Xbox Live Arcade has a good selection of games avaliable, both old and new. Every title has a built in free trial, so go ahead and try out a game if you're interested!
|'Splosion Man||2D Platformer||Fun platforman'. Exploding is your primary method of doing everything. Up to 4-player co-op, with new stages in co-op mode. The sequel, Ms. 'Splosion Man, is out too.||Yes|
|After Burner Climax||Flight/Action/Shoot 'em Up||Classic After Burner gameplay, updated graphics and controls. Incredibly addictive and has tons of "EX Options" to change up gameplay, as well as the option to swap out the J-rock soundtrack for After Burner 2's chiptunes. A direct port of the arcade version by Sega AM2. Also available on PS3 (No longer available)|
|Alien Hominid HD||Run 'n Gun||This game requires quick reflexes and a basic side-scrolling formula while a player controls the alien and defeats FBI agents and their creations. Also on GBA, GC (USA only) and PS2/Xbox.||Yes|
|Banjo-Kazooie||3D Platformer||HD port of Rare's N64 classic. It still holds up well today and is definitely worth checking out, especially if you've never played it before. Stop 'n' Swop is included and is compatible with the XBLA version of Banjo-Tooie (see below) and Nuts & Bolts!||Yes|
|Banjo-Tooie||3D Platformer||HD port of Banjo's sequel, with similar upgrades from the first game's port (better framerate, Stop 'n' Swop, etc). It's still lots of fun and is highly recommended.||Yes|
|Bastion||Action RPG type thing||Be the humble savior of a broken, beautifully realized world. Good, exciting gameplay, a nice assortment of weapons to choose from and customize, fucking incredible soundtrack, very well told story. The setting and plot are fleshed out with masterful restraint. This one's a gem, alright. Also available on PC via Steam.|
|Beyond Good and Evil HD||Action/Adventure||The cult classic from the makers of Rayman makes its way to Live Arcade with an HD uplift. An action/adventure game with stealth elements, a good style, solid gameplay, and a surprisingly deep story involving a government conspiracy and the photographer bent on exposing it. Seriously, if you don't have a copy/haven't played it, buy it. Let them know that the sequel is wanted.||Yes|
|Braid||Pretentious Puzzle Platformer||Use some very well-done time manipulation powers to save the princess. Or maybe it's a girlfriend. Or candy. Or the atomic bomb. Don't pay attention to the story, just pay attention to the myraid time-powers (and the ending is pretty good too). Also on PC and P33. Wii version canceled due to ||Yes|
|Breath of Death VII: The Beginning||RPG||An indie parody RPG with references to every damned game under the sun. Plays like your old school "Final Fantasy", "Dragon Quest", "Phantasy Star", though it tries to mix things up with its own systems as well. Only one dollar. Buy it, play it, love it. |
Also available on PC via Steam.
|Castle Crashers||Beat 'Em Up||4-player online-able roaming beat-em-up set in medieval times. High level of customization and hidden/unlockable content make this the most fun one can have with a 360. Also features an awesome soundtrack. Considered one of the best XBLA games.
Also on the Playstation Network and the PC. Make sure to get the free Pink Knight DLC if you buy it, adds a character and some weapons.
|Comic Jumper||Run 'n Gun/Platformer||A fun game from Twisted Pixel. Travel between different comic book worlds as the super hero Captain Smiley. The art/graphics style changes in each world! Has a good soundtrack, a ton of bonus features to unlock and is hilarious.|
|Costume Quest||RPG||Note: Best played around Halloween. You play as a kid trying to rescue your sibling kidnapped by troll-like monsters. However, this game has a nostalgic childhood-like feel to it. The dialogue, the attitudes, along with the general humor and plot can really take you back. In dealing with obstacles, you find, build, and use costumes and their abilities to proceed, such as a light-up toy sword to scare away darkness phantoms. The battles are a little simple, but play well enough and are rather cute and silly, being hilariously exaggerated through imagination. The game is a little short, but the DLC expansion chapter rounds it out nicely.
