GAME : Essential Xbox 360 games from 2011

Release Date: 14/12/2011

2011 was full of big releases for Xbox 360, including sequels to some of this generation's best franchises, high definition remakes of classic games and innovative motion control offerings. Here, GAME rounds up five of the must-own 360 titles that no Xbox 360 owner should be without.

Brothers 'til the end

Sci-fi third person shooter Gears of War 3 is the explosive finale to the current story arc of one of the biggest and best series in Xbox history. With mankind on the verge of annihilation at the hands of nightmarish monsters, players step into the boots of a military force battling to preserve humanity in the face of overwhelming odds. A tale of brotherhood, harsh realities, sacrifice and redemption, it features an engaging story, breathtaking visuals, meaty gunplay and tactical, cover-based action. The epic story campaign supports four-player cooperative play, and is complemented by a host of cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes for veteran players and rookies alike.

Get in the race

Offering traditional controller-based racing as well as the freedom and accessibility of Kinect motion controls, Forza Motorsport 4 is one of the most ambitious takes on the genre to date. With top supercars from over 80 manufacturers and a selection of the world's finest real and fictional tracks, the game features silky smooth racing, realistic physics and effects, gorgeous graphics and stereoscopic 3D support. Community features allow players to create auto clubs with like-minded car nuts, customise and trade rides with fellow collectors, and head out on to the track for adrenaline-soaked showdowns against up to 15 other online racers.

Global warfare

Accessible, highly polished and perhaps best described as the gaming equivalent of a Michael Bay Hollywood blockbuster, Modern Warfare 3 is the latest entry in the world's biggest first person shooter franchise. Featuring a globe-trotting campaign that sees players attempting to avert World War 3, it offers access to a range of high tech weaponry and military hardware including remote turrets, predator drones and gunships. The same tools of destruction also feature in the series' deepest yet most accessible multiplayer offering yet, which features competitive online battles across a range of fan favourite and innovative new game modes, plus co-operative challenge and survival missions for two players.

A classic reborn

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is a spectacularly remastered version of the game that launched the Xbox brand ten years ago. Offering a diversity of action, a freedom of movement and enemy artificial intelligence that rivals its modern day competitors, the title's stellar gameplay remains unchanged from the original, but the alien blasting action is supercharged with a lovely high definition makeover, stereoscopic 3D support, Kinect voice control and new multiplayer maps and features. Widely regarded as one of the first great first person shooters on consoles, Combat Evolved lives up to its subtitle even a decade after its initial release.

Choose your own destiny

Action RPG Fable III puts the fate of fictional world Albion in your hands as you rally the oppressed, start a revolution and eventually take the throne. The choices and sacrifices you make on the path to greatness create an ever-evolving world of consequences that will be felt across the entire land. Will you play as a hero, villain or someone between, and once you assume power, will you rule with kindness or an iron fist? Playable co-operatively with a friend, the game is brought to life by an all star cast featuring the voice talent of John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, Ben Kingsley and Zoe Wanamaker.

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