Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb, Xbox Live Director of Programming at Microsoft, has posted a list of the top 10 most-played games over Xbox Live to his personal blog. As with the last instance of Hryb's chart, it must come with a caveat that Xbox 360 games are "Live Aware", and apparently count as logged onto Live even when in single-player mode, which helps account for their proliferation through the top 10.
Despite the technical bias toward 360 games, #1 on the list is still the Halo 2
, one of only three original Xbox games still making the charts. Even taking into account its status as an Xbox game, it still has one of the most complete Live implantations, and its enhanced backward-compatible play on the 360 means it's a game that can easily make the transition between consoles. The other standard Xbox titles to make the list are Battlefield 2: Modern Combat
at #7, whose players flock to Live for huge multiplayer skirmishes, and Madden NFL 2006
, which, despite its multimillion-selling status, is currently at #10.
In second place is Call of Duty 2
, followed by Perfect Dark Zero
: both of which are, like Halo 2
first-person shooters, a genre whose emphasis on multiplayer commands a lot of time spent online in deathmatch and other more exotic game types. Dead or Alive 4
at #4 has been building up a strong tournament scene taking advantage of the game's Live play, while Project Gotham Racing 3
, a fairly realistic racing simulator, takes fifth place on the XBL list. The somewhat less realistic racer Need for Speed: Most Wanted
comes in sixth on the chart.
The Xbox 360 version of Madden NFL 06
does its original-platform counterpart two better with a #8 showing, and the #9 game on the list isn't even a full game: the Full Auto
demo has captured so much attention on the XBL service that it seems a given that the final game, when it's released in mid-February, will also see a spot on the chart.