25 Best XBLA Games
The 25 Best XBLA Games are known for many different things. Some are indie game works of art. Others are addictive puzzlers and casual titles. Still, others are strange Japanese shooters that task you with destroying giant cyborg women with squid ships. It’s this variety that makes Xbox Live Arcade such a wondrous resource for gaming in this generation. These are the 25 Best XBLA Games the 360 has to offer.
The Cave is a relic from gaming days past. It’s a 2D puzzle based adventure game that would make The Lost Vikings proud. You get to take a party of three adventures (out of seven), on a quest to find their heart's desires. Each has their own story and special abilities, and by choosing them you actually change the very makeup of The Cave itself. It’s quirky, it’s fun, and it’s an outstanding title for anyone who remembers the platforming adventure games of the past and deserves to be on the list of the 25 Best XBLA Games.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
Before Lara was a whimpering castaway with a habit of getting her head impaled on spikes, she was a badass Tomb Raider who would walk right up to a tiger and punch him in the face if she needed to. That being said, there wasn’t so much face punching in Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, but there was awesome co-op puzzle gameplay, and that’s just as good.
Braid is a simple puzzle platformer that puts you in control of time itself. It tells a story of one man and his obsession, but what he obsesses over is a matter of interpretation. Is it a story of a stalker lusting over a woman he found in New York? Is it a story about the development of the nuclear bomb? The very fact that Braid can get us to ask these question is a testament to its artistic nature. Braid is the type of game that makes you sit back and think about your time on this world, and wonder if time is really all that we have.
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Ninja furry Metroidvania style RPG? Yes, please. Dust was a phenomenal game that not only stood out due to its amazing battle mechanics, but also because of its phenomenal story and voice acting. The fluid nature of the characters and backgrounds made the game almost look like an ultra-violent Disney animated feature.
Half Minute Hero Super Mega Neo Climax
We all know that most JRPGs are just carbon copies of each other. Half Minute Hero Super Mega Neo Climax takes this flaw and turns it into a hilarious comedic romp through a world of thirty second apocalypses. Level-up, upgrade your gear, solve puzzles, and defeat the boss all before your egg timer rings. If you haven’t tried this hectic action filled take on JRPGs, you should, especially if you are a JRPG fan.
Retro City Rampage
Want one reason why this title made the list of the 25 Best XBLA Games? One of the first scenes of Retro City Rampage has you running from a heist while being chased by the police, the A-Team, and the Ninja Turtles. Do we really have to say anything more? This spoof of the classic GTA style top down crime game is packed to the brim with 8-bit '80s jokes. If you ever wanted to rob a bank before escaping through time in Doc Brown’s Delorian, this is the game for you.
Mark of the Ninja
Who would have thought that one of the best examples of stealth gameplay would be a 2D platforming action game? Well that’s exactly what Mark of the Ninja is. This slick and stylized game from the makers of Shank really does make you feel like a Ninja. Being stealthy rewards you with satisfying kills which allow you to progress through the game more easily, yet you can always brandish your katana and go on a straight forward murderous rampage if that’s more your style.
What is one of the best games on the PSN is sadly lower on the list for XBLA. While the game still has it’s incredible mechanics, quirky story, and balanced cast, it has unfortunately suffered a massive delay to its first balance patch. Still, despite not having the new features that the PSN version has, Skullgirls may be the best indie fighting game the XBLA has to offer.
Quantum Conundrum is a physics based puzzle game made by one of the original creators of Portal. That’s more than enough of a pedigree to make us want to play the game. Add in a quirky character voiced by John DeLancey of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, and you have us hooked! The game tasked you with changing the properties of physics in order to solve puzzles. Make everything heavy, light, fast, slow, indestructible, or just reverse gravity. The laws of physics are at your command in this 25 Best XBLA Games entry.
Double Dragon Neon
Yo, dude! Double Dragon Neon is like so totally awesome! The kickin '80s tunes are radical! The classic beat-em-up gameplay is totally tubular! The hilarious plot gets us so amped and you have to love the bangin' co-op play. This game is so fresh and happenin’, it’s one of the most jammin’ beat em’ ups of all time, on of of the XBLA. Far out!