Also available on the Playstation Network and PC. The PC version comes with the DLC!
|Cyber Troopers Virtual On: Oratorio Tangram ver 5.66||Action/Simulator||Port of the arcade classic. Fast and frantic mecha action with giant swords, huge lasers and love hearts. Supports online and LAN play.|
|DeathSpank||Action RPG/Diablo-esque||A goofy Action RPG by Ron Gilbert of Monkey Island fame. Do heroic deeds like stuffing annoying orphans in a bag, slaying stoopid chickens, hammering magical poop out of demons, and more as you quest for an ancient, powerful artifact: The Artifact. A bit short, but fun, easy to control and great humor. Gets better with the more weapons and skills you get. A pal can co-op in at anytime as SPARKLES THE WIZARD. He shares your health bar, but has handy magic like ranged damage and healing.|
|DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue||Action RPG/Diablo-esque||DeathSpank ventures to the war-torn land north of last game. Humor and quests are mostly the same, if not better; but now your arsenal is more impressive. Poison bazookas, ice grenades, laser monocles, earthquake shovels, etc. replace the medieval gear before (the new melee weapons act like the old ones, so no worries). The DLC is mostly for fun, but goes cheap anyways. Note: Console versions may sometimes get bugged with a late-game quest, but Hothead is willing to help anyone who encounters it|
|Doom||FPS||A landmark FPS released in 1993. This is only Doom though, so no extra levels and such.||Yes|
|Double Dragon Neon||Beat 'Em Up/High-fives/Being a motherf***ing badass/So much 80's!||Mega-ultra-awesome-cool reimagining of Double Dragon. Lots of amazing stuff such as fully customizable and upgradeable movesets, |
GET A BRO AND GO PLAY THIS. NOW!
|Duke Nukem 3D||FPS||Fairly non-linear FPS with humor and sweet action. Also on Saturn, PS1, N64 and PC.. all with varying degrees of censorship (bar PC version which also has extra mission pacs and even an 'HD' update)|
|Dust: An Elysian Tail||2D platformer / action RPG||A pretty fun game where you play as an amnesiac furry hero fighting a genocidal army with a magical talking sword and a spell-casting flying cat. Features a smooth combat system, nice graphics and some decent RPG elements. Really impressive considering one guy pretty much made the whole game by himself.
Also on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
|Garou: Mark of The Wolves||2D Fighter||The most accurate non-Neo Geo version of the game to date, the 360 version of MOTW has pretty much everything you could ask for in a port, with the sole exception of decent netcode. Seriously, when I tried it, it was like watching a slideshow. Play it on GGPO if you wanna play online, but the 360 version is good for training.||Yes|
|Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2||Shoot 'em Up||Sequel to the fantastic Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, which is also on the arcade, but the bucket load of extra modes makes this one the game to try. Awesome music, crazy colors, terrific gameplay and just the right amount of challenge add up to an excellent shooting experience. Mode variations will keep you busy.
Other versions of Geometry Wars can be found on the Wii, DS and PC.
|Geon: Emotions||Arcade||Navigate a little cube around and collect pellets before your enemy does.|
|Gunstar Heroes||Run 'n Gun||A goddamn classic. Check out the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive page here if you don't remember it.||Yes|
|Guwange||Shoot 'em Up||Cave's arcade classic from 1999 is now on XBLA. Set in medeival Japan, you choose from one of three characters, each with their own main shot and Shikigami, which you use to temporarily freeze bullets. Gameplay.|
|Hard Corps: Uprising||Action Shooter||Made by Arc System Works of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue fame, this "spiritual successor" to Contra: Hard Corps is all you could ask for and then some. The game is beautiful, the soundtrack kicks ass, and you'll be in awe at how smooth the controls are. What are you waiting for, go and get what may possibly be the best Contra game of this gen!|
|Hydro Thunder Hurricane||Boat Racing||A sequel to the original that stays true to it's roots. Offline and online multiplayer is in.||Yes|
|I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT||TDS||An awesome indie game about killing zombies in a top down perspective. It's a fucking dollar. Doesn't hurt that it's good. (Keep in mind indie games on Xbox 360 leave in 2016, so get it now while it lasts.)|
|Ikaruga||Shoot 'em up||A small nation unearths an artifact that grants them unlimited power, which they use to conquer the world. The sequel to Radiant Silvergun, and one of the best shmups ever. Has an unique puzzle-ish "polarity system": enemies and their fire are either light or dark, and the player changes his ship's polarity at will. Bullets of different polarity kill you, but bullets of equal polarity are absorbed. If you haven't played this one on the Dreamcast, get it now.||Yes|
|The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match||2D Fighter||This isn't so much of a remake as 98UM was to 98, this is more like an entirely new game that uses a similar engine. A cast of pretty much every pre-03 character you could ask for, a kick ass soundtrack and the best port of the game to date; what more could you ask for? Oh, that's right, decent netcode. :(|
|King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match||2D Fighter||The classic Dream Match is back! The inclusion of the 96 Boss Team in the 98 engine alone makes this worth getting, if you ask me. In addition, there's been some changes to the existing characters, as well as some new stages. The most accurate port of the game to date, as well; shame the netcode is as bad as it is. And, if you don't end up liking what SNKP changed, it comes with the original KOF98 as well! Just select "NEOGEO MODE" at the main menu.|
|Limbo||2D Platformer||Black-and-white puzzle platforming adventure. 1200 msp. You'll beat it in two hours.
