Top 10 Best XBLA | Xbox Live Arcade Games

The Xbox Live Arcade is an attractive platform for indie game developers as well as big game studios. We've managed to separate the wheat from the chaff and come up with a list of the ten best games on the XBLA.

by on 2nd Dec, 2010

When the XBLA platform was announced years ago, few every doubted that it would be successful. Years later, it has managed to live up to every gamer’s high expectations and delivered great titles not just in quantity but in quality. Here are ten of the best games to ever grace XBLA.  

#10 Worms 2: Armageddon

worms 2 armageddon

Worms 2: Armageddon is a faithful remake of the classic PC game. The premise is simple: you select a group of militarized worms to do war across a 2D stage with other groups of worms, who are under the control of other players, or if you prefer, the AI. Your worms are armed with a wide array of weapons, ranging from bazookas and grenades to the Holy Hand Grenade of Monty Python fame and exploding sheep. It’s like Gunbound, only a lot less crap.  

#9 Braid

braid xbla

Braid is Mario’s brainier brother. A platform game with time-based puzzles, Braid is the first game of its kind and one of the few titles to ever be accepted as a work of art by the snobbier gamers among us. With beautiful, hand-drawn art, Braid stands apart from all of its counterparts in both style and substance.  

#8 Shadow Complex

shadow complex

Shadow Complex is a “metroidvania”. The word’s a portmanteau of two games: Metroid and Castlevania. Set in Orson Scott Card’s cyberpunk “Empire” setting, you take on the role of Jason Flemming, who for some reason decides to go spelunking with his girlfriend Claire when they stumble across a secret military base buried deep within. She decides to go off on her own and Jason spends his whole time looking for her and figuring out what the deal is with the secret installation. You’d think that secret military bases dreamt up by wingnuts like Card would have more security, but I guess not. Story aside, it’s an awesome game that lives up to the quality of Metroid and Castlevania.  

#7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:  The Game

scott pilgrim vs the world xbla

With art by Paul Robertson and chiptune music provided by Anamanaguchi, it’s hard to go wrong with Scott Pilgrim vs. The  World: The Game. While the game isn’t without its flaws, Scott Pilgrim has been one of the best movie tie-in games ever produced to date. As a four-player side-scroller that pays an homage to brawlers like Double Dragon and Battletoads, Scott Pilgrim is as challenging as they come. You can play as Scott, Ramona, Stephen or Kim and battle Ramona’s seven evil ex boyfriends who turn into Canadian money upon defeat. The game’s only flaws come from its lack of drop-in play and online multiplayer, but it’s certainly one of the best games that the XBLA has to offer if you’ve got a buddy or two around.

#6 Costume Quest

costume quest

Developed by the makers of Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, Costume Quest is every bit as intelligently written and fun as you would expect from Double Fine. An adventure/role-playing game by nature, Costume Quest puts you in control of a little kid who goes trick of treating on Halloween night when the duo are beset by monsters who confuse his or her sibling (you can chose which character to play) for a piece of candy. They want to steal all the candy in the neighborhood and you take it upon yourself to rescue your sibling and liberate the candy while you’re at it. As you travel through the neighborhood, you have to collect items for your costume, which in turn allows you to take on the aspect of the character you’re dressed as to do battle against the monsters in the game’s turn-based combat mode. Among the costumes are a knight, a Statue of Liberty, and a giant mecha robot. Along the way, you’ll also pick up companions. 

It may look like a game made for children, but it’s suitable for gamers of any age. Given that it’s designed by Double Fine, you can expect quite a bit of humor and well written dialogue to enjoy.  

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