So You Want To Buy An Xbox 360? (Holiday Purchase Guide)

If you’re thinking about buying an Xbox 360, you’re probably wondering if it’s the right move. Fortunately, Geeks Under Grace is here to help you sort through the info and find the answers to questions about pricing, what games are available, and which accessories will be right for you. We’ll even provide links so you can make your purchase whenever you’re ready!
With the next generation consoles coming out, it may seem like the Xbox 360 will be forgotten and you’ll be left wishing you had gone in a different direction. Well, there’s no need to worry because Microsoft has announced that they will continue to support the console for at least the next three years so you can still get in on the fun.

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The Xbox 360 has a lot of features that appeal to the whole family, whether they are interested in gaming or not.
  • Multiple profiles can be created to give every user a customized menu and avatar. Recommendations are automatically generated for each user based on their history, and parental controls can be applied to chosen profiles.
  • Exclusive apps offer access to programs like ESPN, PBS, Manga Entertainment, and many more. There are also apps for programs like Netflix and Hulu, which require memberships.
  • A variety of menu screens give users the ability to download music, movies, and games directly from the Xbox Live marketplace.
  • Built in Wi-Fi gives gamers the ability to play online with friends and even lend out downloaded games.
  • In-game achievements extend gameplay for those gamers who like to get the most out of their games.

A new Xbox 360 console with a 4 GB hard drive usually comes with one controller and costs around $180. Console packages which include games, larger hard drives, or the Kinect accessory can go as high as $550. In order to use the Wi-Fi features of the console, users must also sign up for Xbox Live which costs around $10 per month or $60 for a yearly membership. The added cost can be a little off-putting, but the membership also includes two free games per month as well as discounts on downloaded games, so it’s definitely worth it.
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7 Great Games You Can Play On The Xbox 360

 

Assassin’s Creed Series

Read our review of Assassin’s Creed: Unity HERE
The setting is 1191 AD. The Third Crusade is tearing the Holy Land apart. You, Altair, intend to stop the hostilities by suppressing both sides of the conflict. You are an Assassin, a warrior shrouded in secrecy and feared for your ruthlessness. Your actions can throw your immediate environment into chaos, and your existence will shape events during this pivotal moment in history. As an assassin, you will master the skills, tactics, and weapons of history’s deadliest and most secretive clan of warriors. Plan your attacks, strike without mercy, and fight your way to escape.
Features:
  • Experience a living, breathing world in which all your actions have consequences. Crowds react to your moves and will either help or hinder you on your quests
  • Eliminate your targets wherever, whenever, and however. Stalk your prey through detailed and historically accurate environments. Scale buildings, mount horses, blend in with crowds
  • This game immerses you in the Holy Land of the 12th century, featuring life-like graphics, ambiance, and the detail of a living world
  • Find action blended with fluid and precise animations. Use a wide range of medieval weapons, and face your enemies in sword fight duels”

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*Information from Amazon.com

 Elder Scrolls: Skyrim

The next chapter in the highly anticipated Elder Scrolls saga arrives from the makers of the 2006 and 2008 Games of the Year, Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose.
Story:  The Empire of Tamriel is on the edge. The High King of Skyrim has been murdered. Alliances form as claims to the throne are made. In the midst of this conflict, a far more dangerous, ancient evil is awakened. Dragons, long lost to the passages of the Elder Scrolls, have returned to Tamriel. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons.
KEY FEATURES:
  • Epic Fantasy Reborn.
    Skyrim reimagines the open-world fantasy epic, pushing the gameplay and technology of a virtual world to new heights.
  • Live another life, in another world.
    Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling, and adventure of The Elder Scrolls is realized like never before.
  • All New Graphics and Gameplay Engine.
    Skyrim‘s new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields, and ancient dungeons.
  • You Are What You Play.
    Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities. The new character system allows you to play any way you want and define yourself through your actions.
  • Dragons Return.
    Battle ancient dragons like you’ve never seen. As Dragonborn, learn their secrets and harness their power for yourself.

