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Top 5 Xbox 360 Games

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We’ve highlighted the system specifics and top five games for the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation 3. Now, we’re onto the last of the three major video game consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 debuted in November 2005, and has undergone a number of redesigns over the years. The most recent model features a slimmer design, Wi-Fi connectivity and five USB ports, which are useful for peripherals like the Kinect, Microsoft’s new motion-gaming accessory.

Like its most direct competitor, the PS3, the Xbox 360 is designed with more experienced gamers in mind. Therefore, it tends to stand out for its hot-selling franchise games, like the Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty series. But with about 800 games available in retail stores and online via the Xbox Live Marketplace, there’s a broad range of titles that kids, families and seniors may enjoy. Below is just a small sample.

NBA 2K11

The best-selling NBA series is back from 2K Sports. It features improved graphics, controls, artificial intelligence and broadcast presentation over its previous installment, NBA 2K10.

The game boasts new, realistic dribbling and shot controls that feature all new jumpshots, layups and dunks. The game’s new technology also lets you adjust your shots in mid-air. There are a number of classic NBA teams you can choose between, all of which play in classic-looking arenas for a touch of nostalgia.

One of the more thrilling aspects of NBA 2K11′s gameplay surrounds legendary superstar Michael Jordan, who adorns the game’s box cover. In a side game called the Jordan Challenge, you can begin your journey as Jordan, the rookie of whichever team you choose. Your job is to guide the famous player through career milestones. As you advance, you’ll unlock the complete lineup of Air Jordan shoes that he wore throughout his illustrious career. You’ll also watch the character age throughout the years.

For more information or to order, NBA 2k11 is available onAmazon.com.

Monopoly Streets

For its 75th anniversary, the number-one Parker Brothers board game gets a face-lift – and another dimension. This 3D version lets you drop your thimble or Scottie dog onto the now living and breathing streets of Mr. Moneybag’s universe.

You’ll get to see your properties come to life in the form of a seedy motel on Baltic Avenue or a luxury high-rise hotel on Boardwalk. This video game version also introduces custom rules that can lengthen or shorten gameplay based on your preferences. You also have the added ability to start a bidding war by auctioning off your existing assets.

For more information or to order, Monopoly Streets is available onAmazon.com.

Brain Challenge

Boost your brain power with this downloadable title from Gameloft. You can take a daily test or hit the training room where more than 20 types of games are broken up into five categories, including memory, visual, logic, math and focus. These games increase in difficulty as you improve. They even provide brain charts where you can monitor your progress through graphs and statistics.

There is also a stress training exercise, featuring physical and multitasking activities. If all this is too strenuous, you can unlock a creative mode that promises a relaxing experience to explore and exercise your artistic capabilities.

For more information, check Gameloft.com.

Trivial Pursuit

There’s no feeling quite like answering a piece of useless trivia that no one else knew. Yes, that’s why Trivial Pursuit is another title in the classic board game genre that has come to the Xbox in the form of this well-received entry from Electronic Arts (EA).

In the video game version, Trivial Pursuit’s questions and answers aren’t quite as esoteric as they might be in the real world. You also don’t have to pull the answers from thin air, thanks to the new multiple choice format. This new format includes pictures and maps, and is just hard enough to keep you interested and entertained without getting frustrated.

Game modes include Classic, which is more or less what you remember from the board game; Clear the Board, a timed, single-player game in which you try to achieve the highest score; and Facts and Friends, a welcome change-up where you can bet whether your friends can answer a question or not. You can also steal one of their wedges in a number of different side challenges.

For more information or to order, Trivial Pursuit is available onAmazon.com.

Namco Museum Virtual Arcade

For old-school gamers comes a treasure trove of classic ‘80s arcade favorites, as well as an additional handful of remixes, from Namco Museum: Virtual Arcade for Xbox 360.

Although each game can be individually purchased through Xbox Live Arcade, you can get 30 classic games like Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Dig-Dug, Galaga, Galaxian and Pole Position for less than $20 with this game pack.

Also included is the highly-reviewed Pac-Man Championship Edition, which was featured as a stand-alone title on our PlayStation 3 list.

Note: A number of the games included on our video games lists (for the Wii, Playstation and Xbox) are available on all three platforms. This is because they’re created by third-party developers like EA Sports or Activision. Therefore, you should check with the game’s developer to see if one of our picks is available on your system of choice.

For more information or to order, Namco Museum Virtual Arcade is available on Amazon.com.

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