The Favorite Games List was a recurring feature originally published on Trevor Trove. This installment originally debuted on February 24, 2016
Last time I looked at my Favorite Games List, I tackled the PlayStation 2 over the course of five days. I implied that might be the case going forward. But then I realized that I spent so much time with the PlayStation 2 that my lists for the Gamecube and Xbox are actually a lot smaller. So keep reading for my one and only list of Favorite Games on the original…
I graduated high school in May 2003, about a year and a half into the life cycle of the original Xbox. As evidenced by the multitude of games I wrote about on the PlayStation 2 side of the new console war, I was very much a PS2 guy. I don’t know that I ever would have bought an Xbox myself as I was making the transition from high school student to starving college student during this generation. But every year, in an effort to curb kids going out and drinking and driving after graduation, my school put on an event called Project Graduation, where the students were all bussed to a location for an overnight party/lock-in. Mine was at a local mini-theme park called Castles and Coasters in Phoenix.
In addition to having mostly free reign over the place all night, the school also had a raffle where everyone got 25 raffle tickets and you could distribute your tickets among the prizes. The top prize was a flat screen TV from what I remember and, of course, also had the lowest odds of winning since most people put their tickets toward that. I took a more strategic approach, putting a few of my tickets toward a $50 Best Buy gift card and the rest toward an Xbox Burnout Bundle. They announced each prize winner one by one. When I won the Best Buy gift card I figured my luck had come in. Then I won the Xbox and they said only one prize per winner so I gladly took the Xbox and let some other person take the gift card. I wasn’t really a car game guy so I wound up returning the copy of Burnout and swapped it out for my first entry on the list.
Knights of the Old Republic – A Star Wars fan since I first watched it with my best friend growing up, Knights of the Old Republic is probably the best game I’ve ever played in the long list of Star Wars titles. Combining the great RPG mechanics and writing that Bioware has become known for with the rich lore of Star Wars (and wisely setting it a few millennia before the films) made for an incredibly fun time. And despite being a year or so late to the party, this was still pre-Facebook and Twitter so I managed to avoid story spoilers for the game. Running around with Bastila, Carth Onasi, and HK-47 and choosing to play as a Jedi or Sith was a world of fun.
Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords – Despite falling short of the highs of its predecessor, KOTOR 2 was still another solid entry. It’s biggest problems were probably trying to retread to much of the original game. Instead of an amnesiac Jedi/Sith, this time you play as a Jedi/Sith who has lost connection with the Force and needs to rebuild it (apparently they had a midichlorian transplant or something…). And they tried too hard to recreate the same shocking twists of the previous game. But those minor gripes aside, a lot of what they recreated was just as fun. The combat was tighter and there was a good mix of new and old companions to fight alongside. And it was leaps and bounds better than Star Wars: Obi-Wan.
Fable – The only other really memorable game from the original Xbox for me was Fable. This was a time where I poured most of my energy into RPGs so something like Halo: Combat Evolved never really piqued my interest (and sadly doesn’t after all these years either) and I just never could get into the copy of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind that also .came in the bundle, so Fable was the game that finally scratched my Fantasy RPG itch on this system. As with the Star Wars games above, I found myself really drawn to the new aspect of good vs. evil alignment. It was an interesting new element not found in the JRPGs I had grown up with. I appreciated playing through these games a couple times to experience a “good” play through and a “bad” one. But since I didn’t continue into the Xbox 360 era, this was my only trip through Albion.
And that’s it. Like I said, didn’t play a lot on the Xbox but I did pour a ton of time into these games so it was well worth the investment, which, hey, was free so…BONUS!