The Xbox, and overall generation, had some killer hack-and-slash games. One of the best that started as an exclusive was the Ninja Gaiden reboot series. Those games remain challenging to this day, rivaling that of the Dark Souls series. Other honorable mentions include the Prince of Persia reboot games and The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind.


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All of these games are known quantities and are still held as some of the experiences on the Xbox. These other eight games are a bit more obscure or at least aren’t celebrated as often. Decades later, they do remain special to some, so let’s dive in and see what they’re all about.

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8/8 The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is a fine example of a good movie tie-in game. The first game was based on the book and was not well received. This one though was an action RPG with a pretty decent skill tree for all available fighters.

It also added events from the first film since that other game was book-based. So, it was like two games in one package. One of the coolest things at the time was the integration of gameplay with the movie footage. The sequel based on Return of the King was fun too and it had a better co-op setup.

7/8 Hunter: The Reckoning

Hunter: The Reckoning has a weird history as it began on the Xbox and GameCube. There were two sequels and they each hit exclusive platforms with Redeemer going to the Xbox and Wayward going to the PS2.

Both Xbox games feature a four-player co-op while the PS2 game only offers two players co-op. All three are not the most in-depth top-down action games, but they are fun in groups. It’s a great time to get into monster slaying during the spooky season but playing these games on consoles now is tricky.

6/8 Samurai Warriors 2

Samurai Warriors 2 was a high mark for the entire series. One of the coolest additions to the package was a mini-game called Sugoroku. This was essentially like Mario Party crossed with Monopoly which is a concept that has been used in Japanese games for many years.

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Wii fans might be familiar with the formula in Fortune Street. Sugoroku aside, Samurai Warriors 2 was a mindless action experience that was better with a buddy than alone. This series always will be considered the ultimate hack-and-slash franchise 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 overall series, was like a samurai version of Resident Evil with demons taking the place of zombies. There were puzzles to be had and an over-the-top cheesy story to entertain the masses. It’s not a pure action game but it is a satisfying survival horror game that got overlooked on the Xbox family of consoles.

4/8 Castlevania: Curse Of Darkness

The 3D Castlevania games get a lot of flack for not being as good as the 2D Metroidvanias. That’s partially true but both 3D games released during this generation were good. The first, Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, was 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 of it.

3/8 Justice League Heroes

There were a lot of good co-op Marvel games during this era including Marvel Ultimate Alliance and X-Men Legends. Both of those series are worth checking out as they are still fun. DC tried their hand at the action co-op RPG genre too via Justice League Heroes.

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It had all the right ingredients to be right up there with the Marvel games. However, the story, controls, hero choices, and several other things kept it back from obtaining that classic status. It’s not terrible though and deserves a second chance now.

2/8 Star Wars: Obi-Wan

Star Wars got a huge gaming resurgence during 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 like Obi-Wan that focused on the titular character.

It was a console exclusive for the Xbox which rarely happened for Star Wars games around this era. The game is better than the movie tie-ins but only marginally so. Players aren’t going to get a massive amount of backstory for this Jedi or any cool gameplay moments, but Obi-Wan can be another fun mindless action romp.

1/8 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a bad and confusing name for a game that shares its title with many TMNT games previous 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 blend in better with the cartoon, making 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 a pinch, the game can be yet another fun co-op experience.

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