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Halo 2 tops Live most-played list

For last week of 'boxing.

Microsoft's director of programming for Xbox Live, Larry Hryb, has revealed the latest info on the most popular Xbox Live games for its next-generation console, with original Xbox title Halo 2 taking a prominent lead.

Bungie's multi-million selling title was a massive hit on the Xbox, and its multiplayer modes were a significant boost for the online Xbox Live service, attracting a wealth of new subscribers signing up to compete against other gamers around the world.

The title is one of the select few games that are fully back-compatible with the new Xbox 360 console, and Bungie has also updated the title a little, adding a few graphical tweaks to enhance the experience for those with an HDTV.

The second most popular Live game at the moment is Activision's Call of Duty 2, followed by Rare's launch title, Perfect Dark Zero. Both, like the current crown holder Halo 2, fall into the first-person shooter genre, which has traditionally commanded a significant amount of time spent online in death-match and massive team-based skirmishes.

Tecmo's Dead or Alive 4, which jumped straight into the top of the all-format sales charts on its release, before being pushed out of the top by EA's Need for Speed: Most Wanted, is steadily building a strong multiplayer presence and increases in the retail supply of Microsoft's console has improved the attachment rate for the title, which could climb the popularity ranks further in the coming weeks.

Project Gotham Racing 3, despite losing out to Need for Speed in the software sales chart, is currently performing better than its EA arcade style rival, nestling in at fifth place while Need for Speed Most Wanted tails behind in sixth.

Seventh place goes to another Xbox original, with Battlefield 2: Modern Combat holding its own in the next-gen arena. Madden NFL 06 is at number eight, followed by Xbox Live Arcade title Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved - the first Xbox Live Arcade title to enter the most-played list.

2K Sports creeps into tenth with its NBA 2K6 game, though with a number of new releases and a rapidly improving customer base thanks to renewed hardware supplies at retail, the most popular online games look likely to change pretty quickly in the coming weeks.