The emergence of arcade games on Xbox Live was perhaps interpreted as an afterthought by many at first. XBLA was seen as just another simple platform for getting certain types of games out into the public’s range of view; games which couldn’t stack up to major releases. Since its inception however, Xbox Live Arcade has grown into something else entirely; it’s become a hub for highly entertaining, unique and artistic titles that many gamers actually seem to prefer over the bigger releases.
So, without further ado, let’s explore the very best of what XBLA has to offer:
#10 Rock of Ages
What you have here is a game about big rocks; well, there’s actually much more to it than that, but the central focus is on boulders. RoA is a game set around the concept of tower defense with humor and strategy being fundamental to the experience.
In truth, there aren’t that many really great sports games on Xbox Live Arcade as you might think. However, B:V is an exception to this rule. Straying far from the idea of pure simulation, this American Football title is all about having fun and enjoying the spectacle of the sport.
This game will challenge you, regardless of how badass you think you are as a gamer. As far as 2D platformers go, this is one title you shouldn’t pass on if you consider yourself to be an elite gamer.
You’ve probably played the original N flash game online, right? Well, if not you should expect to encounter a platforming experience that will open your mind up to just how deep the mechanics of the genre can actually be. Likewise, there are an abundance of levels. Take control over your Ninja and start solving some puzzles, pronto!
What list of Arcade games would be complete without including at least one fighting game? Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix however is both a classic and an update for fans of the series.
What you’ve got here is a new action-heavy entry into the Alan Wake universe which should fall perfectly in line with the expectations of survival horror fans. It plays and looks almost exactly like its big brother / full release counterpart, only its more affordable.
Simply put, Shadow Complex is one of the best XBLA games out there, and is one of the better 2D action / exploration games to ever hit the market. This title is sort of exudes a Metal Gear Solid-like atmosphere of action and stealth gameplay along with its environments.
Yes, Castle Crashers is an old-school style button masher, but it’s still loads of fun and offers a unique co-op experience as well. It’s humorous and perhaps a bit crazy at times, you’ll love it.
#2 Trials HD
Trials HD is essentially a 2D time trial racer / obstacle course simulator which is both extremely fun and at times, slightly frustrating (particularly in the later levels). While the controls are relatively straight-forward, the gameplay is surprisingly deep. Additionally, the visuals are fantastic and present gamers with a nice 3D environment that’s tied to 2D mechanics.
Limbo is a very unique game to say the least. While it is a 2D platformer and features a somewhat limited color palette, it is a very engaging game that will leave you scratching your head, yet wanting more of its patented gameplay. You’re mostly tasked with solving puzzles, but what makes the game so striking is its lack of a conventional story, plot, purpose or music. This creepy game is definitely worth playing, perhaps several times through.