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

 Injustice

What if our greatest heroes became our greatest threat? Injustice: Gods Among Us introduces a bold new franchise to the fighting game genre from NetherRealm Studios, creators of the definitive fighting game Mortal Kombat. Featuring DC Comics icons such Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman and Wonder Woman, the latest title from the award-winning studio presents a deep original story. Heroes and villains will engage in epic battles on a massive scale in a world where the line between good and evil has been blurred.
ROBUST DC COMICS ROSTER:  Engage in epic match-ups with a massive roster of DC Comics heroes and villains, including Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman and Wonder Woman.
MASTER GOD-LIKE POWERS:  Unleash each character’s unique super powers with individual move-sets and environmental interactions.
UNCONTAINABLE BATTLES:  Fight through multi-tiered fighting arenas by hurling opponents through buildings and launching them off cliffs.
ROBUST DC COMICS ROSTER:  Engage in epic match-ups with a massive roster of DC Comics heroes and villains, including Batman, Cyborg, The Flash, Harley Quinn, Nightwing, Solomon Grundy, Superman and Wonder Woman.
MASTER GOD-LIKE POWERS:  Unleash each character’s unique super powers with individual move-sets and environmental interactions.
UNCONTAINABLE BATTLES:  Fight through multi-tiered fighting arenas by hurling opponents through buildings and launching them off cliffs.”

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*Quotes from Injustice.com

 The Lego Movie Videogame

Read our review of The Lego Movie Videogame HERE
Transform the ordinary into the extraordinary and experience the ultimate LEGO building experience in the all new The LEGO® Movie Videogame. Step into the world of Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average citizen who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. Players guide him as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. Enjoy a delightful and surprising mix of over 90 characters as seen from the film including Batman, Superman, the Green Ninja, Gandalf and more in 15 exciting levels.
 Features:
  • Smash more bricks in a fascinating environment made of LEGO bricks.
  • Collect and use LEGO instruction pages to build in a new way.
  • Journey through fantastical worlds like Flatbush Gulch, Cloud Cuckoo Land and more!
  • Harness the awesome power of the Master Builders to virtually build extraordinary LEGO creations.
  • Enjoy a brand new animation style as seen in the film that simulates the movement of actual LEGO toy sets.

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*Quotes from LEGO.com

 Fable Series

WHO WILL YOU BE?
Create your life story from childhood to death, grow from an inexperienced adolescent into the most powerful being in the world. Choose the path of righteousness or dedicate your life to evil.
  • Muscles expand with each feat of strength; force of will increases with each work of wit. Obesity follows gluttony, skin tans with exposure to sunlight and bleaches bone-white by moonlight.
  • Fable is a ground-breaking role-playing adventure game from Peter Molyneux, in which your every action determines your skills, appearance, and reputation. Fable was the top-selling game of September 2004 and sold more than two million units by 2007.
  • Create your life story from childhood to death, grow from an inexperienced adolescent into the most powerful being in the world. Choose the path of righteousness or dedicate your life to evil. Muscles expand with each feat of strength; force of will increases with each work of wit. Obesity follows gluttony, skin tans with exposure to sunlight and bleaches bone-white by moonlight. Earn scars in battle and lines of experience with age. Each person you aid, each flower you crush, each creature you slay, will change this world forever.

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*Quotes from lionhead.com

 Halo 4

The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Shipwrecked on a mysterious world, faced with new enemies and deadly technology, the universe will never be the same. Enlist aboard the Infinity to experience Halo’s original multiplayer and Spartan Ops – episodic fiction-based co-op missions.
Key Features:
The Reclaimer Saga Begins: Experience the dawn of an epic new Halo adventure, solo or split screen with up to three friends
Go Beyond the Story: Halo 4’s Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan-IV player progression system.
Spartan Ops: Extend your campaign experience in a massive-scale adventure that builds upon the “Halo 4” Campaign. Receive a weekly series of cinematic episodes on Xbox LIVE followed by new game play missions, played solo or cooperatively with up to three friends – effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game!
War Games: Battle the competition in fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies.
Track your groups, stats and scores on HaloWaypoint.com
Edge-of-your-seat Entertainment: Immerse yourself in Halo 4’s graphics, sound and epic game play including a mysterious and deadly new class of enemies.”

