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How Do 360's Launch Games Fare Today?

A retrospective look at how the games of yesterday fare in 2009...

When Xbox 360 launched, it was pretty much all about Call of Duty 2.

Well, that and Project Gotham Racing 3. Those were the early titles that caught the eye of early 360 owners with their mix of great gameplay and lush graphics, which made great use of the 360's HD capabilities.

But how do these titles fare now? Is it worth going back to the cheapest of the cheap bargain bin games to revisit any hidden gems you missed out the first time around? Let's take a look...

KAMEO: ELEMENTS OF POWER

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Rare's platformer had a lot of early hype that was slowly stripped away when the demo showed how dull and awkward the opening levels were. Further playing showed some great touches mixed in with a lot of mediocrity and the co-op patch was too late to save its reputation. An interesting curio now but little more, especially with the Tomb Raider games around.

PROJECT GOTHAM RACING 3

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With its classy presentation and effortless style, Project Gotham Racing 3 looked the part and played it too. It received plenty of patches and DLC that added extra modes with the bikes turning some people off its sequel, PGR3 remains a pretty good bargain buy despite the fierce competition from other racing games such as Forza 2.

PERFECT DARK ZERO

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Despite having elements that hinted at what was to lie ahead in the 360's life-span, such as heavily scripted set-pieces and cover fire, it didn't mesh together to form a particularly good game. The multiplayer also suffered from being too slow and awkward, with only Infection mode being its real lasting legacy.

TONY HAWK'S AMERICAN WASTELAND

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Considered a straight up port of the last-gen with a very, very subtle hint of 360 sheen along with achievements slapped onto its bumper, there was nothing remarkable about this competent but average skating game. Has since been effortlessly topped by its own sequels and Skate.

GUN

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Gun looked like it forgot to wash after its overnight stay on PlayStation2 and journey on the multiplatform game to 360. A classic example of bargain bin gaming - lightweight, disposable and a little bit cheap, Wild West shooter Gun is good company for a dirty weekend and nothing more.

CONDEMNED: CRIMINAL ORIGINS

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Until Silent Hill: The Homecoming finds its way onto shelves, this atmospheric and brutal horror is the best the genre has to offer on 360. While the sequel turns towards gunplay, this stuck to its unflinching, painful and personal melee combat throughout and is a better game for it.

TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 06

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A competent if not spectacular effort, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06 was marred at the time by a terrible online mode that felt like it was held together by glue and a prayer and glitched achievements that refused to unlock. The sequels have, inevitably, bettered this in every way.

QUAKE 4

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This suffered from horrendous frame-rate problems that made a mockery of Xbox 360's next-gen status. It gained a cult following online as it was a PC shooter, through and through, barely even acknowledging its console status. The online community for Quake 4 today is dead and for those wanting a PC-shooter-in-360-clothes, we have The Orange Box now.

CALL OF DUTY 2

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The standout title in the Xbox 360 line-up, the gameplay was simple but the presentation was mind blowing. Call of Duty 2 was arguably the first game that really showed us what a wonderful marriage HD and gaming could make and when the online play was (eventually) fixed up, it became the game of choice for most early 360 adopters.

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