Also available on PC and PS3.
|The Maw||3D Puzzle Platformer||Play as an adorable Alien who controls another adorable Alien who likes to eat everything up. Get new abilities by eating enemies Kirby style. Cute and fun, but short.
Also on PC.
|Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalker||TCG||Good MTG game, best for beginners to the game since decks are pre-made and while you unlock cards, you can't make custom decks. I might be in the minority, but this is what got this anon into the real card game.
As someone who got persuaded into buying this game by a friend and spent many hours in it, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. You get about 5 pre-built decks. The campaign is literally about 8 different opponents. Each time you beat an opponent with a deck, you get a single card added, so if you complete the game with a deck you get the option of adding those 8 cards in the deck. You want to customize your deck like any reasonable magic enthusiast would? Sure but it will cost you tons and tons of points. Want to multiplayer? Too bad; that costs more microsoft points too. The only redeeming quality I found in this game was the puzzle-like mode that throws you into the middle of a critical moment in a battle where you have to find the winning strategy, and there are only a few of them to play through. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this one. -Anon #2
|Mega Man 9||Action Platformer||It's Mega Man. Platforming and shooting. Quite difficult. On Wii and PS3.|
|Mega Man 10||Action Platformer||Same as 9, it continues the series in the lovely 8bit style. A little easier than 9, it'll probably still kick your ass. This one has some more variety in it, with creative mini-bosses (almost 1 per stage) and stages. And playable Bass.|
|The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition||Adventure||One of the most famous and successful adventure games ever made, this one is considered a cult classic by many. Help the "mighty pirate" Guybrush Threepwood defeat the evil ghost pirate LeChuck, win the love of the beautiful Elaine Marley and uncover the titular secret of Monkey Island. Exceptional writing and humor, this game is a mandatory play for everyone who loves adventures everyone. This is a remake with modern graphics and voice acting. The artstyle is generally agreed upon to be ugly and the controls are fucktarded, but you can also switch to the original graphics and interface easily.||Yes|
|Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge: Special Edition||Adventure||Just like Monkey Island 1, but longer, funnier, and all around better. Get a job by tainting soup with a rat, kidnap two large animals for your twisted machinations, practice voodoo against your foes, and cause two huge explosions while stealing everything that's not nailed down. This is also has a remake with redone graphics and full voice acting. The remake art is better looking this time around, but you can still return to the original style at will.||Yes|
|Monday Night Combat||Third-Person shooter/Tower Defense||Think DOTA meets Team Fortress 2. Is updated more on PC now.||Yes|
|Mutant Storm Empire||Shoot 'em Up||Fun as shit. Get it. (No loading screens!)|
|Mutant Storm Reloaded||Shoot 'em Up||Just as good as the previous one.|
|N+||Platformer||Jump, dodge, climb and rebound from walls, and collect gold on the way to the exit. You play as a little black ninja. Also on DS (for a low cost nowadays) and PC (the latter being free and better, though not quite as portable)||Yes|
|NeoGeo Battle Coliseum||2D Fighter||Port of the Atomiswave game of the same name. Unfortunately, this port was optimized for widescreen LCD's, so there's always an upscale filter over the sprites no matter what you do and the game only displays in 16:9, despite originally being a 4:3 game. Past that though, this port is tops. It's the only SNKP release that has actually good netcode, too!|
|Pac-Man Championship Edition||Maze||It's the same Pac-Man you know and love, but with different modes, shiny new visuals, an awesome techno soundtrack, and faster, tweaked gameplay. For example, now you respawn where you died instead of the center of the track. Fun Fact: this was designed by the original creator of Pac-Man and was his last game before retirement. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX is out now and is even better.||Yes|
|Perfect Dark||FPS||Port of the N64 classic with improved graphics, and keeps all that was great in the original. It's about special agent Joanna Dark stopping conspiracies. Has multiplayer. Achievements are glitchy if you care about them.||Yes|
|Plants vs. Zombies||Tower Defence||Defend your house from Zombies using a large array of cute Plants. Seriously. Easy to learn, hard to master, and really fun.
