Top 10 Xbox Live Arcade Games

The Best Games on the Xbox Live Arcade

The Xbox Live arcade is simply awesome on Xbox 360 and has consistently delivered some of the best games on the platform. Here are our picks for ten of the best, but there are a lot more out there that are great too!

These are all downloadable games, so you'll need an Xbox Gift Card to buy them.  Buy Xbox Gift Cards at

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Starbreeze Studios / 505 Games

A contender for one of the best Xbox 360 games overall, not just Xbox Live Arcade, Brothers: A Tale of Two sons is a fantastic story of two brothers on a journey to find medicine to cure their sick father. The gameplay has you controlling the two brothers simultaneously, and is absolutely unique and wonderful in its design. The story is amazing, the gameplay is fun (once you get used to it) and there are lots of little touches that make it very, very memorable. Everyone should play this game.



Minecraft is amazing. Don't let the simple graphics fool you, this game is addictive and wonderful and the freedom it gives you to do whatever you want is unmatched. Technically, it is an adventure game where you're trying to enter the underworld and kill a dragon, but you don't have to play it that way if you don't want to. You can turn enemies off completely and just build stuff if you want. And thanks to the addition of creative mode, time is the only thing stopping you from building anything you can imagie. It costs $20, but is worth every penny.

Shadow Complex

Imagine if Super Metroid and Metal Gear Solid got together and had a baby. The result would be Shadow Complex. It is a game of upgrades, exploration, crazy conspiracies, boss battles, and more all in an isolated military complex. And the best part is that it looks like a current-gen, Unreal Engine game but is played from a 2D side-scrolling perspective. It pairs amazing presentation with amazing gameplay to create one of the best XBLA games yet. It costs 1200MS Points ($15), but the replay value is through the roof so there is no question you'll get your money's worth.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night


Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the greatest games ever made, and even though it is ten years old, it is still very impressive. It features amazingly satisfying action/exploration gameplay, tons of secrets, and one of the best soundtracks ever to grace a videogame. This is a fantastic oldschool game that hardcore gamers will really appreciate. Castlevania: SOTN is highly recommended.

Perfect Dark


One of the most anticipated Xbox Live Arcade titles ever is finally upon us with the release of Perfect Dark. It may be a port/remake of a ten-year old N64 game, but there is still plenty of magic in the title whether you are a PD vet or are playing the game for the first time. It still plays amazingly well, and in terms of the sheer volume of content, Perfect Dark XBLA is one of the best gaming values you’ll find for a mere $10.

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

Bizarre Creations
Take everything that made Geometry Wars great – simple graphics, fast paced frantic gameplay – and multiply it by ten and you’ll end up with Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2. It is bigger, better, more beautiful, and packs six distinct modes that will keep you coming back for more. The new modes are also noteworthy because many of them are quick and easy to jump in and out of and you don’t have to spend half an hour and score into the tens of millions to be satisfied like you do with the first game. Geo Wars 2 is unquestionably better than the first game and is one of the best titles on XBLA.

Puzzle Quest

Infinite Interactive

Puzzle Quest is pretty much the result of what happens when a puzzle game and an RPG meet up after a night of drinking. It is a puzzle game at its core, but rather than trying to get a high score, you are battling an enemy. You alternate turns with your opponent, trying to match three or more of the same color of pieces in order to earn magic so you can cast spells. You cast spells and attack and try to whittle their hit points down to zero, just like an RPG. As you play, your character gets stronger and learns new skills. Puzzle Quest sounds weird, but it is absolute addictive and completely fresh and original.



LIMBO is a monochromatic, 2D side-scrolling puzzle/platformer/horror game exclusive to the Xbox Live Arcade. It is also one of the best games you'll play all year. It is a perfect blend of an amazing art style, great sound design, and terrifically smart and clever gameplay that will hook you from the moment you pick up the controller.


PopCap Games

Peggle is a puzzle game that plays like Plinko from The Price is Right. The board has pegs on it and your objective is to shoot a ball and take out all of the orange colored pegs on the board. Each of the playable characters has a different power-up ability, and having the right ability on a given board makes all of the difference. Peggle is addictive and satisfying and just plain fun and the great sense of humor displayed as the game is loading up lets you know you are in for a good time. At 800 MS points ($10) it is a pretty good deal.

Plants vs. Zombies

PopCap Games

Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense game where you use plants to defend your house against invading hordes of zombies. It is a simple concept, and tower defense games are a dime-a-dozen these days, but Plants vs. Zombies utilizes a great sense of humor, perfect controls, amazing depth, and a surprising amount of content to really stand out from the crowd. It is 1200 MSP ($15), but you are getting a ton of content, which makes it a lot easier to swallow.

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