The Orange Box has to be one of the greatest deals to ever hit the video game market. You get three excellent new games, and two old ones, for a mere fifty dollars. Whether you're killing hunters in Mad Max's car, 'SAPPAN' sentry guns, or even falling in love with your weighted companion cube, you're definitely having a great time.
Half Life 2, episode two
I can say without a doubt that episode two is way, way better than episode one. Incredible physics manage to make every firefight memorable, however you still find some of those easy, out of place physics puzzles on your journey. Still, half life isn't a puzzle game, so I can't really mark it down for that. The graphics are very beautiful if you have a computer that can run them, but a great feature of the source engine is that even if you don't have a very good computer, you still get decent graphics (this obviously isn't a problem for xbox players). The new enemies are decent, but I still have to complain about the generic weaponry (besides the grav gun and the ar2). Would it really kill valve to add some new guns once in a while? Episode two is also unfortunately short, but I'd rather a short, fun game, than a long, boring game. A few bits and pieces of the story are progressed/filled in, but I guess we'll have to wait for episode three for them to wrap up the story (WE CAN ONLY HOPE). You can get 'achievements' which add a bit of replay value, but you, unfortunately, can't skip the... cutscenes(?)... or whatever you'd call them. I'd give episode two a very high B+.
Portal has to be the best 'puzzle' game I've ever played. The entire concept is unique, and the atmosphere really adds to the fun. Portal has one of the best endings I've ever experienced, but the real prize goes to 'GlaDOS', for having such a great 'person'ality. I've seen games spend tens of hours to build up characters who I could care less about, but I couldn't help but come down with stockholms syndrome after listening to a few of GlaDOS's one sided dialogues. The game is very short, however, there are a ton of player made maps on the way, which I guarantee will provide hours upon hours of fun and replay value for the PC players. Portal is a game that EVERYONE needs to play through at least once, which is why I'm giving it an A+
Team Fortress 2
TF2 makes up the online portion of the Orange Box, and I it does so with flying colors. One of the best features of TF2 is how different it is from other 'mature' shooters. Instead of serious, generic graphics with lots of gore, you get colorful, cartoony graphics with lots of gore. The character classes have some great personalities, and with hundreds of lines per character, you won't get sick of them for a long, long time. Every class is very fun to play(with the exception of the engineer, in my opinion), and they all have distinct weaknesses/strengths. Out of the six maps, there are only about three good ones, but this is where player made maps come to shine. There are already a few decent player made maps, but if you look at other source games (ex CSS or DoDS), there will be great player made maps in the future. All in all an A+ game for being so damn addictive and, of course, fun.
Clearly, The Orange Box is one of the best deals ever released, and you'd be a fool not to buy it. Unless of course, you have a life, in which case I'd strongly advice you NOT to buy it. You've been warned!