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

 Dance Central

“Dance Central™, exclusively for “Kinect” for Xbox 360, is the first real dance game experience that is fun, social and for everyone!
Brought to you by Harmonix, the developers who created the world-wide blockbuster Rock Band™, Dance Central is the first immersive dance video game that features and tracks full-body dance moves. Completely free from any controller, every routine has authentic choreography for beginners and experts alike to master, alongside a killer soundtrack that spans today’s current pop, hip-hop and R&B artists. Take it step-by-step with Break It Down or jump right in and start performing for your family and friends. Either way, you won’t just learn dance moves, you’ll own the dance floor!
Ready. Set. Dance. Dance Central will get you warmed up and dancing in no time with “Break it Down” and “Perform It!”. You’ll be introduced to some of the over 600 moves in the game, polish your performance, and put it all together to master the routine!
Pump Up the Volume. Featuring tracks from hot artists including Lady Gaga, No Doubt, M.I.A., Bell Biv Devoe, and more, you’ll master more than 90 dance routines all created by professional choreographers. You may even recognize some of the moves from the song’s music videos!
Burn Up the Dance Floor – and Calories. Whether you’ve had your dancing shoes on your entire life or this is your first time hitting the floor, Dance Central will have you dancing like a pro in no time. As you cruise through songs and master moves, you will earn Achievements, unlock new character outfits and venues, and progress through the dance ranks. Dance Central even tracks the calories you burn so you can turn all that fun into your daily workout routine.

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

Here is a bonus game that your kids will love (and you might as well):

 Skylanders Trap Team

Capture Evil. Unleash Good.
Kaos has blown up the walls of the feared Cloudcracker Prison freeing the most notorious villains in Skylands. it’s up to you and the Skylanders to find and capture them. using Traptanium, a magic material that can harness the power of the Elements, you have the amazing ability to trap the villains and return them to Skylands to fight for you! Begin the ultimate adventure as you explore Skylands in search of the escaped villains!
Starter Pack includes: 1-Video Game, 1-Traptanium Portal, 2-Skylanders Figures, 2-Traps, 1-Character Collector Poster, 2-Sticker Sheets with Secret Codes and 2-Trading Cards.
Build the ultimate Trap Team – Over 60 Skylanders to collect and 40+ villains to capture. Sticker Sheets with Secret Codes – Enjoy stickers of your favorite Skylanders. Place the names and codes on the Character Collect Poster to track your collection. The secret codes can be used in the Skylanders Lost Islands and Skylanders Collection Vault Apps. Trading Cards – Learn more about each Skylander’s powers and abilities.
Traptanium Portal:  Place the Skylanders on the NEW Traptanium Portal and bring the Skylanders to life.
Traps:  Defeat and capture villains in the Traps and then use the villains on the side of good.
All New Skylanders:  The Skylanders each have their own unique abilities and powers.
Trap Master Skylanders:  Trap Master Skylanders are the ultimate trappers with powerful Traptanium weapons.

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

Here is a bonus game that adults will love, but the kids should probably avoid:

BioShock Infinite

This is BioShock Infinite.
BioShock® Infinite is a first-person shooter like you’ve never seen. Just ask the judges from E3 2011, where the Irrational Games title won over 85 editorial awards, including the Game Critics Awards’ Best of Show. Set in 1912, players assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the flying city of Columbia on a rescue mission. His target? Elizabeth, imprisoned since childhood. During their daring escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond — one that lets Booker augment his own abilities with her world-altering control over the environment. Together, they fight from high-speed Sky-Lines, in the streets and houses of Columbia, on giant zeppelins, and in the clouds, all while learning to harness an expanding arsenal of weapons and abilities, and immersing players in a story that is not only steeped in profound thrills and surprises, but also invests its characters with what Game Informer called “An amazing experience from beginning to end.
Discover Columbia
The city of Columbia was built by the US Government in the late 1800s to serve as a floating world’s fair. The city was sent to travel from continent to continent and show the rest of the world the success of the American experiment. Unknown to most, Columbia was also a “death star,” secretly packed with weaponry. Political strife caused Columbia to secede from America and the city disappeared. No one knows how to get to Columbia.
Explore the Sky-Lines
The Sky-Lines were initially built as a means for shipping and moving cargo in Columbia, but the city’s youth quickly found a way to use them as a death-defying means of movement. As the struggle between factions in Columbia intensified, they become not only a method of transportation but also a facilitator of combat. In the second BioShock Infinite gameplay demo, you saw Booker maneuver through a system of interweaving Sky-Lines to outwit and outmaneuver his foes.
CHARACTERS
Booker Dewitt – You play Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton detective. Faced with mounting debts, you are forced to take one last job: you must travel to the missing city of Columbia to find a young woman and bring her safely out of the city.
Elizabeth – Elizabeth has been imprisoned in Columbia since childhood. All she knows about the world are her rooms and her jailer, a massive creature known as Songbird. Finally freed by Booker DeWitt, Elizabeth finds herself lost in the city and troubled by many questions.
Songbird – Songbird is the creature that serves as Elizabeth’s jailer, protector and only companion. Once Booker frees Elizabeth, Songbird will do anything and everything to return Elizabeth to her prison.”

