The XBox 360 had a great year in 2008, featuring a couple of great exclusives in Gears of War 2 and Fable II. In 2009, here are the top 5 exclusive picks:
Halo 3: ODST - Given Microsoft's complete lack of clarity on their 2009 line-up, the only title that they're currently (and exclusively) offering in 2009 that I am interested in is Halo 3: ODST. Despite Halo 3 being somewhat of a disappointment to me, I find myself irresistibly excited by the prospect of a new Halo game.
The series still has some kick ass weapons, great maps and fantastic controls to boot-and with it being Bungie developed, it's a safe bet to be one of the better titles of the year. It certainly doesn't hurt that it'll be a budget priced game, either.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope - I'm a sucker for RPG's, and I'm also a sucker for Star Ocean games. I remember playing the first Star Ocean way back when it was first released. I'll be truthful in saying I haven't playing every single one, but now that it's finally coming to the 360 I couldn't be more excited. Not too much information has been revealed about The Last Hope, but it looks like it will be a beautiful game at the very least.
Splinter Cell: Conviction - Splinter Cell Conviction has been long awaited ever since the release of Splinter Cell Double Agent back in October 2006. Conviction is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal, the developers of the critically acclaimed Splinter Cell and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. I know I don't speak for everybody, but it always feels not quite right when it isn't made by Ubisoft Montreal.
Chaos Theory remains my favorite of the series. It rewarded you for stealth, while at the same time, allowed you to just go nuts and kill everyone if you wanted. The latest entry in the series, Double Agent, was a step in the wrong direction, with the whole "good guy, bad guy" storyline. It didn't work.
I hope Conviction goes back to what worked with the series while in the meantime expanding on the excellent cooperative play seen in Chaos Theory. Conviction could be a huge exclusive for Microsoft if Ubisoft Montreal can prove that the delayed development was not wasted.
Dead Island - I've always had this dream for a zombie game that just threw you into a city with one zombie in it and then said "go" and let you run around the city to gather ammo, food, and other essentials as the virus spread and you just try to survive as long as possible. Dead Island seems to be trying to do exactly that, which puts this is hotly on my radar for 2009.
Mass Effect 2 - Now, I know there isn't an official 2009 release date for this one yet and that it's not even sure if the game will be released this year. However, there is a very big chance that it will see the light of day this year and, if it does, it'll be one of the biggest games of 09 and a big one for 360 owners.
I loved pretty much everything about the first game, so I cannot wait where Commander Sheppard and his crew do next. With BioWare behind the wheel, I'm sure we'll be treated to another great installment in this rumored trilogy of games.