A little back story – My Dad isn’t much of a gamer. He played a bit during the NES and SNES days, but hasn’t touched a game controller more than a handful of times since then. It got me thinking, what current Xbox 360 games would I buy for him if I wanted to get him back into gaming. I weighed his interests against how easy it would be to get into each game, and came up with the list. Here are the Top 8 Xbox 360 Games I’d Totally Buy My Dad, and maybe you'd want to buy your Dad as well. What about your Mom? How about a Nintendo DS?
My Dad is a great fisherman. I’m a pretty darn good fisherman, and he taught me everything I know, so he must be totally awesome. Or something. With all of that in mind, I would buy him Bass Pro Shops: The Strike without any hesitation. It is the best playing, most realistic fishing game I have ever played and I know he’d love it. Any real fisherman will be able to pick this game up and appreciate it immediately.
My Dad isn’t going to play Guitar Hero: Metallica with me any time soon, but he’d feel right at home with Beatles: Rock Band. He knows all the songs already and they won’t be too difficult that he wouldn’t be able to play them. It is a perfect mix of great tunes and the right level of challenge that makes Beatles: Rock Band a solid purchase for gamers of all ages and skill levels.
In Idaho, during the Fall, when you have a house full of kids to feed and not a lot of money to get through the Winter, you go hunting. Unlike some people that think hunting is a two week vacation where you sit in a tent and drink beer, my Dad was always more straightforward. He’d go out on opening day of the season, find the right spot, take a look around, shoot a deer, and be back home for lunch. That is what Cabela’s Outdoor Adventures is like. It is realistic and straightforward, but still fun and satisfying.
It is hard not to like golf games. They are easy to pick up and play and it is easy to make spectacular shots and enjoy the same thrills you see on TV every week. If you’re going to introduce someone to videogame golf, you might as well start with the best one on the market. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is easy to pick up for beginners (like my Dad), but has plenty of depth to keep you hooked after you figure out the basics.
Everyone’s a movie buff, but Scene It! separates the people that talk the talk from the people that really walk the walk. This is a perfect game for newbie gamers because it is fun, rewarding, and has easy controls thanks to Microsoft’s Big Button Controllers. It also covers a wide range of movies, so even if you haven’t seen all of the latest blockbusters there are lots of older classics mixed in as well.
Back in the NES days, my Dad was a Tetris Master. We’d pass the controller back and forth for hours at a time trying to beat the high score. It was good times. So why not rekindle those fond memories with, arguably, the best version of Tetris ever. Tetris Evolution has a ton of modes all wrapped around that same addictive and easy to learn gameplay that made Tetris a hit all those years ago.
Probably the only game on this list my Dad could actually beat me at the first time he picked up the controller, poker games are easy to pick up and play for everyone, but real world experience trumps videogame button pressing any day of the week. Other poker games on the 360 are kind of cluttered and don’t have as nice of options, so I’m going with Activision’s World Series of Poker 2007.
When a normal fighting game would be too complicated and UFC 2009: Undisputed is way too complicated, a nice compromise to get the same competitive feel but with easier controls is the Fight Night series. I didn’t like FNR4 much, so I’m sticking with the tried and true, nearly 4 year old Fight Night Round 3. It still looks amazing and plays better than any boxing game released since. It is easy to pick up and play, but offers an ocean’s worth of depth where there is a ton to learn.