10 Best Xbox 360 Arcade Games
The Xbox Live Arcade was a popular platform for smaller downloadable games, encompassing both major studios and indie developers.Notable games from ...
The Xbox Live Arcade was a popular platform for smaller downloadable games, encompassing both major studios and indie developers.
Notable games from the Xbox 360 Arcade era include Trials Evolution and Shadow Complex.
Castle Crashers is often regarded as the best Xbox 360 Arcade game, with its cooperative hack-and-slash gameplay and a successful remastered version released in 2015.
Before Game Pass, there was the Xbox Live Arcade. Originally announced for the original Xbox, the Arcade was specifically designed for smaller downloadable games, showcasing both major studios in the industry and indie developers aiming to make an impression.
After the announcement of the Xbox One in 2013, Microsoft decided to abandon the Arcade concept and instead have all games in the same section of the marketplace. With the Xbox 360 Arcade set to go offline next year, it's a good opportunity to reflect on some of its best games.
10 Toy Soldiers: Cold War
One of Microsoft's promotional campaigns for the Xbox 360 was the Summer of Arcade. Starting in 2008 and spanning over six years, the Summer of Arcade showcased releases of highly anticipated smaller games such as Hybrid, Braid, and 'Splosion Man.
One of the finest releases from this service was Toy Soldiers: Cold War. Developed by Signal Studios, this game was a unique blend of tower defense and third-person strategy, endlessly replayable, and filled with charm from the Cold War era.
9 Trials Evolution
Trials HD from 2009 is often regarded as one of the best games from the Xbox 360 Arcade era. Developed by RedLynx, the surprisingly immense success of Trials HD raised the bar significantly for every subsequent installment, setting much higher expectations than the average Arcade release.
Fortunately, RedLynx rose to the occasion with great success when they released Trials Evolution in 2012. While Trials HD remains a classic, Evolution propelled the immensely challenging motocross series into discussions of the most popular games of the Xbox 360 era.
8 Shadow Complex
Arcade games were often unfairly excluded from the "Game of the Year" discussion. While it's not necessary for every game to be part of the GOTY discussion, being included helps games stay in the players' memories longer and increases the chances of a re-release.
Shadow Complex, released in 2009 by Chair Entertainment, was a 2D Metroidvania adventure that achieved both immense critical acclaim and commercial success. With 200,000 units sold in the first week and 600,000 by the end of 2011, Shadow Complex was a unique triumph.
7 Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
The Call of Juarez series by Techland felt like a franchise that could never reach the next level. The first three releases of this Wild West first-person shooter were met with both commercial and critical mixed reception, and for that reason, Techland decided to take a different approach with the fourth installment.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger from 2013 was considerably smaller than the previous entries, but it undoubtedly represented the pinnacle of the series. With beautifully stylized graphics and fantastic gunplay, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger remains the best installment of the franchise.
Developer Playdead is no stranger to creating polarizing video games. While their game Inside from 2016 is now considered the most well-known and iconic game from the studio, it is easy to forget that Playdead's previous game also garnered immense and unparalleled recognition from critics and audiences alike.
Limbo from 2010 is a black-and-white 2D side-scrolling game that sparked massive discussion upon its release. While the game's minimalist storytelling was criticized by some reviewers, many remember Limbo as one of the most captivating game releases of the 2010s.
5 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Not too long ago, there was no type of game more saturated with mediocrity than film-based games. As publishers demanded these games to be released simultaneously with the films, most of them were, at best, forgettable and, at worst, abhorrent.
Although not exclusively based on the film, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game was developed to be released simultaneously with the movie. Ironically, while the film received much critical acclaim but fell short of box office expectations, the game was undoubtedly a big success.
4 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Like many long-running series from Ubisoft, the open-world first-person action series Far Cry has also experienced a decline in recent years. As a result, it feels like ages ago when the shooter series could simply do no wrong.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was announced on April 1, 2013, which led many to believe it was an April Fool's joke. And yet, the game was completely real, immersing the Far Cry 3 formula in a glorious cloak of '80s synth-wave and B-movie aesthetics.
3 BattleBlock Theater
If there's one genre that is most commonly associated with the Xbox 360 Arcade, it's party games, especially those that allowed you to sit on the couch with friends and have a great time. The game development studio, The Behemoth, arguably has the strongest claim to the title of the 360 Arcade king.
The release of The Behemoth's BattleBlock Theater in 2013 perfectly represents the ideal party game for the Xbox 360 Arcade. Full of creativity and incredibly hilarious, BattleBlock Theater is one of the most iconic and beloved gems of the Arcade.
2 Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
One of the reasons why the Xbox 360 Arcade was so popular was that seemingly any type of game could be successful. Whether it was unique ideas or fundamental concepts, every game had the chance to become a big hit.
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was originally a mini-game within Project Gotham Racing 2, but in 2007, developer Bizarre Creations released an updated version for the early Arcade. This fantastic twin-stick shooter became the most downloaded Xbox 360 Arcade game at the time.
1 Castle Crashers
If you ask someone about the best Xbox 360 Arcade game, you might hear some say Limbo, while others may mention Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved. However, in most cases, the one game that is consistently referred to as the best of the best will be Castle Crashers from 2008.
Developed by The Behemoth, masters of arcade games, Castle Crashers is a co-op 2D hack-and-slash side-scrolling game that exploded upon its release. With a beautiful remaster in 2015, Castle Crashers represents the pinnacle of the Xbox 360 Arcade.