Top rated and best Xbox Live Arcade games on 360

The Xbox Live Marketplace features numerous Xbox Live Arcade games available for download on the Xbox 360 using purchasable currency called Microsoft Points. Gamers have the option of rating each Xbox Live Arcade game, or XBLA game, up to 5 stars as the best rating. The below list briefly describes the top 5 highest rated Xbox Live Arcade games available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

Top Rated Xbox Live Arcade Game – Castle Crashers

Castle Crashes is the highest rated Xbox Live Arcade game; Castle Crashers features:

  • Local Multiplayer (same screen) 2-4 players
  • Xbox Live Online Multiplayer 2-4 players
  • 4-player co-op with occasional PvP battles
  • HD (High-Definition) 2D Graphics
  • 20 unlockable characters
  • 40 weapons
  • Costs 1200 MS Points ($15)

Castle Crashes is an ode to a nearly extinct game genre – the side-scrolling beat-um-up – with some light RPG mechanics. Up to 4 players on one console or by playing online battle through numerous, beautifully hand-drawn 2D environments, tackling bad guys with various purchasable weapons, and fighting big boss characters with character-specific magic attacks.

As the game progresses, the characters level up and can distribute skill points to improve different combat characteristics. Castle Crashers also features some light PvP combat – after each boss is killed all players fight each other to receive a kiss from the saved princess.

2nd Best XBLA Game – Castlevania Symphony of the Night

Castlevania SotN is a fan-favorite originally released on Playstation, and re-released on the Xbox Live Arcade. It features:

  • Single-player adventure
  • Online Leaderboard scores
  • Multiple Endings
  • Costs 800 MS Points ($10)

Many Castlevania fans consider Symphony of the Night to be the best of the series. It had great graphics for its day, but unfortunately looks outdated now. Since it’s a port, the XBLA version does not feature enhanced graphics and actually runs in a window with a border around it similar to other classic Xbox Live Arcade titles.

What made Symphony of the Night stand out is the numerous abilities, weapons, and character levels in the game, allowing for a great deal of variety in this 2D platformer / adventure title. It also features numerous twists and turns, and multiple endings ensuring a great deal of depth and gameplay time.

3rd Highest Rated Xbox Live Arcade Game – Portal: Still Alive

Originally released as part of Valve Software’s The Orange Box compilation, many considered Portal to be the reason to own The Orange Box. Portal: Still Alive is an individual XBLA release which features:

  • The full single-player story from The Orange Box
  • 14 new bonus maps
  • Behind-the-scenes developer commentary
  • Costs 1200 MS Points ($15)

The player is trapped inside a strange scientific experiment, and must escape by using a “Portal Gun” which creates the “entrance” and then the “destination” by pointing and shooting. The player must navigate through a maze and avoid obstacles using the portal gun.

Praised not only for it’s clever use of a unique, innovative game concept, but also for an intriguing plot and dialogue sequences, Portal: Still Alive makes for one of the most interesting Xbox Live Arcade games.

4th Best Xbox Live Arcade Game – Geometry Wars Evolved 2

Many considered Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved to be the definitive Xbox Live Arcade experience for a very long time, and Geometry Wars Evolved 2 released with the following new features:

  • Six new game modes
  • Local Multiplayer 2-4 players, Co-op and Versus modes
  • Online Leaderboard scores
  • Costs 800 MS Points ($10)

Geometry Wars Evolved 2 is arcade gaming at its finest. It offers addictive, fast-paced, high-score gameplay with six unique modes, all with online leaderboard scores. The multiplayer is only local with no online option, but that’s mostly due to Geometry Wars’ frantic, fast-paced action. Any lag would ruin the game.

It may seem odd to say that a bunch of random shapes can illicit moments of genuine suspense and fright, and gamers may not understand until they get within inches of a new score while being surrounded and constantly bombarded with enemies. That’s the GW experience.

5th Highest Rated XBLA Game – Battlefield 1943

Some games place a high focus on competitive multiplayer, but Battlefield 1943 focuses entirely on it. It features:

  • Online Multiplayer-only 2-24 players
  • 3 distinct combat classes
  • Vehicle combat
  • Costs 1200 MS Points ($15)

Considering how many people buy Call of Duty games strictly for the multiplayer, it’s a wonder why a multiplayer-online title for Xbox Live Arcade wasn’t attempted earlier. But that’s essentially what this game is, it’s a Call of Duty-style FPS focusing entirely on the online competitive multiplayer.

It features vehicle combat, such as Tanks, Jeeps, and Airplanes, along with squad-based tactics allowing players to spawn near teammates. Players must battle to take points across three large maps. Battlefield 1943’s success proves there’s room for games that focus entirely on online multiplayer.

Best Xbox Live Arcade Games Conclusion

Not only are the five games listed above some of the best Xbox Live Arcade games available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, they are some of the best Xbox 360 games period. Even gamers who typically shy away from arcade games will likely enjoy these great games.

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