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Best of the rest: Fable Heroes
3 years ago

Best of the rest: Fable Heroes

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Last week, XBLAFans ran down the 25 best XBLA games to be released on the Xbox 360. This week, some of the games that didn't make the cut get …
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Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #5 – 1
3 years ago

Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #5 – 1

Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft's Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform's success. Bizarre's Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre's side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.

Today, we're approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft's Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It's going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?

It wasn't easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade's top games every night. And don't forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.

(Editor's Note: Voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)


5.) Minecraft

Minecraft Creeper

Nathan Bowring, ReporterMinecraft’s impact on XBLA has been huge; it’s been beating sales records ever since its release, and it continues to top the Xbox Live activity charts. There’s just something magical about that simple, blocky world that’s hard to resist. Every new, randomly generated world is the start of a new adventure. In Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, you’ll map out the landscape, explore deep caverns to collect precious diamonds, fight terrifying nocturnal monsters and build to your heart’s desire. The resources you collect may turn into your new house, or maybe you’ll turn them into weapons to fight the Ender Dragon. The only thing that limits the game is your imagination, with every new title update adding so many more possibilities.

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Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #10 – 6
3 years ago

Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #10 – 6

Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft's Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform's success. Bizarre's Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre's side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.

Today, we're approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft's Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It's going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?

It wasn't easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade's top games every night. And don't forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.

(Editor's Note: Voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)


10.) 1 vs 100

1 vs 100 Question

Ryan Thompson, Contributor — One of the promises of the Xbox 360 console that went largely unfulfilled was the idea that Xbox Live would expand to a point of truly joining together the entire community of players. The truth is that not a lot has changed since players began playing Halo 2 online almost a decade ago: we still join lobbies and play with small groups of people.

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Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #15 – 11
3 years ago

Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #15 – 11

Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft's Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform's success. Bizarre's Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre's side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.

Today, we're approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft's Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It's going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?

It wasn't easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade's top games every night. And don't forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.

(Editor's Note: Voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)


15.) Trials Evolution

Trials Evolution Course

Shawn Saris, ContributorTrials HD is a simple game. You have a bike, and you are tasked with getting from one end of the screen to the other. How hard could that possibly be? In some cases, a good argument could be made for it being impossible, and, as such, the first Trials went on to be known as one of the hardest games to grace XBLA. Years later, Trials Evolution stepped up to the plate with bigger, better levels, more bikes and an amazing track editor, allowing the community to make its own courses for years to come. Trials Evolution is a perfect example of the old mantra "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Instead of changing everything for the sequel, developer RedLynx left the core game the same and instead just added dozens of hours worth of content to challenge players.

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Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #20 – 16
3 years ago

Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #20 – 16

Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft's Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform's success. Bizarre's Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre's side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.

Today, we're approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft's Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It's going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?

It wasn't easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade's top games every night. And don't forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.

(Editor's Note: voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)


20.) State of Decay

State of Decay Zombie

Matthew Smail, Contributor — Featuring a solid 10 to 20-hour-long campaign, a fun and engaging storyline and a range of deep and rewarding gameplay mechanics, State of Decay is considered by some to be a better game than many boxed AAA zombie titles. Arriving as it did in 2013 (during what is essentially the Xbox 360’s twilight year) State of Decay has certainly proven one thing: digital delivery of serious gaming content not related to Minecraft can be both commercially and critically successful on the Xbox 360.

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Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #25 – 21
3 years ago

Xbox 360's best XBLA games of all time: #25 – 21

Xbox Live Arcade began its life on Microsoft's Xbox 360 simply enough. When eager gamers bought up Xbox 360s on launch day (November 22, 2005), they found a free copy of Hexic HD pre-loaded on their hard drives. Of course, it was another launch title that secured the platform's success. Bizarre's Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved both gave birth to the twin-stick shooter craze and demanded gamers take Xbox Live Arcade, which started in disc form back on the original Xbox, seriously as a digital games platform. Bizarre's side project paved the way for the enormous variety of retro revivals, HD remakes, original indie projects, major studio releases, free-to-play games and more that have come to call XBLA home in the years since.

Today, we're approximately one month away from the launch of the Xbox One, which will signal the end of XBLA as we have come to know it these past eight years. While Microsoft's Xbox line will continue to be home to myriad low-cost downloadable video games, the XBLA moniker will not make the transition to Xbox One. It's going down with the figurative (and literal) Xbox 360 boat. So what better time than now to count down the best XBLA games to ever grace the Xbox 360?

It wasn't easy, but our staff has sorted through all of the best XBLA releases over the years and picked the ones that we feel are the true standout stars of the platform. Check back with us throughout the week as we run down five of Xbox Live Arcade's top games every night. And don't forget to head to the comments to let us know how much you love (or hate) our picks.

(Editor's Note: voting was conducted in early September. No games released post-Summer of Arcade 2013 were considered eligible.)