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*Quotes from bioshockinfinite.com

Here are 2 games that are coming out in the near future that you may want to pre-order:

Ori And The Blind Forest

Releases early 2015

Ori and the Blind Forest is a masterfully crafted action-adventure platformer that combines exploratory gameplay with a heart-wrenching emotional narrative. Powered by the Unity Engine, Ori and the Blind Forest combines beautiful visuals and a cinematic score for an unforgettable experience.
Join Ori, the last spirit guardian, as he discovers the mysteries of a dying forest while escaping the evil clutches of Kuro, the dark owl. Play through a beautifully created environment while combating Kuro and completing in-game puzzles to help Ori save the blind forest.”

*Quotes from Amazon.com

 Dragon Ball Xenoverse

Release Date: February 17, 2015
Fierce battles of Goku and others will be reborn! For the first time ever, the Dragon Ball universe will be depicted onto the new generation systems and will fully benefit from the most powerful consoles ever created. DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE will bring all the frenzied battles between Goku and his most fierce enemies, such as Vegeta, Frieza, Cell and much more, with new gameplay design! DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE will take the beloved universe from series’ creator Akira Toriyama by storm and break tradition with a new world setup, a mysterious city and other amazing features to be announced in the future! But a question remains; an unknown fighter appears… Who is he?!

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

 Here are some accessories that you might want to pick up for your brand new Xbox 360:

 Xbox 360 Wireless Controller

 

Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers help you get into the game like never before. Together with up to three friends, you can take complete control of the fun and play anywhere in the room (up to 30 foot range). When the game is on, don’t let the wires trip you up.
Product Features
  • 2.4GHz wireless technology with 30-foot range
  • Use up to four controllers simultaneously on one console
  • Integrated headset port for Xbox LIVE play
  • Adjustable vibration feedback for longer battery life
  • New left and right shoulder buttons are designed for ease of use
  • Great new look with a matte black finish and gloss accents
  • Use the Xbox 360 Guide button to keep track of your friends, access your games and media, or power on and off your Xbox 360 console

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

 Xbox 360 Headset

The Xbox 360 Headset heightens the experience of the Xbox LIVE online gaming community, allowing you to strategize with teammates, trash-talk opponents, or just chat with friends while playing your favorite games.

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

 Nyko Charge Base 360 S for Xbox 360

Conveniently store and charge two Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers with Nyko’s Charge Base 360. The Charge Base 360 comes with two custom NiMH rechargeable batteries that feature special contact points allowing for an easy drop-in and charge power solution for your wireless controllers. The dual port recharging dock is AC powered, and plugs into any standard outlet, requiring no cables back to the 360 console. Each rechargeable battery powers the wireless controller for up to 25 hours, and charges a single battery in 2 hours, or both batteries simultaneously in 4. The Charge Base 360 is the ideal charging solution for all Xbox 360 owners.

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*Quotes from Amazon.com

Thank you for checking out Geeks Under Grace and our purchasing guide for the Xbox 360. We have other purchasing guides as well, and you can check them all out HERE.
The Xbox 360 is a great system for anyone who wants to get into console gaming, but doesn’t want to shell out extra cash for a next generation model like the Wii U, PS4, or Xbox One. It has a nice balance between family-friendly games and the more graphic games that adults will love but kids should avoid. Also, since Microsoft will continue to release many of their new games for this model, you don’t even have to worry about missing out on some of the great games that are coming out in the future!

Thank you for checking out our purchasing guide! Do any of these games interest you? Tell us in the comments!

Lari Burkhart

A life-long book addict, I spend most of my time trying to find a way to avoid reality through sci-fi and fantasy. I've been a Christian for quite some time (no numbers, please) and I'm always ready for a discussion about how fiction mirrors the Bible and its principles even when it's trying not to.

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