Still, it gave the world the grossly overrated Halo franchise, but it wasn't until the 360 was released that I finally understood why Microsoft was even bothering. Fact is, the Xbox 360 is now probably my second favourite console after the Super NES.
Regardless, the original Xbox did well enough - over 24 million were sold - to make the 360 and One possible, and there must be a reason for that. And that reason is this reason: there were some genuinely good games available for it.
Here are ten of they.
This is why Panzer Dragoon Orta - the fourth game in Sega's on-rails shoot 'em up-and-sometimes-RPG series - ended up on the Xbox. It lost a little of the prog rock album cover-esque aesthetic, but retained everything else that made Panzer Dragoon great. To wit: the same frantic, lock-on shoot 'em up mechanics, and vast, fantastical, locations.
Memorably, one boss appeared to resemble a giant, floating, lotus flower, with prominent, dangling, testicles (see above).
Perhaps too self-consciously "cool" for its own good, it's nonetheless a crying shame that Sega never built further upon these foundations - which still hold up today. Definitely one of Sega's many great lost franchises.
Seriously; never trust Sega with your house keys.
Nonetheless, Halo 2 was, at least, a step up from its predecessor in gameplay terms - notably, there was far less of the repeating of areas which had made Halo such a bore at times - and the multiplayer was solid. Also, you got to play as a Covenant alien, which helped further with the variety.
Didn't do much for the lack of heft to the weapons, mind, which still felt like you were limply flinging marshmallows at a duvet.
The intergalactic scale of the story was properly epic, more RPG than action game, and was so idiosyncratic that, of course, the game flopped.
When will you learn? People don't want stuff that's not like other stuff!
Indeed, so little has the formula evolved since that it's weird to think that Mercenaries is 14 years old.
Also, it's worth noting that two of the three playable characters were a woman and a black man. That's the sort of thing that certain sections of the gaming community would be up in arms about today. Oh, how far we've devolved...
The solid driving, coupled to the sheer speed, and the heavy focus on smashing into rival vehicles, was a pure adrenaline blast. For me, the high point of the Burnout series, and the safest way to scratch my road rage itch.
Another way in which I do this is to drive up alongside other drivers on the motorway and "belm" at them. They hate that, and sometimes they follow me into a motorway services carpark and try to crash into me.
Well, one time..
Being able to choose whether your character became bad or nice - and the knock-on effect of that choice - remains genuinely ground-breaking. However, it's the lush, rich world, and shamelessly British sense of humour, which really succeed.
Hey - remember a couple of years ago where loads of people piled into Molyneux and made him cry in interviews and drove him away from the public eye? Yeah, that was really funny!
Forget the big plot twist, what annoyed me is that it was set thousands of years - thousands! - before the original Star Wars Trilogy, but technology seemed exactly as advanced as it was four millenniums later. I mean, you don't get films about The Battle of Hastings where everyone's got their phones out, Googling "King Harold".
Also, I don't want enemies who look a bit like Stormtroopers. I want STORMTROOPERS!!!
Plus, even when you take the Star Wars out of the equation, I still really find the Bioware formula incredibly dull.
So it's here - yay! Knights of the Old Republic is in a list of Best Xbox Games. HAPPY NOW?!
And FYI: the reason I've not included that Chronicles of Riddick game - which everyone also seemed to love - is because I hated it.
You know what annoys me? When people call gadgets "tech". Even more annoying when they call it "gadge", which evokes nothing less than a slang term for a lady's parts.