25.) Pinball FX2

Pinball FX2 Blade Table

John Laster, Editor-in-ChiefPinball FX2 shot out of the shoot pretty quickly and even three years later has shown very few signs of slowing down. Recreating a fantastic-feeling pinball experience in a virtual environment, Zen Studios has crafted a virtual arcade that will save you a lot of quarters and allow you to forget that you aren’t playing on physical machines. Utilizing a mix of original and licensed IPs, Pinball FX2 takes players from classic Rome to a galaxy far, far away with an entire pack of Star Wars tables and a plethora of other downloadable content.

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XBLA's Most Wanted: Archer
3 years ago

XBLA's Most Wanted: Archer

Archer_XBLAMostWanted

There’s an uneasy moment when the green light flashes on a videogame adaption of a beloved television series. Call it apprehension, call it skepticism, call it whatever you'd like, but there's a good reason for knee-jerk worry – most of them don't pan out. Sometimes the source material isn’t really conveyable in another medium; sometimes the ball is just dropped during development. More often than not it’s a little from column A, and a little from column B, even when the planets have spectacularly aligned to guarantee a surefire success. Whatever the cause, cross-pollinating entertainment can often deliver a dud, but it can also bring about completely new ways to enjoy something we love. In the 24/7 cacophonous overload that is modern-day television programming, there are few series more suited for the game treatment than Archer.

For the uninitiated, Archer follows the exploits of the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) which trots the globe undertaking missions ranging from espionage to personal errands. Without overselling it, Archer is one of the most cleverishly written and reliably funny shows on television, thanks to the character-driven plots that don’t so much focus on the mission at hand but rather the many ways in which the tidy collection of lovable psychopaths will unflinchingly undermine and berate one another.

So what makes Archer suited for the fertile lands of videogamedom? In a word? Everything. Logistically, the show takes place in an intentionally ambiguous time period, seemingly set during the ‘60s while regularly incorporating elements of contemporary culture and other historical eras. The agents have been to space, the ocean floor, a pirate fortress, and most countries in the known world, especially the ones ending in “stan.” With a license to kill, seemingly unending resources, diplomatic-ish immunity and a never ending supply of super villains, communist and/or tracksuit-sporting cyborgs, environmental terrorists and.. regular terrorists – there’s literally no limits to what you would be able to do in this universe. The real question then is – how is Archer not already a videogame?

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Friday Top Five: Top five XBLA games that require a sequel
3 years ago

Friday Top Five: Top five XBLA games that require a sequel

XBLAFansFridayFive4

Whoever coined the phrase, “Too much of a good thing,” likely never played a video game. Sure, mostly because the saying dates back to well before Pong ever pinged a virtual paddle, but in some small part because anyone that’s ever really connected to a great game knows the bittersweet sorrow of wrapping it up. Xbox Live Arcade is no stranger to great games — however you choose to define the word: fun, dense, deep, powerful – there’s something for everyone in our little digital corner of video games proper.

With that in mind, we take a look back at the heavy hitters, the ones that make you set down the controller upon completion and want to know more. XBLAFans’ Friday Top Five is back, bringing you the top five Xbox Live Arcade games (in no particular order) that require a sequel.

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More than a tambourine hero: Charlie Murder's Kelly
3 years ago

More than a tambourine hero: Charlie Murder's Kelly

There's a scene in Ska Studios' Charlie Murder in which the members of the titular punk rock group do what rock stars do best. No, they don't rock out, though the game does dedicates several scenes to just that. During the scene in question, the band does the rock star thing and tears apart a hotel room. The rambunctious five behave the way we've all come to expect rock stars to behave: irresponsibly. Furniture is destroyed, a mattress gets kicked, hell is raised.

So what, right? That's all standard rock star fare, and it fits right into a game that celebrates nearly every aspect of the (undead) punk rocker lifestyle. That little mattress-kicking bit, though, well, that seems to have upset at least a few game critics. It's not so much that the mattress is being kicked that caused the issue, but it's the individual doing the kicking and the role she plays in the game on the whole that caused some reviewers to be put-off by the character.

The character is Kelly "Skelekitten" Skitten, and she spends most of the hotel scene meagerly kicking at a mattress while the rest of the band — which itself raises from hell in the game's opening scene — raises hell. Eventually, a male member of the band walks over and does the job of destroying the mattress that Skitten apparently could not accomplish on her own. I noticed it while playing through Charlie Murder for review, but I thought it merely a harmless joke about a woman who looks to weigh all of 90 pounds not being capable of destroying a mattress by kicking it. Another critic felt differently.

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Refurbish your 360 part 1: The greatest custom Xbox 360s ever made
3 years ago

Refurbish your 360 part 1: The greatest custom Xbox 360s ever made

ironman 360 case

Let's be honest here. You love your 360. It's your baby. But after years of use that white casing is looking more yellow than white. It's got dings, scratches and that little USB door doesn't close any more. But under the skin she's just as good as ever. So maybe it's time to breathe some new life into the old girl. But since it's long out of warranty why not splurge and create that 360 you've always wanted? Today we present you with the first in a multi-part series on making that old console look new again. We're going to inspire you by starting with some of the greatest custom 360s ever made. Some are merely case mods, some are so extreme as to turn the console into an on-the-go laptop.

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