If you’re still rocking your Xbox 360 in 2021, then we salute you. This classic console has weathered the test of time more successfully than its rival, the PlayStation 3, and although Nintendo’s Wii emerged the victor of that particular generation, we still think the Xbox 360 was one of the greatest consoles ever made (early hardware issues notwithstanding).
One of the games you might have missed out on if you haven’t updated your gaming console for a while is Tom Clancy’s The Division, an excellent looter-shooter created for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2016. While you might not be able to play this game on your 360, there are plenty of similar experiences you can check out, so without further ado, let’s take a look at the best games like The Division for Xbox 360 out there right now.
The Borderlands series
Perhaps the franchise that’s most spiritually akin to The Division on Xbox 360 is Borderlands, 2K’s looter-shooter series that mixes frenetic FPS action with Diablo-style loot-gathering. The first Borderlands is more of a watered-down MMO experience, but Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel are the real deal; they represent the realisation of 2K’s ambitious plans to make co-operative loot-based FPS games with great writing and a focus on addictive gameplay loops. Unfortunately, Borderlands 3 isn’t available on Xbox 360, but the three games you can play for this console should keep you going for a while.
The Mass Effect series
As a franchise, Mass Effect has a much stronger focus on storytelling than The Division does, so if you’re just looking for pure looter-shooter thrills, this may be less of an attractive proposition than Borderlands. However, Mass Effect is still a superb RPG franchise, and all three games are available on Xbox 360, so if you haven’t experienced BioWare’s space opera masterpieces, then now’s a great time to do so. Mass Effect 2 and 3 streamline the loot-heavy gameplay of the first title, but all three games are tactical RPG shooters with an emphasis on party strategy.
Crackdown and Crackdown 2
If the part of The Division that most appeals to you is exploring a city looking for faces to stomp, then Crackdown and its sequel are definitely games you need to check out. Despite a fairly predictable overall narrative arc and a sense of repetition towards the middle of the games, Crackdown offers superhero sandbox gameplay like no other; even the more recent Crackdown 3 couldn’t match the heights (literally) reached by its predecessors. If you love leaping around cityscapes, collecting upgrades, and blasting scores of bad guys, then you owe it to yourself to check out Crackdown.
Alright, so Shadow Complex – which is loosely based on a story by Ender’s Game author Orson Scott-Card – is superficially unlike The Division. It’s not a looter-shooter; rather, it’s a Metroidvania platformer in which you gradually unlock upgrades, uncover more of the map, and discover the sinister secret behind the titular complex. However, it does feel a lot like The Division, with its military-industrial complex-based narrative and its range of explosive and ballistic weaponry. Check this one out if you love The Division but you wish it came with a side order of Metroid.
Mars: War Logs
Are you familiar with the term “Eurojank”? This somewhat pejorative yet affectionate phrase is used to refer to a set of games created by European developers in which their reach often exceeds their grasp. Mars: War Logs is one of these titles. It’s a space-themed cyberpunk RPG in which you play as a gruff renegade who must battle through the titular planet, taking down bad guys and upgrading yourself as you go. There’s plenty of jank on offer, but if you can cope with that, Mars: War Logs is a worthwhile addition to your Xbox 360 RPG library.
Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas
For our money, the best versions of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas you can play are on PC; you can mod out problems and less desirable elements, and the frame rate and gameplay are generally smoother. However, if you’re limited to gaming on an Xbox 360, then both of these nuclear RPGs are excellent fare. Fallout 3 is a more straightforward action game with RPG elements, while New Vegas brings Obsidian’s signature excellent writing and non-linear exploration into the mix. If you’re a fan of The Division’s ruined cityscapes and upgradeable loot, Fallout 3 and New Vegas are great options.
BioShock and BioShock 2
Again, BioShock and its sequel don’t really have a great deal in common with The Division on a surface level. The looter-shooter revolution didn’t really begin in earnest until the eighth console generation, so games closely resembling The Division on Xbox 360 are few and far between. However, for our money, both BioShock and its sequel are great RPG shooters with plenty of philosophical chin-stroking dialogue to wrap your head around. These games offer deep narratives, moral choices, and a heavy emphasis on exploration, so if that sounds like your bag, you’re missing out if you haven’t played them yet.
The Gears of War series
The Division is a third-person cover shooter, and in that regard, it owes a hell of a lot to Microsoft and Epic’s trailblazing Gears of War franchise. The first game appeared all the way back in 2006, but it’s had a huge, indelible effect on gaming since then. If you want to see where The Division got a lot of its mechanics – including cover-based shooting – from, then Gears of War is a good series to revisit. Start with the first game and work your way through, skipping Judgment if you’re not enamoured with the franchise by the time the credits roll at the end of Gears of War.