Available on pretty much every format. The versions which use the mouse/touch screen controls are the best, but the console offerings aren't a bad alternative.
|Radiant Silvergun||Shoot 'em up||A mysterious artifact is unearthed and wipes out mankind. As their vital resources dwindle, the only survivors are forced to return from their space station and find that, even so, they are not alone. The predecessor to Ikaruga, and one of the best shmups ever. Has a level system: the more you use any of the six weapons, the more powerful it gets. If you haven't played this one on the Saturn, get it now.|
|Rez HD||Shooter/Other||The cult psychedalic shooter from the PS2 and Dreamcast with slick updated visuals and now available for less than $80!|
|Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game||Beat em' Up|
Also on PSN.
|Shadow Complex||Metroidvania||Simply awesome. Definitely one of the best, if not the best game on the XBLA. Cool powerups. Story by Orson Scott Card (that you can totally ignore if you choose). One negative is that there is A LOT of backtracking. Basically Metal Gear: Metroid.||Yes|
|The Simpsons Arcade Game||Beat 'em Up|
|Snoopy Flying Ace||Action/Arcade Flight||Not your typical licensed game, this a fantastic dogfighting (no pun intended) title which feels like a spiritual successor to the Xbox's Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge. Terrific online multiplayer.|
|Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1||2D Platformer||Very short, (like every 2D Sonic HERP DERP) but REALLY FUN. The fans were right for once. Same fun 2D gameplay that even the couple of changes, such as lock-on, doesn't ruin it. A (finally) great Sonic game for what it is worth.
Also on WiiWare and PSN.
|Space Giraffe||Fixed Shooter||Tempest 2000 on an acid trip. Although both games share the same basic mechanics, the emphasis of this game is on trying to ram enemies off the web's rim in order to increase the score multiplier. Notorious for the fact that some stages are so visually psychedelic that it's almost impossible to tell what's happening from mere sight alone. As such, this game's at its most fun when you're playing in "the zone". Also on PC.|
|Stacking||Adventure||Double Fine's Industrial Age tale remixes traditional Point-And-Click with Stacking Dolls. As a tiny doll, the young lead Charlie can't do much alone, but he can stack within others and manipulate people using the status, prestige, and abilities of his disguises. This is a bit short, but there are actually multiple solutions for nearly every puzzle and the game encourages/entices you to find all of them in replays. The aesthetics are just delightful, recalling silent movies and plays, but filled with the color and technology seen in the era proper. Definitely try the demo if nothing more.
Also on PC.
|Super Meat Boy||2D Platformer||Very hard difficulty (which is a breath of fresh air to those gamers that are tired of 'watered down' games. Also quite long. You are made of meat and are trying to save the princess from a fetus in a jar.
Also on PC.
|Trials HD||Puzzle/Racing||Physics-based dirtbike game similar to Excite Bike. Ride over obstacles and do crazy jumps. Unlock new levels by beating the previous ones with a minimal amount of bails and in short amount of time. Some levels can be absolutely infuriating to get a gold medal in, or even finish. Very addictive. The sequel, Trials Evolution, is out now too and is also great.||Yes|
|Uno||Card Game||Simple Uno fun. A couple of variations. Extremely active community, although that may change now that the game has been out for more than a decade. You'll occasionally get some guy jerking off or some girl showing tits since the LIVE Vision Camera comes with this game.
Wii version is out too.
|Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown||3D Fighter||Latest iteration of VF5, with a shitload of changes from the previous version. Including 2 characters from VF5R: Taka-Arashi (sumo) and Jean Kujo (karate). Move lists from all characters have been revised thoroughly, so if you played vanilla VF5, expect to learn move properties and frame data again. Also, unlike vanilla VF5 or VF4, the learning curve is not as steep, so newcomers should feel more encouraged to give it a try. However, this is still Virtua Fighter, so learning the game and be somewhat decent at it may take a while.|
|Wolfenstein 3D||FPS||A classic FPS. Popularized first person shooters on the PC. Kill Nazis.||Yes|
|X-Men: The Arcade Game||Beat 'em Up|
Also on the PS3's Playstation Network.