia restart game and The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind.
All these games are known quantities and are still held as some of the experiences on Xbox. These other eight games are a bit more obscure or at least not celebrated as often. Decades later, they remain special to some, so let’s dive in and see what they’re all about.
8/8 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a good example of a good movie tie-in game. The first game was based on the book and was not well received. However, this was an action RPG with a pretty decent skill tree for every fighter available.
It also added events from the first movie since the second game was book based. So it was like two games in one package. One of the coolest things back then was the integration of gameplay with the footage. The sequel based on The return of the king was also fun and it had a better co-op setup.
7/8 Hunter: The Reckoning
Hunter: The Reckoning has a strange history when it started on the Xbox and GameCube. There were two sequels and they hit exclusive platforms with each Redeemer goes to Xbox and Really going to PS2.
Both Xbox games feature four-player co-op, while the PS2 game only offers two-player co-op. All three aren’t the most in-depth top-down action games, but they’re fun in groups. It’s a great time to get into monster slaying during the spooky season, but it’s hard to play these games on consoles now.
6/8 Samurai Warriors 2
Samurai Warriors 2 was a high mark for the entire series. One of the coolest additions to the pack was a minigame called Sugoroku. This was really like Mario Party crossed with Monopoly which is a concept that has been used in Japanese games for many years.
Wii fans may be familiar with the formula i Fortune Street. Sugoroku to the side, Samurai Warriors 2 was a mindless action experience that was better with a buddy than alone. This series will always be considered the ultimate hack-and-slash series from the main entries to the anime spinoffs.
5/8 Genma Onimusha
Genma Onimusha is a port of the original game on PS2, but with new content. The majority of this series was exclusive to the PS2 during this era, which was good for PS2 fans, but bad for Xbox fans.
This game, and the series in general, was like a samurai version of Resident Evil with demons taking the place of the zombies. There were puzzles and an overwhelmingly cheesy story to entertain the masses. It’s not a pure action game, but it’s a satisfying survival horror game that was overlooked on the Xbox family of consoles.
4/8 Castlevania: Curse Of Darkness
The 3D one Castlevania games get a lot of flack for not being as good as 2D Metroidvanias. That’s partly true, but both 3D games released during this generation were good. The first, Castlevania: Lament of innocencewas a PS2 exclusive while Curse of Darkness went multi-platform.
Fans of the Netflix anime should check this out as it ties into that series and the third NES game aka Dracula’s Curse. Hector, Dracula’s alchemist/demon creator, is the main character in it.
3/8 Justice League Heroes
There were many good co-op Marvel games during this era, including Marvel Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Legends. Both of these series are worth checking out as they are still fun. DC tried their hand at the action co-op RPG genre via Justice League Heroes.
It had all the right ingredients to be up there with the Marvel games. However, the story, controls, hero choices, and several other things held it back from achieving classic status. It’s not terrible though and deserves a second chance now.
2/8 Star Wars: Obi-Wan
Star Wars saw a huge gaming resurgence in the early 2000s as companies tried to tie in as much as possible to the prequel trilogy. There were movie tie-in games and spinoffs that Obi-Wan which focused on the titular character.
It was a console exclusive to Xbox that rarely happened for Star Wars games around this era. The game is better than the film tie-ins, but only marginally so. Players aren’t going to get a huge amount of backstory for this Jedi or any cool gameplay moments, though Obi-Wan could be another fun mindless action romp.
1/8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a poor and confusing name for a game that shares the title with many TMNT games before and after. There were three top-down 2.5D action games during this era that tied into the new cartoon.
The games used cel-shading to better blend into the cartoon, which makes them all hold up visually to this day. The first is the best of the three, but it doesn’t hold a candle to classics like Turtles in time. In no time, the game can become another fun cooperative experience.
MORE: Xbox console variants released exclusively in Japan